Cooler heads at NOAA coming around to natural variability

Guest Post by Steven Goddard

http://test.crh.noaa.gov/images/eax/safety/winter/NOAA-ice.jpg

It appears that global cooling recognition may be starting to make headway in the scientific community. We have this Discovery/MSNBC article about a NOAA scientist titled “Warming might be on hold, study finds

“It is possible that a fraction of the most recent rapid warming since the 1970’s was due to a free variation in climate,” Isaac Held of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Princeton, New Jersey wrote in an email to Discovery News. “Suggesting that the warming might possibly slow down or even stagnate for a few years before rapid warming commences again.”

And Swanson thinks the trend could continue for up to 30 years.

Here’s the complete story from The Discovery Channel via MSNBC:

For those who have endured this winter’s frigid temperatures and today’s heavy snowstorm in the Northeast, the concept of global warming may seem, well, almost wishful.But climate is known to be variable – a cold winter, or a few strung together doesn’t mean the planet is cooling. Still, according to a new study, global warming may have hit a speed bump and could go into hiding for decades.

Earth’s climate continues to confound scientists. Following a 30-year trend of warming, global temperatures have flatlined since 2001 despite rising greenhouse gas concentrations, and a heat surplus that should have cranked up the planetary thermostat.

“This is nothing like anything we’ve seen since 1950,” Kyle Swanson of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee said. “Cooling events since then had firm causes, like eruptions or large-magnitude La Ninas. This current cooling doesn’t have one.”

Instead, Swanson and colleague Anastasios Tsonis think a series of climate processes have aligned, conspiring to chill the climate. In 1997 and 1998, the tropical Pacific Ocean warmed rapidly in what Swanson called a “super El Nino event.” It sent a shock wave through the oceans and atmosphere, jarring their circulation patterns into unison.

How does this square with temperature records from 2005-2007, by some measurements among the warmest years on record? When added up with the other four years since 2001, Swanson said the overall trend is flat, even though temperatures should have gone up by 0.2 degrees Centigrade (0.36 degrees Fahrenheit) during that time.

The discrepancy gets to the heart of one of the toughest problems in climate science – identifying the difference between natural variability (like the occasional March snow storm) from human-induced change.

But just what’s causing the cooling is a mystery. Sinking water currents in the north Atlantic Ocean could be sucking heat down into the depths. Or an overabundance of tropical clouds may be reflecting more of the sun’s energy than usual back out into space.

It is possible that a fraction of the most recent rapid warming since the 1970’s was due to a free variation in climate,” Isaac Held of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Princeton, New Jersey wrote in an email to Discovery News. “Suggesting that the warming might possibly slow down or even stagnate for a few years before rapid warming commences again.”

Swanson thinks the trend could continue for up to 30 years. But he warned that it’s just a hiccup, and that humans’ penchant for spewing greenhouse gases will certainly come back to haunt us.

“When the climate kicks back out of this state, we’ll have explosive warming,” Swanson said. “Thirty years of greenhouse gas radiative forcing will still be there and then bang, the warming will return and be very aggressive.”

© 2009 Discovery Channel

That is strange.  We hear from highly respected authorities that we were in a period of “unprecedented warming.”  How can it be both warming and cooling at the same time?  Maybe those DC protesters didn’t need to stand out in the cold and try to shut down their primary source of energy today.

Fig A2
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A2.lrg.gif

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206 thoughts on “Cooler heads at NOAA coming around to natural variability

  1. May I suggest that this current cooling is caused by…

    MANMADE CO2 !!!

    And… in order to stop this horrible new ice age… we must stop emitting this horrible gas!

    Yeah, okay, sorry, but I really get a laugh out of people who think they have it all nailed down, then are confounded when their certainty is shattered.

  2. And the cause: “This current cooling doesn’t have one.”

    I see that they still do not get out much. Maybe we should all club together to send them on a beach holiday so they can lie on their backs and look at the SUN.

  3. …and here I thought that Mankind’s spewing of greenhouse gases was overwhelming a delicate natural climatic balance. Silly me!

  4. What utter morons.

    In fact, that is being disrespectful towards morons.

    “Hey, guys, like, it’s not going to be warming, and maybe even cooling, for the next, um, 30 years (when I’m safely retired!), but this warming is coming back with a vengeance! Oh, yes! We need to immediately throw money, um, um, I mean FUND further research into this cooling aberation, because in 30 years time, it’s baaaack!”

    The screams of anguish being heard around the world from the carpet-baggers and free-loaders of the AGW industry are extraordinary. Maybe they can see what happened to the Y2K industry, the Mad Cow Disease industry, and all the other fanciful public insanities over the last few years.

    These people deserve to be on the unemployment scrap-heap for the rest of their tawdry lives……

  5. Looks to me as if they are seeing the writing on the wall, and they are now putting in place a back door to bolt through.
    No matter – it’s too late. The socialisation of America has irreversibly begun. Good luck in your new state-run country!

  6. “It is possible that a fraction of the most recent rapid warming since the 1970’s was due to a free variation in climate,”

    A very PC statement !

    Is there any way of quantifying scientifically this fraction ? because this is at the core of the debate
    The AGW crowd will want to “proove” that its 99% agw 1% natural variation
    As a sceptic I accept that human activity will have an effect that reflects the absorption bands of increased co2 and other gasses, I also accept that there is compelling evidence that a pattern of natural variations have always affected climate as distinct from weather.

    A large dose of Carl Popper and the scientific method should help iin defining the fraction .

  7. “It is possible that a fraction of the most recent rapid warming since the 1970’s was due to a free variation in climate,”

    …and thus the tiny pea of scientific rationality began to roll down the snowy slopes of Mount Climate Disaster.

  8. That read to me to mean, “We’re right, even when it looks like we’re wrong. This cooling is just masking the warming.” Even if the cooling lasts 30 years (matching the 30 years of warming), it’s “just a hiccup.”

    On one hand, Swanson says they don’t know what’s causing the cooling.

    “This is nothing like anything we’ve seen since 1950,” Kyle Swanson of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee said. “Cooling events since then had firm causes, like eruptions or large-magnitude La Ninas. This current cooling doesn’t have one.”

    Yet on the other hand, Swanson is confident enough to predict what will happen when it goes away.

    “When the climate kicks back out of this state, we’ll have explosive warming,” Swanson said. “Thirty years of greenhouse gas radiative forcing will still be there and then bang, the warming will return and be very aggressive.”

    If this cooling lasts 30 years, I think people would welcome aggressive warming.

  9. Seems a good way to maintain the scare while the evidence you were using goes to pot. And by putting the scare off by 30 years they’ve still got a safe career no matter what happens to the climate in the meantime.

  10. Danish scientists have come to similar conclusions in recent days.

    Yesterday the Danish Meteorological Institute published an article on their website: “The climate hockey stick is broken”.

    (In Danish: http://www.dmi.dk/dmi/klimaets_hockeystav_er_braekket )

    They describe findings from a recent published study:

    http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1175%2F2008JCLI2301.1&ct=1&SESSID=fdb456bdab0ff3c077e4bd9594115b2e

    The major finding in this study is that the natural variability in the global temperatures the last 600 years must have been greater than Michael Mann’s prior estimations.

  11. I’m not sure if they are actually coming around. It seems to me that the proponents of AGW are just trying to make excuses for why reality doesn’t match the models. They haven’t really changed their story, but merely trying to state that the current cooling can not be used to dismiss AGW. Someone is trying to have their cake and eat it too!

  12. “Thirty years of greenhouse gas radiative forcing will still be there and then bang, the warming will return and be very aggressive.”

    Makes no sense. From 15,000 years ago until present the levels of atmospheric CO2 have doubled steadily over time and then rapidly. If we were going to see aggressive and catastrophic warming from greenhouse gas forcing why in 30 years and not now? Or even before present? Who knows exactly how much greenhouse gases there needs to be for aggressive forcing to occur?

    And why during the last 8000 years have temperatures declined overall despite a doubling of CO2? Why has atmospheric albedo also declined with increased CO2 when theoretically the opposite should occur?

    Think about the time when the pharaohs ruled Ancient Egypt and temperatures were warmer than today. It used to be more humid in those days. Egyptian literature and murals tell us they lived on a fertile land composed of black mud and that they had to travel out to the desert. Today cooler temperatures have lowered albedo and the desert has swallowed Giza and Cairo.

    They used to have proper seasonal rains too, the Sphinx itself shows us erosion from rainfall.

    Around the same time, Greenland had tribes living in the north and grapes grew in in the most northern parts of North America exactly where it is freezing cold today. When the Norsemen arrived over two thousand years later they called the area Vinland precisely because of the grapes they found growing made for good wine.

    We see the same thing in Britain, where a thousand years ago there was a good climate for growing grapes all over the country. Nowadays it is too cool in the north to grow decent grapes for wine.

    So Swanson needs to explain why we live in a dryer cooler climate now and what is the basis for believing “bang, the warming will return and be very aggressive” beyond purely guessing?

  13. But just what’s causing the cooling is a mystery…

    Yeah, I suppose it’s hard to see things clearly when your head is tightly inserted up your favorite computer model.

  14. Interesting comment to close on….

    Thirty years of greenhouse gas radiative forcing will still be there and then bang, the warming will return and be very aggressive.”

    Such a strong comment with no supporting argument. Sounds like guess work is the order of the day once again !

  15. “Suggesting that the warming might possibly slow down or even stagnate for a few years before rapid warming commences again.”

    Yes, assuming the interglacial continues. Otherwise, it might be in the realm of 90,000 years.

  16. It is quite clear that current climate models don’t incorporate any natural cycle between 1 and 100 years. This is proven by the ocean heat content trends, compared to two major models, see Fig. S1 of Barnet e.a.:
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/data/1112418/DC1/1

    That insolation/clouds are involved also can be seen in the ocean heat content increase over the past 50 years, as the mayor heat content increase is in the subtropics, where the largest change in (low) cloud cover was measured, while increased GHGs should give a more evenly distributed warming see Fig. 2 in Levitus e.a.:
    ftp://ftp.nodc.noaa.gov/pub/data.nodc/woa/PUBLICATIONS/grlheat05.pdf

    Baseline conclusion: as models used the last decades of the past century to attribute most warming to the increase of GHGs, and the current trend is flat, one can say that the warming was about 50% natural, 50% GHG induced (the current natural cooling is as strong as the supposed GHG warming). Thus current models with 3°C/2xCO2 are a factor 2 too high, and the real increase is 1.5°C/2xCO2 (or less)…

  17. From the text :

    Earth’s climate continues to confound scientists.

    What? No concensus?

    In 1997 and 1998, the tropical Pacific Ocean warmed rapidly in what Swanson called a “super El Nino event.” It sent a shock wave through the oceans and atmosphere, jarring their circulation patterns into unison.

    Ahhhh… Any excuse is a good one.

    But climate is known to be variable – a cold winter, or a few strung together doesn’t mean the planet is cooling. Still, according to a new study, global warming may have hit a speed bump and could go into hiding for decades.

    Never heard of cycles?

  18. Wow. The Discovery Channel still fell back on the tired old meme that “[s]inking water currents in the north Atlantic Ocean could be sucking heat down into the depths” even though salinity is a minor effect as compared to cold water sinking. Warm water does not sink. We should be thankful that they are making baby steps toward the dark side of analysing real data.

    John M Reynolds

  19. Lindsay H (00:39:27), that fraction could even be 22/88 human to natural influence seeing as how 0.08C of the 0.37C 1930-1990 warming was unexplained. Those numbers are based on HadCRUT data for a full set of oceanic cycles. — John M Reynolds

  20. Lindsay H (00:39:27) :

    “Is there any way of quantifying scientifically this fraction ?”

    If this fraction is able to neutrallize the effect of the much more CO2 in the coming up to 30 years, it’s percentage should be close to 100%.
    Including these natural effects into the models would require CO2 feedbacks to be negative to match models to historical temperature data.

  21. “When the climate kicks back out of this state,
    we’ll have explosive warming,” Swanson said.

    explosive warming?

    How are they going to get any media attention,
    if they continually understate the problem?

  22. Thirty years of greenhouse gas radiative forcing will still be there and then bang, the warming will return and be very aggressive.”

    This concept of shelved radiative forcing its something I can’t understand. OK, factor A is cooling our planet. Radiative forcing from CO2 counters the factor A, making the cooling flatter. It can’t be put into storage. Of course, absent factor A (after the suggested 30 years), higher CO2 might cause more forcing, but surely not as to unleash all these watts per m square accumulated during 30 years? Or am I missing something?

  23. I like it, I like it.

    “Instead, Swanson and colleague Anastasios Tsonis think a series of climate processes have aligned, conspiring to chill the climate.”

    Yes conspiring to chill.

    I take it that in the past 30 years there was been no climate alignment conspiring to cause warming?

    Guess not.

    What really gets me is that this will be reported as fact – NOAA Scientists say – and that since these people are experts they are beyond reproach.

  24. This all called an old favourite to mind

    “It was a press conference.
    ‘I’m afraid I can’t comment on the name Rain God at this present time, and we are calling him an example of a Spontaneous Para-Causal Meteorological Phenomenon.’
    ‘Can you tell us what that means?’
    ‘I’m not altogether sure. Let’s be straight here. If we find something we can’t understand we like to call it something you can’t understand, or indeed pronounce. I mean if we just let you go around calling him a Rain God, then that suggests that you know something we don’t, and I’m afraid we couldn’t have that.
    ‘No, first we have to call it something which says it’s ours, not yours, then we set about finding some way of proving it’s not what you said it is, but something we say it is.
    ‘And if it turns out that you’re right, you’ll still be wrong, because we will simply call him a … er, “Supernormal … ” – not paranormal or supernatural because you think you know what those mean now, no, a “Supernormal Incremental Precipitation Inducer”. We’ll probably want to shove a “Quasi” in there somewhere to protect ourselves” – (Douglas Adams – “So Long And Thanks For All The Fish”)

  25. Re: Jørgen F.

    Danish scientists have come to similar conclusions in recent days.

