New paper from Lindzen and Choi implies that the models are exaggerating climate sensitivity.

Fig. 11. Sensitivity vs. feedback factor.

Dr. Richard Lindzen writes to me with news of this significant new paper saying “It has taken almost 2 years to get this out. “.  Part of that problem appears to be hostile reviewers in earlier submissions to JGR, something we’ve seen recently with other skeptical papers, such as O’Donnell’s rebuttal to Steig et al (Antarctica is warming) where Steig himself inappropriately served as a reviewer, and a hostile one at that.

Hostile reviewers aside, the paper will now be published in an upcoming issue of the Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences and I am honored to be able to be able to present it here. The authors state that:

“We have corrected the approach of Lindzen and Choi (2009), based on all the criticisms made of the earlier work (Chung et al., 2010; Murphy, 2010; Trenberth et al., 2010).”

The present paper responds to the criticism, and corrects the earlier approach where appropriate. The earlier results are not significantly altered, and we show why these results differ from what others like Trenberth et al. (2010), and Dessler (2010) obtain.

So, while that may satisfy some critics, given the hostility shown to the idea that there is a low sensitivity to forcings, I’m sure a whole new crop of critics will spring up for this paper. The response to this paper in AGW proponent circles, like the feedback posited for Earth’s climate system, will surely be negative. Let the games begin.

Some highlights:

However, warming from a doubling of CO2 would only be about 1°C (based on simple calculations where the radiation altitude and the Planck temperature depend on wavelength in accordance with the attenuation coefficients of wellmixed CO2 molecules; a doubling of any concentration in ppmv produces the same warming because of the logarithmic dependence of CO2’s absorption on the amount of CO2) (IPCC, 2007).

This modest warming is much less than current climate models suggest for a doubling of CO2. Models predict warming of from 1.5°C to 5°C and even more for a doubling of CO2

As a result, the climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2 is estimated to be 0.7 K (with the confidence interval 0.5K – 1.3 K at 99% levels). This observational result shows that model sensitivities indicated by the IPCC AR4 are likely greater than than the possibilities estimated from the observations.

Our analysis of the data only demands relative instrumental stability over short periods, and is largely independent of long term drift.

Willis Eschenbach will no doubt find some interesting things in this paper, as it speaks of some of the same regulation mechanisms in the tropics as Willis has opined on here at WUWT. Here’s the Abstract and Conclusion, a link to the full paper follows:

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

On the Observational Determination of Climate Sensitivity and Its Implications

Richard S. Lindzen1  and Yong-Sang Choi2

1Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, U. S. A.

2Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea

Asia-Pacific J. Atmos. Sci., 47(4), 377-390, 2011 DOI:10.1007/s13143-011-0023-x

Abstract:

We estimate climate sensitivity from observations, using the deseasonalized fluctuations in sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and the concurrent fluctuations in the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) outgoing radiation from the ERBE (1985-1999) and CERES (2000-2008) satellite instruments. Distinct periods of warming and cooling in the SSTs were used to evaluate feedbacks. An earlier study (Lindzen and Choi, 2009) was subject to significant criticisms. The present paper is an expansion of the earlier paper where the various criticisms are taken into account. The present analysis accounts for the 72 day precession period for the ERBE satellite in a more appropriate manner than in the earlier paper. We develop a method to distinguish noise in the outgoing radiation as well as radiation changes that are forcing SST changes from those radiation changes that constitute feedbacks to changes in SST. We demonstrate that our new method does moderately well in distinguishing positive from negative feedbacks and in quantifying negative feedbacks. In contrast, we show that simple regression methods used by several existing papers generally exaggerate positive feedbacks and even show positive feedbacks when actual feedbacks are negative. We argue that feedbacks are largely concentrated in the tropics, and the tropical feedbacks can be adjusted to account for their impact on the globe as a whole. Indeed, we show that including all CERES data (not just from the tropics) leads to results similar to what are obtained for the tropics alone – though with more noise. We again find that the outgoing radiation resulting from SST fluctuations exceeds the zerofeedback response thus implying negative feedback. In contrast to

this, the calculated TOA outgoing radiation fluxes from 11 atmospheric models forced by the observed SST are less than the zerofeedback response, consistent with the positive feedbacks that characterize these models. The results imply that the models are

exaggerating climate sensitivity.

