The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: My Initial Comments on the New Dessler 2011 Study

NOTE: This post is important, so I’m going to sticky it at the top for quite a while. I’ve created a page for all Spencer and Braswell/Dessler related posts, since they are becoming numerous and popular to free up the top post sections of WUWT.

UPDATE: Dr. Spencer writes: I have been contacted by Andy Dessler, who is now examining my calculations, and we are working to resolve a remaining difference there. Also, apparently his paper has not been officially published, and so he says he will change the galley proofs as a result of my blog post; here is his message:

“I’m happy to change the introductory paragraph of my paper when I get the galley proofs to better represent your views. My apologies for any misunderstanding. Also, I’ll be changing the sentence “over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change, on the other hand, clouds can indeed cause significant warming” to make it clear that I’m talking about cloud feedbacks doing the action here, not cloud forcing.”

[Dessler may need to make other changes, it appears Steve McIntyre has found some flaws related to how the CERES data was combined: http://climateaudit.org/2011/09/08/more-on-dessler-2010/

As I said before in my first post on Dessler’s paper, it remains to be seen if “haste makes waste”. It appears it does. -Anthony]

Update #2 (Sept. 8, 2011): Spencer adds: I have made several updates as a result of correspondence with Dessler, which will appear underlined, below. I will leave it to the reader to decide whether it was our Remote Sensing paper that should not have passed peer review (as Trenberth has alleged), or Dessler’s paper meant to refute our paper.

by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

While we have had only one day to examine Andy Dessler’s new paper in GRL, I do have some initial reaction and calculations to share. At this point, it looks quite likely we will be responding to it with our own journal submission… although I doubt we will get the fast-track, red carpet treatment he got.

There are a few positive things in this new paper which make me feel like we are at least beginning to talk the same language in this debate (part of The Good). But, I believe I can already demonstrate some of The Bad, for example, showing Dessler is off by about a factor of 10 in one of his central calculations.

Finally, Dessler must be called out on The Ugly things he put in the paper.

(which he has now agreed to change).

1. THE GOOD

Estimating the Errors in Climate Feedback Diagnosis from Satellite Data

We are pleased that Dessler now accepts that there is at least the *potential* of a problem in diagnosing radiative feedbacks in the climate system *if* non-feedback cloud variations were to cause temperature variations. It looks like he understands the simple-forcing-feedback equation we used to address the issue (some quibbles over the equation terms aside), as well as the ratio we introduced to estimate the level of contamination of feedback estimates. This is indeed progress.

He adds a new way to estimate that ratio, and gets a number which — if accurate — would indeed suggest little contamination of feedback estimates from satellite data. This is very useful, because we can now talk about numbers and how good various estimates are, rather than responding to hand waving arguments over whether “clouds cause El Nino” or other red herrings. I have what I believe to be good evidence that his calculation, though, is off by a factor of 10 or so. More on that under THE BAD, below.

Comparisons of Satellite Measurements to Climate Models

Figure 2 in his paper, we believe, helps make our point for us: there is a substantial difference between the satellite measurements and the climate models. He tries to minimize the discrepancy by putting 2-sigma error bounds on the plots and claiming the satellite data are not necessarily inconsistent with the models.

But this is NOT the same as saying the satellite data SUPPORT the models. After all, the IPCC’s best estimate projections of future warming from a doubling of CO2 (3 deg. C) is almost exactly the average of all of the models sensitivities! So, when the satellite observations do depart substantially from the average behavior of the models, this raises an obvious red flag.

Massive changes in the global economy based upon energy policy are not going to happen, if the best the modelers can do is claim that our observations of the climate system are not necessarily inconsistent with the models.

(BTW, a plot of all of the models, which so many people have been clamoring for, will be provided in The Ugly, below.)

2. THE BAD

The Energy Budget Estimate of How Much Clouds Cause Temperature Change

While I believe he gets a “bad” number, this is the most interesting and most useful part of Dessler’s paper. He basically uses the terms in the forcing-feedback equation we use (which is based upon basic energy budget considerations) to claim that the energy required to cause changes in the global-average ocean mixed layer temperature are far too large to be caused by variations in the radiative input into the ocean brought about by cloud variations (my wording).

He gets a ratio of about 20:1 for non-radiatively forced (i.e. non-cloud) temperature changes versus radiatively (mostly cloud) forced variations. If that 20:1 number is indeed good, then we would have to agree this is strong evidence against our view that a significant part of temperature variations are radiatively forced. (It looks like Andy will be revising this downward, although it’s not clear by how much because his paper is ambiguous about how he computed and then combined the radiative terms in the equation, below.)

But the numbers he uses to do this, however, are quite suspect. Dessler uses NONE of the 3 most direct estimates that most researchers would use for the various terms. (A clarification on this appears below) Why? I know we won’t be so crass as to claim in our next peer-reviewed publication (as he did in his, see The Ugly, below) that he picked certain datasets because they best supported his hypothesis.

The following graphic shows the relevant equation, and the numbers he should have used since they are the best and most direct observational estimates we have of the pertinent quantities. I invite the more technically inclined to examine this. For those geeks with calculators following along at home, you can run the numbers yourself:

Here I went ahead and used Dessler’s assumed 100 meter depth for the ocean mixed layer, rather than the 25 meter depth we used in our last paper. (It now appears that Dessler will be using a 700 m depth, a number which was not mentioned in his preprint. I invite you to read his preprint and decide whether he is now changing from 100 m to 700 m as a result of issues I have raised here. It really is not obvious from his paper what he used).

Using the above equation, if I assumed a feedback parameter λ=3 Watts per sq. meter per degree, that 20:1 ratio Dessler gets becomes 2.2:1. If I use a feedback parameter of λ=6, then the ratio becomes 1.7:1. This is basically an order of magnitude difference from his calculation.

Again I ask: why did Dessler choose to NOT use the 3 most obvious and best sources of data to evaluate the terms in the above equation?:

(1) Levitus for observed changes in the ocean mixed layer temperature; (it now appears he will be using a number consistent with the Levitus 0-700 m layer).

(2) CERES Net radiative flux for the total of the 2 radiative terms in the above equation, and (this looks like it could be a minor source of difference, except it appears he put all of his Rcld variability in the radiative forcing term, which he claims helps our position, but running the numbers will reveal the opposite is true since his Rcld actually contains both forcing and feedback components which partially offset each other.)

(3): HadSST for sea surface temperature variations. (this will likely be the smallest source of difference)

The Use of AMIP Models to Claim our Lag Correlations Were Spurious

I will admit, this was pretty clever…but at this early stage I believe it is a red herring.

Dessler’s Fig. 1 shows lag correlation coefficients that, I admit, do look kind of like the ones we got from satellite (and CMIP climate model) data. The claim is that since the AMIP model runs do not allow clouds to cause surface temperature changes, this means the lag correlation structures we published are not evidence of clouds causing temperature change.

Following are the first two objections which immediately come to my mind:

1) Imagine (I’m again talking mostly to you geeks out there) a time series of temperature represented by a sine wave, and then a lagged feedback response represented by another sine wave. If you then calculate regression coefficients between those 2 time series at different time leads and lags (try this in Excel if you want), you will indeed get a lag correlation structure we see in the satellite data.

But look at what Dessler has done: he has used models which DO NOT ALLOW cloud changes to affect temperature, in order to support his case that cloud changes do not affect temperature! While I will have to think about this some more, it smacks of circular reasoning. He could have more easily demonstrated it with my 2 sine waves example.

Assuming there is causation in only one direction to produce evidence there is causation in only one direction seems, at best, a little weak.

2) In the process, though, what does his Fig. 1 show that is significant to feedback diagnosis, if we accept that all of the radiative variations are, as Dessler claims, feedback-induced? Exactly what the new paper by Lindzen and Choi (2011) explores: that there is some evidence of a lagged response of radiative feedback to a temperature change.

And, if this is the case, then why isn’t Dr. Dessler doing his regression-based estimates of feedback at the time lag or maximum response? Steve McIntyre, who I have provided the data to for him to explore, is also examining this as one of several statistical issues. So, Dessler’s Fig. 1 actually raises a critical issue in feedback diagnosis he has yet to address.

3. THE UGLY

(MOST, IF NOT ALL, OF THESE OBJECTIONS WILL BE ADDRESSED IN DESSLER’S UPDATE OF HIS PAPER BEFORE PUBLICATION)

The new paper contains a few statements which the reviewers should not have allowed to be published because they either completely misrepresent our position, or accuse us of cherry picking (which is easy to disprove).

Misrepresentation of Our Position

Quoting Dessler’s paper, from the Introduction:

“Introduction

The usual way to think about clouds in the climate system is that they are a feedback… …In recent papers, Lindzen and Choi [2011] and Spencer and Braswell [2011] have argued that reality is reversed: clouds are the cause of, and not a feedback on, changes in surface temperature. If this claim is correct, then significant revisions to climate science may be required.”

But we have never claimed anything like “clouds are the cause of, and not a feedback on, changes in surface temperature”! We claim causation works in BOTH directions, not just one direction (feedback) as he claims. Dr. Dessler knows this very well, and I would like to know

1) what he was trying to accomplish by such a blatant misrepresentation of our position, and

2) how did all of the peer reviewers of the paper, who (if they are competent) should be familiar with our work, allow such a statement to stand?

Cherry picking of the Climate Models We Used for Comparison

This claim has been floating around the blogosphere ever since our paper was published. To quote Dessler:

“SB11 analyzed 14 models, but they plotted only six models and the particular observational data set that provided maximum support for their hypothesis. “

How is picking the 3 most sensitive models AND the 3 least sensitive models going to “provide maximum support for (our) hypothesis”? If I had picked ONLY the 3 most sensitive, or ONLY the 3 least sensitive, that might be cherry picking…depending upon what was being demonstrated. And where is the evidence those 6 models produce the best support for our hypothesis?

I would have had to run hundreds of combinations of the 14 models to accomplish that. Is that what Dr. Dessler is accusing us of?

Instead, the point was to show that the full range of climate sensitivities represented by the least and most sensitive of the 14 models show average behavior that is inconsistent with the observations. Remember, the IPCC’s best estimate of 3 deg. C warming is almost exactly the warming produced by averaging the full range of its models’ sensitivities together. The satellite data depart substantially from that. I think inspection of Dessler’s Fig. 2 supports my point.

But, since so many people are wondering about the 8 models I left out, here are all 14 of the models’ separate results, in their full, individual glory:

I STILL claim there is a large discrepancy between the satellite observations and the behavior of the models.

CONCLUSION

These are my comments and views after having only 1 day since we received the new paper. It will take weeks, at a minimum, to further explore all of the issues raised by Dessler (2011).

Based upon the evidence above, I would say we are indeed going to respond with a journal submission to answer Dessler’s claims. I hope that GRL will offer us as rapid a turnaround as Dessler got in the peer review process. Feel free to take bets on that. :)

And, to end on a little lighter note, we were quite surprised to see this statement in Dessler’s paper in the Conclusions (italics are mine):

These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade (over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change, on the other hand, clouds can indeed cause significant warming).”

Long term climate change can be caused by clouds??! Well, maybe Andy is finally seeing the light! ;) (Nope. It turns out he meant ” *RADIATIVE FEEDBACK DUE TO* clouds can indeed cause significant warming”. An obvious, minor typo. My bad.)

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Ron Cram
September 7, 2011 11:08 am

Roy,
I am still not clear on how Dessler could be off by a factor of 10. Where exactly was his mistake?
Also, I’m surprised Dessler’s comment on his video that you didn’t use real data did not make your list of “The Ugly.” Any comment?

Fred from Canuckistan
September 7, 2011 11:09 am

Same actor, same music, better movie . . . . Kelly’s Heroes

September 7, 2011 11:15 am

Dr. Spencer: If there are MORE CLOUDS (which is our contention, caused by both feedback and the Svensmark mechanism), then Andy will see LESS LIGHT. And threrefore become MORE entrenched in his position. If there are LESS clouds, then he will see MORE LIGHT, but conclude that “warming” is still the trend (as that is what will happen with less clouds, wait..that’s “our side” of feedback). I don’t think we can win with Andy!

September 7, 2011 11:23 am

‘And, to end on a little lighter note, we were quite surprised to see this statement in Dessler’s paper in the Conclusions (italics are mine):
“These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade (over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change, on the other hand, clouds can indeed cause significant warming).”’
I am not a geek or a maths guru, or a scientist of any kind, but this also made me smile. Did he really MEAN to say this? As to the article, it is as far as my very small brain can ascertain, a masterpiece! Your court I think, Mr. Dessler…now back to Flushing Meadow!

RobW
September 7, 2011 11:25 am

I will give 20:1 odds the turn around time is glacial. But I could be convinced to massage the numbers to 1.7:1
sorry couldn’t resist. Love your comments that go straight to the heart of the matter. Clouds are very important to climate.

KR
September 7, 2011 11:25 am

Dr. Spencer
With all due respect, I believe that your selection of only six of the fourteen models you evaluated, the six that (as it happens) maximize the difference between the model results and the observations, looks very bad. It has been my experience that if you show your hypothesis holds against the strongest counter-evidence, it’s going to hold up over the long term. You comparison, however, was to some of the weakest counter-evidence, and whether you like it or not, that gives readers a very poor impression of the work.
Add to that the fact that the three models that agree the most with the observations are those models that are noted to best match ENSO variations, which are (quite likely) the major cause of the temperature variations over the last decade, and your omission of those model results is even more puzzling.
At the very least you should have explained in your paper why you did not show the other eight model results you ran.
Regarding The Ugly, as you put it:
Most climate factors have possibilities of both forcing and feedback, including CO2, cloud cover, etc. However, the initiation of a change in climate is the forcing, caused by something other than relative temperature – insolation variations, CO2 levels, random cloud variations, etc. Even if Dessler is completely off base with his 20:1 difference between ocean heat redistribution and cloud effects, even if you are correct with ~2:1, you have still not shown any dominant effect of clouds over and above the ENSO heat redistribution. Certainly not in terms of long term effects, as you have posited no physical mechanism that could cause long term cloud changes. Without some mechanism, some reasons why, we have no reason to believe that variations plus or minus from temperature driven humidity and cloud cover will persist in imbalance long enough (10’s of years) to affect climate.
To be quite blunt, without such a physical mechanism overriding the water vapor cycle, your assertions of clouds as the forcing driving the ENSO are “Just So Stories”.

September 7, 2011 11:28 am

Dessler’s Paper should be henceforth referred to as The Dessler Flail.

eyesonu
September 7, 2011 11:28 am

Dr.Spencer, very well presented.
Thank you.
Sincerely,

Mike Bromley the Kurd
September 7, 2011 11:30 am

My synaesthesia is acting up. Hearing the GB&U theme, I suddenly smelled popcorn. Or, maybe it was the post……

TomRude
September 7, 2011 11:31 am

“When you have to shoot, shoot! Don’t talk.
Line from Tuco

NetDr
September 7, 2011 11:36 am

The violent reaction to this paper tells me that it has drawn blood.
If it were wrong then showing this to be true would be enough.
The libelous hyperbole just makes them look petty.

eyesonu
September 7, 2011 11:36 am

And the title with the associated format just “knocks my socks off”!

Bill Parsons
September 7, 2011 11:37 am

In one of Dessler’s video interviews (I can’t find the link right now), he insists that they can scarcely find a scientist ready to debate the issue with him. Well… (?) Any such public debate(s) would be a welcome complement to the recent papers, and certainly more productive than the pot shots being fired, and “the ritual seppuku of young academic Wolfgang Wagner”, as Steve McIntyre called it.

September 7, 2011 11:38 am

I guess you are going to get a lot of bets, so I will just comment on the conclusion. HUH????
They make a definitive statement, but qualify it by saying “maybe it has”? Sounds very wishy washy.

ZT
September 7, 2011 11:39 am
Michael Larkin
September 7, 2011 11:41 am

KR:
“as you have posited no physical mechanism that could cause long term cloud changes.”
But hasn’t Svensmark’s hypothesis provided this? And haven’t the CERN results so far begun to provide possible evidence for that?

richard verney
September 7, 2011 11:42 am

As soon as I read: “The claim is that since the AMIP model runs do not allow clouds to cause surface temperature changes, this means the lag correlation structures we published could are not evidence of clouds causing temperature change.” alarm bells rang loud.
I note that you state “While I will have to think about this some more, it smacks of circular reasoning.” I envisage that after you have reflected further upon this, you will continue to think that it is circular reasoning; so precisely what of significance does Dressler demonstrate?
It does appear that there is much in the Dressler paper that supports the root thrust ‘that models and observations are not in sync and that there is a divergence problem between models projections and reality’. This suggests either a problem with the models (most likely), or some unexplained errors in empirical data gathering/record keeping.
I look forward to reading your follow up paper.
ps, it would be ironic if Dressler has made an error in his paper which may give rise to him obtaining a reputation as a scientist requiring others to correct his work. I intend looking at the maths in more detail

September 7, 2011 11:43 am

Small typo in the equation: Tsfc should be (delta)Tsfc.

