The IPCC, 1990: "Detection of the Greenhouse Effect in Observations" – at odds with the 1988 Senate testimony of Dr. James Hansen?

I’m rather tired still from my trip, and so I don’t have the energy to get into a detailed read and analysis of this document which was posted up on the IPCC website just 14 hours ago. This is the first time I’ve seen this document, though others may know of it.

But, I’m sure WUWT readers will have some insight and we can look at it in more detail tomorrow.

WUWT reader Alan writes in an email:

Searching around the internet just now I chanced upon an IPCC document, listed as being posted 14 hours ago. Curiously, however, it isn’t a recent document at all, rather an IPCC pdf from 1990! I know the date from cross-checking and finding it mentioned in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, June 1992. Anyway, its title is Detection of the Greenhouse Effect in the Observations, and it deals with the conditions needed to confirm that global warming is due to a human-induced enhanced greenhouse effect. In other words, the document admits that these conditions have not yet been established but — in Section 8.4, When Will The Greenhouse Effect be Detected — stipulates what MUST occur in the future in order to diagnose a human cause.

The document is here: http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_chapter_08.pdf

Alan

In case the document disappears, I’ve also loaded it onto WUWT here:

ipcc_far_wg_I_chapter_08 (PDF)

In my very brief scan, I found this section most interesting:

Note that in 1988, four* two years earlier, in his testimony before the US Senate, Dr. James Hansen said this in his opening remarks:

Source: http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Environment/documents/2008/06/23/ClimateChangeHearing1988.pdf

Mind you, this is only 10 years after the fiercely cold North American Winter of 77-78 in which ideas of another ice age were being bandied about in scientific and media circles.

Maybe, giving the benefit of the doubt, they are talking about different things, but there seems to be a significant profound confidence gap between Dr. Hansen’s testimony and that of the IPCC working group 1 on the ability to discern “global warming” in the surface temperature record. The disparity is striking due to the similarity of wording.

I’ll leave the rest in the hands of our capable readers for further discussion.

* Note: I made a mistake, originally saying 1992 in the title, which was the year the BAS report mentioned the 1990 IPCC FAR document. Corrected. – Anthony

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Interesting – but note that the co-authors comprise all the usual suspects, including James Hansen himself. The chapter was in the IPCC’s First Assessment Report of 1991. The mention of the “fingerprint” method of detection & attribution is fascinating, as that developed the fake “confirmation” of CO2 as the culprit in the Appendix in Hegerl, Zwiers et al in Solomon et al., Chapter 9 “Understanding and attributing climate change”, IPCC WG AR4 2007.
The 1991 co-authors of the FAR chapter are all very much in the business but not one has ever to my knowledge published any multivariate regression analysis, least of all in AR4, their fingerprint detection is solely model-derived.
My paper on this is about to be published online, possibly today, by Australia’s Lavoisier Group (www.lavoisier.com.au)

jorgekafkazar

Well, the discrepancy is possibly the result of wishful thinking on the part of Dr. Hansen. If the good Dr. Hansen wishes to appear a messianic figure in world history, the warming must be there to save us from. If it turns out not to be there, of course, he could end up looking like a first class buffoon. And if major climate scientists he associates with are eventually shown to have fabricated evidence in any way to force a new world order upon us, he’ll go down in history with them as more Judas Iscariot than Jesus of Nazareth.

Daniel H

There are all kinds of curious claims made in the IPCC First Assessment Report (FAR 1990) that contradict prior claims and (mostly) later claims made by climate scientists. Most people are unaware of this because the IPCC refuses to post a full unabridged PDF version of the FAR on their web site. This makes it difficult to contrast and compare the FAR with subsequent assessment reports unless you own a hard copy.
Fortunately, a hard copy is easy to come by if you know where to look. Used copies are selling for $0.52 on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/ipcc-far

wayne

Out of the 35 authors, I’ll just term it the Hansen-Jones-Trenberth (HJT92) paper, I can’t seem to find the “Business-As-Usual Scenario” mentioned in HJT92 as being in an appendix #1. Does anyone happen to know where the appendices can be located?

