Brookhaven National Laboratory: Why Hasn’t Earth Warmed as Much as Expected?

From the BNL press release, some serious questions about climate sensitivity and aerosols.

Why Hasn’t Earth Warmed as Much as Expected?

New report on climate change explores the reasons

https://i1.wp.com/www.drroyspencer.com/library/pics/PDO-and-20th-Century-warming-Fig01.jpg

Image: Dr. Roy Spencer

January 19, 2010 UPTON, NY – Planet Earth has warmed much less than expected during the industrial era based on current best estimates of Earth’s “climate sensitivity”—the amount of global temperature increase expected in response to a given rise in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2). In a study to be published in the Journal of Climate, a publication of the American Meteorological Society (the early online release of the paper is available starting 19 January 2010; the link is given below), Stephen Schwartz, of Brookhaven National Laboratory, and colleagues examine the reasons for this discrepancy.

Stephen Schwartz

Stephen Schwartz

According to current best estimates of climate sensitivity, the amount of CO2 and other heat-trapping gases added to Earth’s atmosphere since humanity began burning fossil fuels on a significant scale during the industrial period would be expected to result in a mean global temperature rise of 3.8°F—well more than the 1.4°F increase that has been observed for this time span. Schwartz’s analysis attributes the reasons for this discrepancy to a possible mix of two major factors: 1) Earth’s climate may be less sensitive to rising greenhouse gases than currently assumed and/or 2) reflection of sunlight by haze particles in the atmosphere may be offsetting some of the expected warming.

“Because of present uncertainties in climate sensitivity and the enhanced reflectivity of haze particles,” said Schwartz, “it is impossible to accurately assign weights to the relative contributions of these two factors. This has major implications for understanding of Earth’s climate and how the world will meet its future energy needs.”

A third possible reason for the lower-than-expected increase of Earth’s temperature over the industrial period is the slow response of temperature to the warming influence of heat-trapping gases. “This is much like the lag time you experience when heating a pot of water on a stove,” said Schwartz. Based on calculations using measurements of the increase in ocean heat content over the past fifty years, however, this present study found the role of so-called thermal lag to be minor.

A key question facing policymakers is how much additional CO2 and other heat-trapping gases can be introduced into the atmosphere, beyond what is already present, without committing the planet to a dangerous level of human interference with the climate system. Many scientists and policymakers consider the threshold for such dangerous interference to be an increase in global temperature of 3.6°F above the preindustrial level, although no single threshold would encompass all effects.

The paper describes three scenarios: If Earth’s climate sensitivity is at the low end of current estimates as given by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, then the total maximum future emissions of heat-trapping gases so as not to exceed the 3.6° threshold would correspond to about 35 years of present annual emissions of CO2 from fossil-fuel combustion. A climate sensitivity at the present best estimate would mean that no more heat-trapping gases can be added to the atmosphere without committing the planet to exceeding the threshold. And if the sensitivity is at the high end of current estimates, present atmospheric concentrations of heat-trapping gases are such that the planet is already committed to warming that substantially exceeds the 3.6° threshold.

The authors emphasize the need to quantify the influences of haze particles to narrow the uncertainty in Earth’s climate sensitivity. This is much more difficult than quantifying the influences of the heat-trapping gases. Coauthor Robert Charlson of the University of Washington likens the focus on the heat trapping gases to “looking for the lost key under the lamppost.”

Schwartz observes that formulating energy policy with the present uncertainty in climate sensitivity is like navigating a large ship in perilous waters without charts. “We know we have to change the course of this ship, and we know the direction of the change, but we don’t know how much we need to change the course or how soon we have to do it.”

Schwartz and Charlson coauthored the paper with Ralph Kahn, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland; John Ogren, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory in Colorado; and Henning Rodhe, Stockholm University.

The early online release of the paper is available at AMS’s journals online site.

Founded in 1919, the AMS has a membership of more than 14,000 professionals, professors, students, and weather enthusiasts. AMS publishes nine atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic journals, sponsors multiple conferences annually, and directs numerous education and outreach programs and services. For more information see www.ametsoc.org.

Research at Brookhaven was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.

h/t to WUWT commenter “Don S”

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157 thoughts on “Brookhaven National Laboratory: Why Hasn’t Earth Warmed as Much as Expected?

  1. The longer we go down the path of this climate change debate… the more we can compare IPCC doom and gloom projections vs actual data… the more we will see how bad the projections are basing all of the models on massive positive feedback loop assumptions.

  2. The author provides arguments for the precautionary principle:

    “Schwartz observes that formulating energy policy with the present uncertainty in climate sensitivity is like navigating a large ship in perilous waters without charts.

    ““We know we have to change the course of this ship, and we know the direction of the change, but we don’t know how much we need to change the course or how soon we have to do it.””

    No Mr. Schwarz we don’t have to change the course of the ship.
    Everything is fine.

  3. “Schwartz’s analysis attributes the reasons for this discrepancy to a possible mix of two major factors: 1) Earth’s climate may be less sensitive to rising greenhouse gases than currently assumed and/or 2) reflection of sunlight by haze particles in the atmosphere may be offsetting some of the expected warming.”

    … and/or 3) it is possible, that we don’t have a clue.

  4. “Coauthor Robert Charlson of the University of Washington likens the focus on the heat trapping gases to “looking for the lost key under the lamppost.”

    Exactly – they are only looking for one thing so there is an in-built confirmation bias to all of their models. That they can even include this statement and with a straight face say that CO2 is causing warming is incredible.

  5. …or at least slow down before we hit an iceburg.

    Then there is the hubris of men who believe they are at the helm of the planet.

  6. ““Schwartz observes that formulating energy policy with the present uncertainty in climate sensitivity is like navigating a large ship in perilous waters without charts.”

    Sorry,the current policy formulators are navigating a large ship in a fog of bad data while in deep waters while being told by a smart alecky city slicker pilot claims he drew a chart that says, “Here be monsters…”

  7. The most important conclusion from the paper,

    “The observed increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) over the industrial era is less than 40% of that expected from observed increases in long-lived greenhouse gases together with the best-estimate equilibrium climate sensitivity given by the 2007 Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

    Ron de Haan (15:42:00) :

    I agree, no matter what the empirical evidence shows, people’s “feelings” about using fossil fuels being a bad thing must be true.

  8. Yes, it’s becoming alarming obvious that the IPCC computer models are wrong. Anyone of sound mind and reasonable intelligence can already see the IPCC is discredited. If global cooling trend continues, the disparity between the models and the real world will be so large everyone else outside the IPCC will feel the same way. I’m still waiting for the chairman of the IPCC to be charged with fraud.

  9. BTW the graphic is excellent, I love showing the “models” 90% confidence! Anyone rational has to conclude the worthlessness of climate modeling.

  10. Wrong question dummy !

    Why hasn’t expectation matched actual observed amount of warming or lack thereof ?

    Answer; simple; you expected too much. Take what you get and quit buggin me.

  11. Hmm… I wasn’t aware that the influences of heat -trapping gasses had been adequately “quantified” . At least not by everyone .

  12. In the world of real science, scientists would by now be rethinking their theories.
    But AGw is no longer real science.
    Was it ever?

  13. Well whoop de do ! the IPCC can say with 90% confidence, that the warming will be somewhere in a 4:1 range. I would tell the Scientists of the IPCC; your salaries will be somewhere within a 4:1 range; well with 90% confidence of course; there’s a 10% chance you won’t get a brass razoo, and we will ask for a refund of the grant moneys you already wasted.

  14. And I see Dr Roy, is a tougher Hombre than I am; he puts their salary limits at only half of the IPCC’s best case (for the taxpayers.

    Way to go there Dr Roy; hit them in the pocket book where it really counts.

  15. Notice that this study is still not doing the basic science of questioning the assumptions.
    They are seeking ways to wiggle around the discrepancy.
    They are even still falling back on the ‘heat in the pipeline’ dodge.
    The thing to do, in the face of crugate, and failed prediction after failed prediction is to go back to the basics and rebuild.
    This study is in fact an admission of defeat, but they are trying to frame it differently.
    A real scientist would go with what is known: that the reality is significantly divergent from the prediction, and build models to match the reality, looking for valid negative feedbacks besides aerolols, to see what is actually happening.