Disko Troop
September 7, 2011 11:45 am

An admirably restrained response considering the somewhat provocative statements in Daily Climate. Happily Dr Dessler released a video for the enlightenment of morons like me. Half way through it I wanted to put up my hand and ask to go to the toilet as I was beginning to feel sick, but no matter, I look forward to your forthcoming paper in GRL. Please don’t make a video. I hope Anthony Watts does not have to resign from his own blog for posting your response. (I’ll check with Kevin on the latest rules and get back to you!

September 7, 2011 11:47 am

Dr. Spencer, thanks for the quick response. I wasn’t sure how long it would take you. I’d personally like to thank you for showing all of the models. It proved my point that the rest were likely left out because it makes for a very ugly graphic and isn’t easy to discern what it is that you’d be trying to show.
Just so I’m clear, AMIP models don’t allow for clouds, even as feedback, to amplify or decrease temp changes? If so, this is another huge hit towards Dressler’s credibility and the alleged reviewers.
@KR What you are asking about is in the Bad section, (the 20:1vs2:1) not the Ugly. The Ugly section was reserved for the mischaracterization (lying about) the claims of SB11. And the obsession about how many models SB11 showed in their pretty picture.

John in NZ
September 7, 2011 11:48 am

It does not matter if Dessler’s paper is full of errors.
From now on, they will refer to Spencer and Braswell as being discredited.
It’s not about the science. It’s about the sound bites.

Nuke Nemesis
September 7, 2011 11:48 am

So where does CO2 and other greenhouse gases fit into this debate? How does human activity affect ENSO? Somebody, somewhere has to get the discussion back to fossil fuels or the message will get lost in a scientific discussion.

JeffC
September 7, 2011 11:53 am

so clouds (which are weather in my mind) and exist for short periods of time (individually and geographically) can effect long term climate but not short term climate … right …

Viv Evans
September 7, 2011 11:58 am

Thank you, from a non-geek with no pocket calculator, but who was quite amazed at dessler’s conclusion which you picked up.

glacierman
September 7, 2011 12:01 pm

Another Aggie Joke to add to the list:
“These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade (over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change, on the other hand, clouds can indeed cause significant warming).”
http://aggiejoke.com/

Scottish Sceptic
September 7, 2011 12:01 pm

My concern is that the system works. If the system works then what goes through the system will work and so the science will be good.
But the evidence is that the peer review system is broken. And there is no better proof of that, than the way sceptic papers are repressed and pro papers get fast tracked and … really don’t seem to serve a purpose except to attack other people.

September 7, 2011 12:09 pm

John in NZ says:
September 7, 2011 at 11:48 am
It does not matter if Dessler’s paper is full of errors.
From now on, they will refer to Spencer and Braswell as being discredited.
It’s not about the science. It’s about the sound bites.
========================================================
Enter the ever increasing sophistication of the average skeptic. It is true, many of your alarmist friends will consider S&B11 as refuted. However, this site and many other will amply provide you with the information necessary to dispute the claim. One of the things I’ve noticed, though there are exceptions, most skeptics have a much more intimate knowledge of various papers and the responses than alarmists.

Ron Cram
September 7, 2011 12:10 pm

Roy,
Also, could you comment on the potential role of dimethyl sulfide in the debate on clouds? If I understand correctly, increased atmospheric CO2 will lead to more growth of dimethyl sulfide and so greater cloud condensation nuclei. The following abstract discusses changes in distribution, but there is also a change in quantity, correct? http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2011GL047069.shtml

September 7, 2011 12:16 pm

KR:With all due respect, I believe that your selection of only six of the fourteen models you evaluated, the six that (as it happens) maximize the difference between the model results and the observations, looks very bad.
First off, has anyone actually shown that to be the case?
Second, it makes sense that he would choose the most and least sensitive.

richard verney
September 7, 2011 12:22 pm

KR says:
September 7, 2011 at 11:25 am
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
You raise some points with respect to perception which may have some merit. However, I do not consider matters to be as clear as you suggest.
For example, with regard to the models not selected by S&B, if you look at the Dessler regression plot Fig2, whilst some of the models not used by S&B may have an impoved fit in the lag period 0 to + 7 months, you will note that many of the models not used have a worse fit in the lag period – 17 to – 5 months.
You criticize S&B for not having posited a physical mechanism that could cause long term cloud changes. There is no reason why S&B should put forward a mechanism. S&B are merely pointing out that models do not fit reality and reality could be driven by clouds.
In any case, it could all be due to natural variation in cloud formation/patterns which, as of yet, are not fully understood. For more than 20 years, I have considered the most obvious explanation for any real warming having actually taken place during the last century is clouds. Whilst there are many factors underlying their formation (some known, and may be understood to more or less degree, there are probably many factors which are presently unknown), essentially, clouds are chaotic and random.
We do not have adequate high resolution data of cloud cover to even begin to evaluate this. However, a general trend of less cloudiness (thereby allowing more solar radiance to impact the surface, particularly the oceans) lasting 150 years would not be surprising since one has to see such a trend against the backdrop of the entire period that Earth has had an atmosphere. If you toss a coin 7 times and it comes up heads on each occassion you may consider it weighted. However, it is quite conceivable to see such a run in a run of say ten million tosses, and it would not in any way look out of the ordinary and the coin would in this longer series be shown to have a 50/50 chance of coming up heads. 150 years is nothing in the context of the geological history of this planet, and it can be incredibly misleading to focus on short time periods and then seeking to extrapolate a trend.
ps. In my earlier comment, I referred to Dressler not Dessler (for which I am sorry).

Peter Dunford
September 7, 2011 12:24 pm

Wagner made it clear that information brought to light from blogs, post publication, can discredit a peer-reviewed paper to the point that the peer-review process has been demonstrated to have broken down. Where does that leave the editor of GRL? Do we get another resignation? I suspect not.

Kevin Kilty
September 7, 2011 12:34 pm

I tend to agree that using a model that does not allow cloud variations to impact surface temperatures to produce an argument against clouds as a source of surface temperature variations seems like circular reasoning.
I think what Dressler thought he was doing, and actually only he can say what he was thinking, is showing that the same lagged-correlation would arise without cloud variations, ergo cloudiness variations are not a cause of surface temperature variations. It seems to me one can look at this two ways. First, we often hear that correlation does not prove causation. It seems that correlation does not prove non-causation either–perhaps even more thoroughly.
Second, his logic seems to be not(A) then B is equivalent to (A) then not(B). Surely this is a fallacy.

September 7, 2011 12:41 pm

What’s hilarious is that every model’s “projection” is the average of a bunch of runs with fiddled parameters, and the IPCC “consensus” projection is itself an average of these averages, EVERY ONE OF WHICH IS WRONG BY A LARGE MARGIN, and the daily temperature “averages” in the “raw data” are actually hi-lo temp mid-points (medians), not even weighted, and yet Dessler and supporting loons have the nerve to critique Spencer’s use of the 3 highest and lowest models?
Disingenuous witless hypocrisy, thy name is Climate Science.

KR
September 7, 2011 12:43 pm

Michael Larkin“as you have posited no physical mechanism that could cause long term cloud changes.”
But hasn’t Svensmark’s hypothesis provided this? And haven’t the CERN results so far begun to provide possible evidence for that?

Svensmark’s work is very interesting (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/08/the-cerncloud-results-are-surprisingly-interesting/), but GCR’s just don’t show a trend (up or down) that matches the changes in the climate over the last 50 years.
James Sexton
In reference to “The Ugly”, I was referring to causation (first cause of temperature change, clouds or ocean heat redistribution), although I did mention the different energy ratios. Sorry if I was unclear.
TallDave“KR:With all due respect, I believe that your selection of only six of the fourteen models you evaluated, the six that (as it happens) maximize the difference between the model results and the observations, looks very bad.”
First off, has anyone actually shown that to be the case?
Second, it makes sense that he would choose the most and least sensitive.

Unfortunately, that’s one of the key points in Dessler’s paper (http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/dessler_2011_grl.pdf). The best match models (GFDL CM 2.1, MPI ECHAM5, and MRI CGCM 2.3.2A) are the ones known to best match the ENSO, and they were not included despite being run by Spencer et al. That does not look good.

Andrew Harding
Editor
September 7, 2011 12:48 pm

Roy, I congratulate you on the hard work that you have done to to question Dr Desslers science. I am normally vociferous on this website, but in this posting I am not going to comment. The reason for my lack of comment is because it is too technical for me. I do not want your hard work to indirectly criticised by warmists, because people like myself who are not climate scientists have made ill-informed comments that will be seized upon, quoted and ridiculed.
I will continue to read your future essays on the subject.

mckyj57
September 7, 2011 12:50 pm

KR Wrote:
Even if Dessler is completely off base with his 20:1 difference between ocean heat redistribution and cloud effects, even if you are correct with ~2:1, you have still not shown any dominant effect of clouds over and above the ENSO heat redistribution. Certainly not in terms of long term effects, as you have posited no physical mechanism that could cause long term cloud changes. Without some mechanism, some reasons why, we have no reason to believe that variations plus or minus from temperature driven humidity and cloud cover will persist in imbalance long enough (10′s of years) to affect climate.
I think that long-term cloud changes could happen because of any number of factors. Isn’t that what the CLOUD experiment was aimed at?

Jeremy
September 7, 2011 12:56 pm

Using the above equation, if I assumed a feedback parameter λ=3 Watts per sq. meter per degree, that 20:1 ratio Dessler gets becomes 2.2:1. If I use a feedback parameter of λ=6, then the ratio becomes 1.7:1. This is basically an order of magnitude difference from his calculation.

^^^ You have 1 equation and 3 unknowns. It is not clear here how you’re solving for that 20:1 unknown. Also, where was the number 3 arrived at?

Dayday
September 7, 2011 12:57 pm

DirtyHarryreadmefile
I know what you are thinking , can I get this paper published in 5 days or can I get it published in 6, well to tell you the truth in all the excitement I kinda lost track myself but seeing this is about good science and could blow the head of your theory clean off, you have got to ask your self one question. Do I feel lucky? Well do you punk?

extremist
September 7, 2011 12:59 pm

Why are so many of the “new results” showing the 0 time lag regression coefficients to be negative? Clearly, Dessler’s Fig. 2 shows that all but one are positive.
Some please explain. Are the datasets different? Does regression mean different things in the two papers? What’s going on?

eyesonu
September 7, 2011 1:03 pm

As these comments are likely going to become very technically detailed discussions so I would like to make light one comment.
I thought that dihydrogen monoxide was going to kill us all, but now it may save the world. From the attributes to the death tolls from Irene, there were at least 5 that were directly attributed to those whom intentionally immersed / subjected themselves to dihydrogen monoxide. I did the same while the creeks were up, but I survived. Have to admit that I truly enjoyed the use of an excessive dose of dihydrogen monoxide! It was a real splash.

Gras Albert
September 7, 2011 1:05 pm

Dr Spencer
I note your surprise regarding the peer review process’s failure to detect an apparently obvious and significant error in Dessler 2011.
I also note that Dessler thanks Evan, Fasullo, Murphy, Trenberth, Zelinka and A.J. Dessler for their useful comments.
Is it not equally surprising that such an august assembly* of renowned scientists in the field appear to have not commented on this issue?
* by the way, might I suggest that an appropriate collective noun for such an eminent group of climate scientists might be a ‘cloud’

ChrisM
September 7, 2011 1:08 pm

“These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade (over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change, on the other hand, clouds can indeed cause significant warming).”
But all the data sets (except GISS) show that there hasn’t been significant climate change in the last decade. Isn’t this Dessler just proving zero equals zero?

1DandyTroll
September 7, 2011 1:08 pm

So, essentially, Dessler is claiming that the real world observation is not the representation of reality but that his models are.
I believe there’re quite the few pupils of the pharmacological self-study group in a number of insane asylums around the world that would agree if they were only allowed to leave the chemical compound. :p

Jeremy
September 7, 2011 1:19 pm

KR says:
September 7, 2011 at 11:25 am
With all due respect, I believe that your selection of only six of the fourteen models you evaluated, the six that (as it happens) maximize the difference between the model results and the observations, looks very bad.

As you say, I would consider this a “just so” story until someone demonstrates that to be the case. Do the choices made actually maximize the difference between model results and observations? You need to provide some kind of evidence this is so, simply stating it doesn’t make it so. Dessler could have chosen to demonstrate this was so in his paper if he thought this was the case. He didn’t. That would at least suggest to me that it’s another piece of nonsense thrown at the wall to see if it sticks.

Add to that the fact that the three models that agree the most with the observations are those models that are noted to best match ENSO variations, which are (quite likely) the major cause of the temperature variations over the last decade, and your omission of those model results is even more puzzling.

It sounds like you are saying the models that account for ENSO show more agreement with the observations as presented by both SB11 and Dessler. When you consider: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2010GL044888.shtml and the observations shown in the two papers in question it begs the question. Perhaps clouds have a part in determining ENSO and the models are simply a slightly flawed concept showing the right result. (as I recall it’s happened before)

September 7, 2011 1:19 pm

As you say, it is going to take a cool head and probably a couple of weeks to fully address and deconstruct the Dessler paper. The mis-characterisation of your *bi-directional* hypothesis immediately raised red flags wrt. the objectivity of Dessler, as well as the peer review of his paper.
I have a limited understanding of “climate science” and current gaps, particularly wrt. characterising and quantifying cloud albedo (wrt. “energy budget”). I confess to being most aligned with Svensmark at present (which you don’t necessarily contradict in gross terms). Primarily, just want to say best wishes. Trenberth has further discredited himself with his petty actions and statements. Kudos for the way you have handled things over the last few days.

G. Karst
September 7, 2011 1:24 pm

I hope that GRL will offer us as rapid a turnaround as Dessler got in the peer review process

How can they not? There is way too much focus, thanks to Wolfgang, for such shenanigans. Isn’t there? Or perhaps they regard such tactics as somehow heroic? I just find it all discombobulating. As someone said, let’s refill the popcorn bowl and await developments. We shall see what we will see! 🙁 GK

JFD
September 7, 2011 1:27 pm

KR, you said above, “Certainly not in terms of long term effects, as you have posited no physical mechanism that could cause long term cloud changes.” I have no fish to fry in this hot grease but do believe that I can posit a physical mechanism that could cause long term cloud changes.
The world is currently producing a bit more than 1000 cubic kilometers of fossil water per year. Fossil water is from no or slow to recharge aquifers. This water, which is not in equilibrium with the hydrological cycle for one cycle, both heats the atmosphere as it changes energy regime from potential to kinetic then back to potential and increases the level of the oceans by 2.6 mm/year. Use of fossil ground water started in earnest around 1950 and increased as the world population increased until about 2000 or so when some decline started due to dropping water levels in the tube wells.
Much of the fossil water is used in evaporative cooling towers for electric power plants, refineries, chemical plants, gas processing plants etc. The cooling water removes heat from the processes and goes to the cooling tower where it flows downward as air is induced from the bottom through slats to cause evaporative mixing. The air, water vapor and aerosols leave the top of the tower at about 120F and 100% humidity plus the aerosols. The mixture is lighter than air so rises and eventually is cooled enough to condense into rain, giving up the initial latent heat which changed the potential energy into kinetic energy as specific heat when the kinetic energy is changed back to potential energy. It seems to me that cloud formation has to be a part of this physical process.
The other big use of fossil ground water is irrigation for food and fodder. This use is more sporadic/seasonal in nature but the evaporative cooling towers operate 24/7/365. However the fossil water used for irrigation does add to the level of the oceans.
Fossil water answers several questions about energy, ocean levels, global warming and sea level rises. 1000 cubic kilometers of new water added to the atmosphere each year is considerable. It accounts for more than the observable increase in atmosphere temperature, which leads me to believe that there is a “temperature relief valve” in the Tropopause. Simple partial pressures indicate that increasing carbon dioxide in the Troposphere causes water to be expelled into outer space.
JFD

HankH
September 7, 2011 1:32 pm

Following KR’s comments above, What I see is the two of the models that more closely agree with the regression coefficient still exhibit a significant diverge in the phase relationship (lag) between model runs and satellite data. This causes me to question if they’re truly modeling reality or happen to be two models of the 14 that agree better for the wrong reasons. Statistically speaking two models of the 14 are going to agree better no matter how bad the entire ensemble gets it. That’s why I think that picking two or three models on the basis of a specific bias they represent in the data as KR suggests is an entirely wrong statistical approach and one clearly more likely to draw criticism from statisticians. After all, there’s a reason why there’s an ensemble of 14 models isn’t there? If one or two models are proven to be better consistently than all the others, then why do we continue to run the others and use them in key research as we do? Yes, we can play musical models and see which ones fit into chairs when the music stops but all you’re doing is finding a situational fit that may or may not lead to a valid analysis.
It seems obvious to me that there remains a clear divergence in phase in the general ensemble that can’t be substantially fixed up by singling out a few select models. Herein, I believe is Dr. Spencer’s point that deserves a better explanation than just hand waving and disparaging Dr. Spencer’s methodology.