Conclusion:

We have corrected the approach of Lindzen and Choi (2009), based on all the criticisms made of the earlier work (Chung et al., 2010; Murphy, 2010; Trenberth et al., 2010). First of all, to improve the statistical significance of the results, we supplemented ERBE data with CERES data, filtered out data noise with 3-month smoothing, objectively chose the intervals based on the smoothed data, and provided confidence intervals for all sensitivity estimates. These constraints helped us to more accurately obtain climate feedback factors than with the original use of monthly data. Next, our new formulas for climate feedback

and sensitivity reflect sharing of tropical feedback with the globe, so that the tropical region is now properly identified as an open system. Last, the feedback factors inferred from the atmospheric models are more consistent with IPCC-defined climate sensitivity

than those from the coupled models. This is because, in the presence of cloud-induced radiative changes altering SST, the climate feedback estimates by the present approach tends to be inaccurate. With all corrections, the conclusion still appears to be

that all current models seem to exaggerate climate sensitivity (some greatly). Moreover, we have shown why studies using simple regressions of ΔFlux on ΔSST serve poorly to determine feedbacks.

To respond to the criticism of our emphasis on the tropical domain (Murphy, 2010; Trenberth et al., 2010), we analyzed the complete record of CERES for the globe (Dessler, 2010) (Note that ERBE data is not available for the high latitudes since the field-of-view is between 60oS and 60oN). As seen in the previous section, the use of the global CERES record leads to a result that is basically similar to that from the tropical data in this

study. The global CERES record, however, contains more noise than the tropical record.

This result lends support to the argument that the water vapor feedback is primarily restricted to the tropics, and there are reasons to suppose that this is also the case for cloud feedbacks. Although, in principle, climate feedbacks may arise from any

latitude, there are substantive reasons for supposing that they are, indeed, concentrated mostly in the tropics. The most prominent model feedback is that due to water vapor, where it is commonly noted that models behave roughly as though relative humidity

were fixed. Pierrehumbert (2009) examined outgoing radiation as a function of surface temperature theoretically for atmospheres with constant relative humidity. His results are shown in Fig. 13.

Fig. 13. OLR vs. surface temperature for water vapor in air, with relative humidity held fixed. The surface air pressure is 1 bar. The temperature profile in the model is the water/air moist adiabat. Calculations were carried out with the Community Climate Model radiation code (Pierrehumbert, 2009).

Specific humidity is low in the extratropics, while it is high in the tropics. We see that for extratropical conditions, outgoing radiation closely approximates the Planck black body radiation (leading to small feedback). However, for tropical conditions, increases in outgoing radiation are suppressed, implying substantial positive feedback. There are also reasons to suppose that cloud feedbacks are largely confined to the tropics. In the

extratropics, clouds are mostly stratiform clouds that are associated with ascending air while descending regions are cloudfree. Ascent and descent are largely determined by the large scale wave motions that dominate the meteorology of the extratropics, and for these waves, we expect approximately 50% cloud cover regardless of temperature (though details may depend on temperature). On the other hand, in the tropics, upper level clouds, at least, are mostly determined by detrainment from cumulonimbus towers, and cloud coverage is observed to depend significantly on temperature (Rondanelli and Lindzen, 2008).

As noted by LCH01, with feedbacks restricted to the tropics, their contribution to global sensitivity results from sharing the feedback fluxes with the extratropics. This led to inclusion of the sharing factor c in Eq. (6). The choice of a larger factor c leads to

a smaller contribution of tropical feedback to global sensitivity, but the effect on the climate sensitivity estimated from the observation is minor. For example, with c = 3, climate sensitivity from the observation and the models is 0.8 K and a higher value

(between 1.3 K and 6.4 K), respectively. With c = 1.5, global equilibrium sensitivity from the observation and the models is 0.6 K and any value higher than 1.6 K, respectively. Note that, as in LCH01, we are not discounting the possibility of feedbacks in the extratropics, but rather we are focusing on the tropical contribution to global feedbacks. Note that, when the dynamical heat transports toward the extratropics are taken into account, the overestimation of tropical feedback by GCMs may lead to even greater overestimation of climate sensitivity (Bates, 2011).

This emphasizes the importance of the tropical domain itself. Our analysis of the data only demands relative instrumental stability over short periods, and is largely independent of long term drift. Concerning the different sampling from the ERBE and CERES instruments, Murphy et al. (2009) repeated the Forster and Gregory (2006) analysis for the CERES and found very different values than those from the ERBE. However, in this

study, the addition of CERES data to the ERBE data does little to change the results for ΔFlux/ΔSST – except that its value is raised a little (as is also true when only CERES data is used.). This may be because these previous simple regression approaches include

the distortion of feedback processes by equilibration. In distinguishing a precise feedback from the data, the simple regression method is dependent on the data period, while our method is not. The simple regression result in Fig. 7 is worse if the model

integration time is longer (probably due to the greater impact of increasing radiative forcing).

