Pat Michaels on aerosols, China coal, and lack of recent warming

The Current Wisdom: The Lack of Recent Warming and the State of Peer Review

by Patrick J. Michaels

Boston University’s Robert Kaufmann and colleagues recently published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examining the causes of the recent dearth of “global warming.” They concluded that it’s simply natural variability, augmented by increasing sulfate emissions from dramatically growing coal consumption by China.

Of course, it is the latter conclusion that has drawn all the attention, for it allows the possibility that greenhouse gases are continuing to impart an as-expected warming influence on the global climate. And then once China gets its air pollution under control (and we are talking about true air pollution here, i.e., not carbon dioxide), global temperatures will rise rapidly. Thus the dream of alarming climate change lives.

If China’s sulfate emissions are not having much of an impact of global temperatures, then, the dearth of warming in recent years supports the hypothesis — now made by many (unpopular) folks in the climate business — that the “sensitivity” of temperature to carbon dioxide has been guessed (we choose our words carefully here) to be too high by climate modelers. In this scenario, we wake up from the alarmist nightmare and resume our normal lives.

Patrick J. Michaels is a Senior Fellow in Environmental Studies at the Cato Institute.

There are two reasons why we think it is wrong for Kaufmann et al. to attribute a reduced rate of global warming to Chinese sulfates:

1) China’s cooling sulfates do not readily make their way into the Southern Hemisphere, yet, from 1999-2010, temperatures actually fell there, while they rose in the Northern Hemisphere. This is exactly the opposite of what should have happened if sulfates are exerting a relative cooling primarily in the Northern Hemisphere

2) Chinese coal consumption increased in 2009 and 2010 (in fact, 2010 had the biggest year-over-year increase recorded) — yet, the global temperature rose sharply in 2009 and in 2010. Because Kaufmann’s climate model responds instantaneously to sulfates (as opposed to a decades-long lag to adjust to carbon dioxide changes) this is contrary to his hypothesis.

Let’s look at the first one.

The link below shows the march of weather systems around the globe for several months. Notice that the weather systems passing through China quickly move into the north Pacific Ocean, and don’t mix into the Southern Hemisphere. Since sulfates only have an atmospheric lifetime of about a week or so, they are hard pressed to cause any cooling impact beyond the areas to the immediate east of China.

So, if a dramatic increase in Chinese sulfur emissions during the past decade or so has been responsible for the observed slowdown in the rate of global temperature increase, then the Northern Hemisphere should be doing most of the work — that is, the rate of warming in the Northern Hemisphere should have slowed by much more than the rate of warming in the Southern Hemisphere. This situation is easy to check.

Figure 1 shows the Northern and Southern Hemisphere temperature history from 1980 through 2010 according to the surface temperature data set compiled and maintained by the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. During the period of time during which Chinese sulfate emissions rose (1998-2010), the warming in the Southern Hemisphere went negative (i.e. became a cooling) while the Northern Hemisphere warmed. From Figure 1 it is obvious that the Southern Hemisphere is driving the global temperature slowdown, not the Northern — a result completely contrary to Kaufmann et al.‘s Chinese sulfate hypothesis.

Now let’s turn to our Reason #2. Simply put, during the past 2 years (which were not part of the Kaufmann et al. dataset), global temperatures rose as did Chinese coal consumption. According to Kaufmann et al.‘s hypothesis, the increase in Chinese coal consumption should act to drive down the rate of global temperature rise, but that is not what happened. Again, temperatures are behaving in an opposite fashion, compared to what the hypothesis predicts.

The top panel in Figure 2 shows Chinese coal consumption from the BP Statistical Review of World Energy from 1998 through 2010. Notice that it increased substantially in both 2009 and 2010 — two years not included in the Kaufmann et al. analysis. The year-over-year increase from 2009 to 2010 was the highest annual increase on record. If Chinese coal consumption were having a large impact on global temperature, we would expect that global temperatures would remain suppressed in 2009 and 2010. But the bottom panel in Figure 2 shows what really happened — global temperatures rose in both 2009 and 2010, contrary to the Kaufmann et al. hypothesis.

It is clear that natural variability, not sulfate emissions, is the cause of the lack of recent warming. We arrived at this very same conclusion several years ago, however, despite repeated attempts, we were unable to find a journal even interested in considering our work for publication.

Our analysis was remarkably similar to Kaufmann’s:

a) in previous work, we both built (and published) a statistical model relating global temperature change to elements of natural variability (including El Nino, volcanoes, and solar variability) and anthropogenic forcing;

b) in our new papers, we used that same (published) statistical model, but updated the independent variables (natural variability and anthropogenic forcing) with recently available data;

c) we used the updated independent variables to “forecast” the dependent variable, global temperature from 1998-2007 (in our case) or 1999-2008 (their case)

d) we concluded that our model developed from the pre-1998 data worked quite well using the post-1998 data — i.e., the global temperature response since 1998 was just what we would expect it to be, based on what it was in the couple of decades immediately prior to 1998;

e) we both arrived at the same take home message:

Kaufmann et al.(2011):

[W]e find that recent global temperature records are consistent with the existing understanding of the relationship among global surface temperature, internal variability, and radiative forcing, which includes anthropogenic factors with well known warming and cooling effects.

Our paper (2008):

We find that the combined forces of “natural” variations in ENSO, solar activity and volcanic eruptions have acted to temporarily offset the continued pressure exerted by “global warming” [which we defined as “from anthropogenic activities, or from some other not-yet-fully-understood processes”]

The only difference between the manuscripts was Kaufmann’s unsupportable hypothesis that Chinese sulfate emissions also contributed to the lack of warming.

