A Climate of Belief

[note, footnote links will only work if you go to original article ~ ctm]

Reposted from skeptic.com

The following is Patrick Frank’s controversial article challenging data and climate models on global warming. Patrick Frank is a Ph.D. chemist with more than 50 peer-reviewed articles. He has previously published in Skeptic on the noble savage myth, as well as in Theology and Science on the designer universe myth and in Free Inquiry, with Thomas H. Ray, on the science is philosophy myth.A Climate of Belief

The claim that anthropogenic CO2 is responsible for the current warming of Earth climate is scientifically insupportable because climate models are unreliable

by Patrick Frank

“He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense.”

— John McCarthy1

“The latest scientific data confirm that the earth’s climate is rapidly changing. … The cause? A thickening layer of carbon dioxide pollution, mostly from power plants and automobiles, that traps heat in the atmosphere. … [A]verage U.S. temperatures could rise another 3 to 9 degrees by the end of the century … Sea levels will rise, [and h]eat waves will be more frequent and more intense. Droughts and wildfires will occur more often. Disease-carrying mosquitoes will expand their range. And species will be pushed to extinction.”

So says the National Resources Defense Council,2 with agreement by the Sierra Club,3 Greenpeace,4 National Geographic,5 the US National Academy of Sciences,6 and the US Congressional House leadership.7 Concurrent views are widespread,8 as a visit to the internet or any good bookstore will verify.

Since at least the 1995 Second Assessment Report, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been making increasingly assured statements that human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2) is influencing the climate, and is the chief cause of the global warming trend in evidence since about 1900. The current level of atmospheric CO2 is about 390 parts per million by volume (ppmv), or 0.039% by volume of the atmosphere, and in 1900 was about 295 ppmv. If the 20th century trend continues unabated, by about 2050 atmospheric CO2 will have doubled to about 600 ppmv. This is the basis for the usual “doubled CO2” scenario.

Doubled CO2 is a bench-mark for climate scientists in evaluating greenhouse warming. Earth receives about 342 watts per square meter (W/m2) of incoming solar energy, and all of this energy eventually finds its way back out into space. However, CO2 and other greenhouse gasses, most notably water vapor, absorb some of the outgoing energy and warm the atmosphere. This is the greenhouse effect. Without it Earth’s average surface temperature would be a frigid -19°C (-2.2 F). With it, the surface warms to about +14°C (57 F) overall, making Earth habitable.9

With more CO2, more outgoing radiant energy is absorbed, changing the thermal dynamics of the atmosphere. All the extra greenhouse gasses that have entered the atmosphere since 1900, including CO2, equate to an extra 2.7 W/m2 of energy absorption by the atmosphere.10 This is the worrisome greenhouse effect.

On February 2, 2007, the IPCC released the Working Group I (WGI) “Summary for Policymakers” (SPM) report on Earth climate,11 which is an executive summary of the science supporting the predictions quoted above. The full “Fourth Assessment Report” (4AR) came out in sections during 2007.

Figure 1. Projected increases in 21st century global average temperature assuming different CO2 emissions futures (described below). These projections are from the 4AR Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES), and appear in Figure SPM-5 of the Working Group I “Summary for Policymakers”.11 The zero level was set to the average temperature between 1980–1999, which is why most of the 20th century shows negative values.

Figure 1 shows a black-and-white version of the “Special Report on Emission Scenarios” (SRES) Figure SPM-5 of the IPCC WGI, which projects the future of global average temperatures. These projections12 were made using General Circulation Models (GCMs). GCMs are computer programs that calculate the physical manifestations of climate, including how Earth systems such as the world oceans, the polar ice caps, and the atmosphere dynamically respond to various forcings. Forcings and feedbacks are the elements that inject or mediate energy flux in the climate system, and include sunlight, ocean currents, storms and clouds, the albedo (the reflectivity of Earth), and the greenhouse gasses water vapor, CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons.

In Figure 1, the B1 scenario assumes that atmospheric CO2 will level off at 600 ppmv, A1B assumes growth to 850 ppmv, and A2 reaches its maximum at a pessimistic 1250 ppmv. The “Year 2000” scenario optimistically reflects CO2stabilized at 390 ppmv.

The original caption to Figure SPM-5 said, in part: “Solid lines are multi-model global averages of surface warming (relative to 1980–99) for the scenarios A2, A1B and B1, shown as continuations of the 20th century simulations. Shading denotes the plus/minus one standard deviation range of individual model annual averages.”

Well and good. We look at the projections and see that the error bars don’t make much difference. No matter what, global temperatures are predicted to increase significantly during the 21st century. A little cloud of despair impinges with the realization that there is no way at all that atmospheric CO2 will be stabilized at its present level. The Year 2000 scenario is there only for contrast. The science is in order here, and we can look forward to a 21st century of human-made climate warming, with all its attendant dangers. Are you feeling guilty yet?

But maybe things aren’t so cut-and-dried. In 2001, a paper published in the journal Climate Research13 candidly discussed uncertainties in the physics that informs the GCMs. This paper was very controversial and incited a debate.14But for all that was controverted, the basic physical uncertainties were not disputed. It turns out that uncertainties in the energetic responses of Earth climate systems are more than 10 times larger than the entire energetic effect of increased CO2.15 If the uncertainty is larger than the effect, the effect itself becomes moot. If the effect itself is debatable, then what is the IPCC talking about? And from where comes the certainty of a large CO2 impact on climate?

With that in mind, look again at the IPCC Legend for Figure SPM-5. It reports that the “[s]hading denotes the plus/minus one standard deviation range of individual model annual averages.” The lines on the Figure represent averages of the annual GCM projected temperatures. The Legend is saying that 68% of the time (one standard deviation), the projections of the models will fall within the shaded regions. It’s not saying that the shaded regions display the physical reliability of the projections. The shaded regions aren’t telling us anything about the physical uncertainty of temperature predictions. They’re telling us about the numerical instability of climate models. The message of the Legend is that climate models won’t produce exactly the same trend twice. They’re just guaranteed to get within the shadings 68% of the time.16

This point is so important that it bears a simple illustration to make it very clear. Suppose I had a computer model of common arithmetic that said 2+2=5±0.1. Every time I ran the model, there was a 68% chance that the result of 2+2 would be within 0.1 unit of 5. My shaded region would be ±0.1 unit wide. If 40 research groups had 40 slightly different computer models of arithmetic that gave similar results, we could all congratulate ourselves on a consensus. Suppose that after much work, we improved our models so that they gave 2+2=5±0.01. We could then claim our models were 10 times better than before. But they’d all be exactly as wrong as before, too, because exact arithmetic proves that 2+2=4. This example illustrates the critical difference between precision and accuracy.

In Figure 1, the shaded regions are about the calculational imprecision of the computer models. They are not about the physical accuracy of the projections. They don’t tell us anything about physical accuracy. But physical accuracy — reliability — is always what we’re looking for in a prediction about future real-world events. It’s on this point — the physical accuracy of General Circulation Models — that the rest of this article will dwell.

Read the rest here.

h/t dbstealey

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148 thoughts on “A Climate of Belief

  1. “”But correlation is not causation,””
    9 out of ten people that have car accidents, drink coffee…
    ….coffee causes car accidents

  2. The “arithmetic” shows a long term increase of about 0.6C per century in the GISS record.
    Patrick Frank’s arithmetic is off by nearly an order of magnitude. Perhaps he should take his own advice?

  3. When they use the model’s variability as a measure of the accuracy of the models, it’s because in their thinking the model is the reality. After looking at the variability of the model’s output, there’s no need to consider whether the model’s output will predict the actual future climate. Climate scientists talk about model runs as “experiments”.
    There’s no science involved. It’s a religous faith.

  4. “The Legend is saying that 68% of the time (one standard deviation), the projections of the models will fall within the shaded regions.(…) They’re telling us about the numerical instability of climate models.”
    This is true but it doesn’t follow at all that the models are wrong, as you suggested. The models are the best things we have and we can’t wait 100 years to see if they’re accurate or not. Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that some changes (e.g. sea level rise, Arctic melt) are running faster than predicted by the 2007 Assessment Report.
    Oh, and when are we going to get the latest Arctic Sea Ice news?

  5. Beautiful, well written and articulated. Well done, Dr. Frank. Again, showing us we don’t know what we don’t know.

  6. The Elephant in the room, regrettably, is not mentioned in this article. What IS the carbon dioxide budget in the ecosphere? Is there an irreversible increase of carbon dioxide as a result of human activity? Or does the ecosphere have a negative feedback mechanism?
    Just what is the total contribution of carbon dioxide from all animal life worldwide? What is the total absorption of carbon dioxide by all plant life worldwide? What are the properties of the boundary layer from 10 meters above the ocean to 10 meters below the ocean? What is the partial pressure of carbon dioxide, and what are the solubilities in the air and the water, as a function of temperature, wind, relative humidity, and salinity?
    How much carbon dioxide is taken up by living things in the water? The evidence is strong for a lot of carbon dioxide sink activity in the oceans.
    Just what is the total contribution of carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gases) from volcanic activity worldwide?
    Suppose (hypothesizing here) that an increase in temperature of the boundary layer rapidly increases carbon dioxide solubility in the ocean. What, then, happens to ocean plant life? Suppose that a decrease in the temperature of the boundary layer produces a rapid release of carbon dioxide?
    The recent release of ice core data is much too fresh to have been properly analyzed and digested. But the full story of the total economy of carbon dioxide is far from being written. Just watch the fizz from a carbonated beverage, and ponder.
    Models which reason and compute from first principles do not seem to exist. Modeling seems to involve a fleet of ad-hoc constants (also known as fudge factors) which do not provide us with any certainty as to future predictions. The uncertainty appears to vastly exceed the median predictions.
    As is clearly shown in the article, cloud cover models are useless. If we cannot predict cloud cover, we cannot predict reflection intensity. If we cannot predict reflection intensity, we cannot predict absorbed energy.
    The other issue is energy. We have a nuclear fusion reactor, plugging away up there, giving us all the energy we could ever use. How about capturing and converting all that lovely energy and beaming it down to earth? That is not even new technology. Terawatts await. Or should that be terawatthours? Stop piddling around with wind generators and tide generators. Go where the power is.

  7. Patrick Frank writes,
    “With that in mind, look again at the IPCC Legend for Figure SPM-5. It reports that the ‘[s]hading denotes the plus/minus one standard deviation range of individual model annual averages.’ The lines on the Figure represent averages of the annual GCM projected temperatures. The Legend is saying that 68% of the time (one standard deviation), the projections of the models will fall within the shaded regions. It’s not saying that the shaded regions display the physical reliability of the projections. The shaded regions aren’t telling us anything about the physical uncertainty of temperature predictions. They’re telling us about the numerical instability of climate models. The message of the Legend is that climate models won’t produce exactly the same trend twice. They’re just guaranteed to get within the shadings 68% of the time.”
    I believe you are misreading the graph. Solid curves in this figure represent the average across multiple models, for a given emissions scenario. Shaded areas represent standard deviation ranges for the multiple models, around those averages. So if the distribution of estimates is Gaussian, then 68% of the *models* (not 68% of the runs for any one model) should fall within the shaded areas. The standard deviations show variation between models and do not tell us that individual models
    “won’t produce exactly the same trend twice. “

  8. If we assume we can (and do) maintain the current rate and rate increases of fossil fuel burning, can we also assume we can do it for 300 years? My information leads me to believe that we can, at least for 200 years. (I also believe we will, regardless what the climate does.)
    So, given the assumption that we not only continue to burn fossil fuel, but that we continue to increase the rate at which we burn it, and we continue until it is all gone, what will be the CO2 levels then, say in 300 years? And, please let us assume that more than 90% of the current rate of increase in atmospheric CO2 levels are actually due to this burning.