Doug in Seattle

Perhaps Dr. Hansen was speaking out of an alternate orifice.
It is also quite possible is that in 1990 the IPCC had not yet been fully corrupted by the bureaucrats, who by 1996 were re-writing whole sections of the IPCC reports to conform with the core IPCC mission (to “prove” a human cause for global warming).

Mike Fox

Well, I think the more interesting sentence is the one below the yellow highlighting:
“. . . [I]f the global warming becomes sufficiently large, we *will be able to _claim_ detection* simply because there will be no other possible explanation.” [Emphasis added.]
Looks to me like someone’s really eager to attribute warming to CO2 in the typical non-disprovable way. I believe E.M. Smith pointed out not too long ago that there was a strong correlation between jet airplane flights and the “claimed” increase in temperature. Why don’t we “claim” that as the only possible explanation?
Me? I’m much more interested in scientific demonstration than claims.

Stephen Wilde

This recent article proposes just such an alternative possibility to GHG warming that makes it very difficult to exclude natural low frequency variability as the cause of all the climate fluctuations observed so far:
http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/reprint/the_associate_of_albedo_and_olr_radiation_with_variations_of_precipitation_implications_for_agw.html
“We anticipate that a doubling of CO2 will act in a way to cause the global hydrologic cycle to increase in strength by approximately 3-4 percent. Our analysis indicates that there will be very little global temperature increase (~0.3oC) for a doubling of CO2, certainly not the 2-5oC projected by the GCMs.”
“It is possible for the troposphere to gain energy from increases in CO2 and to simultaneously enhance its radiation to space to largely balance out all or most of the CO2 energy gains. ”
“Observations of upper tropospheric water vapor over the last 3-4 decades from the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data and ISCCP data show that upper tropospheric water vapor appears to undergo a small decrease while IR or outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) undergo a small increase. This is opposite to what has been expected from the GCMs. These models have erroneously exaggerated the magnitude of the water vaporfeedback. They have also neglected the strong enhancement of albedo which occurs over the rain and cloud elements.”
Furthermore it provides support from my original work from July 2009 which specifically diagnosed the speed of the hydrological cycle as a powerful countervailing factor against GHG warming:
http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=3735
“Our Saviour – The Hydrological Cycle”.

Christopher Hanley

There was no evidence of any significant post-WWII warming in 1988.
http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1940/to:1990/mean:13/plot/gistemp/from:1950/to:1987/trend

Professor Bob Ryan

Most interesting – I have been working on the observation/attribution problem for some time now using the published ocean/air temperatures and CO2 emissions. It is reassuring to see that the IPCC document came to the view it did and I do not believe anything of significance has changed. First, statistically, it is almost impossible to establish any meaningful correlation between co2 and temperature. Both processes are non-stationary with the first having one unit root and the second two. Inducing stationarity in both series brings a close to zero correlation on all lags. Correlation does not imply causality but the absence of correlation is a tough problem to surmount for those who do believe there is an empirical relationship.

EternalOptimist

do I understand correctly that a 21 year old document has been published on an IPCC website within the last day ?
if so, i wonder why. is this kind of thing normal ?
EO

ThinkingScientist

PDF documents generated from scans of the FAR WG documents have been up on the IPCC web site for some months now. Not sure if everything is there, but I downloaded copies of WG1, WG2, WG3, supplementary material and the 90-92 assessments at the beginning of February this year.
http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_and_data_reports.shtml

Bob – brilliant. My paper re correlation will not be up at http://www.lavoisier.com.au until tomorrow, but if you contact me (tcurtin [at] bigbl;ue.net.au) I will send it to you.

ThinkingScientist

RE: Mike Fox
“. . . [I]f the global warming becomes sufficiently large, we *will be able to _claim_ detection* simply because there will be no other possible explanation.” [Emphasis added.]
Indeed. George Bernard Shaws’ comments on statistics seem rather pertinent here (in ascribing meaning to spurious correlation without actually knowing about cause and effect):
“Or, to take another common instance, comparisons which are really comparisons between two social classes with different standards of nutrition and education are palmed off as comparisons between the results of a certain medical treatment and its neglect. Thus it is easy to prove that the wearing of tall hats and the carrying of umbrellas enlarges the chest, prolongs life, and confers comparative immunity from disease; for statistics show that the classes which use these articles are bigger, healthier, and live longer than the class which never dreams of possessing such things.”
That is why the neglect by Mann to publish R2 statistics and the “hockey stick” from “red noise” demonstrated by MM; RyanO et al demonstration of absurd response of antarctic warming maps by Steig09 to small data changes are so damning – spurious correlation, all of them.

