Spencer on finding a new climate sensitivity marker

The Search for a Short Term Marker of Long Term Climate Sensitivity

By Dr. Roy Spencer. October 4th, 2009

[This is an update on research progress we have made into determining just how sensitive the climate system is to increasing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.]

Climate_marker

While published studies are beginning to suggest that net feedbacks in the climate system could be negative for year-to-year variations (e.g., our 2007 paper, and the new study by Lindzen and Choi, 2009), there remains the question of whether the same can be said of long-term climate sensitivity (and therefore, of the strength of future global warming).

Even if we find observational evidence of an insensitive climate system for year-to-year fluctuations in the climate system, it could be that the system’s long term response to more carbon dioxide is very sensitive. I’m not saying I believe that is the case – I don’t – but it is possible. This question of a potentially large difference in short-term and long-term responses of the climate system has been bothering me for many months.

Significantly, as far as I know, the climate modelers have not yet demonstrated that there is any short-term behavior in their models which is also a good predictor of how much global warming those models project for our future. It needs to be something we can measure, something we can test with real observations. Just because all of the models behave more-or-less like the real climate system does not mean the range of warming they produce encompasses the truth.

For instance, computing feedback parameters (a measure of how much the radiative balance of the Earth changes in response to a temperature change) would be the most obvious test. But I’ve diagnosed feedback parameters from 7- to 10-year subsets of the models’ long-term global warming simulations, and they have virtually no correlation with those models known long-term feedbacks. (I am quite sure I know the reason for this…which is the subject of our JGR paper now being revised…I just don’t know a good way around it).

But I refuse to give up searching. This is because the most important feedbacks in the climate system – clouds and water vapor – have inherently short time scales…minutes for individual clouds, to days or weeks for large regional cloud systems and changes in free-tropospheric water vapor. So, I still believe that there MUST be one or more short term “markers” of long term climate sensitivity.

Well, this past week I think I finally found one. I’m going to be a little evasive about exactly what that marker is because, in this case, the finding is too important to give away to another researcher who will beat me to publishing it (insert smiley here).

What I will say is that the marker ‘index’ is related to how the climate models behave during sudden warming events and the cooling that follows them. In the IPCC climate models, these warming/cooling events typically have time scales of several months, and are self-generated as ‘natural variability’ within the models. (I’m not concerned that I’ve given it away, since the marker is not obvious…as my associate Danny Braswell asked, “What made you think of that?”)

The following plot shows how this ‘mystery index’ is related to the net feedback parameters diagnosed in those 18 climate models by Forster and Taylor (2006). As can be seen, it explains 50% of the variance among the different models. The best I have been able to do up to this point is less than 10% explained variance, which for a sample size of 18 models might as well be zero.

Short-term-marker-of-climate-sensitivity

Also plotted is the range of values of this index from 9 years of CERES satellite measurements computed in the same manner as with the models’ output. As can be seen, the satellite data support lower climate sensitivity (larger feedback parameter) than any of the climate models…but not nearly as low as the 6 Watts per sq. meter per degree found for tropical climate variations by us and others.

For a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide, the satellite measurements would correspond to about 1.6 to 2.0 deg. C of warming, compared to the 18 IPCC models’ range shown, which corresponds to warming of from about 2.0 to 4.2 deg. C.

The relatively short length of record of our best satellite data (9 years) appears to be the limiting factor in this analysis. The model results shown in the above figure come from 50 years of output from each of the 18 models, while the satellite range of results comes from only 9 years of CERES data (March 2000 through December 2008). The index needs to be computed from as many strong warming events as can be found, because the marker only emerges when a number of them are averaged together.

Despite this drawback, the finding of this short-term marker of long-term climate sensitivity is at least a step in the right direction. I will post progress on this issue as the evidence unfolds. Hopefully, more robust markers can be found that show even a stronger relationship to long-term warming in the models, and which will produce greater confidence when tested with relatively short periods of satellite data.

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Greg, San Diego, CA
October 4, 2009 9:17 pm

Anthony, you spelled Spencer wrong in the by-line.
REPLY: Yeah I’m a dyslexic typist at times, all the letters were there 😉 Thanks
Anthony

Philip_B
October 4, 2009 9:17 pm

AFAIAA, the models don’t include sea sub-surface temperature gradients (and anyway the satellites can’t measure ocean temp gradients), which is where I would look for short term indicators of long term climate trends.
If it’s in the satellite data as well as the models it has to be a real value.
The need to average multiple models stumped me a bit, but I suspect that is a Christie type red herring.
So I plump for changes in the albedo reflective spectrum (oceans? oceans and land?), perhaps relative to the size of the warming event. Which would point to an underlying biological mechanism.

Philip_B
October 4, 2009 9:26 pm

And I’d add, that if the value is found in the climate models, then that is the proper function of the climate models, to indicate where to look for climate relevant values in the real world, and not to make climate predictions.

savethesharks
October 4, 2009 9:52 pm

One of the many salient quotes:
“It needs to be something we can measure, something we can test with real observations. Just because all of the models behave more-or-less like the real climate system does not mean the range of warming they produce encompasses the truth.
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

Claude Harvey
October 4, 2009 10:23 pm

I have no idea what the man is talking about, but I’m guessing the recent jump in satellite measured temperature at the 14,000 foot level that he regularly tracks along with the recent SST numbers has given him pause to reflect. I suspect the “skeptic” community will not be delighted with Spencer’s eventual unveiling of his latest theory.

Bulldust
October 4, 2009 10:25 pm

Perhaps I have the wrong take on this, but let me query in lay terms:
1) A number of climate models exist, no doubt with much commonality in terms of the functional relatioships within them.
2) There is a reasonable correlation between two variables across these models being noted here.
Why should this be surprising? I would almost counter with… I am surprised there is not a stronger correlation.
Have we got to the stage where science is now backwards? We generate models and feed in some data, then come up with an hypothesis? As someone that has studied econometric modelling extensively I find this somewhat disturbing, but perhaps I am getting the gist of this article wrong.

Mike McMillan
October 4, 2009 10:30 pm

My mystery index candidate is the inverse of sea surface temperature.

danappaloupe
October 4, 2009 10:36 pm

Well, this past week I think I finally found one. I’m going to be a little evasive about exactly what that marker is because, in this case, the finding is too important to give away to another researcher who will beat me to publishing it (insert smiley here).
This should not be a concern of any person who is interested in science for the sake of science with the ultimate goal of finding truth. That is my initial reaction to this article. This is before I looked up Dr. Spencer.
Ehh.
Why does it even matter. How can a person who believes that the earth was created by an imaginary being be expected to have an objective view of the natural world and its processes.
NOTE TO READERS: This person has demonstrated all the classic symptoms of trolling, best to just ignore him. – A

Mike G
October 4, 2009 10:49 pm

Claude Harvey
“I have no idea what the man is talking about, but I’m guessing the recent jump in satellite measured temperature at the 14,000 foot level that he regularly tracks along with the recent SST numbers has given him pause to reflect.”
Why would “recent” changes “give him pause to reflect.” The supposed global warmining didn’t just start “recently”, did it?

Mike G
October 4, 2009 10:52 pm

danappaloupe
Do you have that same regard for Issac Newton, etc.?

Alan S. Blue
October 4, 2009 10:56 pm

Translation:
Anyone believing in God, gods, Gaia, Cthulhu or the Flying Spaghetti Monster is incapable of performing science a priori.
Tolerance.
REPLY: We aren’t going to have a religious discussion here, best to just ignore him. Troll. -A

Geo
October 4, 2009 10:58 pm

Wow, this article went completly over my head. I might possibly have a tiny glimmer of what short term differences impacting long-term results of the models means –I think he’s saying the models are so primitive as to have monotonous increases built into them that are impervious to short-term changes. This would likely be why we hear all that “come back with a vengeance” crap –they literally mean it since they expect it all to average out to their models in the long run, so a period of less now requires a period of more later.
So that much, at least, I *think* I get.
But what that has to do with a marker that would explain the differences between the climate model program results. . . I’m utterly not getting the connection, or how such a thing could be possible, or if it was why it would mean anything other than Dr. Roy has identified the major difference in algorithm *between the models*. Why that might be interesting, I still can’t think of why it would have any real-world applicability in determing how the models *should* change to reflect a short-term change.
But he’s a smart man. I’m sure he has something interesting in mind here –but I’m just not getting it yet. Perhaps having to be coy about what it actually is causes it to be hard to communicate how it ties together. Or perhaps I’m just not that smart. 🙂

Graeme Rodaughan
October 4, 2009 11:04 pm

danappaloupe (22:36:14) :
Well, this past week I think I finally found one. I’m going to be a little evasive about exactly what that marker is because, in this case, the finding is too important to give away to another researcher who will beat me to publishing it (insert smiley here).
This should not be a concern of any person who is interested in science for the sake of science with the ultimate goal of finding truth. That is my initial reaction to this article. This is before I looked up Dr. Spencer.
Ehh.
Why does it even matter. How can a person who believes that the earth was created by an imaginary being be expected to have an objective view of the natural world and its processes.

Your logical fallacy is called “Poisoning the Well” It does not matter who someone is or what their beliefs are in other fields. What matters is the evidence/data and the conclusions that can be drawn from that data.
The flip side of your “Poisoning the Well” is “Argument from Authority” – I.e. Someone who I believe would be right said it – so it must be so? Again – no reference to the evidence/data.
These tactics are used to avoid confronting your belief system with hard evidence/data that might refute your belief system. Said refutation being an emotionally painful experience… hence the mental gymnastics to avoid it.

John J
October 4, 2009 11:04 pm

So if you have 18 climate models and they all fail to produce what is physically observed, at what point do you begin questioning whether the models are valid? Could they all share a fatal flaw? Like maybe carbon dioxide really doesn’t have much to do with earth’s temperature?
Crazy talk, I know.
I’m just sayin’.

Neo
October 4, 2009 11:09 pm

These models proporting to show Mann-made global warming just don’t cut it.

Keith Minto
October 4, 2009 11:17 pm

Graeme Rodaughan (23:04:08) :
Good points that you make, but, in another world I inhabit we say “Don’t feed the Troll”

Michael
October 4, 2009 11:33 pm

I like to use the price of a carbon credit as my marker. Money talks, bullshit walks. Just my 10 cents.

Gene Nemetz
October 4, 2009 11:49 pm

NOTE TO READERS: This person has demonstrated all the classic symptoms of trolling, best to just ignore him. – A
On top of that he’s shallow. But you left his comment up. It can’t be said you delete comments like his and don’t give them a chance.
I like it that comments like his can be seen with its bias in plain view.
REPLY: He’s welcome to post on topic and on-threads with that topic. But religious discussions aren’t going to happen – A

danappaloupe
October 4, 2009 11:50 pm

I am proposing a genuine viewpoint which is different from the majority of the people on this blog, I ask questions, seeking a discussion about the facts. I counter number with numbers and pose serious questions about how data is being interpreted. The number of personal attacks against me far exceeeds anything I have dealt out. The worst I have said was ‘your readers need to be educated about the difference between weather and climate’, which does bring into question to intellect of the readership, but is above all a statement of facts. Your readers use 1 year of weather data to draw conclusions bout trends in climate.
The publisher of this blog is not interested in sparking good debate. There is no debate on this blog as a consequence and it is has become a place of talking points and partisan politics, yet is touted as a science blog (and a best one at that!). You call me a troll in an attempt to discredit my opinion and the questions I pose. Look up how a troll is defined, it is not me.
REPLY: Tell you what, I’ll give your your own thread. Then you can demonstrate your viewpoint to everyone. Only rule is that you have to stay on that thread. Accept or decline – A

RhudsonL
October 4, 2009 11:53 pm

But, Dr. Roy missed a golden opportunity to note the current lack of sunspots.

danappaloupe
October 4, 2009 11:56 pm

I did some thinking about the discussion about the area of sea ice. Although you never clarified which numbers you are using to make you claim of a 28.7% increase in area, you still say I am wrong.
It doesn’t matter anyway. The real important characteristic of ice as it applies to climate change is the volume of ice, expressed in thickness.
http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/faq.html#really_declining
I am sorry I brought up religion in your Science Blog, it does not belong anywhere near the discussion of science if we are all indeed seeking truth.

L
October 5, 2009 12:05 am

So, Earth has warmed since the LIA. Big surprise! Wake me when the world temp reaches that of the MWP, when oarsmen of Iceland could simply row across to Greenland and establish farms.
Please not us play games; if there is new info to discredit the AGWarmists, let’s hear about that. This kind if crap serves no useful purpose, smacks of ego-driven hubris and serves nothing in establishing the truth.
Seems to me that establishing the reality of the MWP would do more to put the current panic to rest, than everything else we could do.
Back at UCLA, I took a class in Scandiavian Literature. Among the sagas assigned were “Leif the Lucky” who reached North America around 1000 CE.
He reported hostile indiians “Skralings;” They were suifficeinty armed to make the Norse to think twice.
So, the Norse went north, where the hostiles didn’t live. Right up to the northern tip of Baffin Island, and estbabished a colony there, lost later due to climate change.
But the jerkizoids insist that this never happened. God, help us,

Frank Lansner
October 5, 2009 12:10 am

Roy Spencer, first, thankyou so much for your work in general.
Question: I see from your and Lindzens findings that the have negative responce to (CO2-) heat.
In many debates I argument like the following (and nobody ever had any contra argument ive seen..):
“The major process of positive feedback is the reaction of water to heat:
CO2-heat => more water in atmosphere => Even more heat”
– which is of course not likely in the light of yours and Lindzens findings.
BUT. As most here knows, the basic fact is, that from 1940-today, the has not been measured more water in the atmosphere. Without more water in the armosphere, its actually “game over” for the idea of positive feedback, is it not??
I mean, its very useful to examine things as you do, but the idea of positive feedbacks has lost already before examining the effect of more water in the atmosphere?
(And then we remember that alsp CH4 has stopped rising years ago)
Water content in the atmoshere: in ther lowes levels we have very near the 1940-50 level, rest of the atmosphere far less water than in 1940. This should be game over for “positive feedbacks??
http://www.klimadebat.dk/forum/dokumentation-for-global-opvarmning-uden-for-byomraader-d12-e473-s60.php#post_6080
Anthony, the “danappaloupe” guy.. i was thinking, how about letting him make his own thread “What danappaloupe means about climate a-z” giving him free space. I think this would be joy-full for the rest of us to comment 🙂
But i understand if you think its waste of time, though.
K.R Frank Lansner
REPLY: I had done so earlier, see previous comments…he apparently hasn’t seen it yet. -A

danappaloupe
October 5, 2009 12:20 am

I am not a fan of pointing out the “500 pound gorilla in the room” …
But we have one.
Not a single person has stepped up and addressed the issue that many people on this website believe, wrongly, that one year of weather data can be used to draw conclusions about climate, global warming, models etc. Even if we were talking about a climate model that we know is wrong, and designed it to be wrong, we can’t judge that model based on one year of data.
That is the only thing I care about.
REPLY: Well when you botch sea ice extent so badly… I’ve offered you your own thread where you can disucss this as you please – Accept or Reject? Second request, I won’t ask again. – A

David Alan
October 5, 2009 12:57 am

I take off for a day and come back to find Dr. Spencer announcing he might have found a short-term marker for climate variance. Excellent! I would have thought comments would be more speculative to his mystery marker, yet we have trolls, religion, and ‘when weather is not climate’ talk. Joy of joys.
Anthony, look at it this way, pro-agw websites are dead in my opinion and seriously lack readership because ‘singin to the choir’ must feel a bit lonely. On the otherhand, websites that offer a scientific method of approach to climate, weather and FACT based commentary attracts the ‘concensus is in’ bunch. While their attempts must be from pure boredom, their recognition of sites like yours only confirms one thing for me: The debate is far from over.
This website, from top to bottom, is the most professional on the web. That includes you, all of the guests that post here and the majority of the commentators.
I applaude you all. The rest of you disruptive, troll bound, brainwashed believers of Gore/Hansen/Jones need to be patient and respect the efforts of everyone involved here at WUWT.
With that said. I can’t wait for Dr. Spencers official unveiling of his secret marker. Sounds facinating. I wonder if he’s been talking to … oh nevermind. :-p

stephen.richards
October 5, 2009 1:10 am

1 Dr Spencer is looking for the long term climate sensitivity index
2 Realists / Sceptics will be very pleased to see his conclusion
I have no idea why AGWs always assume that sceptics are searching for the dis-proving of their religion.
Sceptics are trying to apply real science to the problem no matter what the outcome. Scepticism is science not religion.

David Alan
October 5, 2009 1:24 am

Hey Anthony, look at it like this, Pro-AGW trolls must feel threatened by the scientific method and a website like yours, that I believe to be the most professional being done on the web, regarding climatology. They don’t know science and more importantly, the method of fact-finding. Maybe, just maybe, the ‘when climate is not weather’ gang are recognizing that no one is listening to them, no matter how loud or disruptive they become.
Now if I could get back to the topic at hand. What does Dr. Spencer have for a short-term marker. I can’t wait !
Has he been talking to Timo Niroma by chance? I would really like to see someone make some ground breaking research based on statistical formulations that Niroma has suggested in his work regarding Jupiters effect on Earths climate. But that’s just me.
-David Alan-

Rereke Whakaaro
October 5, 2009 1:25 am

Philip_B (21:26:54) :
“And I’d add, that if the value is found in the climate models, then that is the proper function of the climate models, to indicate where to look for climate relevant values in the real world, and not to make climate predictions.”
When I was deeply involved in modeling, many lifetimes ago, they were always used to *study* the behaviors of things.
We would take observations, and try to replicate what we observed in the model, usually with mixed success.
Where we found discrepancies, we would play with the models – by adding constants or additional variables – in an attempt to remove the discrepancy. This process invariably lead to insights about whatever it was we were modeling.
Because most natural phenomena are cyclic in nature, you are never sure what frequencies are present in the observed “waveform” of variations, so you play with Fourier transforms to find the fundamental frequencies associated with unknown influencing factors, etc.
So if we did attempt predictions, they always contained “secret ingredients” in the form of frequencies for factor-x, factor-y, etc.
These predictions were to test the model, to see what we might have missed in our understanding of how much we didn’t know.
Am I wrong in being worried that climate modelers might have a whole alphabet of “secret ingredients”, and yet they are still happily making predictions as if they were absolute fact, when at the end of the day, they don’t know swat?

Robert Wood
October 5, 2009 1:30 am

Hmmm, I’ll wait ’til Spencer comes clean 🙂
Personally, I don’t see the point in questioning why the models diverge from reality. They are fundamentally flawed, being politically driven ,,, apart from anything else.

tallbloke
October 5, 2009 1:30 am

danappaloupe (23:56:14) :
The real important characteristic of ice as it applies to climate change is the volume of ice, expressed in thickness.
http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/faq.html#really_declining

From the link:
A recent study suggests that 5,500 years ago, the Arctic had substantially less summertime sea ice than today.
This seems to indicate that there is substantial natural variability in Arctic sea ice regardless of co2 levels.
Enough of danappaloupe for this thread, he/she has been offered their own thread by Anthony (I wonder if I could get the same opportunity by using similar tactics).
Let all play Dr Roy’s guessing game as a mentally stimulating exercise. I think the mystery marker is not a biological one, since the models don’t include them. It could be to do with atmospheric circulation, atmospheric angular momentum anyone?

vg
October 5, 2009 1:34 am

There may be a major effort on part of the team to discredit this and CA sites> BTW major story at CA again maybe someone would like to put it in laymans terms.

MarcH
October 5, 2009 1:36 am

Dr Spencer,
Thanks for the preview, looking forward to seeing it in print.

Mark Fawcett
October 5, 2009 1:43 am

danappaloupe (00:20:54) :
I am not a fan of pointing out the “500 pound gorilla in the room” …
But we have one.

1. Welcome to WUWT – you will find much more open debate and discourse than at other sites (for instance RC, where numerous postings never see the light of day).
2. It’s good to have some dialogue and debate about a range of subjects and the vast majority of posters here will join in; yes it can get a bit lively but hey, that’s good.
3. If you’re really serious about this and don’t want to be labelled as a ‘troll’ then please start things off on the right foot; avoid comments like “…which does bring into question to intellect of the readership…” and dismissing people like Dr Roy Spencer because he happens to be religious. Would you walk into a bar you’ve never been in, stroll up to the mike on the stage and announce to the clientelle that they’re all dumb because of their choice of music? Hardly.
(For information, I am an atheist, engineer with an astrophysics degree and I don’t feel the need to dismiss someone (in a verbal/written context) on religious grounds. In another forum I’d quite happily have the debate – but not in this one.)
You say “Not a single person has stepped up and addressed the issue that many people on this website believe, wrongly, that one year of weather data can be used to draw conclusions about climate, global warming, models etc. That is the only thing I care about.”
Maybe that’s because you started off badly. Your statement above puts words into people’s mouths and that’s never a great way to start a debate. If you do some back-reading you will find lots of climate-vs-weather topics and arguments going on. Simply strolling up and making an unfounded, ill-researched, statement is not going to engender a discussion.
I would recommend the following: take Anthony up of his offer of a thread – that’s a pretty good deal and gives you the floor; you will have contribution and debate for sure then. You can include in that debate on ice-cover the merits of using the last couple of years’ worth of data in comparison to the 30 years’ worth of accumulated measurements; which introduces your core interest. Go for it – I would!
For my part – does one year’s worth of weather countermand longer term trends in the Earth’s climate? No, of course not and I don’t think you’ll find many people who disagree with that. When that year of measurment turns into 2, then 3, then 4 etc. then I think you can have that debate – see the global temps over the last 6-10 years. Does this mean I think we’re heading for an ice age? No. Does this mean I think that the warming and doom-n-gloom has been totally overplayed? Yes.
So take Mr Watts up on his offer and lets all get stuck into the debate :o)
(My apologies to Anthony if this is OT for this thread.)
Cheers
Mark

CodeTech
October 5, 2009 1:47 am

One thing I’ve noticed, trolls never see themselves as trolls… however, changing the subject or worse, attempting to “educate” regulars at any blog is usually the main sign of a troll.
Also, many of the warmists don’t seem to understand that people they dismiss as “skeptics” or “deniers” are actually mainly concerned with finding out the truth (aka Science) as opposed to dogmatically believing very non-credible “peer reviewed papers”. Yes, we prefer to think for ourselves instead of allowing people with questionable motives to be the gatekeepers of human knowledge.
There is absolutely NO scientific endeavor that cannot be understood by the “common man”, if it is explained properly. Any time you claim that nobody other than a group educated a certain way can possibly understand something, you have already lost your argument, and you are wrong.
I have yet to see a CAGW promoter who has more knowledge about the Science than the average “skeptic”, for the simple fact that the CAGW promoters are more willing to be led down the garden path without asking questions.

anna v
October 5, 2009 2:00 am

danappaloupe (00:20:54) :
I am not a fan of pointing out the “500 pound gorilla in the room” …
But we have one.
Not a single person has stepped up and addressed the issue that many people on this website believe, wrongly, that one year of weather data can be used to draw conclusions about climate, global warming, models etc. Even if we were talking about a climate model that we know is wrong, and designed it to be wrong, we can’t judge that model based on one year of data.