  9. Forgot to include my favorite quote from the paper. “But correlation is not causation, and cause can’t be assigned by an insistent ignorance. The proper response to adamant certainty in the face of complete ignorance is rational skepticism. And aren’t we much better off accumulating resources to meet urgent needs than expending resources to service ignorant fears?”— Patrick Frank
    I don’t know how many different ways or even a better way this can be expressed to the alarmists, but it bears repeating.

  10. It seems to have taken 100 years of Western civ to get from 295 to 390 ppmv CO2.
    Can 800 ppmv be achieved without coal power plants?
    No? Then build some fission reactors, and leave my gas tax alone!

  11. The equation “Global Warming=0.36x(33°C)x[(Total Forcing)÷(Base Forcing)]” leaves me wondering how such a linear relationship could have been derived from the basic physics which says that a doubling of CO2 does NOT result in a doubling of warming and a quadrupling is not double the doubling. In other words, the effect approaches an asymptote.

  12. The greatest error ever is the following assumption (a lethany in the GW Church Creed):
    This is the greenhouse effect.Without it Earth’s average surface temperature would be a frigid -19°C (-2.2 F)
    What really keeps temperature is WATER
    The air does not have the capacity to “hold” enough heat, it only “saves” 0.001297 joules per cubic centimeterwhile water has 3227 times that capacity =4.186 joules per cubic centimeter.
    Greenhouse gases=Gases IN a CLOSED greenhouse. Our earth has NO CEILING, so no greenhouse.

  13. My favorite Einstein quote: “You know, once you start calculating, you shit yourself up before you know it.”
    (From Yourgrau, “A World Without Time: The Forgotten Legacy of Einstein and Godel”)

  14. The arguments in this article are so devestating to the assertion of AGW that I’m afraid human nature will kick in for many emotionally attached to AGW, causing them to simply reject it out of hand. Yet, the optimist in me hopes that many alarmists will read it in a calm setting in private and be persuaded. I have always thought the main problem with AGW as a force in society is that is like the Y2K scare – without the powerful antidote of 1/1/2000 1:01 AM.

  15. May I be the first to wish this article a Happy 2nd Birthday. If Frank’s arguments held water he would have the Nobel by now. As it is…
    You (Frank) did not show any error propagation in a GCM – you showed it in a toy linear model that is completely divorced from either the GCMs or the real world. Statements you make about GCMs therefore have an information content of zero
    Source: http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=65&t=9961

  16. And last but not least General Circulation Models deal only with the atmosphere. Seas do not exist at all in them
    That is like calculating how much money you have by taking into accounting only the change in your pocket and not considering your assets in banks and properties.
    It is not about science, it is about politics and beliefs of unoccupied and lazy people, more probably originated by their intake through the nose and mouth of inappropiate substances, which causes them an overwhelming desire to pontificate/opine about anything on the world without having any qualifications whatsoever.

  17. Good straightforward analysis, something not seen in the proliferation of ‘peer reviewed’ climate science.
    I think there is a typo: “Since at least the 1995 Second Assessment Report, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been making increasingly assured statements that human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2) is influencing the climate, and is the chief cause of the global warming trend in evidence since about 1900.”
    It seems “assured” should be “absurd”.

  18. From the article:

    So the bottom line is this: When it comes to future climate, no one knows what they’re talking about. No one. Not the IPCC nor its scientists, not the US National Academy of Sciences, not the NRDC or National Geographic, not the US Congressional House leadership, not me, not you, and certainly not Mr. Albert Gore. Earth’s climate is warming and no one knows exactly why. But there is no falsifiable scientific basis whatever to assert this warming is caused by human-produced greenhouse gasses because current physical theory is too grossly inadequate to establish any cause at all.

    This is it. The rest of the article explains why, but this is the key point.
    Many of the trolls and irate mockers of skeptics miss this important fact. “We” firmly believe that current technology coupled with the documented flaws in the CO2-drives-temperature hypothesis, flaws in the ability to model climate, and definite flaws in the way that temperature and climate have been recorded completely invalidate the central premise that increasing CO2 drives climate.
    Not only can it not be proven, but it can also not be disproved. I have seen absolutely no reason to believe that ANY future climate predictions can be accurate, and the catastrophic stuff is not happening, has not happened, and is extremely unlikely to happen.
    Also, we refer to the “current warming”, which has not existed for 10 years.

  19. What a beautiful an utterly complete destruction of the alleged usefullness of the “holy” GCMs of the IPPC and any predictions deduced from them. Great paper!

  20. Such detailed and informed commentary, skewering IPCC climate-models that reduce to change = .1188C x TF/BF (Total Forcing / Base Forcing in degrees Centigrade), is no more than a confirmation of Edward Lorenz’s 1960s insight that gave rise to Chaos Theory: Complex dynamic systems such as Earth’s atmosphere are sensitively dependent on initial conditions (the “butterfly effect”), whereby factors indiscernible in principle produce non-random but wholly indeterminate outcomes on all potential scales.
    “Chaotic” results in fact fall into patterns known as “strange attractors,” self-similar on every scale (what Benoit Mandelbrot called “fractal-geometric” figures). This bears on Newton’s classic “three-body problem,” introducing Lorenz’s “complexity” to any mutually interacting/feedback-mechanism of three or more components.
    Mathematically and physically, “global climate models” (GCMs) are thus inherently worthless, treating meaningless “precision” (sic) as synonymous with accuracy per our author’s arithmetic analogy of 2 + 2 = 5 +/- 0.1: Whatever the spurious error-factor, the result is just plain wrong.
    No researcher of integrity would endorse the Raj Pachauri/IPCC’s GIGO projections for one second. By definition, every climate hysteric’s GCM is an exercise in real-world futility, made “more sinister and perhaps more protracted by the lights of perverted Science” (Churchill).

  21. I enjoyed the article. It seems like a good effort to calculate uncertainty in the climate models. However, as a lay person, I am not sure I can believe that the uncertainty is really so great as they say. If one extrapolates a few centuries, according to their methodology, the lower margin of error will get to absolute zero and beyond. Is it really appropriate to assume that this is a possible temperature for earth, just based on changes in cloud cover? Likewise, on the upper end, temperatures could get to boiling and beyond. Could changes in cloud cover really have that effect, even theoretically? I’m skeptical. However, I do think that at least this article is a good start.

  22. So, no one knows what the future climate will be, but just in case we better tax everyone just in case it will be worse than we think and we want your money anyway. Oh boy! What a mess the whole world is in because of politicians and their cronies.

  23. Oh dear. Does this mean Michael Shermer is on the verge of yet another flipping point?
    SciAm will toss him out on his ear if he does just like they threw my friend Forrest Mims under the bus for failing to properly recognize the mud-to-man evolutionary narrative as indisputable fact. But hey, the magazine would be an improvement without Shermer’s column in it. Fanatic Darwin worshippers like Shermer get so bloody tiresome. Don’t get me wrong. I’m reasonably certain evolution happened over the course of billions of years but the cause, like the cause of global warming, is an unfalsifiable mystery.

  24. @Charles
    Sorry, but Patrick cannot remove more than 100% of the clouds. Other than that it would have been a nice topic since the SRES emission scenarios indeed play with different aerosol (human caused cloud) scenarios, but don’t include any uncertainties in effective climate sensitivities throughout the 21st century. Then, if we add natural variability, it’ll be blurry enough to be embarrassing.
    +2°C more human warmth is considered bad – even if it increases agricultural production worldwide or even prevents the onset of a new ice age .
    For readers who don’t read IPCC reports: 2010 means, the period 1990-2009 is being compared to 1980-1999 resulting in + 0.17°C warming (Hadcrut3). The IPCC-scenarios just show the trends of 20 year averages, not yearly averages as implied in the above article.
    With a sceptical, not “denialist” smilie from the Philippines 🙂

  25. It’s nice to see Skeptic mag picking up on real skepticism, even though it’s 20 years late. Most of the time Skeptic mag is “skeptical” in the same Orwellian way that Krokodil was “dissident”, or the same Orwellian way that Bill Maher is “politically incorrect.” These servants of the Establishment do a great job of ridiculing ideas and people currently considered heretical by the Establishment, but rarely poke holes in the current orthodoxy.

  26. The debate has always been about the accuracy of the models in being able to predict temperature changes and climate feedback sensitivities.
    We as a technological society are so deep into the “BELIEF” that all of our solutions are best handled by the technicians, we have almost disabled our hearts and higher reasoning.
    Thankfully there is an awakening that we do have the ability to find out the truth for ourselves in a collective mass. This website is one of the most important examples of that collective power to amass a true consensus.
    2+2 does not equal 5

  27. Peter Pearson says:
    June 23, 2010 at 8:04 am
    Ugh: I think he means 2+2=5 ± 1, not ±0.1.
    ===============================
    Peter,
    He is making the point that the model can never produce a correct answer, however much accuracy improves.

  28. Most large scale models have stochastic elements that simulate natural variability. This has nothing to do with “numerical instability” but rather is a way of taking into account natural variation. The model is then run many times to get a measure of the expected level of natural variation plus the overall trend. The standard variation is a measure of natural variability. Dr. Frank is, of course correct, that any errors in the underlying formulation of the model are not included in the variability (standard deviation).
    Latitude: “Everyone breathes, so therefore breathing causes auto accidents.” No, while correlation is not causation, you need to have variation in both variables to test for correlation. In your example, presumably, one would try to relate the average number of cups of coffee consumed with the frequency of auto accidents. In this example, one would probably control for alcohol drinking and age before trying to correlate coffee with accidents (perhaps using multiple regression or analysis of covariance). I understand that this is a silly example, but at least one should run the statistics in a way that makes sense.

  29. Just look how poorly the GCMs model the 20th century. There is none of the sinusoidal pattern, related to oceanic oscillations; all those models simply follow the increasing CO2. Models do not agree with the previous 20th century period: they do not agree with present cooling. They are just extrapolating the 1978-2005 trend to year 2100.
    I want to see the models running backwards and to mimic the CET record since 1659.

  30. Peter Pearson says:
    June 23, 2010 at 8:04 am
    Ugh: I think he means 2+2=5 ± 1, not ±0.1.
    ____________________________________________________________________
    No he meant ±0.1. He did it intentionally to show the models do not “model” reality in any way shape or form.
    Garbage in = garbage out

  31. stevengoddard says:
    June 23, 2010 at 7:35 am
    Justice done in the end, deserved group winners, good luck in the next round.

  32. Roald says:
    June 23, 2010 at 6:50 am
    “Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that some changes (e.g. sea level rise, Arctic melt) are running faster than predicted by the 2007 Assessment Report.”
    Roald;
    Arctic melt will not increase Sea Levels. Archimedes, remember?
    Antarctic is not melting due to CO2. Remember the post where scientists said that
    all sealevel rise is from that Ice Shelf in Antarctica, with a volcano underneath?
    Remember?

  33. stevengoddard says:
    June 23, 2010 at 7:35 am
    That’s football. USA is there. And playing well and strong. Reviewed by a Brazilian. I think America can dream.

  34. John Blake says:
    June 23, 2010 at 8:53 am
    Such detailed and informed commentary, skewering IPCC climate-models that reduce to change = .1188C x TF/BF (Total Forcing / Base Forcing in degrees Centigrade), is no more than a confirmation of Edward Lorenz’s 1960s insight that gave rise to Chaos Theory: Complex dynamic systems such as Earth’s atmosphere are sensitively dependent on initial conditions (the “butterfly effect”), whereby factors indiscernible in principle produce non-random but wholly indeterminate outcomes on all potential scales…..
    _______________________________________________________________
    John, can you explain your whole comment in simpler terms for those of us who are mathematically “challenged”? Perhaps an article for WUWT would be appropriate since this is a key point, but please consider your audience has only a junior high – high school education. This is too important to have people dismiss it because they do not understand what you are talking about.

  35. CodeTech says:
    June 23, 2010 at 8:21 am
    From the article:
    Earth’s climate is warming and no one knows exactly why.