Brian H

Mike Fox;
Beat me to it. What struck me was the gormlessly tendentious tone — fully into advocacy mode; how to sway and pacify the peasantry so they don’t ask smart stupid questions.
A Pox on ’em.

R2

The statement after your highlighted paragraph in “8.1.4 Attribution And The Fingerprint Method” is classic non-Science “However, if the Global Warming becomes sufficiently large we will eventually be able to claim detection simply because there will be no other explanation”
non-Science (commonly pronounced ‘nonsense’) = illogical and without evidence; made-up; uninformed guesswork; unfounded political or religious assertion.

John Marshall

I thought that the evidence of AGW was the extra heat in the upper troposphere- you know that heat that we cant measure because it is not there, that undetectable heat mentioned on one of the deleted emails from Mann et al to Jones et al.

rbateman

“In short, we have very lew adequately observed
data variables with which to conduct detection studies It is
important therefore to ensure that existing data senes are
continued and observational programmes are maintained in
ways that ensure the homogeneity of meteorological
records”
And that is thier problem. First, the surface station mix has been altered/discontinued/sensor changed and second a lot of data has been adjusted. The attempt to make non-uniform data over time spans satisfy demand for long-term data aquisition by adjusting has injected uncertainty. Circular progress.
If you cannot see the signal over the noise with the raw data, you cannot see it with adjustments.
Hoo boy.

rbateman

“It is accepted that global-mean tempeiatuies have
increased over the past 100 yeais and aic now warmer than
at any time in the period of instrumental lecord This global
warming is consistent with the results ol simple model
predictions ol greenhouse gas induced climate change
However, a number ol other factors could have contributed
to this warming and it is impossible to prove a cause and
effect relationship”
And the failure to warm the past 10-15 yrs means that the Climate is right back to where they started: Can’t see the signal for the noise. It is now more likely than ever that the sensitivity of the climate to greenhouse forcing is , at the very least, overstated. Continued cooling of the global mean temp. will destroy the AGW hypothesis as a meaningful theory…all except for one caveat:
AGW may act to delay/buffer the onset of the next Ice Age, but only by the narrowest of margins. Facing the prospect of an eventual 10C drop in global temps, a .3C gain is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

stevo

Hansen’s claims were controversial at the time, and like many ground-breaking science results, they were not immediately accepted by the community. The IPCC reports are supposed to represent the consensus of the community. So, it should be no surprise that they did not simply regurgitate and uncritically accept the dramatic claims recently made, but used rather more cautious language. Why would you be surprised that IPCC reports are something rather more than cut-and-paste jobs of recent papers?
“Mind you, this is only 10 years after the fiercely cold North American Winter of 77-78 in which ideas of another ice age were being bandied about in scientific and media circles.”
Only in media circles, actually.
“…strong correlation between jet airplane flights and the “claimed” increase in temperature. Why don’t we “claim” that as the only possible explanation?”
Because it has no basis in physics.

AusieDan

Eternal Optomist
Yes your point is indeed “interesting”.
Things like that do not happen by chance.
The reason for the posting may be quite mundane and uninteresting.
On the other hand, it may not.
I do hope sombody can follow this up.
Small things sometimes prove to be most important.