Our study also suggests that, in current coupled atmosphereocean models, the atmosphere and ocean are too weakly coupled since thermal coupling is inversely proportional to sensitivity (Lindzen and Giannitsis, 1998). It has been noted by Newman et al. (2009) that coupling is crucial to the simulation of phenomena like El Niño. Thus, corrections of the sensitivity of current climate models might well improve the behavior of coupled

models, and should be encouraged. It should be noted that there have been independent tests that also suggest sensitivities less than predicted by current models. These tests are based on the response to sequences of volcanic eruptions (Lindzen and Giannitsis, 1998), on the vertical structure of observed versus modeled temperature increase (Douglass, 2007; Lindzen, 2007), on ocean heating (Schwartz, 2007; Schwartz, 2008), and on

satellite observations (Spencer and Braswell, 2010). Most claims of greater sensitivity are based on the models that we have just shown can be highly misleading on this matter. There have also been attempts to infer sensitivity from paleoclimate data (Hansen

et al., 1993), but these are not really tests since the forcing is essentially unknown given major uncertainties in clouds, dust loading and other factors. Finally, we have shown that the attempts to obtain feedbacks from simple regressions of satellite measured outgoing radiation on SST are inappropriate.

One final point needs to be made. Low sensitivity of global mean temperature anomaly to global scale forcing does not imply that major climate change cannot occur. The earth has, of course, experienced major cool periods such as those associated with ice ages and warm periods such as the Eocene (Crowley and North, 1991). As noted, however, in Lindzen (1993), these episodes were primarily associated with changes in the equatorto-

pole temperature difference and spatially heterogeneous forcing. Changes in global mean temperature were simply the residue of such changes and not the cause.

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

Dr. Lindzen has the full paper on his personal website here:

http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/236-Lindzen-Choi-2011.pdf

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geo

This is the way that science is supposed to work. Listen to the criticisms, and address them where appropriate and refute them where not. Bravo.

pat

Thank you! Is called science or common sense? Or both.

I think you are missing a dot between the 5 and the 0 in your highlight call-out.
“Models predict warming of from 1.5oC to 5oC and even more for a doubling of CO2”
REPLY: Thanks fixed, copy/paste issue from PDF – Anthony

Just a small practical point. I see that the “degree” symbol has been transposed to a letter “o” in some of the text, so for example in the Highlights we read “Models predict warming of from 1.5oC to 5oC and even more for a doubling of CO2”. This makes it look like “50degC” instead of 5 at a quick read. Might it be worth amending this so readers don’t get the wrong impression?
REPLY: Refresh, that copy/past issue from PDF has been fixed – Anthony

Bruce of Newcastle

Anthony, you might want to change your highlights. Prof Lindzen and Dr Choi say on p 385:
“As a result, the climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2 is estimated to be 0.7 K (with the confidence interval 0.5K – 1.3 K at 99% levels). This observational result shows that model sensitivities indicated by the IPCC AR4 are likely greater than than the possibilities estimated from the observations”
This value of 0.7 C somewhat lower than the 1.0 C value that you highlighted, and is consistent with their previous result (0.5 C) and also Dr Spencer & Dr Braswell’s measurement (0.6 C).
My emphasis is in boldface. In my field I’ve been a modeller for 20 years, but observation beats modelling every time in my view.
REPLY: Good suggestion, I’ll add it – Anthony

Ursus Augustus

I think there is a scientific consensus emerging as evidenced by this paper and a number of others over the past few years. That consensus is that CO2 is nowhere near the bogey it has been made out to be, that AGW is actually quite modest. While we should be aware of it and start to think more critically about energy consumption and how we might make our economies more energy efficient, there is absolutely nothing to suggest we declare a kind of martial law over the economy and vilify anyone who gainsays the putsch.
Roll on Solar Cycle 24.

” Mushrooming of Desalination systems started in the Middle East during 1985. 2*C increase after wards. 2*C can be reduced by installing ZDS in Desalters & conc Deicers can be recoved & Planet Earth can be cooled down. How are you feelinv today in August? Yesterday there was snow in Nrw Zeland- in August “

Sean Houlihane

Lets wait and see the quality of the criticisms. I don’t think its over yet, but there does seem to be something here for more people to start looking at in depth. Must find time to read this paper in full…

Wow – actual climate science.

Peter Miller

Yet another document which won’t see the light of day in IPCC Fantasy 5.
If feedback was as severe as most alarmists believe/think/pretend, there would be evidence of it in the geological record, but unfortunately for them there is none. As Bruce in Newcastle says: “observation beats modelling every time”. Of course, Hansen, the Team etc. believe this to be climate heresy, second only to the concept of natural climate cycles.
The bottom line is that AGW is real, but it is of no great significance and definitely does not require a draconian response in the form of massive taxation and investment in expensive unreliable sources of alternative, ‘renewable’ energy, such as wind farms.