    Nah. But very likely the steady increase of a certain important greenhouse gas is to blame. At least, this increase cannot have no effect at all. Which is what easy skeptics assume when they try alternative explanations: they forget they need to prove in such cases that there is ALSO a cooling mechanism at work that exactly compensates for the increase of carbon dioxide, only so leaving the alternative explanation for warming in the clear.
    Even easier skeptics simply [SNIP – get with the program] the existence of greenhouse gases.
    Check this out, people. It’s easy, elementary scientific thinking.

  36. This is a brilliant article and well worth the read. For those of us who instinctively feel that AGW is a hoax, it is confirmation that we are being bamboozled by those with an agenda.
    NOT ANY MORE

  37. It is only a matter of an intelligent choice:
    a) Warm your feet with a bottle filled with hot air.
    b) Warm your feet with a bottle filled with hot water.
    Bedwetters choose (a) that’s why they peed the bed.

  38. kwik says:
    June 23, 2010 at 9:50 am
    “Roald;
    Arctic melt will not increase Sea Levels. Archimedes, remember?”
    I’d appreciate if you stopped putting words in my mouth. I know perfectly well that Arctic melt doesn’t contribute to sea level rise but thermal expansion and glacier melt does.

  39. TA says: June 23, 2010 at 8:57 am
    “I am not sure I can believe that the uncertainty is really so great as they say. If one extrapolates a few centuries, according to their methodology, the lower margin of error will get to absolute zero and beyond”
    Yes, that is the symptom of the problem. If a model allows the projection of the impossible at some point in the future, then at some point prior to that future the model has obviously failed to reflect reality.
    A model of a cyclical chaotic system often fails when the ratio of actual to projection exceeds 400:3, many people do not understand (or they choose to ignore) the cumulative error inherent in modeling a cyclical chaotic system.
    Climate is a cyclical chaotic system.
    The AO people over at NOAA are actually doing very well with their very, very small component of the overall chaotic system; projecting at +/- 30% 7 days out and +/- 50% 14 days out. I wonder how they might do one, two or a hundred years out?
    AO people over at NOAA:
    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/ao_index_ensm.shtml

  40. Accuracy in climates- To model a system you don’t understand -select from a universe of unknowns only those assumptions that fit with a desired result and continue to tweak your model until you get your desired fit. Do not empirically test any of your assumptions as this may cause model problems Once you are sure you have sufficiently tweaked the model to achieve the desired result- run it multiple times. If your output of the multiple model runs are in the same ballpark you have proved the validity of the input assumptions.
    The most important step, however, is to prevent any discussion of the fact that you pulled all your assumptions out of your ass!

  41. One thing that doesn’t get mentioned often enough is that the greenhouse efficiency of CO2 is not linear. It only absorbs infrared radiation in two or three narrow frequency bands (two if you don’t count the one which overlaps with water vapor). When the center of those bands approach saturation adding more CO2 doesn’t change much as only the unsaturated fringes of the bands have any additional absorption capacity. That’s why for most of the earth’s history there has been up to and over 10 times the atmospheric CO2 concentration and it didn’t cause a runaway greenhouse. It takes exponentially more CO2 to maintain a linear ramp in its capacity to absorb IR.
    So the 100 ppm of CO2 increase (280 to 380) since the beginning of the industrial age has 10 times less GH effect than the 100 ppm that went before it and that has 10 times less effect than the 100ppm that preceded it. The first 100ppm does the lion’s share of the GH warming.
    Put another way, the “damage” (I prefer to call it a benefit) has already been done. Limiting CO2 emissions at this point is the same as locking the barn after the horse has been stolen.
    This is rather well known to physics literates including climatologists. The problem is that the measured (if you can trust the accuracy of the global temperature record which is a matter of great doubt in its magnitude) global average temperture increase is much greater than 280ppm to 380ppm can account for. So the dedicated warmists came up with an ad hoc hypothetical positive feedback mechanism that goes like this: added CO2 raises the temperature X amount which raises water vapor content by Y amount which causes an additional 2X of warming. If this were true then the oceans would have boiled off long ago. What the warmist moonbats won’t admit even in the face of the overwhelming, incontrovertable evidence of no runaway greenhouse ever happening is that there’s a negative feedback associated with rising temperatures. We get ice ages but we don’t get the opposite of them. The so-called majority of climatologists have created GCM models that are devoid of the actual cause of the relatively tiny amount of global warming in the last several decades.
    Not being a person to argue with reality it’s global cooling that has me worried. There’s a tipping point alright. A tipping point that plunges the planet into ice ages and the current interglacial period is historically long in tooth. Any cooling, any reduction in CO2, is going to adversely effect agricultural output. On my scale of risk vs. reward a few inches of sea level rise over the next 50 years is a lot easier to deal with than 25% less food to feed 50% more people. Global starvation vs. migrating a literal stone’s throw further back from the high tide point. Doesn’t seem like a difficult choice to make.

  42. Gail Combs,
    I have made a very simple model of the Earth’s climate system. For the forcing function, I used Flux data (previous to 1947, I modeled the Flux from Sun Spots). The model runs from 1749 to 2011 in Mathematica; a graph of the result is available.
    If any one is interested, contact me at jlurtz@basicisp.net.

  43. I must have missed Gneiss’s posting from June 23, 2010 at 7:16 am. I think he is right, which of course refutes the seminal message of Patrick Frank’s article.
    And I love it when someone expresses scepticism about [~SNIP~] that Stephen Goddard always posts soccer results.

  44. Dave Springer says:
    June 23, 2010 at 10:43 am
    “One thing that doesn’t get mentioned often enough is that the greenhouse efficiency of CO2 is not linear……….”
    No doubt, we didn’t have a chance to hammer that home before they moved the goalposts again to the water vapor malarkey, as you mentioned. Once someone is able to show them how that, too, is wrong, they’ll simply contrive some other fanciful machination for warming, originally caused by CO2, our byproduct of energy use.

  45. Models are but an artifact, invented by a few, to introduce wrong ideas, just apparently scientific, to naive and simple people, so as to create the impression that they need to be “protected”, but by whom, by the all knowing, all powerful STATE (state=THEY): “We will protect you from Global Warming/Climate Change, all that you got to do is….”(….while we just see what you have in your wallet)
    In a Progressive Marxist state, loyalty can and must only be manifest towards one entity: the State. There can be no other competitor for the attention or the needs of the individual, because there can be no individuals
    http://mat-rodina.blogspot.com/
    Following this logic we arrive at the conclusion that all those who oppose the current CREED must be and will be removed, and we will see this actually happening.

  46. Roald,
    “This is true but it doesn’t follow at all that the models are wrong, as you suggested. The models are the best things we have and we can’t wait 100 years to see if they’re accurate or not. Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that some changes (e.g. sea level rise, Arctic melt) are running faster than predicted by the 2007 Assessment Report.”
    Your caveat makes no sense. If it turns out that the models are indeed completely 100% inaccurate (regardless of their precision), are YOU going to be around to tell all of our great-great grandchildren that we wasted trillions of dollars which they now have to repay, all based upon output of models which had no relation to reality? Really? Just on the off-chance that they MIGHT be right?
    What if in the 1600s people had made a really catastrophically stupid decision which had a devastating effect on future generations based upon models which said that the Sun orbits the Earth? I am quite sure you would not currently appreciate any faulty decision which they had made based upon that (at the time thought to be accurate) model of the solar system.
    The FACT is that currently scientists don’t really understand all of the variables involved in climate all that well, nor do they understand all of the interactions between those variables very well. Any model based upon a poor understanding of variables and a poor understanding of the behavior of the variables can’t possibly be a very good model, except by pure accident.
    So please, in 100 years, tell our great-great grandchildren that we spent trillions of dollars which they now have to repay because of decisions made based on models which were based on a poor (at best) understanding of the system being modelled. Be sure to tell them it was the best we had available at the time, and be sure to tell them that based on these models, we thought that we HAD TO act, or the results would be catastrophic. I am sure they will understand that 100 years from now.

  47. Juraj V. says:
    June 23, 2010 at 9:41 am
    Just look how poorly the GCMs model the 20th century.

    You must have missed the memo. Humans are responsible for the global cooling that happened from 1940 to 1980 too. Anthropogenic aerosols were the cause of that, particularly sulfer from (what else) burning of fossil fuels. Even more insidious was the sulfers took the form of acids which causes the infamous acid rain which was predicted to end plant life as we know it. A global cooling acid/rain scare reached its zenith in the mid to late 1970s. When the cooling stopped it was replaced for a decade or two with an ozone hole scare where the treat was all land animals were going to die due to excessive ultraviolet radiation exposure. When that scare was debunked the global warming scare took over and that brings us to today where after a couple decades of it being the fashionable extinction of mankind scenario it too is on its way out. In the midpoints we had some other “big things” to be scared about. In the 1950s and 1960s it was nuclear holocaust with a sprinkling of population explosion.
    It just seems some people just can’t be happy unless they believe there’s some kind of global disaster on the horizon of a kind which is preventable if we could just mend our evil ways. In the meantime real threats persist which we can’t do much about. Big asteroid strikes and super-volcano eruptions come to mind. The one threat that bothers me and which we could do something about is Coronal Mass Ejections. They happen much more frequently than asteroid strikes and super volcanos. The last big one was in 1859. It melted telegraph wires and the aurora borealis was strikingly visible in southern Florida. It it hit today it would fry our electrical grid so badly it would take months to get it minimally repaired and years to fully repair. In the meantime there would be no electricity. Distribution of goods and services, water and sewer, refrigeration, emergency health care, transportation, police and fire departments, would all come to a screeching halt. Epic disaster of biblical proportion. We can work to protect our national power grids so that damage, death, and destruction is greatly minimized but no one is doing anything. It’s not a fashionable disaster scenario I guess. I think to be fasionable with the gullible public at large everyone has to feel there’s some small part they can each play like replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact flourescents. Sometimes I think, as a species, we’re too stupid to survive.

  48. Dr. Lurtz says: June 23, 2010 at 10:50 am
    “I have made a very simple model of the Earth’s climate system. For the forcing function, I used Flux data (previous to 1947, I modeled the Flux from Sun Spots). The model runs from 1749 to 2011 in Mathematica; a graph of the result is available.”
    Would you call that a forecasting model; or the application of a hypothesis to illustrate a correlation implicit in the hypothesis?
    Are you able to run from 1749 to 2010 if your data stops at 1900?
    If so how accurate are the results?
    Using the Flux from Sun Spots as a constant re-evaluation (reality limit) parameter you seem to be following reality, not forecasting reality.

  49. Slightly OT.
    I’ve been piecing together a very simple climate simulation model. I started out with patch of ground on the Earth’s equator, and considered how it would heat and cool if there was no atmosphere. I’ve now added in a simple atmosphere, with clouds floating on the top of it, and have been considering how this affects my patch of ground.
    What I could really do with is some formula which states how much solar or terrestrial radiation is absorbed by this atmosphere, given its depth and density and composition (and anything else which may affect absorption). I’ve come across something called Beer’s equation, but that seems to deal with both absorption and scattering. I just want the absorption. Once I’ve got this, I can figure out the temperature change in the atmosphere.
    Can anyone point me in the right direction?

  50. The author puts into words exactly what each of us, or most of us. Intuitively felt as we watched all the hand waving going on over the last twenty years. Most of us are not certifiable climate scientists; but, we’re at least as smart as most of team members. We just don’t chose to earn our livings that way.
    Combine that intuitive response with discomfort at all the arm-twisting that was evident since before Kyoto and you have a very “alarmed” state of skepticism setting in.
    Then, because they know that we know they’re not wearing any clothes, the name calling starts…

  51. Why does CO2 drive the climate on Planet Earth?
    You need to have a forcing variable that you could accurately predict to lead the illustration of the hypothesis (in my opinion a model does not need to be lead if it is complete). Solar activity, clouds, winds, ocean currents and geomorphology are very difficult to forecast and any projections based on such forecasts would need to have a big set of iff’s attached.
    The two simplest things to choose as a forcing variable are population and C02; which is driven by population. Both can be reasonable well forecast as the illistrations leader.
    However population would be a hard sell so they settled on CO2, because it is easy and they are lazy. That is why CO2 drives the climate on Planet Earth, laziness.