    Yesterday the Danish Meteorological Institute published an article on their website: “The climate hockey stick is broken”.

    Jørgen, could you or somebody please translate the article for us?

  26. “This is nothing like anything we’ve seen since 1950”. The trouble is these people seem to have no idea that climate change used to happen in the past. What is 50 years compared to the length of the Holocene or since the start of the current ice-age? I wonder if they believe in the hockey stick and so the Little Ice Age does not figure in their thinking.

  27. Absoluet classic!!!

    “This all called an old favourite to mind

    “It was a press conference.
    ‘I’m afraid I can’t comment on the name Rain God at this present time, and we are calling him an example of a Spontaneous Para-Causal Meteorological Phenomenon.’
    ‘Can you tell us what that means?’
    ‘I’m not altogether sure. Let’s be straight here. If we find something we can’t understand we like to call it something you can’t understand, or indeed pronounce. I mean if we just let you go around calling him a Rain God, then that suggests that you know something we don’t, and I’m afraid we couldn’t have that.
    ‘No, first we have to call it something which says it’s ours, not yours, then we set about finding some way of proving it’s not what you said it is, but something we say it is.
    ‘And if it turns out that you’re right, you’ll still be wrong, because we will simply call him a … er, “Supernormal … ” – not paranormal or supernatural because you think you know what those mean now, no, a “Supernormal Incremental Precipitation Inducer”. We’ll probably want to shove a “Quasi” in there somewhere to protect ourselves” – (Douglas Adams – “So Long And Thanks For All The Fish”)”

    What is the answer to the ultimate question? 42. (And the question was wrong).

  28. The NOAA know whats coming…they know the Sun is whimpering just before a solar grand minimum, but dont want to say it.

    BTW…for those interested, Landscheidt Cycles Research is back on line with a fresh look and new server (same as Climate Audit) and I have some new graphs using the original Solanki 14C data, the evidence continues to build.

    http://landscheidt.auditblogs.com/

  29. From Wikipedia:

    Ad hoc hypothesis

    In science and philosophy, ad hoc means the addition of extraneous hypotheses to a theory in order to save it from being falsified. Ad hoc hypotheses compensate for anomalies not anticipated by the theory in its unmodified form. Scientists are often skeptical of theories that rely on frequent, unsupported adjustments to sustain them. Ad hoc hypotheses are often characteristic of pseudoscientific subjects.[1] Much of scientific understanding relies on the modification of existing hypotheses or theories but these modifications are distinguished from ad hoc hypotheses in that the anomalies being explained propose a new means of being real.

    Ad hoc hypotheses are not necessarily incorrect, however. An interesting example of an apparently supported ad hoc hypothesis was Albert Einstein’s addition of the cosmological constant to general relativity in order to allow a static universe. Although he later referred to it as his “greatest blunder”, it has been found to correspond quite well to the theories of dark energy.[2]

  30. Manfred (02:18:33) : feedbacks to be negative

    Feedbacks! Negative! Here at Second Life Science have proved beyond a doubt that such mechanisms are purest fantasy. As you should know by now – For every action there is a self re-enforcing free fall into chaos.

    (from the text) “Earth’s climate continues to confound scientists.”

    So perhaps the science is not as “settled” as some would have us believe. An admission that there may well be more to climate than just good old CO2 and positive feedbacks? Who knew?

  31. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – we only have to wait. When in 10 years time the earth is noticeably cooler than today, when food prices have rocketed, and food shortages start occuring, the public will turn on the AGW brigade. The disconnect between what people can see happening in their lives and the AGW rhetoric will be so great that the AGWers will become the objects of firstly mirth and derision, then as food shortages increase, anger, and even violence.

  32. Speaking of the Sun….did anyone get hold of a copy of that paper from Nir Shaviv supposedly showing a strong link in solar forcing using ocean heatsinks. Was it rubbish or dont we know yet?

  33. This is nothing more but a little crack in the AGW doctrine.
    As long as NOAA is producing bias data, nothing has changed.

    What we need is honest, clean data projections and an official statement from all relative institutions to the Governments as well as a public statement in a world wide broadcast dismissing the AGW/CO2 doctrine.

    This statement must be very clear in dismissing the role of CO2 and the CO2 mitigation plans of the World’s Governments and it must involve the United Nations, the IPCC and the World Meteorological Organization.

    The statement must also contain a clear declaration about our future sea levels and it must also make clear that burning of fossil fuels has no negative effect on or climate in terms of CO2.

    In other words, we need an official statement, strong and clear enough to put a hold on all CO2 mitigation legislation, cap & Trade, tax plans as well as coastal defense projects which are based on the incorrect IPCC future sea level projections.

    Without such a public declaration, I am afraid the political machinery is to far on track to be halted and nothing will change.

  34. This reminds me of that classic military press release, “Our forces have conducted a series of brilliant retreats while the enemy continues to advance in total confusion”.

  35. Since we are also discussing the Discovery Channel and its scientific input; were in the UK we are being treated to “Ways to Save the Planet”.

    This week we had “Space Sunshield”.

    Doctor Roger Angle, yes that was his name, wants to place lenses into space and these lenses will reflect/refract the suns rays. The lenses will be placed in a special point in space, a bit mysterious, where the sun and earth’s gravity will cancel one another out. (I think they meant a Lagrange point. But then again, I was not sure if they knew that there was more than one L-point. )

    To get these mirrors into space they need a rocket.
    The program had a Physicist, an expert, who explained that the lenses would be fired into space using a “coil gun”. As luck would have it one of Dr. Angle’s neighbours has a coil gun. Guess you guys in the States all have coil guns.

    I’ll not spoil it for you but the boys from the Myth Busters will be proud and more scientific.

    Now the discovery team turn to conventional rockets to get the lenses into space. The “Rocketters” construct a rocket which can be fired at the Otterburn range here in the UK. Excitement mounts as we get closer to the the moment of launch. At which point the Discovery chap sees a manual which outline thirteen hundred ways why the launch will fail. Yes 1300 ways to fail. He is not a happy chappy!! Livid!!

    You guessed it, the launch failed and all video images were lost.
    Hang on a moment, they find a memory card, it will contain images.
    No it didn’t.

    The programme now finishes on an up beat theme.
    Everything is a success, but you knew that, and Doctor Angle is happy, mind you it was hard to tell. We now have the technology and nothing can stop the 16 TRILLION lenses going into space and saving the planet.

    So to the future.
    The way ahead is clear all we need do is to launch Saturn 5/Apollo 11 style rockets into space at the rate of one every 20 minutes for the next six and a half years.

    The cost of doing nothing would be worse!

    If you want a laugh check out.

    http://www.discoverychannel.co.uk/web/ways-to-save-the-planet/

    I really enjoyed this, I really did, it cheered me up no end.

    Still think Bugs Bunny is more believable in “Hare way to the Stars”.

  36. Let’s have no pretence that this AGW stuff is honest error. It may have started off as inept science by fifth-rate physicists, but they eventually defended their position, and their interests, by dishonesty.

  37. Uh Oh! I can already see a new proclamation coming after King Obama and Prince Al get the Carbon Tax in place. Within a few months they will simply declare, without debate, that the new plan has already reversed the warming of our planet and this proves that their taxation of everyone and everything for any and all reasons is a good thing.

  38. Idle thoughts of an idle fellow. I have recently become aware of Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW). Let me hypothesise. At current levels of extent and frequency, SSW has a small radiative forcing, but when SSW occurs, (unlike El Nino/La Nina) it always results in cooling the world. Suppose in the past, say during the Maunder minumum, SSW was far more extensive, and far more frequent. SSW could then be the cause of a cold earth. What happened at the end of the 20th century could be an unusually quiet SSW, resulting in a warming earth. Should SSW pick up, the earth could cool. All very hypothetical. There is some connection between SSW and cosmic rays; what the connection is I am dont know. However, SSW is a KNOWN effect. The IPCC has not caluclated the radiative forcing of SSW, and cannot possibly know it’s history; it was only observed in 1952, and accurate data has only been available from satellites. So the IPCC is just plain worng when it claims that the rise in world temperatures at the end of the 20th century cannot be explained by KNOWN facors, other than CO2 and AGW. SSW can explain it; albeit in a very hypothetical way.

  39. John A (02:55:16) :

    Translation From http://www.dmi.dk/dmi/klimaets_hockeystav_er_braekket )

    The climate hockey stick is broken.

    It has been shown & used in many connections, and it has been the icon of how ‘wrong’ the climate has developed since the industrialization. We talk about the Mann curve or the hockey stick curve that shows the development of surface temperatures on the NH throughout the last 600 years. New Danish research breaks the foundation of the Mann curve.

    “The hockey stick curve is not right” says climate scientist Bo Christensen from the Danish Climate Centre and adds: “This does not mean the we cancel manmade global warming, but the foundation has been more nuanced”.

    It created attention when Michael Mann and several others in 1998 published a curve over the NH temperature development the last 600 years. The curve shows stabile and nearly constant temperatures the first 500 years and an abrupt increase after year 1900. It can be interpreted as the natural variations are small compared to AGW. An emotional debate followed (inside & outside of science) – a debate that is still ongoing.

    Scientist at DMI now shows that the mathematical methods used to reconstruct climate has serious limitations.

    “Popular speaking you can say that the hockey stick is flat. Earlier reconstructions has underestimated the strength of natural climate variation” says Bo Christiansen and adds: “in addition the methods has a great element of ‘chance’

    Graph text “the black curve shows the NH mean temperature in a climate model. The coloured curves show the results of different reconstruction methods. The methods are ‘trained on the last 100 years of data and in this period they fit the climate model. In the period 1500-1900 the reconstruction deviates much from the model – and from each other. Especially the reconstructions underestimate the strength of natural climate variations. The thick curves are fitted.

    “The Mann graph is not directly based on measurement of temperatures. We have only had those from around 1850” Co- writer on the new research paper explains. ”You recreate through statistical methods from ‘proxy’ climate indicators, as year rings fund in trees, corals, ice cores and historical papers.” He explains.

    It is those statistical methods the Danish scientist has investigated. By winding the climate models, normally used the predict future climate, backwards, they have tested different reconstructions methods. And the all have the same weaknesses. ”We have discovered a huge problem, that limits the value of reconstruction studie” says Bo Chistiansen.

    “Climate models are so good that they can be used to tests earlier methods used to reconstruct the climate. The climate model shows us a world that looks realistic with the same types of ‘spacious’ variations. The advantage of the climate model is that we know it’s climate variations not only within the last 100 years – but also longer back in time.

    The DMI scientist results have been published in Journal of Climate.

  40. Here is the abstract of the Danish paper:

    A surrogate ensemble study of climate reconstruction methods: Stochasticity and robustness.

    Bo Christiansen, T. Schmith, P. Thejll

    Danish Meteorological Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark

    Bo Christiansen
    T. Schmith
    P. Thejll

    Reconstruction of the Earth’s surface temperature from proxy data is an important task because of the need to compare recent changes with past variability. However, the statistical properties and robustness of climate reconstruction methods are not well known, which has led to a heated discussion about the quality of published reconstructions. In this paper we present a systematic study of the properties of reconstruction methods. The methods include both direct hemispheric-mean reconstructions and field reconstructions including reconstructions based on canonical regression and regularized expectation maximization algorithms. The study will be based on temperature fields where the target of the reconstructions is known. We are in particular interested in how well the reconstructions reproduce low-frequency variability, biases, and trends.

    We use a climate simulation from an Ocean-Atmosphere General Circulation Model of the period AD 1500–1999 including both natural and anthropogenic forcings. However, reconstructions include a large element of stochasticity and to draw robust statistical interferences we need reconstructions of a large ensemble of realistic temperature fields. To this end we have developed a novel technique to generate surrogate fields with the same temporal and spatial characteristics as the original surface temperature field from the circulation model. Pseudo-proxies are generated by degrading a number of grid-box time-series. The number of pseudo-proxies and the relation between the pseudo-proxies and the underlying temperature field are determined realistically from Mann et al. (1998).

    We find that all reconstruction methods contain a large element of stochasticity and it is not possible to compare the methods and draw conclusions from a single or a few realizations. This means that very different results can be obtained using the same reconstruction method on different surrogate fields. This might explain some of the recently published divergent results.

    We also find that the amplitude of the low-frequency variability in general is underestimated. All methods systematically give large biases and underestimate both trends and the amplitude of the low-frequency variability. The underestimation is typically 20–50 %. The shape of the low-frequency variability, however, is in general well reconstructed.

    We find some potential in validating the methods on independent data. However, to gain information about the reconstructions ability to capture the “pre-industrial” level it is necessary to consider the average level in the validation period and not the year-to-year correlations. We also report on the influence on the reconstructions of the number of proxies, the type of noise used to generate the proxies, the strength of the variability, as well as the effect of detrending the data prior to the calibration.

  41. Could it be air pollution from a rapidly industrializing China and India? This may explain a similar “pause in warming” during 1940-1975 after which the industrialized nations cleaned up their act with increased solar radiation resulting.
    Here.