Our experience with the peer-review process was a nightmare that eerily resembles what University of Guelph’s Ross McKitrick describes in his chapter “Bias in the Peer-Review Process,” in my new book, Climate Coup.

We started with the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) publication EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union. After sitting on the paper for several months (which included getting a review or two), the EOS editors told us that we had too much “new” science in our piece and that EOS was more of a news publication and that they’d be happy to consider publishing a description of our work after it was published elsewhere:

Here is a review that they got concerning our submission:

I have carefully read and reread this proposal. Must say that I am surprised that the 2nd author [Patrick Michaels] is now stating that global warming is alive and well, and implicitly supports the view that anthropogenic activities, especially greenhouse gas accumulation in the atmosphere and ocean is the cause of current global warming trend. Eos readership would find the overall argument interesting, especially from the 2nd author.

However, the authors propose to carry out new analysis using a version of a previously published methodology/model. Hence, in my view, such analyses should be submitted as a research paper in a peer reviewed journal and rather than Eos. I admit that I have not chased the previously published methodology to ascertain the validity or otherwise of the proposed new analysis.

And here is their final decision:

I have consulted with several Eos editors, and one problem with this submission is the presentation of any new data. As stated earlier Eos is not an appropriate outlet for publishing new data. However, we would be very much open to publishing reinterpretation of **published** data or analysis.

Therefore, we stand by our earlier decision that after you publish the original research in a peer-reviewed journal that you come back to us with a proposal for writing something for Eos that would be written for the broad spectrum of disciplines represented by our readership.

OK, fine. Since the paper describing our original model (Michaels and Knappenberger, 2000) was published in another AGU publication, Geophysical Research Letters, we figured we submit our new paper there, after expanding the piece from the original EOS submission to a paper more appropriate for GRL. In our cover letter to GRL, we included our full set of correspondence with the editors of EOS, and explained how EOS was potentially interested in our findings, but considered there to be too much “new” science for it to be published there. We also included the reviewer’s comments that Eos had obtained (and reproduced above) including “Eos readership would find the overall argument interesting, especially from the 2nd author.”

Here is what we got back from the GRL editor, one day after submission:

I have evaluated your paper, 2008GL035428, and determined that it is not the type of high-impact contribution that warrants rapid publication in a letters journal such as Geophysical Research Letters. Of course the topic of your work is of critical importance. However, I believe that your analyses are too simplistic relative to others published in GRL. As such I am returning your paper without review.

Interesting. Too much new science for one AGU publication, too little for another.

So we turned to a journal which has a section dedicated to short science pieces with broad interest — we reworked our article and submitted it as a Brevia piece to Science magazine.

A week later we got this:

Thank you for submitting your manuscript “Did Global Warming Stop in 1998?” to Science. Because your manuscript was not given a high priority rating during the initial screening process, we will not be able to send it out for in-depth review. Although your analysis is interesting, we feel that the scope and focus of your paper make it more appropriate for a more specialized journal. We are therefore notifying you so that you can seek publication elsewhere.

Well, we figured Science was a long shot.

At the same time, we had received several emails soliciting/inviting us to submit a paper to a new journal titled Advance in Meteorology — a journal that was looking for content to get it off the ground:

I am writing to invite you to submit an article to the newly launched Advances in Meteorology, which aims to provide a rapid forum for the dissemination of original research articles as well as review articles in all areas of meteorology.

We figured, we had a paper basically ready to go for them. So, we redrafted it to fit the submission guideline to Advance in Meteorology, and sent it off.

About a week later we got this:

Following the review of your Research Article AMET/746854 titled “Did “Global Warming” Stop in 1998?,” by Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. Knappenberger, I regret to inform you that it was found unsuitable for publication in Advance in Meteorology.

The major reasons are that this topic is discussed elsewhere (e.g. IPCC 2007), the statements are too general and simplified, the methods not appropriate to address the question of detection and attribution at such short time scales. Further, the analysis does not include other relevant factors, such as oceanic components, that have been shown to be of importance to account for continental to global warming. Also important other features at intra to interannual time scales are missing. The period is too short for a good model calibration/verification and to derive statistical sound results.

The complexity of this kind of analysis, in this case applied to decadal scale predictions are presented in Keenlyside et al. (2008, Nature, 453, 84-88). They have also hindcast experiments using different forcings to explain current conditions.

Ok, well, at least we got some scientific feedback, all of which was irrelevant. Our empirical model was built using monthly data over a time period of 20 years, fit the observed temperatures pretty well (the explained variance was about 60%) and it had already been published in Geophysical Research Letters. We were merely using it to understand the recent lack of warming.

Before giving up completely, we thought that we’d give it on more go, this time at the journal Climate Research, where we had published a half dozen or more papers in the past. About a week after submission, we got this response:

We have looked through the manuscript (ms) ‘Did “global warming” stop in 1998?’ that you recently submitted for publication in Climate Research.

While the information reported might be interesting, I regret to inform you that we cannot consider your ms for publication. We did not find your scientific arguments very convincing.

Climate Research was the journal that the climategaters particularly hated. They hatched plans to destroy it every time it published something they didn’t like, and I am sure these leaked all over the porous world of climate science. Perhaps their campaign worked.

We don’t know how to explain the glib acceptance of a very similar paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (with the exception of the obviously wrong hypothesis about Chinese sulfates), and our going 0-for-5. But that is the way it is.