  52. Not A Carbon Cow says:
    June 23, 2010 at 9:39 am
    Peter,
    He is making the point that the model can never produce a correct answer, however much accuracy improves.
    ==============================================
    No he is making the point that no matter how precise the models are they will continue to be inaccurate.

  53. http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-models.htm
    There are two major questions in climate modeling – can they accurately reproduce the past (hindcasting) and can they successfully predict the future? To answer the first question, here is a summary of the IPCC model results of surface temperature from the 1800’s – both with and without man-made forcings. All the models are unable to predict recent warming without taking rising CO2 levels into account. Noone has created a general circulation model that can explain climate’s behaviour over the past century without CO2 warming.
    —————————————————————————————
    Above is an answer to the verifiability of climate models.
    Are they accurate enough to know that we will have climate change?
    And are they accurate enough to know the degree of climate change?
    Hindcasting does give a strong indicator of the model’s ability to reasonably recreat energy balance in the earth’s atmosphere. This has been shown over and over on many websites. Taking co2 out of the equation in modeling and all models fail to reproduce the temperatures of the past. Put co2 back in and the hindcat is resonably accurate.

  54. Roald says:
    June 23, 2010 at 10:24 am
    I’d appreciate if you stopped putting words in my mouth. I know perfectly well that Arctic melt doesn’t contribute to sea level rise but thermal expansion and glacier melt does.
    And how’s the rate of sea level rise working out for you Roald? Seems to have dropped from 3.2mm/yr to 1.5mm/yr over the period of the satellite record. What’s going on there?

  55. @PeterB in Indianapolis
    Perhaps I expressed myself poorly. What I meant was that even without the models there’s a lot we can tell about climate. In the northern hemisphere, July is warmer than January, and Chicago is usually colder than Houston. And even without GCMs we know we have a problem with global warming.
    An uncertainty of more than 100°C/century is obviously ludricous. It seems that Frank mistakes errors in absolute values with errors in a trend. But don’t let facts get in the way of beliefs.

  56. Jeff Green:
    Climate models can not predict today’s climate even by inputting all prior climate data. Until they can make validated predictions they should not be used to promote CAGW.
    But since models are about all the alarmist crowd has, that’s what they’re stuck with. You play the hand you’re dealt. Too bad the planet doesn’t agree with the models.

  57. Roald says:
    June 23, 2010 at 12:05 pm
    And even without GCMs we know we have a problem with global warming.
    We know that Warmists have a problem with global warming. Thinking, more rational people, not so much.

  58. Grumpy Old Man says:
    June 23, 2010 at 10:16 am
    What we have to fear is another ice age

    NO!, for God’s sake, NO!, we MUST FEAR NOTHING but the ones who make us fearful with the sole purpose of stealing from us the fruits from our personal labour, and turn us into their slaves or soldiers protecting what they stole from ourselves.

  59. Roald says: June 23, 2010 at 12:05 pm
    “What I meant was that even without the models there’s a lot we can tell about climate. “
    “In the northern hemisphere, July is warmer than January” If we are restricting the comparison to years within limited timeframes. There are Julys in history that are cooler than some Januarys in history.
    So “In the northern hemisphere, July is warmer than January”, is not actually a fact, but a reasonable assumption for a specified time frame.
    “Chicago is usually colder than Houston.”, this contains the word “usually”, so it is a matter of opinion what the term “usually’” means in this context since there is no time frame given, therefore this too is not a fact but an opinion.
    “And even without GCMs we know we have a problem with global warming.”, and that is simply an option, which “we” do not agree with.
    “An uncertainty of more than 100°C/century is obviously ludricous.”
    That is a problem that the computer software being used to illustrate the CAGW hypothesis needs to correct. So that is a fact the “we” agree on.
    I would have said atrocious rather than ludicrous.

  60. Roald says:
    June 23, 2010 at 10:24 am
    “I’d appreciate if you stopped putting words in my mouth. ”
    I think you said;
    “Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that some changes (e.g. sea level rise, Arctic melt) are running faster than predicted by the 2007 Assessment Report.”
    Why is Arctic melt of importance in conjunction with “e.g. sea level rise” , with a comma in between? Unless the intention that we should couple them together to a global alarm regarding CO2?
    You are claiming climate sensitive is high regarding CO2? We claim you are wrong.
    There is no reason to mention sea level rise. Unless you can turn off that vulcano.
    Therefore we can claim that Thermal expansion of the ocean comes from increased temperature, CO2 or no CO2.( As opposite to indirectly via CO2’s mythical forcing effect on H2O to give mythical temperature increases. Invented by some clever person, just to match the invented hockeystick. Man made CO2’s effect is very,very small. Cancelled out on a cloudy day, you might say)
    And Arctic melt; We claim CO2 has very little to do with it. You claim the opposite.
    The models ? It has been no statistical significant global warming for….is it 15 years now? Or was it since 1975? We are now going into a cooling period.
    Hence, the models are wrong, and it seems climate sensitivity is a myth.
    We claim there is both positive and negative feedback from clouds. Clouds are the most important factor . You claim its CO2.
    So far the real world does not support the CO2 hypothesis.
    It supports that Clouds is the dominant factor. With delay effects from oceans.

  61. RE: Dave Springer says:
    June 23, 2010 at 10:43 am
    And taking it in reverse, with a reduction in ppCO2, at some point a “cliff” is reached and the Earth becomes a very nasty place. We are much closer to that cliff now than we were 100MYBP.

  62. idlex says:
    June 23, 2010 at 11:28 am
    Sir, you should have the black body radiation formula.
    Wein’ Law
    Beer’s is good
    Kirshoff’s Law
    specific heat formula
    specific charts for various gases and water
    These will get you started. But understand the black body radiation formula used is really for a cavity. So we use it wrong.

  63. Jeff Green says:
    June 23, 2010 at 11:46 am
    Jeff,
    You should probably read the paper that was posted. You’re simply showing what he posited. The reason why the IPCC drew all the models on the same graph is to lend the appearance of accuracy. They don’t even color code the model graphs so you can’t tell one from the other. So which ones were more correct than the others? What are they advocating? That we should average errant models to reflect reality? Really, read the paper.

  64. “SteveSadlov says:
    June 23, 2010 at 12:56 pm
    RE: Dave Springer says:
    June 23, 2010 at 10:43 am
    And taking it in reverse, with a reduction in ppCO2, at some point a “cliff” is reached and the Earth becomes a very nasty place. We are much closer to that cliff now than we were 100MYBP.”
    Good demonstration of the level of understanding of dynamic systems in AGW circles. “A cliff is reached”. “We fall over the cliff”. Yeah yeah… Take care not to stumble over a tipping point on your way to the cliff or you’ll fall over.

  65. “No one seems to ever have directly assessed the total physical reliability of a GCM by propagating the parameter uncertainties through it. In the usual physical sciences, an analysis like this is required practice.” – Dr. Frank
    To my thinking this is the smoking gun in the whole business – albeit firing blanks perhaps. My father, a chemical engineer, had a memorable story pertinent to this point. He was once tasked with designing a cooling tower. On crunching the maths he found, the tower should be 6 inches high. Anticipating the ‘political’ furore this might cause, he recalculated the equations taking into account the likely variances of the inputs. The cooling tower was indeed built – but it was 60 feet high.

  66. Roald,
    The undifferentiated slip along California’s major fault shows that since the “Big One” of 1909 a large part of California is trying to move to Alaska at a rate faster than the sea is projected to rise from climate change. Despite the fact this fault will go with devastating results- California continues to focus (or sacrifice) its energy on climate change impacts. Why?
    Given the “fact” that we have or will exceed a climate tipping point why has none of the nearly trillion dollar stimulus been directed at building sea walls to prevent the inevitable inundation of our coasts, new reservoirs for the droughts, flood control and new bomb shelters for Barbara Boxer’s climate wars? Why has no group called for infrastructure hardening to protect us? (When they do I might even start to pay attention.)
    Why does Al Gore by seaside property?
    Even I don’t think politicians are that stupid– they don’t believe it either. They are very well aware there is no earthquake lobby to generate campaign contributions and by hardening our infrastructure we would lessen the fear and “waste the crisis.” In fact if they believe in these disasters and are not authorizing projects to protect us – should they not be held criminally liable?
    Given the paleo record shows that North America has been hit by crippling droughts, hurricanes, cold and famine- why is only human caused CO2 disaster worthy of our attention and money? Perhaps the greatest danger of AGW is the message being sold to the public that if we control CO2 we no longer need to worry about climate or weather.
    And when the environmental movement was in the rapture of “we are all going to die from global cooling” why wasn’t there an outcry to build more fossil fuel plants?
    Here is a simpler question given that the environmental sciences (including climate) are relatively young and deals with highly chaotic systems– how is it that not a single environmental science position -from(DDT to global warming- once claimed by the Sierra Club or EPA to be true has ever been found later to be wrong? (Worse than we thought does not count) Tell me statistically how this is possible if these were truly sciences.
    As Will Rogers said “sometimes the problem ain’t what we don’t know- its what we know that ain’t so.”

  67. Roald says “And even without GCMs we know we have a problem with global warming.” To use your own expression from further up thread Roald “don’t put words in my mouth” You may know that. I don’t. To me it seems very likely that we have now entered a period of global cooling that should last at least 30 years. However we may have entered the cooling period in ca 1945, and it may last about 90 years from then, or we may have entered the cooling in ca 3000 BC, and it may last 100,000 years. All I know is that we have recently experienced a short period of warming that seems to have stopped warming about 10 years ago. I suspect that a little CO2 induced warming, if indeed such exists, will be very welcome in a very few years.

  68. I think it is important to put the known climate data into its proper perspective instead of looking at a snapshot from 1900.
    This is the annual mean CET (Central England Temperature) from 1659.
    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/jdrake/Questioning_Climate/_sgg/m2_1.htm
    This by month;
    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/jdrake/Questioning_Climate/_sgg/m2m1_1.htm
    As you can see, throughout the record the temperatures have been warming-centuries before the input of Co2 by man. The period around 1700-1730 shows a particularly notable upturn in temperatures.
    This British instrumental record is backed up by various other records, such as this one from Uppsala.
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/10/09/how-long-is-a-long-temperature-history/
    We are fortunate with this record- from our friend Arrhenius’s home town- to have the botanical garden records as well. These take us back to around 1695. Around 1710 they talk about planting outside some quite exotic plants-together with mulberries.
    Here are some additional linear regressions for some of the oldest data sets in the world-all show the same slight warming trend over centuries.
    http://i47.tinypic.com/2zgt4ly.jpg
    http://i45.tinypic.com/125rs3m.jpg
    So the temperature rise can be traced back to at least 1690, and if we look further back, before the English Civil War, we can know that the coldest part of this second phase of the LIA occurred in the early part of the 17th Century, so we can actually trace that rise from around 1610.
    The modern GISS record merely ‘plugs’ into the end of this well documented, centuries long, slow and gentle rise. The Giss record curiously started from a known trough in temperatures around 1880 thereby exaggerating the warming trend.
    Co2 and CET temperature trend is combined here.
    http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c0120a7c87805970b-pi
    This all suggests to me that CO2 is a very weak climate driver that is overwhelmed by natural variability.
    Historic instrumental temperature records can be found here on my web site together with a variety of related articles.
    http://climatereason.com/LittleIceAgeThermometers/
    Tonyb

  69. “DirkH says:
    […]
    Good demonstration of the level of understanding of dynamic systems in AGW circles. “A cliff is reached”. “We fall over the cliff”. Yeah yeah… Take care not to stumble over a tipping point on your way to the cliff or you’ll fall over.”
    What i wanted to say is: If negative feedbacks stabilize the climate, they do it in both ways – preventing overheating as well as catastrophic cooling. It’s no use answering AGW alarmism with a new global cooling dystopia IMHO. That would only be used as an opportunity by your people like Emanuel, Schneider or Strong.