  42. This is reminiscent of Keenlyside, is it not? He said that AGW would be on hold for 15 years. Now it is permissible for the faithful to believe that it will be on hold for 30 years. Do I hear an advance on that? AGW is a broad church with many saints that individual believers can follow.

    Jim Hansen’s problem is that he has to continue to ratchet up his rhetoric. It started with Usufruct and the Gorilla, at AGU in 2007 he said that the danger level for CO2 is 350 ppm (now 450 ppm?), then it was death trains and the Holocaust, and now exhortations to civil disobedience. How is he going to up it from here? Self immolation as a protest against his own CO2 emissions over the rest of his life? Self immolation as a protest against Al Gore’s CO2 emissions over the rest of Al Gore’s life? Any suggestions? The man is going to be struggling from here.

    Meanwhile, the Oulu neutron count continues to climb and the F 10.7 radio flux falls as the Earth moves away from the Sun (my mistake on a previous post). I still believe that in the absence of good sunspot data that the month of minimum will be put in the middle of the F 10.7 quiet period, no matter what happens to cycle 23 sunspots.

    And for a more immediate, real world impact, what is going to happen to the North American Spring planting season? Any ideas?

  43. The picture seems to be quite clear. Sun dominates temperatures via oceans’ heat capacity. Thus eg. El Nino and La Nina reflect Sun’s activity from longer period.

    In 1990’s there first was long-lasting El Nino and finally super El Nino in 1998, which was caused of 20 years extremely high activity period of Sun. These boosted temperatures to a new level (because feedback processes, ENSO affects to temperatures for longer period than only that when sea temperature anomalies exist).

    During 2000’s the effect of super El Nino have been vanishing and thus temperatures have curved to slowly decrease. Last year’s moderate La Nina accelerated this trend and this year’s La Nina will continue to do so also. Recent solar activity suggests that La Ninas will be dominant in near future. Maybe in 10 yrs we are back to 70’s temperatures or even lower.

  44. schnurrp (04:26:04) :

    Could it be air pollution from a rapidly industrializing China and India? This may explain a similar “pause in warming” during 1940-1975 after which the industrialized nations cleaned up their act with increased solar radiation resulting.

    Answer:
    Probably no. Please see Douglas Hoyt’s post below. He is the same D.V. Hoyt who authored/co-authored the four papers referenced below.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=755

    Douglas Hoyt:
    July 22nd, 2006 at 5:37 am

    Measurements of aerosols did not begin in the 1970s. There were measurements before then, but not so well organized. However, there were a number of pyrheliometric measurements made and it is possible to extract aerosol information from them by the method described in:
    Hoyt, D. V., 1979. The apparent atmospheric transmission using the pyrheliometric ratioing techniques. Appl. Optics, 18, 2530-2531.

    The pyrheliometric ratioing technique is very insensitive to any changes in calibration of the instruments and very sensitive to aerosol changes.

    Here are three papers using the technique:

    Hoyt, D. V. and C. Frohlich, 1983. Atmospheric transmission at Davos, Switzerland, 1909-1979. Climatic Change, 5, 61-72.

    Hoyt, D. V., C. P. Turner, and R. D. Evans, 1980. Trends in atmospheric transmission at three locations in the United States from 1940 to 1977. Mon. Wea. Rev., 108, 1430-1439.

    Hoyt, D. V., 1979. Pyrheliometric and circumsolar sky radiation measurements by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory from 1923 to 1954. Tellus, 31, 217-229.

    In none of these studies were any long-term trends found in aerosols, although volcanic events show up quite clearly. There are other studies from Belgium, Ireland, and Hawaii that reach the same conclusions. It is significant that Davos shows no trend whereas the IPCC models show it in the area where the greatest changes in aerosols were occurring.

    There are earlier aerosol studies by Hand and in other in Monthly Weather Review going back to the 1880s and these studies also show no trends.

    So when MacRae (#321) says: “I suspect that both the climate computer models and the input assumptions are not only inadequate, but in some cases key data is completely fabricated – for example, the alleged aerosol data that forces models to show cooling from ~1940 to ~1975. Isn’t it true that there was little or no quality aerosol data collected during 1940-1975, and the modelers simply invented data to force their models to history-match; then they claimed that their models actually reproduced past climate change quite well; and then they claimed they could therefore understand climate systems well enough to confidently predict future catastrophic warming?”, he close to the truth.

  45. Let’s see if I have this right.
    A tiny fraction of the warming of the last 30 years was due to natural variability.

    On the other hand, when natural variability swings to the cold side, it is powerfull enough to cancel out warming completely, and then some, for thirty years.

    It seems to me that if the cold side is enough to cancel out warming, then the warm side had to have been at least 50% of the warming that was observed.

  46. According to the Discovery article, a potential next 30 years of cooling does not mean its cooling. So, just maybe, the 30 years of warming prior to 2000 does not mean its warming.

    Yes. Using the 30 year rule (i.e. less than 30 years of data is meaningless as regards to AGW) does allow most pro-AGW Climate researchers to comfortably finish their career without changing their possibly erroneous opinions (opinions — as they have no concrete proof of their hypothesis).

  47. 2005 and 2007 were amongst the warmest ever recorded? I don’t remember seeing those records. Where are they?

  48. Please note the bottom paragraph re funding. Not sure if this has since been solved – perhaps not, since the work would not support AGW.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=755

    Douglas Hoyt:
    July 22nd, 2006 at 10:37 am

    Re #328

    “Are you the same D.V. Hoyt who wrote the three referenced papers?” Yes.

    “Can you please briefly describe the pyrheliometric technique, and how the historic data samples are obtained?”

    The technique uses pyrheliometers to look at the sun on clear days. Measurements are made at air mass 5, 4, 3, and 2. The ratios 4/5, 3/4, and 2/3 are found and averaged. The number gives a relative measure of atmospheric transmission and is insensitive to water vapor amount, ozone, solar extraterrestrial irradiance changes, etc. It is also insensitive to any changes in the calibration of the instruments. The ratioing minimizes the spurious responses leaving only the responses to aerosols.

    I have data for about 30 locations worldwide going back to the turn of the century. Preliminary analysis shows no trend anywhere, except maybe Japan. There is no funding to do complete checks.

  49. I orignally posted this on another thread, but it belongs here much better as it is specifically to do with natural variability. It demonstrated not only natural variabilty throughout our history but various luminaries- such as Charles Keeling- recognised that. The post-suitably revised-is as follows;

    There follows a link to a very good article by Charles Keeling writing about ‘1800 year old oceanic tides’ being more responsible for natural warming than man made co2. I will revert to it again in a moment, but Mr Keeling made a reference to the drought of ancient Akkad.

    As a historian who –like Charles Keeling- believe that climatically we have been this way before (numerous times) and nothing is ‘unprecedented’ I thought readers might enjoy the curse of Akkad.

    The civilisation of Akkad-2000bc. Lines taken from the curse of Akkad

    For the first time since cities were built and founded,
    The great agricultural tracts produced no grain,
    The inundated tracts produced no fish,
    The irrigated orchards produced neither syrup nor wine,
    The gathered clouds did not rain, the masgurum did not grow.
    At that time, one shekel’s worth of oil was only one-half quart,
    One shekel’s worth of grain was only one-half quart. . . .
    These sold at such prices in the markets of all the cities!
    He who slept on the roof, died on the roof,
    He who slept in the house, had no burial,
    People were flailing at themselves from hunger.

    This legend was just a small part of a very long thread of mine over on CA demonstrating that climatically we have always had natural variability. This theme was also taken up by another well known author as follows;

    “from ancient civilisations through Bronze age cultures, Greeks Roman, all flourished in times of benign climate and perished when climate turned against them.

    Yet the historical climate records of the western hemisphere suggests that around AD 950 temperatures increased and the climate changed at precisely the same time as the Mayan collapse far to the north. Leif Eriksson sailed through the Labrador sea between the new settlement of his father Eric the red in Greenland and North America, becoming the first European to set foot on what we called Vinland. This began the global climate shift known as the mediaeval warm epoch …it clearly seems to have been a shift in the global climate pattern recorded in North America by the first Europeans there. Up until around 900 the north Atlantic sea routes from Scandinavia and Iceland to the new communities in Greenland had been completely frozen over and impassable and at the end of the warm epoch, around 1300, temperature began to fall and sea ice again blocked the routes. After the warming epoch temperatures fell again at the beginning of the 14th century.”

    Who makes these learned comments? None other than Al Gore in his rather good book ‘Earth in the Balance’ dating from 1992. His numerous climactic references demonstrate the earth has been warmer than present at various times, for example during the MWP. It’s a shame Dr Mann didn’t read it or talk to Al before concocting his hockey stick.

    This is the link to Charles Keelings theory about a 1800 year tidal cycle forcing being responsible for the natural warming we experience-barely one word about co2. Having read his autobiography I don’t think his heart was really in that theory was it-nor was Nick Revelles.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/97/8/3814.full.pdf+html

    I will finish with a poem by Shelley that seems to sum up that civilisations come and go due to natural variabilty in our climate–posted for no other reason than that it is very evocative of the subject matter posted above.

    I would be interested in thoughts about Keelings study, and about past warming episodes, which amply illustrate our own era represents nothing new in earths long history of climatic change-and all achieved without man made added co2.

    I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert … Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.
    —”Ozymandias,” Percy Bysshe Shelley

    Tonyb

  50. schnurrp (04:26:04) :

    In fact not, the overall emissions af SO2 (which give the cooling effect as incoming light reflecting drops) stayed nearly the same with huge decreases in Europe and to a lesser extent in the US, while the SE Asian emissions show a huge increase, thus more or less leveling off. And as the SE particulate emissions are not white, but more brownish it is even questionable if these add to the warming or the cooling. See:
    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/08/brown_clouds.php

    I have the impression that aerosols were used as scapegoat to adjust the climate models for the 1945-1975 cooler period, which may have to do with the same “problem” the models have now: natural variability (caused by natural cycles of the oceans, solar,…).

  51. B Kerr (03:35:51) :
    . . . This week we had “Space Sunshield”. Doctor Roger Angle, yes that was his name, wants to place lenses into space and these lenses will reflect/refract the suns rays. The lenses will be placed in a special point in space, a bit mysterious, where the sun and earth’s gravity will cancel one another out. (I think they meant a Lagrange point. But then again, I was not sure if they knew that there was more than one L-point. ) . . . The program had a Physicist, an expert, who explained that the lenses would be fired into space using a “coil gun”. As luck would have it one of Dr. Angle’s neighbours has a coil gun. Guess you guys in the States all have coil guns.

    Only some of us have coil guns. And they can have my coil gun when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

    Lenses or mirrors? Mirrors would be better, as we could move them from L1 shading to L4&5 reflecting when the the Interglacial ends.

    Aron (01:23:22) :
    . . . Think about the time when the pharaohs ruled Ancient Egypt and temperatures were warmer than today. It used to be more humid in those days. Egyptian literature and murals tell us they lived on a fertile land composed of black mud and that they had to travel out to the desert. Today cooler temperatures have lowered albedo and the desert has swallowed Giza and Cairo. They used to have proper seasonal rains too, the Sphinx itself shows us erosion from rainfall.

    The Sphinx’s erosion is on the body and the pit walls surrounding it, but not on the head, which is too small, suggesting that it was recarved by the earliest pharaohs from a larger, eroded pre-dynastic head. The most likely source for water erosion would be the rainy climate following the last ice age, which was thousands of years before the pharaohs. The Egypt of recorded history has always been dry, with everyone living within a couple miles of the Nile.

  52. With the imminent cooling and likely death of the CO2 cap and trade farce, may I be the first to suggest the alternative way of milking the population. History might repeat itself with the sun as the new enemy of the state.

    <>

    Get your bricks ready!

  53. Whoops!, forgot about the tags.

    In 1696 in the reign of William III another form of taxation came into force this was known as the “Window Tax” and would last until 1851.

    The tax would be paid on a house of more than six windows. Unfortunately none of these records appeared to have survived, one way for a person to by pass the tax was to brick up one or two windows over the stated six, even today on some of the older houses the bricked up windows are still there.

  54. Any predictions for Feb 09 temp data? I folow daily temps on AMSU-A and it looks like last month was significantly warmer than Feb 08. It should come in just under Feb 07.

  55. Trust us, they are saying, we know what we’re talking about. Sorry, but I just don’t see much of a change in the core AGW dogma, just a slight decrease in the alarmism. They still believe the warming will be back, even if it takes 30 years, and it will be back with a vengeance. Meanwhile, are not the oceans still acidifying? Is not the arctic ice still vanishing at an alarming rate? Have we not already altered our climate such that we will continue to see the entire gamut of climate-related disasters including floods, drought, fires, tornadoes, and hurricanes?
    Or, are those things now “on hold” too?

    This all seems more a desperate attempt to keep cognitive dissonance at bay than anything else. A “fraction” of the warming was due to “a free variation”, eh? Just more weasel words.
    I’ll admit, it’s fun to see them try to spin things to keep the whole AGW fraud rolling along. Lying is hard. Soon the previous lies catch up to you, and you have to tell more lies to cover yourself. I guess they are counting on two things: peoples’ memories not being so good, and their attention being diverted elsewhere – our dismal, and continually declining worldwide economies.

  56. Can someone point me to the time series for the GISS annual graph? I took a quick look at the site but only found graphs not data. I know so many people who pay little attention but look at a graph like that and think it’s really warming a great deal. Here in Canada, we live and think in a temperature range of roughly -30C to +30C. The y axis on that graph is dying for a bit of rescaling. Say I use the 60C we operate in. Might flatten the curve a bit?