  16. Jimmy Haigh (15:42:58) :

    “Why Hasn’t Earth Warmed as Much as Expected?”

    Simple. Because the models are wrong
    ————-
    Reply: You’re telling me the earth didn’t toe the line? Are you telling me that (even with the “fudge factors” applied to the data) earth had the audacity to contradict the Cult of Global Warming?

    Oh.

  17. We will see more of these “soft AGW” papers from climate change experts (the ones who haven’t staked their reputations and their respective organization’s reputations on AGW) until there will be a complete turnaround.

    After that it will be: “Well, we knew it all along, really. We all basically agreed, it was just the details that hadn’t been firmed up yet.”

    And the revisionist history will continue.

    That’s my prediction.

    And if I’m wrong… well, I’ve got nothing to lose.

  18. According to current best estimates of climate sensitivity…
    1) Earth’s climate may be less sensitive…
    2) reflection … in the atmosphere may be offsetting…
    3) … may be a slow response of temperature to the warming influence of heat-trapping gases.

    But: We know we have to change the course of this ship…

    If I produced an analysis like this, I would dig deeper to find at least one link to somthing before opening my mouth.

  19. Where is the warming? It will occur after one or more avalanche effects are triggered by the rising CO2 levels, possibly a cascading series of them, leading to ever-increasing catastrophic heating and unbearable temperatures. Why, we may end up as hot as Venus!

    Unless of course the world is suddenly plunged into a new ice age, catastrophic cooling, which was recently shown to be possible since high CO2 concentrations existed during previous ice ages.

    Because the science is settled, the effects of increasing concentrations are well known, we must accept that CO2 is such a dangerous substance that only a worldwide system of strict enforced carbon controls, with appropriate wealth redistribution, can save us from the catastrophic warming to come. Or catastrophic cooling. Whatever it turns out to be, which we can say with 100% certainty will be catastrophic.

  20. B.S. They want me to pay for it.

    SORRY, I’ll “steal” it whereever possible. These guys have TONS of money,

    they don’t need to “tax” me again.

    Someone, download and post, would you?

    Thanks!

  21. Tooth fairy took all the bad global warming but I believe the big ship needs to change course because the tooth fairy told me so (with 90% confidence). The shmutz is undoubtedly a factor?

  22. It looks like Spencer’s chart showing twentieth century warming uses a trend line from 2000 forward. It is most likely an extrapolation using the trend line from 2000 to the present. We should all be aware that that trend line has it’s slope effected by the fact that 2000 was a La Nina year and that is why it has any kind of positive trend at all. Spencer should use an ENSO corrected trend line. It will show no rise in temperature.

    I did an analysis of the trend since 1998 using both ENSO corrected and uncorrected data. The trend is flat for the last 12 years. I also looked at the accusation that the flat trend was caused by 1998 being an El Nino year. It turned out to be false. And I looked at the explanation that the current 12 year flat trend is due to natural variation. That also turned out to be false. We currently have a 12 year flat trend and there is no explanation for it in natural variability. This is exactly why it is such an important trend and why it falsifies the AGW theory. I give a more in depth explanation here:

    http://reallyrealclimate.blogspot.com/2010/01/another-inconvient-truth-for-agw.html

  23. tucker (16:41:49)

    Should the chart show 21st century warming, not 20th century.

    *****************************

    I guess I assumed 21st century warming to date. Maybe you meant 20th century as a whole extrapolated. Maybe it should be stated more clearly that that is what was done.

  24. I would have expected the 90% IPCC ‘confidence’ bracket to be symmetric around the ‘Best Estimate’ and thus to include the ‘observation-based estimates’, including zero rise.

  25. “Schwartz’s analysis attributes the reasons for this discrepancy to a possible mix of two major factors: ”

    There’s a third possible factor suggested by ice core data. Rising CO2 levels are a result of rising global temperatures and not a cause.

  26. I predict 3 largish equatorial volcanic eruptions in the next 2 years. Coupled with cooling PDO & AMO, this will cause 5 years without Summer. I do this with 90% confidence level.

    Why should you believe me?

    ’cause I said so, so there! ;-)

    DaveE.

  27. IPCC did not consult me; relied on press interview: Hasnain
    “I am unnecessarily being dragged into the controversy. The IPCC did not even consult me or ask me for my research papers for inclusion in the fourth assessment report,” Hasnain, a Fellow with The Energy and Resources Institute, said. ..
    “I do not understand why they picked only the interview I had given to New Scientist. I have not mentioned the year 2035 in any of the research papers written by me,” Hasnain said.
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/global-warming/IPCC-did-not-consult-me-relied-on-press-interview-Hasnain/articleshow/5477806.cms

    Reply: Is there some reason you can’t put this comment in a relevant thread? ~ ctm

  28. It is easy to have fun with just an abstract and a press release. I like to do it to.

    They are at least asking the right question.

    ?? Why don’t the official conclusions about warming, that so called consensus, match the observed warming?

    They don’t take on the question very aggressively with their three scenarios.

    i.e. Either (1) Matters are not too bad, or (2) we are at the tipping point now, or (3) matters are already very bad indeed.

    By not mentioning any possibility that matters may not bad at all they don’t challenge the powers that rule climatology or funding or careers.

    Charlson says a lot in his remark about the lamppost.

  29. Given the actual trend in temperature is outside the 90% confidence range of the IPCC model, can we now get them to agree that they are 90% confident they are wrong?

  30. ““Why Hasn’t Earth Warmed as Much as Expected?”

    Simple. Because the models are wrong.”

    Not much more to say. CO2 cannot possibly produce the amount of warming predicted. No. Way. The feedbacks are busted in the models. Simple as that.

  31. Dang it! Put a satellite in orbit and MEASURE the energy emitted by the earth.

    If the energy emitted by the earth is less that 1/2 the total energy incident upon the earth, then the planet should warm else it should cool if greater than or remain at a constant temp if equal.

    What am I missing? Don’t say a brain please. Be kind to the handicapped.

  32. A little off topic, but apparently the folks at the MSN website aren’t aware of that as indicated by this nonsense: [http://travel.ca.msn.com/international/photogallery.aspx?cp-documentid=23278154 Doomed Destinations] Hope the link works, haven’t included one before.

  33. Look, we have to get a better handle on natural variability. You could argue just as easily that the “next ice age” guys of the mid-70s were right. . . except that C02 overrode it.

    No, I don’t believe that either, but if natural variability means that some substantial portion of the last 30 years heating is NV. . . it just as easily could mean that the last 30 years heating is *in spite* of NV cooling factors.

    Tho personally I’m more of an AMO/PDO kind of guy, who expects the next ten years to really tell the tale.

  34. …especially with zingers like “Antarctica, has become a popular stopover for cruise ships in the south Atlantic. Studies have shown that both poles are warming at a rate far faster than the rest of the planet, leading to decreased ice thickness and an increase in ice shelf disintegration.” It’s fascinating that they seem to now just ignore reality and go with a full-on marketing approach.

  35. According to Gavin “the matches to observations are still pretty good”
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/12/updates-to-model-data-comparisons/
    Reproducing this figure with the models output, and comparing with “measured” temperature is the correct way of validating (or not) this models.
    If a cold period is expected any time soon, temperature could get out of the envelope, that should be enough.
    BTW acumulated energy on oceans models proyection is cutted before actual energy estimation, I wonder why.

  36. Dr. Svalgaard

    ‘I would have expected the 90% IPCC ‘confidence’ bracket to be symmetric around the ‘Best Estimate’ and thus to include the ‘observation-based estimates’, including zero rise.’

    Ah well Dr. Svalgaard your problem you see is that you a genuine scientist who believes, as all serious natural philosophers do, in intellectual rigour.

    Not fantastical speculation based upon statistical abuse founded upon uncertain and indeed unproven premises.

    Still they have made it look good haven’t they? Give the boys another larger research grant.

    Kindest Regards

  37. ““Why Hasn’t Earth Warmed as Much as Expected?”