The big question to me: is anybody going to be game enough to apply this analysis to their model and share the results? I’m not going to hold my breath….
Regardless; congrats are in order for getting the paper out in what sounded like quite a hostile climate…

John B

Ursus Augustus says:
August 16, 2011 at 11:54 pm
I think there is a scientific consensus emerging as evidenced by this paper and a number of others over the past few years. That consensus is that CO2 is nowhere near the bogey it has been made out to be, that AGW is actually quite modest.
—————
So, a “consensus” is OK as long as it is critical of the mainstream consensus?

John B

Congratulations to the authors on getting their paper published. What happens next?
The paper will be scrutinised by the climate scientists, statisticians, mathematicians and other experts, and will be criticised or praised where appropriate. If others find merit in the paper, the work will be reproduced, and built on. It may even become the basis of a new paradigm of low sensitivity. If that happens, new explanations will be sought for all the observations that were previously thought to have been explained by the previous paradigm of high sensitivity.
On the other hand, it may be found to be full of holes, in which case it will be forgotten about in science circles but will become an extra piece of evidence of the “global warming conspiracy” here in the blogosphere.
Remember to be skeptical, even of the work of skeptics.

Ken Hall

So yet another published paper which suggests a warming in the region of 1.0 degrees Celsius or less for a doubling of CO2. Copenhagen and Cancun where about what action the world had to take to limit warming to 2.0 degrees Celsius. These papers, based upon observational empirical evidence, suggest that no action is required.
Perhaps we can finally put plant food behind us and concentrate on cleaning up REAL pollution and environmental damage.

It is interesting that the International Standard Atmosphere, used in aviation and presumably based on some global average over the surface and altitude, has a lapse rate in the lower levels about equal to the saturated adiabatic lapse rate. To me this indicates that convective cumulus dominate the troposphere. Not unexpected as the tropical regions, where there is lots of convection, have so much of the surface area. The tropics are the driver of the climate system. The rest is just consequences.

Honest ABE

I hear the red alert sirens going off at the Real Climate Cave.
I look forward to them typing 5000 words of condescending drivel about some minor point that has absolutely no effect on Lindzen and Choi’s results.

John Marshall

Real science in action. It is good to see the words ‘observational result’ and good to see that a modeller, Bruce of Newcastle, has highlighted the fact. Thank you Bruce.

wayne Job

A decade of enlightenment has begun, after decades of untrammeled propaganda the BS meters of Joe public have kicked in. Prodded by the waste and stupid policies of government, the good Dr is and has always done real science. In Australia one of our state governments has called for a royal commission on the science of climate change, this is a body that you can not lie too, if found out you go to jail.
A royal commission is not a white wash but has almost unlimited powers within its mandate, the left press are far from impressed. Dr Lindzen”s name has been mentioned on Jo Nova”s site as a suitable person to talk to this body, I second the motion.
I imagine our government paid global warming carbon tax scientists are a little concerned.
About time.

David A

John B says:
August 17, 2011 at 1:23 am
Congratulations to the authors on getting their paper published. What happens next?
“The paper will be scrutinised by the climate scientists, statisticians, mathematicians and other experts, and will be criticised or praised where appropriate. If others find merit in the paper, the work will be reproduced, and built on. It may even become the basis of a new paradigm of low sensitivity. If that happens, new explanations will be sought for all the observations that were previously thought to have been explained by the previous paradigm of high sensitivity.”
John, is it possible it will be criticised and praised where inappropriate? Also, what are ” all the observations that were previously thought to have been explained by the previous paradigm of high sensitivity’ Which observations are you thinking of?

RobJM

Each doubling of CO2 does not have the same effect as this is a clear violation of the Beer lambert law. This IPCC BS has come about because some idiot doesn’t know the difference between absorbance and absorption.
Otherwise the first 20ppm could not be responsible for half the effect of CO2 now could it!

Robert of Ottawa

Two years to get published. I bet the criticisms are already being formatted by publications.

NicL

John B says:
Ursus Augustus says:
I think there is a scientific consensus emerging as evidenced by this paper and a number of others
over the past few years. That consensus is that CO2 is nowhere near the bogey it has been made
out to be, that AGW is actually quite modest.
—————
So, a “consensus” is OK as long as it is critical of the mainstream consensus?
—————————————-
You beat me to it. How about ;
“There are a number of credible papers appearing, based on observation rather than modelling, that show CO2 is nowhere near the bogey it has been made out to be, that AGW is actually quite modest.”