Mycroft
September 7, 2011 1:40 pm

DR Roy spencer
2) how did all of the peer reviewers of the paper, who (if they are competent) should be familiar with our work, allow such a statement to stand?
Answer because they know the effect it will have… to cast doubt, and no doubt one or two TEAM members have had their input or say.
good luck and best wishes with you reply paper

September 7, 2011 1:45 pm

JFD says:
September 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Simple partial pressures indicate that increasing carbon dioxide in the Troposphere causes water to be expelled into outer space.
JFD

Whenever I’ve mentioned the open top of the atmosphere, and loss of mass and energy, I’ve been jumped on. What you describe makes great sense to me, a kind of evaporation of H2O, which is much lighter than CO2, O2, O3, N2, etc. There’s even a non-stop source of turbulence that would (IMO) facilitate this: the “Diurnal Bulge”, a 600-km high wave of atmosphere that tracks the sun about 2 hrs. lagging.
Anyhoo …

Frank K.
September 7, 2011 1:48 pm

Dr. Spencer says:
“I hope that GRL will offer us as rapid a turnaround as Dessler got in the peer review process. Feel free to take bets on that.”
Like G. Karst, I too look forward to the GRL’s new and improved “RAPID REVIEW” ™ process. I’m sure it’ll only take 8 weeks (10 tops)!

September 7, 2011 1:49 pm

Ron Cram:
See the comments under by blog post for the likely source of the factor of ten difference.
I did not include any mention of Dessler’s video because (1) I haven’t seen it, and (2) I was just addressing his peer-reviewed and published paper in this post.
-Roy Spencer

Martin Lewitt
September 7, 2011 1:53 pm

KR,
“To be quite blunt, without such a physical mechanism overriding the water vapor cycle, your assertions of clouds as the forcing driving the ENSO are “Just So Stories”.
The paper was about diagnosis of radiative feedback. The IPCC projections are just plain invalid if there isn’t strong positive cloud feedback, because all of the models have significant positive feedback. As someone at climateaudit pointed out, AR4 states in Section 8.6.2.3:
…in the absence of cloud feedbacks, current GCMs would predict a climate sensitivity (±1 standard deviation) of roughly 1.9°C ± 0.15°C (ignoring spread from radiative forcing differences). The mean and standard deviation of climate sensitivity estimates derived from current GCMs are larger (3.2°C ± 0.7°C) essentially because the GCMs all predict a positive cloud feedback (Figure 8.14) but strongly disagree on its magnitude.
If the AR4 models don’t get their significant positive cloud feedback, then there is plenty to override “the water vapor cycle”, for starters try the speedup of the cycle. Wentz in the journal Science showed that all the AR4 models reproduced less than half in the increase in precipitation seen in the observations. Under representing a negative feedback (the water cycle) combined with over representing a positive feedback pretty much leave the models running wild.
Do you really think this statement from SB11:
“We hypothesize that changes in the coupled oceanatmosphere circulation during the El Niño and La Niña phases of ENSO cause differing changes in cloud cover, which then modulate the radiative balance of the climate system”
was the main result from the paper or can be fairly characterized as: “assertions of clouds as the forcing driving the ENSO”?
How Much More Rain Will Global Warming Bring?
Frank J. Wentz, Lucrezia Ricciardulli, Kyle Hilburn, and Carl Mears
Science 13 July 2007: 317 (5835), 233-235.Published online 31 May 2007 [DOI:10.1126/science.1140746]

Ged
September 7, 2011 1:53 pm

@KR,
I’m sorry, but which models show a -statistically significant- fit that agrees with satellite observations? I sure don’t see any, nor does Dessler.
Taking most and least sensitive was instructive, and looked fine. Why? Because the point was that basing a model on sensitivity alone was not accurately matching the satellite observations. Or are you going to contest this?

September 7, 2011 1:54 pm

DayDay wins the humor contest! 🙂

glacierman
September 7, 2011 1:56 pm

Any possiblity we will ever know who the reviewers for Dessler2011 were?
Great job they did. No puffball review there……very thorough.
I am sure they are watching….probably even commenting. Hang your heads in shame.

September 7, 2011 1:59 pm

BTW, to falsify a hypothesis it is NOT necessary to propose a better alternative one. Either the H0 or acknowledgment of ignorance will do just fine.

KR
September 7, 2011 2:12 pm

GedI’m sorry, but which models show a -statistically significant- fit that agrees with satellite observations? I sure don’t see any, nor does Dessler.
If you read the Dessler paper, the three models that are, incidentally, best known to reproduce the ENSO variations, fall almost entirely within the uncertainty range of the satellite temperature values. And yes, Dessler clearly points those out. Those were _not_ included in Spencer’s graphs, nor were the uncertainty ranges, despite those particular models having a fairly close agreement to the temperature records over the last 10 years.
10 years is a fairly short time in terms of climate – 30 is statistically (based on year to year variations) a better minimum time to estimate climate changes, as opposed to ENSO variations, weather, or simply noise. One of my concerns with the Spencer et al 2011 paper is that it’s really just too short a time frame (10 years?) to look at equilibrium climate sensitivity – it’s a time frame much more appropriate to considering whether climate models match the ENSO. And Spencer did not show the models known to best track the ENSO. Like it or not, that (in my opinion) was a poor selection of data, and gives the impression that counter-evidence was not shown. I really wish he had shown all 14 models that he ran, and discussed his conclusions in that light.

KR
September 7, 2011 2:14 pm

DayDay – Excellent! Almost laughed myself out of my chair…

September 7, 2011 2:16 pm

AR5 is nigh.

Dr A Burns
September 7, 2011 2:29 pm

I would have thought that the fact that monthly Hadcrut3 temperatures vary around 3.5 degrees annually and that they are lowest when the earth is closest to the sun, would have been clear evidence of the strong negative feedback of clouds ?

Bloke down the pub
September 7, 2011 2:31 pm

Perhaps Roy this all just goes to show that you can have good science, and you can have quick science. Asking for both may be a step too far.

HAS
September 7, 2011 2:32 pm

TallDave @ September 7, 2011 at 12:16 pm
KR @ September 7, 2011 at 12:43 pm
Jeremy @ September 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm
I had a quick look at Dessler’s claims that GFDL CM 2.1, MPI ECHAM5, and MRI CGCM 2.3.2A are the best match to ENSO at
http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/06/spencer-braswell-part-iii/#comment-109890
It does seem that based on at least one recent system of categorisation they aren’t.

September 7, 2011 2:32 pm

Roy,
One issue is that the models which show the best correlation are actually form the middle of the pack with ECRs in the range of 3.4 and TCRs in the range of 1.6-2.2
By only showing the high and low sensitivity I think most people assume that the moderate sensitivity models would be in the middle. But they are not. It’s clear that the data and models are not happy campers. What’s not clear is whether you can diagnose ECR by looking at these data, maybe TCR.. anyways, still sorting through the math

John Whitman
September 7, 2011 2:48 pm

Roy Spencer,
Thank you for the post at WUWT.
I think this is science as it should be. I sincerely hope Dessler sees this discourse in a light that reflects well on the openness in science; openness that I think your approach does reflect.
To the DISCOURSE!!!
John

ZT
September 7, 2011 2:49 pm

Dr Spencer: Thank you and Steve McIntyre!
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Dessler’s ‘Science’ 2010 paper.
All those interested, please see Dessler 2010: ftp://ftp.ingv.it/pub/pietropaolo.bertagnolio/climate/dessler10-cloudFeedbacks.pdf
Here Dessler says:
“the slope using the MERRA is 0.46 T +/- 0.75 W/m2/K” (i.e. positive or negative we don’t know statistically) and later includes the rather witty line “Obviously, the correlation … is weak (r2= 2%)”
As one would typically want an r2 greater than 50% before drawing any form of conclusion using regression, this is an ugly example of the flagrant disregard for science and logic typical of the climatological community. Yet Dessler concludes:
“My analysis suggests that the short-term cloud feedback is likely positive and that climate
models as a group are doing a reasonable job of simulating this feedback, providing some indication that models successfully simulate the response of clouds to climate variations.”
A clear, ugly, example of the corrupt ‘science’ of climatology.
Perhaps Dessler would care to put together a short video explaining his statistical analysis?

Brandon Caswell
September 7, 2011 2:52 pm

This is a chess game.
-Dr Spencer took an offensive move in releasing this paper. If it stands it might have to be considered by the new IPCC report.
-They countered with personal attacks, but they actually left them in a worse position on the board than before.
-it was countered by making fun of the fact they didn’t respond to anything in SB 11 science, and it hit a chord. Now this is getting serious.
-They responded with a sacrifice of the editior of the magazine, which they timed to come out with this new paper. Good move because, the editor move on its own was getting laughed off the board.
-Spencer or another will respond with a rebuttal paper……that will get held up for as long as it takes so they won’t have to consider the initial SB11 paper for the IPCC.
-When reviewer comments at IPCC suggest the SB11 paper, they will point to the dessler 2011 paper as the reason to not consider it because the rebuttal will be too late to consider.
Checkmate. They have lost alot of respect, but they win the battle for the IPCC report. They think the IPCC report will trump all the other small battles like this and give them a clean slate again after it comes out. This is no shock, the same people did the same thing with past papers and IPCC reports. Business as usual. No shame.

Brandon Caswell
September 7, 2011 3:06 pm

You have to remember, this is not about science or even global warming.
This is about careers.
This is about reputations.
This about ideologies.
This is about money.
People have been killed over these things in the past!
Do you really think Someone like Trenberth can even consider admitting he might have been wrong about something? Especially since they made such spectacles of themselves claiming everyone but themselves are morons. His career will now live and die with AGW, like many others. They are now between the proverbial rock and a hard place. They look silly if they continue, they look silly if they don’t.

D. J. Hawkins
September 7, 2011 3:20 pm

@KR
Re your comments on “The Ugly”, you do realize that the point Spencer et al are making is not that the clouds force temperature, but that because the effects are bidirectional it’s currently not possible to determine the true sensitivity?

DocMartyn
September 7, 2011 3:25 pm

Roy, on the Climate4you website they have the plot of the change in the ground and the air temperature, vs time, during the course of a solar eclipse:-
http://www.climate4you.com/images/SolarEclipse%20LYR%20SurfaceAndAirTemp%2020080801.gif
http://www.climate4you.com/Longyearbyen%20SolarEclipse%2020080801.htm
You can see the effect of a cloud and the Longyearbyen Solar Eclipse, August 1, 2008.
Now, one could calculate the light flux, based on time and location, prior to and following the eclipse. What I note is that the ground is a very good radiator and that the air is a very poor radiator. This is a little odd if one believes that the air ‘traps’ the heat.
Using the data provided in the links, one could calculate the non-radiatively forced (i.e. non-cloud) temperature changes versus radiatively (mostly cloud) forced variations. directly.
For myself i would prefer an experimental approach,
Have a large, football field sized, sheet of aluminumized Mylar suspended to tethered weather balloons. Tether each balloon to fours trucks and at different T’s, drive the trucks so that the sheet blocks the sunlight above your spectrophotometer/temperature monitors.

ThinkingScientist
September 7, 2011 3:48 pm

HankH says:
“This causes me to question if they’re truly modeling reality or happen to be two models of the 14 that agree better for the wrong reasons. Statistically speaking two models of the 14 are going to agree better no matter how bad the entire ensemble gets it.”
This is a good point, and we can extend it further by pointing out that when taking the data and comparing it to multiple models, the necessary statistical r^2 value required for a given confidence level must be much higher than if the comparison was to just one model. In a Student T test of r^2 it goes up as the power of the number of comparisons.
Similarily, the Steve McIntyre regression of Dessler shows about 115 – 120 points on the plot. A Student T test would then require an r^2 of 0.032 to be significant at the 95% CI. I think both the zero lag (Dessler) and the 4 month lag (Spencer) correlations would fail a Student T test.

Avondlander
September 7, 2011 3:59 pm

To KR:
Read this excellent article on the possibility of long-term external (cosmic) influences on cloud formation:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904900904576554063768827104.html

BA
September 7, 2011 4:07 pm

So who were the 3 reviewers who passed SB11, despite its cherry-picked model/data comparison and assumptions chosen to support a particular conclusion? Remote Sensing invites authors themselves to nominate up to 5 reviewers. Did Spencer do so, and were the 3 reviewers actually from his list? If so, SB11 got published in the first place by exploiting a weakness in their peer review system.
Spencer at different times has written that he only knows who one of the reviewers was, but also that all 3 of them were well published in climate modeling. Those statements don’t seem to agree.

KR
September 7, 2011 4:22 pm

D. J. Hawkins“@KR: Re your comments on “The Ugly”, you do realize that the point Spencer et al are making is not that the clouds force temperature, but that because the effects are bidirectional it’s currently not possible to determine the true sensitivity?”
From Spencer and Braswell 2011, Conclusions, first line: “We have shown clear evidence from the CERES instrument that global temperature variations during 2000–2010 were largely radiatively forced.”
Also, “Finally, since much of the temperature variability during 2000–2010 was due to ENSO [9], we conclude that ENSO-related temperature variations are partly radiatively forced.”
Radiatively forced temperatures? By clouds, then, rather than ocean heat distribution (i.e, the ENSO)? This appears to be a clear claim on Spencer and Braswell’s part to me – I really don’t see how to read that in any other fashion. It’s a claim that cloud changes are the forcing component on the temperature changes of the last decade, rather than the ENSO. How would you interpret that???

KR
September 7, 2011 4:24 pm

Dr. Spencer
I would still be interested in your reasons for not including 8 of the 14 models you studied, the ones that don’t support your hypothesis as strongly. I believe your paper would have been much better with those included, along with error bars so that we could evaluate the strength of your hypotheses.

James of the West
September 7, 2011 4:28 pm

@Dr Spencer
Perhaps there is no option but to, in your rebuttal, do the mountains of work to use all of the additional 8 models. Once you have used all 14 models there can be no cherry picking arguments whatsoever. It’s a long road but perhaps worth it.
@KR – I played with the svensmark idea and got quite good correlation to temperature changes. If you use a proxy like neutron count data which goes back to the 50s with a threshold value where above this threshold neutron count value you get cooling (I developed an equation for the magnitude of warming/cooling) and below it you get warming in a similar fashion (lets call it delta N from threshold) then correlation is good with global avg temperature. The relationship breaks in the mid 90s (pinatubo cooling) and most recently it is predicting that we should be cooling since 2005 but temp is flat… Its a very simplistic model that is not worthy of broad publication but was a way to fill a rainy Sunday afternoon that I’d be happy to share with people who are seriously interested.

KR
September 7, 2011 4:39 pm

Avondlander, James of the West – Regarding cosmic rays, can you point me towards the data you used?
Checking various direct cosmic ray measures (such as http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/, or with numbers http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/webform/query.cgi?startdate=1965%2F01%2F01&starttime=00%3A00&enddate=2011%2F09%2F07&endtime=02%3A14&resolution=Automatic+choice) I don’t see any long term trends.

September 7, 2011 5:09 pm

KR says:
September 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm
……………………….. It’s a claim that cloud changes are the forcing component on the temperature changes of the last decade, rather than the ENSO. How would you interpret that???
=============================================================
“Finally, since much of the temperature variability during 2000–2010 was due to ENSO [9], we conclude that ENSO-related temperature variations are partly radiatively forced.”
KR…… A forcing, not the forcing. Don’t feel bad, you just replicated a Dessler flaw. Now, as to what kind of company that puts you in………..

Brian Macker
September 7, 2011 5:13 pm

KR,
“Certainly not in terms of long term effects, as you have posited no physical mechanism that could cause long term cloud changes.”
You assumption is incorrect. There can be daily short term effects. Clouds can form earlier in the day and dissipate later in the evening.
Isn’t the mechanism obvious. The extra heat evaporates more water that causes more clouds to form in order to remove the water. Think of a heat pipe. The fact that humid air is lighter than dry air is actually m ore efficient than a wick in a heat pipe, plus you get the same advantage of transporting heat via evaporation and condensation. An additional advantage over a heat pipe is that in addition to dumping in the infrared this heat pipe blocks incoming visible light (via clouds) when it is operating.
The world is a much cooler place than it would if water vapor was more dense than air, and clouds were not reflective. Water not only keeps the earth warmer than it would be because it is a greenhouse gas but it keeps it cooler because it is a HEAT PIPE GAS and a SHADE HOUSE LIQUID!!!! This is one of many reasons I doubt the mental abilities of the catastrophists. They never admit the obvious or even think about it. They are exactly the analogs of those who deny that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
[Everyone: Please give me credit for coining these terms, right here on Watts Up With That]
So yes there are physical mechanisms by which water can act as a negative feedback.

Gary Hladik
September 7, 2011 5:33 pm

Roy Spencer says (September 7, 2011 at 1:54 pm): “DayDay wins the humor contest! :)”
Hands down!
Or should I say, “Hands up, punk!” 🙂

eyesonu
September 7, 2011 5:34 pm

From some of the above posts. 14 models or 14 shots and still a miss. There will be no squirrel or rabbit for dinner. One shot equals one kill in my world and dinner will be on the table. Art thou feeling hunger pains? Accuracy?