    I realize this is sinking to the warmers level, but this is, in the end, about the perception of people who spend 5 minutes on the topic.

  57. We’ve gone from the science is settled, there is a consensus, there will be catastrophic out of control global warming; to there will be a decade of steady or slightly cooling temperatures before the forced warming resumes; to we might see cooling for up to 30 years.

    And, to top it all off, “But just what’s causing the cooling is a mystery.”

    You think?!!

    I’m surprised they’ve gone so far as to admit to any mystery. After all, having spent so much money on climate research they may be endangering further funding by admitting that they’re clueless.

    After spending billions of dollars promoting research into climate change, this is what I think of the state of the ‘science’:

    They sound like a horde of primitive tribal witch doctors, spending their time attempting to divine the future through a careful analysis of chicken entrails.

  58. http://www.physorg.com/news154621784.html

    2008 Was Earth’s Coolest Year Since 2000

    Given our expectation that the next El Niño will begin this year or in 2010, it still seems likely that a new global surface air temperature record will be set within the next one to two years, despite the moderate cooling effect of reduced solar irradiance,” said James Hansen, director of GISS. The Sun is just passing through solar minimum, the low point in its 10- to 12-year cycle of electromagnetic activity, when it transmits its lowest amount of radiant energy toward Earth.

    Headline should be

    2008 Coldest Year of the Millenium, Hansen Blames the Sun

  59. schnurrp: You are probably correct, I lived in Hong Kong and at this time of the year we had pollution so thick it blanked out the Sun, I was told that this blanket of pollution spread across the far east and into India.

    As for the notion that we are seeing a break in the global warming and that it will return with a vengeance, I would enjoin you to read Copernicus’ address to the Vatican on the earth rotating around the Sun and not being the centre of the Universe. it was couched in a remarkably similar way. I suppose Copernicus wanted to keep his freedom and Dr. Swanson just wants to keep his job.

  60. In 30 years a whole new generation will have grown up and gotten Ph.D.s in climatology and solar physics and various earth sciences and math and statistics and etc. Likewise a whole new generation of journalists and politicians will be struggling to make a name for themselves by challenging orthodoxy.

    Humanity’s natural tendency is to think that how things have been going within their recent memory is how things have always been and how they will continue to be. If they grew up during a 30-year long “hiccup”, they’re not going to think of it as a hiccup at all, and they’re going to study in light of the trends they remember, which in their case will be global cooling.

    And the scientists among them are going to devote their efforts to answering the kinds of questions left unanswered in the article:

    “What’s causing the cooling is a mystery.” Eh? Sounds like a Ph.D. dissertation topic to me.

    “The current cooling doesn’t have a cause.” So the laws of nature are suspended now, are they? That’s got to be worth pursuing.

    The heat is hidden somewhere? What, did it all slink into some undersea cave to lick its wounds and prepare for the day when it can come roaring back out and once again threaten the earth with longer growing seasons and milder winters?

    In 30 years time we’ll have a huge amount of knowledge about the environment and about the earth’s warming and cooling cycles, thanks in part (I admit) to the instruments we’re putting in the sky today to measure it more accurately, and the techniques we’re developing to assess the data more thoroughly. The next generation will have a lot more data to work with, and if the skeptics continue to do their part, they’ll have a lot better statistical techniques with which to analyze that data.

    By then those kids who were out there protesting in the snow yesterday will be grandparents. They’re going to have a LOT of explaining to do when their kids and grandkids get hold of those videos.

  61. This is beginning to sound like the arrival of controlled fusion for energy production. It’s always 30y away…

  62. So far this year, mixed messages from Vicky Pope at the Hadley Centre and now Isaac Held at NOAA. Very interesting, and I wonder if we will see similar statements emerge from other sources (NASA? CSIRO?) as 2009 progresses. How will this impact on Copenhagen in December, and Kyoto 2, I wonder?

    Ceolfrith – thanks for the Douglas Adams quote!

  63. Could it be air pollution from a rapidly industrializing China and India?

    I wouldn’t think so – at least the official aerosol explanation was that it was sulphur aerosols (white ones) which reflected sun, whereas the Indian and Chinese industrialization (together with small local sources) manifests itself as a brown cloud.

  64. “But just what’s causing the cooling is a mystery. Sinking water currents in the north Atlantic Ocean could be sucking heat down into the depths. Or an overabundance of tropical clouds may be reflecting more of the sun’s energy than usual back out into space.”

    What a weak and pathetic clutching at straws – absolutely pathetic. What about the Sun!? What about the PDO (which the GCMs do not reproduce)!? What about the fact that the climate is rife with negative feedbacks, not positive ones as the models claim. What about the 100 other discrepancies in the house of cards that is AGW.

    Looks to me like they don’t understand the climate as well as the IPCC claim after all. Unfortunately, our new administration appears to have accepted the propaganda from these shrills hook line and sinker.

    Watch what happens when we attempt to meet heating demand in the Winters ahead from wind and solar…

  65. Someone should send the Gore Youth Troopers AKA The GreenShirts, around to “have a word” with Dr. Swanson.

  66. This current natural trend has no natural cause?

    It’s a miracle! Praise the Lord and pass the icecream! Seriously though. They can’t explain the warming, except they allege with CO2. Now they can’t explain the cooling…at all. And despite all of this “we-don’t-know-why-ism” one Swanson, representative of the breed of warmists, is dead certain that when the climatalogical nap-time is over that “we’ll have explosive warming.” After 30 years of cooling huh? How convenient. Does anyone know why we bother paying these people?

    It comes to mind that’s just about the time the PDO will reverse itself and enter its warm phase, as I am sure plenty have pointed out in comments. Yet despite the powerful effect of this entirely natural and well known shift in oceanic water temperatures in the largest body of water on the planet, climate change just has to be man-made. No doubts about it from them. Being a Christian, this reminds me of a favorite Bible verse: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1, NASB).

    Welcome to the church of Holy Climate Change.

  67. schnurrp (04:26:04) :

    Could it be air pollution from a rapidly industrializing China and India? This may explain a similar “pause in warming” during 1940-1975 after which the industrialized nations cleaned up their act with increased solar radiation resulting.
    Here.

    Schnurrp,

    The cool period between 1942 and 1975 was caused by a negative PDO and AMO.
    CO2 (which is no airpolution) has nothing to do with it.

  68. Charlie (03:59:14) :

    “The global cooling we are experiencing is caused by a lack of sun spot activity…”

    Maybe, but as far as we know at this moment the recent cooling is caused by a negative PDO in combination with an El Ninjo.

  69. Ah yes, A. Tsonis and Synchronized Chaos.
    http://www.uwm.edu/~kravtsov/downloads/GRL-Tsonis.pdf
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2007GL030288.shtml

    We find that in those cases where the
    11 synchronous state was followed by a steady increase in the coupling strength between the
    12 indices, the synchronous state was destroyed, after which a new climate state emerged.
    13 These shifts are associated with significant changes in global temperature trend and in
    14 ENSO variability. The latest such event is known as the great climate shift of the 1970s.

  70. schnurrp (04:26:04) :

    Could it be air pollution from a rapidly industrializing China and India? This may explain a similar “pause in warming” during 1940-1975 after which the industrialized nations cleaned up their act with increased solar radiation resulting.

    That would be a convenient “out” for warmists wouldn’t it? So, when it warms, it’s GHG’s (funny how the new mantra is now GHG’s, not just C02), and when it cools, it’s due to air pollution.
    Unfortunately it completely ignores soot or black carbon and its atmospheric warming effects, as well as the decreased albedo it causes particularly in the NH when it gets deposited on snow and ice.

  71. Aileni has nailed this in the response to ‘a cold winter, or a few strung together doesn’t mean the planet is cooling.’ and wrote “Surely the converse is true also.” Bingo. “A hot summer, or a few, strung together does not mean the planet is warming at a rate anything other than can happen by natural forces.”

  72. B Kerr (03:35:51) : (Discovery Channel – “Ways to Save the Planet”)
    “place lenses into space and these lenses will reflect/refract the suns rays”

    Typically negative thinking if you ask me, why reflect? Why not concentrate the rays (within safe environmental limits of course). Providing the focal point could be varied and moved around the planet, cities and even entire countries could pre-order their weather. Using mirrors it could even be ordered for the night time hours when, of course, it would be cheaper.

    Lets hear you Australians and Californians mock the UK when we have a pleasant and sunny 23C year-round, even at night. Not laughing so loud now are you?

  73. Roger H,

    I think you have hit the nail on the head. Obama is using cap and trade to generate revenue for his social programs. This is about getting people to willingly submit to fear-based confiscation of their income.
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2009/03/_one_of_the_challenges.html

    The budget made a dramatic, smart and little-noticed pivot from his campaign-trail promise to cut taxes on 95 percent of Americans. Candidate Obamas original plan — a plan I criticized at the time as unduly expensive and poorly crafted — provided for tax credits of $500 per individual or $1,000 per couple; couples making as much as $200,000 annually would qualify for a partial credit. The size of the credits was scaled back in the stimulus package, to $400 and $800. But the big switch came when now-President Obama released his budget last week. The Making Work Pay tax credits were there — but for the first time they were contingent on revenue from auctioning permits in the administrations proposed cap-and-trade program to alleviate climate change. In other words: no cap-and-trade, no tax credits.

  74. If they “don’t know what’s causing the cooling” they are admitting that they also don’t necessarily know what was causing the warming. If the mighty greenhouse power of co2 is so easily overcome by “free variation”, don’t they realize their models are now useless, because they can’t identify a variable which is stronger than the strongest climate forcing agent inthe model.

    The house of cards is wobbling.

  75. It looks like the staff at NOAA are finally being honest about the natural variability of the real climate. However they still have the false notion that once this latest cooler phase is finished in 30 years, that only global warming will again prevail or continue. Climate records show that alternating warming and cooling cycles are the real pattern not warming only. ICECAP and Anthony have posted countless posts to explain this and to account for the natural variability of the climate going back as far as historical records go.

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/US_Temperatures_and_Climate_Factors_since_1895.pdf

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/12/29/don-easterbrooks-agu-paper-on-potential-global-cooling/#comments

    http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~dbunny/research/global/glocool_summary.pdf

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/PDO_and_AMO_Are_the_Real_Pacemakers_for_Climate.pdf

  76. I can’t find where Kyle Swanson is a member of the NOAA. Anybody have a link where I can verify this? (I need it so I can send this story in to our newspaper)

  77. The esteemed Dr. Hansen (who spent the day yesterday freezing with a bunch of Hippies) has reportedly forecast that 2009 or 2010 may be the hottest year on record.

  78. I don’t like this one bit and if a skeptic were to ever use the line “think a series of climate processes have aligned, conspiring to chill the climate,” what do you think the result would be?

    They admit they dont understand how the planet can be cooling, but don’t understand how, then make the statement that when it is over – in 30 years – the warming will be “explosive”.

    What this reveals is ignorance, pure and simple. And brings to mind that Kansas song, “Carry on My Wayward Son” –

    “Masquerading as a man with a reason
    My charade is the event of the season
    And if I claim to be a wise man, well
    It surely means that I don’t know”

    “I don’t know” screams from this article, but Held is still strongly advocating for CO2. I don’t see any hope yet folks.

  79. Jari:
    With all due respect, this article does not appear to be based on any empirical data whatsoever and is simply an exercise in modelling.

  80. Free climate variation. Love that. The other kind will be taxed. The admition of this basic tenent of weather, that there are natural variations, makes them look so far behind the eight ball, they appear to be playing tiddly winks instead of pool.

    On the other side of the debate, please don’t say it’s the Sun folks. Those that do are no more informed than the folks that point a finger at CO2. Do these people not know that we are surrounded by water? It’s instructive that people East of the Great Lakes call their weather patterns “Lake Affect” snow, rain, sleet, wind, heat, whatever. But we just can’t seem to say “Ocean Affect” whatever. Why is that? A relatively tiny pond of water has a larger affect than a relatively HUGE pond of water?

    Damn. I just answered my own question. Of course. People look for tiny, tiny obscure substances to explain really big weather pattern variations (the free kind as well as the taxed kind). Now just in case someone sees an opening there, don’t be tellin me that the Sun is a really big substance. To make a difference in what the Sun does to us, we would have to move CLOSER to or FARTHER away from it. By a bunch. Our stable orbital pattern around the Sun does not produce enough variation in what we get from the Sun to change anything. In fact, I would hazard a guess that CO2 has a larger affect than the Sun. But that isn’t saying much. There is a long list of weather pattern variation affect sources above CO2 and the Sun that diminish both to no more than a knat’s ass of an affect on warming or cooling in the interglacial period.

  81. Does this mean Hansen & Gore will now go into hibernation for 30 years, only to re-emerge with superhockeysticks?
    30 years? Thats two 15year long solar cycles, of which the maxima can’t be that hot (grin).
    But just what’s causing the cooling is a mystery
    Me thinks the sun went on vacaction for a few, and turned down the thermostat as it walked out the door.

  82. “It is possible that a fraction of the most recent rapid warming since the 1970’s was due to a free variation in climate”

    I seem to recall that 100% is technically a fraction.

    This is just fudging and excuse making. They haven’t changed their tune, they’re just trying to cover up for the fact that they can’t make the climate match the models.

  83. I thought heat gets stored in the oceans? The last 5-6 years worth of data shows no increase in ocean temperatures. If cooling continues for the next 30 years it would take years or decades after that to replace ocean heat during a 30 year cooling period. I would think someone who works at NOAA would understand that.