  70. Pat Moffitt: “Why does Al Gore b(u)y seaside property?”
    Pure magnanimity. He’s willing to take the financial hit, as the oceans rise, in order to prevent the suffering of the previous owner.

  71. Andrew30 says: June 23, 2010 at 12:36 pm
    “There are Julys in history that are cooler than some Januarys in history.”
    That would be interesting indeed, but it wouldn’t matter if it were true. Just like Frank you seem to confuse weather and singular events with climate and long-time trends.
    “Chicago is usually colder than Houston.”, this contains the word “usually”, so it is a matter of opinion what the term “usually’” means in this context since there is no time frame given, therefore this too is not a fact but an opinion.”
    You talk like a lawyer. This not about semantics but about statistical means, as it the climate. Perhaps I should have said that Barrow, Alaska is colder than Miami, Florida. Or is this an opinion, too?
    The problem with many ‘sceptics’ is they don’t have a theory for global warming. Once they say it’s the sun, then it’s the clouds, another time it’s definitely about cosmic rays or dust. Sometimes the sceptics claim there’s no warming at all. Perhaps you should make up your mind instead of propagating fear, uncertainty and doubt.

  72. kwik says:June 23, 2010 at 12:56 pm
    “Roald says:June 23, 2010 at 10:24 am
    “I’d appreciate if you stopped putting words in my mouth. ”
    I think you said;
    “Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that some changes (e.g. sea level rise, Arctic melt) are running faster than predicted by the 2007 Assessment Report.”
    Why is Arctic melt of importance in conjunction with “e.g. sea level rise” , with a comma in between? Unless the intention that we should couple them together to a global alarm regarding CO2?”
    I’ll say it just once more. I never said that Arctic sea ice melt leads to sea level rise. No hint that one causes the other. Perhaps you can point it out to me if I’m missing something. I only said that both were consequences of global forming.

  73. mkelly wrote:
    Sir, you should have the black body radiation formula.
    Wein’ Law
    Beer’s is good
    Kirshoff’s Law
    specific heat formula
    specific charts for various gases and water
    These will get you started. But understand the black body radiation formula used is really for a cavity. So we use it wrong.

    Thanks. But I’ve already been (mis?)using the black body formula, and specific heats of various substances, in my model so far. I just haven’t figured out how to work out how much energy atmospheric air absorbs from solar or terrestrial radiation. I’m supposing (perhaps wrongly) that the further that such radiation has to travel through the atmosphere, the more of it is absorbed. And that the denser the atmosphere, the more is absorbed too.

  74. Jeff Green says:
    June 23, 2010 at 11:46 am.
    “Hindcasting does give a strong indicator of the model’s ability to reasonably recreat energy balance in the earth’s atmosphere. This has been shown over and over on many websites. Taking co2 out of the equation in modeling and all models fail to reproduce the temperatures of the past. Put co2 back in and the hindcat is resonably accurate.”
    Sorry Jeff, but this is a false premise.
    As our climate system has many poorly measured variables and is ultimately driven by deterministic chaos, even a perfect match to past climate (which none of the current models come close to) is no guarantee that future predictions will be correct. In fact none of the models predicted the last 15 years which have had no statistically significant global warming, despite increased levels of CO2. The current crop of models are a useful learning tool, but have no predictive power.
    It’s worth reading through Patrick Frank’s post again; there are many lessons to be learned.

  75. Peter Pearson says:
    June 23, 2010 at 8:04 am
    Ugh: I think he means 2+2=5 ± 1, not ±0.1.

    No he doesn’t. He is making the point that precision is not accuracy. If 30 models agree that 2+2=5+/-0.1 then the fact they all agree within a narrow range doesn’t change the fact that they are all wrong.

  76. @ Die Zauberflotist
    Go away. You are being stupid. Think of some other reason and stop trolling.
    Seriously. GO AWAY.

  77. All the models are unable to predict recent warming without taking rising CO2 levels into account.
    What difference does that make if there’s more physical uncertainty in the assumptions than unpredicted warming ? This is “correlation, therefore causation” dressed up a bit.

  78. Roald says: June 23, 2010 at 2:00 pm
    “Just like Frank you seem to confuse weather and singular events with climate and long-time trends.”
    A computer program that is written with the belief that January in the Northern hemisphere is always colder that July in the Northern hemisphere contains a fact that is not found in nature.
    Such a program will never produce a January that is warmer than a July, no mater how long you run the program.
    A computer program written with the belief that CO2 drives temperature will always show that CO2 drives temperature.
    This not about semantics, it is about bias, pre-conceived notions and assumption about future events, none of which are facts.

  79. Roald says:

    June 23, 2010 at 2:00 pm
    The problem with many ‘sceptics’ is they don’t have a theory for global warming. Once they say it’s the sun, then it’s the clouds, another time it’s definitely about cosmic rays or dust. Sometimes the sceptics claim there’s no warming at all. Perhaps you should make up your mind instead of propagating fear, uncertainty and doubt.

    My vote for quote of the week!
    Perhaps unintentionally, Roald, you have added a tremendous amount of levity to WUWT lately. Thanks!

  80. Andrew30 says: June 23, 2010 at 2:42 pm
    “A computer program that is written with the belief that January in the Northern hemisphere is always colder that July in the Northern hemisphere contains a fact that is not found in nature.”
    Et tu, Andrew30? You are also putting words in my mouth. I said we (I) don’t need a computer model to assert that July is warmer than January in the northern hemisphere. This assertion is based on physical and astronomical realites. I didn’t say July is always warmer than January, unlikely this may be. What the heck, I would expect some computer models to produce extreme outliers given a long enough timeframe. There’s no inherent belief. But you understand the difference between singular events and a long-time trend, don’t you? You understand that Phoenix, Arizona has a desert climate, even if it gets snow once in a blue moon?
    Climate isn’t a chaotic system.

  81. I was also going to comment on Roald’s post. Code Tech was quicker on the draw. Roald said:

    The problem with many ‘sceptics’ is they don’t have a theory for global warming. Once they say it’s the sun, then it’s the clouds, another time it’s definitely about cosmic rays or dust. Sometimes the sceptics claim there’s no warming at all. Perhaps you should make up your mind instead of propagating fear, uncertainty and doubt.

    There are many shades of opinion among skeptics simply because we know that we don’t have all the answers, so Roald’s statement is just a red herring along with projection; he’s trying to frame the debate according to his rules, while doing what alarmists always do: spreading FUD.
    For Roald’s benefit, a large part of the current warming is due to the rebound from the Little Ice Age [LIA].
    Temperatures were significantly cooler during the LIA, as we can see from contemporary paintings of Washington crossing a Delaware river while passing big chunks of ice, and from eyewitness accounts of a frozen Thames.
    A small part of the warming is probably due to CO2. But what is left out of that explanation is the fact that a slightly warmer planet is good for the biosphere. Vast tracts of land in Mongolia and Siberia would become immensely more productive with even a 1°C rise, and the capacity of the atmosphere to hold more moisture would certainly reduce droughts.
    The other factors mentioned by Roald may also have some effect; in fact, clouds probably have a much greater negative forcing than a doubling of CO2.
    Scientific skeptics understand that there are multiple reasons for temperature fluctuations, some that we don’t understand — while climate alarmists hang their hats almost entirely on CO2, professing with unscientific certainty that it is the driver of the climate. Big mistake. The more we learn, the more insignificant we see that the effect of CO2 has.

  82. @Roy UK
    What can I say? I love the man. But, thank you for breaking your vow of silence in order to make that observation/suggestion.
    ‘smatter Roy? Still long BP?

  83. Peter B in Indianapolis writes
    “we wasted trillions of dollars which they now have to repay,”
    This is a very common sceptical argument. For some reason, sceptics often seem to believe that it will cost “trillions of dollars” more to use an energy system which uses less natural resources than one that uses less. This is complete nonsense, of course. Using less energy will always be cheaper than using more. How that translates into money has nothing to do with reality, since money – in contrast to oil and coal – does not actually exist in the real world. Money is simply a matter of accounting, nothing else. Or do sceptics really believe that USA is poor as long as it possesses large reserves of oil and coal, and very rich only when it has consumed every last watt-hour of these energy sources?

  84. Roald says: June 23, 2010 at 3:04 pm
    “You are also putting words in my mouth.”
    No just reading and quoting exactly what you wrote.
    What you wrote was:
    “In the northern hemisphere, July is warmer than January”
    “is warmer than January”. You must have accidentally used the absolute term, is; when you meant something else.
    Given that you had previously indicated:
    “Perhaps I expressed myself poorly”
    I should have assumed that you really did not have a complete and expressive vocabulary and cut you some slack. If this is a recurring problem, I would suggest you proofread or get someone you trust to proofread your comments prior to posting.
    In future when reading your comments I will assume that they are a private coded conversation between your mind and your eyes and that the comments are not really meant to be interpreted as they have been written.

  85. Roald says:
    June 23, 2010 at 12:05 pm
    @PeterB in Indianapolis
    Perhaps I expressed myself poorly. What I meant was that even without the models there’s a lot we can tell about climate. In the northern hemisphere, July is warmer than January, and Chicago is usually colder than Houston. And even without GCMs we know we have a problem with global warming.
    It’s 88 here in Chicago, and 86 in Houston.

  86. Smokey and Tenuc:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-models.htm
    There are various difficulties in predicting future climate. The behaviour of the sun is difficult to predict. Short-term disturbances like El Nino or volcanic eruptions are difficult to model. Nevertheless, the major forcings that drive climate are well understood. In 1988, James Hansen projected future temperature trends (Hansen 1988). Those initial projections show good agreement with subsequent observations (Hansen 2006).
    Figure 2: Global surface temperature computed for scenarios A, B, and C, compared with two analyses of observational data (Hansen 2006).
    —————————————————————————————
    Back in 1988 James Hansen already did the trick. THere are uncertainties as to how much co2 will be added. Hansen got it right and even got the volcano forcing right. That was from a model that he wrote himself.
    The models are better now.

  87. http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?a=13
    Other results successfully predicted and reconstructed by models
    •Cooling of the stratosphere
    •Warming of the lower, mid, and upper troposphere
    •Warming of ocean surface waters (Cane 1997)
    •Trends in ocean heat content (Hansen 2005)
    •An energy imbalance between incoming sunlight and outgoing infrared radiation (Hansen 2005)
    •Amplification of warming trends in the Arctic region (NASA observations)
    —————————————————————————————
    There is no mention of where the models are successful. Here is a list of where the models have been successful. The premise that the models just can’t do anything right just isn’t true. They are very powerful tools for understanding the climate.

  88. http://www.grist.org/article/climate-models-are-unproven/
    models predict that surface warming should be accompanied by cooling of the stratosphere, and this has indeed been observed;
    models have long predicted warming of the lower, mid, and upper troposphere, even while satellite readings seemed to disagree — but it turns out the satellite analysis was
    full of errors and on correction, this warming has been observed;
    models predict warming of ocean surface waters, as is now observed;
    models predict an energy imbalance between incoming sunlight and outgoing infrared radiation, which has been detected;
    models predict sharp and short-lived cooling of a few tenths of a degree in the event of large volcanic eruptions, and Mount Pinatubo confirmed this;
    models predict an amplification of warming trends in the Arctic region, and this is indeed happening;
    and finally, to get back to where we started, models predict continuing and accelerating warming of the surface, and so far they are correct.