KR
September 7, 2011 5:34 pm

James SextonA forcing, not the forcing.
To repeat:
From Spencer and Braswell 2011, Conclusions, first line: “We have shown clear evidence from the CERES instrument that global temperature variations during 2000–2010 were largely radiatively forced.”
This is a very strong claim. Add to that the quote “Finally, since much of the temperature variability during 2000–2010 was due to ENSO [9], we conclude that ENSO-related temperature variations are partly radiatively forced.”, and it adds up to clouds at least partly driving the ENSO.
Without, as I noted above, any mechanism that could take clouds to an out of equilibrium state (as per the water vapor cycle) for >10 years, where they could affect climate.

Arthur Gevart
September 7, 2011 5:45 pm

Sorry for all those happy hikers ou there who dislike Douglas Adams. I couldn’t resist the temptation to quote him here.
“Reality differs from our Models. Reality is wrong” , says Dressler to Spencer reminds me of this passage from the HHGGT:
“So, for instance, when the Guide was sued by the families of those who had died as a result of taking the entry on the planet Traal literally – it said Ravenous Bugblatter Beasts often make a very good meal for visiting tourists instead of Ravenous Bugblatter Beasts often make a very good meal of visiting tourists – the editors claimed that the first version of the sentence was the more aesthetically pleasing; summoned a qualified poet to testify under oath that beauty was truth, truth beauty, and hoped thereby to prove that the guilty party in this case was life itself for failing to be either beautiful or true. The judges concurred& and in a moving speech held that life itself was in contempt of court and duly confiscated it from all those there present before going off for a pleasant evening s Ultra-golf.”

Gary Hladik
September 7, 2011 5:46 pm

HankH says (September 7, 2011 at 1:32 pm): “Yes, we can play musical models and see which ones fit into chairs when the music stops but all you’re doing is finding a situational fit that may or may not lead to a valid analysis.”
Assuming certain models “fit” ENSO events better (but see HAS, September 7, 2011 at 2:32 pm), what do they get so “wrong” that the IPCC won’t use them exclusively? As HankH points out, choosing them just for their purported ENSO fit is no less cherry-picking than that found, supposedly, in SB11.

Paul Deacon
September 7, 2011 5:48 pm

The Team are finding S&B’s paper a pain in the AR5.

acementhead
September 7, 2011 6:18 pm

@ Brian Macker
September 7, 2011 at 5:13 pm
The usual. Good news and bad. The bad news is that “Heat Pipe Gas” is already taken.
The good news is that you get “SHADE HOUSE LIQUID”.

Jimmy Haigh
September 7, 2011 6:24 pm

Eclipse Tha Producer says:
September 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm
Hmm? Where to start?

Bart
September 7, 2011 6:24 pm

KR says:
September 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm
“If you read the Dessler paper, the three models that are, incidentally, best known to reproduce the ENSO variations, fall almost entirely within the uncertainty range of the satellite temperature values.”
Only if you define “uncertainty range” incredibly expansively. Speaking for myself, this meretricious talking point is becoming extremely annoying.
“10 years is a fairly short time in terms of climate – 30 is statistically (based on year to year variations) a better minimum time to estimate climate changes, as opposed to ENSO variations, weather, or simply noise.”
Based on the act that there is a readily apparent ~60 year cyclicality in the global temperature record, 30 is the worst possible period to use to evaluate long term climate evolution.

Policyguy
September 7, 2011 6:26 pm

So,
Brandon Caswell says:
September 7, 2011 at 2:52 pm
You make a very good point. Is there a better way to place a new research paper in circulation?
Another point could be the observation that the editor, in resigning, left the impression that he had apparently sacrificed his career and so paid a high professional price for crossing Trenberth and his ilk. Let that be a lesson to you – if true. Perhaps there are no scientifically “honest” climate oriented, peer reviewed publications left. The price of “protection” may be too high.
So maybe its not so much a polite game of chess as it is raw thuggery, as practiced in the higher realms of “Academia” – with public money.

mike g
September 7, 2011 6:30 pm

And, while federal money continues to be wasted on climate research, like this crap from Dessler, the James Webb space telescope is on the chopping block. Can’t we eliminate climate research? The science is settled after all. http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/indepth/47009

AJ
September 7, 2011 7:03 pm

Why is this starting to remind me of the feuds between Farnsworth and Wernstrom on Futurama? Now if only I new which one was which 🙂

Konrad
September 7, 2011 7:45 pm

Professor Dessler claims in his conclusion – “over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change, on the other hand, clouds can indeed cause significant warming”
This is clearly absurd. As I stated on a previous thread, if the Earth experienced 100% cloud cover for a year, you could ice skate from Sydney to LA. A change from 99% cloud cover to 100% cloud cover would clearly cause cooling. However Dessler is claiming that an increase from the average around 61% will cause warming. Are we to believe that there is a magic “tipping point” between 61% and 100% cloud cover where clouds stop warming and start cooling? What is this point? 70%, 80% or 82.142% ??
The only way clouds could cause net warming is if they appeared mostly at night, mostly over land and did not require evaporation or transpiration of any kind to supply the required water molecules for their immaculate conception. Only in Climate Science World. Whether forcing or feed back, in the real world clouds cool, Dessler should visit sometime.

TomRude
September 7, 2011 7:50 pm

Clouds are bi and it’s genetic!

Tilo Reber
September 7, 2011 7:52 pm

KR: “To be quite blunt, without such a physical mechanism overriding the water vapor cycle, your assertions of clouds as the forcing driving the ENSO are “Just So Stories”.”
One can recognize an effect without having found the cause. Just because the physical mechanism is not yet completely understood does not mean the effect doesn’t exist. But in any case, variations in clouds can be caused by the Svensmark effect, by particulate pollution, by changes in chemicals in the air, by theramal fronts, etc. It strikes me as absurd that we should be expected to believe that cloud formation is exclusively temperature dependent.

September 7, 2011 7:52 pm

Folks, I think we may be losing a bit of perspective here.
(Gosh I hope I’m right about the following because getting corrected by the likes of R. Gates, Nick Stokes, and anonymous bleating from the shadows by people like KR bothers me not at all. Getting corrected by Dr Roy Spencer however would suggest, unlike those others, that I made a mistake. I don’t know that I could handle that 😉 )
The issue at hand in my opinion is NOT if clouds drive climate or don’t drive climate. The issue at hand is this:
Have the climate models accurately modeled the amount of energy being absorbed by, and escaping from, the planet’s over all climate system?
There are many, many components to this. The “climate models” are just computer simulations of how various scientists THINK think each component works and how they react to changes in other components. Each model simulates various components and estimates others. For example, some models assume a constant TSI (Total Solar Index) while others are based on actual measured (and so fluctuating) levels of TSI. The IPCC quotes their global warming estimates from an average of no less than 22 climate models, none of which actually agree with any precision to each other, let alone the average.
What SB11 shows (again in my opinion) is that clouds are being incorrectly modeled by ALL the climate models. As a consequence, the amount of energy escaping to space from the climate system is being under estimated by the models. Or, conversely, the amount of energy being retained in the climate system is being over estimated. If Spencer and Braswell are correct, then the only possible conclusion one can draw is that the models also OVER ESTIMATE the projected changes in temperature going into the future.
Cause and effect, what drives what, those are all important to understand. But in the context of the global warming debate, what we really want to know is how much we should expect the climate to warm if GHG’s increase to any given level.
One cannot help but suspect that Spencer and Braswell are exactly correct. The IPCC models have consistantly over estimated the amount of warming that has actually occurred, going all the way back to the original projections that sparked the Kyoto Accords. They have been revised downward on a near constant basis, but compared to actual temperature measurements, they still appear to be too high, by several times.
Kevin Trenberth is widely quoted from the ClimateGate emails to the effect that there is “missing heat” that cannot be accounted for. He has proposed that it may be hiding in the ocean where it cannot be easily measured, or elsewhere. His reasoning is that the energy, while not being found at this point, is in the system somewhere (“in the pipe” I believe are the words he used) and will eventually emerge to result in temperature increases commensurate with what the models have been predicting.
The notion that the “missing heat” is simply not being retained in the amount that the models calculate in the first place, seems not to have crossed any of the modeler’s minds. If it did, they’ve been very, Very, VERY quiet about it. Admitting that the energy is NOT being retained in the first place would diminish substantially the estimates regarding both direct and indirect effects of CO2 on temperature. For anyone who understands what is meant by CO2 being logarithmic, this makes complete sense.
(mods – I’m posting a link here to something I wrote a long time ago. I recall seeing articles on WUWT by Eschenbach and Lindzen which would be much better references than me, please feel free to replace mine with theirs if they are at your finger tips).
http://knowledgedrift.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/co2-is-logarithmic-explained/
The direct effects of CO2 taper off dramatically as concentration increases. The only way for something “catastrophic” to happen as a consequence of CO2 increasing, is if there are secondary effects or “feedbacks” that amplify the direct effects of CO2. This is what “sensitivity” is all about.
What SB11 shows, is that the models have made assumptions about how clouds do, or do not, affect the amount of energy that is retained (or released) by the climate system that are WRONG. While the models have presumed that the secondary effects of CO2 would be more energy being retained in the climate system due to a variety of components, the amount of secondary effect attributed to clouds is much higher than actual measurements show, and in fact the secondary effect is likely cooling rather than additional warming.
While SB11 doesn’t quantify exactly what the numbers should be, I see that as immaterial. Some or all of Trenberth’s “missing heat” isn’t missing at all, but simply escaping to space. Trenberth would rather use his influence (it seems) to discredit SB11 in any way possible, including attempting to use his influence over Wolfgang Wagner to have the paper retracted, and when Wagner failed, settling instead for Wagner’s resignation from Remote Sensing calling into question the paper itself on the astounding excuse that climate modelers were not consulted about the findings. The implication that the models take precedence over the actual measurements is beyond astounding, beyond ludicrous, and just a completely stupid thing to imply. But Trenberth wasn’t content (it seems) to simply extract from Wagner a resignation damaging to SB11. He went on to actually BRAG that Wagner had apologised to him personally. The only logical reason for Wagner to both resign and then apologise to Trenberth personally is that it was fear of Trenberth’s wrath that prompted Wagner’s actions in the first place.
Trenberth’s motivation seems clear to me. There are billions of research dollars at stake, justified on the need to find that “missing heat” somewhere IN THE CLIMATE SYSTEM. If the heat isn’t missing at all, it simply escaped, consider the number of studies currently under way that are searching for something that does not exist (in part or in whole). Consider the number of grants awaiting approval for more of the same. Consider the loss of credibility that the modeling community, Trenberth foremost amongst them, would suffer.
For those of us who have been following along since before ClimateGate, this is as massive an “own goal” as The Team could have possibly scored. They have exposed their own despicable tactics in burying contrary evidence, and astoundingly, bragged about it.
But more astounding than that, is they have attracted a level of media attention and scrutiny that no amount of money could possibly buy. They’ve poured gasoline on themselves, lit themselves on fire, and are running in circles on the field screaming “look what I did! I’m a criminal and an idiot!”
But that’s just my opinion.

David Falkner
September 7, 2011 7:57 pm

KR,
I thought ENSO was not a radiative forcing?

Tilo Reber
September 7, 2011 7:58 pm

KR: “You comparison, however, was to some of the weakest counter-evidence, and whether you like it or not, that gives readers a very poor impression of the work.”
This is pretty much irrelevant, isn’t it. The important thing here are that these models are informing the position of the IPCC, and the IPCC position is designed to inform the judgements of global governments. More specifically, it is the average of these models that the IPCC uses to push its political policy. And as Spencer clearly shows, the observations disagree with the average of the models. Therefore any proposals made by the IPCC based upon such models is poorly informed.

Eric Anderson
September 7, 2011 7:59 pm

It is pretty easy to see from this quick exchange (Dressler’s paper and Dr. Spencer’s response) who is most deserving of trust. Dr. Spencer et al. may not be correct at the end of the day, but they certainly deserve a fair hearing.
Thank you, Dr. Spencer, for a very measured and reasonable response, particularly with respect to the questionable accusations made in the Dressler paper. I think you have every right to demand an expeditious turnaround in the journal, commensurate with Dressler’s favorable treatment, which I am sure the journal will be happy to grant in the interest of fair and open discussion.

Dave Wendt
September 7, 2011 8:03 pm

Arthur Gevart says:
September 7, 2011 at 5:45 pm
Thanks for that. I suspect there is more wisdom in any random couple of pages of Adams’ work than in the entire collective output of the IPCC and all its sycophants and cohorts. Unfortunately the extreme literal mindedness of most of the crowd around here tends to make them seriously humor challenged. At least in my experience. But I suppose it doesn’t hurt to try to remind them that, if the potential political consequences of all this nonsense were not so dire, it would constitute a pretty comical tale.

SethP
September 7, 2011 8:10 pm

Has anyone done a study on what atmospheric gasses the increased C02 is displacing? Could this work out to be a net negative forcing if it displaces mainly water vapor? It would have to displace more “less effective” greenhouse gasses to create a net positive forcing, no?

Bill H
September 7, 2011 8:30 pm

After reading through the posts i have come to the conclusion that the AGW crowd is losing so badly in the public view that they needed a quick fix to the Al Gore bank account..
By saying they have debunked the primary skeptics they believe they have one upped the skeptics and feed the Obama drive for more and more regulations..
I see that the drive to control people trumps science… I see the control of Journal’s and the circular peer review problem has not be fixed… Good luck with getting any truth out there posted Dr Spencer.. The odds are not in our favor.

September 7, 2011 8:44 pm

If I may add one other note:
The evidence strongly suggests that Trenberth pressured Wagner into attempting to have the SB11 paper withdrawn. When Wagner failed, Wagner fell on his sword, resigned from Remote Sensing, and apologised to Trenberth (which Trenberth went on to brag about).
Following this, Trenberth also bragged that a paper was imminent from Dessler that would easily discredit SB11. So easy was the task according to the hype from Trenberth and others, that Dessler’s rebuttal to SB11 could be researched, written, pass peer review and published in just a few weeks, while SB11 took two years.
Dr Trenberth, with all due respect, might you answer the following questions?
o If SB11 is so easily discredited, why pressure poor Wolfgang Wagner to bury it in the first place?
o If SB11 is so easily discredited, why would you take a moment of your precious time to even comment on it?
o If SB11 is so easily discredited, why would you brag that you’d received an apology from Wagner for allowing it to be published? Why would you even care that it was?
o Do you demand apologies on all papers you don’t like, even the ones that you claim are so bad that they are easily discredited? If not, why does THIS paper get so much personal attention from you?
o To quote Shakespeare, “the lady doth protest too much”.
Unfortunately sir, it occurs to me that you are not a lady, but neither a gentlemen. The “protest too much” part however, sticks like glue.

phlogiston
September 7, 2011 8:45 pm

KR
And it adds up to clouds at least partially forcing the ENSO.
Without … Any mechanism that could take clouds to an out of equilibrium state …for more than 10 years …

So ENSO is central to all this, does it lead or follow in regard to cloud. It does both. ENSO is a nonlinear oscillator potentiated by the positive feedback between Peruvian coast upwelling and trade winds (the Bjerknes feedback), and the cloud effects follow from the wind effects (with an effect of SST also).
By mentioning the term “out of equilibrium” we are at least now talking the right language about the climate system and ENSO. Non equilibrium is the norm and out of this arises chaotic dynamics and features such as the ENSO nonlinear oscillator (analogous to the BZ reactor).
Add to this the fact that cloud formations themselves show self organising nonlinear pattern dynamics with a Lyapunov stability that makes it harder to form or remove them – and the picture which emerges is that the atmospheric radiative balance alone is an inadequate basis for mdelling of the warming or cooling of the climate system – certainly over a 10 year period.
Clouds and the ENSO system are forcing factors in their own right.

September 7, 2011 8:51 pm

SethP says:
September 7, 2011 at 8:10 pm
Has anyone done a study on what atmospheric gasses the increased C02 is displacing?>>>
The concentration of CO2 is in the range of 400 PPM (parts per million) while the concentration of water vapour can be as high as 40,000 PPM. However, water vapour is more heavily concentrated close to earth surface, but nearly non existant at high altitudes (where the cold temps force the water vapour out). Co2 on the other hand is reasonably well mixed.
So, the answer to your question is that at low altitudes, the amount of water vapour that CO2 would displace is so minor it isn’t significant. At high altitudes, there isn’t much water vapour to displace in the first place.