    Here’s something that I did not know until yesterday. The GCM’s are not capable of accurately predicting average global surface temperatures in “non-anomaly degrees C” for the entire 20th Century. Almost all underpredict temperature significantly more than the “measured” .6C increase that’s been quoted. See link at http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/fact-6a-model-simulations-dont-match-average-surface-temperature-of-the-earth/

    If the GCM’s cannot even get the temperature correct is it any wonder they cannot get the cycles correct?

  84. Charlie (03:59:14) :

    The global cooling we are experiencing is caused by a lack of sun spot activity…
    And lack of solar flux, solar wind. And an increase in cosmic rays and an SSW or two tossed in for good measure.

  85. As a retired TV meteorologist and a long time skeptic of AGW, I find an article like this in the mainstream media somewhat encouraging. What is amazing to me is their lack of understanding of what can cause cooling. I wonder if they have ever heard of the PDO or AMO? Perhaps they should read some of Joe D’Aleo’s articles. With the PDO in a cold mode let’s be sure and hold Dr. Hansen’s feet to the fire, so to speak, about his forecast of another upcoming strong El Nino event in the next two years that will boost temperatures to their highest levels of record.

  86. I thought that when theory and observation collide, observation always wins.

    We were told in the 90’s that warming would continue and continue until we all roasted alive. Then, after the turn of the millenium temperatures flatlined or even dropped. Yet in the face of contrary observation, the AGW nuts haven’t budged an inch. AGW the only “scientific” theory I know of where the proponents twist observation into a pretzel to make it fit the theory.

  87. Does this mean than the debate,which never took place to begin with, may not be over?I think Mijaga said it best having thier cake and eating it too.Once Obama gets all the global warming resolutions in place then the media will say thanks to Obama we have stopped global warming.I’ll give it less than 2 years befoe we hear this.

  88. What they say is like a fairy tale. It is almost as if they are trying to convince politicians (must keep the money rolling in) that all the CO2 is building up and up and will suddenly spring out and grab the climate and force up the temperature after, um, thirty years of natural cooling.

    For pity’s sake why does someone not insist that they carry out some meaningful experiments and, for example, find out if clouds/water vapour induce positive or negative feedback. Also really try to determine just how long is the residence time for CO2 in the atmosphere, 5-10 years or 50-200 years or what.

  89. Robert, please inform me of the solar calculations you are using to state that these Sun-sourced variations are to a degree necessary to cause trended weather pattern variations. We know how a body of water can affect weather, but you seem convinced that the Sun is much stronger in its affect. How so?

  90. I’m looking forward to how the BBC gets out of its position. Maybe a few hacks on the Dole!

  91. Ferdinand Engelbeen (01:35:42) :

    Baseline conclusion: as models used the last decades of the past century to attribute most warming to the increase of GHGs, and the current trend is flat, one can say that the warming was about 50% natural, 50% GHG induced (the current natural cooling is as strong as the supposed GHG warming). Thus current models with 3°C/2xCO2 are a factor 2 too high, and the real increase is 1.5°C/2xCO2 (or less)…

    You are giving the models too much credit. Just because the models purport to attribute most of the warming of the past few decades to the increase of GHGs doesn’t make it so. I suspect that most of it was natural climate variability, i.e. the result of the Great Climate Shift of 1976. And that only constitutes “short-run” variability on decadal or bidecadal time scales. Some of the 20th Century warming reflects oscillations that are on centennial time scales. And then there are the 1500 year cycles.

    When natural climate variability is properly acknowledged, it becomes impossible (using current knowledge) to extract a signal clearly attributable to GHG from the noise.

  92. I do not see this as a concession to the skeptics. I see this more as a rationalization. They of course hedge their bet with the “in 30 years, it’ll come back stronger than ever” B.S. of which there is absolutely no proof at all. Except for the models, of course. The same models that have completely 100% failed to predict the current stagnation of global temps for the last 10 years….

  93. Ron de Haan (03:23:20) :
    This is nothing more but a little crack in the AGW doctrine.
As long as NOAA is producing bias data, nothing has changed.
    What we need is honest, clean data projections and an official statement from all relative institutions to the Governments as well as a public statement in a world wide broadcast dismissing the AGW/CO2 doctrine.
    This statement must be very clear in dismissing the role of CO2 and the CO2 mitigation plans of the World’s Governments and it must involve the United Nations, the IPCC and the World Meteorological Organization.
    The statement must also contain a clear declaration about our future sea levels and it must also make clear that burning of fossil fuels has no negative effect on or climate in terms of CO2.
    In other words, we need an official statement, strong and clear enough to put a hold on all CO2 mitigation legislation, cap & Trade, tax plans as well as coastal defense projects which are based on the incorrect IPCC future sea level projections.
    Without such a public declaration, I am afraid the political machinery is too far on track to be halted and nothing will change.

    Unfortunately, to get such a unanimous and official declaration of surrender by the combined academic and political elites who are intent on using the AGW doctrine for ideological ends (and to gain control of the world’s economy) will take a counter-movement. And for that we need leadership. Where will that come from?

    In the United States the push for ‘climate change’ and ‘carbon’ legislation is coming mostly from the Democrats (yes, John McCain endorsed Cap and Trade, but we all know he’s a ‘maverick’), the leadership most likely has to come from the Republicans, unless a true maverick like Ross Perot emerges to challenge the status quo. A likely possibility is Mitt Romney, who to my knowledge never signed on the ‘global warming’ bandwagon (in the debates he always turned the question back to ‘energy independence’). But it is hard to imagine Mitt leading any kind of crusade.

    Absent any leadership, Ron de Haan’s conclusion that “the political machinery is too far on track to be halted” may well be correct. So long as the AGW priesthood can airily dismiss evidence that contradicts their doctrine (lets not dignify it with the terms ‘hypothesis’ and ‘theory’) as ‘temporary anomalies’—where ‘temporary’ can mean three decades!— and get away with it in the media and the halls of Congress, the Alarmist train won’t be stopped. Someone prominent has to stand up and cry, “Stop this train!”

    /Mr Lynn

  94. “Pamela Gray (06:43:49) :

    Our stable orbital pattern around the Sun does not produce enough variation in what we get from the Sun to change anything.”

    Pamela – you know not what you speak. It is well known that the orbital pattern does change substantially. It runs on a 10,000 year cycle.

  95. The mendacity of these people knows no bounds. According to the author, heating is “mostly” due to man and permanent while “cooling” is due to nature’s treachery and only temporary. Talk about covering your behind! The “thirty year” figure is also interesting. Since sunspot cycle # 25 had already been predicted to be a duster and cycle # 24 has surprised the sun cycle experts by looking more and more like a duster also, I think A MINIMUM of thirty years of cooling is in order and we’d better hope another Little Ice Age is not in the making. I imagine this guy knows all about low-level cloud effects and suspects the sunspot/cosmic ray/cloud formation relationship is very direct and quickly manifested. Pop a good volcanic eruption into the equation somewhere along the way and Dr. Hansen gets ridden out of town on a rail while the Nobel Prize committee hides out in a dark pub.

  96. Jennifer Marohasy has posted a new paper from Michael Hammer about the role of GHGs in the planetary energy budget.

    This analysis derives a partial global energy budget based on an analysis of the observed atmospheric lapse rate, and basic laws of spectroscopy, which is at considerable variance with the K&T findings. The differences have significant implications for the greenhouse mechanism and suggest that the concept of an equivalent radiation altitude has no meaning.

    It also suggests that the amount of positive feedback attributed to water vapour by these global circulation models is impossible and thus that the temperature rise postulated from the predicted increase in carbon dioxide concentration is greatly exaggerated.

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/03/radical-new-hypothesis-on-the-effect-of-greenhouse-gases/

  97. But just what’s causing the cooling is a mystery. Sinking water currents in the north Atlantic Ocean could be sucking heat down into the depths. Or an overabundance of tropical clouds may be reflecting more of the sun’s energy than usual back out into space.

    But, but, but…the NOAA understands and predicts changes in our Earth’s climate!

  98. The problem with NOAA’s thinking as well as that of the UK Met Office (they said something similar a few years back) is that thier models didn’t predict this “slowing” of AGW. Now it is dubbed natural variation, as if that can explain things. It is if they want AGW to return -not a very scientific approach (can anyone say faith?).

    The AGW alarmism that many at NOAA, NASA, and Hadley have participated in has created 2 serious problems for them: a)A public expectation that all seasons at all times will be dangerously warm and b)that any cooling, even a month or 2, is out of the question. The science is settled, let’s move on. Any dissenting opinion was met with snarls of anger and visciousness.

    So now we have had 2 years of rather mildly cool weather in the NH and everyone is scrambling. I’m sure that the Alarmists are hoping that the El Nino event, which sure to come late this year, will at least slow if not reverse current trends.

  99. Wanna see cooler heads at NOAA? Try this: http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/essay_hanna.html

    Now this is a level-headed balanced analysis of Greenland’s mass balance. Check out figure 1.

    “Greenland ice sheet precipitation, surface meltwater runoff and surface mass balance (SMB = solid precipitation minus evaporation minus runoff) series for 1958-2006, recalibrated and updated from Hanna et al. (2005). Note significantly increasing precipitation and runoff trends but negligible SMB change. ”

    Did you catch that? There is negligible SMB (sheet mass balance) change over that time period (49 years).

    Do you see the correlation of runoff to precipitation amounts? Imagine that. More precip = more discharge. Stunner…

    That’s quite a bit different than what we’re told daily by the main-strem media, isn’t it?

  100. Bernie (06:43:30)

    I have not yet read the full article. This is about the broken hockey stick. I just posted the abstract to the article which is discussed above by

    Jørgen F. (04:16:41) :

    and

    John A (02:55:16) :

  101. In the end, it’s always, rapid heating will start again! Like they know anything more than anyone else knows. My thoughts, we are in for some years of normal cycle cooling. I was a senior in HS when the last ice age was coming. LOL

  102. It seems to me that a potentially big part of the equation is totally ignored. I refer to the “solar wind”. The wind is a stream of, overwhelmingly, protons and electrons. Electrons travel about 39 times the speed of the protons (square root of 1840, the mass ratio). This constitutes an electric current. The earth has a ferrite core about 2000 miles in diameter. It is rotating. Looks like a generator to me. Maybe the temperature of the core is not caused by radioactive elements. Since measurements date back only to 1959 (Russian Luna I) we have no way to determine much about its variability. Perhaps sun spots might be a proxy.

  103. Like yesterday’s snow storm for the AGW rally this is cosmic justice. To explain the recent cooling (and I suspect 20 years more), they are now forced give extra weight to climate factors like natural variation or solar.

    And every time they use such explanations to explain the cooling,they open the door to the truth, that the converse must also be true: that those same factors could have also caused the recent warming.

  104. Leon Brozyna (05:24:38) :

    “After spending billions of dollars promoting research into climate change, this is what I think of the state of the ’science’: They sound like a horde of primitive tribal witch doctors, spending their time attempting to divine the future through a careful analysis of chicken entrails.”

    I agree as long one can view these primitive tribal witch doctors as the tribe’s (society’s) elites who have figured out how to funnel all that tribe’s resources and affluence to themselves. Unfortunately, the tribe is now global with their own corporations and organizations and a lot of high-paying jobs. The next question is how much authority does the U.N. have over the U.S. with regard to “climate”, green energy, and cap-and-trade. We who have supported science, conservation, and wise use of land and water are waking up somewhat late to see how we have been gamed.

    Is NOAA coming around to natural variability? It is too hard to divine, given their weird statement.

  105. Pamela Gray:
    It is just as much a mistake to say “it’s the sun, stupid,” as it is for you to say “it’s the oceans, stupid”. Yes, of course the oceans have a huge effect, at times counteracting the sun’s effects, and at other times compounding it.
    You might try studying the paleoclimatological record a bit to give you a better perspective.
    Sorry, but C02’s effect on climate is minimal.

  106. Jari:
    Sorry. I didn’t mean my comment to be anything but a statement as to the content of the paper. I did not assume that you were or were not endorsing it. It simply seemed to me that Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick definitively demonstrated that the Hockey Stick(HS) is due to the inclusion of a distinctive subset of tree ring data. It would be interesting to see how their work is referenced in this paper. The type of statistical reconstruction the authors indicate I see as problematic because I would have been skeptical of their results if they had claimed that they had demonstrated that the HS was not broken.

  107. Steven Goddard (06:35:50) :

    “The esteemed Dr. Hansen (who spent the day yesterday freezing with a bunch of Hippies) has reportedly forecast that 2009 or 2010 may be the hottest year on record”
    Perhaps he has been informed that your next NH summer will be short but very hot summer (PDO and La Nina cold waters = less evaporation). So they will probably have a short GW campaigning.

  108. A fraction?

    .99 is a fraction.

    But since there is no no more proof that the .01 can be caused by human CO2 emissions than there was that all of it was human warming we’re still stuck on stupid.

    What’s next is the enfolding of massive redirecting of propaganda that says allof the policies are needed anyway. Never mind AGW, that will be a plus, but we need to do these things anyway.
    Peak sanity and all.

  109. Where is the warmth? Another day of 20 degrees below normal here in Ky. Dear Mr. Hasen, send us some warming!

  110. David Archibald (04:31:05) :
    Meanwhile, the Oulu neutron count continues to climb and the F 10.7 radio flux falls as the Earth moves away from the Sun (my mistake on a previous post).