References:

BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2011
Hansen, J., et al., 2005. Efficacy of climate forcings. J. Geophys. Res. 110, D18104, doi:10.1029/2005JD005776.
Kaufmann, R. K., et al., 2011. Reconciling anthropogenic climate change with observed temperature 1998–2008. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1102467108
Michaels, P.J., and P.C. Knappenberger, 2000. Natural signals in the MSU global temperature record. Geophysical Research Letters, 27, 2905-2908.


The Current Wisdom is a series of monthly articles in which Senior Fellow Patrick J. Michaels reviews interesting items on global warming in the scientific literature that may not have received the media attention that they deserved, or have been misinterpreted in the popular press.

The Current Wisdom only comments on science appearing in the refereed, peer-reviewed literature, or that has been peer-screened prior to presentation at a scientific congress.

Prior to April, 2011, issues of this Wisdom, which began in 2010, are available at our blog Cato@Liberty (www.cato-at-liberty.org/).

h/t to Chip Knappenberger

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57 thoughts on “Pat Michaels on aerosols, China coal, and lack of recent warming

  1. If a paper does not toe the consensus line, then publication is likely to be difficult. If it has “Oh Noes, we’re gonna boil!!111” in the title, publication is likely to be guaranteed.
    /sarc
    Ah… feeling a bit off today. Sorry to hear that the paper did not get past the gatekeepers.

  2. This comment:

    “Chinese coal consumption increased in 2009 and 2010 (in fact, 2010 had the biggest year-over-year increase recorded) — yet, the global temperature rose sharply in 2009 and in 2010. Because Kaufmann’s climate model responds instantaneously to sulfates (as opposed to a decades-long lag to adjust to carbon dioxide changes) this is contrary to his hypothesis.”

    ____

    Really? A simple look what transpired in 2009-2010 in the global weather picture reveals the absurdity of this argument. When you shift from La Nina to El Nino, as we did during this period, of course the atmospheric temperatures increase, and these short-term releases of heat to the atmosphere have nothing to do with the mid-term effects of sulfates or the longer-term effects of increases CO2.

  3. The whole idea of hidden or masquerading heat dumps and solutions to negative warming findings to seems ridiculous to me. This very much reminds me of Briffa, who upon demonstrating that even cherry picked tree rings make poor temperature proxies, simply went on and used thermometer readings instead. Briffa had made a significant finding that would have been important, but he could not let go of the gravy train or risk estrangement from the faithful.. The Warmists theories have gotten ever more speculative and convuluted.

  4. Apparently the message of the paper, that one can account for recent lack of warming by invoking natural variability, was of little interest if you didn’t also say the world was going to come to an end later.

    Funny, one would think that journals would jump at an article that would allow them to say “ah, see, warming is till going on, it’s just temporarily on hold”…unless the author of the paper showing as such is a lukewarmer who argues that the “underlying warming” hidden beneath the natural variation is actually modest and not our impending doom.

  5. You forgot increased volcanic eruptions as well! Sheesh only looking to China when there are plenty of other excuses ( oops Sorry ‘Reasons’ ) Why the planet is not warming as quickly. I mean the sun output is down! Sulfur Dioxide emissions are up, and if they weren’t you really would see emissions go through the roof. You are just cherry picking your data anyway!

    [ /sarcasm ]

  6. “You could try a guest commentary at RC.” ha ha ha! good one.

    i happen to remember why carl sagan went into hiding.
    it was because the kuwait oil fires had only local and temporary effects.
    lol – but that was way back when being seen as an idiot was considered shameful and idiots tried to make themselves unobtrusive once exposed.
    now they make a website, e.g., R.C., and pollute vengefully.

  7. I think, given the nature of this blog we could use a photo showing smoke, not water vapour. We give journalists enough stick about it.

  8. R. Gates says:
    August 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    This comment:

    “Chinese coal consumption increased in 2009 and 2010 (in fact, 2010 had the biggest year-over-year increase recorded) — yet, the global temperature rose sharply in 2009 and in 2010. Because Kaufmann’s climate model responds instantaneously to sulfates (as opposed to a decades-long lag to adjust to carbon dioxide changes) this is contrary to his hypothesis.”

    ____

    Really? A simple look what transpired in 2009-2010 in the global weather picture reveals the absurdity of this argument. When you shift from La Nina to El Nino,……

    ==================================================================

    lmao!!! You do realize you’re playing a climate science version of “paper, rock, scissors”.

    Sulfates overcome the effects of CO2, but El Nino overcome the effects of sulfates, but it eventually succumbs to CO2. Very nice.

  9. The “missing heat” is in the sky, maybe it was transferred from the ocean to the sky by the turtle that holds up the world.

    “You see the turtle’s shell acts as a greenhouse letting in secret waves from space while reflecting missing heat temporarily to the turtosphere. It will be back soon, that I can tell you with absolute certinty” /sarc

  10. 40% of my income goes to the fossil fuel industry. As such I give my permission to forward that money to Pat Michaels.

  11. Re R Gates (August 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm):

    This is precisely Pat’s point. ENSO swings are far more dominant on global temperatures than recent increases in Chinese sulfur emissions. Thr uptick in global temps in 2009 and 2010–driven by ENSO variability–crushes any cooling impact from Chinese sulfate emissions.

    -Chip Knappenberger

  12. Brian:

    Thankyou for your post at August 5, 2011 at 1:20 pm which proves Prof. Michaels is not overly corrupted by government funding. It is good to have such evidence of an honest scientist.