Well, it might be a defect in your eye, because I do not see anybody on this board saying that one year’s data determine the climate. Please give links to your assertions.
Ten years now is another story.

October 5, 2009 2:07 am

danappaloupe (23:50:21) :
I The publisher of this blog is not interested in sparking good debate. There is no debate on this blog as a consequence and it is has become a place of talking points and partisan politics, yet is touted as a science blog (and a best one at that!).

As someone who regularly disagrees with the publisher and many of the readers of this blog, I have to say your statement is total garbage. If you want talking points and partisan politics (includig heavy censorship of opinions) – try RealClimate or Tamino’s blog.
I’ve been banned from Tamino’s blog for suggesting that there might be an ocean influence in the late (and early) 20th century warming. He did actually allow me to post for a while until I provided strong evidence and he realised his own ideas and those of his fan club were probably wrong.
Realclimate rarely allows any post which it recognises as damaging to the ‘consensus’ view – unless they have a satisfactory response, that is. In general, though , posts are either not published at all or else published days later when the topic has gone ‘cold’. There was even the occasion, some years ago, when I posted a list of studies countering the H-S reconstruction, but – overnight – the whole thread disappeared due to a “technical hitch”. Clearly someone hadn’t been watchful enough and had allowed something they shouldn’t to be published. If I remember correctly, someone recovered the cached files. I think Steve Milloy might have been involved.
There is no comparison between the policies on this site or CA with those of the main pro-AGW sites and you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about. Nevertheless, you’ll probably still be allowed to post here.

oMan
October 5, 2009 2:12 am

Anthony: your troll policy is remarkably enlightened. Another reason why this blog is so productive and congenial. Thanks.
Regarding the “mystery index” that shows 5x previous correlation with models– I humbly await further revelation. I imagine it’s a blend of things: “take 2 pinches of albedo, mix in 0.6 of average tropopause temperatures, allow to marinate overnight with average velocity of jetstream, subtract the square root of Michael Mann’s credibility, and serve hot.”

Jack Simmons
October 5, 2009 2:17 am

danappaloupe (00:20:54) :

I am not a fan of pointing out the “500 pound gorilla in the room” …
But we have one.
Not a single person has stepped up and addressed the issue that many people on this website believe, wrongly, that one year of weather data can be used to draw conclusions about climate, global warming, models etc. Even if we were talking about a climate model that we know is wrong, and designed it to be wrong, we can’t judge that model based on one year of data.

Here

October 5, 2009 2:45 am

Re: Claude Harvey (22:23:48) :
I have no idea what the man is talking about, but I’m guessing the recent jump in satellite measured temperature at the 14,000 foot level that he regularly tracks along with the recent SST numbers has given him pause to reflect. I suspect the “skeptic” community will not be delighted with Spencer’s eventual unveiling of his latest theory.

There is a new channel for SST on the MSU webpage. SST are heading down again, watch the air temps going the same soon.

Syl
October 5, 2009 2:57 am

While the climate models assume a constant relative humidity which leads to positive feedback when temps rise (and therefore should lead to negative feedback when temps fall which they never mention) they have never actually made the case for their conjecture much beyond the assertion that it is so.
The models aren’t gridded fine enough to really analyze it anyway so their fallback position is, as always, that any deviation from the mantra is merely weather noise and they are dealing with climate.
Note danappaloupe’s statement: “your readers need to be educated about the difference between weather and climate”. ::snort::
Gavin insists that though the climate models fail with short term forecasting (weather), their predictions, excuse me, projections about the long term (climate) are correct.
That’s why what spencer is doing is so darned important. If a rise in CO2 levels is really going to have a severe impact on future weather* then there must logically be some way to tease out the evidence even in the short term. We should be able to identify and quantify something that is occurring RIGHT NOW that will show us not only what may occur re temp, but how long it will take.
—–
*there is no such thing as weather now, climate later. That’s merely an obfuscatory construct giving the impression that natural variation will end. Its mirror is the flattening of the MWP to remove natural variation in the past.

JamesG
October 5, 2009 3:40 am

Can we kill this off instead just by saying that nobody who is interested in scientific truth thinks that one year of weather data is important. But many politicians, celebrities, journalists and come scientists need constantly reminded of that too. It’s just too easy for them to assume or loudly hint that man has caused event x,y, or z when neither the science nor the simplistic models even vaguely support such a premise. If danappaloupe or anyone else needs an example of such hypocriticalconfusion he can head off to Bill Maher’s blog where he that we are all idiots if we don’t see that the recent Australian drought was “climate change” in action and that we are idiots to believe that a very harsh Winter cooling means climate isn’t changing and that by the way us idiots shouldn’t be confusing weather with climate. Ho ho! Cue the braying of sheep! There are so many example of this one-sided thinking to choose from: Just pick almost any article about climate change anywhere.
Weather and climate are chaotic by nature hence you have to look at long term trends and sort out the natural from the man-made. The separation part isn’t easy because we don’t know why we slipped into a little ice age in the first place. Hence to assume all recent warming is due to man – as apparently Spencer has done above – is facile. The long term trend part however is fairly easy. By looking a trends it seems there has been no discernible increase in any extreme weather events anywhere – despite the acknowledged warming. Ergo man needn’t be assumed to be a part of any zero trend in extreme weather events. So if any visiting scientists here would help kill off this persistent rumor that wild weather events are getting worse and man is causing it then the science would be healthier. Unfortunately it was climate scientists who started this baseless rumor in the first place.

RR Kampen
October 5, 2009 3:53 am

Re: wattsupwiththat (23:45:27) :
Any source you pick, NSIDC or JAXA shows the same result: More ice in 2009 than 2008, more ice in 2008 than 2007. If you are able, interpret these two graphs.

There was certainly less ice in 2008 than in 2007.
Not in surface area, correct.
But in the single important parameter here: ice VOLUME (correctly pointed out by danappaloupe) which is the product of surface extent and average thickness.
In 2008 over half the multiyear sea-ice left over from 2007 dissappeared: http://www.knmi.nl/cms/mmbase/images/29518 .
Whether the volume this year is again smaller than in 2008 will have to be awaited.

wws
October 5, 2009 3:59 am

“yet is touted as a science blog (and a best one at that!).”
I think someone has blog envy, and is desperate to get in on the action.
[Reply: It is not ‘touted’; WUWT won this year’s “Best Science” category in the Weblog Awards. Click on their icon on the upper right of the page. Compare the results to RealClimate. ~dbs, mod.]

October 5, 2009 4:20 am

Lets look at this from first principles. The chosen index of long term warming is surface temperature – at least that chosen by the IPCC, doubtless because of its direct relevance to human life and ecosystems. Changes in surface temperature over several decades is primarily a consequence of cloud cover and humidity, with an element of aerosols that deflect sunlight, coupled to the regular solar cycle variation of 0.1% insolation (and any potential electro-magnetic effects on cloud seeding or electrical effects on aerosols).
Thus, if we identify a short-term (2000-2008) relationship, we have to show how it can be continued over several decades – either increased or decreased. In the time period of data that Roy Spencer has at his disposal, there is a transition from one solar maximum to one solar minimum. I can’t see how he is going to derive an indication of the direction that this decade’s data might go in. The next solar cycle will likely be down on the previous (electromagnetically), and the transition is a long one – thus lengthening the period when solar insolation is slightly reduced (note that other work has shown that surface temperatures respond to the 11-year solar cycle and that the scale of response suggests an amplifier in addition to the change in short-wave radiation at source – the 0.1%).
The past surface temperature data for centennial scale changes show evidence of cycles and thus the chief candidates for long term change – cloud, aerosol and water vapour, ought to reflect those cycles – but we have limited data. The main long cycles are 400/800 years (LIA/MWP), 70 years (Arctic Oscillation, AMO) 30-40 years (PDO) – and the satellite era really only covers the last one’s positive phase.
So – whatever the short-term indicator is, we have to know how it relates to the drivers of these cycles.
Here is my cent’s worth (which I outline in my book, ‘Chill’) and for which I would dearly like some discussion: in the short term, the primary area of interest should be the pulse of SW radiation to the equatorial regions of the ocean surface where heat is first stored within the planetary system. Cloud cover in this area will modulate that heat store – less cloud, more heat stored. If we look at several decades of surface temperatures in the ENSO region, for example, and look less to the ‘trend’ but to the rising amplitude of the ENSO pulse (which may now be declining), then we see that the heat is not stored in that region. A glance at the spatial distribution of the global upper ocean heat stores shows that they are not homogenous but concentrated in the gyres of the northern Pacific and Atlantic basins.
We now know (thanks to Compo and Sardeshmukh) that 80% of land surface temperatures are driven by transfer of heat from the oceans. The main transfer is via westerly ‘winds’ in the northern hemisphere. These winds are driven by the jetstream – but they are not so much winds, as vortices or cyclones, that extract the heat, create cloud and dump the heat as rainfall or radiative cloud cover on land. The ‘unusual’ Arctic melt-down has been partly driven by excess radiative cloud over the polar region (14% from 1980-2000) and warm ocean water travelling further north than usual under the sea-ice.
When there is more cloud in higher latitudes (and the gyres are located between 30-60 degrees north) the effect is warming – insulation of the ocean heat stores, rather than cooling as in the tropics. So any change in percentage cover OR spatial distribution will affect those heat stores.
In my view, therefore, Roy must relate the short term indicator to these long term ocean dynamics to get a real-world understanding of the long term changes. I don’t think the climate models he refers to even attempt to model these ocean dynamics.
Clearly, some short term (decadal) variable has created the build-up of heat in the oceans – and I would suspect the amplitude of the ENSO cycle is the primary driver, with the warm water pulses it creates being redistributed northward (and southward too, but more readily dissipated in the southern ocean circumpolar current where there is a net heat loss and no continental constraints that create large gyres).
If we are now entering a longer term cooling, then we should look for a signal that shows a) depletion of the northern gyres’ warm water pool; b) changes in cloud, storm tracks and wind patterns in relation to those gyres (especially the track of the jetstream). Ultimately, i suspect that it is the latter, which the work of Drew Shindell at NASA (I keep mentioning this but nobody seems to know what happened to the line of research) showed was correlated with a variable of solar output (UV light), that determines the long term pattern of build-up and depletion of upper ocean heat stores.

Curiousgeorge
October 5, 2009 4:32 am

Scaling. The lead graph is visually deceiving simply because the total Y axis range is only 1 degree showing departure from 0 change. The average caveman would not know how to interpret the graph. Accompanied by a press release stating that up is bad and down is good, we end up being beaten to death by club wielding cavemen.

October 5, 2009 4:35 am

Apologies if this is slightly off topic, and let me preface it by saying I have an enormous amount of respect for what Dr Roy has done and the integrity he has shown in doing it.
I don’t pretend to know enough to debate Dr Roy on climate, or even to fully understand what he is looking for here, but the thing that has struck me most about the climate issue is the close correlation between the PDO cycles and temperature since 1880. So far we have had 3 warm cycles and 2 cold cycles, and are just beginning the third cold cycle.
I believe I am right in saying that none of the models Dr Roy refers to take into account the effects of the PDO, so if his analysis doesn’t have some element of the PDO effect, it strikes me as a bit of a wild goose chase.
If this third cycle plays out like the rest, and all other things being equal (which of course, they won’t be), then temps will have risen by about 0.8 degC over 150 years, and CO2 will have risen by about 50%.. Is it not fair to say that only that 0.8 degC is up for grabs as far as figuring out what other forcings/feedbacks are at play?

Another Ian
October 5, 2009 4:44 am

Anthony
An adaptable explanation of agw/climate change (up)?
http://go2.wordpress.com/?id=725X1342&site=wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com&url=http%3A%2F%2Fblogs.abc.net.au%2Fqueensland%2F2009%2F10%2Fa-new-economic-theory-the-magazine-cover-index-.html%3Fprogram%3D612_otf
A new economic theory – The Magazine Cover Index
Oct 05, 2009
Ever wanted to find out which way the markets were moving – housing or stocks and shares?
There’s plenty of advice around, but who do you believe?
We have one man who says it’s really quite easy. Chris Leithner’s theory suggests that all you have to do is look at what the magazine covers are saying – and then do the exact opposite….
Audio on site
I just put this up on Tips, but in the face of some I’m reading above it might fit here – snip if not.

jon
October 5, 2009 4:47 am

RR Kampen: all of the ice that is in the Arctic today will be a year older and much thicker after this winter is over?

October 5, 2009 4:51 am

To Bulldust and others:
Yes, I agree it is unsettling that I am using the climate models in the search for a marker, as if the models represent reality. But I do not know any other way to attack the problem.
-Roy

October 5, 2009 5:03 am

to Frank Lansner:
Yes, I agree that the NCEP reanalysis data going back to 1940 are intriguing. Actually, the reanalysis plots you refer to DO show an increase in total atmospheric water vapor (most of it is in the boundary layer, below about 900 mb, where it HAS increased)…but the fact that it has decreased above 700 mb is more important for water vapor feedback. If those data reflect reality, then water vapor feedback probably has been negative during the warming of the last 50 years.
-Roy

tallbloke
October 5, 2009 5:07 am

oMan (02:12:53) :
Anthony: your troll policy is remarkably enlightened. Another reason why this blog is so productive and congenial. Thanks.
Regarding the “mystery index” that shows 5x previous correlation with models– I humbly await further revelation. I imagine it’s a blend of things: “take 2 pinches of albedo, mix in 0.6 of average tropopause temperatures, allow to marinate overnight with average velocity of jetstream, subtract the square root of Michael Mann’s credibility, and serve hot.”

Can’t see the last term of this equation making much difference. A bit like the sprig of parsley on your fish dish.

kim
October 5, 2009 5:08 am

Maybe it’ll be in a variation of the trade winds, the boundary between the tropics and the northern ocean gyres and the distributive westerlies.
=======================================

October 5, 2009 5:08 am

David Alan (00:57:53) :
I can’t wait for Dr. Spencers official unveiling of his secret marker.
Perhaps Piers Corbyn will beat him to it 🙂
I generally think it is a bad idea to conduct science by press releases or hints or teasers. If you got something, say it, or wait until you feel you can. In the computer industry there is the concept of Vaporware. This is Vaporware. Nobody is going to steal your marker and run with it to publish when it is clear that you announced it first. A blog can serve as a sounding board for new ideas [at least you might find many hostiles so you’ll learn how to deal with those]. But this way [giving us a teaser] does not serve that purpose.

Claude Harvey
October 5, 2009 5:09 am

I must have missed something along the way. Where might I find the Arctic ice measurements of “volume” I’m seeing so confidently referenced in some of these responses? We know “extent” from the satellite readings, but all I’ve seen on “thickness” has been a bit a core sampling here and there, a few U.S.Army buoy readings and the results of a radar skid recently flown over a swath of the ice.
In all cases of which I’m aware, the actual readings were reported as either “thicker than expected” or “thinner than expected”. The reason “expected” was the best the reporters could do was that there was no historical base of “thickness” against which to compare these readings.
The absence of an inventory of historic Arctic ice thickness renders any discussion of “volume” an exercise in speculation. Common sense would infer that cooling waters and cooling air should dictate “thickening” as well as “broadening”. However, even that inference can be thwarted by the truly determined with endless arguments about the behavior of “new ice versus old ice”, “clean ice versus dirty ice”, etc.
In the end, “There is none so blind as he who will not see.”

RR Kampen
October 5, 2009 5:09 am

jon (04:47:10) :
RR Kampen: all of the ice that is in the Arctic today will be a year older and much thicker after this winter is over?

It might and it might all disappear next year and more, just like 2008 saw more than half of the multiyear ice from previous year disappear.
About two thirds of melting happens from below. Right now, even.

October 5, 2009 5:12 am

Peter Taylor (04:20:34) :
the work of Drew Shindell at NASA (I keep mentioning this but nobody seems to know what happened to the line of research) showed was correlated with a variable of solar output (UV light)
Shindell’s work was based on the obsolete Hoyt-Schatten TSI reconstruction and cannot be considered to be valid; perhaps that is why it is quiet around that line of research.

kim
October 5, 2009 5:12 am

Maybe he’s looking for further pointers, as do you, Leif.
=================================

kim
October 5, 2009 5:15 am

Hmmm. Water vapor feedback perhaps negative. I’ve long thought the water vapor feedback to CO2 forcing is variable, depending upon need. I base that thought on the long term stability of the system, its self-centeringness. But how, and why? Oh, my.
================

kim
October 5, 2009 5:19 am

I’ve also wondered about the 800 year lag in the ice cores. First temperature rises, then CO2 rises, then at some later time, temperature falls, as does CO2. Is it possible the net effect of CO2 is cooling? Or at the very least, ameliorating warming? I know, the ice cores are not precise enough to say much about causation. But if water vapor feedback is some degree of negative, then the CO2 forcing it may also net negative.
==========================================

stephen.richards
October 5, 2009 5:30 am

M. Kampen yet another RC TROLL. The Ice will not disappear all in one year unless we are struck by a major asteroid or the sun suddenly explodes. You simply have not grasped the volume of ice that makes up the Arctic. Remember that at the end of winter in the Arctic there will be around 15^106 sq:m of ice. In cubic terms I simply do not know and cannot calculate it because there are no known accurate figures for thickess but you could assume 2 m average. The energy required to melt that amount of ice would be as much as could be focused from the sun with a gigantic magnifying glass in space.

kim
October 5, 2009 5:31 am

Mebbe height or latitude of the jet stream or both?
=========================

October 5, 2009 5:32 am

kim (05:12:51) :
Maybe he’s looking for further pointers, as do you, Leif.
At least I lay out my train of thought and what I’ve got. Not just just in blogs, but also at meetings and symposia where I ‘taste’ the waters before proceeding to publication [which in itself is just an archival process]

Jim
October 5, 2009 5:46 am

**********************
Claude Harvey (22:23:48) :
I suspect the “skeptic” community will not be delighted with Spencer’s eventual unveiling of his latest theory.
**********************
I don’t speak for all skeptics, but this one just wants the truth – no more and no less.

Jim Powell
October 5, 2009 5:47 am

I took a quick look at the historical Atlantic HURDAT Storms–http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/historical-atlantic-hurricane-and-tropical-storm-records. Much like Dr. Spencer’s graph a shift in 1938 takes place and around 1980. I wonder if one of the missing links in the climate puzzle is changes in the speed of the thermohaline circulation.

October 5, 2009 5:49 am

OT to main thread, but I cannot help “biting”.
Here’s three links showing thickening in our icy bits.
Arctic
Antarctic
Greenland
Bear in mind, accurate records have only started since 1979, a period that coincided with the warm phase of the PDO, elevated sunspot activity, and a whopper of an El Nino in 1998.
Anecdotal evidence e.g. Amundsen’s navigation of the North West passage, would suggest that Arctic sea ice extent has been the same or lower than the present, at various times in the past. How about we come back to a discussion in twenty years when the cold phase of the PDO runs it’s course?

RR Kampen
October 5, 2009 5:50 am

Re: kim (05:19:27) :
“I’ve also wondered about the 800 year lag in the ice cores.”

First temperature rises due to long term Milankovitch (and such) effects. Vegetation and sea start releasing CO2 with a lag. This CO2 immediately helps to rise the temperature. From about a third of the climbing trajectory to interglacial maximum this CO2 becomes the dominant driver for further warming. The lag has then disappeared and temp and CO2 appear to rise simultaneously then – but in fact temp lags CO2 by a small time.

Jim
October 5, 2009 5:52 am

****************************
Bulldust (22:25:56) :
Have we got to the stage where science is now backwards? We generate models and feed in some data, then come up with an hypothesis? As someone that has studied econometric modelling extensively I find this somewhat disturbing, but perhaps I am getting the gist of this article wrong.
******************************
In a published paper, it referred to a computer model as an experiment. It isn’t. It is a simulation. It looks like some of the climate scientists have fogotten the scientific method.

Richard M
October 5, 2009 5:54 am

I understand Leif’s position in Leif Svalgaard (05:08:51) but I’m not sure it applies to climate science. Look at Gavin’s behavior when McIntyre provided just a hint of the problems with Harry. He went off and studied it himself, found the problem and then took credit for the discovery.
I’m not sure you can extrapolate from other sciences to the highly politicized arena of climate sciences.

Editor
October 5, 2009 5:57 am

danappaloupe (00:20:54) :

Not a single person has stepped up and addressed the issue that many people on this website believe, wrongly, that one year of weather data can be used to draw conclusions about climate, global warming, models etc.
That is the only thing I care about.

The topic is covered in many, many other posts through the years. Why rehash it as an off-topic thread? If you accept Anthony’s offer of your own thread I will reply there on that and why or posts appear to be trolling (if not, then why were your posts about sea ice so blatantly wrong).