Andy

John B is right: let’s avoid using the word ‘consensus’. We criticise the warmists for using it, so we shouldn’t use it.
(this is not, however, a criticism of the main thrust of Ursus’ comment – I think Ursus is spot-on about not ruining our economy over the grossly exaggerated claims of the AGW crowd)

Andy

Joe Romm will be having a sh*t-fit about this.
You can imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth that will commence at RC!
BTW R Gates, where are you? What have you got to throw at these results that are based on observational evidence?

Ken Harvey

John B says:
August 17, 2011 at 1:14 am
Ursus Augustus says:
August 16, 2011 at 11:54 pm
“I think there is a scientific consensus emerging as evidenced by this paper and a number of others over the past few years. That consensus is that CO2 is nowhere near the bogey it has been made out to be, that AGW is actually quite modest.”
—————
“So, a “consensus” is OK as long as it is critical of the mainstream consensus?”
Scientifically, consensus is immaterial. Politically and economically, consensus, overwhelming consensus, is vital if ever sense is to prevail. The end of the argument is not near. We can expect a dogged rearguard action from the warmistas, so very many of whom depend on the AGW theory for their very livelihood.

Bystander

So modeling is OK when it supports a skeptic position, but not OK when it doesn’t?

Magnus

NicL says:
August 17, 2011 at 4:46 am
You beat me to it. How about ;
“There are a number of credible papers appearing, based on observation rather than modelling, that show CO2 is nowhere near the bogey it has been made out to be, that AGW is actually quite modest.”
____________________________________
How about: “There is a recent trend in the peer reviewed litterature where new findings are increasingly questioning what has been dubbed “the scientific consensus” by a group of climate scientists, namely that atmospheric CO2 levels will spiral upward as a result of positive feedback effects leading up to imminent catastrophy for life on earth. New findings question these effects and suggest a muh more modest effect from CO2 on global temperature”
Any way you put it, it will suck for the RC CAGW team – so, mission accomplished, then.

Olen

There may have been some fear in the reviewers along with hostility.

John Whitman

John B says:
August 17, 2011 at 1:23 am
Congratulations to the authors on getting their paper published. What happens next?
[ . . . ]
On the other hand, it may be found to be full of holes, in which case it will be forgotten about in science circles but will become an extra piece of evidence of the “global warming conspiracy” here in the blogosphere.
Remember to be skeptical, even of the work of skeptics.

——————–
John B,
Indeed, congratulations are in order for independents (a.k.a. skeptics) when something actually gets published that is not endorsed by the concensors of IPCC CAGWism. Celebration time, indeed! I think we are seeing a surge in independent papers and I anticipate there will be a veritable flood of them in the next several months. The IPCC will not be able to handle them.
I am sure if this recent Lindzen et al paper is found “full of holes” it will be treated in an equivalent manner as Mann’s hockey stick papers that were “full of holes”; science being unbiased and all that. Right?
Now I shall read the paper.
John

Alan D McIntire

David A says:
August 17, 2011 at 3:42 am
John B says:
August 17, 2011 at 1:23 am
“Also, what are ” all the observations that were previously thought to have been explained by the previous paradigm of high sensitivity’ Which observations are you thinking of?”
He’s thinking of the “missing heat” in the oceans and the aerosol feedbacks which has magically appeared and disappeared at different times to make current warming match CAGW theory

Dave Springer

Well isn’t this interesting. I’ve been pointing out for months that the models are gettting it wrong in the tropical ocean and have provided a link to a published study (Geophysical Reseach) Ocean Heat Budget in the Tropical Atlantic on several occasions the most recent of which was yesterday in the argument with Willis. The fact of the matter, plainly found in this study, is that LWIR is not a dominant factor in tropical ocean heat budget. This is (perhaps not simply for the layperson) explained by what actually happens when LWIR shines downward on the ocean surface. It doesn’t warm the water as one might intuitively believe it would. It simply raises the evaporation rate and the energy in the LWIR is translated into latent heat of vaporization and carried away from the ocean via that mechanism as quickly as it arrives. Once you understand that you then turn away from further analysis of ocean heating and instead focus on what happens due to the greater amount of water vapor in the atmosphere above the ocean. As far as I can determine what happens is that instead of more surface heating you get more clouds. Clouds are warmer than the clear sky but they are also closer to the heat sink (the cold vacuum of outer space) and thus the radiative path to the sink is made easier because the greenhouse gases between the clouds and space which would otherwise be impeding radiation from the ocean surface making its way into space is now impeding radiation from the warm clouds from getting back to the ground. And of course more clouds reflect more sunlight away from the surface during the day.
So once again, when we accept the physical fact that you can’t heat a body of water from the top down with LWIR then all observations start neatly falling in place. Then once you’ve accepted the fact that LWIR from greenhouse gases don’t warm the ocean (or, for the pedenats, slow down the rate of cooling) then you move along to the continents where LWIR from GHGs actually does significantly slow down the rate of cooling because (duh) rocks have far different physical properties and radiative characteristics than water.
There’s more egg than Tyson Farms can produce in a year that is headed onto the faces of the people who got so much wrong about the effect of GHGs over the ocean when a rather shallow review of the physics of water and LWIR tells the story and clears up all the confusion.