    Now, if we could stop the government funding which so seriously corrupts the works of Hansen, Mann, Trenberth, Jones and etc. we would be getting a big move towards a reurn to true and honest work in ‘climate science’.

    Richard

  13. The analysis is intresting. Wouldn’t it be easier to just have a look at the actual aerosols produced by China? If aerosol is up, Kaufman may have a point. If it’s stable or down, then China’s dampening effect is without foundation, and GW is not as sensitive to CO2 as thought. Can’t we make it simple?

  14. Brian-have you any actual evidence that what Michaels says is wrong? Or are you just going to engage in all sorts of logically fallacious reasons for ignoring actual data and evidence?

  15. Brian says:
    August 5, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Pat Michaels admits: ’40 percent’ of funding comes from big oil.
    ======================================================

    lol, so what?….. There’s a wind farm off the coast of England being built that’s 100 % funded by big oil. Brian, I don’t know where you stand on the climate issues, but its painfully obvious that alarmists have no clue where Big Oil stands either.

    Why do you think they’d care one way or the other?

  16. James Sexton says:
    August 5, 2011 at 1:16 pm
    R. Gates says:
    August 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    This comment:

    “Chinese coal consumption increased in 2009 and 2010 (in fact, 2010 had the biggest year-over-year increase recorded) — yet, the global temperature rose sharply in 2009 and in 2010. Because Kaufmann’s climate model responds instantaneously to sulfates (as opposed to a decades-long lag to adjust to carbon dioxide changes) this is contrary to his hypothesis.”

    ____

    Really? A simple look what transpired in 2009-2010 in the global weather picture reveals the absurdity of this argument. When you shift from La Nina to El Nino,……

    ==================================================================

    lmao!!! You do realize you’re playing a climate science version of “paper, rock, scissors”.

    Sulfates overcome the effects of CO2, but El Nino overcome the effects of sulfates, but it eventually succumbs to CO2. Very nice.
    _____
    Welcome to the way the climate works. All forcings are not created equal, nor do they act over the same time period, and in addition to all this, forcings create different positive and negative feedbacks which also act over different time periods and with differing strengths. If this all seems way too complicated…it is, and hence the reason it takes massive supercomputers to run the climate models. But on the basic level, if you can’t understand how ENSO can be a short term forcing on the climate, volcanoes an intermediate, and Milankovitch cycles act over the longer term, perhaps you ought contemplate something else and give your brain a rest.

  17. “Pat Michaels admits: ’40 percent’ of funding comes from big oil.”

    How much of his funding comes from Chinese coal companies?

    REPLY: What an idiotic comment. The Chinese don’t give a rats butt what Americans say about their industrialization. They’ve laughed at Kyoto and Copenhagen, and you think Michaels is being paid by coal companies in China to write a piece about aerosols from China? Total BS from you. Hey and while you are at, check out how much money Greenopeace, WWF and other activists green organizations get from “big oil”. – Anthony

  18. I have found no reference to the fact that the Chinese have installed quite a bit of stack gas treatments and that they are burning quite a bit of low sulfur coal. This further decreases the effects of released sulfur on climate.

    It is easy to imagine that they are just burning coal, but they appear quite aware that they also do not want to destroy their environment. They have an active environmental group.

  19. 100% of Warmists funding comes from politicians, carbon traders, green energy manufacturers (with factories, coincidentally in China ) and NGOs that wish to impose draconian laws throughout the world that will give them more money or power.

  20. Seen this?

    “Comment from: ianl8888 July 30th, 2011 at 9:42 am

    @sean2829

    “now its being cited as a source of light reflective aerosols that can explain cooling over the last 10 years.”

    The base paper for this assertion is “Anthropogenic sulfur dioxide emissions:1850-2005″, Smith,S.J. et al, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 1101-1116, 2011, wherein Smith et al promote a measurement of the sulphur content of coal burnt in Chinese power stations

    Unhappily for this notion of SOx aerosols helping “cool” the planet, the guesstimate of sulphur content in raw/washed coals used in the paper is > 50% higher than laboratory-measured content. Since sulphur content in raw/washed coal is a make-or-break parameter for supply contracts, the widespread lab measurements are accurate and very carefully monitored

    Yet another wishful Polyanna notion promoted to a gullible media (which are infested by scientific illiterates and mathematical innumerates)

    And, as cementafriend’s post notes:

    CSG (coal seam gas) = very, very BAD
    LNG (liquified natural gas) = better, mo’ greenie friendly

    yet both are methane CH4”

    From http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2011/07/natural-gas-more-polluting-than-coal-only-according-to-the-ipcc-a-note-from-cementafriend/#comments

  21. pcknappenberger says:
    August 5, 2011 at 1:34 pm
    Re R Gates (August 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm):

    This is precisely Pat’s point. ENSO swings are far more dominant on global temperatures than recent increases in Chinese sulfur emissions. Thr uptick in global temps in 2009 and 2010–driven by ENSO variability–crushes any cooling impact from Chinese sulfate emissions.

    -Chip Knappenberger

    ___
    If that’s his point, he’s got it wrong. ENSO events cause sharp and short term ups or downs in global atmospheric temps, but (despite what certain skeptics might think) must average out to 0 over the the long term. The sulfates would cause a longer-term cooling, that could easily be masked by an ENSO event, and CO2 is a much longer-term signal. So you do indeed have several layers of forcings each acting with a certain strength over a different time frame. It would not be expected that the cooliing effects of sulfate emissons, especially by humans, would mask the effects of the relatively strong 2009-2010 El Nino. However, if you had a perfectly timed large volcanic eruption that hit as an El Nino was beginning, you could easily expect these two to act in different directions on the global temperatures.