Myrrh

1990 – IPCC report saying what must be established to be able to claim, Hansen two years earlier saying it has been. All this was in the flux of the IPCC being thoroughly organised to produce the global warming scare.
I did make an attempt when I first began exploring AGW to work out what was happening in those critical years, it was horribly complicated and I didn’t have the time to collate it properly into running time line as I was trying to explore all the other claims. It was from the 1995 IPCC report that the key paragraph showing there was no evidence of any human connection was excised from the following Summary report (which came out in 1996?), the Santer Chapter 8 becoming the official AGW line.
http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Social/IPCC-Santer.htm
“Why did Santer, a relatively junior scientist, make the unsupported revisions? We still don’t know who directed him do so, and then approved the changes. But Sir John Houghton, chairman of the IPCC working group, had received a letter fromt he U.S. State Department dated November 15, 1995. It said:
It is essential that the chapters not be finalized prior to the completion of the discussions at the IPCC Working Group I plenary in Madrid, and that chapter authors be prevailed upon to modify their text in an appropriate manner following the discussion in Madrid.
The letter was signed by a senior career Foreign Service officer, Day Olin Mount, who was then Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. The Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs was former Senator Timothy Wirth (D-CO). Wirth was not only an ardent adovate of man-made warming, but was a close political ally of then-President Bill Clinton and then-Vice President Al Gore. ”
These were certainly interesting times in the AGWScience push, when Singer and Seitz got stuck into defending RealScience. Some of the saga on http://www.hockel.com/gore.pdf
There’s also an interesting post from Vincent Gray on Climategate: ‘There was Proof of Fraud All Along’ (PJM Exclusive)
By Vincent Gray, November 27, 2009 http://wtcdemolition.com/blog/node/2540
The IPCC was established in 1988, Hansen is merely setting the scene for the conclusions manipulating AGW. The next years were the fight between real scientists who thought the IPCC was genuine scientific analysis, contributors and non-contributors, from their growing realisation that this was a con from the beginning, and those promoting the con who have used every dirty trick in the book to confuse the issue, to hide the con.

Jean Demesure

The IPCC’s website has published over the last months (don’t know the exact date) the First and Second assessement reports which were absent previously.
I first saw them on early february this year but I presume the move was made before.

Stephen Wilde says:
March 18, 2011 at 12:18 am
Thank you Stephen for this link.
Like I have been saying for many years, why is it always the “scientists” who are the last to catch on?
“It is possible for the troposphere to gain energy from increases in CO2 and to simultaneously enhance its radiation to space to largely balance out all or most of the CO2 energy gains. ”
Thanks to Kirchhoff’s Law I think it is not just possible, it is guaranteed!
Quote:
“Initially, the proportion of absorbed energy that isn’t re-emitted as radiation represents an amount of stored energy which raises the internal temperature (as thermally conducted rather than radiated in and out of objects inside the body such as a glass thermometer and the liquid inside the glass thermometer“OR PLANET”) – over and above what one would expect. The temperature continues to rise until the radiation emitted by the body is equal to the radiation absorbed by the body in spite of the bottleneck presented by the lack of emissivity. This state of balanced heat flow at elevated temperature is called thermal equilibrium, and is driven by Kirchhoff’s Law – which applies to all bodies.”
(“OR PLANET” mine obviously.)
This statement describes exactly what the so called “Greenhouse Effect” is meant to be responsible for. Yet the so “Greenhouse Effect” is actually Kirchhoff’s Law rebranded but with the inevitable associated cooling ignored/removed/hidden.
As an engineer, man and boy, the fallacies of the “Greenhouse Effect” hypothesis are glaringly obvious to me.

ThinkingScientist

RE: Eternal optimist
IPCC only published the early reports in hard copy as web and pdf were not used widely (if at all) back in the early 1990s. They have scanned the earlier documents to pdf and put them on the web as a convenience. Maybe they could have done it earlier but perhaps nobody asked for it. Not really fair to criticise them for something quite helpful for those that can’t get hold of the original hard copies. I have the 1992 and 1995 reports in hard copy but couldn’t find a copy of the FAR for sale so I was pleasantly surpised when they turned up as scans at the IPCC website.

kim

Truth shall out. Well, usually, anyway.
=============

Tom in Florida

Mike Fox says: {March 18, 2011 at 12:17 am}
“Well, I think the more interesting sentence is the one below the yellow highlighting:
“. . . [I]f the global warming becomes sufficiently large, we *will be able to _claim_ detection* simply because there will be no other possible explanation.” ”
Yes, much like the Egyptians knew that the Sun was a god simply because there was no other possible explanation.