    Bad models. Too many guesstimates based on false expectations.
    And having not got that one right, the next question is now:

    How much cooling is to be expected?

    Inquiring minds want to know, and they want to know before it cools even further.

  38. mdjackson (16:22:44) : “We will see more of these “soft AGW” papers from climate change experts (the ones who haven’t staked their reputations and their respective organization’s reputations on AGW) until there will be a complete turnaround…”

    AGW Lite, anyone?

  39. “The price of permits to emit a ton of carbon dioxide sank 10 percent in London, while oil gained 6 percent in New York since Dec. 7, when 8,000 delegates attended a summit in the Danish capital to prepare for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, the climate treaty that expires in 2012. Not only did the summit fail to increase regulation on polluters, it also reduced incentives to invest in clean energy.”

    Carbon Falls as Climate Failure Is Oil Polluter Boon (Update2)
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601081&sid=a7ICxbCZDcyI

  40. Don’t worry, in 30 years at the bottom of the AMO they will be publishing papers about the coming ice age again.

  41. Now hold on thar!

    Haven’t you guys learnt yet?

    If the the theory’s broke, fix the data.

    http://blogs.nature.com/climatefeedback/2010/01/ams2010_data_gaps_and_errors_m.html

    New analyses provide preliminary evidence that temperature data from the UK Met office may under-estimate recent warming. That’s the conclusion of a talk given here today by Chris Folland of the Met Office Hadley Centre. Folland says that there is a very good chance that there has been more warming over land and over the ocean in the past decade than suggested by conventional data sets, but he says that the issues with land and ocean data are entirely unrelated.

  42. Is there any move underway to get the AMS to modify its official position on AGW, in the light of acceptance of this paper in a peer reviewed journal of the AMS?

  43. ShrNfr:

    And I guarantee someone will be modifying wikipedia entries, claiming there was NEVER a “consensus” that warming was happening.

    Meanwhile, Dr A Burns (16:47:45) nails my feeling on this:

    “Schwartz’s analysis attributes the reasons for this discrepancy to a possible mix of two major factors: ”

    There’s a third possible factor suggested by ice core data. Rising CO2 levels are a result of rising global temperatures and not a cause.

  44. a jones (17:28:57) :
    Still they have made it look good haven’t they?
    Especially the one who placed the lower end of the 90% bracket outside of the observations, rather than down a 0, where it belongs. This is on the assumption that the ‘best estimate’ line is correct. You never know with these graphs that are designed to bring across an opinion rather than a fact.

  45. Well, now they are admittingthat warming is less than expected at least.

    A triumph for Lukewarmism? Not likely. Note the mention of the second possibility. I believe it is VERY likely that this will be the emphasized and backed hypothesis.

  46. 1)Maybe the mean temperature of the Earth is a dubious measure of global warming.
    Instead, an equivalent mean temperature should be computed from the mean of T⁴, in order to reduce the influence of convection.
    2)The IPCC models assumes a CO2 forcing of about 3.7 watt/m², at a temperature of T=288⁰ Kelvin, for a doubling of the CO2 content. This is reflected in the GCM models, despite this primitive first order approach to the global warming by IPCC. But the CO2 forcing depends heavily on the temperature and of the content of water vapor and liquid. The forcing decrease with temperature and with increasing content of water vapor and liquid. Even by taking the feedback of water vapor into account the temperature rise for a double or triple amount of CO2 will only give a temperature rise less than .5⁰ C. This fits the estimate of Roy Spencer.

    In general, IPCC’s treatment of the scientific issues of the influence of CO2 goes from a primitive zero order model (which most accept) and the advanced GCM models which only a handful of computer experts has a chance to understand. Are the climate scientist not able to elaborate an physical analytic model, taking temperature and water vapor into account, which can be read and discussed by people with a general physical background?.

  47. mikelorrey (15:54:05) :
    “…like navigating a large ship in perilous waters without charts.”
    …Here be monsters…””

    The AGW NAV chart.

  48. among all of the dominos about to fall, the very last chance for a US Cap and Trade bill is headed down the drain!!!

    so we should all take a brief moment to join in a song for Obama tonight:

  49. Curious…

    Anyone have personal or professional contact with Schwartz, Charlson, Kahn, Ogren, and/or Rodhe? Is this latest paper a “break” in the AGW position or simply a new tactic as suggested (AGW-Lite post Copenhagen)? Are these people digging a hole for themselves trying to crawl out of the Steilag or sticking with the AGW faithful?

  50. The graphic is not that useful to illustrate the point made in the article because we are only in 2010 – I make out that the top estimate worst case for 2010 is about +0.6 and the red line “best estimate” is +0.3C.

    Is that graphic y-axis supposed to show change from 2000 or change from 1961 to 1990 long term average (anomaly) ? It would be better and more impact if the graphic also showed the actual data for 2000 to 2010 as a line.

  51. jorgekafkazar (17:36:22) :

    “AGW Lite, anyone?”

    Tastes great! Less filling!

    Tax great! Less warming!

  52. TRENBERTH: “Well I have my own article on where the heck is global warming?

    “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data … shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.” [1255352257.txt]

    There, staight from the horses mouth … the models are fine thank you. ;-)

  53. OT

    this should be good news for Cap N Trade

    Brown has a huge lead in Massachusetts. He is the projected winner. There is no longer 60 Democrat votes in the Senate.

  54. “The observed increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) over the industrial era is less than 40% of that expected”

    Does anyone trust the GMST? Are even the U.S. surface stations going to be brought up to snuff? Many of them are going to have to be relocated, right? Even then, who knows how the new stations relate long term backwards to the old, so as to get a longer valid record? How many stations do we need, where, and how many temps. per day?

    So aren’t we just going to have to rely upon Satellite data? Really, isn’t it totally “back to the drawing board” for Climate Science? Like it should have been 20+ years ago, which might have resulted in real Science.

  55. IPCC predicted warming, with knobs on, for Australia.

    Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) thermometers embedded in Oz cities and airports that are prone to the local effect of “heat-island” or “urban warming”, indeed have registered warming trends. No surprise there. On average, those dodgy thermometers are about 1 deg C warmer than they were over 100 years ago.

    However, remote met stations tell an entirely different story. On average, the current decade in those comparatively pristine locations is 0.6 deg C colder than in 1881-1890.

    If allegedly cooling trends are homogenised or otherwise massaged, are manifestly spurious warming trends subjected to the same treatment? Do climate models favour warming data to cooling? If so, no wonder predictions are all over the shop.

    Averages given above may (and should) be checked by analysing data per favour of BoM at http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/data/index.shtml

    City or airport stations:
    38003, 61055, 66062, 80015, 86071, 94029
    Remote stations:
    46043, 55023, 58012, 64008, 69018, 75031, 83025, 84016, 85096, 90015

  56. Since it seems kosher these days to dress Science in political garb (aka Hansen, Mann, Jones, etc), I have learned the lesson well. I have just written to all my legislatures to let them know I am now a registered Independent, having bowed out of my life-long Democrat Party affiliation. They turned it into a political movement. So I have done likewise. I will vote accordingly.

  57. There’s no doubt about it. The IPCC models are useless. Does anyone really believe that anyone can predict what the Sun and numerous other natural factors will be doing in the future? No doubt as the discrepancy between modeled and actual temperatures increases, the IPCC models will be discarded in due course.

  58. kadaka (16:27:49) :

    Where is the warming? It will occur after one or more avalanche effects are triggered by the rising CO2 levels, possibly a cascading series of them, leading to ever-increasing catastrophic heating and unbearable temperatures. Why, we may end up as hot as Venus!

    Unless of course the world is suddenly plunged into a new ice age, catastrophic cooling, which was recently shown to be possible since high CO2 concentrations existed during previous ice ages.

    Because the science is settled, the effects of increasing concentrations are well known, we must accept that CO2 is such a dangerous substance that only a worldwide system of strict enforced carbon controls, with appropriate wealth redistribution, can save us from the catastrophic warming to come. Or catastrophic cooling. Whatever it turns out to be, which we can say with 100% certainty will be catastrophic.