October 5, 2009 6:05 am

Roy Spencer,
Not to be overly critical but anytime you use models to try to explain one another vs real actions by the climate to expose a climate variation marker ( which from your article appears to be what you are saying ) is perhaps not the best idea in the world.
In other words the climate models have more then likely too many assumptions built into them. I don’t know since I do not have their code ( is the code actually published someplace?) I have built more then my share of models ( I call them simulations since they do not technically model what will happen but simulate what could happen ) on various subjects. The one thing I have found is that there is an immense amount of complexity even with a seemingly simple simulation.
However I do know this much. IF CO2 is assumed to increase temperature in a simulation… it will. No matter what variables you then feed it. So sorry if I sound slightly skeptical about the marker you have uncovered but… well again I may have misunderstood what your post is about. If so forgive my lecture on models and my feeling about the climate ones at this point.
I must also state that I do not make hugely complex models as a form of living, rather I make models to understand the data that I have and try to figure out efficiencies that can be gained by changing variables or introducing new variables to the system. I must also state that real life does not always mimic my results. Hence my skepticism of any model ( simulation ), whether I write it or someone else does. Though I am sure other peoples simulations are always spot on when compared to real life.

wws
October 5, 2009 6:06 am

“WUWT won this year’s “Best Science” category in the Weblog Awards. Click on their icon on the upper right of the page. Compare the results to RealClimate. ~dbs, mod.]”
I did just that, hadn’t before, and it was very informative. I had never heard of the site that got the second highest vote total (I won’t name names, interested people can find out for themselves) so I looked to see what it was about. I was quite surprised to find that (at least at this time) it had articles about meetings and parties, favorite wines, people they didn’t like, and t-shirt sales, but not a *single* article currently on the site that was actually about Science.
I had really hoped for something more. Disapointing, but a further confirmation that WUWT stands head and shoulders above all of its competitors as the place where REAL science is discussed.

hunter
October 5, 2009 6:12 am

The AGW true believers are hoping that by moving the goal posts, from ice extent to volume, they can distract people from the fact that
1 – ice volume was never an issue in earlier years
2- that measuring ice volume is very dubious
3- that ice volume is irrelevant to floating ice.
The AGW hysteria was always about ice pack extent, until ice pack extent began to grow. This is typical AGW community behavior, as we have seen regarding sea levels, temperatures, tropical cyclones, etc.
The Arctic ice pack acts to insulate the water and reflect sunlight.
But this is not about ice. It is about AGW true believer’s inability to deal with inconvenient facts.
They attack a man of proven integrity, like Dr. Spencer, by mixing his religious beliefs with his science, and ignorantly judging both.
No one who is a serious student of science is ever going to conclude that being a theist disqualifies someone from being a scientist.
Dr. Spencer ahs proven himself over many decades to be a capable ethical scientist, operating transparently and with integrity. As contrasted to, say, Briffa, Hansen, Schmidt, Mann, et al.

Gary
October 5, 2009 6:12 am

Might this mystery marker be analogous to something in the disruption/recovery cycle found in natural ecosystems? E.g., when a hurricane blows through a forest and it takes a while for the biota to recover to previous levels of productivity.

Kevin Kilty
October 5, 2009 6:17 am

Govidan et al, “Global climate models violate scaling of the observed atmospheric variability,” arXiv:cond-mat/0206040v1 [cond-mat:stat-mech] 4 Jun 2002.
These authors show that (as of 2002 anyway) AOGCMs do not exhibit the same statistics of fluctuations as the real atmosphere. The comparison data is atmospheric temperature, which the authors state shows correlation power law coefficient of about 0.7 for decadal time scales, and shows no evidence for any break from this behavior at longer time scales. It appears to be universal behavior.
In summary the climate models show excessive persistence for time periods up to about two years, and then the power-law characterizing persistence in these models goes much too flat indicating a lack of longer range correlation.
The authors suggest that the parameterization at sub-grid scale seems to be the source of the flaw, but it is interesting to me that the failure to replicate the power-law persists to the longest time-scales available to analyze in the model output. The observations suggest, I believe, that feedback processes are self-similar at long, and perhaps all time scales.

Jack Simmons
October 5, 2009 6:27 am

Peter Taylor (04:20:34) :

Here is my cent’s worth (which I outline in my book, ‘Chill’) and for which I would dearly like some discussion:

On my reading list.

October 5, 2009 6:52 am

Well, I suspect I know what Spencer’s secret line of research is but he need not worry about me stealing it out from under his nose since 1. I wouldn’t begin to know how to analyze that and 2. I’m just an amatuer anyway.
But watch out Roy, I’m on to you!
The estimate given hear also lines up fairly well with Nicola Scafetta’s second time constant:
http://www.fel.duke.edu/~scafetta/pdf/2007JD009586.pdf
as well as the estimate from aerosol data by Chylek et al. :
http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2007JD008740.shtml

Frank Lansner
October 5, 2009 6:54 am

Roy Spencer (05:03:12) :
to Frank Lansner: “Yes, I agree that the NCEP reanalysis data going back to 1940 are intriguing. Actually, the reanalysis plots you refer to DO show an increase in total atmospheric water vapor (most of it is in the boundary layer, below about 900 mb, where it HAS increased)…but the fact that it has decreased above 700 mb is more important for water vapor feedback. If those data reflect reality, then water vapor feedback probably has been negative during the warming of the last 50 years.”
Brilliant. Also its “nice” that the its only in the very lowest part of the atmosphere that water content in the atmosphere is slightly slightly bigger today than 1940, because according to Svensmark, its specifically the clouds in these lowest layers that has a cooling effect… nice.
K.R. Frank

David L. Hagen
October 5, 2009 7:03 am

Roy
Look forward to your final paper.
If you have not already, may I recommend evaluating the changes in global optical depth Ta as measured by satellites vs climate models.
Ferenc Miskolczi predicts a very low sensitivity of global optical depth Ta with the climate showing small variations about a thermodynamically stable value of Ta = 1.87. See the popular presentation/explanation: The new climate theory of Dr. Ferenc Miskolczi See figure 13:

“Using Miskolczi’s new theory we can calculate the influence an extra amount of greenhouse gas would have on the optical thickness. Starting with an optical depth of 1.86, and it follows that removal of all CO2 reduces the optical thickness to 1.73 for a perturbation of -7%. Conversely, a 100-fold increase in CO2 concentration increases the optical thickness to 2.29, a perturbation of +23%. . . . When we increase the CO2 to 3%, 100 times what we have now, the atmosphere increases its water content about 5% to regulate back to the optical depth of 1.86.”

Miskolczi predicts a DECLINE in optical depth with water vapor (which counters the CO2 increase). Conversely conventional climate models predict a high sensitivity of global optical depth with increase in greenhouse gases increasing optical depth, especially by water vapor.
I understood your earlier models to imply an optical depth closer to Miskolczi’s value. Recommend a joint experimental/theoretical effort with Miskolczi.

Yarmy
October 5, 2009 7:04 am

Leif Svalgaard (05:08:51) :
Perhaps Piers Corbyn will beat him to it.

It’ll be seaweed, I reckon. 🙂

jmbnf
October 5, 2009 7:07 am

I have a question that indirectly links to this. We hear about the missing sink for about half the anthropogenic CO2 that goes into the atmosphere. Mainly you hear that it is likely absorbed in the ocean but the ocean would seem to be so big that any measurement of ocean CO2 would likely have a Margin of Error larger than the sink. Not to mention whether we could detect it and how quickly CO2 gets used up by the aquatic plants.
With this ambiguity in mind it seems we might have a measure of the other possible sink of terrestrial plants. If the sink were plants would it not show up in the magnitude of the seasonal fluctuation in Atmospheric CO2? Would we get a deeper breathing biosphere?
The CO2 could cause some desert areas to be turned more tropical as CO2 contributes to both plant growth and efficient water use and retention. So would additional CO2, create a more robust biosphere that would change landcover so as to effect the Diurnal cycle by not letting heat escape at night. Would the more active biosphere be an example of a feedback that changes overtime?

Pamela Gray
October 5, 2009 7:07 am

hmmm. I wonder if there is information in the wriggle pattern. I have often noticed similarities in the relatively unsmoothed shapes. The flat areas , rising trend shapes, and falling trend shapes may have some regularity, some non-random predictive value in them. Maybe a consequent temperature correlation occurs depending on the pattern just prior to the temperature trend change? Cosmic ray wriggles have a pattern as well (flat-pointed-flat-pointed) that corresponds with the polarity and position of the butterfly pattern of spots (if I remember correctly).

JohnM
October 5, 2009 7:20 am

I we don´t really know the laws operating behind climate we can´t make any models whatsoever, and if we should know them we shouldn´t need any models.
Now if you like to play models seek wherever there are right forecasts, perhaps there are true laws behind which you can use for a succesful climate game.

cba
October 5, 2009 7:20 am

interesting comments. i can’t help but suspect Roy’s marker is in my pet area of interest on cloud cover fractions and albedo as that is ultimately the mechanism that determines the energy balance although i suspect i might not even understand this marker concept when finally presented.
Personally, I don’t like end of season tv series cliff hangers and this sort of thing is somewhat akin. Consequently, I agree for the most part on Leif’s comment that perhaps such things shouldn’t be mentioned until they are ready to be fully disclosed. I think though that while the blog might provide the fastest approach to being able to lay claim to something by publishing which may be important in some potential race between competing groups to be first, the blog might become problematic with peer reviewed journals claiming the information was already published. Of course the ideas in the blog will be reviewed, even practically shredded.
I really look forward to seeing Roy’s full presentation – even though I wish he had not tortured me with a “preview of coming attractions” first.

Michael J. Bentley
October 5, 2009 7:25 am

So let me get this right,
Dr. Spencer is listening to that tiny tick-tick-tich sound of a well-used car motor and deciding if it’s just an out-of-adjustment lifter or a rod bearing announcing its imminent catastrophic death.
From his message – I’d put tax dollars on that – who knows what it might deliver about climate?
Mike

philincalifornia
October 5, 2009 7:27 am

Claude Harvey (05:09:08) :
I must have missed something along the way. Where might I find the Arctic ice measurements of “volume” I’m seeing so confidently referenced in some of these responses? We know “extent” from the satellite readings, but all I’ve seen on “thickness” has been a bit a core sampling here and there, a few U.S.Army buoy readings and the results of a radar skid recently flown over a swath of the ice.
————————–
Has any data on this been published (the radar skid data) ??
RR Kempen, as Claude says, in order to compare ice volumes it would help to have numbers expressed as cubic meters (or kilometers), not a link to a map showing square meters (or kilometers).

philincalifornia
October 5, 2009 7:28 am

PS RR Kampen …. sorry !

Janice
October 5, 2009 7:31 am

OT – Anthony, thanks for your policy of cutting off religious remarks (pro or con). It maintains a certain decorum for the site.
/OT off
I have often wondered about the uncanny ability of animals to sense when there is going to be a bad winter. During the late summer here in the mountains of New Mexico, we have had a bear (about a 300 lb bear!!!) wander through the neighborhood, the raccoons have been desperately trying to get into the house (succeeding on several nights, which caused our dog great consternation), and I have seen deer, coyotes and skunks freely roaming about in broad daylight along the main thoroughfares of our small town. The hummingbirds have been migrating south already, emptying the feeder within 24 hours several times, the normal birds have been munching up the bird food as if there is no tomorrow, and the ravens are getting into trash bins with a ferocity not usually seen. In addition, my norwegian elkhound is shedding for the second time this year, meaning that her coat is growing in even heavier than usual.
Then I hear that there is a possible new marker for short-term change. So I wonder if the marker is based upon something biological. We so often hear that people are somehow changing climate, but couldn’t the opposite be true? What if climate changes cause certain biological processes to be slightly different? Some of the actions of the local fauna might be explained by something switching on or off in their biology, thus precipitating what appears to be abnormal actions. The scientists who are studying climate are looking at the “big picture” and ignoring a lot of the small markers, because weather is not climate.
Anyway, I’m probably way off course here, but wanted to post just in case I’ve stumbled across some vague something that is related to the new finding.

INGSOC
October 5, 2009 7:31 am

RR Kampen (05:09:15) :
“It might and it might all disappear next year and more, just like 2008 saw more than half of the multiyear ice from previous year disappear.
About two thirds of melting happens from below. Right now, even.”
Repeat this often, then cite yourself even more and you’ll get published in Nature and Scientific American! Two well known eco-theist publications.

October 5, 2009 7:44 am

RR Kampen (05:50:56) :

“First temperature rises due to long term Milankovitch (and such) effects. Vegetation and sea start releasing CO2 with a lag. This CO2 immediately helps to rise the temperature. From about a third of the climbing trajectory to interglacial maximum this CO2 becomes the dominant driver for further warming. The lag has then disappeared and temp and CO2 appear to rise simultaneously then – but in fact temp lags CO2 by a small time.”

C’mon, admit it. You just made that up.

RR Kampen
October 5, 2009 7:47 am

Re: hunter (06:12:45) :
“The AGW true believers are hoping that by moving the goal posts, from ice extent to volume, they can distract people from the fact that
1 – ice volume was never an issue in earlier years”

I might have been the first to pay attention to thickness of ice. Rest followed finally after the disaster of 2007.
Reason: in late summers 2005 and 2006 there suddenly appeared huge holes on the eastern (Siberian) side of the pack. Suddenly? Yes: a matter of days from pack to open areas the size of Britain.
The explanation is easy enough. Thickness of the ice determines its vulnarability to break-up and fast melt. When that sea-ice is reduced to half a metre it WILL break up and disappear very fast.
The same process could be witnessed on a great scale in 2007.
This is why ice volume is the only parameter that counts. Extent hides it. It means that coming spring the extent could be close to normal, while three months later all that ice might disappear in a matter of only two weeks; that is when this threshold thickness has been crossed and wholesale breakup occurs – like half the Arctic Sea showed in 2007.
Anyone living in a climate that sometimes puts ice on lakes can see the same phenomenon for himrself.
Extent is only interesting ref albedo and weather.
Measures of ice thickness have been increased bigtime autumn last year. But they have been done since at least 1921: by the Soviets, by landing planes on the ice (in places where there is sea today) and drilling.
Average thickness over more than half the Arctic Sea was 3-4 metres, today it is 1.20m. The disastrous reduction in extent followed, of course.

tallbloke
October 5, 2009 7:51 am

RR Kampen (05:50:56) :
From about a third of the climbing trajectory to interglacial maximum this CO2 becomes the dominant driver for further warming. The lag has then disappeared and temp and CO2 appear to rise simultaneously then – but in fact temp lags CO2 by a small time.

And the evidence supporting this story can be found where?

Jimmy Haigh
October 5, 2009 7:52 am

Janice (07:31:12) :
Speaking as a geologist – I know nothing about anything that isn’t a rock – I think you might have something there!

October 5, 2009 7:54 am

RR Kampen (07:47:22) :

“I might have been the first to pay attention to thickness of ice. Rest followed finally after the disaster of 2007.”

C’mon, admit it. You just made that up.

hunter
October 5, 2009 7:55 am

Kampen,
We can discuss the AGW tactic of moving goal posts later.

RR Kampen
October 5, 2009 7:55 am

INGSOC, Smokey and Smokey again – I would love to respond in unscientific kind, but I will keep to the rules on this forum which I happen to like (the rules ánd the forum). Which means I will pay no attention at all to any comment like yours here in future. Please spare your finger tips – or make yourself ridiculous.

tallbloke
October 5, 2009 8:02 am

Peter Taylor (04:20:34) :
If we are now entering a longer term cooling, then we should look for a signal that shows a) depletion of the northern gyres’ warm water pool; b) changes in cloud, storm tracks and wind patterns in relation to those gyres (especially the track of the jetstream). Ultimately, i suspect that it is the latter, which the work of Drew Shindell at NASA (I keep mentioning this but nobody seems to know what happened to the line of research) showed was correlated with a variable of solar output (UV light), that determines the long term pattern of build-up and depletion of upper ocean heat stores.

a) The slowing down of sea level rise as measured by satellite altimetry indicates ocean heat content is diminishing.
b)The jet stream is shifting back equatorwards, and the arctic ice extent recovery is indicative of this. The planet is gathering it’s cloak around it vital regions.

wws
October 5, 2009 8:03 am

> “I might have been the first to pay attention to thickness of ice. Rest followed > finally after the disaster of 2007.”
> C’mon, admit it. You just made that up.
78% of all message board statistics are made up on the spur of the moment.

October 5, 2009 8:05 am

Yarmy (07:04:33) :
Leif Svalgaard (05:08:51) :
Perhaps Piers Corbyn will beat him to it.

It’ll be seaweed, I reckon. 🙂

I use tea-leaves meself.

tallbloke
October 5, 2009 8:09 am

RR Kampen (07:47:22) :
This is why ice volume is the only parameter that counts. Extent hides it. It means that coming spring the extent could be close to normal, while three months later all that ice might disappear in a matter of only two weeks; that is when this threshold thickness has been crossed and wholesale breakup occurs – like half the Arctic Sea showed in 2007.

And less of it melted in 2008, and even less in 2009. Do you think the ice has been getting thicker or thinner in the last 2 years?

October 5, 2009 8:09 am

RR Kampen,
Then provide citations showing that you were likely “the first to pay attention” to ice thickness. If you go through the archives here you will see that this has been regularly discussed.
And your claim @05:50:56 almost makes it appear that CO2 has its own conscious motivations, forcing warming when convenient, then stepping back and watching other factors take over.
Please provide empirical evidence to back those claims. Real world evidence, not computer model-generated speculation. Thanks in advance.

RR Kampen
October 5, 2009 8:10 am

Re: tallbloke (07:51:10) :
“And the evidence supporting this story can be found where?”

E.g., http://icebubbles.ucsd.edu/Publications/CaillonTermIII.pdf .
Any short search will yield results, by the way.

MattN
October 5, 2009 8:12 am

There needs to be an IQ test to post on here….

RR Kampen
October 5, 2009 8:16 am

Re: Smokey (08:09:29) :
“Then provide citations showing that you were likely ‘the first’ to pay attention to ice thickness. ”
Might have been the first. Do you read Dutch? The citations are on Dutch fora.
“If you go through the archives here you will see that this has been regularly discussed.”
Then I might not have been the first. Unless the archive starts after autumn 2005, then I still might have been the first.

Charlie
October 5, 2009 8:17 am

I agree with Leif that a “teaser” like this isn’t appropriate scientific behavior.
What catches my attention is the non-overlap between the observed range and the range in the models. IF the index/marker has some physical significance, then it should lead to a revision of the various models.

RR Kampen
October 5, 2009 8:20 am

Re: tallbloke (08:09:19) :
“And less of it melted in 2008, and even less in 2009. Do you think the ice has been getting thicker or thinner in the last 2 years?”
In 2008, much thinner than in 2007.
In 2009, wait until the numbers come out. Couple of weeks. Given the unique hole that existed this year to the north of the gap between Ellesmere and Greenland, I expect another season of decay for the multiyear ice (thus the thickness) to have happened.

Janice
October 5, 2009 8:24 am

MattN (08:12:50) : “There needs to be an IQ test to post on here….”
Yes, but do we only allow the average IQ’s or just the endpoint IQ’s?

philw1776
October 5, 2009 8:26 am

Some folks miss what AGW skepticism entails. It does not mean a priori rejection of the AGW CO2 hypothethis. It would not mean a stubborn adherence to the Earth is not warming in the face of substantive contrary data. Skepticism should maintain an open mind to data that refutes any personal convictions or previously held hypothethes. Of course, such new data needs to be corroborated in case it’s a noise spike or anomaly.
What’s best about this blog besides Leif’s tutorials is Anthony’s policy of encouraging and welcoming contrary opinions.

Saaad
October 5, 2009 8:28 am

Slightly O/T but I think that SM’s latest thread on CA is possibly even more explosive than the initial exposure of the Yamal series. It seems that Gavin at RC has adoped “Tom P” as his new ‘guru’ on dendrochronology. It also seems that the mast Gavin is now pinning his “robustness” to – namely selection criteria via Tom P – is just as shaky as all those defunct hockey sticks RC put up recently, presumably as a smoke screen whilst they try and get their stories right….
http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7278
Steve’s laconic description of this latest debacle is just GOLD!!!!!!! Perhaps he would do a guest post on WUWT and precis the current state of the “Emperor’s Clothes”?

Jim
October 5, 2009 8:29 am

************************
RR Kampen (07:47:22) :
I might have been the first to pay attention to thickness of ice. Rest followed finally after the disaster of 2007.
******************************
By what stretch of the imagination was 2007 a disaster WRT ice? Were people killed. Did polar bears go extinct? Did a bunch of animals die or any species go extinct? What’s up with that??

October 5, 2009 8:36 am

RR Kampen says:
“About two thirds of melting happens from below. Right now, even.”
But that is not why Arctic ice thins. Melting has only a minor effect. Wind is the cause of ice loss and consequently, of sea ice thinning, because new ice forms over open water.
Polar ice is thinner now because the older, multi-year ice was blown out of the Arctic and melted in warmer waters. The ARGO buoys show that the deep ocean is cooling. Water temperature under the Polar ice really has little to do with thinning ice.

The decline in the Arctic sea ice from 2005 to 2007 was caused by winds, according to a NASA study. Atmospheric pressure conditions set up wind patterns that compressed the old thick sea ice, loaded it into the Transpolar Drift Stream and then increased its flow rate out of the Arctic along East Greenland. By this the perennial thick sea ice in March 2007 essentially was confined by winds to the Arctic Ocean north of Canada. Consequently, most of the Arctic Ocean was dominated by thinner seasonal ice than usual, melting faster. In addition, this thin ice is more easily compressed and responds more quickly to being pushed out of the Arctic by winds. This thinner seasonal ice conditions facilitated ice loss, leading to the 2007 record low amount of total Arctic sea ice. [source – click on “sea ice” on the left.]