  22. It’s funny how the warmists have moved this thread towards Big Oil accusations and ENSO back-and-forth…

    I for one enjoyed the account of the attempts to have the paper published and the desperate attempts of the journals to avoid being the one next destroyed by Trenberth’s bullies (though i doubt that the AGW orthodoxy still wields enough power to destroy a journal. They seem to be a disorganized bunch these days.).

  23. Re R. Gates (August 5, 2011 at 2:47 pm:

    Hmmm. I think we are saying the same thing… I agree with all your points. Short-term variability (such as that which has occurred during the past decade or so–the time period of interest to Kaufmann et al.) is dominated by things such as ENSO (and large volcanic eruptions, if they occur), not by changes in Chinese sulfur emissions (the signal of which is extremely small at the level of *global* temperature). This is the point that Pat is making–the change in Chinese sulfur emissions over the past 10 years is *not* what is responsible for the slowdown in the rate of global temeperature rise (as Kaufmann et al. contend).

    Are we not in agreement?

    -Chip

  24. R. Gates says:
    August 5, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    If that’s his point, he’s got it wrong. ENSO events cause sharp and short term ups or downs in global atmospheric temps, but (despite what certain skeptics might think) must average out to 0 over the the long term.

    Really? MUST equal zero over the long term?

    I guess Michael Mann came down off Mt Sinai with “ENSO events average out to zero long term” engraved onto a stone table? or was it Phil Jones? Al Gore?

    Don’t bother trying to spin out of this, the reason it MUST be true is because your BELIEF in AGW says you must, not because of any proven physical mechanism.

  25. R. Gates says:
    August 5, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    If that’s his point, he’s got it wrong. ENSO events cause sharp and short term ups or downs in global atmospheric temps, but (despite what certain skeptics might think) must average out to 0 over the the long term

    What is long term?
    This planet goes from full on ice ages to balmy life friendly interglacials and back again. i.e. it averages out to 0 over the long term.

    But what if a ‘term’ has many more strong and persistent El Ninos than shorter weaker La Ninas? We’d end up with a warming. If the reverse happens, we’d end up with a cooling.
    It just so happens that the period from the 1983 El Nino to 1998 was dominated by numerous strong and persistent El Ninos.

    Also, did you miss the part where Michaels stated that…

    Since sulfates only have an atmospheric lifetime of about a week or so, they are hard pressed to cause any cooling impact beyond the areas to the immediate east of China.

    If you didn’t miss it, you must disagree with it because at 12:27 pm you said…

    …these short-term releases of heat to the atmosphere have nothing to do with the mid-term effects of sulfates or the longer-term effects of increases CO2.

    Do you disagree that sulphate effects are of about a week or so or do you believe a week or so is ‘mid term’ effect?

    Do you by any chance have some data showing some “mid-term” cooling in the areas east of China caused by Chinese sulphates?

  26. R Gates:

    Your trolling is usually a source of amusement, but on this occassion it is annoying.

    Firstly, you are the first to use Appeal to Authority when it suites you. And you have repeatedly admitted that you are not an authority yourself. But Chip Knappenbergr is: he knows more about this subject than you could google in your lifetime. Yet you have the audacity to try to lecture him!

    From now on you will be reminded of your behaviour on this thread whenever you cop-out of an argument by appealing to authority.

    Secondly, your arguments about sulphates are ignorant beyond belief. Please read the thread at
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/02/aerosol-sat-observations-and-climate-models-differ-by-a-factor-of-three-to-six/

    The implications of the findings of Penner at al. are explained in that thread by several posts.
    These explanatory posts include those from
    myself at August 2, 2011 at 6:46 am and August 2, 2011 at 8:52 am
    Matt G at August 2, 2011 at 1:15 pm
    D. J. Hawkins at August 2, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Read them, learn, then return to here to apologise for wasting space on this thread with assertions of nonsense.

    Richard

  27. R Gates:

    Yours is the argument – see below – of a classic fraudster: “it’s terribly complicated and only very important and intelligent people like myself can really understand what is going on – so trust me, don’t try and think for yourself, but give me your money and then all will be OK”.

    One of the problems is the facts: unless tortured, manipulated and misrepresented by someone like yourself, Hansen, the Team or Patchi and his henchmen, show convincingly that almost all climate change is easily explained by natural cycles. As I have said many times before, ask any practicing geologist – the only caveat being that they don’t work for any government funded institution, where any independent thought, other than fundamentalist AGW, is immediately punishable by dismissal and derision.

    Climate models? Give us a break – there is no greater fraud than today’s generation of bogus climate models; unfortunately for you the world is slowly waking up to this. One day, even the goofiest of our tax gathering obsessed politicians may realise the same

    “If this all seems way too complicated…it is, and hence the reason it takes massive supercomputers to run the climate models. But on the basic level, if you can’t understand how ENSO can be a short term forcing on the climate, volcanoes an intermediate, and Milankovitch cycles act over the longer term, perhaps you ought contemplate something else and give your brain a rest.”