    Unless it turns out that nitrous oxide is the culprit, and we go charging off in a new direction. I can see the headline now: “No Laughing Matter”

  59. Futuristic computational predictions based on speculation without the ability to factor in natural variables at various timeslots…

    I find it so strange how they can’t get it to work with any degree of near-precision accuracy.

    /sarcasm

  60. Leif Svalgaard (16:45:55) :

    I would have expected the 90% IPCC ‘confidence’ bracket to be symmetric around the ‘Best Estimate’ and thus to include the ‘observation-based estimates’, including zero rise.

    I noticed this on first read also. If, however, the graph were set up that way, then you have a result where any warming at all is considered support for the models. If anything, the range around the best estimate should be shrunk, to indicate less uncertainty in the predictions. It is time they put their money where their mouths are, imho.

    That said, you are correct.

  61. Don’t know what all the fuss is about. The global temp is exactly what I expected it to be. Of course, since I don’t have a clue what the climate is up to, I expected it to be whatever it wanted to be. Now if we could get these clowns to admit that they are in all probability even more clueless than I am, i.e. my cluelessness is not burdened the load of misbegotten preconceptions that is driving theirs further from any possibility of actual knowledge of the climate system, we could get back to trying to understand what is really happening instead of spending billions attempting to prop up a hypothesis that is unlikely to ever be fruitful

  62. The argument by Roger Sowell (16:41:25) is valid. If CO2 is heating everywhere then every reading should show a similar increase. Moruya Heads is my watery playground and shows no increase in 100yrs http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/hqsites/site_data.cgi?variable=maxT&area=aus&station=069018&period=annual&dtype=raw&ave_yr=0 . But other ‘high-quality’ sites do.
    I understand that errors can creep in in to increase a temp. reading but isn’t a ‘flat’ reading more trustworthy, or am I showing a bias?

  63. bbc’s richard black puts quotation marks around ‘mistake’, which is done to suggest there may not be a ‘mistake’, then begins with an admission that it is a mistake which has to be corrected. Black still manages to use the date 2035 seven times in the piece. for a brief moment today, bbc world was running a news ticker about this which ended with an unattributed comment that it did not disprove ‘man-made climate change’

    BBC: Richard Black: UN climate body admits ‘mistake’ on Himalayan glaciers
    The vice-chairman of the UN’s climate science panel has admitted it made a mistake in asserting that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035…
    The issue, which BBC News first reported on 05 December, has reverberated around climate websites in recent days.
    Some commentators maintain that taken together with the contents of e-mails stolen last year from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, it undermines the credibility of climate science.
    Dr van Ypersele said this was not the case.
    “I don’t see how one mistake in a 3,000-page report can damage the credibility of the overall report,” he said.
    “Some people will attempt to use it to damage the credibility of the IPCC; but if we can uncover it, and explain it and change it, it should strengthen the IPCC’s credibility, showing that we are ready to learn from our mistakes.”..
    (final para) But its overall conclusion that global warming is “unequivocal” remains beyond reproach, he (Georg Kaser ) said
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8468358.stm

  64. a second piece on BBC has unattributed ‘authors’ denying the ‘claims’. this is so sloppy bbc:

    19 Jan: BBC: India criticises UN warning on Himalayan glacier melt
    J Graham Cogley, a professor at Ontario Trent University, said he believed the UN authors got the date from an earlier report wrong by more than 300 years.
    He said they “misread 2350 as 2035”.
    The authors denied his claims..
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8467480.stm

  65. uhm… the article describes three scenarios. climate sensitivity at low end of estimates, middle of estimates, and high end of estimates.

    OK…. and the possibility that climate sensitivity lies outside the estimated range entirely?

    Then he goes on to say it could be due to thermal lag… and then the next sentence is that current studies don’t support that. But they only go back 50 years, so what if the thermal lag is much bigger than that? Which would explain why the study didn’t turn it up, and why climate sensitivity may be outside of the estimated range…

    Oops that would also mean any temperature increases we are seeing now were due to energy input changes from before CO2 increases were significant. No reason to consider those possibilities, none at all….

  66. Politically, if I may, AGW has officially been dealt a mortal blow. No small thanks goes to the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts tonight for their vote for a new Senator. This will soon prove to have been the final straw that broke the camel’s back. The weeping and gnashing of teeth that we hear tonight are the “politicians” and “scientists” and “investors” who must now change their stripes and learn how to think for themselves.

  67. can’t resist another:

    UK Express: DAVID CAMERON FACES GREEN REBELLION FROM TORY MPS
    A poll of the 240 Conservative candidates best placed to win seats at the election found most ranked tackling climate change as their lowest priority…
    Tim Montgomerie, of conservativehome, said: “This is a hugely controversial issue for the ­Conservative Party.”
    He said there was little support among the centre-right think tanks that influence Tory policy for action to tackle climate change. He said: “I’m confident the sceptics are going to win. It’s for Cameron to decide how he’s going to get out of this. He’s lost the battle already.”
    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/152596/David-Cameron-faces-green-rebellion-from-Tory-MPs

  68. and another:

    19 Jan: Collegian: Group calls for Mann’s external investigation
    Powers also said Penn State has a good track record for handling these types of inquiries.
    “Any notion that we are not prepared to be objective in evaluating our own or are incapable of invoking appropriate sanctions in the event of misconduct is incorrect,” Powers said. “We would not jeopardize the integrity of the entire institution and its researchers for a single individual.”
    Mann did not comment on the inquiry, saying that a response would be inappropriate.
    http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2010/01/19/group_calls_for_manns_external.aspx

  69. Are there any graphs around from earlier IPCC predictions? Something from the early 90’s, where you can plot the predicted upper and lower ranges of temp increase, and then the actual, measured changes alongside it? Surely such a graph would show that, for 20 years, the temperature changes aren’t within the predictions? I know the IPCC update it all the time, but this would make an interesting series of graphs.

  70. A small point maybe.

    If GISSTemp can change the anomaly of one year, 2006, in the US series, by +0.19ºC, and this is, (supposedly), the best temperature series in the World, what is so worrying?

    Even if temperature alone were a valid metric!

    DaveE

  71. We know we have to change the course of this ship, and we know the direction of the change, but we don’t know how much we need to change the course or how soon we have to do it.”

    Nor do we know how to do it. AGW Scientists often ignore the obvious damage that shutting down energy production will do and the fact that there is no viable replacement. It’s like a hobby for some.

  72. “Mann did not comment on the inquiry, saying that a response would be inappropriate.”

    Finally he’s telling the truth. I’m puzzled as to why fraud charges haven’t yet been handed down to him.

  73. ” less than expected”
    “best estimates”
    “would be expected to”
    “possible mix”
    “may be less sensitive”
    “may be offsetting”
    “present uncertainties”
    “impossible to accurately assign weights”

    The above is from the first 3 paragraphs only. Mmmmmm where have I seen this sort of thing before??? Ah yes I remember, IPCC reports. Every single page full of maybes mights and possiblies.
    One thing we know FOR SURE is that THEY DON’T KNOW

    Possibly….”Forgive them lord for they know not what they do”
    Probably…”Punish them lord for they know exactly what they do”

  74. The 90% confidence interval in the heading Figure is just the numerical coherence of the ensemble of model predictions. It’s not a measure of physical reliability. All it says is that if you take a state-of-the-art GCM and run the same simulation, there’s a 90% chance it’ll produce a trend within those lines. That’s it. It says nothing about how confident one may be that Earth climate will actually warm that much.

    The whole business of offering physically meaningless numerical confidence limits, instead of true physical uncertainty limits, is that no one has ever propagated the physical errors and uncertainties through a GCM to determine a physically valid confidence interval. These folks literally don’t know what they’re talking about.

    Those confidence intervals are a kind of visual evocation of Jerry North’s claim that they, “know all the forcings.” But they don’t know all the forcings, and pretending only works in fairly tales. Their GCMs also suppress the upward cascade of enstrophy (the energy of turbulent atmospheric gyres). Jerry Browning has shown that ignoring this alone produces accumulating errors that quickly make predictions wrong. Neither larger, faster, computers nor decreased meshbox size will solve this problem or improve predictive accuracy.