AGW has nothing to do with ice thickness.

william
October 5, 2009 8:39 am

Kampen 3:53
Please look at the JAXA chart for today. 2009 sea ice is flat lining and not growing. 2009 may soon start to fall behind the 2008 and 2007 sea ice extents and the 2009 plot looks very atypical compared to the last 10 years of data.
Thanks
William

October 5, 2009 8:53 am

Also, the Antarctic — which must be taken equally into account with the Arctic when talking about ‘global’ sea ice — is well above average: click.
Global sea ice fluctuations have nothing to do with AGW. Further, current conditions are well within historical norms. It is alarmist speculation to claim that a minor trace gas rules the planet’s oceans, when there are perfectly normal explanations for what is happening.

Adam from Kansas
October 5, 2009 8:54 am

Speaking of warming has anyone seen that the arctic temps. on the DMI failed to go down significantly and bounced back up since that big uptick? Could it be related to the refreezing rate on JAXA not being very high right now and getting closer to the 2008 line? Does this mean the arctic temperature trend for October is going to look like a hockey stick unless it goes down significantly over the next weeks?

J. Bob
October 5, 2009 8:57 am

A Comparison of EMD & Fourier Filtering for Long Term Global Temperatures.
The following is a comparison of the Fourier Convolution methods and the Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD), used in signal analysis. The Fourier procedures were those recommended by Blackman & Tucky’s book “Measurement of Power Spectra”. These methods were later refined by Cooley & Tucky’s presentations on the Fast Fourier Transform, which they developed. This method was compared with the EMD analysis “On the Trend, De trending and Variability of Nonlinear and Non stationary Time Series” by Wu, Huang, Long and Peng. One of the advantages of the EMD method is the ability to evaluate stationary, non-stationary, linear and non-liners systems, while the Fourier methods are more for stationary processes. If there are wide variations between the EMD and Fourier results, it might indicates the data set is highly non-stationary or non-linear. If there are close comparisons, it might imply the data set would be “nearly stationary”, in which Fourier methods would be applicable.
The data set used was the 1856-2003 CRU set found at ftp://ftp.cru.uea.ac.uk/data/gat.csv
Figure1 shows the CRU temperature , along with a “De-trend” line. This “De-trend” line intersects both end point of the data set, and used to avoid “leakage” problems with Fourier convolution. Figure-2 (blue line) shows the difference, or error between the De-trend line and raw data, noting that both end points are equal to zero.
Figure-1 http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/cru-fig-1-VMn7J.gif
Figure-2 http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/cru-fig-2-ZnKrn.gif
Figure-3 http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/cru-fig-3-3ww7z.gif
The Fourier convolution is performed on this “error” from the “De-trend” line. In this case, the “error”, or difference, is inserted into a sample frame of 512 sample (powers of 2 reqts.). The rest of the frame is padded with zeros so no discontinuity is present at the sample end points, so “leakage” was not considered significant In order to check the computational accuracy, the input was “echoed” back. That is the input, was converted to the freq. domain, and back to the time domain, with no filtering, or “mask”. Figure 2 (red line) also shows the reconstruction of the original signal (blue line). In this case the reconstructed signal matched the input, indicating computational and convolution integrity.
Figure-3 is the power spectral density plot (actually 1/2 of it) that shows the energy contained in the various frequencies. Note that amplitudes get smaller at higher frequencies, while more energy is concentrated in the lower ones, stating about 0.14 cycles per year, or 8 year periods. This tapering off of energy at the higher frequency, also indicates “pre-whitening” is not needed.
Figure 4 shows the effect of a “mask” that removes frequencies above 0.025 cycles/year. Basically a low pass filter. Figure 5 shows the PSD filter or “masking” effect in the frequency domain.
Figure-4 http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/cru-fig-4-uFtYj.gif
Figure-5 http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/cru-fig-5-ZTrvV.gif
The resultant signal is a smoothed line, that shows the lower frequency content of the input, uncluttered by the higher frequencies.
He last step is to use the “de-trend” line and the filtered signal to re-construct the final filtered signal, as shown below in Figure 6.
Figure-6 http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/cru-fig-6-NMyC0.gif
Here the Fourier filtered signal (red line) is compared to the multidecadal EMD results (thick gray line). Note that there is very good comparison between the two plots, especially at the end points. Also the plot title should read “Fourier Reconstruction of CRU Data”.
One of the stated advantages of the EMD method, is that it works on stationary and non-stationary, linear and non-linear data sets. Based on the similarity of results, one could come to the conclusion that the CRU data set is, to use Blackman’s and Tukey’s words “nearly stationary”, in their book “Measurement of the Power Spectra”
Also shown is a example of using the more current Hadcet3 data set, shown in figure 7, along with the same 0,025 cycles/year Fourier filter.
Figure-7 http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/hadcet-fig-7-BGOn6.gif
In this case, there is more of a flattening at the end of the curve. Both data sets seem to show the ~ 60 year curve. From these two data sets, it would appear that we are in the beginning of a downward global temperature cycle.
300 YEAR DATA SETS
Two other data sets are also included for analysis. The first is a composite from the East English data (1659-2008). The second, Ave14, is an average of thirteen of some the longest western European temperature records plus the East English data set. These records were from the Rimfrost site: http://www.rimfrost.no/
A more detail description of this latter average is in the WUWT thread Forecasting the Earth’s Temperature 9/9/2009. Figures 8 and 9 show the Ave14 composite average analysis. Figure 9 also shows a 40 year moving average and 4 pole Chebushev filter (fc=0.025 cycles/year). Shifting the Chebushev filter back 180 deg. of 20 years, results in the curve almost on top of the Fourier line, except at the final end point. One method to partially correct for the phase shift is to run the analysis forward in time with a 2 pole filter, and then reverse it, in time, with the same filter. This is the “filtfilt” option in MATLAB. This method works well if the informative part is in the middle. Unfortunately, the point of interest (say the last 10-20 years) is at end point, where this method breaks down. This is shown in Figure 10.
Figure-8 http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/ave14-hadcet-raw-0Fio2.gif
Figure-9 http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/ave14-raw-smoothed-huBw1.gif
Figure-10 http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/ave14-smoothed-rev_cheb-j0m9Y.gif
The Figure 11 is the East English data alone, shown below.
Figure-11 http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/t_est_28-bGGxs.gif
In this case a more defined downward trend is seen in the recent years.
FINAL CONCLUSIONS
Fourier Convolution Filtering compared well with the EDM analysis.
Presence of a long term ~60 year cycle in the temperature
That there were some fairly warm temperatures in the late 1700’s in Europe
That there appears the beginning of a cooling trend in global temperatures
From the above analysis, it would appear, at least to this author, the Fourier does a very good job in matching the CRU EMD analysis. Hence it would also appear, unless some drastic changes in similar temperature data sets took place, the Fourier analysis would work just as well and produce reasonably accurate results. This would be true, especially at the most recent end point.
The second point is the persistent ~60 year period oscillation that continues to show up even in the earliest records. So something was going on, prior to the “greenhouse gasses” showed up.
The third point is temperatures, at least in western Europe went through periods where their temperature was very close to the present. If one were to look at a trend analysis, the long term slopes are also much flatter then looking at the 1850-2008 trend slopes.
The last point is the question of the flatting, or downward beginning of the ~60 Year plot. Assuming this plot will continue, and CO2 levels going up, it is hard to justify the correlation between the two.
Anyway, is appears that the earth does have a very slow long term increase, and the more recent changes are part of some “to be determined” natural cycle.
That’s one person’s train of thought.

Michael
October 5, 2009 9:02 am

The President’s science czar John P. Holdren should be fired for incompetence and failing to inform the President that the Earth has been getting colder. We have global cooling now since the Sun has been asleep with very few sunspots indicating very low Sun activity for more than 2 years now. Any high school student could figure this out. The satellite data and ARGOS ocean data confirm the planet is cooling down rapidly.
The President’s science czar is making Obama look like a dope and a buffoon. In addition Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” has been prove to be a work of science fiction with the infamous hockey stick graph being completely dis-proven. Further proof people are aware of the science is, Carbon credits that were trading at $7 in 2008 are now going for 10 cents each.
Educate yourself, the MSM won’t.

George E. Smith
October 5, 2009 9:07 am

“”” danappaloupe (23:56:14) :
I did some thinking about the discussion about the area of sea ice. Although you never clarified which numbers you are using to make you claim of a 28.7% increase in area, you still say I am wrong.
It doesn’t matter anyway. The real important characteristic of ice as it applies to climate change is the volume of ice, expressed in thickness. “””
That last statement of yours, danappaloupe , is that a statement of your opinion, or do you have observational data to support that statement.
I’m not sure everyone would agree with the statement; opinion or not.
I for one would never express the volume of anything as a thickness; the don’t even have the same dimensions; one is L^3, and the other is L^1 so they can’t possibly be the same.
But to the more important point of the ice effect on climate, it is claimed that the open water produces warming because the ocean absorbs almost as a black body; while the sea ice reflects sunlight and increases the albedo thus producing cooling.
Both of those phenomena are purely optical surface phenomena, and have very little to do with either thickness of the ice or the open water.
So show us some climate data that proves that it is NOT the ice coverage area that is the major effect of Arctic sea ice, and not the volume, which does not affect either the albedo, or the ocean absorption of sunlight; but is merely an indicator of how long some particular arctic condition has persisted. Given that we have seen massive short term changes from the ice advances of the 1979 era to the retreats of the 2007 minimum, and now a significant return towards normalcy; I don’t think that ice volume is a good indicator of anything but natural variability.
But that is just my opinion; I await your data supporting your claim.

Philip_B
October 5, 2009 9:09 am

Then I hear that there is a possible new marker for short-term change. So I wonder if the marker is based upon something biological.
I think the marker is for longer term changes (years?). Otherwise I too thought it would be a manifestation of a biological process. We know that organisms are adapted to take advantage of natural cycles, eg coral. My guess would biological processes over months to years affecting ocean albedo and the reflection spectrum, perhaps because they correlate with how the organisms affect ocean evaporation or CO2 absorption.

tallbloke
October 5, 2009 9:19 am

RR Kampen (08:10:43) :
Re: tallbloke (07:51:10) :
“And the evidence supporting this story can be found where?”

E.g., http://icebubbles.ucsd.edu/Publications/CaillonTermIII.pdf .
Any short search will yield results, by the way.

And this one confirms what all the others say: that co2 lags temperature all the way to the top of the curve. Fig 4 shows the 40Ar curve and the co2 coincident, but this is because the co2 curve has been shifted 800 years to the left.
Next!

Adam from Kansas
October 5, 2009 9:23 am

Also, I looked at Cryosphere’s Ice graphic, it seems like the winds are at it again causing ice to be blown away from Siberia and losing Ice extent that way only being made up by way of Ice growing towards Alaska and Eastern Siberia.
On the up side most of the area taken up by the ice is 90 percent concentrated or higher.

George E. Smith
October 5, 2009 9:26 am

“”” J. Bob (08:57:54) :
A Comparison of EMD & Fourier Filtering for Long Term Global Temperatures.
The following is a comparison of the Fourier Convolution methods and the Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD), used in signal analysis. The Fourier procedures were those recommended by Blackman & Tucky’s book “Measurement of Power Spectra”. These methods were later refined by Cooley & Tucky’s presentations on the Fast Fourier Transform, which they developed. “””
Not to be picky J.Bob, since typos are built into everybody’s keyboard; BUT
You are presumably referring to the Cooley-Tukey Fast Fourier Transform.
I had a mental blockage, until I figured out what you were referring to. I imagine that Google would direct you to many thousands of references to the Cooley-Tukey FFT. It is really more of a computing efficiency algorithm , than it is any new methodology; since Fourier Transform methods were well known long before CT-FFT. I use it daily in Optical Modulation Transfer Function calculations; but generally rely on Huygens rigorous integration methods for MTF determination.

Doug in Seattle
October 5, 2009 9:28 am

One can always tell when the faithful feel threatened – they snarl and snap like a cornered animal.

philincalifornia
October 5, 2009 9:41 am

RR Kampen
Since you claim to have been paying attention to ice thickness for so long, why don’t you post some numbers relating to ice volume ??
a – b = c
You claim to know something about “c”. Can you please post what “a” and “b” are in cubic meters, so we can check your math !!!

Fred Lightfoot
October 5, 2009 9:44 am

Artic sea ice????
Watching the Russian RT channel in English on Saturday they showed a one hour program on a team that have just returned from the North Pole (magnetic) driving 2 trucks (homemade), they had big flotation tires and trailers, never found any water but did encounter lots of broken pack ice. I have given up on the BBC, RT gives you the world news without the BS

George E. Smith
October 5, 2009 9:55 am

Since 1979, the “polar orbit” satellites have given us the capability (somewhat) for mapping the polar ice areas, although a fixed orbit crossing both poles isn’t too practical, so their are some blind spots in the coverage.
But when somebody starts trumpeting ICE THICKNESS well I smell a rat. There’s that teee core drilling problem again.
All the under sea ice filming i have ever seen shows wild bottom surface topology of the floating arctic ice, which is clearly realted to the top suface variability and the thickness. So immdeiately we have a problem of SAMPLING INTEGRITY.
A hand full of holes bored by some crazy north pole would be treckers do not make a good map of arctic ice volume. Now there have been some airborne scans that have yielded more data, but even those don’t come close to adeqate sampling of the arctic ocean total ice volume.
So I’ll take a pinch of salt with those ice volume numbers and trends, if you don’t mind; and as I already said; that is more a measure of how long some particular natural variability state has persisted.
And here at WUWT we are well in tune with climate/weather differences; which is why we don’t see evidence that climate is killing polar bears, although we’ve seen some weather do that; and the historic record is that polar bears have survived climate calamities much worse, than the 1979-2009 sea ice area changes; which don’t seem that remarkable at all.

Doug in Seattle
October 5, 2009 9:57 am

Fred Lightfoot (09:44:25) :
“I have given up on the BBC, RT gives you the world news without the BS”

Now that is really strange! The Russians giving objective news while the west produces propaganda.
The world has turned upside-down.

JamesG
October 5, 2009 10:05 am

Like everyone RR Kampen stops his hypothesis of the ice-age cycling just before the onset of cooling because the strong feedback theory requires a massive CO2 sink to appear out of nowhere. Just once i’d like someone to make a stab at describing the start of an ice age when this supposedly super-powerful heating agents are at their maximum extent. To AGWers half a theory is better than none it seems. [ok there is one lonely seismic event theory which I confess I dismiss].

wws
October 5, 2009 10:08 am

Michael wrote:
“The President’s science czar John P. Holdren should be fired for incompetence and failing to inform the President that the Earth has been getting colder.”
Actually he should be fired for his support of mandatory population control laws. http://tinyurl.com/mo5ssu
“The President’s science czar is making Obama look like a dope and a buffoon.”
In all fairness, he doesn’t require any help.

Wondering Aloud
October 5, 2009 10:15 am

I wonder what he is looking at? If the short term feedback is negative I don’t see a mechanism by which long term feedback can produce a net effect larger than the radiation effect was to begin with; so how can we get a greater than 1C Rise?
Am I wrong? If the feedback effect is negative don’t we get limited by thermodynamics to a maximum rise for a doubling of CO2 of about 1 C?

Vincent
October 5, 2009 10:36 am

RR Kampen,
You like to talk about ice thickness now that ice extent is increasing. Well, maybe you’re right, maybe ice is getting thinner at the same time it is growing in extent. But, you then imply that this is somehow unprecendent, and portends to a great catastrophic global heating that is now unfolding. I don’t know if you’re right or not, but I can’t help but question that sea ice isn’t just doing what it has been doing for millenia – thickening and thinning, expanding and contracting. I don’t see any evidence that we are living in unprecendent times – other than in the explosion of hysteria, that is.
“First temperature rises due to long term Milankovitch (and such) effects. Vegetation and sea start releasing CO2 with a lag. This CO2 immediately helps to rise the temperature. ”
Eh, I have a question. If this CO2 IMMEDIATELY raises temperature, then please explain why there is an 800 year delay until CO2 levels start to climb?

jon
October 5, 2009 10:36 am

Fred Lightfoot … was that Russian trucks in Canada (magnetic north pole)?

JohnM
October 5, 2009 10:43 am

tallbloke (01:30:31) :
“It could be to do with atmospheric circulation, atmospheric angular momentum anyone?”
Something like that: My bet is on “length of the day”.

Mr. Alex
October 5, 2009 10:47 am

Doug in Seattle (09:57:15) :
“Now that is really strange! The Russians giving objective news while the west produces propaganda.
The world has turned upside-down.”
True, indeed!
The general opinion of the Russians is that climate change is natural and now entering a general cooling phase due to oceanic currents/solar influences.
I’m not sure what the Western experts’ opinions on the Russian scientists’ research is, but I’m sure it would be interesting if Khabibullo Abdusamatov would discuss his views on the matter here on WUWT.

maz2
October 5, 2009 10:48 am

Goreacle Report: What’s a “willies”?
…-
“Lawrence Solomon: The end is near
The media, polls and even scientists suggest the global warming scare is all over but the shouting
The great global warming scare is over — it is well past its peak, very much a spent force, sputtering in fits and starts to a whimpering end. You may not know this yet. Or rather, you may know it but don’t want to acknowledge it until every one else does, and that won’t happen until the press, much of which also knows it, formally acknowledges it.
I know that the global warming scare is over but for the shouting because that’s what the polls show, at least those in the U.S., where unlike Canada the public is polled extensively on global warming. Most Americans don’t blame humans for climate change — they consider global warming to be a natural phenomenon. Even when the polls showed the public believed man was responsible for global warming, the public didn’t take the scare seriously. When asked to rank global warming’s importance compared to numerous other concerns — unemployment, trade, health care, poverty, crime, and education among them — global warming came in dead last. Fewer than 1% chose global warming as scare-worthy.
The informed members of the media read those polls and know the global warming scare is over, too. Andrew Revkin, The New York Times reporter entrusted with the global warming scare beat, has for months lamented “the public’s waning interest in global warming.” His colleague at The Washington Post, Andrew Freedman, does his best to revive public fear, and to get politicians to act, by urging experts to up their hype so that the press will have scarier material to run with.
The experts do their best to give us the willies. This week they offered up plagues of locusts in China and a warning that the 2016 Olympics “could be the last for mankind” because “the earth has passed the point of no return.” But the press has also begun to tire of Armageddon All-The-Time, and (I believe) to position itself for its inevitable attack on the doomsters.” (More)
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fpcomment/archive/2009/10/03/lawrence-solomon-the-end-is-near.aspx

John Galt
October 5, 2009 10:54 am

What makes a climate trend?
The answer seems to be

“As many years as it takes to show our claims are correct. Years that don’t support our claims don’t count.”

Is 30 years a trend? It is when we try to claim AGW? How about 30 years of warming, and then 10 years of not warming? Does it have to not warm or cool for 30 years to balance that out?
The answer is never in the trend. The answer is in what is actually causing the observed climate. A good question is why isn’t the 10-year trend following the climate models? Another good question is how reliable is the data used to claim the 30-year warming trend?
[Sorry, I forgot the close my blockquote. I preview before posting would be helpful. Still, sorry about the oversight.]
[Reply: WordPress doesn’t provide a preview capability. ~dbs, mod.]

ShrNfr
October 5, 2009 11:05 am

Truth is what works. – William James
If Dr. Spencer has an insight into things that they predict the future more accurately, I congratulate him. What we do know is that the current IPCC models do not work well at all. I am sure his stuff will not be the last word. In science, nobody does except nature.

October 5, 2009 11:05 am

“If you want to discuss models, that’s fine and OK by me. Otherwise cease, since we don’t allow religious discussions on WUWT. Read the policy page, the link under the masthead.” – A
Amen!
oops

Vangel
October 5, 2009 11:08 am

Why is it that the reported warming since the 1930s is accepted as real? It certainly does not show up in the American data. And given the fact that Anthony’s weather station audit revealed a number of serious issues and the fact that CRU claims that there is no raw global data set I see no reason to accept the Global Temperature graph as an accurate representation of anything meaningful.

DGallagher
October 5, 2009 11:14 am

Remembering Dr. Spencer’s past work and current position, I would hazard a guess that the index is a ratio of the rate of change of the anomoly of radiation to the rate of change of the temperature anomoly.
That is, the index is a measure of how quickly more radiation results from a sudden change in temperature.
Dr. Spencer gave a hint in that he mentions that climate models are sluggish in reacting to temperature changes, and given the nature of his work, I would assume that he referring to a reaction in the amount of SW & LW rejected (observed by AQUA).
Apparently, when a temperature anomaly starts to build, nature changes the amount of SW & LW radiation from Earth rather quickly, whereas climate models are slower to react. Perhaps the slower a model is to react to such changes, the more warming it will predict in the long term.
My guess

Michael
October 5, 2009 11:17 am

Mens News Daily
Climate Data: Top Secret
http://mensnewsdaily.com/2009/10/03/climate-data-top-secret/

matt v.
October 5, 2009 11:28 am

In the study noted below, the authors confirmed that the Arctic
warmed during the 1970–2008 period by a factor of two to
three faster than the global mean in agreement with model
predictions but the reasons was not be entirely anthropogenic
Here is what they said:
Understanding Arctic temperature variability is essential
for assessing possible future melting of the Greenland ice
sheet, Arctic sea ice and Arctic permafrost. Temperature trend
reversals in 1940 and 1970 separate two Arctic warming
periods (1910–1940 and 1970–2008) by a significant 1940–
1970 cooling period. Analyzing temperature records of the
Arctic meteorological stations we find that (a) the Arctic
amplification (ratio of the Arctic to global temperature trends)
is not a constant but varies in time on a multi-decadal time
scale, (b) the Arctic warming from 1910–1940 proceeded
at a significantly faster rate than the current 1970–2008
warming, and (c) the Arctic temperature changes are highly
correlated with the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation
(AMO) suggesting the Atlantic Ocean thermohaline
circulation is linked to the Arctic temperature variability on
a multi-decadal time scale.
In my judgement our research would be better focused on cofirming the impact of known natural variables affecting our climate [like AMO,NAO , ENSO/PDO, ETC] than on the impact of the nebulous carbon dioxide . We keep jumping from one lily pad[someone’s unproven and undeveloped idea ] to another lily pad instead of seriously blogging what we already know to be valid areas of study based firm data. We are scattering our focus too much
http://www.lanl.gov/source/orgs/ees/ees14/pdfs/09Chlylek.pdf

vg
October 5, 2009 11:34 am

climate audit is being flooded again maybe WUWT can post here?