kim

Bob @ 1:27 AM
Nice.
===

Phil Clarke

Yep – Links to the FAR pdfs have been on wiki since last October according to the history page.
I, for one, detect no great chasm between Dr Hansen’s opinion – that the low probability of the warming signal being ‘chance’ combined with the observed warming being in line with predictions and having characteristics such as a cooling stratosphere, that were inconsistent with natural warming made a strong argument for the reality of the ‘enhanced’ greenhouse
effect, and the IPCC’s cautious view that it was not possible unequivocally to rule out natural variability as the primary cause.
The IPCC reports are authored by committee, then approved by politicians so tend to the conservative end of the spectrum.
As we now know, in time the observations nearly always end up in the high end of IPCC projection ranges.
Remember also that the IPCC only considers studies that have been published before its cutoff date, which is quite some time before the report publication date, so Dr Hansen may well have been using material ‘in press’ or not available to the authors of AR1.

You chaps need to read “Slaying The Sky Dragon” and get properly sceptical/Realist -less of the lukewarmer at WUWT. There IS NO greenhouse effect from CO2. This whole theory is impossible according to the laws of thermodynamics!

climatebeagle

1990
“scientists working in this field cannot at this point in time make the definitive statement: Yes we have now seen an enhanced greenhouse effect”
“However, a number of other factors could have contributed to this warming and it is impossible to prove a cause and effect relationship”
“Thus it is not possible at this time to attribute all or even a large part of the observed global mean warming to the enhanced greenhouse effect on the basis of the observational data currently available”
AR4 2007:
“The understanding of anthropogenic warming and cooling influences on climate has improved since the TAR, leading to very high confidence that the global average net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming”
“Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.12 This is an advance since the TAR’s conclusion that “most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations”.
So climate science must have improved significantly between 1990 and 2007, it went from “not possible”, to “likely” to “very likely”. Should be easy for climate science to definitively point to the list of papers and findings that forge this path of enlightenment.

C Porter

“If the global warming becomes sufficiently large, we will eventually be able to claim detection simply because there will be no other possible explanation.”
This reasoning has been used in the UK for quite some time to the point where it is presented as evidence. In panel discussions and television interviews, the only evidence, other than their favourite models of course, proffered by the likes of the Government Chief Scientist, Sir John Beddington and his predecessor Sir David King is that global warming is happening and it must be due to anthropogenically produced carbon dioxide “because we can’t find any other reason.”
Perhaps I too would sell my soul to the CAGW Devil for £165,000 per annum.

Gene Zeien

Professor Bob Ryan says:
March 18, 2011 at 1:27 am
First, statistically, it is almost impossible to establish any meaningful correlation between co2 and temperature.

Try the monthly CO2 & temperature, with temperature lagging CO2 by 3 months. I recall a comment by J. Hansen regarding this conundrum (wish I’d kept the link).

Corey S.

“The magnitude of this warming is broadly consistent with the theoretical predictions of climate models, but it remains to be established that the observed warming (or part of it) can be attributed to the enhanced greenhouse effect.”
“Natural variability of the climate system could be as large as the changes observed to date but there are insufficient data to be able to estimate its magnitude or its sign.”
“Global-mean temperature alone is an inadequate indicator of greenhouse-gas-induced climatic change.”
“The fact that we are unable to reliably detect the predicted signals today does not mean that the greenhouse theory is wrong or that it will not be a serious problem for mankind in the decades ahead.”
That refutes Hansen’s testimony.

woodNfish

The fact that Hanson is a liar and a fraud is not something that we are only now finding out. We’ve known it for years. It is good to have documented proof though.

Chris

I have yet to see one model that accurately matches the global temps between 1980 and 2010 (the latest 30 year period).

Phil Clarke says:
“Remember also that the IPCC only considers studies that have been published before its cutoff date.”
Well, that was shown to be wrong. And the WWF provided a large part of the IPCC’s supporting information, which turned out to be non-peer reviewed eco-propaganda.
You can claim that Hansen was right, but that’s just putting lipstick on a pig. He was way off in his wild-eyed predictions, and every month that goes by makes him more wrong.

jorgekafkazar

rbateman says: “…If you cannot see the signal over the noise with the raw data, you cannot see it with adjustments.”
You can if you make the “right” kind of “adjustments.” :]

e. c. cowan

Sounds like the article on Jo Nova’s site:
Way back when climate scientists were scientists:
It’s gets harder to Delete inconvenient articles.