    It’s not just the focus on “heat trapping gases” that’s wrong-headed (not to mention a physically wrong analogy) but the entire confidence in GCMs amounts to “looking for the lost key under the lamppost.”

  75. Easy it is all down to Porkomathics, a revolutionary new way of understanding the behaviour of climate science.

    Just as the general relativity theory observed that government funding was not an absolute but depended on the researcher’s ability to exaggerate, and that exaggeration was not an absolute, but depended on the researcher’s government funding, so it is now realized that temperatures are not absolute, but depend on the researcher’s position in government funded institutions, such as the IPCC.

    Further explanation of the theory behind Porkomathics:

    The first nonabsolute number is the number of disasters that can be attributed to man-made global warming. This will vary during the course of several peer reviewed reports, and then bear no apparent relation to any thing that actually happens, or the number of disasters which are subsequently shown to have not happened, or to the number of new peer reviewed reports that prove that things are even worse than we thought.

    The second nonabsolute number is the given time of arrival, which is now known to be one of those most bizarre mathematical concepts, a recipriversexcluson, a number whose existence can only be defined as being anything other than itself. In other words, the given time of arrival of a man-made climate catastrophe is the one moment of time at which it is impossible that any member of the researchers will not have comfortably retired already. Recipriversexclusons now play a vital part in many branches of science, including statistics and accountancy, and also form the basic equations used to gain large amounts of government funds.

    The third and most mysterious piece of nonabsoluteness of all lies in the relationship between the number of taxpayers footing the bill, the cost of each item, the number of researchers at the trough and what they are each prepared to invent.

  76. The graph excludes the scenarios anticipated under reduced increases or no increases in emissions. This would seem reasonable since there has been no reduction in the growth of emissions during the time period the observational trends were established.

  77. hunter (16:20:06) :
    Notice that this study is still not doing the basic science of questioning the assumptions. . .

    I know a scientist who works with mathematical models. He says the whole point of models is to test assumptions. You want to find out how complex systems work. So you build a model, using your best assumptions. Then you test it against reality and see how your assumptions stand up. When they don’t, you change them.

    These self-styled ‘climate scientists’ don’t look at their assumptions; if reality doesn’t measure up, they just add more assumptions to the model. One is reminded of medieval epicycles.

    Could there be something wrong with the assumption about climate sensensitivity to CO2 increase?

    /Mr Lynn

  78. Why Hasn’t Earth Warmed as Much as Expected?

    Because it has cooled!!!!!!!

    Unless, of course, we’re talking jiggered data, lost data, hide the decline data, Darwinized data, UHI, peer rebuked data, two sets of books data, phony data, a-proxy-ment data, missing data, trashed data, creative data, Yamal larch data, PCA-ed data, etc. …

    Why did Chicken Little cross the road? Because the sky was falling on the other side.

    “Trust me.” — Al Gore

  79. These poor lads tried 162 years too soon:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/08/15/tech/main4354826.shtml
    Canada to Search Arctic For 1840s Wreck
    Environment Minister John Baird announced the Parks Canada-led search for British Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin’s ships. The HMS Erebus and HMS Terror were last seen in the late-1840s.
    Franklin and 128 hand-picked officers and men vanished mysteriously on an expedition that began in 1845 to find the fabled Northwest Passage. Franklin’s disappearance prompted one of history’s largest rescue searches, from 1848 to 1859, which resulted in the discovery of the passage.

    And by 2008, the passage was shut once again.

  80. The analogy with a pot of water on a stove is poor in my opinion. The rate of temperature rise is dampened by the large specific heat of water, and heat trasfer while high is still limited by the thermal conductivity of the pot and boundary layer at the surface between the water and metal.

    With radiational heat transfer, photons travel at the speed of light, heat transfer (or lack thereof) should be nearly instantaneous, and the specific and heat capacity of the atmosphere is much lower than the oceans, so either the oceans are a very efficient heat sink, or the atmosphere is just not accumulating that much heat, or both. Takes a lot of heat to raise the temperature of the oceans to even a fraction of what the atmosphere gains.

    I think looking at 5-10 years of temperature is so silly really, the variation is smaller than our ability to measure temperature. 130 years, 0.6 deg C, despite a 100 ppm increase in CO2. Nothing to worry about from this perspective really.

    And Big Oil says we don’t have much oil left, so doubling CO2 levels, assuming nature leaves mans CO2 behind and discriminates, is about all we can do. Of course, if Thomas Gold is right, then maybe we take a closer look at CO2 and climate in another 50 years. The data is way too sparse now, satellite observations have only about 30 years, we should take the fabians approach and go slow (oh wait, it is the fabians pushing this).

  81. Leif Svalgaard (16:45:55) : | Reply w/ Link

    I would have expected the 90% IPCC ‘confidence’ bracket to be symmetric around the ‘Best Estimate’ and thus to include the ‘observation-based estimates’, including zero rise.

    Hmm. This would be true in a symmetric system, if the equations behind the confidence level estimate were symmetric to changes of the y axis. Considering that the IPCC method predicts catastrophic warming and trigger points certainly this cannot be the case. I think the asymmetry reflects the expectation of escalating heating. BTW we often get asymmetric errors in particle physics, for various reasons.

  82. Even using these four variables alone you would get wildly different results by arbitrarily fixing any parameter within it’s stated range and adjusting the others to reflect 100% lower tropospheric temperature.

    By their percentage contribution to the greenhouse effect the four major gases are:

    water vapor, 36–70%
    carbon dioxide, 9–26%
    methane, 4–9%
    ozone, 3–7%

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect

  83. Jeremy (20:52:34) :
    Easy it is all down to Porkomathics, a revolutionary new way of understanding the behaviour of climate science.

    Excellent, but I think the concept has already been taken Jeremy. It’s called post-normal “science”.

    One man’s joke is another man’s career. Pretty sad, for the latter.

  84. The article mentions “heat-trapping gases” 8 times. Can someone explain to me how these pesky CO2 molecules trap heat when they are free to transfer that heat to “non-heat-trapping gases”?

  85. Some commentators maintain that taken together with the contents of e-mails stolen last year from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, it undermines the credibility of climate science.
    Dr van Ypersele said this was not the case.
    “I don’t see how one mistake in a 3,000-page report can damage the credibility of the overall report,” he said.
    “Some people will attempt to use it to damage the credibility of the IPCC; but if we can uncover it, and explain it and change it, it should strengthen the IPCC’s credibility, showing that we are ready to learn from our mistakes.”..

    Roger Pielke’s, Jr.’s blog for today points out flaws in that defense. An IPCC insider, Georg Kaser, revealed that:

    1. He had alerted the IPCC staff about the error prior to publication, but they refused to correct it.

    2. None of the other reviewers pointed out this glaring error.

    3. The people in charge of the Asia section of the report lacked relevant expertise. (“They were without any knowledge of glaciology.”)

    4. Everyone in the IPCC is now aware of the fault and intends to correct it in the next report. This means that Pachauri’s vigorous defense of the flawed report against criticism by a non-alarmist recent Indian government report implies that either he was unaware (out of touch) or aware (deceitful).

    Here’s the link to Pielke’s article: http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/01/stranger-and-stranger.html

  86. Schwartz observes that formulating energy policy with the present uncertainty in climate sensitivity is like navigating a large ship in perilous waters without charts. “We know we have to change the course of this ship, and we know the direction of the change, but we don’t know how much we need to change the course or how soon we have to do it.”

    I hope he can justify this statement. What can we ‘see’ that tells we have to change anything at all?

  87. Once you add proper error bars to the estimate of GMST, then no warming at all.

    The game is up for the IPCC and their shadowy masters.

  88. Stephen Schwartz and coauthers did not visit the Surfacestations Gallery, get out of the laboratories and visit these stations, dig into CRU, Headley, GISS, …. and look at the basic raw data and method of their adjustments. What temperatures? Dr. Schwartz’ calculations rely on data hidden under Hansen, Jones %Co’s matresses. Thus it is no more than another pseudoscientific paper, as the basis is missing. I feel sorry for him.