Pete W
October 5, 2009 11:35 am

Why 30 years?
Earths climate has large natural oscillations that are well known to last more than 10 years. PDO, IPO, I’m not sure what else (I’m a novice.)

JohnM
October 5, 2009 11:46 am

Mr. Alex (10:47:16) :
BTW: Russia to sell natural gas to the US:
http://english.pravda.ru/business/companies/05-10-2009/109673-gazprom-0

October 5, 2009 11:52 am

OnT, but I like the mystery aspect, here. Yes, Leif, you’re right, it ain’t really science, but science has been knocked into a cocked hat, lately, so what the heck?
I considered a large range of possible short-term-to-long-term woo-woo indicators: Earth-Lunar distance, Lunar surface temperatures, annual UFO count, total atmospheric water content, polar bear population, optical density, surface & sub-surface sea temperatures, and so forth. In a way, since this is all supposed to devolve around GCM’s, I feel like I’m participating on a moot debate about how many angels can dance the kazatsky on a PhD’s pate.
So (assuming this conceptual “marker” isn’t a total will-o’-the-wisp) I’ll go with the ratio between rates of rise and fall of either temperature OR optical density, associated with a sudden warming event.

hunter
October 5, 2009 12:06 pm

Vincent,
And since it does appear that CO2 does lag, where are the positive feedbacks triggered by CO2?
How is it that in the past CO2 has risen and not triggered the AGW predictions of tipping points?
It seems very clear that the AGW theories do not hold up well.
AGW does not correctly describe how greenhouse gasses work in the climate.

philincalifornia
October 5, 2009 12:27 pm

Peter Taylor (04:20:34) :
Nice post. It made me wonder if you ever get together with fellow Brit and WUWT poster Stephen Wilde to discuss this over a pint.
If so, I’d like to listen in next time I’m across the pond. I’m buying. Cheers.

william
October 5, 2009 12:32 pm

Vincent
CO2 increases in the past did not trigger tipping points because the increase in CO2 took place very gradually over hundreds of years. Man has has CO2 levels more in 50 years than nature had done so in 1000 years. So far the climate is just beginning to catch up with that rapid increase and that’s why temp is predicted to go up significantly over the next 100 years. Nothing you’ve pointed out indicates any flaw in what the models predict.
Thanks
William

Michael
October 5, 2009 12:33 pm

You would think Real Climate would have something new to say.
Do they think by keeping quiet it will make it go away?

Michael
October 5, 2009 12:43 pm
Charles Higley
October 5, 2009 12:48 pm

I sometimes have trouble with all of the concern over the doubling of CO2 when it is not really something we can accomplish. If it is going to happen naturally, then it is more of an academic exercise in predicting the changes to which we must adapt.
As CO2 partitions 50 to 1 between water and air, we would have to add 51 times the CO2 to the atmosphere (as it is soaked up by the oceans) needed to physically double the CO2 in the atmosphere. There is not enough available carbon to do this. One estimate is that, if we burned everything, we might raise it by 20%.
Thus, it would seem that the climate sensitivity discussion is more of an academic exercise, doubling being not a realistic expectation and, particularly so, as it would not be our fault and not something we should act upon with the idea that we could alter developments. As CO2 has been much higher in the recent past (even 50-90% higher than now at times) and we cooled very nicely, assuming an ongoing effect might be premature.
Where in these discussions is the inclusion of the tie between temperature and CO2 levels in which CO2 does not drive the temperature, but follows the temperature? Records from ice cores, albeit not quantitative, clearly show that temperature repeatedly collapses while CO2 is high or still rising. The question of sensitivity becomes vague when the linkage is so weak. I stand confused.
Basically, it would appear that CO2 and temperature do not correlate over the long term as otherwise it would have been steadily climbing since the Little Ice Age and it has not – it has fluctuated widely.
Just some thoughts amidst so much discussion.

Jeff L
October 5, 2009 12:55 pm

OK,
This is a long post , but take the time to read it.
Here is some basic math – check it out & see if it makes sense.
I have done this basic math before & what I find interesting is that it supports Dr. Spencer’s idea above. Dr Spencer, please comment on this validity of what follows :
1) I think they key conclusion you have above is :
“For a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide, the satellite measurements would correspond to about 1.6 to 2.0 deg. C of warming”
2) From multiple sources, CO2 concetrations in 1880 were about 290 PPM
So, a doubling of CO2 from that would be 580 PPM & that should correspond to net increase of 1.6 to 2.0 deg C warming according to the Spencer hypothesis.
3) Temperature & CO2 concentrations are logarithmic function in theory, so we can use the two points above to construct a logarithmic funtion to predict warming from 1880 to 2000.
4) CO2 concentration in 2000 was 369 PPM from Mauna Loa data
5) Case 1 : 1.6 deg F increase per doubling
A) data points : 290 ppm, 13.72 deg C (from graph at top of post)
580 ppm, 15.32 deg C (= 13.72 deg C + 1.6)
B) Curve fit : (where F(x) = temp & x = CO2 ppm
F(x) = 2.308313*ln(x)+0.63214
C) Solve for 2000 Temp (at 369 PPM)
= 14.28 deg C
D) Increase in Temp
= 0.56 deg C (=14.28-13.72
6) Case 2 : 2.0 deg F increase per doubling
A) data points : 290 ppm, 13.72 deg C (from graph at top of post)
580 ppm, 15.72 deg C (= 13.72 deg C + 2.0)
B) Curve fit : (where F(x) = temp & x = CO2 ppm
F(x) = 2.885390*ln(x)-2.6399818
C) Solve for 2000 Temp (at 369 PPM)
= 14.42 deg C
D) Increase in Temp
= 0.70 deg C (=14.42-13.72)
7) So based on the initial statement, we should expect to have seen between 0.56 and 0.70 deg C warming between 1880 & 2000.
8) Based on the graph at the top of the post, the temp anom in 1880 was about -0.2 deg C and the temp anom in 2000 was about + 0.45 deg C (both 5 year running average).
9) This is a difference of 0.65 deg C and right in the expected range of 0.56 to 0.70 deg C , thus it would appear to me that the observed data is right in line with the Spencer hypothesis of 1.6 – 2.0 deg C per doubling.
10) I have done this calculation before by doing a logarithmic curve fit to the observed temperature data , then using the resultant least squares fit formula to calculate the temperature change per doubling & always came up with a similar number – which is substantially less than the IPCC #’s – yet another reason I have been skeptical.
Dr Spencer (& others) – what do you think?
Of course, the other fun calculation to do is to plug into this equation the potential temp. decrease from “global carbon governance”. Here’s a quick take on that :
1) IPCC thinks we are heading towrds 600 PPM (+/-) by the year 2100 (although there are some who certainly question that number, but that is a whole different discussion).
2) That is 230 PPM above where we are at now.
3) Let’s say we can do a 20% reduction – which would be painful to say the least – consider that we have had about a 6% reduction (I believe – might need that # checked) from the current economic downturn – so at a 20% reduction, we are talking a 3 fold decrease in energy consumption compared to what we have seen the last year – even with alternative energy replacements, this would be painful.
4) 20% of 230 PPM is 46 PPM – so look at the cases of 554 PPM vs 600 PPM
5) In running the equations above, you will find that the net effect will be between 0.19 deg C and 0.23 deg C reduction from where we would go with no action at all
6) Folks, that’s 0.3 to 0.4 deg F over the next 100 years. The fact that we are even having this discussion on considering strangling the world’s economy – and restricting energy sources that have brought more prosperity, more longevity & higher quality of life to humanity in the last 100 years than in the entire world’s history before it – is simply astounding. And for what – a 0.3 to 0.4 deg decrease in temperature. We have adapted to a 0.8 deg F change over the last 100 years without the blink of an eye. I am not worried in the slightest that we can adapt to another 0.3 to 0.4 deg F over the next 100 years. I am highly concerned about what the policy makers of this world could do though- they are far more dangerous to the well being of this planet & it’s citizens than CO2 will ever be.

October 5, 2009 12:56 pm

Off topic…
Here the definitive article on how insolation correlates to treering growth:
http://www.biocab.org/Insolation_Treerings_Growth.html
A graph from raw data in the article and a short comment in the section Conclusions about how the mechanism of photorespiration works in C3 plants, that is, in Siberian Larch trees, bristlecone pines, Canadian pines, etc.,
were added.

Smoking Frog
October 5, 2009 1:06 pm

Someone in this thread said that trolls never think they’re trolls. If that’s true, it’s because they’re stupid. That might seem too obvious to bother stating, but what I mean is that they seem genuinely to believe that their thought processes about financial interests, someone’s religion, etc., and their own superficial knowledge of scientific findings are somewhere near being as good as it gets. This is either the first or one of the very few times I’ve ever posted here, and there’s a good reason for it: Relatively speaking, I don’t know what I’m talking about, even though I know far more than people I interact with in society. The troll’s knowledge doesn’t even rise to that standard.

Steve (Paris)
October 5, 2009 1:24 pm

Jeff L (12:55:26) :
Maths works for me but you need to clarify why you are mixing your Fs and Cs
Took a little extra time as I was puzzled by the mixture

October 5, 2009 1:26 pm

william (12:32:25),
What you believe about the source of the rise in CO2 isn’t true. Yes, human activity has contributed to CO2 levels. But most of the increase is natural.
Please refute Jeff L’s post @12:55:26, if you can. But if it stands, your comment is conjecture. Lots of people repeat what they hear in the media 24/7.
I think you need some perspective: click. Note the very small human CO2 contribution, compared with the enormous natural CO2 emissions.
For every CO2 molecule emitted by human activity, about 34 are emitted by the planet naturally. The year to year fluctuations in natural CO2 emissions can be greater than the human contribution, so how could anyone measure the human impact on climate from one molecule out of 34?
In fact, they don’t actually measure it; it is too small. What they do is program computer models, which give results based on the programming. But models fail to take into account factors such as clouds and an expanding biosphere, which feeds on the extra CO2. There is a natural delay as the biosphere expands, but there is no problem caused by human CO2 emissions. Certainly, agricultural productivity is enhanced.
Models are notoriously unable to predict the climate. But it is the models that the AGW hypothesis is based on, not the real world.
And based on this computer model speculation, the UN/IPCC intends to tax the air we breathe.
Glad you’re here, learning the truth. This site is constantly converting people who learn misinformation into scientific skeptics. If someone tells you something, make them convince you. Don’t just assume they’re right. Organizations, including the media, have ulterior motives. And they are not your friends.

Vincent
October 5, 2009 1:43 pm

William,
“CO2 increases in the past did not trigger tipping points because the increase in CO2 took place very gradually over hundreds of years.”
So? This has always been the rallying cry of alarmists, but the models impute a postive feedback to the CO2 forcing based on the absolute level, not on how quickly or slowly it gets there. It is based around forcing F = 5.35 * Ln (ratio of CO2 change). If you go back to the mesozoic era, CO2 levels were around 2000 ppm yet some would have us believe that levels of a mere 450 ppm will trigger tipping points with catastrophic consequences.
You have to show why the laws of physics that drive radiative forcing act differently for CO2 levels that take a thousand years to reach 450 ppm compared to taking a mere century.

Jeff L
October 5, 2009 2:04 pm

Steve (Paris) (13:24:29) :
Jeff L (12:55:26) :
Maths works for me but you need to clarify why you are mixing your Fs and Cs
…opps a little typo – cases should be 1.6 deg C & 2.0 deg C per doubling ,tying to Dr Spencer’s #’s -Sorry for the confusion
JL

Claude Harvey
October 5, 2009 2:09 pm

Re: jorgekafkazar (11:52:46) :
“I feel like I’m participating on a moot debate about how many angels can dance the kazatsky on a PhD’s pate.”
Now there’s a sane voice amidst a cacophony of tail-chasing dogs!

vg
October 5, 2009 2:21 pm

OT but CA is hitting big time media see andy revkin’s dot earth blog

Tim Clark
October 5, 2009 2:35 pm

RR Kampen (05:50:56) :
First temperature rises due to long term Milankovitch (and such) effects. Vegetation and sea start releasing CO2 with a lag.

I haven’t the time to read all the comments, so if someone addressed this, forgive me. But I going to need a citation for vegetation releasing CO2 with rising temperatures if I’m going to consider it, please. Someone else can address the sea part. Being a landlubber, I don’t like oceans.

TerryBixler
October 5, 2009 2:37 pm

Jeff L
Nice math, but AGW/CO2 is not about science it is about political control.

tata
October 5, 2009 2:41 pm

Looks like september was the hottest on record, according to UAH AMSU Daily Temps: http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/

David Y
October 5, 2009 2:52 pm

Completely OT, but is this graph legitimate or might there be some capture/input errors? (I know others have asked about this; please accept my apologies if it’s already been addressed in another thread.)
http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

Richard
October 5, 2009 2:58 pm

Leif Svalgaard (05:08:51) : I generally think it is a bad idea to conduct science by press releases or hints or teasers. ..This is Vaporware. .. A blog can serve as a sounding board for new ideas .. But this way [giving us a teaser] does not serve that purpose.
What is the way then Leif to garner new ideas? People do not release the ideas they are researching generally before they have finished.
Leif Svalgaard (05:32:33) :
kim (05:12:51) : Maybe he’s looking for further pointers, as do you, Leif.
At least I lay out my train of thought and what I’ve got. Not just just in blogs, but ..

So you do also Leif.

Graeme Rodaughan
October 5, 2009 3:03 pm

Keith Minto (23:17:59) :
Graeme Rodaughan (23:04:08) :
Good points that you make, but, in another world I inhabit we say “Don’t feed the Troll”

Thanks Keith – posted before I saw the signs…
Cheers G

Graeme Rodaughan
October 5, 2009 3:04 pm

Michael (23:33:03) :
I like to use the price of a carbon credit as my marker. Money talks, bullshit walks. Just my 10 cents.

10 Cents or 2 Cents – Isn’t that what a tonne of Carbon is worth these days…
What a bubble!

Richard
October 5, 2009 3:11 pm

wws (06:06:32) : “WUWT won this year’s “Best Science” category in the Weblog Awards. Click on their icon on the upper right of the page. Compare the results to RealClimate. ~dbs, mod.]”
I did just that, hadn’t before, and it was very informative. I had never heard of the site that got the second highest vote total (I won’t name names, interested people can find out for themselves) so I looked to see what it was about. I was quite surprised to find that (at least at this time) it had articles about meetings and parties, favorite wines, people they didn’t like, and t-shirt sales, but not a *single* article currently on the site that was actually about Science.

wws – what on earth are you talking about? The second highest vote was got by Pharyngula, which is by PZ Myers, a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris and all about science and none of the stuff you are talking about.
I had really hoped for something more. Disapointing, but a further confirmation that WUWT stands head and shoulders above all of its competitors as the place where REAL science is discussed.
That sarcasm is based on an obviously delusional visit to some hallucinationatory site.

Michael
October 5, 2009 3:16 pm

I’m getting a bit tired of trying to repair peoples cognitive dissonance. Some peoples belief systems are so ingrained that when presented with the irrefutable facts, they still cannot bring themselves to believing the scientific truth.
Perhaps the only way to fix them is with reincarnation as an amoeba should that be a viable option. Start all over and learn everything you should have after your current go round on Earth.

October 5, 2009 3:27 pm

Richard (14:58:41) :
People do not release the ideas they are researching generally before they have finished.
Worse, they seem to release their results before they have finished…

Graeme Rodaughan
October 5, 2009 3:29 pm

hunter (06:12:45) :
The AGW true believers are hoping that by moving the goal posts, from ice extent to volume, they can distract people from the fact that
1 – ice volume was never an issue in earlier years
2- that measuring ice volume is very dubious
3- that ice volume is irrelevant to floating ice.
The AGW hysteria was always about ice pack extent, until ice pack extent began to grow. This is typical AGW community behavior, as we have seen regarding sea levels, temperatures, tropical cyclones, etc.
The Arctic ice pack acts to insulate the water and reflect sunlight.
But this is not about ice. It is about AGW true believer’s inability to deal with inconvenient facts.
They attack a man of proven integrity, like Dr. Spencer, by mixing his religious beliefs with his science, and ignorantly judging both.
No one who is a serious student of science is ever going to conclude that being a theist disqualifies someone from being a scientist.
Dr. Spencer ahs proven himself over many decades to be a capable ethical scientist, operating transparently and with integrity. As contrasted to, say, Briffa, Hansen, Schmidt, Mann, et al.

Agreed: Shifting Goal post once nature does not comply with the Official Consensus is a proven tactic… In Australia the official line has moved from measuring atmospheric temps (since they are going down) to Ocean Temps… (at least until 2005).
REF: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=9075&page=0

kim
October 5, 2009 3:35 pm

Richard 14:58:41
Yes, and the process is all good. Call it ‘Distributed Intuition’.
====================================

CodeTech
October 5, 2009 3:56 pm

Richard, wws’s assessment of “Pharyngula” exactly matched mine.
In fact, I was so disgusted by the raw hatred and partisan politics exhibited there when I looked around last year that I’ve never had any reason to go back.
Science? At “Pharyngula”? Yep, that’d be an obviously delusional visit to some hallucinationatory site.

Richard
October 5, 2009 4:05 pm

Back to the article – here are my thoughts:
The “SENSITIVITY’ of the climate to CO2 is the crucial question. In laymans terms what will happen to the Global Temperature of you double the quantity of CO2 in the atmosphere.
High sensitivity – it will shoot up by ~ 4.5C,
Low Sensitivity ~ 1C,
Insensitive ~ 0 (It wont matter much, other natural causes such as the Suns’ irradiance, albedo etc will completely swamp any effects of CO2)
Current Observational Evidence – Low sensitivity to insensitive: Over a century when the Earth has recovered from the Little Ice Age the temperatures have climbed by a scant 0.6C while CO2 climbed by over 30%. In the past 10 years temperatures have declined slightly while CO2 risen by ~ 5%.
Question – Will this continue or is this just a pause, a prelude to runaway global warming which will suddenly catch up, as predicted by Hansen, the MIT climate playstation modeling dartplaying wonderboys etc.?
Can the info from current roll of dice be plugged into the playstaion modeling game to crack the code and beat the house?
Dr Spencer is excited – he thinks maybe he has got it. Best of luck Dr Spencer. I wish you all success. Let us know when you have done it.
In the meantime here is my two penny worth on the outcome. (High Sensitivity, Low Sensitivity, Insensitive). I lean towards Low Sensitivity to Insensitive, why? –
Because I believe that the Earth’s Climatic system, is highly homeostatic, like almost all systems we see in nature. The stars form and live long stable lives. The Earth’s temperatures rise but then they fall again.
From a radiative balance system, and arguing from first principles, this also makes sense. Assuming the suns radiation and everything else remains constant, if we just heat up the earth by more “greenhouse effect” of CO2, then more will radiate out than before bringing things in balance again.
Then there is also the question- will things remain totally in balance if the Earth heats up slightly? Probably not. Other things like water vapour and clouds will act to dampen the effects. Also the Earth’s biosphere is a considerable player in the temperature climate game. This biosphere (of which we are only a part) also acts to try and keep status quo.
The same cannot be said for cooling. If the incoming radiative heat gets less over time, as it seems to be gradually doing, then the Earth will cool (gradually) over time.

Richard
October 5, 2009 4:08 pm

Leif Svalgaard (15:27:01) :
Richard (14:58:41) : “People do not release the ideas they are researching generally before they have finished.”
Worse, they seem to release their results before they have finished…

Not their results Leif – just their hunches, maybe the results wont mach their hunches, maybe they will.

Wondering Aloud
October 5, 2009 4:19 pm

RR Kampen
This post
“First temperature rises due to long term Milankovitch (and such) effects. Vegetation and sea start releasing CO2 with a lag. This CO2 immediately helps to rise the temperature. From about a third of the climbing trajectory to interglacial maximum this CO2 becomes the dominant driver for further warming. The lag has then disappeared and temp and CO2 appear to rise simultaneously then – but in fact temp lags CO2 by a small time.”
Someone made fun of it with a “you just made that up” comment but the truth is you didn’t. This is a notorious claim often used by the AGW religion. It is also completely unsupported by the data but none the less is widely made.
As has been shown and discussed on previous threads here even the idea of CO2 increasing and adding to the warming is not supported. In fact cooling occurs routinely in the record during periods of at or near peak CO2 levels.
A claim that CO2 caused cooling would fit the paleo record better.

a jones
October 5, 2009 4:25 pm

I agree.
If you want to chuck a half formed idea about this kind of blog is ideal, all sorts of well informed people with all sorts of experience and ideas only too willing to discuss and debate.
Which helps test, try and shape up or reject notions which need further development.
But if you have something worth publishing then do so, on here if you wish. Do not do a dance of the seven veils, that is for novelists, movie makers and the like. For the hype rarely lives up to the reality.
Kindest Regards

DGallagher
October 5, 2009 4:25 pm

Leif,
I love you man, but I really think that Dr. Spencer is doing his science where the rubber meets the road ie, Earths radiation vis a vis transiate warming and cooling. That is where this whole warming/cooling thing is happening.
Dr. Spencer doesn’t present his new found index as absolute science, he is only clueing us in to what he’s looking at right now.
Is that “classical science”, you are right, it is not. But since when has science had such important ramifications? Also Dr. Spencer is developing “tech groupies” (like me) I enjoy him taking us along on his thought processes.
Even if you don’t like a reputiable scientist “teasing”, you should agree that when Dr. Spencer gets where he is going, it’s pretty solid science.