  89. Roald says:
    June 23, 2010 at 6:50 am
    “…The models are the best things we have and we can’t wait 100 years to see if they’re accurate or not….”
    Oh yes we can, especially in lieu of multi-trillion dollar “fixes” and so forth. I don’t see any decade-long “flat spots” in those model traces, do you? Flat spots like the last dozen years? Flat spots (or even declining temperatures) that have Kevin Trenberth screaming: “Where has the global warming gone?” Evidently, your great models have a glitch. They predict a lock-step CO2/Temp relation. Which, apparently, isn’t happening.
    Now, I hypothesize there are two reasons for that last observation. First, CO2 has minimal effect on Global Temperature. Second, all the “important” thermometers have finally migrated to airports and therefore the “temperature database” is saturated. These readings are so hot that the globe will have to glow in order to further affect the data.
    The only other approach left to your side to show increasing temperature is to release HadCrut 4.0 or GISS 3.3 or whatever; computers and undisclosed “adjustments” can calculate things where no data exist – like the brutal warming trend in Darwin or in New Zealand (wait! that just seems to have been pulled out of some now-disgraced “scientist”‘s bottom. Well, he’s no longer around, so the AGW crowd will have to scramble around a bit).

  90. “”” “The latest scientific data confirm that the earth’s climate is rapidly changing. … The cause? A thickening layer of carbon dioxide pollution, mostly from power plants and automobiles, that traps heat in the atmosphere. … “””
    Now there’s an accurate scientific image for you:- “a thickening layer of carbon dioxide pollution…”
    Well that thickening layer of carbon dioxide pollution doesn’t look like your average layer of pollution. If you happen to be standing talking to one of those CO2 pollutant molecules, and you want to get a second opinion; well you will have to search about 13.7 layers of surrounding pristine Gaia approved ordinary air, to even find anothe one to converse with. It’s like walking down Broadway at 12 noon and trying to find a guy wearing the same brand of underwear you have on. Just too many ordinary folks blocking the view for you to be able to find another like yourself.
    A “Thickening layer of carbon dioxide pollution”; my foot ! People who exaggerate like that are to be pitied; they are unable to accurately describe anything they may have actually witnessed; too busy searching for adjectival superlatives to disguise their lack of communicative skills.

  91. Dave Springer says:
    June 23, 2010 at 10:43 am
    “…The problem is that the measured (if you can trust the accuracy of the global temperature record which is a matter of great doubt in its magnitude) global average temperture increase is much greater than 280ppm to 380ppm can account for….
    I think you have hit it on the head. The “adjusted temperatures” of HadCRUT and GISS that say we’ve been warming so much are simply implausible. I have numerous issues with their approaches, which I think are improper. But I also think they – particularly GISS – are cheating. I have no faith in their “good faith”.
    “…Not being a person to argue with reality it’s global cooling that has me worried. There’s a tipping point alright. A tipping point that plunges the planet into ice ages and the current interglacial period is historically long in tooth….”
    Again, I agree. Whatever causes the glacial eras has been pretty regular over a few million years. If GEOCARB and other sources are to be believed, we haven’t much more CO2 in the atmosphere than we had in the last number of glaciations. The continents have moved only a few miles. Nothing much is different – except maybe the amount of blacktop and concrete exposed to the sun. The Sun doesn’t seem to be behaving out of sorts. So why shouldn’t we consider the advent of a new glacial epoch?

  92. Smokey
    Perhaps Bob Dylan was thinking about the LIA when he wrote “I been down so long it looks like up to me”

  93. Jeff Green,
    Although models have improved somewhat, they are still NFG. No GCMs were able to predict the past eleven years of cooling, not one of them.
    Selecting only those parameters that the models got right by chance simply amounts to the Texas Sharpshooter fallacy: shoot holes in a barn door, then draw a bullseye around them. The important parameter — global warming — is still beyond the grasp of GCMs, despite the $Billions spent on them.
    Defenders of James Hansen use the same Texas Sharpshooter fallacy when trying to defend his Scenario A [most likely], Scenario B, and Scenario C predictions.
    Those prognostications covered such a wide temperature range that it would be very surprising if he missed them all. But in the event, he did miss them all. Every one of them.

  94. You don’t need a GCM to calculate that increasing atmospheric CO2 will warm the earth’s surface. There are plenty of examples on the web. Here’s one.

  95. Although models have improved somewhat, they are still NFG. No GCMs were able to predict the past eleven years of cooling, not one of them.

    No GCM can predict short-term fluctuations, but a good number include 11+ years of cooling at some stage of the output, inlcuding for the current period. Some even have two decades worth of cooling at some point towards 2100 – and these finish with significantly higher temps at the end of the century.
    Short-term cooling is not unanticipated in a long-term warming world.

  96. Barry,
    So in other words, GCMs are still NFG.
    Document one climate model that can predict today’s climate, even by inputting all prior available data.
    If they could do that, the operators could make a killing in the ag futures market.

  97. Ah…GCMs…time to check to see if GISS has even started any thing that approaches a comprehensive documentation of Model E…
    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/modelE/
    Wish they could write down what differential equations they’re solving…how about the numerical discretizations? Stability analyses? Validation and verification cases?
    Nope. Same old hindcasted garbage. Yet they STILL receive millions in stimulus and other funds to do their “research”.
    Folks, it’s all about the climate ca$h….

  98. All the models are unable to predict recent warming without taking rising CO2 levels into account.
    Yes, it is rather pitiful, isn’t it? Especially when it also turns out that none of these same models’ fig.1 21st century projections have been correct?

  99. Roald says:
    “And even without GCMs we know we have a problem with global warming.”
    I’ll bite. What is the problem?
    Best,
    Frank

  100. Document one climate model that can predict today’s climate, even by inputting all prior available data.

    There’s no profit in burning straw men.
    You said GCMs didn’t predict the current cooling. It’s matched by some, but that’s a fluke. GCMs cannot predict short-term fluctuations, and to expect them to do so is to fundamentally misunderstand their purpose and capability. The point is, short-term cooling events are a normal product of GCMs. Cooling for 11+ years is not abnormal.
    (Perhaps you’re not aware that the global temp trend shows warming since 1998. You have to cherry-pick 2002 as your start date to get a cooling trend. But then, if you start at 2006, warming begins again. There’s so many wrong assumptions in your argument, it’s not really worthwhile responding, but here it is anyway…)

  101. barry says:
    June 23, 2010 at 7:22 pm
    “…There’s no profit in burning straw men….”
    OK, Barry, we won’t burn you. Now run along!

  102. I’m really honored to have my article featured on WUWT. My real thanks to Charles-the-moderator for choosing to post it, and bringing ACoB to the attention of the millions of readers attracted by WUWT.
    For those interested, the Supporting Information document can be found here (892 kb pdf download). All the analysis supporting the article can be found there.
    I’d also like to acknowledge the publisher of Skeptic, Michael Shermer, in this forum. Mr. Shermer had already published his “Flipping Point” piece in SciAm, and so was on public record in support of AGW. Nevertheless, he published a skeptical article anyway, which testifies a true commitment to the principle of honest critical debate. His is a professional integrity that is sorely absent from Michael Mann and Phil Jones as apparently revealed in the CRU emails, not to mention the sorry lack of integrity represented by the obstructions to publication experienced by Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick.
    I was asked several times why I didn’t publish in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. There were several reasons. First, I didn’t think a proper science journal would be interested in a manuscript dedicated purely to an uncertainty analysis. More importantly, though, I’d encountered many AGW-critical papers that got lost in the scientific literature. They seemed to be ignored by the majority of climate scientists, in that the results never appeared to impact later studies. They were also ignored by the media. I wanted to avoid that fate by publishing in a more public-oriented magazine.
    I also wanted to write an article with more widely ranging discussion than the usual more focused scientific paper allows. Finally, Skeptic Magazine, specifically, has a particularly intelligent readership that includes scientists and non-scientists. A widely distributed and perceptive audience like that would help ensure that the article would not be “disappeared,” like so many other AGW-critical articles have been.
    So that’s the story. The manuscript was reviewed prior to submission by all the scientists named in the Acknowledgments. I express here my continued gratitude to them. Mr. Shermer also recruited two climate scientists who reviewed the manuscript for him after submission but before publication. I was required to respond to their reviews. And, of course, the article was extensively and critically reviewed on the web after publication. It’s still standing. 🙂

  103. The high number and low quality of warmist posts in this thread show that they are desperately afraid of the Frank article. The use of shoddy stochastic run variation ranges in lieu of actual error bars clearly shows that the GCM publishers have abandoned Science. It’s…it’s…it’s a travesty.
    (with apologies to the esteemed Kevin Trenberth.)

  104. BillD says: “Most large scale models have stochastic elements that simulate natural variability. This has nothing to do with “numerical instability” but rather is a way of taking into account natural variation. The model is then run many times to get a measure of the expected level of natural variation plus the overall trend. The standard variation is a measure of natural variability.”
    No, the standard deviation here is a measure of the accumulated simulated natural variability. Nevertheless, the resulting grey range shown is deceptive and is orders of magnitude less than the true physical error of the models. Cloud variability is only one source of error; there are others. Note, too, that estimating “global temperature” is next to irrelevant, given that (1) the oceans are 1200 times as great a heat sink as the atmosphere, (2) global heat balance is of greater importance than temperature, and (3) our temperature measurement network is extremely shoddy and has been compromised by destruction and manipulation of data.

  105. Andrew30 says:June 23, 2010 at 3:53 pm
    Roald says: June 23, 2010 at 3:04 pm
    “You are also putting words in my mouth.”
    No just reading and quoting exactly what you wrote.

    “is warmer than January”. You must have accidentally used the absolute term, is; when you meant something else.
    ….
    I should have assumed that you really did not have a complete and expressive vocabulary and cut you some slack. If this is a recurring problem, I would suggest you proofread or get someone you trust to proofread your comments prior to posting.
    In future when reading your comments I will assume that they are a private coded conversation between your mind and your eyes and that the comments are not really meant to be interpreted as they have been written.”

    I see that you don’t like to respond to my arguments and prefer to resort to sophistry and ad hominems. At least I know now where I stand with you.

  106. Roald says:
    June 23, 2010 at 12:05 pm
    And even without GCMs we know we have a problem with global warming.

    As far as I can determine increased CO2 and increasing global average temperature, especially when the greatest warming is taking place in the coldest regions, is a blessing not a curse.
    So what’s the problem you think we all know about?

  107. @ Pat Frank
    I’m not going to join a Shermer ass-kissing party. This is simply a case of an exception which proves the rule. The rule being that Shermer is a card carrying member of the politically correct bandwagon science brigade. Snide and comtemptible. Wouldn’t know real science if it bit him on the butt.

  108. DirkH says:
    June 23, 2010 at 1:44 pm
    What i wanted to say is: If negative feedbacks stabilize the climate, they do it in both ways – preventing overheating as well as catastrophic cooling. It’s no use answering AGW alarmism with a new global cooling dystopia IMHO. That would only be used as an opportunity by your people like Emanuel, Schneider or Strong.

    Negative feedbacks don’t necessarily work both ways. In the case of clouds that would be true but they don’t seem to reverse enough to stop ice ages from happening. In the past these ice ages have been catastrophic and are termed “Snowball Earth”. Accumulating Ice and snow have a positive feedback that evidently is greater than a cloudless sky can counteract. Doubtless the lower humidity is also a positive feedback. Ironically CO2 is believed to be what came to the rescue in snowball earth episodes. Lacking an unfrozen ocean surface or abundant plant life to absorb atmospheric CO2 volcanic eruptions over the course of millions of years gradually built up enough of it in the atmosphere to thaw the planet through greenhouse effect. Buildup of black carbon (soot, which floats on snow surface melt and thus gets darker and darker with each passing year) belched out by volcanos was also likely a main contributing factor to an eventual recovery from snowball earth episodes.
    I’m not advocating a global cooling scare such as what happened in the 1970’s. In today’s information overloaded world that scare would have been much much bigger likely just as big as today’s warming hysteria. What I’m advocating is a sane reaction based on facts and an acknowledgement of historic climate behavior. There has never been a runaway greenhouse in the earth’s past despite atmospheric CO2 during most of the earth’s history being at least several times present levels and at time over 10 times present levels. On the other hand there have been catastrophic glaciations which turned the earth into one big snowball for millions of years at a stretch and in the most recent geologic epoch a cyclic series of lesser glaciations lasting for roughly 100,000 years punctuated by interglacial period of roughly 10,000 years. We are right around 10,000 years into an interglacial period right now.
    See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ice_Age_Temperature.png
    If there is anything to worry about it’s global cooling not global warming. Although I don’t believe we have any immediate concerns about an approaching ice age as the cooling side of the interglacial ramp is a lot less steep than the warming side of it.