  89. “Worse than we thought”

    The reason these AGW clowns are bemused at the refusal of the real world to obey their computerised prophesies is because they forgot to apply The First Law of Bullshit:-

    When you are producing a line of Bullshit, NEVER start believing it yourself.

    A corollary is the fact that Arrogance is a very poor substitute for Competence.

  90. “We know we have to change the course of this ship, and we know the direction of the change, but we don’t know how much we need to change the course or how soon we have to do it.”
    A sane and responsible captain would order a full engine stop, throw out the anchor, and would not move again until he has acquired a map of the waterway he’s on!

  91. Why hasn’t something matched the expectations? Well, the universal answer is that the expectations were wrong, isn’t it? Isn’t any other answer simply a denial of observable facts?

    I don’t understand Prof Schwartz’s respect towards the IPCC intervals, especially because he wrote a paper with a number that didn’t overlap with the IPCC interval at all.

    The IPCC guesses have been pretty much shown incorrect. Isn’t it already a good time to eliminate authorities – and especially completely fake authorities of the IPCC type – from the scientific discourse? For me, it’s extremely hard and annoying to read an article where 1/2 is flooded with this ad hominem nonsense.

  92. As long as SST and LST are not on the table with the raw data, computer codes, mode of corrections, corrections, revisit of the stations, station histories, revisit of stations omitted, …. there is NO basis for any scientific paper dealing with SST or LST. Same for M.Mann and his ilk or any science.

    Science dealing with data which are hidden under mattresses is not science but something like astrology. Period. There are too many reason NOT to believe in the data Hansen, Jones & Co delivered.

    Just ask for total transparency. Only after this mess is cleared after a couple of years any serious climate science relying on serious data and dealing with SST and LST can start.

  93. Martin Brumby (01:30:13) :

    “Worse than we thought”

    The reason these AGW clowns are bemused at the refusal of the real world to obey their computerised prophesies is because they forgot to apply The First Law of Bullshit:-

    When you are producing a line of Bullshit, NEVER start believing it yourself.

    Well Al Gore has followed this advise, buying a seaside property proves he does not believe the sea raise predictions.

  94. Err, I don’t get it here. the UAH anomaly for 2000 was 0.04, and for 2009 it was approximately 0.26, so about 0.2 degress higher.

    Now let’s take a look at the graph in the post. It really looks like the Douglas-Spencer-Schwwarz predictions are well below this value. Actually, the closest to observations aare IPCC for which the best estimate seems to fall exactly on +0.2 wrt to 2000.

    Could anyone superimpose the UAH anomalies since 2000 with this graph to confirm this? If it is the case, then what is wrong with the ipcc prediction?

  95. Leif Svalgaard (16:45:55) :
    I would have expected the 90% IPCC ‘confidence’ bracket to be symmetric around the ‘Best Estimate’ and thus to include the ‘observation-based estimates’, including zero rise.

    If the confidence interval is computed by assuming symmetric distributions of the underlying feedback factors, you’ll get something like this. For instance, if you use the simple feedback formula:
    delta T = T0/(1-f), and you estimate f to 1/2 with a symmetric confidence interval of (1/4, 3/4), you get that delta T will be 2 with a confidence interval of (4/3, 4) around 2.

  96. anna v (22:25:33) :
    I think the asymmetry reflects the expectation of escalating heating. BTW we often get asymmetric errors in particle physics, for various reasons.
    The best estimate is 3 degrees, the lower 90% limit is exactly half of that, 1.5 degrees and the upper 90% limit is exactly twice the ‘best’ or 6 degrees. These numbers look ‘made up’ to me rather than the result of fancy non-linear equations.

  97. Rob Vermeulen (03:36:43) :

    “Err, I don’t get it here. the UAH anomaly for 2000 was 0.04, and for 2009 it was approximately 0.26, so about 0.2 degress higher.”

    You haven’t got much for quite a while. Why should now be any different? You wouldn’t be cherry picking yet again, would you? Those AGW cherries must be starting to taste a little rotten when your alarmist pals are starting to admit there has been no warming.

  98. Watch out for the new CO2 terrorists

    David Adam
    The Guardian, Wednesday 20 January 2010

    Why the pink-footed goose is a CO2 villain

    Could this bird really have a worse carbon footprint than a patio heater?

    …”each bird is responsible for more than 100kg of ­carbon-dioxide emissions each year. The pink-footed goose: the bird with a carbon footprint four times larger than a patio heater.

    Unlike cows and sheep, the geese do not fart and burp out their sizable contribution to ­global warming. Rather, they free the carbon from the ground when they grub around in the Arctic soil for food.”…

    Funny, and it got some flack from the believers, making it twice as fun
    Time to get out and start blasting some wildlife

  99. What a second. What about a third possibility. Maybe without the greenhouse gases we would have plunged into a mini ice age due to natural variability. Or a forth possibility, maybe natural variability was leading to warmer temperatures in the first place and the sensitivity is even smaller yet.

    That’s part of the reason I’m a skeptic on all this. They have no credible way to know.

  100. This is an excellent observation:

    Phillip Bratby (22:50:22) :

    The article mentions “heat-trapping gases” 8 times. Can someone explain to me how these pesky CO2 molecules trap heat when they are free to transfer that heat to “non-heat-trapping gases”?

    I would add…what is it that an IR photon is supposed to do to a CO2 molecule that mechanical coupling to the rest of the atmosphere won’t also do? I don’t care how many Phds the warmists have, I conclude they are a bunch of knuckleheads when it comes to an intuitive understanding of physical processes.

  101. I couldn’t read all the comments but most of you have displayed such an obvious lack of knowledge on AGW that can be dispelled within 30 seconds of research with credible sources.

    For your information; Stephen Shwartz is no AGW denier. This paper is telling you that physically the amount of warming that has occurred is less than the physics of greenhouse gases should lead to. This is not in any real dispute and doesn’t come as any surprise to anyone that has researched AGW to any level of competence.

    So, do aerosols have a much larger effect that has been masking the green house effect. Hmmm Dr Shwartz wants to know; Hmmmm, Dr Shwartz poses the question…I mean if 1.4 F is melting the ice caps what would have heppened if the full effect of all those greenhouse gases would have been felt?

    and no, adding additional aerosols isn’t the answer, it’s not like returning to depleting the ozone layer and increasing acid rain and the host of human health issues from aerosols is a good solution.

    Far from being the comfort that the [snip] would like to believe this paper represents it is actually a ‘holy crap it could be way worse’.

  102. mdjackson (16:22:44) :

    [snip]

    And the revisionist history will continue.

    That’s my prediction.

    And if I’m wrong… well, I’ve got nothing to lose.

    Turnabout is fair play; If you are wrong you can always go back and revise history.  :-)

  103. KSW (06:47:58) :

    I couldn’t read all the comments but most of you have displayed such an obvious lack of knowledge on AGW that can be dispelled within 30 seconds of research with credible sources.
    ——
    Reply:

    Really. And would you please provide a list of these so-called “credible sources”, especially in light of the fact that there has been a blatant, successful effort to stifle any opposing views by the 5 major “peer-reviewed” journals when publishing papers on the topic? And also considering that a large number of these “peer-reviewd” papers that did make the cut were actually “pal-reviewed”?

    I’d like to see what you recommend.

    Because I think for the most part, “climate (cult) science” is in such a state of dysfunctional disrepair, we’d just better start all over again. The resources you’re probably thinking about have lost all credibility.

    But hey, I’m just a scientist. What do I know?

    List, please.

  104. Richard M: cherry picking? No way… The plot is a comparison between IPCC “wrong” predictions from 2000 and other theories.
    Here are the figures for yearly UAH anomalies since 2000
    0.04, 0.2, 0.31, 0.28, 0.19, 0.34, 0.26, 0.28, 0.05, 0.26
    which makes deviations from 2000 look like
    0, 0.16, 0.27, 0.24, 0.15, 0.3, 0.22, 0.24, 0.01, 0.22
    it looks like, except for 2008, all these data fall well within the IPCC range. You should for example try plotting these values along with a straight line with a 0.03 slope (the IPCC estimate) and one with a 0.01 slope (the Schwartz estimate). It’s quite telling.