J. Bob
October 5, 2009 4:29 pm

George E. Smith
Sorry for the typo’s.
As Obi-won-Kanobe said, “the MTF, that’s a term I’ve not heard for a long time”. It’s been a long time since I was involved in non-linear optics, & 2D analysis. And yes I did use the FFT for the conversion to and from the frequency domain in the above analysis.
What I liked about Fourier filtering, looking at long term temperature sets, was it extended the filtered results to the end points. That is, closer to the most recent end point, better then the MOV or standard recursive filters. Besides I could do the analysis on EXCEL using VB, as I gave away my MATLAB and statistical processing packages away years ago.
Any comments on the results?

October 5, 2009 4:41 pm

The Economist has bought into the CO2 scare hook, line and sinker. You don’t have to register to vote for a comment on this page: click. Pick your favorite[s]. Or, register and set them straight.

rbateman
October 5, 2009 4:44 pm

Roy Spencer (04:51:16) :
Ok, I’ll take a shot at it.
The CO2 warming models predict changes in the heat energy transportation systems. They do this wrongly by making CO2 a ferocious warming feedback.
Along comes these sudden warming events, SST’s & El Nino’s and they do persist then fade off. But, in the absence of reversal effects, they leave the Earth warmer. They ‘step it up’.
What I believe you are up to is to use the changes to the Earth as predicted by the models to look for the natural ‘smoking guns’.
One could do the same by making a forced cooling model and look for what it does to the Earth, then find some key natural ‘ice makers’.
That’s what the models are useful for: simulated warmer Earth complete with altered heat energy transportation systems.
One might open an even bigger can of worms than AGW, but the pursuit of knowledge is a rocky road.

kim
October 5, 2009 4:52 pm

Wondering Aloud 16:19:04
Yes, we just don’t know, do we. Could be the next great meme: Demonize fossil fuels because CO2 causes Global Cooling.
====================================

a jones
October 5, 2009 4:57 pm

Personally Smokey I write the Economist real letters.
And sometimes they even publish them.
But I agree this issue has really gone into La La land, to the point that it is hard to know quite what to say.
Still if there is obviously nothing more to be said some damn fool has to say it, that is usually me.
But then I always was a spoilsport, party pooper I think you say in the USA.
I mean everybody is so happy terrifying themselves with the AGW fantasy…….and too drunk on it’s delicious spine chilling horrors to worry about the bill. [ US check?]
Kindest Regards

October 5, 2009 5:18 pm

…after reading all of these comments, I seem to have forgotten what the subject of this thread was. 🙂

Jason
October 5, 2009 5:18 pm

Your nice little marker mark reminds one of the almost uslessly predictive trend-line drawing of stock technical analysis. What is to say that the graph is not two little J’s or a very sheared W or one 140 degree angle or whatever? If you showed more years you would see the trend is unmistakably anomalous, expand it out more and the GW becomes a dead vertical straight line at the end when only a single ice age in view. Consider that your entire graph (encompassing pretty well about the total period human forcing was more important than variations in natural forcing) would fit in less than 6 pixels width of the same graph rescaled between the last glacial maximum and the end of the glaciation. The same is true if the graph showed the time since humans had been evolved to survive on anything but hunting and gathering. There are certainly important natural forcers that vary from one year to the next, like the solar cycle (currently way down), volcanos – besides humans; and humans produced far less CO2 this year than nature – but the problem is that the human one is the only one that never changes sign. This is a constant presence. All on top of the much bigger water vapor GH contribution. The natural things are already in natural equilibrium, have been for 10,000 years, adding even part in 100 more watts/m^2 will cause a new equilibrium high enough to be important. It even takes a few centuries just to change to the new unnatural equilibrium, and even longer (thousands of years) to go back to the normal one. And the equilibrium we’re shooting at (what, 9 billion people, billions more industrialized on fossil fuel than today) finds every port in the world underwater: Tokyo.. New York.. London.. Hong Kong.. Rotterdam.. Venice.. New Orleans, 20/40 ft of sea level rise by the 23rd century.

Philip_B
October 5, 2009 5:35 pm

In defence of Dr Spencer posting ‘clues’ about what he has found.
This is how science happens. A scientist guesses, intuits, or discovers by chance something unexpected. He investigates, and if he is right, gets the evidence necessary to publish.
Dr Spencer is clearly part way through this process and ‘excited’ that his intuition is panning out.
Reading between the lines, it’s a significant scientific advance in understanding climate. I hope we see the details soon.

Mike Ewing
October 5, 2009 5:55 pm

rbateman (16:44:52) :
Roy Spencer (04:51:16) :
I can forsee there be difficulties in this approach.. which exists for the existing empirical data sets.,,, the resolution/ or time scale of accurate enough data to observe the smoking gun.
For example, basic agw= more co2 = more water vapour= a slightly raised lower barometric pressure?… but i dont believe for example that the data exist’s one way or the other for this.
in saying that… im a farmer, what the hell do i know 😉 Good luck Dr Spencer with yer research. I look forward to reading of it in the future.

savethesharks
October 5, 2009 5:58 pm

Jeff L (12:55:26) :
Bravo!
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

October 5, 2009 6:04 pm

Roy Spencer (17:18:17),
You’re right, I’m one of the guilty parties. I was jumping around between threads and posted assuming I was on the Copenhagen thread. That’s what I get for assuming. My apologies.

October 5, 2009 6:09 pm

Richard (16:08:39) :
Not their results Leif – just their hunches, maybe the results wont mach their hunches, maybe they will.
The difference is too subtle for most people, including me.
DGallagher (16:25:45) :
Dr. Spencer doesn’t present his new found index as absolute science
He does not present his index, just some conclusions [and perhaps even that is too strong] based on a secret recipe. For us to follow along and evaluate/criticize/support/elaborate/inspire we need to know the details. Without that, he is in the league of Piers Corbyn. [expecting heat and grief from both sides.]

October 5, 2009 6:19 pm

Leif Svalgaard (15:27:01) : “Richard (14:58:41): ‘People do not release the ideas they are researching generally before they have finished.’
Worse, they seem to release their results before they have finished…”
If they actually finished, they might look at their confidence intervals and see they don’t have anything to release. Better to publish right away and lock up their data.

October 5, 2009 6:36 pm

jorgekafkazar (18:19:31) :
If they actually finished, they might look at their confidence intervals and see they don’t have anything to release.
The take advantage of the thousands of eyeballs this blog offers, Roy should have included enough details about the index that we can meaningfully participate [we don’t need to know the nitty-gritty].

Pamela Gray
October 5, 2009 6:53 pm

One thing is for sure, if a sensitivity marker is being sought, it ain’t the Arctic sea ice. It sucks as any kind of marker. Let’s examine the data behind the trace that indicates we are somehow below normal and outside the two standard deviation, and should therefore run around saying, “The Arctic is melting! The Arctic is melting!”
There are 14 different Arctic areas that are monitored and that have enough of an average base that current levels can be compared to this average. Of those 14 areas, only 5 are demonstrating below average ice conditions. So it is misleading to read an overall trace (like the one to the right) and say that we are below normal. It is more accurate to say that the sea ice in the Chukchi Sea, East Siberian Sea, Laptev Sea, Kara Sea, and the Arctic basin are below normal.
Now overlay the swirling and powerful vortex winds in these areas listed above, and it is quite clear why these 5 areas are not icing up along an average path. The ice is being created, only to be pushed somewhere else by the wind.
Could this explain the crickets chirping when I bring up the fact that the Arctic is not melting like it should when in an AGW crowd? Yep. The crowd has moved over there by the treering stand and they appear to be drinking coolaid made out of sawdust. No ice.

F. Ross
October 5, 2009 7:52 pm

Mike G (22:52:26) :
danappaloupe
Do you have that same regard for Issac Newton, etc.?

Or for, say, Swiss patent clerks?

Tom in Florida
October 5, 2009 8:06 pm

Here is my WAG:
Dr Spencer wrote on his blog a thread entitled “Brutal Cold in the IPCC Models versus Nautre” dated January 9, 2009.
http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/01/brutal-cold-in-the-ipcc-models-versus-nature/
Speaking about brutally cold arctic air masses:
“…rather than being dry because it is cold, the air instead becomes cold because it is dry. And the reason the air is so dry is because it has been slowly sinking from high in the atmosphere, where there is very little water vapor. And why is THAT air so dry? Because precipitation processes have removed the water vapor as relatively warmer and moister air ascends in low pressure areas — snowstorms — which move around the periphery of the high pressure zones that are created by the strong cooling.
So, ultimately, it is precipitation processes in regions remote from these cold high pressure areas that mostly determine how cold surface temperatures will get. ”
So his marker must be related to the low pressure areas ( snowstorms?)around these cold high pressure areas. How that would relate to long term climate projections I do not know.

Jeff L
October 5, 2009 8:16 pm

Re:
J. Bob (08:57:54) :
A Comparison of EMD & Fourier Filtering for Long Term Global Temperatures.
J. – You are on to something (IMHO). I have actually been working on some signal analysis techniques to determine various forcings. I can’t give away all my methods (ala Spencer :)) – much to the chagrin of Lief, I am sure) but I am doing some research which hopefully will move towards publication over the next couple years ( I have a regular job & do this is my spare time).
As a geophysicist, I am approaching this as a signal analysis problem, which I haven’t seen done to date (at least not in the way I am approaching it). The whole issue of CO2 forcing (& other forcings for that matter) is very similar to a geophysical inverse problem, as it relates to seismic data.
In a seismic inversion problem, you have an observed signal that is a function of time – analogous to our temperature signal vs time (or any other climate signal you want vs time).
This signal is the convolution of the earth’s reflectivity (analogous to our climate system) with a source of energy (analogous to a “forcing” in the climate system).
In the geophysical inverse problem , you are trying to figure out the earth’s reflectivity – done through a process generally known as deconvolution. Analogously, if we can deconvolve the temperature signal, we can figure out fundamentally how the climate system responds to different forcings. ….. this may be what Dr Spencer is doing & has beat me to the punch for all I know.
The climate system problem is more difficult because of potential non-linearities (which will show up as non-stationarities in your analysis), but as you have discovered, on the time scales of interest, the signal appears fairly stationary. The geophysical inverse problem is generally assumed to be linear (although in reality it isn’t exactly linear).
A couple suggestions:
1) Instead of a linear removal of the DC shift, use a logarithmic residual, using the end points of the signal – this will simulate removal of logarithmic CO2 signal. Do analysis similar to what I did in an earlier post ( Jeff L (12:55:26) 🙂 & see what you come up with for a CO2 forcing in terms of deg C per doubling – having done this myself, I know you will come up with a number with in the range of Spencer’s hypothesis
2) Plot your frequency results as 1/x – years per cycle vs cycles per year will be much more intuitive to your typical audience.
3) Calculate the spectra of potential forcings & compare to the spectra of the temperature signal – you will see some interesting correlations.
Have fun with it!

October 5, 2009 8:22 pm

Jeff L (20:16:11) :
I have actually been working on some signal analysis techniques to determine various forcings. I can’t give away all my methods (ala Spencer :)) – much to the chagrin of Lief, I am sure)
That’s quite alright 🙂 because you are not making any claims here [yet] about results.

October 5, 2009 8:26 pm

Fred Lightfoot (09:44:25) :
Artic sea ice????
Watching the Russian RT channel in English on Saturday they showed a one hour program on a team that have just returned from the North Pole (magnetic) driving 2 trucks (homemade), they had big flotation tires and trailers, never found any water but did encounter lots of broken pack ice. I have given up on the BBC, RT gives you the world news without the BS

Just a few months late.

anna v
October 5, 2009 8:54 pm

Jason (17:18:21) :
The natural things are already in natural equilibrium, have been for 10,000 years,
What equilibrium?
Look at this holocene time versus temperature anomalies plot:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/ca/Holocene_Temperature_Variations.png
Mind you, the average of the different measuring methods is misleading, because there is also an error laterally mostly unknown, so follow one of the colored lines and talk of equilibrium for ten thousand years.
This dismisses your prophecy:
adding even part in 100 more watts/m^2 will cause a new equilibrium high enough to be important. It even takes a few centuries just to change to the new unnatural equilibrium, and even longer (thousands of years) to go back to the normal one. And the equilibrium we’re shooting at (what, 9 billion people, billions more industrialized on fossil fuel than today) finds every port in the world underwater: Tokyo.. New York.. London.. Hong Kong.. Rotterdam.. Venice.. New Orleans, 20/40 ft of sea level rise by the 23rd century.
even if your other math were correct.
The probability that temperatures will naturally zoom down is so high, from the above linked plot to make any human induced changes irrelevant. The plot says: no equilibrium and rule except what goes up must come down.

F. Ross
October 5, 2009 9:33 pm

A little OT

John Galt (10:54:18) :


[Sorry, I forgot the close my blockquote. I preview before posting would be helpful. Still, sorry about the oversight.]
[Reply: WordPress doesn’t provide a preview capability. ~dbs, mod.]”

A little routine I usually use to get a preview:
1. Using a text editor, create a document and save it as type .htm
2. RIGHT click on the testdoc.htm you just saved and choose EDIT from the menu.
3. Type your text [using whatever html tags you feel necessary].
4. SAVE the testdoc.htm
5. Now “DOUBLE CLICK” to OPEN it. It will open in your browser, and, hopefully show if further EDITing is necessary.
Your testdoc.htm can be re-used as necessary.

Richard
October 5, 2009 9:33 pm

Roy Spencer (17:18:17) : …after reading all of these comments, I seem to have forgotten what the subject of this thread was. 🙂
I am a bit slow in the intake but I think that maybe a gentle hint that we are slightly off topic/ track?
Right. Now what was it? – The search for a short term marker for Long Term Climate Sensitivity? – thats it methinks.
So here’s the task for the brighter guys and girls on here – Guess what that short term marker might be and Guess why it may be a marker for long term sensitivity and how this could be proved, how would one search for it, what would it show …
Have I got that right or am I way off the mark?
Leif stop your one liners on how things should be done and buckle down to it…

Pamela Gray
October 5, 2009 10:09 pm

Could it be the three month running average applied to the temperature series like it is done for SST? Does it demonstrate a statistically predictable path? NOAA does both a dynamical set of models as well as the tried and true statistical models to predict what the sea temps will do next. The dynamical models are based on systems knowledge and understanding (which is in its infancy). The statistical models are based on what has happened before given the same set of system circumstances. Could this be a home for a temp marker? Running statistical models are not very computer intensive and I could imagine a statistician building a 3 month running average model for temps.

RR Kampen
October 6, 2009 3:38 am

Re: Jim (08:29:27) :
“By what stretch of the imagination was 2007 a disaster WRT ice? Were people killed. Did polar bears go extinct? Did a bunch of animals die or any species go extinct? What’s up with that??”

It was disastrous ref the ice. How picky you are!

RR Kampen
October 6, 2009 3:41 am

Re: Wondering Aloud (16:19:04) :
Someone made fun of it with a “you just made that up” comment but the truth is you didn’t. This is a notorious claim often used by the AGW religion. It is also completely unsupported by the data but none the less is widely made.”

I posted a reference. Can you point out the fallacies in that article, please? Here is the link again: http://icebubbles.ucsd.edu/Publications/CaillonTermIII.pdf .

Stephen Wilde
October 6, 2009 4:01 am

As stated previously I would go for the latitudinal position of the ITCZ and try to ascertain it’s position when the Earth is in a neutral energy balance. It would be at neutral some distance north of the equator because of the preponderance of ocean surfaces in the southern hemisphere.
I’ve no idea whether that is what Roy has in mind though.
Apparently it was just on the equator during the depths of the Little Ice Age, moved significantly north of the equator during the recent warming and has now pulled back equatorward a little once more.
I regard it as a suitable proxy for the net latitudinal position of all the air circulation systems combined.
Incidentally the position of the ITCZ on the equator in the LIA is good evidence for a 500 year or so ocean cycle because we have all seen that the air circulation systems respond to changes in sea surface temperatures. That is now very apparent from study of ENSO events and the longer term PDO phase shifts. It seems also to apply from LIA to present times
Thus we are clearly dealing with multiple overlapping ocean cycles on at least 3 time scales namely interannual for ENSO, multidecadal for PDO phase shifts and half a millennium for each phase of the long term background trend.
Any need for another primary forcing from sun, GHGs or anything else is looking less and less necessary as time goes by.

Syl
October 6, 2009 4:22 am

Tom in Florida
“Here is my WAG:
Dr Spencer wrote on his blog a thread entitled “Brutal Cold in the IPCC Models versus Nautre” dated January 9, 2009. ”
Oh my. This is weird (to me) because I’ve been thinking of ‘climate’ in terms of where the highs and the periphery lows set up, but not thinking about intensity or moisture content or whatnot.
But highs and lows seem to be in the air, so to speak. Just today while following different blog posts, comments, and links and trackbacks I stumbled across a link to the weatherchannel blog. I discover that Stu Ostrow is no longer a skeptic and he just posted on highs and lows. Anomalous highs and increase in 500mb heights in the NH mid to high latitudes. And, further, associated cut-off lows with anomalous rainfall. Lots of examples.
“The atmospheric warming has resulted in an increase in 1000-500 millibar thicknesses. Those increased thicknesses are manifesting themselves primarily by an increase in 500 mb heights (particularly notable in mid-high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere), as there has not been a similar rise in 1000 mb heights. Although there is of course natural year-to-year variability, the overall trend at 500 mb has clearly been upward.”
http://www.weather.com/blog/weather/8_20427.html?from=hp_news3
I certainly think Dr. Spencer would be interested…

RR Kampen
October 6, 2009 5:57 am

Re: tallbloke (09:19:55) :
“And this one confirms what all the others say: that co2 lags temperature all the way to the top of the curve. Fig 4 shows the 40Ar curve and the co2 coincident, but this is because the co2 curve has been shifted 800 years to the left.
Next!”

No, we have to remain.
Please interpret fig. 3 (it is above fig. 4). Please point out how the interpretation in the article (quoted below) is inferior to your diametrical hypothesis. Please explain how your hypothesis may relate to the icebubble findings in the article. In short: how come you and this article conclude oppositely on the basis of the same empirical evidence?
“CO2 is not the forcing that initially drives the climatic
system during a deglaciation. Rather, deglaciation
is probably initiated by some insolation
forcing (1, 31, 32), which influences first the
temperature change in Antarctica (and possibly
in part of the Southern Hemisphere) and then the
CO2. This sequence of events is still in full
agreement with the idea that CO2 plays,
through its greenhouse effect, a key role in
amplifying the initial orbital forcing. First, the
800-year time lag is short in comparison with
the total duration of the temperature and CO2
increases (5000 years). Second, the CO2
increase clearly precedes the Northern Hemisphere
deglaciation (Fig. 3).”

tallbloke
October 6, 2009 6:13 am

RR Kampen (03:41:03) :
Re: Wondering Aloud (16:19:04) :
Someone made fun of it with a “you just made that up” comment but the truth is you didn’t. This is a notorious claim often used by the AGW religion. It is also completely unsupported by the data but none the less is widely made.”

I posted a reference. Can you point out the fallacies in that article, please.

Let me save Wondering aloud the trouble, as I already addressed this paper, but RR didn’t reply.
RR Kampen (08:10:43) :
E.g., http://icebubbles.ucsd.edu/Publications/CaillonTermIII.pdf .
Any short search will yield results, by the way.

And this one confirms what all the others say: that co2 lags temperature all the way to the top of the curve. Fig 4 shows the 40Ar curve and the co2 coincident, but this is because the co2 curve has been shifted 800 years to the right.

Joel Shore
October 6, 2009 6:33 am

Syl says:

While the climate models assume a constant relative humidity which leads to positive feedback when temps rise (and therefore should lead to negative feedback when temps fall which they never mention) they have never actually made the case for their conjecture much beyond the assertion that it is so.

(1) The climate models don’t ASSUME constant relative humidity. Rather, this is something that is an output of the models given the physics that goes into them. (Actually, I think on average the models tend to show a little bit of a drop in relative humidity as the warming occurs.)
(2) You are wrong about the idea that the feedback is negative when temps fall. The feedback is positive in both directions, meaning that it magnifies the change. So, when temperatures warm, the amount of water vapor increases and this causes further warming. When temperatures cool, the amount of water vapor decreases and this causes further cooling. In both cases, the initial change is amplified and the feedback is thus positive.
(3) Contrary to what you say, there is now considerable empirical support that the water vapor feedback is acting about as the models predict. See http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/sci;323/5917/1020

Joel Shore
October 6, 2009 6:45 am

Innocentious:

In other words the climate models have more then likely too many assumptions built into them. I don’t know since I do not have their code ( is the code actually published someplace?)

The NASA GISS Model E is available for download here: http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/modelE/
I also believe that the NCAR Community Model is available.

However I do know this much. IF CO2 is assumed to increase temperature in a simulation… it will. No matter what variables you then feed it.

The assumption that the models make is that CO2 has the radiative absorption bands that it is known to have from laboratory measurements.

RR Kampen
October 6, 2009 6:54 am

Re: tallbloke (06:13:54) :

“Let me save Wondering aloud the trouble, as I already addressed this paper, but RR didn’t reply.”

Our replies crossed, mine is just above your post.

Joel Shore
October 6, 2009 6:56 am

Dr. Spencer:
In previous work looking at short-term feedbacks using the satellite data, I seem to recall that you diagnosed a climate sensitivity of ~0.7 C per CO2 doubling. Here, however, for the long-term feedback, I noticed that you are talking about a feedback of 1.6 to 2.0 C per doubling, which is basically right next to the bottom of the IPCC “likely” range of 2.0 to 4.5 C. Am I understanding correctly…and what is the difference that leads to these higher sensitivity estimates?

Mike Bryant
October 6, 2009 6:57 am

“It was disastrous ref the ice. How picky you are!”
Don’t you guys reaalize how terrible that melting was for the ice… Yes I know it happens every year, and then ice returns every year… But that one year… Oh my… that poor poor ice… Oops… I just had a terrible disaster right here in my iced tea glass… Going to the freezer for more ice…
Mike Bryant
PS you guys need to be a little more sensitive to ice’s feelings…

Joel Shore
October 6, 2009 7:01 am

hunter says:

They attack a man of proven integrity, like Dr. Spencer, by mixing his religious beliefs with his science, and ignorantly judging both.
No one who is a serious student of science is ever going to conclude that being a theist disqualifies someone from being a scientist.