    In the current climate of misinformation, we should, at least, not spread any. Here is Oulu: http://www.leif.org/research/oulu.png
    and here is Thule http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu//realtime/thule.html
    Thule is so close to the magnetic pole that it is the most sensitive to the low-energy cosmic rays that are modulated most by solar activity. Clearly both stations show that the decline has begin months ago.
    F10.7 is also on the rise, so solar minimum is past, also months ago.

  111. Bruce Cobb (08:39:36) :
    It is just as much a mistake to say “it’s the sun, stupid,” as it is for you to say “it’s the oceans, stupid”.
    Yes, of course the oceans have a huge effect, at times counteracting the sun’s tiny effects, and at other times compounding it.

    The issue is that the mistakes are not equal, as one effect [guess which one] is much bigger than the other.

  112. Yep, it’s going to cool off for about 30 years, then it’ll warm again for another 30 years, then cool again for another 30 years, then………..! Get the picture? I am only a humble engineer but there seems to be a pattern here? I am guessing a fair about of CYA work going on too. We in the UK have been suffering a spate of recent “Oh calamity” announcements from Aunite Beeb about more & more evidence of climate change happening faster than before & faster than experts predicted, etc. They’re on the ropes folks, tired, sweating, breathing heavily, bleeding, & badly bruised! Keep up the pressure!

    It reminds me of that little gem the Met Office slipped under the radar a short while back. They apparently did a study back over the last 300 years & apparently the good old UK gets a bad winter every 18-20 years or thereabouts, so this winter is nothing unusual! So let me get this straight, the UK winters get a tad cold every 20 years according to the Met Office & has done so for the last 300 years! Surely is this not cyclical in behaviour? So could the climate go through cycles?

  113. Goodness. Some people even when they’re trying to be reasonable. . . just. . .can’t. . .make. . . themselves. . . .do. . . it. “AND THEN JUST WHEN YOU’RE ABOUT TO FALL ASLEEP THE MONSTER WILL LEAP OUT FROM BENEATH THE BED AND EAT YOU.”

    That’s what his last para says. “Explosive” “bang” “aggressive”. Righto. As if the rest of the article he didn’t just basically admit “well, it seems global warming might only be happening 1/2 as fast as we thought because it turns out we could have alternating 30 year cycles where 1/2 the time nothing happens”.

    Yes, try to hide that with the big scary finish.

  114. “But just what’s causing the cooling is a mystery.”

    AT LAST! Some truth from the alarmists. So they, in this one statement, admit that they do not know how climate works, that their studies are incomplete and they cannot account for cooling, because the do not know how the climate works. YET they expect us to accept being taxed and regulated back to the stone age based on computer simulations based on incomplete and inaccurate understanding of the climate?

  115. The problem with this whole thing, on both sides, is that we’re living under the fantasy that “global mean temperature” is a valid construct. I don’t think it is. Nothing is happening “globally”. Some places have gotten warmer (if you believe the surface temp measurements), some have gotten cooler, some have been pretty static, mean-wise. But they’ve all had ups and downs that don’t always match up to each other.

    No one can say with certainty that “it’s the sun” or “it’s not the sun”, or “It’s ocean cycles” or “It’s not ocean cycles”. It’s all these things and none of them. I seriously doubt we’ll ever know for sure how this system works. We sure as hell don’t know right now. And anyone who says they know what will happen in in 30 years, much less next year, is deluding themselves, or being purposefully dishonest. That goes for both sides of the argument. Anyone can make a prediction, and have a fair chance of getting it “right”, but that’s all it would be, chance.

  116. Pamela Gray @ 07:15:58,

    I understand that claims of solar influence are not proven, but also water doesn’t generate and destroy heat of itself. Clearly the Sun is the major source of energy for the Earth, and it not only varies, even if slightly, but so does the Earth’s albedo and orbit. The oceans’ sloshing around redistributes, stores and releases this energy.

    Unfortunately no “climate scientists” appear curious about these pretty self-evident observations.

  117. What’s really regrettable here is that even if AGW will “only” happen 1/2 as fast as they’ve been predicting, it is still a long-term problem that needs addressing over time. But will there be anyone left who is willing to listen once the AGW radicals are done discrediting the credibility of science?

  118. global warming needs to be studied more before we get an accurate understanding of what it actually means. about 3 years ago, a texas tech professor took a research team to where chernobyl had a radiation spill. he concluded that there is such thing as a reasonable amount of radiation that can actually help animals thrive. but that study was done over 19 months, and for such serious conclusions about radiation or climate change or anything that affects human decision making in daily life, we need about 45 years to study what is really happening. that’s not to say that we didn’t know in the 1970s what was happening to the earth with all the man-made pollution, but it’s been a cold winter here in the northwest, and how do you explain that?

  119. The Discovery article (also picked up by MSNBC and others) has an interesting comment: “But just what’s causing the cooling is a mystery. Sinking water currents in the north Atlantic Ocean could be sucking heat down into the depths”. I’m confused! What I don’t understand is how if the water that’s sinking is (possibly) taking heat with it, it must be warmer, and I thought that warm water RISES. Perhaps you can explain what I’m missing?

  120. We will spend the next several years being bombarded by new studies which ‘prove’ that while natural factors are ‘temporarily’ ‘masking’ AGW, it will come back with a vengeance in 20 – 30 years.

    Of course, we will also be told that we must act now, while we have the respite.

    On a related topic, we need to gear up for a fight against cap-and-trade. This will bankrupt the USA, accelerate the movement of manufacturing jobs overseas while causing everybody to pay more for everything.

    The upside? Cap-and-trade will create more need for more government.

  121. The Sphinx’s erosion is on the body and the pit walls surrounding it, but not on the head, which is too small, suggesting that it was recarved by the earliest pharaohs from a larger, eroded pre-dynastic head. The most likely source for water erosion would be the rainy climate following the last ice age, which was thousands of years before the pharaohs. The Egypt of recorded history has always been dry, with everyone living within a couple miles of the Nile.

    That is what I believed back when I was studying Egyptology a long time ago. But I could not find any reference to a pre-dynastic statue that the Sphinx replaced. If one existed the Egyptians would have recorded it because they were meticulous at making records of monuments.

    Also, destroying a monument, statue or any depiction of a god or king was something of a taboo. They believed by doing so you were doing actual damage to the astral or other worldly counterpart.

    K.MT (black land) wasn’t just two miles of fertile land on either side of the Nile. We frequently read stories of the pharaoh having to travel quite far out to reach DSRT (red land, or desert).

    But of course they didn’t have the Suez Canal and damns back then so the Nile was able to flood and fertilise more of Egypt during the flood season.

  122. If “brown cloud” pollution in India and China actually causes warming I wonder if the current climate models take this into account? (IPCC AR4 does not appear to list this type of pollution as a positive forcing) This could make the cooling we are going through now even more significant (cooling against man-made co2 and brown cloud). It also could diminish the fraction of warming that can be assigned to industrial CO2 emissions.

    This goes back to the original IPCC global warming “signature” which was the difference between the predicted natural temperature and the observed rise. The difference was assumed to have been caused by industrial co2 emissions. What’s happening now casts doubt on the accuracy of their initial forecast, doesn’t it?

  123. MattN (05:15:39) :

    Any predictions for Feb 09 temp data? I folow daily temps on AMSU-A and it looks like last month was significantly warmer than Feb 08. It should come in just under Feb 07.

    I would tend to agree with you. RSS MSU TLT land and ocean Feb months overlaid with January months.

  124. Given Arnold Schwarzenegger’s stance on global warming and Kyle Swanson’s statement: “When the climate kicks back out of this state, we’ll have explosive warming. Thirty years of greenhouse gas radiative forcing will still be there and then bang, the warming will return and be very aggressive.”, I propose AGW believers use Governer Schwarzenegger’s famous line: “I’ll be back” as their official sound bite.

  125. I don’t know whether to be happy about this first step or depressed about the 1000 miles to go.

  126. Bruce Cobb wrote:
    “This all seems more a desperate attempt to keep cognitive dissonance at bay than anything else. A “fraction” of the warming was due to “a free variation”, eh? Just more weasel words.”

    Pop goes the weasel!

  127. Bruce Cobb (08:39:36) :
    It is just as much a mistake to say “it’s the sun, stupid,” as it is for you to say “it’s the oceans, stupid”.
    Yes, of course the oceans have a huge effect, at times counteracting the sun’s effects, and at other times compounding it.

    Leif Svalgaard (09:06:40)
    The issue is that the mistakes are not equal, as one effect [guess which one] is much bigger than the other.

    Of the two, I’d have to say the sun’s effects are the larger, but the jury is still out on that. Solar deniers claim otherwise, of course.

  128. Pearland Aggie (08:04:54) :

    Sea surface temperatures are still below normal in the central Pacific.

    Not sure about average but Global SSTs are still low over a ten year period.

  129. Aron (01:23:22) :
    Around the same time, Greenland had tribes living in the north and grapes grew in in the most northern parts of North America exactly where it is freezing cold today. When the Norsemen arrived over two thousand years later they called the area Vinland precisely because of the grapes they found growing made for good wine.

    This is one possible, but perhaps not the most likely explanation. I don’t think the Vikings drank much wine, and the name Vinland could just as well be a use of ‘vin’ – an Old Norse word with the meaning ‘meadow, pasture’. You can find this word in contemporary names such as the city of Bergen (actually ‘Bjørg-vin’). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinland

  130. Gerald Machnee (08:41:47) wrote:

    “So does this mean that “The Science is Unsettled”?”

    I suggest those magnificent four words be used as the title to the thread on the next AGW concession.

  131. Bruce Cobb (11:31:22) :
    Of the two, I’d have to say the sun’s effects are the larger, but the jury is still out on that. Solar deniers claim otherwise, of course.
    Who is the jury?
    Perhaps ocean deniers should not use the derogative term ‘denier’ :-)
    If one wants to establish something, one must demonstrate that it happens. If the jury is out, such demonstration has not taken place, in spite of 400 years [and counting] of effort.
    And ‘I have to say’ means that there is a need to say so, a need fueled by which agenda?

  132. Bottom line, both from the article and from the comments here:

    They don’t know what is causing the cooling:

    THEREFORE

    They also don’t know what was causing the warming.

    Take CO2 off the table, boys, obviously it’s not the cause. Now, do some real science and let’s figure out more of what causes climate.

  133. The Science is not only “Settled” – it’s Irrelevant to the AGW Movement – so changes in the science will not impact the AGW Movement and it’s fellow travellers.

    The financial crisis and the Stimulus response to it, mandate a massive increase in taxation to pay for the Stimulus and the expansion of Government.

    The result will be the rapid push through of CAP and Trade and the impost of a new massive indirect tax burden on all americans as all goods and services dependent on energy for their delivery will be affected by higher costs and hence higher prices.

    It is (unfortunately) almost certainly too late to stop this from happening.

    It will be interesting too see what happens at the next elections…

    WRT the article.

    It is possible that a fraction of the most recent rapid warming since the 1970’s was due to a free variation in climate,”

    Natural variation gets a guernsey – would that be 100% natural???

    Isaac Held of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Princeton, New Jersey wrote in an email to Discovery News. “Suggesting that the warming might possibly slow down or even stagnate for a few years before rapid warming commences again.”

    And Swanson thinks the trend could continue for up to 30 years.

    30 years of warming, followed by 30 years of cooling, followed by warming….

    Has Swanson not heard of the PDO?

  134. Humans have understood for thousands of years that the only way to get the climate you want is through monetary and/or human sacrifice. The US and UK governments have both bought off on this time-honored tradition, though on a scale which Aztec priests never could have dreamed of.

  135. “Jarring their circulation patterns into unison”.

    Isn’t it an oxymoron to “jar something into unison”?

    I would use such an expression when I think I have an answer, but I really need to get some testing done and figure out a few problems that disagree with my theory.

    Amusing, and such an obvious concesion.

  136. geo (09:08:34) :

    Yes, try to hide that with the big scary finish.

    No scary finish = no air time.

    The Media are not a charity, nor are they a foundation dedicated to revealing the truth – they are a business that have to make a profit (or if Government Owned – please their political masters).

    Hence – if a story cannot capture and hold attention it will not be given any time or space.

    Stories that are repetitive can easily become boring – there is a very real chance that people will begin to switch off.

    The early power of the AGW Alarmist stories was that there was actual warming to which they were aligned – so they seem credible, serious and frightening. Now with the pervasive cold weather, the credibility is falling away and with it the attractive power of the fear. I.e. no one can be frightened by a non-credible threat.

    The biggest threat to the AGW movement is the loss of credibility for their alarmist stories from pervasive cold.

    The other thing is that pushing a threat to 30 years into the future virtually guarantees that no one will want to spend a single dollar on doing anything about it. The time frame is too long to care about and the distant threat is too nebulous.

    Put that loss of credibility together with fewer jobs, and higher prices, and watch the electoral slaughter in 2 to 4 years time.

  137. Leif Svalgaard (12:27:38) :

    Indeed it will. In some 5 billions years it will fry the Earth to a crisp.

    Solar energy is not sustainable;

  138. Leif Svalgaard (12:27:38) :

    In the end, the sun will win.

    Indeed it will. In some 5 billions years it will fry the Earth to a crisp.

    Damn that CO2 is mighty powerful stuff.

  139. Gene L (10:06:20) :
    The Discovery article (also picked up by MSNBC and others) has an interesting comment: “But just what’s causing the cooling is a mystery. Sinking water currents in the north Atlantic Ocean could be sucking heat down into the depths”. I’m confused! What I don’t understand is how if the water that’s sinking is (possibly) taking heat with it, it must be warmer, and I thought that warm water RISES. Perhaps you can explain what I’m missing?