September 7, 2011 8:52 pm

davidmhoffer says:
September 7, 2011 at 7:52 pm
Folks, I think we may be losing a bit of perspective here.
………………
Have the climate models accurately modeled the amount of energy being absorbed by, and escaping from, the planet’s over all climate system?
………………………………… They’ve poured gasoline on themselves, lit themseleves on fire, and are running in circles on the field screaming “look what I did! I’m a criminal and an idiot!”
=================================================================
David, I thought that’s what we were talking about??? 🙂 But, you are exactly right. I liken the cloud forcing/feedback to a chicken/egg discussion. And you’re right, it isn’t as important as the fact that this may account for the “Travesty’s” missing heat. Like the Dr. Seuss character, they “could not find it any where.” Logically, that would be because its gone.
I included the last part of your statement because it made me lol! And it is exactly correct. Trenberth and Dessler did an excellent job in both exposing their character, or lack thereof, and their inability to understand models aren’t reality. This is an indictment of our education system and illustrates the need for standards in the doctoral candidate process. Apparently, like the rest of the system, they’ll pass just about anyone through……..(no offense Dr. Spencer….) Of course, none of this could have been possible without the nonsensical antics of Wolfy Wagner.

September 7, 2011 8:53 pm

I had to [gag] listen through a “report” this afternoon on NPR [gag again] on Dessler…and listening to his newspeak….capitalizing on the tragic drought in the 15th largest GDP in the world.
What a revolting and disgusting lapse in science.
I wish the Lone Star state the best. Am not encouraged by the latest meteorological prognostications.
But then again…they are Texans…and will ALWAYS fight to the last man.
Most importantly though…Dessler is not a Texan.
Not even close.
From somebody disgusted at him in Virginia…
F you, Dessler.
You do more disservice to climate and science and the ecosystem….than any man-made forcing or otherwise…could muster.
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

September 7, 2011 8:58 pm

davidmhoffer says:
September 7, 2011 at 7:52 pm
Some or all of Trenberth’s “missing heat” isn’t missing at all, but simply escaping to space. Trenberth would rather use his influence (it seems) to discredit SB11 in any way possible, including attempting to use his influence over Wolfgang Wagner to have the paper retracted, and when Wagner failed, settling instead for Wagner’s resignation from Remote Sensing calling into question the paper itself on the astounding excuse that climate modelers were not consulted about the findings. The implication that the models take precedence over the actual measurements is beyond astounding, beyond ludicrous, and just a completely stupid thing to imply.
———————
Exactly so, and abundantly confirmed by the great episodes in the history of science. The best example that comes to mind is Johannes Kepler’s use of Tycho Brahe’s observations of the planet Mars. These were published later (1627) in the Rudolphine Tables (compiled by Kepler using Tycho Brahe’s observations), the most accurate astronomical observations to date. Kepler worked for years trying to fit a circular heliocentric orbit for Mars to Tycho Brahe’s observations. Because his model did not precisely fit the observations, Kepler junked this earlier labour, and started over using an ovoid or elliptical orbit.
Kepler thus discovered the true nature of planetary orbits and the first of Kepler’s three laws of planetary motion (Astronomia Nova 1609).These three laws played a large part in directing Newton’s attention to this issue and the law of universal gravitation.
Had Kepler and other scientists during the Scientific Revolution had the Team’s and the IPCC’s slapdash approach to matching models to data and observation, science would have remained a philosophical past-time and we’d be paying little attention to it now. One is almost tempted, given the totalitarian direction CAGW climate science is taking today, to wish this were the case.
(I thought it would be nice to get away from all the Galileo analogies around here).
——–
Dave Wendt says:
September 7, 2011 at 8:03 pm
“Unfortunately the extreme literal mindedness of most of the crowd around here tends to make them seriously humor challenged.”
????????
One of the reasons I read WUWT on a daily basis is for the humour, and I’m sure I’m not the only one (although admittedly the humour is often more pointed at Bishop Hill). FWIW I’m a HUGE fan of Hitchhiker’s Guide.

September 7, 2011 9:13 pm

davidmhoffer says:
September 7, 2011 at 8:44 pm
Another question to ask the “Travesty”, would be if he’d like to try his hand at discrediting SB11, because from where I sit, while Dessler brought up some questions, he failed miserably if his task was to discredit SB11. hmmm…… is there another apology resignation at hand?

September 7, 2011 9:24 pm

BA says on September 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm

No takers, no counters (counter arguments); do you want to relist for a second try at an auction, B(alls)?
.

September 7, 2011 9:31 pm

Vigilantfish;
You’re right, we need some humour here. I’ve been so all fired up about the serious issues that my anger has over ridden my sense of humour. I am remiss in my responsibilities as a member of the WUWT class clowns. I’m too tired to write something new at the moment, but I’m reposting something that I wrote two years ago that seems suddenly… so very, very, appropriate.
(WARNING: I’ve had a lot of complaints about this piece being the cause of coffee, wine, and other fluids being inadvertantly sprayed on screens and keyboards. Read at your own risk. I take NO RESPONSIBILITY for any damages that result)
The Physicist and the Climatologist
Climatologist; I have a system of undetermined complexity and undetermined composition, floating and spinning in space. It has a few internal but steady state and minor energy sources. An external energy source radiates 1365 watts per meter squared at it on a constant basis. What will happen?
Physicist; The system will arrive at a steady state temperature which radiates heat to space that equals the total of the energy inputs. Complexity of the system being unknown, and the body spinning in space versus the radiated energy source, there will be cyclic variations in temperature, but the long term average will not change.
Climatologist; Well what if I change the composition of the system?
Physicist; see above.
Climatologist; Perhaps you don’t understand my question. The system has an unknown quantity of CO2 in the atmosphere that absorbs energy in the same spectrum as the system is radiating. There are also quantities of carbon and oxygen that are combining to create more CO2 which absorbs more energy. Would this not raise the temperature of the system?
Physicist; there would be a temporary fluctuation in temperature caused by changes in how energy flows through the system, but for the long term average… see above.
Climatologist; But the CO2 would cause a small rise in temperature, which even if it was temporary would cause a huge rise in water vapour which would absorb even more of the energy being radiated by the system. This would have to raise the temperature of the system.
Physicist; there would be a temporary fluctuation in the temperature caused by changes in how energy flows through the system, but for the long term average… see above.
Climatologist; That can’t be true. I’ve been measuring temperature at thousands of points in the system and the average is rising.
Physicist; The temperature rise you observe can be due to one of two factors. It may be due to a cyclic variation that has not completed, or it could be due to the changes you alluded to earlier resulting in a redistribution of energy in the system that affects the measurement points more than the system as a whole. Unless the energy inputs have changed, the long term temperature average would be… see above.
Climatologist; AHA! All that burning of fossil fuel is releasing energy that was stored millions of years ago, you cannot deny that this would increase temperature.
Physicist; Is it more than 0.01% of what the energy source shining on the planet is?
Climatologist; Uhm… no.
Physicist; Rounding error. For the long term temperature of the planet… see above.
Climatologist; Methane! Methane absorbs even more than CO2.
Physicist; see above.
Climatologist; Clouds! Clouds would retain more energy!
Physicist; see above. (EDIT Sept 9, 2011. SEE SB11!)
Climatologist; Blasphemer! Unbeliever! The temperature HAS to rise! I have reports! I have measurements! I have computer simulations! I have committees! United Nations committees! Grant money! Billions and billions and billions! I CAN’T be wrong, I will never explain it! Billions! and the carbon trading! Trillions in carbon trading!
Physicist; how much grant money?
Climatologist; Billions.
Physicist; Billions? Really? BILLIONS?
Climatologist; Oh, easily billions.
Physicist; Wow…
Climatologist; Oh lotsa billions. Hey…. you wouldn’t happen to have any research you need funded….?
Climatologist; Hi. I used to be a physicist. When I started to understand the danger the world was in though, I decided to do the right thing and become a climatologist. Let me explain the greenhouse effect to you…

September 7, 2011 9:38 pm

of course that edit would be Sept 7, not Sept 9. I’m way too tired to be typing anything at the moment!

ferd berple
September 7, 2011 9:58 pm

richard verney says:
September 7, 2011 at 11:42 am
It does appear that there is much in the Dressler paper that supports the root thrust ‘that models and observations are not in sync and that there is a divergence problem between models projections and reality’. This suggests either a problem with the models (most likely), or some unexplained errors in empirical data gathering/record keeping.
There is another possibility. Reality is at fault and the models are correct.

ferd berple
September 7, 2011 10:05 pm

mike g says:
September 7, 2011 at 6:30 pm
And, while federal money continues to be wasted on climate research, like this crap from Dessler, the James Webb space telescope is on the chopping block. Can’t we eliminate climate research? The science is settled after all. http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/indepth/47009
Absolutely not. It doesn’t make sense to invest money in science to discover new things. We need to invest in things we already know, so that we minimize the risk. This is called the Precautionary Principle. Remember the old saying, nothing ventured, nothing lost.

Dave Wendt
September 7, 2011 10:28 pm

vigilantfish says:
September 7, 2011 at 8:58 pm
Dave Wendt says:
September 7, 2011 at 8:03 pm
“Unfortunately the extreme literal mindedness of most of the crowd around here tends to make them seriously humor challenged.”
????????
I suggest a small experiment. Try posting a short series of comments that you perceive as being obviously satirical but with no sarc tags attached. Keep a tally of the number blog denizens who jump in to accuse you of being a warmist troll or worse. If after completing this task you can report back to the group with a tally of zero, or even more reasonably less than 3 per comment, I will consider withdrawing my statement and offering my heartfelt apologies to the group.

Larry in Texas
September 8, 2011 12:50 am

James Sexton says:
September 7, 2011 at 8:52 pm
“I liken the cloud forcing/feedback to a chicken/egg discussion.”
James, I had to laugh as I was reading your sentence because that was exactly what I was thinking! And you beat me to the post!
This may be true especially because of some of the tenuous assumptions made by the developers of the GCMs. I think we do not know enough yet to say for sure whether it was the chicken, or the egg. But I like Roy Spencer’s attempt to shed light on what is obvious: the models are inconsistent with observation; and always, models are “garbage in, garbage out:” the more garbage you throw into them, the more garbage you get out.

tallbloke
September 8, 2011 1:00 am

KR says:
September 7, 2011 at 4:24 pm
Dr. Spencer
I would still be interested in your reasons for not including 8 of the 14 models you studied, the ones that don’t support your hypothesis as strongly. I believe your paper would have been much better with those included, along with error bars so that we could evaluate the strength of your hypotheses.

Be careful what you wish for. Including error bars will only reinforce SB11’s main result, which is that we can’t tell how much unforced cloud variation is affecting surface T. In fact it will make it obvious that the level of uncertainty is “worse than we thought.”

Stephen Wilde
September 8, 2011 1:21 am

It seems to be a little more complicated than clouds simply being a negative or positive feedback because latitudinal cloud distribution is also very important and the oceanic response to cloudiness changes confounds the initial expectation.
What I think happens is that for whatever reason the atmosphere expands when the sun is active and contracts when it is inactive.
In the process the temperature of the stratosphere and mesosphere changes oppositely to the sign of the temperature change in thermosphere and troposphere.
The effect is to draw the tropopause upward when the sun is active and push it down when the sun is less active. Globally averaged of course.
The outcome is latitudinal shifting of all the components of the surface air pressure distribution which changes the sizes and positions of the climate zones.
That changes the energy budget via the speed of the water cycle AND cloud quantities because that process changes the length of the air mass boundaries which is where mixing occurs to produce clouds.
So an active sun tries to COOL the system by changing the structure of the atmosphere to let energy OUT of the system FASTER via the higher tropopause but in the process cloud bands are drawn poleward to let more energy into the oceans in the tropics which offsets the faster energy loss to space.
So the cloud changes provide an indirect negative (warming) response to counter the direct solar cooling effect via the coolr stratosphere and mesosphere.
The position regarding bottom up effects from periodically faster energy release from the oceans or more energy in the air from more GHGs is different. In that case the extra warmth at lower levels pushes the tropopause up as before and in that case the increased energy into the oceans is a positive feedback. However the poleward shift of the surface air pressure systems accelerates the speed of energy transfer to space which is a negative response sufficient to cancel out both the extra energy from the oceans or GHGs AND the extra solar energy into the system.
Thus whatever changes the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere from above or below will cause cloudiness changes that then exert a negative response either by adjusting energy flow into the oceans or by adjusting energy flow out to space as necessary to maintain equilibrium and what we then experience is shifting climate zones as the speed of energy flow through the system varies.
That is a neat solution to the problem.
It is the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere that is key whether caused by top down solar effects or bottom up oceanic or GHG effects because that then causes the cloudiness changes.
It sounds complex and it is but it is no more complex than it needs to be to fit observations.

Atomic Hairdryer
September 8, 2011 1:42 am

eyesonu says:

From some of the above posts. 14 models or 14 shots and still a miss. There will be no squirrel or rabbit for dinner.

Ah, but you’re not defining a miss in the Texan sense that climate science does. All your shots still fall within the error bars of most models, therefore they’re still hits. The reason your pot is still empty is simply because you’re missing a giant rabbit. Once the missing rabbit is found, no-one will be in a position to deny the models any more, and it will no longer be a travesty.
From the 14-model plot though, some models do seem better at getting the lag right and following reality. Hopefully the modellers are looking at why that is or whether those were just lucky shots.

Ade
September 8, 2011 1:53 am

We’ve looked at clouds from both sides now,it’s science delusion I have found.
We really don’t know clouds et all

220mph
September 8, 2011 2:09 am

Dr Spencer HAS shown all models in a single chart – see above
http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/AR4-models-vs-CERES-lag-regression-Net-flux.png

Roger Longstaff
September 8, 2011 2:28 am

Possible addition to Davidmhoffer’s amusing dialogue above (before the physicist takes the money and runs):
Climatologist: “But what about Venus?”
Physicist: “EXACTLY – now you begin to understand….”

jorgekafkazar
September 8, 2011 2:28 am

“But I believe I can already demonstrate some of The Bad, for example, showing Dessler is off by about a factor of 10 in one of his central calculations.”
In school, we used to joke about numbers being “to astrophysical accuracy,” i.e., having the tens exponent right. It looks like climatology and astrophysics have something in common, after all.

Antonia
September 8, 2011 2:43 am

James Sexton says:
September 7, 2011 at 12:09 pm
… most skeptics have a much more intimate knowledge of various papers and the responses than alarmists.
Nothing truer said, James. In fact most alarmists are complete ignoramuses. In Australia somebody has been circulating a short global warming quizz asking answers to basic facts such as what is the composition of CO2 in the atmosphere. As far as I know all respondents so far have said between 20 and 80 per cent. None has known it’s 0.039. How is it moral for public policy be not only based on, but actually rely on people’s ignorance?
Another thing (only slightly off topic, mods). As carbon has been thoroughly demonized, do primary schools still teach the carbon cycle? When I was a child I was enchanted by those lovely illustrations of cows or sheep with trees in a sunny field near an ocean depicting plant decay, respiration and photosynthesis, etc. Are children still taught this? Any young parent like to comment?
Ps. Bravo Dr Spencer. You’e got ’em rattled.

eyesonu
September 8, 2011 3:01 am

davidmhoffer says:
September 7, 2011 at 7:52 pm
———————-
Very well put. I believe your take on things reflects the reality of it all.

Martin Lewitt
September 8, 2011 3:43 am

Dave Wendt,
“Try posting a short series of comments that you perceive as being obviously satirical but with no sarc tags attached.”
I’ve found that posters who imagine they are being clever and satirical are often just falling flat, or preaching to a narrow subset of the choir. On the oft chance, that what they think is obviously wrong, isn’t obvious to all, I will sometimes take it literally, and explain why it is wrong, or perhaps why it isn’t obviously so. Taking it literally may add to the humor. But if you really think someone is a “warmist troll”, it seldom does anything more than waste bandwidth to call them that. Ignore them, or query them, and help them or others comprehend their ignorance.