You are misrepresenting what people have noted in regards to Dr. Spencer. Here is the piece that he wrote in his column at Tech Central Station: http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=080805I
Note that he is not stating his personal theistic beliefs but rather is talking about science and saying that “intelligent design, as a theory of origins, is no more religious, and no less scientific, than evolutionism.” I think it is fair to ask whether this, in one’s own view, shows good scientific judgment or not. Obviously, opinions on that will differ.

Stephen Wilde
October 6, 2009 7:16 am

Joel,
Warming at the surface produces more convection, upward radiation and water vapour which produces more cloud (after an initial reduction in low cloud) followed by more cooling rains with increased windiness and a generally accelerated rate of energy transfer from surface to space via an energised hydrological cycle.
They are all negative processes far outweighing any greenhouse effect from variations in humidity. Indeed it appears that the system does not allow much increase in humidity. Instead the hydrological cycle speeds up and restrains any increase in humidity so even the proposed positive feedback from the assumed extra humidity just doesn’t happen.
The empirical evidence in support of what I say is the recent failure of the globe to keep warming up and the relative stability of the humidity figures despite increasing CO2.
Furthermore the poleward latitudinal shift in the air circulation systems during the past warming spell must have some significance and cannot be ignored. The only possible significance is a change in the speed of the hydrological cycle sending the excess energy to space faster which is, again, a negative feedback.
Warming creating more warming ad infinitum in an ever increasing spiral just doesn’t happen, there is no empirical evidence to support it yet that is at the heart of AGW theory.
Quite ridiculous and it is for the warmists to justify it not for others to rebut it. Anyway the real world is trashing the idea day by day.

J. Bob
October 6, 2009 7:37 am

Jeff L – What I am getting at, is establishing long term direct temperature data sets (200+ years) to form a basis of comparing it against other data sets ( long term sunspots, PDO, etc.). In addition, building a set of systematic analysis tools, of which the Fourier is but one of the main tools. Finally, establish a set of cross checks on the data analysis, such as comparing the Fourier analysis with the recursive filters “filtfilt”, or what ever.
It’s been a few years since I looked at deconvolution, but we used it in image analysis, especially compensating for blurring and movement. The “Textbook of Astronomical Image Processing”, by Berry & Burnell, is a good start. If you have access to MATLAB they have a image toolbox that might help.
With tree ring saga going one now, I’ll post a example, a little later, showing how one of my long temperature sets compares against the one of the tree ring sets.
I also agree with your points. Comparing PSD plots is a excellent method of correlation. It saved our hides in more then a few cases, in orbital vehicle design.

RR Kampen
October 6, 2009 7:43 am

Re: Mike Bryant (06:57:31) :
“It was disastrous ref the ice. How picky you are!”
Don’t you guys reaalize how terrible that melting was for the ice… Yes I know it happens every year, and then ice returns every year… But that one year… Oh my… that poor poor ice… Oops… I just had a terrible disaster right here in my iced tea glass… Going to the freezer for more ice…”

Apparently you’ve never heard of ‘catastrophe theory’. Its mathematics. “Catastrophe theory analyses degenerate critical points of the potential function.” From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catastrophe_theory .
How happy I am to have been able to enlighten you to this concept, complete with the great illustration of Arctic sea-ice where ‘thickness = 0.5m’ is one of those ‘degenerate critical points’!

October 6, 2009 8:44 am

So little time and so much quality blog, what to do?
Leif:
I will check again thru my papers, but I don’t think Shindell ‘based’ his work on the Schatten and Hoyt TSI – though obviously he would have used it as that was pretty much the standard for the time he was publishing. I will revisit but here is my understanding:
* he discovered a link between the solar cycle and the movement of the jetstream (the latter based upon sediment studies of the LIA)
* he observed heat transfer from the stratosphere to the troposphere due to UV from the solar cycle – which varied by 8% over the cycle – much more than SW radiation at 0.1% (does that still stand?)
* he theorised that this transfer affected the polar vortex and this was what pushed the jetstream south
* he then extrapolated this knowledge to the LIA/solar history and the sedimentology that showed a prolonged shift in the jetstream over the LIA time period
So – as long as there was some minimalising of solar output – especially UV during the LIA, it doesn’t really matter how far out H&S were on TSI. Unless I am out-of-touch and the current low at solar minimum, does not entail a significantly lower UV from the solar peak?
My argument is that in normal cycles each solar peak cancels out the cooling effect from the solar minimum, but any prolongation of the minimum – as we have seen now for 2 years, will lead to a shift in the extractive vortices that track the jetstream – especially if that minimum is prolonged for 50 years. It may then take several hundred years to recover! the drop globally is 0.5 C, but regionally, in the NE Atlantic for example, in some places it was 3 C.
Have you got a sense of what the UV component looks like over the relevant time periods?
Phil in California:
Would love to meet up with Stephen Wilde – I am in Somerset. My email is on my website: ethos-uk.com and it would be great to see you if you do come over – my life as an analyst when there is an elephant in the room gets a bit lonely!

October 6, 2009 8:48 am

PS
Elephants, even in the living room, are a fact of life on the planet, as are emperors with new clothes…….and I should not complain, all will pass!

October 6, 2009 8:50 am

Claude Harvey (14:09:15) : “Re: jorgekafkazar (11:52:46) : ‘I feel like I’m participating on a moot debate about how many angels can dance the kazatsky on a PhD’s pate.’ JK
“Now there’s a sane voice amidst a cacophony of tail-chasing dogs!” CH
Thanks for the pseudocompliment, but in future please do not lop off part of my sentences, thus taking my remarks out of context and altering their meaning. That is all too typical of the unethical behaviour we’ve learned to expect from warmist trolls. Misquoting in this or any other form is unacceptable. [You should, at the very least, include ellipsis (…) to warn the reader that something has been removed.]
My full sentence started with: ‘In a way, since this is all supposed to devolve around GCM’s, ‘ GCM’s are already politically-driven drivel, in my opinion, and need no further discrediting.

Joel Shore
October 6, 2009 8:59 am

Stephen Wilde: You are correct about the increase in the hydrological cycle. However:
(1) The only way for the earth to interact with space in terms of energy flow is through radiative heat transfer. Hence, it is not directly relevant to this how the convective flows within the atmosphere work except to the extent that they affect heat transfer back out into space (or affect the amount of radiation from the sun that gets to the troposphere). And, they do affect heat transfer because in the tropics, the upper troposphere around the effective radiating level warms more than the surface, which means that the surface does not need to warm as much as one might expect in order to restore radiative balance. This results in a negative feedback called the “lapse rate feedback” that takes back part of the positive feedback due to the water vapor feedback alone and is included in all of the climate models. In fact, while the climate models tend to disagree somewhat on the strength of the positive water vapor feedback and negative lapse rate feedback, the ones with a larger magnitude water vapor feedback tend to have a larger lapse rate feedback and vice versa, because these feedbacks are essentially controlled by the same convective processes. As a result, the different models agree much more closely on the strength of the sum of these two feedbacks than they do on the strengths of the two independently.
(2) As for the empirical evidence for the water vapor feedback happening about as predicted by the models, see http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/sci;323/5917/1020

Warming creating more warming ad infinitum in an ever increasing spiral just doesn’t happen, there is no empirical evidence to support it yet that is at the heart of AGW theory.

In fact, there is empirical evidence. E.g., there is empirical evidence for the water vapor feedback as I gave a link to above, and there is empirical evidence from the response of the Mt Pinatubo eruption and the temperature change from the Last Glacial Maximum to now to support a climate sensitivity in the range that the IPCC says. (Note, however, that your “ad infinitum in an ever increasing spiral” may be a source of confusion…It is true that it can be thought of as “ad infinitum”, but the mathematics is one of a converging series like the geometric series 1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + …, which, despite being an infinite series, converges to the finite value of 2. So, the result is amplification of the response in the absence of feedbacks, not a runaway increase in the temperature.)

October 6, 2009 9:06 am

Joel Shore (07:01:48) :
“intelligent design, as a theory of origins, is no more religious, and no less scientific, than evolutionism.” I think it is fair to ask whether this, in one’s own view, shows good scientific judgment or not.
Any ‘theory’ that ignores the facts [as ID does] cannot be called science, and someone adhering to it does not show good scientific judgment. This is not a question about opinion. One cannot have opinions about gravity, relativity, evolution, etc as these are facts and facts just are, and are not subject to opinions.

beng
October 6, 2009 9:13 am

******
DGallagher (11:14:08) :
Remembering Dr. Spencer’s past work and current position, I would hazard a guess that the index is a ratio of the rate of change of the anomoly of radiation to the rate of change of the temperature anomoly.
******
DGallagher, that’s what I think too.
We shall see….

J. Bob
October 6, 2009 9:48 am

COMPARING TREE PROXIES and LONG TERM TEMPERATURE DATA
****Jeff L ****
Here is a sample of what I was talking about above.
With the debate about tree ring data and “global warming, I though I’d compare tree ring data to long term temperature data. The tree ring data I found from http://www.climatedata.info
With tree ring Nor. Hem. proxy data shown below, using the 20 year MOV Norway, Sweden & Russian data, since they were more compatable to Ave14 defined below:
http://www.climatedata.info/Proxy/Proxy/Proxy/treerings_northern.html
Next I took the 14 longest temperature records from http://www.rimfrost.no/
plus the east English data starting in 1659. I averaged the whole bunch up to form a composite average Ave14. This is shown below:
http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/ave14-smoothed-rev_cheb-j0m9Y.gif
I then added 40 year filtering consisting of a MOV, Fourier filter, and a 2 pole reverse Chebushev filter. The later is found in MATLAB as “filtfilt”. Basically the later filter is run forward and then backward to compensate for phase delay. Unfortunately the end points generally will have a significant error, but is a good cross check for date in the middle of the sample. The Fourier gives much better end point results, comparable to the EMD method.
The figure below compares the 20 year MOV averaged tree ring data with the 20 year MOV Ave14 data. The tree ring width is plotted against temperature.
http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/ave14-tr-noswru-C3EAh.gif
For what it’s worth, it’s in the region where it “kinda looks” correlated, but would need more sophisticated analysis to show anything definite. From this short analysis, if I were a betting man, I’m not sure I”d bet the chicken coop on tree ring data, much less the farm .

Stephen Wilde
October 6, 2009 11:18 am

Joel (0859:52)
1) The models do not have the right numbers because they underestimate or ignore the variable rate of energy emission from the oceans arising from the 30 year PDO phase shifts (or the likely 500 year cycle). All they have at present is a guesstimate arising from the interannual ENSO cycle.
Furthermore they have made no account of the effect of shifts in the latitudinal positions of all the air circulation systems beyond normal seasonal variations which prevents destabilisation at the ocean/air interface.
Additionally they do not fully take account of variability in air circulation near the top of the atmosphere which adjusts the rate of energy emission to space so as to prevent destabilisation at the air/space interface.
The numbers are ,quite simply, incomplete and even the most recent coupled models do not deal with those matters.
2) Increased evaporation and more water vapour is led by warming just as CO2 levels are. They then go on to cause net cooling as a negative feedback. The idea that the net feedback is positive I do find outlandish. Overall Pinatubo was a cooling phenomenon. You seem to suggest it caused warming. The recovery from the glacial maximum was solar/orbital induced yet you seem to suggest it was caused by more water vapour. I find both those suggestions equally puzzling.

supercritical
October 6, 2009 11:25 am

On Dr. Spencer’s mystery that he sets us, here is a conjecture;
The burning of sequestered hydrocarbons will result in the sequestration of the necessary amounts of atmospheric oxygen; firstly into atmospheric CO2 and then out of the atmosphere into oceans, biomass, etc. The resulting loss of oxygen from the atmosphere, and also the CO2, ought then to appear as a reduction in global total atmospheric pressure.
The consequences of reducing that amount of molecules of oxygen from the atmosphere ought to include an overall reduction in sea-level air temperature due to the adiabatic effect; i.e. the effective raising of sea-level pressure altitude with the thinning of the atmosphere will produce an overall drop in air temperature at the surface. Global cooling? (My preliminary headscratchings indicate around – 0.8 deg C from anthropic causes)
This reduction in average pressure ought to increase average evaporation, and so cloud-cover, which might be measured in the short-term. Also, a global increase in effective pressure altitude might advance the start of the snowfall season, and also advance the thaw season due to faster ablation. Both of these effect might be observable from records of satellite images. ( … so my money is on a stash of old photos … )
And as an aside, barometric pressure readings have been, and are, recorded to the same geographic resolution as temperature, and have a similar historical record, it is possible to produce a history of ‘average global atmospheric pressure’ analogous to ‘global average temperature’.
We could see some very interesting linkages between these records, unless it has already been done and dusted. ( I speculate idly that Anthony’s surface temperature work might well be aided by co-analysis of the co-located pressure and humidity readings.)

Joel Shore
October 6, 2009 1:00 pm

Stephen Wilde says:

1) The models do not have the right numbers because they underestimate or ignore the variable rate of energy emission from the oceans arising from the 30 year PDO phase shifts (or the likely 500 year cycle). All they have at present is a guesstimate arising from the interannual ENSO cycle.

If there is a variable rate of energy emission because of PDO, you presumably mean that PDO was transferring energy from the oceans to the atmosphere over the last ~30 years. If that is so, why did both the atmosphere and oceans warm (with ocean warming both determined by direct measurements in the upper oceans and inferred from the change in seal level due to thermal expansion)?

Furthermore they have made no account of the effect of shifts in the latitudinal positions of all the air circulation systems beyond normal seasonal variations which prevents destabilisation at the ocean/air interface.
Additionally they do not fully take account of variability in air circulation near the top of the atmosphere which adjusts the rate of energy emission to space so as to prevent destabilisation at the air/space interface.

Actually, I think the models do in fact show latitudinal shifts in circulation patterns. And, I don’t know what you mean by the “variability in air circulation near the top of the atmosphere”. The models do show the vertical profile in the tropics changing approximately according to moist adiabatic lapse rate theory, which is why there is a negative lapse rate feedback. What is your evidence that they are not fully accounting for this? (Note in fact that those who believe that there is no “hot spot” in the tropical troposphere are essentially arguing that the negative lapse rate that exists in the models does not seem to be manifest in the real climate system, which is the opposite of what you seem to be saying, although I think they are probably wrong and the issue is instead one of data quality for the multidecadal trends.)

2) Increased evaporation and more water vapour is led by warming just as CO2 levels are. They then go on to cause net cooling as a negative feedback.
The idea that the net feedback is positive I do find outlandish.

It is not outlandish at all. It is simply a consequence of the greenhouse gas properties of water vapor. (The feedback due to changes in the condensed water vapor, i.e., clouds is more complicated both because clouds affect incoming solar radiation in addition to decreasing outgoing longwave radiation and because it is not trivial to predict how clouds will change in a warmer world where both the temperature and absolute humidity increase such that the relative humidity is more-or-less constant.)

Overall Pinatubo was a cooling phenomenon. You seem to suggest it caused warming.

No, I am not suggesting that at all. Mt Pinatubo caused cooling because it injected material (aerosols or pre-cursors to aerosols) into the atmosphere that reflected some of the solar radiation. And, this cooling was amplified by feedbacks in the same way that warming due to increasing CO2 (or increased solar irradiance or whatever) is amplified by feedbacks.

The recovery from the glacial maximum was solar/orbital induced yet you seem to suggest it was caused by more water vapour.

What I am suggesting is that it was triggered by orbital changes although the main global forcings (which, depending on context, you could also call “feedbacks” on the original orbital effect, which caused almost no change in global mean annual forcing but significant changes in the latitudinal and seasonal distribution of the forcings) were the decrease in albedo due to melting ice sheets and vegetation changes, the increase of greenhouse gas levels, and a decrease in aerosol loading.
However, just as in the current case, water vapor and cloud feedbacks operated. And, since we can estimate the global radiative forcings due to the albedo change, greenhouse gas change, and aerosol change and we have a pretty good estimate of the global temperature change, that allows us to estimate the climate sensitivity in units of C / (W/m^2). Finally, since we know what the radiative forcing due to a given change in greenhouse gases such as CO2, that allows us to estimate the climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 levels.

Don Penman
October 6, 2009 2:17 pm

I have no idea of the short term marker in climate models which would lead to longer term sensitivity to greenhouse gases.I think that climate is finely balanced between the cold polar regions and the warm equator because of where we are in the holocene interglacial period, it takes very little to swing the balance one way or the other as we have seen in the MWP the LIA and the recent modern warm period. Solar activity , volcanoes and other things all are important in changing this balance

Stephen Wilde
October 6, 2009 2:44 pm

Sorry Joel but your fixed line of thinking prevents you from interpreting and evaluating my points correctly so I’ll have to draw a line here.
It would take me too long to disentangle your misapprehensions and this is not a suitable venue in any event.
Let the real world inform both of us over the coming few years.

Joel Shore
October 6, 2009 2:58 pm

Leif says:

Any ‘theory’ that ignores the facts [as ID does] cannot be called science, and someone adhering to it does not show good scientific judgment. This is not a question about opinion. One cannot have opinions about gravity, relativity, evolution, etc as these are facts and facts just are, and are not subject to opinions.

Of course, you won’t get any argument from me on this. I tried to phrase what I said very non-judgmentally given the sensitivity that Anthony and the other moderators have shown in the past about avoiding having arguments break out about the merits of evolutionary theory or intelligent design.
Reply: Thanks Joel, I know you were trying. ~ ctm

tallbloke
October 6, 2009 3:06 pm

RR Kampen (05:57:03) :
Re: tallbloke (09:19:55) :
http://icebubbles.ucsd.edu/Publications/CaillonTermIII.pdf
And this one confirms what all the others say: that co2 lags temperature all the way to the top of the curve. Fig 4 shows the 40Ar curve and the co2 coincident, but this is because the co2 curve has been shifted 800 years to the right.
Please interpret fig. 3 (it is above fig. 4). Please point out how the interpretation in the article (quoted below) is inferior to your diametrical hypothesis. Please explain how your hypothesis may relate to the icebubble findings in the article. In short: how come you and this article conclude oppositely on the basis of the same empirical evidence?

I didn’t put forward a hypothesis. I just pointed out the error in your reading of the paper you linked to. Please admit that your claim to which I was responding was based on a misinterpretation of fig4:
RR Kampen (05:50:56) :
“From about a third of the climbing trajectory to interglacial maximum this CO2 becomes the dominant driver for further warming. The lag has then disappeared and temp and CO2 appear to rise simultaneously then – but in fact temp lags CO2 by a small time.”

It doesn’t. You failed to spot the shift of the co2 data by 800 years in the graph.
Didn’t you?

DGallagher
October 6, 2009 3:37 pm

paulhan (04:35:34) :
I believe I am right in saying that none of the models Dr Roy refers to take into account the effects of the PDO, so if his analysis doesn’t have some element of the PDO effect, it strikes me as a bit of a wild goose chase.

Dr. Roy is involved in measuring the earth’s radiation from space, and how the radiation changes in response to temperature changes. Climate models also need to calculate the amount of heat radiated under various conditions. Dr. Spencer can therefore compare how closely the models behave like the real thing in terms of how heat is radiated.
Dr. Spencer is looking for some type of behavior that both models and nature exhibit, that reveals itself in the short term, and is also predictive of the amount of “warming” that will occur over the long term. Identifying short term indicator could be huge, a real sanity check on all the climate models.
What’s intrigueing is that whatever such a short term indicator may be, it has to be related to the mechanism that causes long term warming in the models. If there is a strong correlation, then somewhere there must be a cause and effect.

Richard
October 6, 2009 4:31 pm

Joel Shore (07:01:48) : You are misrepresenting what people have noted in regards to Dr. Spencer. Here is the piece that he wrote in his column at Tech Central Station: … I think it is fair to ask whether this, in one’s own view, shows good scientific judgment or not. Obviously, opinions on that will differ.
Joel Shore dont get me wrong. I do not agree with Dr Spencer on what his opinions maybe on creationism, but that is irrelevant here. Discussion of religious issues is prohibited here, so that question is not fair to ask. What your opinions are on the matter raised by you, and it profoundly disinterests me, could be discussed on another blog.
You are misunderstanding the issue. What Dr Spencer says on the issues raised by him is to be judged on its own merits not on what he may have written elsewhere on another subject.
You do not discuss Newton’s Laws on the basis that he believed in Alchemy or was a theist. An Ad Hominem fallacy is to attack the man rather than the argument in question.

Richard
October 6, 2009 4:39 pm

PS
I do not look on the matter pointed out in my above post as a call for intense discussion. Move on.

David.Gibson
October 6, 2009 5:31 pm

Leif Svalgaard (09:06:44) :
Joel Shore (07:01:48) :
“intelligent design, as a theory of origins, is no more religious, and no less scientific, than evolutionism.” I think it is fair to ask whether this, in one’s own view, shows good scientific judgment or not.
Any ‘theory’ that ignores the facts [as ID does] cannot be called science, and someone adhering to it does not show good scientific judgment. This is not a question about opinion. One cannot have opinions about gravity, relativity, evolution, etc as these are facts and facts just are, and are not subject to opinions.
————————————
Leif, I respectfully disagree, For me, the definition of science it that it makes testable predictions. Facts are not science, they are data. The theories of gravity and relativity make testable predictions.
[SNIP ~ as expected an ID discussion is starting to ferment. I’m stopping it now. Off limits, period. No one’s opinion’s on this subject are to follow ~ charles the moderator]
Note that these are my opinions. This is much closer to philosophy then to science. We should stick to discussing Dr. Spencer’s science not his philosophy/religion since that is the topic of this thread. For philosophy, I would suggest reading Mortimer Adler on “THE ETHICS OF COMMON SENSE”
(http://www.radicalacademy.com/adleroncomsen.htm) and stick to that in the discussions here as most of the posts do.
I find this to be a spectacularly informative site and never cease to be amazed at the information in the links pointed to by the posters including Leif’s.
David.Gibson

October 6, 2009 6:14 pm

David.Gibson (17:31:15) :
Facts are not science, they are data. The theories of gravity and relativity make testable predictions
It is always hard to be precise without being pedantic. The theories are of course not facts, but they say happen factually occurs. Apples fall to the ground, moving clocks go slower, […] is actually occurring, etc. That’s were the fact are, and all these theories are very successful in predicting things that actually happen. In a sense, the theories are but a shorthand [or a label] for all the facts they explain and predict come to pass. And they are more, they are ‘executable’ shorthands. When you feed data or conditions in, they give you data or conditions out, that correspond to actually happened or will happen. It is in this sense that I replace the whole long-winded explanation just above with saying that the theories are ‘facts’ or ‘factual’ if that is more palatable.