  28. R. Gates says:
    August 5, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    “Welcome to the way the climate works. All forcings are not created equal, nor do they act over the same time period, and in addition to all this, forcings create different positive and negative feedbacks which also act over different time periods and with differing strengths. If this all seems way too complicated…it is, and hence the reason it takes massive supercomputers to run the climate models. But on the basic level, if you can’t understand how ENSO can be a short term forcing on the climate, volcanoes an intermediate, and Milankovitch cycles act over the longer term, perhaps you ought contemplate something else and give your brain a rest.”
    ===========
    R. Gates,
    The last I can recall, your skeptic/”warmist” ratio was 25/75 respectively .
    Assuming my recall is correct, is this still your current ratio.

  29. pcknappenberger says:
    August 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Re R. Gates (August 5, 2011 at 2:47 pm:

    Hmmm. I think we are saying the same thing… I agree with all your points. Short-term variability (such as that which has occurred during the past decade or so–the time period of interest to Kaufmann et al.) is dominated by things such as ENSO (and large volcanic eruptions, if they occur), not by changes in Chinese sulfur emissions (the signal of which is extremely small at the level of *global* temperature). This is the point that Pat is making–the change in Chinese sulfur emissions over the past 10 years is *not* what is responsible for the slowdown in the rate of global temeperature rise (as Kaufmann et al. contend).

    Are we not in agreement?

    -Chip

    Checkmate!

  30. The rise in global temperature in 2009 and 2010 coincides with Obama entering the White House. So much hot air is being generated in DC that the Earth is warming. /sarc.

  31. James Sexton says:
    August 5, 2011 at 1:16 pm
    R. Gates says:
    August 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Lmao!!! You do realize you’re playing a climate science version of “paper, rock, scissors”.

    Sulfates overcome the effects of CO2, but El Nino overcome the effects of sulfates, but it eventually succumbs to CO2. Very nice.
    _____
    Welcome to the way the climate works. All forcings are not created equal, nor do they act over the same time period, and in addition to all this, forcings create different positive and negative feedbacks which also act over different time periods and with differing strengths. If this all seems way too complicated…it is, and hence the reason it takes massive supercomputers to run the climate models. But on the basic level, if you can’t understand how ENSO can be a short term forcing on the climate, volcanoes an intermediate, and Milankovitch cycles act over the longer term, perhaps you ought contemplate something else and give your brain a rest.
    ====================================================
    R. Gates, you’re demonstrating why you can’t come to a proper understanding of even the simplest of factors that goes into our climate. What part of my observation did you infer that I didn’t understand ENSO, volcanoes or Milankovitch cycles on the basic level? In fact, I believe my description was spot on. Your leaps and assumptions will prevent you from understanding. You should work on that a bit.

    BTW, your description of how the climate works was so base and remedial it really wasn’t worth typing. And you reasoning for supercomputers is in error. A proper model would run on a recently made laptop. Math and time functions are something computers do pretty well. What they don’t do well, is compute errant formulations. They’re using “super computers” to make as many runs of a model to find a chance similarity to reality. A sort of spaghetti method and it is improper to use them for such. Computers are not a shortcut to knowledge.

  32. DB says:
    August 5, 2011 at 2:10 pm
    “Pat Michaels admits: ’40 percent’ of funding comes from big oil.”

    How much of his funding comes from Chinese coal companies?

    I thought that was pretty witty DB, since Michaels’ research essentially lets China “off the hook” for cooling the planet. (Obviously something they don’t really care about, but the notion is funny.)

  33. I appreciate Pat Michael’s patience in playing this idiot game. But…I say, have the Chinese burn more coal more inefficiently and we will save the planet!

  34. Peter Miller, never let up on the warmistas that it is up to them to prove or demonstrate that current climate is NOT of natural causation.

  35. Is it just me or does the climate communist hippie community rarely want to blame the eastern communists for their imagined mann-made problems?

    Of course, I’m disregarding the complete insane climate communists in the west who thinks even China is too much of a capitalist state for their liking, although I’m sure there’s some gate way for that reasoning.

  36. The central issue with Arctic ice is whether the recent decline is caused by CO2. But the Antarctic ice cover is pretty steady. Gates’ response has been that the Arctic ice is floating, and the Antarctic is on land, so that explains the difference.

    But looking at a topo map of the Antarctic, we can see that a large part of Antarctica is also composed of floating ice: click

    The entire reason for the flap over how much ice is in the Arctic is because that is the only prediction that the alarmist crowd can claim to have made accurately, out of hundreds of other failed predictions. But of course, they’re only right this time based on the broken clock principle.

    CO2 is well mixed in the atmosphere, and if it was the cause of the Arctic ice decline then the Antarctic would show a similar decline, at least the large part that is over water. But it doesn’t: click

    Thus, the only prediction that the alarmist claque can claim to have gotten right is actually due to natural climate variability: routine cyclic changes in wind and water currents.