  105. KSW, you appear to have selective reading. He also stated the climate sensitivity may be assumed to be too high. So now you have Latif stating that ocean oscillations may cause a couple of decades of cooling, you have Schwartz stating that the climate sensitivity may be lower then thought, and you have the NOAA saying that 15 years of no warming would invalidate the models at the 95% while we have 11 such years already past. There is a time to begin to re-evaluate your position. I don’t see why you should have to be the last in line to do so when others are already leading the way.

  106. “current best estimates of climate sensitivity,”

    It is getting really infuriating now.

    What, exactly, were the $billions spent on? Why are these people still getting funding for showing that which we can all agree upon already? It warmed up a bit. Was CO2 the cause? Come on guys.

    KSW – Please,please,please^100 show us – “within 30 seconds of research with credible sources.” I will even, for the course of this thought experiment, not argue the provenance, or credibility of said sources. Show us some real world, repeatable, falsifiable evidence that what you claim is possible. Please. I want to believe.

  107. I can’t stand it any longer. Here are the facts as I know them:

    1) 95% of the GHG warming comes from water vapor
    2) CO2 comprises 5% of GHG warming
    3) Natural sources of CO2 (volcanoes, etc.) contribute 4.75% of the 5%
    4) Anthropogenic CO2 contribution = 0.25%

    The Null Hypothesis would frame the scientific question as: “The anthropogenic contribution of 0.25% of total GHG to planetary warming has no measurable effect”.

    I believe the data collected to date (Vostock ice cores, paleoclimatology assessments, tree ring data, and 20th century temperature measurements, ice sheet coverage, etc.) has resoundingly proved the Null hypothesis. I’m no climate scientist, but why is this so hard to see?

  108. A lost key under a lamppost? I think that I might manage to find that. It might be more analogous if we were to add that our knowledge is so limited that we do not know in which street, in which city, on what continent the lamppost is, and that it might have been on, say, Krakatoa, before it blew itself up. Seems to me that you scientific types have a way to go yet.

  109. Is the graphic by Spencer part of the article or just something posted as part of this blog post?

    Is the article or a preprint version of it available somewhere other than behind the AMS paywall?

    A lot of the comments above are about the graphic, which may or may not be part of the actual article.

  110. >>Ken Harvey

    The analogy may make more sense if you have the full story.

    It’s dark. A drunk is wandering around under a lamp post looking for something. A helpful stranger walks by and asks what the guy’s looking for. “My key”, says the drunk. Thinking he’ll get the drunk off the street, the stranger starts to help look. After 15 minutes and no success, the stranger asks the drunk what he was doing when he lost the key. “I was walking through that alley”, says the drunk. After a pause, the stranger asks, “why are we looking for the key under the lamp post”. The drunk replies, “because the light’s better”.

    So, when you’re looking for a key under a lamp post, you’re searching for something in an area that’s easy for looking, but unlikely to prove successful.

  111. steven (07:46:59) :
    KSW, you appear to have selective reading. He also stated the climate sensitivity may be assumed to be too high.

    KSW is “old school” AGW:

    We know the conclusion

    The data doesn’t fit the conclusion

    Because there’s a consensus on the conclusion, the data must be wrong

    We must find a reason to adjust the data

    It’s worse than we thought

    …. and by the way KSW, no one is denying you your thought process, but a lot are skeptical of it, including Schwartz, perhaps.

  112. KSW (06:47:58) :
    I couldn’t read all the comments but most of you have displayed such an obvious lack of knowledge on AGW that can be dispelled within 30 seconds of research with credible sources.
    For your information; Stephen Shwartz is no AGW denier. This paper is telling you that physically the amount of warming that has occurred is less than the physics of greenhouse gases should lead to. This is not in any real dispute and doesn’t come as any surprise to anyone that has researched AGW to any level of competence.

    If you’re going to disparage the intelligence of WUWT readers, and inform us, at the very least it behooves you to at least state your thesis with a modicum of competence. This paper is not about the “physics” of CO2 induced greenhouse warming. It regards the amplification of the effect of increased CO2 concentration by something referenced in the article as uncertainties in climate sensitivity. These are unknown “physics” factors and are based on non-observational data, ie., assumptions. The authors agree that IPCC estimates may be incorrect. If, with your uncalculable intellectual capacity you know the sensivity, please show us your mathematical formula, or point us to others who have determined the appropriate value, which fits the observational data.

  113. Constructing asymmetry:

    Take 20 models, each a straight line from the origin to a point in the year 2100.
    Choose as endpoints: 6.5 & 4times6 & 5times3 & 9times1.5 & 1
    Declare the mean=3 as best estimate
    90% of the models are between 1.5 and 6

  114. “Rob Vermeulen (07:33:22) :
    Here are the figures for yearly UAH anomalies since 2000
    0.04, 0.2, 0.31, 0.28, 0.19, 0.34, 0.26, 0.28, 0.05, 0.26
    which makes deviations from 2000 look like
    0, 0.16, 0.27, 0.24, 0.15, 0.3, 0.22, 0.24, 0.01, 0.22
    it looks like, except for 2008, all these data fall well within the IPCC range. You should for example try plotting these values along with a straight line with a 0.03 slope (the IPCC estimate) and one with a 0.01 slope (the Schwartz estimate). It’s quite telling.”

    The linear trend for UAH anomalies is 0.0053*x + 0.1973. That is 0.53°C warmer in 100 years.
    The lowest IPCC model warms 1.5°C in 100 years.
    Try subtracting 0.197°C instead of 0.04°C

  115. Has the Earth warmed any further than it would have warmed following the natural cycles that took us from the Little Ice Age?
    If not, what the hell are we talking about?

  116. Okay now it’s my turn to take a shot at this silly analogy:

    “Schwartz observes that formulating energy policy with the present uncertainty in climate sensitivity is like navigating a large ship in perilous waters without charts. ‘We know we have to change the course of this ship, and we know the direction of the change, but we don’t know how much we need to change the course or how soon we have to do it.'”

    If we are comparing energy policy to navigating a large ship in perilous waters then the problem has nothing to do with charts. The real problem is that we are attempting to influence the height, frequency, and severity of chaotic ocean waves by shutting off the ship’s engines.

  117. Galen Haugh and Henry Galt – try this: http://scholar.google.ca/

    steven (07:46:59) and philincalifornia – have you even bothered to look at Dr Schwartz’s home page to get some background on this paper?

    Tim Clark – also for you check his home page, you will find it instructive. We are talking about estimates – that why there are error bars. The response of the climate to rising greenhouse gases is still within the error bars as presented by the IPCC. However the greatest uncertainty is due to uncertainty in the effect of aerosols – still doesn’t change anything about the role of CO2.

  118. Alejandro (10:36:56) : asked “Has the Earth warmed any further than it would have warmed following the natural cycles that took us from the Little Ice Age?
    If not, what the hell are we talking about?”

    Yes it has.

  119. I really wish this kind of report include a povenance on the data used. WHICH temperature data set was used to determin the warming measured?

    If the models are toast when compared to data sets like GHCN and USHCN that have had massive deletions of cold thermometers or large “adjutesments” of questionable nature leading ot 3 F of “rise” in the data that is not in the “raw” data; then this report would be even more spectacular.

    i’m glad to see it, but frankly, we’re getting colder right now, not warmer.

    In Florida an introduced species is getting a taste of 1970’s style cold and “It’s Raining Iguanas in Florida”. In Australia they are having snow… in Summer. Perhaps not unheard of, but incompatible with the notion of “warming”. The folks of Peru are dying in the cold. We’ve had a cold induced failure of seed production. (also not unheard of, but not what would happen in ‘warming’ conditions). The UK is one big blanket of snow. Yeah, happened before (1800s, 1970s? ) but again, not what happens with “warming”.

    There is a huge list of such things.

    So we have a (very welcome!) report saying the models are busted. But it looks to me like they are “busted” even with comparision to an artificially warmed temperature series. So what are they when compared to “Picture Window Science”? Horridly wrong. Just horridly wrong.