  109. RR Kampen says at 9:57 am [ … ]
    If it weren’t for your strawman, you’d have nothing.

  110. For those who still ignore some facts I will repost the following:
    CO2 follows temperature, not the other way. Open a coke and you´ll see it: The more you have it in your warm hand the more gas will go out when you open it.
    CO2 is the transparent gas we all exhale (SOOT is black=Carbon dust) and plants breath with delight, to give us back what they exhale instead= Oxygen we breath in.
    CO2 is a TRACE GAS in the atmosphere, it is the 0.038% of it.
    There is no such a thing as “greenhouse effect”, “greenhouse gases are gases IN a greenhouse”, where heated gases are trapped and relatively isolated not to lose its heat so rapidly. If greenhouse effect were to be true, as Svante Arrhenius figured it out: CO2 “like the window panes in a greenhouse”, but…the trouble is that those panes would be only 3.8 panes out of 10000, there would be 9996.2 HOLES.
    See:
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/28018819/Greenhouse-Niels-Bohr
    CO2 is a gas essential to life. All carbohydrates are made of it. The sugar you eat, the bread you have eaten in your breakfast this morning, even the jeans you wear (these are made from 100% cotton, a polymer of glucose, made of CO2…you didn´t know it, did you?)
    You and I, we are made of CARBON and WATER.
    CO2 is heavier than Air, so it can not go up, up and away to cover the earth.
    The atmosphere, the air can not hold heat, its volumetric heat capacity, per cubic cemtimeter is 0.00192 joules, while water is 4.186, i.e., 3227 times.
    This is the reason why people used hot water bottles to warm their feet and not hot air bottles.
    Global Warmers models (a la Hansen) expected a kind of heated CO2 piggy bank to form in the tropical atmosphere, it never happened simply because it can not.
    If global warmers were to succeed in achieving their SUPPOSED goal of lowering CO2 level to nothing, life would disappear from the face of the earth.
    So, if no CO2 NO YOU!

  111. stevengoddard says: June 23, 2010 at 6:37 am The “arithmetic” shows a long term increase of about 0.6C per century in the GISS record.
    I’m sorry, where do you see this? Maybe I’m not understanding what you’re saying.

  112. Anders,
    This is complete nonsense, of course. Using less energy will always be cheaper than using more.
    What? Where did you get this strange idea? You clearly understand neither the tradeoff between cost and efficiency nor the economic principle of utility. By your logic, it would be “cheap” for us all to go back to Paleolithic living standards, even though that would reduce GDP by 99%.
    There’s a reason we use money: it can be easily exchanged for utility. By mandating we use more costly “green” tech, we reduce GDP and living standards, just as if we mandated that a tenth of our crops and livestock be burned every year as an offering to the gods. Whether or not money is “real,” utility certainly is.

  113. Barry,
    GCMs cannot predict short-term fluctuations, and to expect them to do so is to fundamentally misunderstand their purpose and capability.
    What evidence is there that they can predict long-term fluctuations? The only ones with long-term track records were badly wrong. All GCMs can do is model what the temps might look like if CO2 had a major effect on temps. With all the physical uncertainties, it’s criminally dishonest for IPCC to claim the models are so reliable they should be used as the basis for multi-trillion-dollar policies.
    Also, they hindcast against a dataset that is breathtakingly dirty. Even aside from the legion of siting errors, the TOD “adjustments” alone are large compared to the signal, and the whole thing is being administered by activists whose careers are built around the notion AGW is a serious problem.
    If they want to do a real, honest forecast, they should talk to the forecasting scientists, who currently find their claims laughable. Of course, to do good science they would need to admit the errors bars are so large as to make the predictions meaningless, which would destroy the field. So instead we get more politically driven pseudo-science — policy-based evidence-making instead of evidence-based policy-making.

  114. Roald says:
    Climate isn’t a chaotic system.
    Just because you say so? Climate is the archetypal chaotic system.

  115. “”” latitude says:
    June 23, 2010 at 6:22 am
    “”But correlation is not causation,””
    9 out of ten people that have car accidents, drink coffee…
    ….coffee causes car accidents “””
    No Latitude; you have it all wrong; if you study the climate question of CO2 and Temperature causation; as epitomised by Nobel Laureate Climate Expert And Oscar Winner Al Gore; you would know that in the question of causation, the cause must happen after the event it causes. So rising CO2 in the atmosphere causes Temperature rise 800 years ago; and as evidence of that we know that CO2 is currently rising; and that 800 years ago was the mediaeval warm period when temperatures rose as a result of today’s CO2 increases.
    Therefore; you should have said that:- “”” 9 out of ten people that have car accidents, drink coffee…
    ….car accidents cause coffee “”” since it is the cofee drinking that happens first just like the global Temperature rise.

  116. “”” Enneagram says:
    June 24, 2010 at 5:40 am
    For those who still ignore some facts I will repost the following:
    CO2 follows temperature, not the other way. Open a coke and you´ll see it: The more you have it in your warm hand the more gas will go out when you open it.
    CO2 is the transparent gas we all exhale (SOOT is black=Carbon dust) and plants breath with delight, to give us back what they exhale instead= Oxygen we breath in.
    CO2 is a TRACE GAS in the atmosphere, it is the 0.038% of it.
    There is no such a thing as “greenhouse effect”, “greenhouse gases are gases IN a greenhouse”, where heated gases are trapped and relatively isolated not to lose its heat so rapidly. If greenhouse effect were to be true, as Svante Arrhenius figured it out: CO2 “like the window panes in a greenhouse”, but…the trouble is that those panes would be only 3.8 panes out of 10000, there would be 9996.2 HOLES.
    See:
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/28018819/Greenhouse-Niels-Bohr “””
    Enneagram; I see this statement (you posted) repeated often at WUWT; and there are some well known “Skeptics” well at least quite vocal; who make a career out of asserting that there is no “Greenhouse effect” and that GHGs cannot warm the atmosphere or cannot trap radiation or similar claims; as originally proposed by Arrhenius in the case of CO2.
    My personal opinion is that this is NOT a useful avenue of “attack” on the idea of Man-Made Global Warming Climate Change; MMGWCC. I simply refuse to use artificially made up words like “Anthropogenic”; particularly to describe things that most certainly are not Ma- Made. Whatever changes humans might make to their enviropnment, like making ( or generating) houses, cars, planes or what have you; we are not “Making” climate change; although some aspects of “Climate” may change, following some other things that we do “make”; but we do not have any climate change industry that is manufacturing climate change; but I’m digressing.
    Back to “Greenhouses”. Yes we all know that the CO2 capture of LWIR radiation described by Arrhenius, is NOT the process by which ordinary Agricultural “Greenhouses” work. In the case of the real “Greenhouse” the postulate is (or was) that the GLASS windows of the Greenhouse allowed Solar Spectrum radiation energy to enter the building, and warm up the interior by whatever means that can happen; but that the LWIR radiation generated inside the building, could not escape through those same GLASS windows, and so was trapped, by “The greenhouse effect”, permitting the temperature inside to rise. So the essence of the CLAIMED “greenhouse effect” in real greenhouses was the differential spectral transmission and absorption of EM radiation by the glass windows. The exact same principle is employed in thermal flat plate solar energy collectors. The flat plate surface is deliberately tailored (blackened) to increase its absorptance of Solar Spectrum EM radiation. Black absorbs better than White.
    But the solar collector panels (some of them) go further than that; and they also process the plate surface to make the LWIR surface a poor radiator at LWIR frequencies such as those that would be emitted by a surface at elevated Temperatures. The greater the differential in absorptance/emittance that the manufacturer can achieve from solar spectrum to thermal spectrum; the hoitter his plat plate collectors will get, and the greater will be the capture of solar energy.
    So goes the argument for the window glass of real greenhouses.
    Now as has been subsequently pointed out; ad infinitum; to the point of boredom; is that the primary functionaing thermal process which is different inside a greenhouse from what occurs outside on open crop lands, is the “Atmospheric Convection”.
    On the farm, the heated air near ground level, results in upward convection; which is a much more powerful transport of heat mechanism; that conduction through the atmosphere; which is a very good thermal insulator (relatively speaking). That convection is prevented in the enclosed greenhouse; and it is the trapping of the heated air that produces the heating effect in a real greenhouse.
    The “Differential Spectral Transmission” thesi for the GLASS windows of the green house, also fails to perform as advertised for a particular reason. The poor LWIR transmission of ordinary window glass, is a result of the absorptance of that energy band in the material of the glass; it is not reflected back into the greenhouse, but absorbed by the glass.
    This in turn, raises the temperature of the glass, as can be attested to by anyone who has ordinary tinted glass windows on an automobile; it gets HOT.
    In turn; the heated windows of the real greenhouse become respectable radiators of their own LWIR emissions, as a result of their elevated temperature; and about half of that radiation will be emitted from each side of the glass so half will escape from the greenhouse, and half will radiate back into the house. But the prevention of convection is well known NOW to be the primary mechanism by which real greenhouses work.
    So we all know that; so it is not useful to keep bringing up that real greenhouses DON’T work via the “greenhouse effect”.
    Well as I have pointed out they actually DO; becuase of the re-emission from the heated GLASS; except the Convection interruption is a more overpowering effect.
    But what we call “The Greenhouse effect”, in a real greenhouse was the original concept of Differential spectral transmission, by the windows.
    Now in the atmospheric case; as postulated by Arrhenius, what we call the “Greenhouse Effect” and it is quite real; is quite well understood; BUT !! it is different again, from either the “convectus interruptus” real mechanism of real greenhouses; AND!! it is different again from the supposed differential spectral transmittance of greenhouse windows.
    This is because the so-called “Greenhouse Gases” shall we say CO2, do NOT function via differential spectral absorption.
    CO2 absorbs (intercepts) ‘precisely’ the same LWIR radiation spectrum that it “emits”. Now I flagged the ‘precisely’, to warn that this is a loose usage. Only at extreme altitudes where mean free paths are long does CO2 emit PRECISELY the radiation that it absorbs; by returning to the ground state, and re-emitting the exciting LWIR photon that it intercepted; in a spontaneous decay process. At normal altitudes; specially the lower ones where CO2 is most effective at ground level; the captured energy is immediately thermalized by collisions between the capturing CO2 molecule, and the ordinary atmospheric gases of N1, O2, Ar. This thermalizing process coveys the GHG captured energy to the atmosphere and thereby raises the Temperature of the atmosphere; which in turn responds by emitting a continuum spectrum of thermal (Black body like) radiation which is close in spectrum to the original radiation from the ground; since they are at quite similar Temperatures.
    So it is in that sense that I flagged the ‘precisely’. The captured and subsequently emitted radiation are BOTH LWIR spectra that are not too dissimilar; whereas in the original greenhouse window mechanism the captured and emitted spectra are quite different; one being soalr spectrum, and the other LWIR.
    So we actually have three quite different mechanisms that we loosesly relate to “The greenhouse effect”. And everybody understands pretty much how they all work, and we don’t make any progress, by asserting that “There is no greenhouse effect.”
    Now in the case of the Superman of all “greenhouse gases” H2O, we have a more complicated picture; that largely is not followed by any of the other GHGs well pedantically we might claim CO2 to have a weak similarity.
    H2O as in WATER VAPOR behaves like CO2 in that it too absorbs parts of the LWIR thermal radiation spectrum from the ground, and thermalizes that to result in thermal re-emission from a heated atmosphere. BUT!! H2O also has a very respectable set of absorption bands at the longer wavelength end of the incoming solar energy spectrum; at wavelengths of about 760 nm and longer; out to a couple of microns and beyond, where about 45% of the solar energy still resides; and that solar spectrum capture by H2O vapor, might account for as much as 20% of that solar energy.
    So H2O exhibits two different capture-emission processes. And we note that cO2 does have some weak absorption bands at the longer end of the solar spectrum; but they are relatively inconsequential in the CO2 scheme of things; let a lone compared to H2O.
    The water vapor effect is interesting, because absorption of incoming solar energy by water vapor; while it warms the atmosphere; it cools the ground; so it is a negative feedback cooling effect. And it is a no-brainer to show that it IS a cooling effect.
    The solar spectrum energy that is captured by atmopsheric H2O vapor, DOES NOT reach the surface (ocean) , where it will be absorbed, and contribute to surface (ocean) warming. Instead it heats the atmosphere. THEN, the heated atmosphere re-radiates LWIR thermal energy BUT !! HALF of that emission heads skywards back towards outer space, and only half of it returns in the direction of the surface.
    Because of a process which I won’t repeat here (for brevity), the LWIR emission from the water warmed atmosphere is somewhat favored to escape upwards, rather than return downwards, in a cascade of re-absorption, and re-emission events.
    The atmospheric Temperature, and Density gradients force a favored escape route, over a return to earth; so the atmospheric capture by H2O of SOLAR SPECTRUM ENERGY (and also by CO2 to the extent that it happens) is a net surface cooling.
    The LWIR capture/re-emission by both CO2 and H2O vapor is clearly a surface warming POSITIVE feedback.
    So it is not fruitful to claim, that there is NO “Greenhouse effect”; there clearly is; and it is an invitation to “kook” label
    s to assert otherwise.
    Now that DOES NOT mean that the MMGWCCers are correct; and CO2 is clearly public enemy number one. They are not correct; but the “Greenhouse effect” is real.
    What it is that upsets their apple cart; that they simply refuse to acknowledge; is the simple fact that H2O alone; of all the GHGs exists as a permanent and substantial part of the earth atmosphere virtually everywhere that matters; IN ALL HTREE ORDINARY PHASES OF MATTER; VAPOR, LIQUID, AND SOLID.
    And it is the strong negative feedback cooling of both liquid and solid H2O clouds that simply swamps ANY “GREENHOUSE EFFECT”, and reduces CO2 to a mere bit player in a process that is completely under the control of the Physical Properties of the H2O Molecule.
    Hey !! “IT”S THE WATER !!”
    But let’s not choose that weak “NO greenhouse effect” hill to die on; it’s so bleak out on those slippery slopes.