  37. Because of having those ‘’Backdoor Exits’’ why the temperature doesn’t go up; they persist with the misleading. When needed, they will find reasons why is not happening. 1] is not happening is because is no such a thing as GLOBAL warming. 2] those ‘’backdoor exits’’ can do lots of damages also. Reason needs to be pointed, so they don’t rely on them + to avoid more damages by creating backdoor exits.
    On my website I mentioned another, so let me comment on it: 5 weeks after the Copenhagen Flop; big chunk of ice has broken of Antarctic. That ice was attached for hundreds of years… is it a coincidence? About 99,999% probability; they panicked, enough time 5 weeks – to drill few holes in the ice – drop the dynamite – when explodes, the wave created, bracken of the solid ice.
    They declared that: that ice large as Texas will go north /melt and prevent their expected GLOBAL warming…? Because the bias media persisted with the phony GLOBAL warming – that ‘’backdoor exit’’ was put in bottom draw. They don’t realize that: that ice was shielding the warmer water constantly coming from the north by the currents. Was protecting the water from the enormous coldness from the air. Critters were prospering in that warmer water in winter. Minus that ice = critters dead. Plus, minus that ice, the water is absorbing extra coldness – currents are taking that extra coldness north into south Atlantic = less evaporation = was less rain in Brazil after. B] if some freak current brings extra coldwater to Barrier Reef, will decimate the coral.
    They wouldn’t know that much; because they mislead that warmer water suppose to be bad for the reef. Which is completely back to front. Another 99,999% probability: fabricated evidences were the 140 bushfires in Russia. Few months before that, was the coldest winter in Europe / USA; people started not to believe in the phony GLOBAL warming… 2-3 fires doesn’t attract the world media attention. But if the Desperadoes start 140 fires = proof that GLOBAL warming is on; people better forget about the record cold few months before. If people start to keep an eye on the Warmist Desperadoes – lots of tragedies can be prevented.
    Same thing happened when 170 people burned in the Victorian bushfires. In Europe / USA the big blizzards started few weeks before – had to be shown on OZ TV. Starting those fires was handy to make people not to take notice of the extra coldness on NH. I remember, when people were still sizzling in the fire; the two biggest Warmist in Australia were on ABC, pointing that GLOBAL warming is doing those big bushfires; without a single mentioning that: in the same days, people were freezing to death in Europe. The burned properties, people and animals were only their collateral damages (both of those characters are now on the panel for carbon tax) If people start keeping an eye on them; and are put on notice = they will be discouraged of doing desperate moves. 2] if is known my proofs; that is no such a thing as a GLOBAL warming in the first place http://www.stefanmitich.com.au – they will not need to create ‘’backdoor exits’’.

  38. Who cares!!? Th cold fusion is coming, and if it is no hoax, with modern technology humanity will transfer most of its technological processes to LENR in 15 to 30 years. CO2 will barely go over 420 ppm, then glaciation comes! But with CF glaciation is no real danger.

  39. REPLY: “…The Chinese don’t give a rats butt what Americans say about their industrialization. They’ve laughed at Kyoto and Copenhagen…”

    Good for them! If they end up repossessing the USA, they’ll deserve it (although right now it’s not looking like that great an investment).

  40. coturnix19 says: “Who cares!!? Th cold fusion is coming, and if it is no hoax, with modern technology humanity will transfer most of its technological processes to LENR in 15 to 30 years…”

    Cold fusion will be banned by environmentalists on some pretext or other. They’ll think up something. You know they’re making this all up as they go, don’t you?

  41. R. Gates

    Really??
    Are you seriously going along with the excuse that despite Man Made Global Warming not happening as predicted, and the models being wrong and over-exaggerated about the predicted temperature rise (which is evidently clear from decades of recorded data), because the same models have now been modified with another variable that was not originally used, a variable that erroneously puts the blame on Man Made Global Cooling caused by china’s use of a fossil fuel?

    (Note the above observation of the Southern Hemisphere driving the current global temperature slowdown, not the Northern Hemisphere, In-case you don’t know on which Hemisphere China is located on It’s the Northern Hemisphere!)

  42. Brian says:
    August 5, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    “Pat Michaels admits: ’40 percent’ of funding comes from big oil.”

    Yes. Wonder where other people get their funding?

    “Yesterday I blogged about how the Pew Environment Group, an activist organization, has been funding research to the tune of $1 million a year for more than 20 years. Those named as Pew Fellows each receive $150,000.

    This is no small matter. The question of whether an entire generation of scholarship has been improperly influenced by activist funding must now be asked.”

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/08/05/naming-names-marine-experts-tainted-by-activist-cash/

  43. Stefan:
    “Another 99,999% probability: fabricated evidences were the 140 bushfires in Russia. Few months before that, was the coldest winter in Europe / USA; people started not to believe in the phony GLOBAL warming… 2-3 fires doesn’t attract the world media attention. But if the Desperadoes start 140 fires = proof that GLOBAL warming is on; people better forget about the record cold few months before.”
    ++++++++

    There is a book called “The Spike” which details how to kill stories that contradict the theme you are pushing to the public. It is a revelation of the methods used by key editors of Western publications who operated in favour of the Soviet Union to improve its image in the West. The basic method is not to publish identifiable propaganda, but to take a long term view and kill stories that contradict the themes/memes you want promoted. Clearly the method is used by the Team and its running dogs (to borrow a propagandist’s phrase). The paper outlined above was not published because it was spiked at every turn apparently through a combination of fear and/or loathing – a powerful mix.

    Right next to the Russian heat wave was a freezing set of ‘Stans – countries formerly in the Soviet block. It was really cold! 12 degrees C below normal. The regional average was normal but the stalling high prevented the hot air mass moving east, which chilled the ‘Stans as a result.

  44. I was under the impression from other blog sites that China’s new coal fired power stations had scrubbers in the flue system which remove the sulphates.

    Next excuse please.

  45. “Science”, hum that’s the Yo-Yo’s who rejected Dr. George Miley’s paper in 2000, on his IEC device. (Intertial Electrostatic Confinment Fusion device.)

    On the basis of ONE “Peer Reviewer”, who sent Dr. Miley (and his two graduate students) a copy of a 1972 write up by some “Oak Ridge Boys” (not the singing group), which explained that the IEC (AKA the Farnsworth Fusor) not only could not work, but COULD NOT EVEN PRODUCE ANY fusion reactions.