Larry in Texas

I keep saying it, I would fire Hansen in a New York minute. I know he is under civil service rules, but he is a fraud and an incompetent. This thread only reinforces that belief.

Stephen Pruett

Stevo,
My impression is that the first AR reflected a group of scientists that had not yet become dysfunctional. They were careful and aware the magnitude of the uncertainties. At some point that changed, and I don’t think it was because new data suddenly made everything clear.
Global cooling was not discussed only in the media. There was not a scientific consensus regarding global cooling in the 70s, but it certainly did appear in the scientific literature as a significant minority view, back in the days when dissent was allowed (journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2008BAMS2370.1).
Actually, the physics of contrails are like almost everything else in nature: more complex than expected (http://www.celsias.com/article/9-11-contrail-climate-effects-questioned); and some believe they do contribute to warming.
The critical point is that there has been no warming for 13 years, so the consensus position of climate science now must be that carbon dioxide has been driving an unusual period of warming for the past 30 years, but somehow for the last 13 years of that period the warming stopped even though the rate of increase in carbon dioxide was greater. Please put that together with the idea (as eloquently stated in post-climategate interviews by Phil Jones) that the reason warming must be caused by carbon dioxide is because “we can’t think of anything else that could to it”. To anyone with even a slight sense of normal scientific caution or reasonable humility, these observations would suggest that there are some very important sources of warming and/or negative feedbacks that are not currently understood, so predicting the consequences of continued carbon dioxide increases is nothing more than guesswork. I get more and more amazed as time goes on that the climate science community (with a few notable exceptions) shrugs this off and says “that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it” (i.e., CAGW is TRUE).

P Walker

stevo – ” Only in media circles , actually ” Wrong . I heard this bandied about in classes in college in the early 70’s . Furthermore , the late Steven Schneider was a big proponent of the impending ice age at that time . He was even on tv saying so – it was that show with Leonard Nimoy , I forget the title . I’m sure that someone here can find a link – it’s probably on youtube .

Chris.
1. which models have you looked at?
2. did you look at model means ( which will never match observations)
3. did you look at particular runs?
4. what do you mean by “match”
5. Did you read the first sentence of the IPCC section?
6. Do you understand what is meant by multi variate fingerprinting?
It seems to me that very few have even comprehend what they said in the 1990 document.

Phil Clarke

Smokey:
“And the WWF provided a large part of the IPCC’s supporting information, which turned out to be non-peer reviewed eco-propaganda.”
You’ll have no difficulty then, in furnishing say, three substantive IPCC assertions or conclusions based on the grey literature….
>>”You can claim that Hansen was right, but that’s just putting lipstick on a pig”
Hansen’s model projections were astonishingly accurate, [his 1988 testimony was based on an early iteration of GISS Model E, the climate sensitivity used was around 4.2, which is higher than more recent estimates; this has little effect during the first few decades of the projection, but if the modern value of circa 3C is correct, then the projections will tend to read higher than reality over time, which is exactly what is observed.]
Dr Hansen’s core contribution, of course, lies in his peer-reviewed science, which informs his political views. Correct me if I am wrong but nobody has ever laid a glove on aforementioned science. What we do see, every time his name comes up, is an amazing ad hominem display of bile: in this thread alone, apart from the porcine reference we have ‘fraud’ (twice), ‘incompetent’, ‘liar’. He has also been likened to Adolf Hitler in comments here at the Science Blog of the Year.
Free expression of opinion, and all that, but you might like to consider the impression this creates.

charles nelson

Will.
How right you are.
I actually think that we put ourselves at a big disadvantage by using their ridiculous terminology to argue against them!
Each time a skeptic talks of ‘greenhouse’ gases, they are accidentally reinforcing the idea of the Greenhouse Theory/Greenhouse Effect which, with its implied absolute
impervious barrier (pane of glass) trapping heat, is clearly un-scientific balderdash!
Let’s not refer to the Greenhouse Effect any longer…I prefer to visualise the atmosphere as a blanket protecting the earth and keeping us warm…it’s about time
someone comes up with a better descriptive term.
Just an aside on the subject of language…and how it can be used to gain the upper hand in certain contexts….someone once had a brilliant idea..let’s call our organization GreenPeace…how could any right minded person be opposed to an organization called Green-Peace? You’d have to be a monster – you’d have to be in favour of….BrownWar…BlackDeath…GreyRage…
see what I mean?