Viv Evans
September 8, 2011 3:49 am

Gras albert suggested:
“* by the way, might I suggest that an appropriate collective noun for such an eminent group of climate scientists might be a ‘cloud’.”
Rejected.
‘Cloud’ as collective noun applies exclusively to Border Collies, as in:
‘A cloud of Border Collies was seen racing up The Downs’.
Those scientists have absolutely nothing in common with Border Collies, and should not be honoured by a comparison with those highly intelligent canines.
😉

Jack Jennings (aus)
September 8, 2011 4:29 am

Hey Dr Roy
Thank you I missed DayDay’s DirtyHarryreadmefile.
Sorry but this cloud stuff is over my head (sorry again) but given all the concrete created UHI how does this effect cloud generation ?  For instance when we sailed down the coast I used to notice particular cloud build up over Sydney (which I put down to UHI). I’ve noticed cloud does follow the coastline, heat I suppose, but this was different weather, rain wind – but we just turned around and sailed out of it to blue skies. 
Chop down all the trees and cover  the planet in concrete but it’s manmade CO2 that’s causing climate change ??
As usual, thanks to all the posters, mods and Anthony – an island of sense. (Even the trolls – the debate is what skepticsism is all about – and reasoned comments get posted here.)
Chrs JJ.
(OK, I hope Anthony posts mine under the general reader tag. )

Merrick
September 8, 2011 5:04 am

Jeremy says:
September 7, 2011 at 12:56 pm
Using the above equation, if I assumed a feedback parameter λ=3 Watts per sq. meter per degree, that 20:1 ratio Dessler gets becomes 2.2:1. If I use a feedback parameter of λ=6, then the ratio becomes 1.7:1. This is basically an order of magnitude difference from his calculation.
^^^ You have 1 equation and 3 unknowns. It is not clear here how you’re solving for that 20:1 unknown. Also, where was the number 3 arrived at?
Jeremy – that’s not right . Look at the equation again:
First, consider it as a = b + c.
The left hand term, a, has a value of 2.30 and b has a value of 0.56 -> so withn the uncertainty of those two numbers we have a value for c (S in the full equation) of 2.30 – 0.56 = 1,74 (with some unspecified uncertainty. S isn’t otherwise measured directly, but this is an indirect result given yuo accept the two other numbers.
Rewriting the equation, then, it becomes 2.30 = b + c d -0.56, where we know the value of d (0.078), so it’s an equation in two unknowns. The trick now is to pick a reasonable value of c (lambda in the original equation) to determine the ratio, b/d, that results (that ratio, if I’ve been careful along the way, is S/N in the original equation). We’re not completely in the dark on that. But you can put any number you want in for c and you will get an answer for 0.56/b..
The “problem” I’m having is that I can easily reproduce Anthony’s S/N value os 2.2 and 1.7 for values of lambda, respectively, of 3 and 6. But what I can’t do is generate a physically meaningful number for lambda that gives a result of S/N = 20. Well, one that I believe, anyways. The number I get for lambda that results in that ratio is -6. In otherwords, you have to assume and believe that clouds are a strong positive feedback for global warming.
I don’t buy that.
Doesn that help, Jeremy?
Anthony, did I ge tthat right?
Thanks.

Ed Walsh
September 8, 2011 5:10 am

Hi Mosher, always nice to see your comments, I’d like to say something about you statement:
“One issue is that the models which show the best correlation are actually form the middle of the pack with ECRs in the range of 3.4 and TCRs in the range of 1.6-2.2”
At first I was assuming that upper and lower sensitivity might be like upper and lower hight bounds which would bracket all the values. Then I thought about the sensitivity of a tracking algorithm. There both high and low sensity setting will not follow the target well. The high sensitivity reacts too wildly to changes and the low sensitivity reacts too slugishly. The best perfomers are in the mid range, not too over or under reactive.
Ed

mkelly
September 8, 2011 5:45 am

The units for the specific heat capacity (Cp) are J/kg*K.
Cp is a mass function so I am at a loss as to how you get W/m^2 on the left side of the equation shown.
Even if you wanted to go with C=Q/dT or J/K you end up with J only no m^2.

tallbloke
September 8, 2011 5:50 am

Here are some of the issues as I see them:
Saying it is natural variability is not an explanation. What are the physical processes?
Where did the heat go? We know there is a build up of ocean heat prior to El Nino, and a
discharge (and sfc T warming) during late stages of El Nino, but is the observing system
sufficient to track it? Quite aside from the changes in the ocean, we know there are major
changes in the storm tracks and teleconnections with ENSO, and there is a LOT more rain on
land during La Nina (more drought in El Nino), so how does the albedo change overall
(changes in cloud)? At the very least the extra rain on land means a lot more heat goes
into evaporation rather than raising temperatures, and so that keeps land temps down: and
should generate cloud. But the resulting evaporative cooling means the heat goes into
atmosphere and should be radiated to space: so we should be able to track it with CERES
data. The CERES data are unfortunately wonting and so too are the cloud data.
– Kevin Trenberth –

http://yourvoicematters.org/cru/mail/1255523796.txt
It’s a travesty Kevin!
If Andy Dessler thinks cloud feedback over the last decade was 0.5W/m^2 then when that is added to the co2 forcing and the lack of volcanos until this year, what does he think has caused temperature to stall?
As Kevin astutely points out;
“Saying it is natural variability is not an explanation. What are the physical processes?”
??

September 8, 2011 6:18 am

Brian H says…
“Dessler’s Paper should be henceforth referred to as The Dessler Flail.”
I have been calling it ‘Dessler’s Folly’, as he has completely jumped the shark this time, staying his pen would have served him better.

TLM
September 8, 2011 6:27 am

davidmhoffer says:
September 7, 2011 at 9:31 pm
The physicist and the climatologist are arguing at cross purposes. The physicist is discussing energy but the climatologist is discussing temperature. What is more, the climatologist is only discussing the temperature of one small element of the planet, i.e. the air temperature near the surface of the planet under several miles of atmosphere.
Hypothetical:
Two planets in the same star system in the same orbit. One has air of pure nitrogen and no water or other gases, the other has liquid water seas and air composed of oxygen, nitrogen and greenhouse gases (water vapour, methane, CO2 etc).
Both have the same energy budget, 1365 watts in, 1365 out. Both in approximate steady state.
The one with the thick and complex atmosphere with the water vapour etc has a much higher surface air temperature than the one with a thin atmosphere.
Even more hypothetical:
A planet made of pure aluminium and no atmosphere would have almost the same temperature at the poles as at the equator (efficient energy transfer within the system)
A planet made of pure silicon and no atmosphere would have colder poles than equator (poor energy transfer within the system.
Both these situations are possible with the same energy budget. The argument is a red herring. It is quite possible for two systems with the same energy budget to have differing temperatures in various parts of the system depending on composition.
Energy is NOT temperature!! Physics 101 (GCSE to us here in blighty).
I am no warmist and am a close follower of Roy Spencer’s work. I have discussed exactly these issues with him (and others) on his blog and he is as frustrated with this kind of nonsense as me.

September 8, 2011 6:35 am

: and there is a LOT more rain on land during La Nina (more drought in El Nino)
Really BOTH, dear Tallbloke: There is a lot (more than a lot I would say) rain on the 1+2 El Niño region (along the north coast of Peru: Latitude 0 to -5)) during the El Niño years, while there is drought on the southern andes region, around lake Titicaca.
As a general rule, if we look at the detailes (following the Devil´s advice) we get lost in them. We should seek, as you say, the causes: Saying it is natural variability is not an explanation. What are the physical processes?

Theo Goodwin
September 8, 2011 6:50 am

KR says:
September 7, 2011 at 11:25 am
Dr. Spencer
“At the very least you should have explained in your paper why you did not show the other eight model results you ran.”
All the models are so far off that they are laughable. Talking about better or worse models here is grading garbage.
“Without some mechanism, some reasons why, we have no reason to believe that variations plus or minus from temperature driven humidity and cloud cover will persist in imbalance long enough (10′s of years) to affect climate.To be quite blunt, without such a physical mechanism overriding the water vapor cycle, your assertions of clouds as the forcing driving the ENSO are “Just So Stories”.”
The fact that a Warmista is willing to talk about physical mechanisms is an amazing development. All Warmista have carefully avoided talk about physical mechanisms for years. I know because I have done my very best to get them to talk about physical mechanisms. None have responded. The reason they do not respond is because talk of physical mechanisms brings in its train talk of scientific method and no Warmista is going to talk about scientific method for the simple reason that none practice it and none understand it.
The first physical mechanism that should be described is the ENSO mechanism. No one has described it. No one has done the empirical research to create reasonably confirmed physical hypotheses which describe the natural regularities that make up ENSO. Sure, there is some hand waving about cold water welling up off the coast of Peru, but no one actually has created reasonably well confirmed physical hypotheses about the actual source of that water, the actual mechanism that drives the up welling water. The same is true for each and every natural regularity which together make up ENSO. (Our scientific understanding of this matter is as bad as our scientific understanding of the behavior of hurricanes or the conditions that give birth to hurricanes. As everyone here knows, it is darn hard to give up the idea that our science of hurricanes is a mature science. It will be equally hard for even the non-biased person to recognize that climate science remains in its birthing stage.)
Spencer’s work has always pushed us toward recognizing the importance of physical mechanisms. His present thesis amounts to the claim that there is no known physical mechanism which would permit us to assign a magnitude to the actions of clouds as a positive “forcing or feedback” or as a negative “forcing or feedback.” (I use “forcing or feedback” because in this discussion the Warmista’s hopeless confusion about “forcing” versus “feedback” has become manifest. Yes, Warmista, I know that you can define them by fiat, as you always do, but that is Arguing in a Circle.) To the extent that Warmista believe that they have physical hypotheses which describe some natural regularity that is a positive feedback or forcing for CO2 concentrations, they are deluded. No one has done the empirical research, the leg work, that is needed to describe the natural regularities that make up ENSO, so any mechanism that Warmista presents is assumed but not discovered and for that reason has no empirical evidence to support it. Heck, modelers treat ENSO as statistical noise. There is not one among them who has ever tried to do the leg work necessary to describe ENSO as a physical mechanism.
What we should take away from Spencer’s work is that the uncertainty associated with claims about forcings or feedbacks is extremely high. The models, each and every one of them, are no better than parodies of physical theory. As physical theories, no model has got off the ground, every model has been born falsified, and no model has achieved reasonable confirmation even for a subsection of the model. All of this is as it should be because no one has done the empirical research necessary to describe the natural regularities that we wish to understand, ENSO first among them.
As with most good science, Spencer’s work is a critical work. It helps us understand what we do not know. The claim that Spencer has not identified a mechanism is a fallacious argument of immense grandeur because it contains an immense number of sub-fallacies. For present purposes, let me just remind readers of the most fundamental principle of science: Science is the critical enterprise par excellence, most good scientific work is criticism, and the idea that you must present a hypothesis to criticize a hypothesis is a mistake worthy of toddlers.

Theo Goodwin
September 8, 2011 6:56 am

The Wagner-Dessler farce shows that the Warmista have been drawn into debate with Critics for the first time and that they are desperate and terrified. How Critics (sceptics, if you wish) of “mainstream climate science” (MSC) brought this about is unknown to me. Anthony can probably explain the dynamics of this Critical achievement. Of course, Roy Spencer has been and is the scientific leader of the Critical Dynamic. It is truly time for celebration.

September 8, 2011 7:02 am

TLM says:
September 8, 2011 at 6:27 am
davidmhoffer says:
September 7, 2011 at 9:31 pm
“Energy is NOT temperature!! Physics 101 (GCSE to us here in blighty).”
——————————————————————————————————-
Dang TLM…. that was humor….. look it up……..while we’re at physics 101…..don’t you think it behooves you to explain to others how temps are related to energy? If you believe people are confused about it then explain and expound. (BTW, I don’t believe David is confused.) This is how we learn here. We exchange thoughts and ideas……so anyway, without further ado…..Ahem,……..
Temperatures are a measurement of heat.
From wiki—–
Heat —– In physics and thermodynamics, heat is energy transferred from one body, region, or thermodynamic system to another due to thermal contact when the systems are at different temperatures. It is also often described as one of the fundamental processes of energy transfer between physical entities. In this description, it is an energy transfer to a body in any other way than due to work.
See? Nice and easy. True, we can delve much deeper in an explanation, but that’s a good starter. So, while temps aren’t energy, we see that temps are an expression of energy transfer. sigh……

Jeremy
September 8, 2011 7:29 am

HAS says:
September 7, 2011 at 2:32 pm
TallDave @ September 7, 2011 at 12:16 pm
KR @ September 7, 2011 at 12:43 pm
Jeremy @ September 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm
I had a quick look at Dessler’s claims that GFDL CM 2.1, MPI ECHAM5, and MRI CGCM 2.3.2A are the best match to ENSO at
http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/06/spencer-braswell-part-iii/#comment-109890
It does seem that based on at least one recent system of categorisation they aren’t.

This plus the rest of this issue/discussion is making me question whether or not we can even model ENSO reliably without an understanding of clouds. This would make comparison of observations of cloud effects to models that “reliably model ENSO” a devilishly tricky job. It seems reasonable to me that cloud cover could be at least as important as oceanic circulation, if not more so.

Merrick says:
September 8, 2011 at 5:04 am

I looked at it again, I missed the value assigned to what was in the parentheses. It appeared to be 3 unknowns to me for some reason.

Roger Longstaff
September 8, 2011 7:31 am

TLM says: September 8, 2011 at 6:27 am:
“Two planets in the same star system in the same orbit. One has air of pure nitrogen and no water or other gases, the other has liquid water seas and air composed of oxygen, nitrogen and greenhouse gases (water vapour, methane, CO2 etc). Both have the same energy budget, 1365 watts in, 1365 out. Both in approximate steady state. The one with the thick and complex atmosphere with the water vapour etc has a much higher surface air temperature than the one with a thin atmosphere.”
An intersting point. However, if the “thick and complex” atmosphere only had 400 ppmv CO2 (like Earth) then the densites of the planet’s atmospheres would be very roughly equal, and the only significant difference in surface temperatures could be attributable to clouds – perhaps leading to a lower surface temperature? I think that the temperature of the Venusian atmosphere (96.5% CO2) at 1 bar (and above the cloud tops) is exactly what you would expect it to be from a radiative physics perspective.

KR
September 8, 2011 8:55 am

Theo Goodwin
“KR says:
September 7, 2011 at 11:25 am
Dr. Spencer
“At the very least you should have explained in your paper why you did not show the other eight model results you ran.”
All the models are so far off that they are laughable. Talking about better or worse models here is grading garbage.”

It seems you have not actually read the papers, Theo. Spencer presented the six models (of fourteen examined) with the worst fits to the observational data – and his entire paper concerned models versus observations, making the models very relevant. It this is “grading garbage”, then you’ve really just insulted Spencer’s work.
The three with the best fits to observed data, GFDL-CM2., ECHAM5/MPI-OM, and MRI-CGCM2.3.2, are known to match ENSO events pretty well. They also have climate sensitivities of +3.4 C, +3.4 C, and +3.2 C, respectively. Hence the data Spencer generated (but did not present) actually support models with a 3.2-3.4 C sensitivity. This rather contradicts his claims of low sensitivities…
As to models, quoting statistician George Box: “Remember that all models are wrong; the practical question is how wrong do they have to be to not be useful.” (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_E._P._Box)

Alan Clark of Dirty Oil-berta
September 8, 2011 8:56 am

The internet has changed media profoundly. Few people watch TV news anymore and even fewer read print, electing to get information from the `net instead. I can’t imagine why science is clinging to this peer-review system of submitting papers to scientific journals when what is patently evident from reading this site, is that each and every idea, theory and treatise could simply be posted to a blog such as this and receive absolute critical review within hours from some of the best and most knowledgeable minds on the planet. Peer-review needs to come into the 21st century.

September 8, 2011 9:32 am

TLM;
Are you seriously being critical of a joke because I didn’t use precise terminology regarding the science involved as part of the story line? Did you completely miss the punch line? Would have using words like “steady state temperature as a consequence of deterministic canges in positive retention of energy flux” really have improved the joke?
Hey, so these two camels walk into a bar and order a beer-
TLM: HOLD IT! HOLD IT! Camels can’t talk, this make no sense at all….

Bill Parsons
September 8, 2011 9:59 am

I liken the cloud forcing/feedback to a chicken/egg discussion. And you’re right, it isn’t as important as the fact that this may account for the “Travesty’s” missing heat. Like the Dr. Seuss character, they “could not find it any where.” Logically, that would be because its gone.

I should think the real travesty is that we are heating the rest of the universe. In so doing, we’re setting the worst kind of bad example for other civilizations. The Guardian warned us about this kind of thing. Did we listen? No – o – o – o…
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/aug/18/aliens-destroy-humanity-protect-civilisations?CMP=twt_gu

Merrick
September 8, 2011 10:07 am

Jeremy – I reread my response and hope I didn’t come off as pedantic. It dawned on me though, and Anthony alludes to this in his write up, that a more “reasonable” answer for S/N and lambda if (as Anthony suggests) you don’t use the most widely accepted values for the knowns Anthony has detailed, but some other number. As with Anthony, I don’t understand the justification for doing so and would love to know how it could have gotten through “peer” review.

Theo Goodwin
September 8, 2011 10:10 am

KR says:
September 8, 2011 at 8:55 am
“It seems you have not actually read the papers, Theo. Spencer presented the six models (of fourteen examined) with the worst fits to the observational data – and his entire paper concerned models versus observations, making the models very relevant. It this is “grading garbage”, then you’ve really just insulted Spencer’s work.”
It seems to me that we are in a Monty Python skit and I am saying “The bird is dead, it was dead when you sold it to me, and it is attached to the perch with a nail.”
Are you seriously suggesting that the purpose of Spencer’s paper is to defend models? Spencer writes:
“Instead, the point was to show that the full range of climate sensitivities represented by the least and most sensitive of the 14 models show average behavior that is inconsistent with the observations. Remember, the IPCC’s best estimate of 3 deg. C warming is almost exactly the warming produced by averaging the full range of its models’ sensitivities together. The satellite data depart substantially from that. I think inspection of Dessler’s Fig. 2 supports my point.”
What part of that paragraph do you not understand?
You write and quote:
As to models, quoting statistician George Box: “Remember that all models are wrong; the practical question is how wrong do they have to be to not be useful.”
The answer is they are wrong if the whole lot of them and the average of all of them show behavior that is inconsistent with the observations. In science, you cannot have a model that is inconsistent with substantial recorded observations and be right.
By the way, what happened to your talk of physical hypotheses? Are you, like all other Warmista, going to drop that discussion before it gets to observable evidence for the physical hypotheses and scientific method?