Pascvaks

@John B says:
August 17, 2011 at 1:14 am
“So, a ‘consensus’ is OK as long as it is critical of the mainstream consensus?”
Wouldn’t you agree that a ‘scientific consensus’ is a nebulus something that is always subject to change, and that in some fields it changes quite often? Don’t you also feel that anyone who bets the farm and their grandchildren’s future on a ‘scientific consensus’ in a quickly changing scientific field is being rather foolish, especially if the people at the helm of such “changes” are not scientists but a bunch of ecotistical, filthy politicans? You don’t honestly believe that we know enough about “climate change” to bet the farm on do you? And we certainly don’t know enough to bet our grandchildren’s future either –even though the present economic situation kind’a, sort’a indicates we already have. Never trust a Boomer JohnB! Never trust a Boomer. Their worse than a room full of politicans and a mainstream Climeatologist or two.

DCA

Gavin Schmidt has been saying lately that the paleo data are more important than the recent observations. Now we know why.
How would one respond to his assertion?

ozspeaksup

NicL says:
August 17, 2011 at 4:46 am …….
“There are a number of credible papers appearing, based on observation rather than modelling, that show CO2 is nowhere near the bogey it has been made out to be, that AGW is actually quite modest.”=====
yeah much better.
now try and get the fact , through to someone like…
this interviewever on abc australia.
http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2011/08/16/3294368.htm

Pascvaks

@Pascvaks last, ref. cmt to JohnB
Boomers also confuse “their” with “they’re” and don’t generally spell well a’tal. But we were all taught to write cursive.

Dave Springer

RobJM says:
August 17, 2011 at 4:08 am
“Each doubling of CO2 does not have the same effect as this is a clear violation of the Beer lambert law. This IPCC BS has come about because some idiot doesn’t know the difference between absorbance and absorption.
Otherwise the first 20ppm could not be responsible for half the effect of CO2 now could it!”
The LWIR absorptive properties of CO2 is both linear and logarithmic depending on concentration. It is linear in very low concentration and then quickly becomes logarithmic as concentration rises. This LWIR response has been known since the 1800’s when it was observed the good old fashioned way via experimental physics. You have to kind of wonder how much physics some of these climate boffins actually know when they don’t at know as much as physical scientists from 150 years ago knew. Pathetic. They all need to be sent back to school. High school to be more precise because that’s where you learn much of the physics that were discovered hundreds of years ago. Then you build upon that basic knowledge with more recent stuff. These guys are like trying to solve differential equations without first learning how to add and subtract.

Mark Hladik

John B:
It is not that a “consensus”, in-and-of-itself is bad. We have two main scenarios that we are dealing with. If a “consensus” has reached a wrong conclusion, then making policy and/or legislation BASED on that “consensus”, leads almost inevitibly to a bad conclusion.
If a “consensus” has reached a correct conclusion, then policy/legislation based on that “consensus” has a higher probability of reaching a beneficial conclusion. We were literally being told that we had to pass legislation on the basis of a false conclusion/consensus, i.e., that carbon dioxide controls average global temperature, and we were on the precipice of frying from all that CO2 we are adding to the atmosphere.
There has been a “consensus” that the IPCC, Goreites, Hansonites, GavinSchmittites have all reached the wrong conclusion.
I hope and pray that our “consensus” wins the day, and SOON!
Best regards,
Mark H.

Gary Swift

How did this paper address the possibility that time to equilibrium is longer? I seems that a long equilibrium time might still allow high sensitivity on longer time scales. Any thoughts?