Professor Bob Ryan

Tim Curtin – many thanks, I appreciate it! I cannot get the email link to work. I hope the moderator can help make the link.
Gene Zeien: many thanks, I will have a try and would be interested to see the link if you can find it. I have worked annual lags and a 5 year distributed lag model. Not knowing enough about the physics I assumed that CO2 mixing would not be instantaneous but would be homogenised over a maximum of 5 years. I suspect Hansen may have just regressed emission ppm against T anomaly – given the nature of the stochastic processes involved that would almost certainly throw up a spurious result. Using 1959 – data forwards I can manage a polynomial regression that gives an R2 > 0.8 – totally meaningless of course. There is an interesting paper by Paulo Cesar Soares (2010) Warming Power of CO2 and H2O: Correlations with Temperature, Changes in International Journal of Geosciences, 2010, 1, 102-112. He comes to a similar result but sadly I suspect he has incorrectly handled the pre- ’59 Co2 data incorrectly so his results may not be quite as robust as he thinks. However, I am pretty sure that there is no significant correlation on any reasonable lag although I am open to being proven wrong. A zero correlation does not automatically rule out any causal link between T and CO2 but it does suggest that any link is so tenuous that it is not revealed in the data. At the moment all the data says – if taken at face value – is that temperature is drifting upwards and so are CO2 emissions. But so too are the average salaries of vicars. Hard to see any causality there!

Christopher Hanley

Phil Clarke @ 6:33 am says: “…as we now know, in time the observations nearly always end up in the high end of IPCC projection ranges….”
The IPCC First Assessment Report 1990 states:
“…based on current models, we predict ….increase of global mean temperature during the [21st] century of about 0.3°C per decade (with an uncertainty range of 0.2 to 0.5°C per decade)…
….under the IPCC business as usual emissions scenario, an average rate of global mean sea level rise of about 6 cm per decade over the next century (with an uncertainty range of 3 – 10 cm per decade)…”.
The observed temperature increase 1990 – 2011 is 0.2°C per decade.
http://woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:1990/plot/wti/from:1990/trend
The observed sea level rise 1990 – 2011 is 3 cm per decade.
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/sl_noib_global_sm1.jpg?w=500&h=358

Stephen Pruett

Steven Mosher,
Are you aware of any models that accurately predict 1990 to present? If so, could you give us the reference? I have used multivariate models and they were helpful in determining the portion of the variance in a dependent variable that was contributed by each of several explanatory variables. However, the ones I used were static, not dynamic. Do dynamic climate models include classical multivariate analysis? Sorry for the basic questions, just trying to learn a little.

Rob R

I has just been announced that James Hansen is coming down to New Zealand to do a series of engagements. So we are in for yet another round of alarmist hype and political pressure down here. Personally I could do without it.

Stephen Wilde

Will said:
“This state of balanced heat flow at elevated temperature is called thermal equilibrium, and is driven by Kirchhoff’s Law – which applies to all bodies.”.
I think you missed the point of the paper that I linked to.
Kirchoff’s Law refers to radiative physics but in the climate system that is not enough being only a part of what goes on.
There is an additional energy transfer system involving evaporation and the hydrological cycle and its effect is to supplement the surface cooling over and above that to be expected from Kirkhoff’s Law.
As a result, instead or reaching radiative equilibrium at a higher temperature the accelerated energy loss reduces or neutralises the increase to a higher temperature.
The atmospheric heights change due to the faster energy loss from the surface so radiative equilibrium is achieved at a different height for little or no temperature change at the surface.
The ocean skin warms a little and the air circulation systems shift a miniscule distance from more CO2 induced energy in the air but the faster upward energy transfer from more evaporation, conduction, radiation and convection negates any significant temperature increase above or below the ocean skin.