Richard
October 6, 2009 6:45 pm

DGallagher (15:37:51) :
Dr. Roy is involved in measuring the earth’s radiation from space, and how the radiation changes in response to temperature changes. Climate models also need to calculate the amount of heat radiated under various conditions. Dr. Spencer can therefore compare how closely the models behave like the real thing in terms of how heat is radiated.
..
What’s intrigueing is that whatever such a short term indicator may be, it has to be related to the mechanism that causes long term warming in the models. If there is a strong correlation, then somewhere there must be a cause and effect.

Not necessarily

October 6, 2009 6:55 pm

David.Gibson (17:31:15) :
Facts are not science, they are data. The theories of gravity …
To clarify, I did not speak about ‘theories of Gravity’, etc. I said:
“One cannot have opinions about gravity, relativity, […], plate tectonics, etc as these are facts and facts just are, and are not subject to opinions.”. I added PT.
All of those things are facts. There is a ‘theory of Gravity’ [there are several actually], but that does not mean that Gravity is not fact. Gravity is a fact. If you don’t believe drop a brick on your foot. The theory is ABOUT this FACT. And so on for all the other items I mentioned [and many more, of course]. You should not confuse the fact X with the theory of X.

Pamela Gray
October 6, 2009 7:04 pm

Or the fact X that I froze my tush and tootsies off in 18 degree snowy weather, with the theory of X, this past weekend in NE Oregon.

October 6, 2009 7:20 pm

Richard (18:45:01) :
“If there is a strong correlation, then somewhere there must be a cause and effect.”
Not necessarily

Isn’t it amazing that it is necessary to state that?

kim
October 6, 2009 8:03 pm

Leif, it is necessary but not sufficient. Heh.
===========================

Richard
October 6, 2009 10:52 pm

Pamela Gray (19:04:13) : Or the fact X that I froze my tush and tootsies off in 18 degree snowy weather, with the theory of X, this past weekend in NE Oregon.
Oregon? Its cold here too down under.

danappaloupe
October 7, 2009 12:59 am

“Pamela Gray (19:04:13) : Or the fact X that I froze my tush and tootsies off in 18 degree snowy weather, with the theory of X, this past weekend in NE Oregon.
Oregon? Its cold here too down under.”
See, your readers believe that one year of weather (data) can be used to criticize a theory of CLIMATE.
This is not an isolated incident and no one on here ever corrects them.
Also, must I explain why surface area of ice is a weak indicator of total volume of ice?

RR Kampen
October 7, 2009 1:09 am

Re: tallbloke (15:06:05) :
It doesn’t. You failed to spot the shift of the co2 data by 800 years in the graph.
Didn’t you?

No. Let’s return to my earlier post on this subject, a reply for kim:

->
RR Kampen (05:50:56) :
Re: kim (05:19:27) :
“I’ve also wondered about the 800 year lag in the ice cores.”

First temperature rises due to long term Milankovitch (and such) effects. Vegetation and sea start releasing CO2 with a lag. This CO2 immediately helps to rise the temperature. From about a third of the climbing trajectory to interglacial maximum this CO2 becomes the dominant driver for further warming. The lag has then disappeared and temp and CO2 appear to rise simultaneously then – but in fact temp lags CO2 by a small time.

Now show me how the article disputes that.

tallbloke
October 7, 2009 1:13 am

Leif Svalgaard (18:55:12) :
David.Gibson (17:31:15) :
Facts are not science, they are data. The theories of gravity …
To clarify, I did not speak about ‘theories of Gravity’, etc. I said:
“One cannot have opinions about gravity, relativity, […], plate tectonics, etc as these are facts and facts just are, and are not subject to opinions.”. I added PT.
All of those things are facts.
To be fair to David.Gibson, you originally included a theory in this list which you have replaced with plate tectonics which was of a different order of abstraction than the others you mention.
It was once accepted scientific “fact” that the atom was the smallest possible elementary unit and that it was by definition indivisible. This is no longer a “fact”. Facts cannot be isolated from the value and quality laden linguistic continuum in which they are embedded. To claim otherwise is the fallacy of naieve realism.
An overly ardent belief in it is an impediment to scientific progress.
Some of todays “facts” will become tomorrows artifacts.

RR Kampen
October 7, 2009 2:05 am

At moderators… Please leave away previous post, it contains a dumb error!
Repaired follows:

Couple of days ago I posted:
There was certainly less ice in 2008 than in 2007.
Not in surface area, correct.
But in the single important parameter here: ice VOLUME (correctly pointed out by danappaloupe) which is the product of surface extent and average thickness.
In 2008 over half the multiyear sea-ice left over from 2007 dissappeared: http://www.knmi.nl/cms/mmbase/images/29518 .
Whether the volume this year is again smaller than in 2008 will have to be awaited.

Waiting is over, volume is comparable to 2008 or might be a little larger. A new record low extent for >2 years old sea-ice, that is the thicker ice: http://www.eurekalert.org/multimedia/pub/web/17240_web.jpg .
While total extent remained slightly above the 2008 minimum the strengthened downward trend continues relentlessly.

tallbloke
October 7, 2009 4:28 am

RR Kampen (01:09:51) :
First temperature rises due to long term Milankovitch (and such) effects. Vegetation and sea start releasing CO2 with a lag. This CO2 immediately helps to rise the temperature. From about a third of the climbing trajectory to interglacial maximum this CO2 becomes the dominant driver for further warming. The lag has then disappeared and temp and CO2 appear to rise simultaneously then – but in fact temp lags CO2 by a small time.

Now show me how the article disputes that.

Easy, the very article you linked in support of the above proposition, which clearly shows the lag of the co2 curve only disappears when you shift it 800 years to the right as in Figure 4.
Co2 lags temperature at all timescales. This is easy to demonstrate.
Short term interannual fluctuation in temperature lead co2 response by around 9 months. Longer term temperature changes lead co2 by 800 to 2800 years as the Lassen ice cores show.
You guys keep trying to tell us the lag isn’t there but this is self delusion.
Next you’ll be trying to tell me Cuffey and Vimeaux solved the lag problem.

October 7, 2009 6:07 am

tallbloke (01:13:56) :
It was once accepted scientific “fact” that the atom was the smallest possible elementary unit and that it was by definition indivisible.
You are confused about the distinction between X and a theory about X. Atoms exist and that is a fact. That theory about the properties of atoms is correct at one level: atoms are the elementary units at ordinary amounts of energy. The theory breaks down and must be refined when we increase the energy with which we probe. The same with gravity, for example. The Newtonian theory of gravity also breaks down at some level and must be replaced by Einstein’s. That the theory needs to be refined does not change that gravity is a fact. The fact that the Earth is round was not negated when we realized that the Earth is slightly oblate, etc.

Steve Keohane
October 7, 2009 7:58 am

Joel Shore (06:33:06) look at what you say in your number 1 & 2, you contradict yourself.

Steve Keohane
October 7, 2009 8:01 am

Slightly O-T, Loveland Basin, a ski resort in Colorado, just opened today, earliest in 40 years; and A-basin will open in two days, earliest ever.

DGallagher
October 7, 2009 9:00 am

Leif Svalgaard (19:20:58) :
Richard (18:45:01) :
“If there is a strong correlation, then somewhere there must be a cause and effect.”
Not necessarily
Isn’t it amazing that it is necessary to state that?

Please read more carefully. I did not say that correlation implies causation,
nor did I say that one factor is necessarily in any way responsible for the other, by way of direct cause and effect, only that it is very likely that there is a cause and effect SOMEWHERE in the situation that explains the correlation.
When two things correlate, there are two possiblities. There is some real underlying mechanism that is responsible for the correlation or the correlation is happenstance, sheer coincidence, with no explaination other than chance.
When you are faced with a STRONG correlation, supported by a reasonable amount of data, the likelyhood of coincidence becomes very slight, and the assumption must be that there is a real physical explaination that explains the correlation.
Both of the “things” that correlate may be effects of some third factor that is unknown or unidentified. Every year in the fall, I hear people talking about the temperature going down and the leaves changing color and falling off the trees. Certainly there is a correlation between the two, but many people believe that the leaves falling are a direct result of the colder weather. Actually the trees are reacting to the decreasing length of daylight, which is also responsible for the cooler temps. Neither is the cause of the other, both are effects of a third factor. Regardless, there are real causes and effects SOMEWHERE in the situation, that are responsible for the correlation.
If you gentleman when faced with a strong correlation, based on a reasonable amount of data, choose to assume that the situation is driven by coincidence, rather than a real relationship, feel free, after all anything is possible. On the other hand, nobody is going to be betting on you to push the envelop of human understanding either. Strong Correlations correlate strongly to underlying mechanisms
If you look at my statement in context, I was saying that if Dr. Spencer determines that there is a short term index that correlates strongly with the long term warming behavior, then it will be quite enlightening to attempt to understand why that is the case. Unless the index is entirely coincidental, there will be a real cause and effect SOMEWHERE in the situation that can further understanding.

DGallagher
October 7, 2009 11:15 am

Perhaps the index is a ratio of the anomoly of LW radiation to the anomoly of SW radiation (or vice versa), during a cool down after rapid warming. The models don’t cool down by rejecting heat the same way AQUA sees it in the real world.
Perhaps it is also the case that Dr. Roy is looking for a short term indicator for long term behavior, but having run out of ideas, he has hit on a clever way to get us to do some brainstorming for him. He’ll try out our ideas before he gets back to us, and let’s us know who managed to “guess” what he was thinking.
Just jokin’ Roy.

Joel Shore
October 7, 2009 12:23 pm

Steve Keohane says:

Joel Shore (06:33:06) look at what you say in your number 1 & 2, you contradict yourself.

I don’t think I do. (Note that if the relative humidity drops slightly as temperatures rise, the absolute humidity will still increase…It will just increase slightly less fast with temperature than the saturation vapor pressure is.)

October 7, 2009 12:42 pm

DGallagher (09:00:35) :
When you are faced with a STRONG correlation, supported by a reasonable amount of data, the likelyhood of coincidence becomes very slight, and the assumption must be that there is a real physical explaination that explains the correlation.
I actually agree with that, with emphasis on STRONG rather than just strong. Everybody who is peddling a correlation always says it is ‘strong’ [why peddling it, if it wasn’t]. In the case with the models that prompted this, I don’t think there is or can be a STRONG correlation, simply because our models are not very good. In fact, I would distrust anybody you claimed a PERFECT correlation with what the models say.

Cold Lynx
October 7, 2009 1:59 pm

Piece of cake.
The gobal water balance move heat from low latitudes to higher latitudes.
That is why the poles are warmer than the radiation balance equotation would show.
The heat is released where the vapor condens.
But this water balance also move heat from low altitudes to high altitudes.
Heat is “dragged” into where vapor is forming clouds
What make vapor condensate? Ask Mr Svalgaard.
With high solar activity is the magnetic fields pole oriented and generates more condensation at high latitudes. With low solar activity is the cosmic rays equally formed which is more at low altitudes. In the atmosphere where the condensations occur heats is that marker which tells us where we are going.
We are now going from a pole condensation regime to a more tropic regime.
Less heat is mowing towards the poles it is also a wetter climate at lower latitudes and by that less total incoming solar radiation.
It is not a coincident that the glacier at Mt kilimanjaro was formed AFTER the high latitudes glacier melted. The new heat distribution cooled the tropic and heated the poles.
Warmer tropics make colder poles. It is a matter of heat distribution.
So mr Spencers sensivity marker is probably MSU 2 and AMSU 5 that with a higher value at tropical latitudes is a marker of a cooling earth.
Waith here: that is precisly what happends right now.
Svalgaard and Spencer are two side of the same coin.
Something changing where clouds is formed and that i our sun.

DGallagher
October 7, 2009 2:38 pm

The correlation here certainly isn’t PERFECT. Apparently, it can only explain about 1/2 the variation among the models. I assume the index(s) from the AQUA data is simply plotted along the line that was fit to the model data. I don’t think that UAH can plot the long term climate feedback parameter directly from satellite data (yet).
If this measureable index reveals itself during rapid warming and then cooling events in the short term, then there is a difference between the way that the models reflect and radiate heat and the way nature does (assuming that the index comes from the satellite data). This would indicates that the models are not accurate in the short term, particularly around the time of rapid warming and cooling. It is possible that the models are inaccurate in the short term and in the long term, but for entirely different, unrelated reasons. I accept that possibility, I’d even believe that they don’t get mid term right either for several reasons unrelated to the others.
That said, it’s seems likely that an error in how models deal with warming and cooling in the short term would lead to errors in the long term simply by being propagated by subsequent inerations.
Until Dr. Spencer reveals the nature of the index, it is difficult to do anything but speculate on the significance. It is never the less intrigueing that there could be some significant parameter that is revealed in the short term, that could determine the accuracy of models and provide insight into nature.

October 7, 2009 4:06 pm

DGallagher (14:38:41) :
Until Dr. Spencer reveals the nature of the index, it is difficult to do anything but speculate on the significance.
Which is partly why I criticized him for not revealing it.

George E. Smith
October 7, 2009 4:50 pm

“”” DGallagher (09:00:35) :
When you are faced with a STRONG correlation, supported by a reasonable amount of data, the likelyhood of coincidence becomes very slight, and the assumption must be that there is a real physical explaination that explains the correlation. “””
Would you consider a theory that agrees with the best experimental measured data to about a couple of parts in 10^8; well to within less than half of the standard deviation of the very best experimental measurement; to be indicative of the validity of the theory.
The fine structure constant which is 1/137.0359895 (+/-) 0.045 ppm was theoretically calculated accurate to less than half of that standard deviation back in the mid 1960s.
You should try to find the letters on that; probably in Applied Optics or some similar peer reviewed Journal. Really exciting reading.
The fine structure constant has the exact value 2.h.c.(epsilon-0)/e^2, and measurments were actually used at one point to determine the value of (c).
The mathematical theory deriving it contained absolutely no observational input data from the physical universe. Quite remarkable to then arrive at a function of some of the most fundamental Physical constants; but yet it had to be right to get the answer so accurately.
Too bad it was quite fictional; and computer programmers quickly derived other expressions of exactly the same form, that were within the standard deviation, and a couple of those were better than that obtained by the first charlatan.
I think you need better than even good correlation to establish a theory; like some causal mechanism maybe.

George E. Smith
October 7, 2009 5:12 pm

“”” In fact, while the climate models tend to disagree somewhat on the strength of the positive water vapor feedback and negative lapse rate feedback, the ones with a larger magnitude water vapor feedback tend to have a larger lapse rate feedback and vice versa, because these feedbacks are essentially controlled by the same convective processes. “””
Joel can you point to some peer reviewed papers where somebody has actually made real world measurments of the water vapor feedback resulting from CO2 increases. Perhaps something like:-
d(H2O)/d(CO2) = k +/- e%
Maybe (k) is a function of latitude or some other geographical variable; so one would have to measure it in a number of locations.
How would one separate d(H2O)/d(CO2) from say d(H2O/d(H2O), or
d(H2O)/d(O3) or any other GHG water feedback coefficient.
I just can’t figure out why it is that water vapor doesn’t have any climate effect, until it is “stimulated” by CO2; that is really remarkable.

Vangel
October 7, 2009 5:20 pm

Leif says: Any ‘theory’ that ignores the facts [as ID does] cannot be called science, and someone adhering to it does not show good scientific judgment.
You make a very good point. But isn’t this entire debate characterized by an absence of ‘facts?’ After all, everyone is talking about global temperature as if there were such a thing as a meaningful global temperature.
How does one come up with such a number in the first place? Where does the accurate data come from in the first place? First, Anthony has shown with his audit that the US historical climate network stations are biased by a very large amount. That makes any numbers produced by the network very questionable. But at least the US has data that may be questionable and incomplete. From what has been disclosed by Phil Jones, there is no raw data for the global temperature set. He claims to have lost it during office moves or such other nonsense. Of course that happened after he tried to prevent access for nearly a decade, perhaps more, by outsiders who wanted to see how complete the data was and how it was adjusted to make up for discontinuities, station moves, urbanization, and other material factors. Some people would be willing to trust that Dr. Jones did everything correctly but I am not certain that such a trust would be wise. After all, Dr. Jones wrote a paper that came up with a ridiculously low UHI effect based on data that was incomplete and discontinuous. (Anyone with a thermometer and a vehicle can do a number of runs and come up with a much better estimate than Dr. Jones produced.)
So what we are left with is a global data trend that cannot be verified and an American data set that shows that the 1990s were cooler than the 1930s. So where exactly is this warming that everyone is arguing about again? I may not be as smart about these issues as many on this board but my training was very specific about getting the real fundamentals right. That leaves me with two questions”
1. Where are you getting independently verified temperature data that you can trust?
2. How does one exactly use this data to come up with a meaningful global planetary average that adequately accounts for atmosphere, ocean and land temperatures at different altitudes and latitudes?

philincalifornia
October 7, 2009 5:34 pm

RR Kampen (02:05:57) :
At moderators… Please leave away previous post, it contains a dumb error!
——-
It sure does – yet again you talk about volume (to the power 3) and link to maps of area (to the power 2). Do you not know the difference ?? Please answer with sentences that contain numbers.
danappaloupe (00:59:28) :
Also, must I explain why surface area of ice is a weak indicator of total volume of ice?
——————-
Go for it – with sentences that contain numbers please.
George E. Smith (17:12:14) :
—————
George – were you in the news just recently ??

philincalifornia
October 7, 2009 5:42 pm

George E. Smith (17:12:14) :
I just can’t figure out why it is that water vapor doesn’t have any climate effect, until it is “stimulated” by CO2; that is really remarkable.
———————–
It’s the Shore Uncertainty Principle. If everything he wished for were true, he wouldn’t be here to argue it !!!!

October 7, 2009 5:56 pm

Vangel (17:20:58) :
as if there were such a thing as a meaningful global temperature.
But there is. It may be hard to measure [especially on the ground with a flawed network of poorly sited thermometers], but there is such a thing. Here is a thought experiment to prove it. Place in space around the Earth a large number of satellites distributed all around the Earth. Have radiometers on these satellites measure the radiation they receive from the Earth. Integrate over all radiometers and determine the total irradiance of the Earth. There is an ‘effective’ temperature that would give just that irradiance. This is a meaningful global temperature.

Richard
October 7, 2009 10:31 pm

Leif Svalgaard (17:56:11) :
Vangel (17:20:58) :
as if there were such a thing as a meaningful global temperature.
But there is. It may be hard to measure [especially on the ground with a flawed network of poorly sited thermometers], but there is such a thing. Here is a thought experiment to prove it. Place in space around the Earth a large number of satellites distributed all around the Earth. Have radiometers on these satellites measure the radiation they receive from the Earth. Integrate over all radiometers and determine the total irradiance of the Earth. There is an ‘effective’ temperature that would give just that irradiance. This is a meaningful global temperature.

Thus the satellites give us a more meaningful picture than the so called “surface” temperatures of Hadley and NASA.
Even if the temperatures were evenly and accurately measured, which they are not, how meaningful is it to measure air temperatures over land and sea water temperatures over the sea and then combine them for the “Global” temperature?

October 7, 2009 11:20 pm

Richard (22:31:58) :
Thus the satellites give us a more meaningful picture than the so called “surface” temperatures of Hadley and NASA.
Even if the temperatures were evenly and accurately measured, which they are not, how meaningful is it to measure air temperatures over land and sea water temperatures over the sea and then combine them for the “Global” temperature?
For the time before the satellites, all we’ve got are the ground-based measurements, so we have to learn to live with them as at least an approximation to a ‘global temperature’. There is a difference between saying that we only have an approximation to the ideal and to say that the very concept is meaningless.

RR Kampen
October 8, 2009 1:02 am

Re: philincalifornia (17:34:41) :
“It sure does – yet again you talk about volume (to the power 3) and link to maps of area (to the power 2). Do you not know the difference ?? Please answer with sentences that contain numbers.”

Do you really expect me to post a three (3) dimensional object??
I posted a map. Those who know the first things about arctic sea ice will also know the very first thing: older ice is thicker.

Vangel
October 8, 2009 6:45 am

” Leif Svalgaard (17:56:11) :
Vangel (17:20:58) :
as if there were such a thing as a meaningful global temperature.
But there is. It may be hard to measure [especially on the ground with a flawed network of poorly sited thermometers], but there is such a thing.”
That is one point out of the way. You have a flawed network of poorly sited thermometers that are biased by a number of factors (as demonstrated by Anthony’s audit). The network is missing data and does not properly account for such things as the UHI effect, station moves, instrument error, etc.
This means that we do not have a valid measure of average global temperature even if we could come up with a way to come up with such a construction and that construction could be made meaningful. That brings me back to my point. If the temperature data is not good, how can we be arguing about what has actually happened? How is any of this valid science when it resembles an ideological and political debate that tells us far less about what is rather than what we are?
It is my contention that most of the warmers actually believe the snake oil they are peddling because they bought the made up temperature profile as real and never bothered to ask the important questions about the fundamentals. I maintain that without the original global data set there is no way to accept the huge divergence between the US data, which shows that the 1930s were the warmest decade, and the global temperature construction.
Of course, this provides many in the AGW crowd a ready