Bernie McCune

“Specific humidity is low in the extratropics, while it is high in the tropics.”
Generally this is true but I have operated a couple of solar furnaces in the desert of NM (about 32 deg N) where humidity is periodically high (especially during the summer where we experience monsoon conditions) and the normal incident pyrheliometer (NIP) reads a surface value of radiation (incoming SWR) as much as 230 watts/m^2 less than when humidity is much lower (in the Fall). Summer “clear” day solar noon readings at the surface are often 850 watts/m^2 versus Fall “clear” day solar noon readings at the surface of 1080 watts/m^2. Also several years ago at the peak of El Chicon’s (volcano) “dust” cloud we noted about 100 watts/m^2 decrease from “normal”. Our NIP was calibrated and was apparently good to about + or – 1%. “Clear” means no visible clouds.
I realize that most of the studies to date are using “on average” values but it might be useful to start gathering specific data in order to fine tune the effort. The devil seems to be in the details.
Bernie

dp

Consensus in and of itself is not an evil condition. Consensus that flows from accurate and verifiable science is a natural event, in fact. If polled there would surely emerge a consensus that e=mc^2. The consensus is irrelevant in science but useful in non-scientific ways. If the science presented in this paper is accurate and verifiable and climate scientists are honest about their work, a defacto consensus will emerge and will again be pointless scientifically but useful in other ways.
When consensus exists to force wider acceptance of a view and those using it in that fashion are the consensual scientists who created the view then you have a case for fraudulent use of the influence of consensus.
Case point: “9 out of 10 doctors agree” <- A very common use of consensus to improve market position but not necessarily based on science, and not necessarily fraudulent. The doctors may agree smoking is bad for your health.
Now having said all that, the very term brings a stench into conversations regarding climate because it represents to many a clear attempt at fraud. What it can mean has been hijacked by what it has meant in the short history of climate discourse. It has become tainted – in fact the very idea of consensus is tainted and the above conversations express that. Hopefully this does not imply that any wide spread support for a rationale is now impossible to discuss in public because as mentioned, defacto consensus will always emerge with the truth.

OK S.

From the conclusions (p. 387):

We have corrected the approach of Lindzen and Choi (2009), based on all the criticisms made of the earlier work (Chung et al., 2010; Murphy, 2010; Trenberth et al., 2010).

Nice to see that some scientist are stll normal—they correct their own work when it’s found wanting.
OK S.

Baxter 75

What I don’t get is why everyone isn’t delighted with the possibility that the outcome of AGW isn’t as bad as we all thought. I mean who in the world is pleased about paying outrageous taxes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and a consequent prospect of grossly reduced living standards? Why wouldn’t everyone wish to see more research like this?

John

Isn’t there a major flaw in them only considering ocean surface temperature between 20oS to 20oN latitude and then looking at OLR.
Isn’t the temperature of the rest of the planet going to have a very big, unquantified, influence on the OLR?
Also doesn’t this slow response feedbacks?

Fred from Canuckistan

I would argue the models are working exactly as they are supposed to. The increased hysteria and fear mongering that result from the output of these models is exactly what the Warmistas want and need.
I mean you need some data points, know matter how sketchy, to keep even the skankiest ponzi scheme going.

Theo Goodwin

Keith says:
August 17, 2011 at 12:44 am
“The big question to me: is anybody going to be game enough to apply this analysis to their model and share the results? I’m not going to hold my breath….”
Each model is a product of the idiosyncracies found in the climate scientists and the programmers who created it. Models cannot be compared with one another, except through comparison of complete runs. Unlike physical theory, it does not make sense to ask if a particular hypothesis is found in all the models or if all of the models associate the same set of output numbers with that hypothesis. Such item by item analysis is impossible in models. The only question a modeler can ask by way of comparing models is whether he should make his model resemble another model more closely. So, all of the important responses to the article in question that are based on models will say, in so many words, that your model does not sufficiently resemble my model.

Richard Saumarez

Scientific consensus leads to a theory. However theories are models of how the world works. They are only as good as they explain observations. When these fail, the model fails. The trick is to have models that produce results that can be observed. Otherwise they are theology.

Theo Goodwin

John B says:
August 17, 2011 at 1:23 am
“On the other hand, it may be found to be full of holes, in which case it will be forgotten about in science circles but will become an extra piece of evidence of the “global warming conspiracy” here in the blogosphere.”
You really should not direct your ad hominems at me. (You do know what an ad hominem is, right?) You just implied that everyone who is proud to comment on WUWT uses articles whose flaws have been established beyond a doubt to further our paranoid view that there is a malevolent “global warming conspiracy.” At best, you owe a major apology to everyone associated with WUWT. You should be banned from this site.
“Remember to be skeptical, even of the work of skeptics.”
OK, son, here is your opportunity: explain what scepticism is. Expect to be graded. Of course, you cannot do this because you are totally incapable of giving an articulate account of scientific method, just like every other critic of this site.
Had you been a blessed and fortunate child, you would by now have found yourself awake to the enormous engine of genuine scepticism that WUWT is. If you want to learn about scepticism in the internet age, WUWT is the number one place to be. Maybe the only place to be. You darn well will not learn about scepticism or scientific method or even that they exist at Real Climate or its “fellow travelers.” They dare not speak of scientific method for the obvious reason that not one thing they have produced satisfies the standards of scientific method.