  117. 1) there are 26,900,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules in 1 cubic meter of air at sea level. From Dr. Spencer’s article @Junkscience.
    So cube root of above is 299629171.44 per sqr meter.
    Divided by 1E6 is 299.6
    Times 388 (CO2 per million) is 116382 CO2 molecules per square meter.
    Total surface area of those molecules using 320 square picometers for area of one molecule is 3.72E-5 square meters.
    As CO2 would radiate isotropically less than half of the IR would go down. Reflection angles and all that. So 1.86E-5 is total radiating surface area per square meter in the air.
    According to Wein’s Law (K= 3000/ 15 um) CO2 the temperature that CO2 absorbs at is 200K.
    P= 5.6696E-8 * 1.86E-5* 200K^4*1
    P=.00168 W
    If I have done my sums correctly that is the best the warmist can get from a square meter of CO2.
    H=kA(T1-T2)/L
    Air 0.024 is thermal conductivity from engineering tool box
    H= (.024 W/mK* 1 sq. m * 4K)/1 m
    H = .096 W
    Since the air can get rid of heat 57 times faster than CO2 can send reradiate it back down how can the surface get heated by CO2?

  118. Phil Clarke says:
    “June 23, 2010 at 8:13 am
    May I be the first to wish this article a Happy 2nd Birthday. If Frank’s arguments held water he would have the Nobel by now. As it is…
    (what follows is a quotation)
    You (Frank) did not show any error propagation in a GCM – you showed it in a toy linear model that is completely divorced from either the GCMs or the real world. Statements you make about GCMs therefore have an information content of zero
    Source: http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=65&t=9961
    I, Theo Goodwin, say that you should not waste your time following the link. It was troll bait when it was posted at Skeptic magazine. I am impressed by Mr. Frank’s article and would like to see some serious criticism of it, but I can find none. All the link says is that Mr. Frank’s model is a toy but a real GCM does not have these problems. Every response made by the climate faithful appeals to the ingenious models that they have constructed which are perfect and that no ordinary Ph.D. could possibly ever understand. The obvious truth of the matter is that there is no climate science worth the name. Not one climate scientist has presented something that can be called science and that supports AGW. The best we have, the best IPCC has, the best Al Gore has is Mann’s dreamy creative statistics and inadequate data. That’s it. Until climate science can present some science, they should say nothing at all.

  119. George E. Smith says:
    June 24, 2010 at 12:03 pm
    It is the water. I concur.
    That is why I used to laugh at the Honda car commericials that talked about having cars that ran on hydrogen and produced only water. Burning anything with carbon in it produces more molecules of water than CO2. If someone said “Hey global warming is being caused by humans adding too much water vapor in the air.” I may have believed that. But people know water is necessary for life and making a villian out of water would never have gotten anywhere.

  120. Anders L. says:
    June 23, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Peter B in Indianapolis writes
    “we wasted trillions of dollars which they now have to repay,”

    This is a very common sceptical argument. For some reason, sceptics often seem to believe that it will cost “trillions of dollars” more to use an energy system which uses less natural resources than one that uses more. This is complete nonsense, of course. Using less energy will always be cheaper than using more.

    As Spain has shown the world.

  121. Phil Clarke, that’s just an argument reposted from a comment by Gavin Schmidt during our debate on RealClimate. Ken Fabos at the Skeptic site just re-posted that comment as an argument from authority.
    The simple linear equation in the Skeptic article got its “0.36” fraction from an extrapolation of the GCM output published by Manabe, as referenced in the Supporting Information. The forcings were all calculated from the IPCC-issue equations that are also used in the current GCMs.
    So, to suppose that the equation is, “divorced from either the GCMs…” is wrong.
    The part about “… or the real world,” is irrelevant because I specifically disclaimed any connection to the physics of climate. The whole idea was to test what GCMs do, not what Earth does.
    Skeptic article Figure 2 shows that this simple equation has all the fidelity of any given state-of-the-art GCM in projecting the atmospheric temperature effect of increasing CO2. This point is fully established in the Supporting Information document. The fidelity validates the subsequent uncertainty estimate shown in Figure 4.

  122. I’m still surprised that more hasn’t been said about what Joel Rogers “Mr. Crime inc himself” said about it not mattering one bit what is done about carbon, it won’t change the temperature a bit even with a 0 co2 footprint, we just need the money for our green agenda and for other projects through Cap and Trade.
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8322323502581858919&hl=en# about 30 minutes into the video when he says it(give or take).
    Also like has been said if we are putting 30million metric tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere currently and that is 2ppm of the greenhouse gases that’s 15 tonnes per ppm.
    so even if we had no humans or animals on earth it would take 33 years to make .65 degrees C difference in global temps.
    Where is everyone going for 33 years?
    And the other side is saying it doesn’t matter what we do with CO2 we just want the money for our projects from Cap and Trade?

  123. Roger Knights says:
    June 24, 2010 at 7:01 pm
    As Spain has shown the world.
    I’m sorry I must have misunderstood what you said.
    I misread your comment about Spain showing the world that a green ecological economy is cheaper?
    Um with hundreds of businesses fleeing the country and or sending jobs over seas to Third world nations because they can’t afford to keep employees and they have a national 21% and growing National Unemployment rate and the Nation of Spain is this close to literally declaring bankruptcy as a nation and needing the ITO to come in and give them a life saving transfusion of funds and taking control of their nation as similar to Greece, I certainly didn’t read your post correctly did I?

  124. Um well so far the US Government has thrown not spent 1.8 trillion and growing over the last 10 years.
    By the time they instigate Cap and Trade it will cost this nation of ours probably about 10 trillion and another 35 million lost jobs, and our country being controlled by the ITO.
    skeptic nonsense in deed.

  125. Espen,
    I’m trying to figure out how you figure the world is the archetype of chaos?
    For Eons the world has warmed and cooled. It has brought itself back to balance naturally. Volcano’s blow sending ash into the atmosphere which while, reaking havoc on airplane travel for the rich from europe to america and vice versa, it cools the planet.
    While one end of the world loses ice the other gains it.
    when the world gets cold the worlds oceans release co2 and warms it via the greenhouse effect.
    Now Venus, Mars, and the Moon all show obvious signs of chaos. Very little greenhouse gases and no or little atmosphere and no life possible.
    The world is an incredibly intelligent design and full of logical behavior put into motion by an intelligent designer.

  126. Excellent article which illustrates something that has bothered me for a while.
    We see so much effort devoted to arguments about measurements of data such as ice thickness and temperature as if these data by themselves mean something conclusive. In reality until there is a reliable model the data is just data. Few people seem to appreciate this. There is no way that a reliable model can be produced which is not immediately consumed by its own error bars.
    Even if by some miracle we had a perfect model there is absolutely no way that we can produce a method of steering the climate. Unless maybe we can turn volcanoes on and off adjust the sun etc.
    So between measurement and spending money we have two absolute show stoppers. Why do we spend so much time arguing with warmists over what was the warmest decade and when was the ice thicker when it is all completely moot?

  127. Smokey says:
    June 24, 2010 at 4:58 am
    RR Kampen says at 9:57 am [ … ]
    If it weren’t for your strawman, you’d have nothing.

    I don’t understand this comment.
    Are you trying to deny that CO2 is a greenhouse gas?

  128. @Jeff Green
    June 23, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?a=13
    Other results successfully predicted and reconstructed by models

    My answers are in capital letters. No offense.

    •Cooling of the stratosphere OK

    •Warming of the lower, mid, and upper troposphere

    THE LOWER TO MID TROPOSPHERE IS SUPPOSED TO WARM 1.2 TIMES FASTER THAN THE SURFACE, WHICH IS NOT THE CASE. LOWER TROPOSPHERE WARMS ABOUT THE SAME OVER THE SEA BUT LESS OVER CONTINENTS. TYPICALLY UHI. AND UPPER TROPOSPHERE SURPRISINGLY COOLS FROM THE STRATOSPHERE.

    •Warming of ocean surface waters (Cane 1997)

    AND NO WARMING SINCE 2000 (Lymann 2010) OWING TO A LACK OF WATER VAPOR FEEDBACK (Pielke S.R.

    •Trends in ocean heat content (Hansen 2005)

    STOPPED SINCE 2003

    •An energy imbalance between incoming sunlight and outgoing infrared radiation (Hansen 2005).

    SURE, NOT ALL RADIATION ENERGY WILL RAISE TEMPERATURE AND AS TO THE MISSING AGW-SUBMARINE, SCIENTISTS ARE STILL SEARCHING THE OCEANS .

    •Amplification of warming trends in the Arctic region (NASA observations)

    THEY DIDN’T PREDICT THAT, IT HAPPENED BEFORE.

  129. 1personofdifference says:
    June 24, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    Roger Knights says:
    June 24, 2010 at 7:01 pm
    As Spain has shown the world.

    I’m sorry I must have misunderstood what you said.
    I misread your comment about Spain showing the world that a green ecological economy is cheaper?
    Um with hundreds of businesses fleeing the country and or sending jobs over seas to Third world nations because they can’t afford to keep employees and they have a national 21% and growing National Unemployment rate and the Nation of Spain is this close to literally declaring bankruptcy as a nation and needing the ITO to come in and give them a life saving transfusion of funds and taking control of their nation as similar to Greece, I certainly didn’t read your post correctly did I?

    I was being sarcastic.

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