    FWIW: Just had a drenching downpour. California is getting hammered. Storms like I remember from back in the ’60s and ’70s. One weather report was calling for 4 to 5 feet ( 1.5 ish meters) of snow from this storm alone and for 3 inches of rain ( 7.5 cm ) in one dump over large areas of the State. In some years we don’t get that much all year. 7 inches annually is common in many areas. About 1956? 58? There was a series of monster storms dumped something like 18 feet of snow on the Donner Pass. This year feels kind of like that one to me…

    Note to all Climate Scientists: Go To The Window. Open Eyes. Think.

  120. “Why hasnt the earth warmed as much as we expected?” This question is logically on a level with:

    Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie,
    Why does a chicken,
    I don’t know why.
    Ask me a riddle and I reply,Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie…”

    (Winnie the Poo)

  121. KSW (11:40:18) :

    We are talking about estimates – that why there are error bars. The response of the climate to rising greenhouse gases is still within the error bars as presented by the IPCC. However the greatest uncertainty is due to uncertainty in the effect of aerosols – still doesn’t change anything about the role of CO2.

    I wonder whether you know what error bars are and how they are computed. In large complicated ensembles of programs they should be computed using the maximum likelihood method, i.e. a method that changes according to the errors all the input parameters and gives the errors on the output parameters.

    This is not how the IPCC model estimates have been done, by the admission in the AR4 report, chapter, 8.1.2.2 Metrics of Model Reliability has the following amazing statement:
    The above studies show promise that quantitative metrics for the likelihood of model projections
    may be developed, but because the development of robust
    metrics is still at an early stage, the model evaluations presented
    in this chapter are based primarily on experience and physical
    reasoning, as has been the norm in the past.

    and in http://www.ipcc-nggip.iges.or.jp/public/gp/english/6_Uncertainty.pdf
    the equally amazing:
    Ideally, emissions estimates and uncertainty ranges would both be derived from source-specific measured data. Since it is not practical to measure every emission source in this way, estimates are often based on the known characteristics of typical sources taken to be representative of the population. This introduces additional uncertainties, because it must be assumed that the population of these sources behave, on average, like the sources that have been measured. Sometimes enough will be known about these typical sources to determine their
    uncertainty distributions empirically. In practice, however, expert judgement will often be necessary to define the uncertainty ranges. The pragmatic approach to producing quantitative uncertainty estimates in this situation is to use the best
    available estimates; a combination of the available measured data and expert judgement.

    Thus, error estimates in AGW modeling are a matter of taste of the experts !!

    This is not errors in any scientist’s reckoning, in my not so humble opinion. It is video game playing by the experts.

    KSW (11:41:11) :

    Have a look at the data from ice cores and discuss whether the heating observed in the last 500 years is any different than the grand sequence of 10.000 years ago, let alone than the complete record.

  122. We should should not jump to conclusions until somebody qualified actually evaluates the paper. Some of the comments on here remind me of of the many baseless comments that came in the wake of Knorr’s recent paper on the “airbourne fraction” of CO2 in the atmosphere.

  123. Moderator – of this is against policy please let me know.

    My own pet theory is that the negative feedback loop that everyone is missing is that earth radiance at the poles should go up far far faster than the global temperature. It took me a while to find the right nasa giss data to analyse, let alone rummaging through the dust bins of my mind to find the physics formulas for modeling energy radiance (I gave up and used the internet), but the math supports my theory. WAY too long to post here, but if any of you who actually know what you are talking about want to review, I would appreciate input. If I am wrong I will post the explanation on my blog.

    http://knowledgedrift.wordpress.com/

  124. KSW, I read nothing on his page that would change my interpretation of his words. If anything his page reinforces my understanding of what he said. Perhaps you would like to pull some quotes from his page that would support your position that he does not put forth a lower climate sensitivity as a possible reason for the discrepancy noted.

  125. “I couldn’t read all the comments but most of you have displayed such an obvious lack of knowledge on AGW that can be dispelled within 30 seconds of research with credible sources.”

    Please provide the scientific process for determining a “credible source”.

    “For your information; Stephen Shwartz is no AGW denier.”

    Strawman, no one said he denied anything.

    “This paper is telling you that physically the amount of warming that has occurred is less than the physics of greenhouse gases should lead to. This is not in any real dispute and doesn’t come as any surprise to anyone that has researched AGW to any level of competence.”

    It is telling you more than that, it is telling you that the IPCC’s best estimate climate sensitivity is wrong.

    “So, do aerosols have a much larger effect that has been masking the green house effect. Hmmm Dr Shwartz wants to know; Hmmmm, Dr Shwartz poses the question…

    The other is that climate sensitivity being lower than current estimates.

  126. “The authors emphasize the need to quantify the influences of haze particles to narrow the uncertainty in Earth’s climate sensitivity. This is much more difficult than quantifying the influences of the heat-trapping gases.”

    In that case, they haven’t got a chance in H-E-double MM charts of ever doing it, as evidenced by the actual on-going quantification – Nope, not quite finished yet.

    The published paper;
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2008/2008_Baranov_etal.pdf

    Additional info on same project;

    https://kb.osu.edu/dspace/handle/1811/38228
    https://kb.osu.edu/dspace/handle/1811/31409

    I will point out that the people performing the actual measurements are not normally quite as certain of things as are the people who statistically bend, fold, staple, mutilate, and otherwise torture the resulting data. If you skip to the conclusion of the paper, you will see that the absorption coefficients for the water vapor continuum in one of the hallowed “window” regions need increased by an order of magnitude based on this recent research. If you check the HITRAN database website, you will find one of the researchers on this project, W. J. Lafferty, listed as a contributor. I mention this because HITRAN is used by some (probably most or all) for the line-by-line radiative transfer codes (which Gavin seems to be fond of). These are used as part of the basis for the assumptions of the efficacy of CO2, et. al., as GHG’s, and for assumptions regarding the effects of increasing concentrations of CO2 and radiative forcing with GCM’s, as well as assumptions regarding the amount of IR going through those atmospheric “windows”. This brings us back to the reason the water vapor coefficients were low in the first place; they came from what is referred to as the continuum CKD model, which is semi-empirical because some data was known, but not enough high-resolution data was available at the time it was developed, and the data was interpolated and in filled and otherwise tortured using assumptions based on what was “known” at the time, so it is a model, never the less. So we have models built on models. Nice.

    I would also mention that not only are the correct values for the water vapor continuum still not completely defined, its very origin is contentious. So much for settled science. Research is also now starting to focus on collecting more empirical data for collision-induced absorption, for instance N2-H2O, etc.

    Could you guys do me a favor and keep that last bit quiet? You know, that whole collision-induced absorption thingy. I mean, what’s a couple of orders of magnitude? I’m pretty sure we don’t want the “deniers” getting a hold of another wrench to throw into the gears of our models.

    Have a nice day.

  127. :
    It seems that the arctic has taken a nose dive, in contrast to last year the same time. Some 13 degrees cooler in less than a month.

    REPLY: I have been monitoring this, while the magnitude of the current temperature is not unusual compared to previous years, the steepness of the drop is noteworthy, but it’s not news yet. If it gets to 235K then maybe it will be. – Anthony

  128. ” anna v (21:42:10) :
    It seems that the arctic has taken a nose dive, in contrast to last year the same time. Some 13 degrees cooler in less than a month.”

    But over at Nansen, the blue curve for 2009 still climbs at a lower angle than the red curve for 2010. At JAXA (difficult to see) it seems the other way around. Might be the satellite, might be the smoothing.

  129. Alexej Buergin (02:28:07) :
    Well, sea ice extent takes some time to respond to temperature.

    I think what probably has happened is that the wind patterns changed, and the cold air remains in the arctic instead of blowing down to lower latitudes. I like that :).

  130. Why haven’t my predicated Lotto numbers matched the actual winning numbers?

    Clearly there is a fault with the machine that draws the actual numbers.

  131. I don’t think anyone really knows the true temp of planet Earth to even make a decent judgement. Also, because there’s a lot of missed temp data due to a drastically reduced number of very cold Siberian weather outposts and the effects of urban heat on other data collection, there just might not be any warming to explain.

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