observa

There’s a reason why the ‘mainstrean consensus’ emerged so indefatigably with this ‘new kid on the block’ theory and it had little to do with the veracity of the science behind it. Its roots lay way back in 1969 with the Appollo moon mission when a generation shared that view of earth from the porthole and the Spaceship Earth paradigm was born. Prior to that the earth was a very big place with Poles and Everests to conquer and still is at village level, but that was all about to change as our satellites began to circle the globe and map its every peak and trough, up to the current day with Google Earth at digital man’s fingertips. That process would slowly but surely change generational perspectives and the notion of Gaia was thrust into the consciousness as our satellites tracked and mapped the impact of mankind and his activities. A political vacuum in the making awaiting the inrush of any higher atmospherics and in the left it found just that.
In the eighties with free market capitalism in full flight with Maggie and Ronnie of ‘tear down that wall’ fame, the left were to suffer their ideological nadir with the fall of the Wall. With Perestrioka driven by worker Solidarnosc as the cause, their total belief system was in tatters and all they could do was retreat into the political shadows and lick their wounds. Where to for a beaten ideology with its ethos condemned to wander about the political wilderness? Club of Rome and the threat of another Ice Age had come and gone but in AGW theory the light shone on the way back and the new Long March began in earnest. Here at last was proof positive that capitalism was the root of all evil because it was going to fry the grandkids unless of course they took control of the commanding heights again and sorted out the globe’s problems with their UN vision splendid and the grand plan.
Quite a movement really when you look back on it all but the message also needed to find a ready home among Spaceship Earthers until as usual their prescriptive policies were found completely wanting in efficacy, culminating in the futility of Copenhagen. A stunning example of Blairs Law perhaps, whereby ‘the world’s multiple idiocies will come together in one giant useless force’. Well if that’s a bit harsh, then certainly the sublime irony of a bunch of professional Maoists telling a gaggle of amateur Westen leftists- ‘In your dreams monitoring us and telling us what to do’. With that sudden freefall from the commanding heights and after burning so much previous political capital on failed policy prescriptions, it was inevitable attention would turn back to the veracity of their consensus science and here we all are. There’s nothing like a GFC and subsequent economic storm clouds to propel a more judicious look at the science. What, us fall for wild doomsday scenarios on some flimsy, johnny come lately theory and computer modelling? Perish the thought! We’re all much more learned and discerning than to fall for the human hubris and folly of our less educated forbears.
It’s right about now the ancestors have wry smiles while they’re thinking- Never suspect conspiracy when universal education, computers, human hubris and folly will do.

Matt

@Robjm
“Each doubling of CO2 does not have the same effect as this is a clear violation of the Beer lambert law. This IPCC BS has come about because some idiot doesn’t know the difference between absorbance and absorption. Otherwise the first 20ppm could not be responsible for half the effect of CO2 now could it!”
Please actually read the IPCC report. Their formula for the change in forcing from additional CO2 absolutely accounts for the logarithmic impact of increasing concentrations :
(http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc_tar/?src=/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/222.htm).
I don’t even think that Lindzen disputes this formula (5.35 log C/C0). His argument is with the climatic response to the forcing from doubled CO2, not with the magnitude of that forcing. If you are going to spout rumors that you don’t even fact check, you may want to reconsider who you are calling the idiots.
@Bruce from Newcastle
“In my field I’ve been a modeller for 20 years, but observation beats modelling every time in my view.”
Your point is a fair one. But, I want to add an important qualification: What Lindzen is (legitimately) calling an “observational result”, is not a direct observation in a literal sense. Like any other measurement of climate sensitivity, it has to be *inferred* from direct observation, using some sort of theoretical model. The results will therefore depend on the author’s particular choice of assumptions. I’m not trying to denigrate Lindzen’s paper in the slightest. After all, this is how these sorts of things get done. I just wanted to put it in context for the sake of those who don’t believe anything with the word “model” attached to it. Also, it should be pointed out that (so far) the bulk of observation-based climate sensitivity measurements have yielded higher sensitivities. We’ll have to wait and see….

richard verney

@DCA says:August 17, 2011 at 6:23 am
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He may be right about paleo records IF but only IF these were accurately recorded and IF and only IF they did not rely upon some proxy which is claimed in some way to evidence what conditions were like.
The fact is that paleo records are uncertain and we do not know whatr they show. For sure some may provide evidence of general rough and ready pointers but they simply lack accuracy and precision and are open to too much subjective interpretation.