David A
September 8, 2011 10:22 am

“The three with the best fits to observed data, GFDL-CM2., ECHAM5/MPI-OM, and MRI-CGCM2.3.2, are known to match ENSO events pretty well. They also have climate sensitivities of +3.4 C, +3.4 C, and +3.2 C, respectively. Hence the data Spencer generated (but did not present) actually support models with a 3.2-3.4 C sensitivity. This rather contradicts his claims of low sensitivities…”
The scientific question/comment to your first assertion, “…are known to match ENSO events pretty well” is please prove it and demonstrate what you mean by “pretty well”. If, as you say, those model runs were closest to observations, it dooes not logically follow that they (the observations) support them, all the models may be bad and unsupported by the observations, especially if the observations all show lower senstivity.

eyesonu
September 8, 2011 10:28 am

Theo Goodwin says:
September 8, 2011 at 6:50 am
Theo Goodwin says:
September 8, 2011 at 6:56 am
———————–
Very well said.
Sincerely,

Theo Goodwin
September 8, 2011 10:35 am

davidmhoffer says:
September 8, 2011 at 9:32 am
Here’s precision for you:
An infinite number of people walk into a bar. The first person says “I’ll have a glass of beer, the person after me will have half a glass, and so on for everyone.” The bartender says “OK, two glasses of beer.”

Ged
September 8, 2011 10:48 am

@KR,
Just because the models and satellite observational readings overlap across their two standard deviation bounds does NOT MAKE THEM statistically significantly similar. They would need to be well within one sigma variance, and even then, you still must satisfy the correlation tests. If we want to check if the variance of the data sets are statistically similar, we must do a CONOVA, with an ANOVA/F-test for the means. Do you see that in the paper? It’s possible I just missed it.
If we wish to test the significance of any correlation between the data (they are independent sets and should not be tested this way, just tested across the mean and variance, but I’ll humor this idea) A correlation test will yield an R value. Do you see an R value that is statistically significant, that is an R value of 0.381 or higher?
Again, how are the models significantly similar to the observed data? Where are the tests showing significance? I honestly may have missed them, but from what I have seen on what tests have been done, there is NO statistical significance (i.e. p value below 0.05 and r value above 0.381. Realize the R^2 is NOT a test of statistical significance, but a test of how well the correlated variances fit).
Only if there is statistical significance between observations and the models can we say the models reflect reality with any confidence. If there is no significance, then we reject the models as flagrantly wrong. It’s as simple as that. Even the best ENSO models do not appear even remotely significant. And it does not matter that their deviations overlap with observations (confidence interval does not mean significance what so ever), not without a CONOVA analysis telling us if that actually means something.

September 8, 2011 11:05 am

KR says:
September 8, 2011 at 8:55 am
Theo Goodwin
“KR says:
September 7, 2011 at 11:25 am
….paraphrasing———- “Dr. Spencer, why didn’t you show all of the models you looked at?”
Dr. Spencer:..“….the point was to show that the full range of climate sensitivities represented by the least and most sensitive of the 14 models show average behavior that is inconsistent with the observations. Remember, the IPCC’s best estimate of 3 deg. C warming is almost exactly the warming produced by averaging the full range of its models’ sensitivities together. The satellite data depart substantially from that. I think inspection of Dessler’s Fig. 2 supports my point.”
Then KR says: (again paraphrasing) “But Dr. Spencer you really should explain why you didn’t include all of the models.”
====================================================================
KR, obsess on minutia much? Asked, answered. Explained and shown. Recall the graphic above.
http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/AR4-models-vs-CERES-lag-regression-Net-flux.png
Tell me KR which one of those models do you think George Box would deem useful? Which do you believe adequately explains our missing energy? And most importantly, which one do you think should have been included in the pretty picture that may have altered Dr. Spencer’s conclusions or the reviewers perception?
KR, it doesn’t matter how often you mention this, it doesn’t change the fact that no one has been able to refute his conclusions. KR, is it that you believe so much in the models that you’re angry reality has shown them to be insufficient? Or is it that Dr. Spencer’s is questioning the orthodoxy that’s got your knickers in a wad? Or is it something else?
I’ve really have to ask you something, why don’t you spend this time and energy and investigate why Dessler would intentionally misrepresent Dr. Spencer’s position on cloud feedback/forcing and how that bit of intentional deception managed to get through the reviewers?

September 8, 2011 11:12 am

Bill Parsons says:
September 8, 2011 at 9:59 am
I liken the cloud forcing/feedback to a chicken/egg discussion. And you’re right, it isn’t as important as the fact that this may account for the “Travesty’s” missing heat. Like the Dr. Seuss character, they “could not find it any where.” Logically, that would be because its gone.
I should think the real travesty is that we are heating the rest of the universe. In so doing, we’re setting the worst kind of bad example for other civilizations. The Guardian warned us about this kind of thing. Did we listen? No – o – o – o…
===================================================
HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!! Very nice.

Ged
September 8, 2011 11:12 am

@KR,
I just read Dessler’s paper again. Neither “statistical” nor “significance” appears to be in the paper that I noticed. Nor is there any type of statistical test in Dessler et al. Regression means nothing without an F-test or some other test to tell you if the regression is significant; as all random data will show regressions at some level.
This alone means his paper says.. well.. nothing. Those statistical tests tell you if something is real or not, and they are absent, so his entire paper is, in my view, void. As is ANY paper comparing data that lacks statistical tests for significance. That goes for Dr. Spencer as well if he fails to include some type of accepted statistical testing. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about this.

eyesonu
September 8, 2011 11:23 am

davidmhoffer says:
September 8, 2011 at 9:32 am
———————-
🙂 Humor, a joke (good one if I may say so), satire, etc. Seems some of the populace has a shoulder chip or doesn’t appreciate humor, satire, sarcasm, etc. 🙂
Does Penn State vs State Penn ring a bell? Disclaimer: the previous comment regarding Penn State was satire, pun, made in jest, not to be taken seriously, not ment to inflect emotional harm or duress, not to be taken seriously in the literal sense, not meant to suggest any wrong doing by any person, entity, organization, penal system, or other, or to suggest anything that would make any sense at all about anything that anyone could conjuncture up in their wildest dreams of/or imagination or to offend in any way one whom may by sensitive in their emotional state or any other mental capacity that would/could be perceived as not exibiting total respect and admiration to the afore words, whether they be misspelled or not presented in a proper literary fashion, subject not only to capitalization, punctuation, etc. as may be defined in a standard dictionary that a reasonable person could be expected to consult, or to have any meaning at all. 🙂

KR
September 8, 2011 12:12 pm

There have been a number of posts directed towards me – I think I can summarize my answers, though.
* Dr. Spencer compared models to one of the temperature data sets, and concluded that the models didn’t match well over a 10 year period. From this he concluded that model climate sensitivities are extremely off.
* He did not, however, show the results for all the models he studied. Several of those are known to model the ENSO quite well, and over a 10 year period you’re really looking at short term variations like the ENSO and not equilibrium or even short term climate sensitivity. Hence his test is more a test of ENSO modeling than sensitivity. He instead showed the results of the models that deviated the most from the data, without (in my opinion, and the opinions of a great many other folks) justifying that selection. Your hypotheses need to stand up to the strongest evidence, not just a (cherry-picked?) selection of the weakest evidence.
* Those three best matching models, which are known to model the ENSO well, are as close to the single observational data (HadCRUT3) as other temperature records such as GISTEMP. In fact, HadCRUT3 deviates the most from the models – another outlier.
* Dessler found that data such as ARGO indicate ~20:1 times the energy for short term (10 year) fluctuations coming from ENSO variations rather than cloud radiative forcing, which is observational data. Spencer (1:2) and Lindzen (2:1) have used assumptions for those numbers. There may be grounds to debate this, but that should be based upon data rather than guessing. This goes straight to the question of whether clouds are a forcing or a feedback.
* Dr. Spencer also, in his equations, assumes that clouds are a forcing, and his computations reflect that inherent assumption. Assuming your conclusion is not good practice.
* Regardless of the eventual conclusions (and cloud effects are an ongoing area of research), the cherry-picked results, short time frame, assuming his conclusions, etc., simply look bad, and detract from his work. I really wish that he had written a paper without these issues.
Now as to the requests for “physical hypotheses”, I’ll note that the original request (to Dr. Spencer) came from me. Dr. Spencer seems to be the outlier, in that he is postulating effects without a matching cause.

At the end of the matter, however, it’s up to Dr. Spencer to defend his work. I’m still waiting.

Dave Wendt
September 8, 2011 12:22 pm

On an OT, but fairly interesting in this context topic I came across this
http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/09/how-good-is-published-academic-research.html
It’s a economics blog column commenting on this
http://www.nature.com/nrd/journal/v10/n9/full/nrd3439-c1.html
From the column
“Bayer halts nearly two-thirds of its target-validation projects because in-house experimental findings fail to match up with published literature claims, finds a first-of-a-kind analysis on data irreproducibility.”
“People take for granted what they see published,” says John Ioannidis, an expert on data reproducibility at Stanford University School of Medicine in California, USA. “But this and other studies are raising deep questions about whether we can really believe the literature, or whether we have to go back and do everything on our own.”
“The unspoken rule is that at least 50% of the studies published even in top tier academic journals – Science, Nature, Cell, PNAS, etc… – can’t be repeated with the same conclusions by an industrial lab. In particular, key animal models often don’t reproduce. This 50% failure rate isn’t a data free assertion: it’s backed up by dozens of experienced R&D professionals who’ve participated in the (re)testing of academic findings.”
This is about studies relating to the pharmaceuticals industry and probably isn’t directly comparable to climate works, but we are quite often told that the “consensus” about CAGW extends across “science” generally and in that context it seems interesting indeed.

NW
September 8, 2011 12:31 pm

There’s a new post up at Climate Audit which everyone here should see:
http://climateaudit.org/2011/09/08/more-on-dessler-2010/
Seems you get different results depending on how you create a cloud forcing series.

Bart
September 8, 2011 12:34 pm

davidmhoffer says:
September 7, 2011 at 9:31 pm
“The system will arrive at a steady state temperature which radiates heat to space that equals the total of the energy inputs. Complexity of the system being unknown, and the body spinning in space versus the radiated energy source, there will be cyclic variations in temperature, but the long term average will not change.”
For a perfect blackbody, only. See this.

September 8, 2011 1:04 pm

SethP says:
September 7, 2011 at 8:10 pm
Has anyone done a study on what atmospheric gasses the increased C02 is displacing? Could this work out to be a net negative forcing if it displaces mainly water vapor? It would have to displace more “less effective” greenhouse gasses to create a net positive forcing, no?
well, is CO2 not replacing O2, molecule for molecule?

Andrew Harding
Editor
September 8, 2011 1:14 pm

Alan Clark of Dirty Oil-berta says:
September 8, 2011 at 8:56 am
The internet has changed media profoundly. Few people watch TV news anymore and even fewer read print, electing to get information from the `net instead. I can’t imagine why science is clinging to this peer-review system of submitting papers to scientific journals when what is patently evident from reading this site, is that each and every idea, theory and treatise could simply be posted to a blog such as this and receive absolute critical review within hours from some of the best and most knowledgeable minds on the planet. Peer-review needs to come into the 21st century.
I quite agree with you on this one, but with the current bigotry in certain branches of science (health and climate change to be precise) “peer review” means review by peers who happen to agree with you. This is confirmed by the Michael Mann and University of Virginia not wanting to publicise their data. If peer review could be carried out on a neutral basis rather than on a snout in the trough basis then it would be a fantastic system.

Magnus Olert
September 8, 2011 1:15 pm

Spencer has updated his post:
UPDATE: I have been contacted by Andy Dessler, who is now examining my calculations, and we are working to resolve a remaining difference there. Also, apparently his paper has not been officially published, and so he says he will change the galley proofs as a result of my blog post; here is his message:
“I’m happy to change the introductory paragraph of my paper when I get the galley proofs to better represent your views. My apologies for any misunderstanding. Also, I’ll be changing the sentence “over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change, on the other hand, clouds can indeed cause significant warming” to make it clear that I’m talking about cloud feedbacks doing the action here, not cloud forcing.”
http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/09/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-my-initial-comments-on-the-new-dessler-2011-study/

Dale
September 8, 2011 1:25 pm

Gras Albert says:
September 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm
“* by the way, might I suggest that an appropriate collective noun for such an eminent group of climate scientists might be a ‘cloud’”
Please note that Apple Computer Corporation is beginning proceedings against climate scientists for the use of the term ‘cloud’. Apple maintains the term ‘cloud’ conflicts with their iCloud trademark, which is used to describe specific Apple Computer Corporation products simulating virtual computing within the virtual public network, and as such implore the Courts to issue cease and desist notices, or in some cases penalties for damages, versus climate scientists. Further, Apple has evidence showing that the term ‘cloud’ was formed within Apple Computer Corporation for marketing and research purposes related to said current product offering, and as such Apple Computer Corporation implores the Courts to also validate Copyright claims of Apple Computer Corporation on the term ‘cloud’ in all use and meanings, in all jurisdictions.

richard verney
September 8, 2011 1:46 pm

TLM says:
September 8, 2011 at 6:27 am
davidmhoffer says:
September 7, 2011 at 9:31 pm
…..
Energy is NOT temperature!! Physics 101 (GCSE to us here in blighty).
….
I make no comment on your examples but you are right to point out that energy is not temperature., Likewise, temperature is not energy, so what exactly do the various temperature anomaly sets establish? They do not establish that there has been any change in the energy budget, nor even an internal distribution of the budget. The only data set of any real value is sea temperature sets since they potentially measure energy.

Tim Clark
September 8, 2011 2:00 pm

My money says that your rebuttal will never be published in GRL, unless you toe the line.

September 8, 2011 2:20 pm

Roy,
Don’t expect to get your rebuttel to get published in time to be included in the IPPC report, but if any Journal fails to publish it before November,2012, they won’t have much more credibility than the IPPC. Submit it to several Journals along with a news release and see what happens. This is going to be a hot political topic and a lot of jobs are at stake.

APACHEWHOKNOWS
September 8, 2011 2:22 pm

Such a small pin head, yet so many dancers.
More pins needed, and a better fiddler.

TomRude
September 8, 2011 3:06 pm

Note to Steve McIntyre and Roy Spencer: if you guys continue to help Dessler write his paper, perhaps you should request co-authorship or at least be included in the acknowledgement section with regards to specific points! Really as much as it is making science progress, it is naive at best to kindly serve people who have done everything in their own power to demean and attack you! in the end it also shows how peer review sceintific journals are obsolete means of doing science since blogosphere is doing it much faster and with more agility.

Roger Knights
September 8, 2011 3:08 pm

Theo Goodwin says:
September 8, 2011 at 6:56 am
The Wagner-Dessler farce shows that the Warmista have been drawn into debate with Critics for the first time …. It is truly time for celebration.

And for strategizing the next step, which should be to multiply the fronts on which our side engages with the enemy. Here’s what I suggested a few days ago, in response to another of Theo’s comments:

Yes, finally the skeptics are forcing their opponents to engage in a back-and-forth, full-fleshed debate about their arguments, instead of being able to get away with a dismissive once-over. I hope that S&B will call for an evaluation of the arguments by a panel of distinguished retired scientists in related disciplines. That would stop current gatekeepers from being able to keep a lid on debate and implicitly declare victors. The battle should be taken to another level.

In another comment I added:

This Inquiry could serve as a template for dozens of similar additional Inquiries on other contested points of the GW controversy.

Theo Goodwin
September 8, 2011 3:09 pm

Did Apple miss my post of yesterday or the day before? I explained that no Warmista model contains the primitive predicate “___is a cloud,” known also as the term ‘cloud’.

Theo Goodwin
September 8, 2011 3:24 pm

KR says:
September 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm
“Now as to the requests for “physical hypotheses”, I’ll note that the original request (to Dr. Spencer) came from me. Dr. Spencer seems to be the outlier, in that he is postulating effects without a matching cause.”
Yeah, why did you give it up? Something I predicted. Care to discuss scientific method?
Spencer is an outlier? You know very well that Warmista have no physical hypotheses relevant to this discussion and not one of any sort beyond Arrhenius’ ancient hypotheses. Arrhenius’ hypotheses cover neither forcings nor feedbacks. If you believe that they have them then bring them here in your own words.
Do you even know how to describe a physical hypothesis? Some data points taken from an unknown population of events and a few statistical inferences from them do not a physical hypothesis make. A physical hypothesis is a universally quantified conditional sentence that implies the data that count as its evidence or it is an objective statistical hypothesis over a known population. Aside from Arrhenius, there is not one Warmista who has ever created a physical hypothesis that implies the data that count as its evidence. And that is why Warmista have no physical evidence for their claims, none beyond Arrhenius.

tallbloke
September 8, 2011 3:26 pm

Magnus Olert says:
September 8, 2011 at 1:15 pm
Spencer has updated his post:
UPDATE: I have been contacted by Andy Dessler, who is now examining my calculations, and we are working to resolve a remaining difference there. Also, apparently his paper has not been officially published, and so he says he will change the galley proofs as a result of my blog post; here is his message:
“I’m happy to change the introductory paragraph of my paper when I get the galley proofs to better represent your views. My apologies for any misunderstanding. Also, I’ll be changing the sentence “over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change, on the other hand, clouds can indeed cause significant warming” to make it clear that I’m talking about cloud feedbacks doing the action here, not cloud forcing.”