    Dr. Miley found that interesting, with 10,000,000 5MeV fusion neutrons streaming out of the device per second. (NOT break even, by any means..but a handy, switchable neutron source.)

    Oh yes, back in 1972 the O.R.B.’s said Philo Farnsworth’s “neutrons” were “instrument noise”. I guess instrument noise can activate Cadnium…which was Dr. Miley’s backup on the measurement, sort of hard to deny.

    Science: Translation, “Politically correct” Science. WORTHLESS self gratifiying hoity-toit rag. (Sorry, I guess I should let the story speak for itself.)

  46. Careful Pat, we wouldn’t want the “Consensus of ONE” to beat the crap out of you.

  47. Smokey nobody argues that C02 is the cause of the decline in arctic ice.

    We ( lindzen, spenser, christy, Jeff Id, Ryan Odonnell, Lucia, Eschenbach, Anthony) all know that increased GHGs ( C02 is But One of many ) cause the planet to warm. Arctic ice, declines for a variety of reasons. Not one cause. The causes do not always act in concert. The causes can be roughly put into two categories:

    Thermal
    Mechanical

    The thermal causes would include: warmer water, warmer air, soot, changes in insolation.
    C02 plays a role, a partial role, in some but not all of those causitive factors.
    The mechanical causes would include wind and currents. C02 plays no known role in these.
    Do a search of the literature on explanations about why arctic ice melts. Perhaps you find that roughly half if down to changes in thermal cause and the other half down to changes in the mechanical aspects.

    In a simpler world every effect would have a single cause. But that’s not what climate science believes. You might think they believe that, but they dont

    Start here

    http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/essay_wadhams.html

    And here is a nice blog on some science that might interest you

    http://blogs.nasa.gov/cm/newui/blog/viewpostlist.jsp?blogname=icescape

  48. steven mosher says:
    August 6, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Smokey nobody argues that C02 is the cause of the decline in arctic ice.
    _____
    ? You don’t really believe this do you?
    I would guess that easily half or more of those who regularly post here on WUWT will argue that CO2 is NOT the cause of the decline in Arctic sea ice. They’ll cite a thousand other things as the cause, from wind to natural fluctuations, but never CO2. And I’ve not seen Anthony, Lindzen, or Spencer say anything that would specifically contradict this. If they have, then perhaps I need to rethink a few things…

  49. The answer to the question “Did Global Warming stop in 1998?”is YES!!! The answer to the question “Did Global Warming Start in 1998?” is also YES!!! Both answers are found in my book “What Warming?” now on Amazon. According to satellite temperature record which I have analyzed there was only one short spurt of global warming within the last 31 years and it began with the super El Nino of 1998. In four years it raised global temperature by a third of a degree and then stopped. 1998 was the all-time high point and the super El Nino that brought it was an outlier – it was not a regular part of ENSO like all other El Ninos we know of. The record shows that it brought along a huge amount of warm water as it crossed the ocean. It was this warm water which lingered near the coast that was responsible for the very warm first decade of our century, not some imaginary greenhouse effect. There is no way you can turn the greenhouse effect on or off to duplicate this part of our climate history. The warm water that was brought over by the super El Nino also suppressed the next La Nina that should have appeared about 2004. The extended twenty-first century high that was formed this way came to an end when the 2008 La Nina arrived. It indicated the resumption of the ENSO cycles that the super El Nino had interrupted. We can expect the rest of the century to be dominated by a succession of alternating El Nino and La Nina phases of ENSO and not by any imaginary greenhouse warming that modelers babble about. According to Ferenc Miskolczi’s theory the greenhouse effect is actually impossible. It is not just a far out theory but has experimental proof from NOAA weather balloon observations. Using NOAA database of these weather balloon observations that goes back to 1948 Miskolczi was able to show that transparency of the atmosphere in the infrared where carbon dioxide absorbs did not change for the last 61 years. At the same time the amount of carbon dioxide in the air increased bi 21.6 percent. According to IPCC the greenhouse effect comes from the absorption of infrared radiation by this added carbon dioxide. No absorption simply means no greenhouse effect, case closed. This explains perfectly why satellites do not see any global warming except for the short spurt above. This of course leaves out Arctic warming which is very visible and is touted as proof that greenhouse warming exists. Unfortunately for these believers it can be demonstrated that Arctic warming has nothing whatsoever to do with the greenhouse effect but is caused by Atlantic currents carrying warm water into the Arctic Ocean. It started suddenly with a rearrangement of the North Atlantic current system at the turn of the twentieth century, paused in midcentury, resumed about 1970, and is still going strong. This too is explained in my book but when additional confirmation appeared in 28 January issue of Science I decided to write it up and send it to a journal. My experience with journals parallels the experience of Pat Michaels. I sent it out to Science, Nature Climate Change, BAMS, and Climatic Change Letters. The rejection notices had language eerily similar to what he quotes. The worst was from a jerk named Oppenheimer who took issue with the laws of physics. However, I did get another journal to accept it for peer review and you will hear the outcome when I get their reaction back. In the meantime, my book is the only source in which you will find it explained. If you are still sitting on the fence about buying the book you can use the “Look Inside” feature of Amazon. And while browsing, be sure to look up a customer review from David McMahon, author of “String Theory Demystified” and twenty similar books.

  50. Al Gored…. What is wrong with environmentalist? What is wrong with caring about the planet? I see attacks by naysayers all the time and I just don’t understand why being an environmentalist is bad.

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