    Not missing a thing. The only way warm water is going to sink is if hotter water is moving in on top of it. That won’t cause any cooling.
    .

    Aron (10:29:36) :

    That is what I believed back when I was studying Egyptology a long time ago. But I could not find any reference to a pre-dynastic statue that the Sphinx replaced. If one existed the Egyptians would have recorded it because they were meticulous at making records of monuments.

    The water erosion would place the original lion 10 to 12 thousand years ago, long before any written records, an origin lost to pharaohs 5 millennia later. Dr Hawass disagrees with the prehistoric origin theory, sticking with the conventional 4500 year ago origin belief. Despite the water erosion evidence, it is still just a theory.

    Also, destroying a monument, statue or any depiction of a god or king was something of a taboo. They believed by doing so you were doing actual damage to the astral or other worldly counterpart.

    An eroded head wouldn’t be a depiction anymore, and the pharaohs certainly weren’t shy about trashing their predecessors’ monuments. A pharaoh says do something, nobody argues.

    K.MT (black land) wasn’t just two miles of fertile land on either side of the Nile. We frequently read stories of the pharaoh having to travel quite far out to reach DSRT (red land, or desert). But of course they didn’t have the Suez Canal and damns back then so the Nile was able to flood and fertilise more of Egypt during the flood season.

    Egypt and the Nile valley were one and the same. Even today, most everything is within about 7 miles. The Aswan dam did change the country immensely. The Nile itself is surprisingly blue water below the dam.

  140. Leif Svalgaard (12:27:38) :
    tarpon (12:18:08) :
    In the end, the sun will win.”

    Indeed it will. In some 5 billions years it will fry the Earth to a crisp.

    Surely not another computer model prediction? Or are we relying on mere anecdotal evidence? :-)

  141. From the BBC article linked by Jon (10:09:15):-

    “The Met Office added that global warming had prevented this winter from being even colder.”

    I suppose we should have guessed that one was coming.

  142. “conspiring to chill the climate”

    I KNEW there had to be a conspiracy in there somewhere! lol : p

  143. Mike McMillan (14:08:57) :

    The great thing with stars is we can observe them, i believe whats being refferred to is when the sun swells after its lost enough mass through fusion, reducing its gravity. It will eventually swallow the earth.

    My older brother does a bit o computer modeling, his phd is actually computer biology, he’s a physicist really… but something he told me about the climate models is that theyre all based on assumption, And if they can’t accurately reproduce the observations, it shows that the quantification’s used are either wrong, or they have completely missed factors… But probably both, … And this article shows this is slowly dawning on them… chaotic systems are nevr going to be explained so simply as the AGWers would like.

  144. Mike,

    I see no evidence for the Sphinx being older than its classical age. It isn’t carved out of the bedrock for one. All the rock it is built from was purposely carved for it.

    The only pharaoh to have given it a bit of a brush up many generations after it was built was Tuthmosis IV who placed a stele at its feet.

    The rain erosion we see has to date from after 4500 BCE, not before.

  145. Speaking of Government regulations to control Global Climate Change (err…global warming??)…

    California just adopted a regulation as allowed under the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) that prohibits the emissions of certain fluorinated compounds, including sulfur hexafluoride. These chemicals are stated as having thousands of times the potency of CO2.

    http://www.arb.ca.gov/newsrel/nr022609.htm

  146. MartinGAtkins (11:34:10) :

    I’m not sure I draw the same conclusion from the data you presented…maybe I misread it?

  147. John Galt (10:23:34) : “We will spend the next several years being bombarded by new studies which ‘prove’ that while natural factors are ‘temporarily’ ‘masking’ AGW, it will come back with a vengeance in 20 – 30 years.”

    Yes, ‘masking’ seems to be the buzzword. But masking heat during a cooling cycle is like trying to hide a candle in an ice bucket. The idea is utter nonsense.

  148. Mr Lynn (07:29:29) : “Unfortunately, to get such a unanimous and official declaration of surrender by the combined academic and political elites who are intent on using the AGW doctrine for ideological ends (and to gain control of the world’s economy) will take a counter-movement. And for that we need leadership. Where will that come from?

    We live in the Internet Age. The rules have changed. We can lead this movement ourselves, given a suitable website. I am hoping Anthony may be prepared to use his website for this purpose.

    Anthony – I can’t find an email address for you, to contact you directly, so if you are interested please can you email me (email address given when submitting comment) to discuss the form this pro-active challenge can take. Alternatively, reply here of course.

    As I posted today in another WUWT page (https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/03/pielke-jrs-take-on-an-amazing-conversation-with-a-climate-scientist/#more-6002), I have prepared a draft scientific challenge to AGW which you can read at http://www.richarddawkins.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=72103&st=7&start=50#p1775962.

    The challenge is direct and simple, as befits the internet, but I believe it draws on the basic principles of science – which regrettably often seem to get ignored.

  149. On a post somewhere, now lost in my memory, someone suggested that the solar wind adds energy to the Earth’s atmosphere. Indeed, it does. Just taking into account protons, it adds [1] 57.5 x 10**8 Watts. The regular sun light (TSI) adds 1.36 x 10**17 Watts.[2][3]

    Now, I personally think that a small increment of insolar energy has a BIG impact, over decades; but, hey, who am I?

    Note [1]: Assuming 100 km/S solar wind speed, 10 MeV proton energy and 1 proton/cm**3. These numbers scale; just read spaceweather.com for the latest numbers.

    Note [2] Back of envelope calculation.

    Note [3]. This assumes equatorial conditions throughout the Earth disc. (Hey, I did say “back of envelope”).

  150. Jeff Alberts (09:23:23) : No one can say with certainty that ..

    And here lies the problem, the idea that X or Y or Z is causing . The idea that modelling based on a single variable could even begin to describe our planet will, I’m sure, provide future school children with much entertainment. My view is that we have not even scratched the surface of “climate modelling”. It’s CO2, the Sun, the Oceans – rational thought might suggest, should we ever arrive at some unifying mathematical theory, a combination of these and many other (as yet un-considered) variables. After all, if current models of (moderately) complex systems were in any way accurate there would be no Stock Market.

    John Galt (10:23:34) : (…) … while causing everybody to pay more for everything (…)

    Yes, it’s almost as though your “peasants” are demanding that you introduce new taxes, a wet dream for some, self flagellation for others, for the restof us – there’s always MasterCard.

    Leif Svalgaard (12:27:38) :
    tarpon (12:18:08) :
    In the end, the sun will win.”
    Indeed it will. In some 5 billions years it will fry the Earth to a crisp.

    Surely not another computer model prediction? Or are we relying on mere anecdotal evidence? :-)

    Not sure either of you are right. Isn’t there a theory that the Milky Way is set to collide with Andromeda in about 2.5 billion years. Not an Astrophysicist but, if true, could I be the first to say … eat that one sinners.

    Aron (09:05:47) : Anthony Watt is currently being insulted by alarmists …

    Insults are a badge of honour.

    Proof positive that he must be doing something right. Keep up the good work Anthony.

  151. …see no evidence for the Sphinx being older than its classical age.

    This is perhaps the first time that a reference to the Sphynx has occurred during a global warming thread – and with no violation of Godwin’s Law!

    Amazing; just Amazing :-)

  152. Aron (14:50:32) : “I see no evidence for the Sphinx being older than its classical age. It isn’t carved out of the bedrock for one. All the rock it is built from was purposely carved for it.”

    I saw a show once that theorized that the Sphinx was a natural formation that was shaped by the wind and then augmented by the Egyptian stone carvers. The show had films of a fairly good sampling of similar formations elsewhere. This could explain why the head is a bit out of scale–they worked with what they had.

  153. Counter point: Someone seems to think I don’t know anything about ice ages. I speak of the interglacial period. Not the 10,000 year orbital cycle that brings about lotsa ice, and that I am well aware of. And I believe I referred to the interglacial period of time we are in, the one that reflects temperature variation sources other than Earth’s wobble, in my earlier post. Should I have used simpler language? In between ice ages.

    Counter point: Someone seems to think I am a believer in CO2 global warming. I don’t think CO2 can overcome natural variation that is sourced from a cyclic yet also chaotic atmospheric/oceanic system that interacts with the Earth’s spin.

    Counter point: Someone seems to think that the belief that the Sun will blow up and fry Earth is based on a model prediction. I don’t even want to address that one. It was recommended to me that I study what is known about the Sun, and other such fiery globes, some of which we have seen go supernova (yes, really). So I did. In turn, I recommend it to those who question whether or not the Sun will eventually blow. It will also help improve your understanding of how the Sun works (lots is known – I didn’t realize how much), as well as what is not well known yet.

    Here is the thing: If direct measurements of the Sun, without Earth’s atmosphere clouding the data, demonstrates not much difference in what the Sun puts out, AND demonstrates little correlation to Earth’s MANY interglacial period temperatures (not talking about Earth’s well known 10,000 year wobble), you have to look at other things that show far greater correlation and that are big and strong enough to cause true weather pattern trended changes beyond Weather Channel’s two day forecast. In a too-worn phrase, “It’s the Earth stupid”. But NOT itty bitty things, like CO2. The source has to be bigger to create such a trended variation (and isn’t it nice that it varies so that we can choose were we want to vacation). Think big.

    What is the biggest thing that sits (or to be more accurate, “moves”) on Earth’s top crust? If you were to say atmosphere, such as the jet stream, or surface winds and fronts, you would be heading in the right direction. If you were to say ocean (as opposed to water droplets or water vapor in the atmosphere), you would be heading in the right direction. Could it be both? Good example of Socratic questioning.

  154. Jeff Alberts (09:23:23) : “No one can say with certainty that “it’s the sun” or “it’s not the sun”, or “It’s ocean cycles” or “It’s not ocean cycles”. It’s all these things and none of them. I seriously doubt we’ll ever know for sure how this system works. We sure as hell don’t know right now.

    That’s why we must base a counter-attack not on what is causing it, but on what is not causing it. See my previous post.

  155. 3×2 (16:52:42) :
    “Indeed it will. In some 5 billions years it will fry the Earth to a crisp.”
    Not sure either of you are right. Isn’t there a theory that the Milky Way is set to collide with Andromeda in about 2.5 billion years.

    Collision of galaxies have no effect on the stars in them because of the vast distance between each star.

  156. Pamela Gray (07:15:58) :

    Robert, please inform me

    OK I assume you mean this Robert, me.

    No, I don’t think any one cause is responsible for cyclic temperature shifts on the planet. It’s a combination of solar output and ocean cycles and albedo chages. But, I cannopt differentiate, myself, the importance between solar changes and albedo changes.

  157. Leif Svalgaard (17:44:40) :

    Collision of galaxies have no effect on the stars in them because of the vast distance between each star.

    Indeed, the mean life time of a star is greater than the supposed age of the universe.

  158. [Al Gore may be open season, but even this went a bridge too far ~ charles the moderator]

  159. Graeme Rodaughan (12:25:04) :
    The Science is not only “Settled” – it’s Irrelevant to the AGW Movement – so changes in the science will not impact the AGW Movement and it’s fellow travellers. . .

    Indeed, that is the real problem. My wife keeps saying, “Somebody just has to educate Obama and the people around him, that CO2 is not a problem!” But they are not interested in the science. It doesn’t matter. ‘Climate change’ is just a convenient hook on which to hang a whole new regimen of taxes and controls on the American (and ultimately, the world) economy.

    Carol Browner is planning to start implementing CO2 ‘pollution’ rules next month, on the anniverary of the idiotic Supreme Court decision that allows the EPA to regulate CO2 as a ‘pollutant’. This will give the Obama regime the ability to control every industrial, commercial, business, home, and personal process that emits CO2, right down to every breath you exhale.

    Madam Pelosi has promised to bring up Cap and Trade by August. Once it’s in place, it will be damnably hard to repeal, even if the Republicans regain control of the Congress in 2010 (and many of them are not averse to more taxes, either). The time to stop all this is now, and I repeat, to do it we’re going to need some prominent people to stand up and say “No!”

    Yes, as someone said above, the Internet and blogs like this can help mobilize support, but to get the media and the political elite to pay attention, it’s going to take leadership, preferably someone the press and TV can’t ignore.

    /Mr Lynn

  160. Here is a taste of ocean sourced weather that could very well be tied to a trended down PDO oscillation. If the cold PDO stays around for a while, this kind of weather pattern could become, dare I say it, a climate change. Fortunately, I don’t believe in climate change unless the ground under me moves. I do however, believe in weather pattern cycles or variations that trend up, down, or stay flat, over a considerable length of time. So if you want to call that climate change, go right ahead. If you do, we will have to come up with a new term that means what climate used to mean. That was back in the day when climate change meant that big chunks of Earth’s land crust had moved to warmer or colder climates. Which is what I might be doing if this weather system does what I think it is capable of doing. But the best is yet to come. Can’t wait for it to hit Washington DC.

    SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PENDLETON OR
    1230 PM PST TUE MAR 3 2009

    ORZ041>044-049-050-501>506-WAZ024-026>030-501-502-040830-
    EASTERN COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE OF OREGON-NORTH CENTRAL OREGON-
    CENTRAL OREGON-LOWER COLUMBIA BASIN OF OREGON-GRANDE RONDE VALLEY-
    WALLOWA COUNTY-FOOTHILLS OF THE BLUE MOUNTAINS OF OREGON-
    NORTHERN BLUE MOUNTAINS OF OREGON-
    SOUTHERN BLUE MOUNTAINS OF OREGON-
    NORTHERN WHEELER AND SOUTHERN GILLIAM COUNTIES-JOHN DAY BASIN-
    OCHOCO-JOHN DAY HIGHLANDS-
    EASTERN COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE OF WASHINGTON-KITTITAS VALLEY-
    YAKIMA VALLEY-LOWER COLUMBIA BASIN OF WASHINGTON-
    FOOTHILLS OF THE BLUE MOUNTAINS OF WASHINGTON-
    NORTHWEST BLUE MOUNTAINS-
    EAST SLOPES OF THE CENTRAL CASCADES OF WASHINGTON-
    EAST SLOPES OF THE SOUTHERN CASCADES OF WASHINGTON-
    INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…THE DALLES…DUFUR…MADRAS…MAUPIN…
    MORO…BEND…LA PINE…PRINEVILLE…REDMOND…ARLINGTON…
    BOARDMAN…HERMISTON…LA GRANDE…ELGIN…UNION…ENTERPRISE…
    JOSEPH…WALLOWA…HEPPNER…PENDLETON…MEACHAM…TOLLGATE…
    UKIAH…CONDON…FOSSIL…SPRAY…JOHN DAY…MONUMENT…
    DAYVILLE…LONG CREEK…MITCHELL…SENECA…WHITE SALMON…
    ELLENSBURG…SUNNYSIDE…YAKIMA…CONNELL…PROSSER…
    TRI-CITIES…DAYTON…WAITSBURG…WALLA WALLA…CLE ELUM…
    EASTON…ROSLYN…NACHES…GOLDENDALE…APPLETON…TROUT LAKE…
    BICKLETON
    1230 PM PST TUE MAR 3 2009

    …A FAST MOVING STORM SYSTEM TO AFFECT PORTIONS OF THE AREA TONIGHT AND
    HEAVY SNOW POSSIBLE FOR THE BLUE MOUNTAINS THURSDAY AND THURSDAY
    NIGHT…

    A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM OVER SOUTHWEST OREGON AT MIDDAY IS FORECAST
    TO TRACK NORTHEASTWARD ACROSS CENTRAL AND NORTHEAST OREGON THIS
    EVENING AND INTO SOUTHEAST WASHINGTON OVERNIGHT. RAINFALL AMOUNTS
    IN EXCESS OF ONE-HALF INCH ARE POSSIBLE IN AN AREA FROM CONDON…
    NORTHEASTWARD THROUGH HERMISTON…INTO THE TRI-CITIES REGION OF
    WASHINGTON. THE EXPECTED TRACK OF THE SURFACE LOW WILL KEEP MOST
    OF THE HEAVIER PRECIPITATION OVER THE LOWER ELEVATIONS IN THE FORM
    OF RAIN. HOWEVER…IF THE LOW MOVES A LITTLE WEST OF THE CURRENT
    FORECAST TRACK…A NARROW BAND OF HEAVY WET SNOW COULD OCCUR AT
    THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF EASTERN JEFFERSON COUNTY NORTHEASTWARD TO
    EASTERN YAKIMA COUNTY IN WASHINGTON. PEOPLE IN THESE AREAS SHOULD
    MONITOR THE FORECASTS THROUGHOUT THE EVENING.

    ANOTHER STORM SYSTEM WITH COLDER AIR WILL BEGIN IMPACTING THE
    REGION BY MIDDAY THURSDAY. THE WEATHER PATTERN APPEARS CONDUCIVE FOR
    HEAVY SNOW FOR THE BLUE MOUNTAINS OF NORTHEAST OREGON AND
    SOUTHEAST WASHINGTON. SNOWFALL AMOUNTS OF 6 TO 12 INCHES ARE A
    POSSIBILITY WITH THIS NEXT STORM…AND WINTER STORM WATCHES MAY
    BE REQUIRED WITHIN THE NEXT DAY OR SO.

  161. How do you write WOW in long enough sentences to clear moderation.

    Doesn’t sound much like a consensus. Don’t worry though they will find a non-human explanation for cooling otherwise one of the hottest industries on earth will die out.

  162. “Collision of galaxies have no effect on the stars in them because of the vast distance between each star.”

    No effect? Hmmm. There is much evidence of significant gravitational warping of the galaxies involved in collisions, triggers of massive star formation events, star movements being altered, etc. I assume what is being said is that it is unlikely that many stars will undergo actual collisions due to the vast distances between the stars. True enough, but there are plenty of ways a galaxy collision could have significant effects on a star, its local neighborhood, and certainly on the dynamics of the relatively tiny planets within its region. Again, as with all collisions, it all depends on how close to the action you end up being.

  163. I’m on the same page as you all so keep that in mind as I respond to a couple of the comments:

    rickM (06:40:57) :

    “I don’t like this one bit and if a skeptic were to ever use the line “think a series of climate processes have aligned, conspiring to chill the climate,” what do you think the result would be?”

    Tsonis does work with chaos modeling–something other climate modelers should try. This “alignment” he speaks of has to do with attractors. And I don’t think anyone really disputes that there was a change in climate in the ’70’s, we may be on our way to another one now. I have admiration (a techy term) for the work Tsonis is doing.

    Bernie (06:43:30) :

    “Jari:
    With all due respect, this article does not appear to be based on any empirical data whatsoever and is simply an exercise in modelling.”

    Actually I think this is a use of climate modelling that is very valuable–as a research tool. As I understand it (having only read the abstract) the climate model was used to ‘determine’ the temp record of about 500 years prior to the last century. This set up a control, so to speak, to test the accuracy/validity and weaknesses of various methods of using proxy data to determine past temps. Unless I’m projecting, they smeared some of the data from the model, wiped out other data, and the result could then be used as a kind of proxy itself for testing methods.

  164. “John Judge (03:27:55) :

    This reminds me of that classic military press release, “Our forces have conducted a series of brilliant retreats while the enemy continues to advance in total confusion”.”

    Funny! Thanks for the laugh.

  165. “MarkW (04:49:48) :

    Let’s see if I have this right.
    A tiny fraction of the warming of the last 30 years was due to natural variability.

    On the other hand, when natural variability swings to the cold side, it is powerfull enough to cancel out warming completely, and then some, for thirty years.”

    Nice!

  166. Mr Lynn (19:27:51) :

    …. it’s going to take leadership, preferably someone the press and TV can’t ignore.
    ————————————

    Where there’s a Will, there’s a way.

  167. “tallbloke (06:06:54) :

    If they “don’t know what’s causing the cooling” they are admitting that they also don’t necessarily know what was causing the warming.”

    This makes sense to you and me. That’s why you and me are on this side of the issue. At the point when people from that other side want to start making sense of things they’ll end up on our side too.

  168. “Steven Goddard (06:35:50) :

    The esteemed Dr. Hansen (who spent the day yesterday freezing with a bunch of Hippies) has reportedly forecast that 2009 or 2010 may be the hottest year on record.”

    What else is new. With GISS data passing through his hands before it reaches the public that prediction has a very high probability of happening–at least in that data set. Nice to have to power to make your predictions come true. ;)
    ————————

    Steven,

    Do you have an update on snow total at Kirkwood since the Steven Chu’s visit to California? Heavenly got 30″ just today.

    Right now The Weather Channel is talking about “combating the drought” in California. It’s been raining for days here in the Bay Area with few days in the last month where it hasn’t rained. I think rain is a pretty descent way to combat drought.

  169. jwt,

    The Chu effect is indeed impressive.

    Accuweather is forecasting another two feet of snow for Lake Tahoe
    http://www.accuweather.com/us/ca/lake-tahoe/AB957/forecast.asp?partner=forecastfox&traveler=1&zipChg=1&metric=0

    And Kirkwood has received 86cm in the last three days.
    http://www.onthesnow.co.uk/california/skireport.html
    Northstar has received 132cm in the last three days.
    Mammoth has a 493cm base.

    Good thing Arnie declared a drought emergency last week.

  170. It’s the “Al Chu,nah” effect, not to be mistaken for the myth of ” El Niño and La Niña” effect.

    There’s only one effect, the suns effect on the oceans(water) and land.

    And if you dive( I do) you’ll notice the temperature drop the deeper you dive with lack of light.

    There’s no hidden heat under the oceans, heat rises up last time I checked my physics books.

    The sun warming of H2O will off gas water vapor that’s lighter then air and rises radiating the heat through convection, out of our atmosphere.

    Of course then colliding with particles in the ionosphere, producing a nuclei to gather up the clean water vapor into clouds and return it to earth with small amounts of CO2, NO2, C14 dissolved(or included)) in it.

  171. Leif Svalgaard (21:36:28) :
    Try it now!

    … but, but,
    …can’t believe my lying eyes;
    I see it, yet it is not.

    Negative self-referential statements are not to be believed.

  172. 3×2 (06:06:24) :

    Re: B Kerr (03:35:51) : (Discovery Channel – “Ways to Save the Planet”)

    Providing the focal point could be varied and moved around the planet, cities and even entire countries could pre-order their weather. Using mirrors it could even be ordered for the night time hours when, of course, it would be cheaper.

    Lets hear you Australians and Californians mock the UK when we have a pleasant and sunny 23C year-round, even at night. Not laughing so loud now are you?

    23C sounds good to me.
    But moving 16 trillion lenses all at once?

  173. If historical patterns of climate change strongly indicate that we are now due for another ice age, is it possible that increasing amounts of carbon dioxide and methane in our atmosphere are beneficial because they will act as a countervailing force against the onset of a new ice age?

    Harleigh Kyson Jr.

  174. hkyson (04:08:38) :

    I read in one paper that glaciations didn’t occur when the CO2 was above about 500PPM. Nobody knows if CO2 would really make a difference, but even if it does we’re still too low.

  175. hkyson (04:08:38) :

    If historical patterns of climate change strongly indicate that we are now due for another ice age, is it possible that increasing amounts of carbon dioxide and methane in our atmosphere are beneficial because they will act as a countervailing force against the onset of a new ice age?

    If ice core analysis is correct, then there’s no reason to believe any reasonable amount of CO2 will prevent an ice age.

    As for “no ice ages occurring when CO2 is above 500ppm”, that pretty much ignores other factors, such as the positions of the continents and the affects they have on ocean currents.

  176. Leif Svalgaard (17:44:40) :
    3×2 (16:52:42) :
    “Indeed it will. In some 5 billions years it will fry the Earth to a crisp.”

    Not sure either of you are right. Isn’t there a theory that the Milky Way is set to collide with Andromeda in about 2.5 billion years.

    Collision of galaxies have no effect on the stars in them because of the vast distance between each star.

    Um, wasn’t there a stir about us presently being in a collision with dwarf Sagittarius and maybe earth being from it, not the Milky Way and that’s why the MW is not on the ecliptic? As in this article:

    http://viewzone.com/milkyway.html

    That would kinda be an existence proof of Leif’s point… and… We’re space aliens from another galaxy!

  177. Obama replaces Merkel as planet saver

    The irony of AGW history is that the first political leader who discovered planetary doom fear and panic as a strong propellant for a political career – Mrs. Merkel – has become absolutely silent about this topic and has stopped using even the words “global warming” (or, as we are in Germany, where problems become catastrophes very soon, “clima catastrophe”) since Lehman Brothers Day, 4 months ago. It´s the economy, now. As we like to say:”The jammed penny has finally fallen.”
    But now Obama is taking over this part – with the same intention as Merkel. He will have to cut the curve like Merkel did, of course. I estimate his time constant to be about 6 months. But don´t be sad – you still have Al Gore. His time constant is much longer than the PDO.

  178. I have a question to the forum:

    Would you consider it true that the biosphere is a system that is set up with the express purpose of managing carbon?

    It is after all the foundation of life on the planet. To me the notion connotes that we have a planet that has a robust capability to deal with fluctuations in CO2.

    Are there any scientists out there that look at the world in this way?

    I am not trying to be another little Goebbels here, but it seems to me a pretty powerful organizing principle for explaining to a semi-interested, semi-aware public why an increase in our current low atmospheric CO2 concentration is going to be handled just fine by the planet.

  179. I feel a need to expand and clarify the question:

    I said “express purpose.” Perhaps that should be “inherent functionality.”

    I think my argument goes as follows: “Are we trying to manage something that the planet manages already?”

    Could it even be postulated that global temperature increases are a part of that management scheme (higher temperatures and available carbon= more plant growth, hence stronger negative feedback?)

    I am perfectly ready to be corrected on this.

  180. SFTor (16:22:08) : Not a scientist, but ill answer to best o my ability til a better answer comes along eh ;-)

    Yea co2 is what limits the biosphere, Plant growth isnt really burial though, but a raised level of co2 will expand the biosphere, shell/ocean sediment is probably the largest biological burial at a guess…

    So a raised level of co2 will increase the amount of life the planet is able to sustain, yes.. But its not going to cause a “negative feedback” as such. Water vapor very possibly does that all on its own. A negative feedback would be say more co2=more h2o vapor=more cloud=less energy in the system. What youre saying, is the biosphere going too increase burial… i dont know.

    The question is whether raised co2 is going to cause a run away green house effect? Probably not, considering in the past it has been many times higher, and for that matter the climate has been warmer since the last ice age than present with low co2, which points too greater climate variability than the AGW crowd would acknowledge. Or are the climate implications from the raised co2 level going to be adverse to life on the planet? I dont see any evidence of it. It certainly hasnt worked that way in the past.

    End of the day the only real constant in the climate is change, and life adapts to the climate…

  181. Do you know which study by Swanson and Anastasios this post refers to, and if so, do you have a link for it? The title of the study will be fine otherwise, if you know it.

Comments are closed.