That last bit made me laugh. I posted this comment at Roy’s site:
Lol. Cloud feedbacks during centuries which are feeding back to what forcing? Not co2, which allegedly bimbled along at a nice steady 270ppm.
So, if the feedback was causing warming, can’t have been volcanos… must be solar then? But if that’s the case, then why would clouds have stopped feeding back to solar variation when co2 started to increase? Hmmm?
Maybe Andy Dessler should read Nir Shaviv’s JGR paper ‘Using the oceans as a calorimeter’.
http://sciencebits.com/calorimeter

Theo Goodwin
September 8, 2011 3:28 pm

Roger Knights says:
September 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm
I am with you totally, Roger. Though I would not restrict the panel to the retired. You might want to write your congressman about this matter.
Wagner’s blunder started this and Trenberth’s boasting added to the speed. I wonder just how far down Trenberth’s *hit list Wagner is at this point?

Brian
September 8, 2011 3:33 pm

There’s a lot of noise coming out of WUWT at present.
Could it be because of the “ugly” news coming out of the arctic?
Extent is now below the median prediction – area is equal to record (probably now below 2007) and volume is a new record set by crash last year.
Still some melting left this year.

Theo Goodwin
September 8, 2011 3:37 pm

I am amazed that an unforced error (baseball term) on the part of the Warmista, Wagner, and the resulting panic on the part of other Warmista, Trenberth and Dessler, which led to predictable over-reach from the Warmista, Dessler’s hurried and pal reviewed reply, are what finally opened a little dialogue between Warmista and some of the critics of their science.
If anyone has doubted that the peer review process has not been controlled and corrupted by Warmista, surely this event is the concrete proof that must open their eyes.

MattN
September 8, 2011 3:40 pm

Did this actually get through peer review with all these mistakes? How? What idiot(s) reviewed it?

Carrick
September 8, 2011 3:54 pm

KR:

Certainly not in terms of long term effects, as you have posited no physical mechanism that could cause long term cloud changes. Without some mechanism, some reasons why, we have no reason to believe that variations plus or minus from temperature driven humidity and cloud cover will persist in imbalance long enough (10′s of years) to affect climate.

So… you’re incapable of coming up with plausible hypotheses on your own?
Seriously, this younger generation needs their hand held with everything.

September 8, 2011 3:55 pm

Magnus Olert says:
September 8, 2011 at 1:15 pm
Spencer has updated his post:
UPDATE: I have been contacted by Andy Dessler, who is now examining my calculations, and we are working to resolve a remaining difference there.
======================================================
LMAO!!! Thanks for the update Magnus. I usually don’t go back to the top of the thread for quite some time in these long winded debates.
@Anthony…….. this is a landmark occasion. You should pop a bottle of bubbly.
@ all of the commentators here and other threads pertinent to this issue. This is a landmark occasion and you should pop a bottle of bubbly. Even you KR!
Me, I’m sipping on a beer, like I usually do. 🙂
While, as noted above, not even Spencer or McIntyre will likely see many accolades, and probably not much gratitude, a paper, in print, was altered, because of what I can only assume was written here on WUWT and ClimateAudit. (And at TB’s and Lubos’!!) There may have been some instances of some similarities, as far as I know, this is a first! Warm fuzzies for everyone!
James Sexton
PS…… likely that warm fuzzies end when final publication is actually finalized. Screen shot everything!

S. Geiger
September 8, 2011 4:02 pm

I realize that Dr Spencer is providing this post as a curtesy to WUWT, but it would be nice if he ever came back and provided feedback to some of the more serious criticisms/questions. Hopefully these types of questions do get answered at his own site, I will check on that.

September 8, 2011 4:11 pm

Theo Goodwin says:
September 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm
……………
If anyone has doubted that the peer review process has not been controlled and corrupted by Warmista, surely this event is the concrete proof that must open their eyes.
============================================================
It seems there is a new review process(sheriff) in town. (To steal from a quote) I’ve seen the reviewers, and it is us! We (the skeptic blogosphere) just smoked the reviewers of GRL before it even got printed! I’m presuming all of the official reviewers held PhDs, and were climatologists.

mark t
September 8, 2011 4:20 pm

Interesting… In their haste to demonstrate the problems with peer review regarding S&B they have highlighted problems in their own, as if that was their goal. Another own goal? Corrections already before publication. Must be a record.
Mark

Theo Goodwin
September 8, 2011 4:21 pm

Brian says:
September 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm
“There’s a lot of noise coming out of WUWT at present.
Could it be because of the “ugly” news coming out of the arctic?”
No, you won’t believe it! Because of stumbling by one of Trenberth’s minions, Wagner, Trenberth is likely to lose editorial control of AR5! Amazing, huh! Read all about it above! You won’t read it anywhere else, especially not in the MSM.

Leo G
September 8, 2011 4:37 pm

Dr. Roy, I always felt that Dr. Dessler was one of the good guys. He seems to want to get the science right, which is always encouraging. Wouldn’t it be ironic if your next paper was by S&B&D?
Thanx for being open and honest to both of you.

Dave Wendt
September 8, 2011 4:49 pm

Brian says:
September 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm
There’s a lot of noise coming out of WUWT at present.
Could it be because of the “ugly” news coming out of the arctic?
Extent is now below the median prediction – area is equal to record (probably now below 2007) and volume is a new record set by crash last year.Still some melting left this year.
It would appear to be a matter of whose SWAG you choose to embrace. Most of the metrics on the Sea Ice Reference page are still above 2007. I would also point out that most all of those lovely graphics are maps not photos and despite the tendency of nearly all of them to quote their data out to the nearest km2, it’s hardly justified to trust any of them for better than +/- a couple hundred thousand km2 based on the self admitted flaws in their methodologies. You seem to anticipate further melting, but temps in the Arctic have moved to well below freezing and any declines in the ice from this point are likely to be limited to ice exiting out the Fram.
Even if the decline should lead to a number below 2007, what remains will still constitute an area of ice approximately the size of one half of the lower 48 states. And finally if at some future point the summer minimum should actually drop to zero, SO WHAT?

KR
September 8, 2011 4:55 pm

Theo Goodwin
Regarding physical hypotheses, cause and effect, I would point you at (among other resources found with a few seconds of Google time) http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm for an overview. Forcings, feedbacks, observations, mechanisms, etc., developed over the last 190 years.
Plate tectonics wasn’t accepted until a testable physical mechanism was proposed, one which accounted for all the data better than previous explanations. I await such a proposed new mechanism from skeptics like Spencer. But I’m not holding my breath.
The rest of your postings are rant and rhetoric – not worth replying to. I believe readers can make that judgement for themselves – if they disagree, they can comment. Otherwise I’m not going to waste time with a response until/unless you say something worth talking about.

Shelama
September 8, 2011 5:34 pm

I think it’s entirely possible that one of these days a paper by Spencer will actually hold up under scrutiny. I’m not overly optimistic about this one, but you never know.
In any case, just because a scientist has a world view that includes the Earth being created by God for man to subdue, and there being enough and to spare, and Jesus coming back to the rescue, doesn’t disqualify him from being a self-proclaimed political advocate with his science.

u.k.(us)
September 8, 2011 5:44 pm

UPDATE: Dr. Spencer writes: I have been contacted by Andy Dessler, who is now examining my calculations, and we are working to resolve a remaining difference there.
======
Good to hear.
Let’s get it right.

eyesonu
September 8, 2011 5:55 pm

This has been quite an intense peer review here on WUWT! The turnaround for the paper (Dressler) was unpresidented in terms of speed/time for corrections.
I think this has been a decisive battle in the march for the truth involving many fronts. Congratulations to all involved!
Unfortunately there will be a few sore/sour losers.

DocMartyn
September 8, 2011 6:23 pm

TLM says: September 8, 2011 at 6:27 am:
“Two planets in the same star system in the same orbit. One has air of pure nitrogen and no water or other gases, the other has liquid water seas and air composed of oxygen, nitrogen and greenhouse gases (water vapour, methane, CO2 etc). Both have the same energy budget, 1365 watts in, 1365 out. Both in approximate steady state. The one with the thick and complex atmosphere with the water vapour etc has a much higher surface air temperature than the one with a thin atmosphere.”
Lets run that experiment shall we?
The first order reaction rate for the non-biotic reaction chemical and photochmical reaction of O2 with rocks and with N2 (via lightening) is about 4.7×10^-8, which gives oxygen a half-life of only 14.5 million years. this ignores ocean buffering. It also 7 10^19 of hydrocarbon sitting around in the form of dead biotic material.
We only have an oxygen right atmosphere because of the biosphere.

Theo Goodwin
September 8, 2011 6:36 pm

Shelama says:
September 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm
Your bigotry is your most prominent feature.

Luther Wu
September 8, 2011 6:37 pm

KR says:
September 8, 2011 at 4:55 pm …
___________________________
Are we then to assume that the whole CAGW hypothesis is based on testable physical mechanisms which account for all the data?
I’m not holding my breath, either.

Theo Goodwin
September 8, 2011 6:40 pm

KR says:
September 8, 2011 at 4:55 pm
You introduced the topic of physical hypotheses. I questioned you about them and you have nothing to say. Just another Warmista. Everyone here can see that.
Of course you think I am ranting and raving. You have not a clue what I am talking about. Just another Warmista. Wouldn’t know a physical hypothesis or an example of good scientific method if they were staring you in the face. Actually, they are. Svensmark and Kirkby have both.

u.k.(us)
September 8, 2011 6:41 pm

Shelama says:
September 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm
==========
And, just out of curiosity, from under what rock did you crawl ?

Luther Wu
September 8, 2011 6:45 pm

Brian says:
September 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm
There’s a lot of noise coming out of WUWT at present.
Could it be because of the “ugly” news coming out of the arctic?
Extent is now below the median prediction – area is equal to record (probably now below 2007) and volume is a new record set by crash last year.
Still some melting left this year.

____________________________________________
Why do you ascribe any sort of relevance to Arctic ice extent?

September 8, 2011 7:18 pm

Shelama says:
September 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm
I think it’s entirely possible that one of these days a paper by Spencer will actually hold up under scrutiny……..(And then a bunch of anti-Christian bigotry……..)
On the scientific note, can you, or anyone else, refute his findings? I’m breathlessly awaiting something of more substance than Dessler’s pathetic response.
On a personal note…… you should thank God there are people that are taught to love, even bigots such as yourself.

September 8, 2011 7:43 pm

Theo Goodwin says:
September 8, 2011 at 6:40 pm
KR says:
September 8, 2011 at 4:55 pm
You introduced the topic of physical hypotheses. I questioned you about them and you have nothing to say. …..
——————————————————————–
You have not a clue what I am talking about.
=======================================
Theo, physics are tricky things….. you have to Bing-search and everything to find physical laws. One may even have to observe stuff to understand!!
Best to avoid talking about such stuff. It’s much easier to bag on Christians.

Paul Fischbeck
September 8, 2011 8:03 pm

I certainly hopes that you get mentioned as being extremely helpful in preparing the article.

September 8, 2011 8:14 pm

Shelama;
Nice drive by shooting there. You managed to denigrate Dr. Spencer’s religious and political beliefes in just a couple of sentences. I note Wolfgang Wagner works out of the “Christian Doppler” laboratory at Vienna University of Technology. Being given the name it has, I suppose that discredits Wagner’s work, the laboratory, and Doppler’s as well? How about shutting your bigotry off for a moment and tell us something of relevance to the SCIENCE?
Brian; Nice try. I couldn’t care less if the arctic ice is down 1% or 20%. Do you Know why? Because we have no clue why it is or isn’t happening, or if it should be or not. Do you know why? BECAUSE TYRANNICAL DICTATORS IN THE SCIENCE WORLD LIKE JONES AND TRENBERTH HAVE BEEN ACTIVELY SUPPRESSING THE ACTUAL SCIENCE WE WOULD NEED TO MAKE ANY SENSE OUT OF IT. ARE YOU OK WITH THAT?
KR; Nice bunch of half truths, a straw man proposition that is irrelvant to the discussion, followed by the contemptuous sneer that clearly ends the argument – you’re not even going to respond anymore unless Theo answers your nonsense position. Sort of being shot at by a guy who’s gun goes bang!, bang!, click, click, click, click, click, click, click… and then the guy says “stop or I will shoot!” Not much to worry about when the first two shots were fired directly at the guy’s own feet and he’s now out of actual ammunition. I’ll tell you what KR. You post under your real name, because if you are so high and might and RIGHT, you should have nothing to fear by doing so, post under your owqn name, and THEN you’ll have enough credibility for your comments to be taken with at least a grain of seriousness. Following which I, or someone else, will answer you properly and expose your foolishness for what it is.

SethP
September 8, 2011 8:16 pm

S. Geiger says:
September 8, 2011 at 4:02 pm
I realize that Dr Spencer is providing this post as a curtesy to WUWT, but it would be nice if he ever came back and provided feedback to some of the more serious criticisms/questions. Hopefully these types of questions do get answered at his own site, I will check on that.
——————-
You should really go to the same thread on his own blog. I see that he responds to a majority of criticisms/question. Always go to the source first, I don’t know why people address him directly with questions on other peoples sites all of the time.
http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/09/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-my-initial-comments-on-the-new-dessler-2011-study/

September 8, 2011 8:21 pm

Dr. Spencer,
While I applaud you for even being willing to communicate at all, at any level, let alone cooperation, with someone like Dessler…. I have to say also:
When someone who has repeatedly been my detractor, a known confident of those who have done me harm in the past and swear to do so again in the future, suddenly reaches out the hand of friendship… a little voice in the back of my head whispers:
shields up. don’t take your eyes off him for a moment. and watch your back. he’s got friends circling around somewhere…
Sorry, but I just don’t buy Dessler’s outreach.

DCC
September 8, 2011 8:27 pm

I would like to encourage everyone who posts here to first research the difference between Dr. Andrew Dessler of Texas A&M (http://atmo.tamu.edu/profile/ADessler) and someone named Dressler.

u.k.(us)
September 8, 2011 8:32 pm

Brian says:
September 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm
There’s a lot of noise coming out of WUWT at present.
Could it be because of the “ugly” news coming out of the arctic?
==============
Ugly news, is Dresden gets fire bombed, in spite.
Do you want to play this game.
It’s been played before.

Professor Bob Ryan
September 8, 2011 8:47 pm

Shelama – your comments are very immature. Two first class scientists Dessler and Spencer, who happen to take fundamentally opposed positions on a crucial causality, are squaring up to one another in the scientific literature. This is how science progresses. Their religious or other beliefs are quite irrelevant. My advice: watch and learn..

September 8, 2011 9:24 pm

WTF? Ladies! Do you not realize what just happened?
“..UPDATE: Dr. Spencer writes: I have been contacted by Andy Dessler, who is now ….”
We are there! Dressler didn’t concede these points because Dr. Spencer disagreed! Dressrler didn’t concede because McIntyre disagreed. Or anyone else in particular. Mac and Spencer disagreeing with mainstream climatology is old hat! They never cared before. But today, we’ve corrected science…… before it got officially published…….. after stringent peer-review.
Dressler, GRL, and the reviewers of the paper, by proxy, conceded because the light of truth……. and thousands of people across the world saw and corrected accepted science.

jorgekafkazar
September 8, 2011 9:30 pm

TomRude says: Note to Steve McIntyre and Roy Spencer: if you guys continue to help Dessler write his paper, perhaps you should request co-authorship or at least be included in the acknowledgement section with regards to specific points! Really as much as it is making science progress, it is naive at best to kindly serve people who have done everything in their own power to demean and attack you! in the end it also shows how peer review sceintific journals are obsolete means of doing science since blogosphere is doing it much faster and with more agility.”
Remember, so far, we’re discussing how many correlation coefficients of ~0 can dance on the head of a pin, here. Let’s just keep our side of the street clean. Any improvement in Dessler’s paper is a step forward for all. That’s how Science is supposed to work.

David Falkner
September 8, 2011 9:30 pm

Shelama says:
September 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm
In any case, just because a scientist has a world view that includes the Earth being created by God for man to subdue, and there being enough and to spare, and Jesus coming back to the rescue, doesn’t disqualify him from being a self-proclaimed political advocate with his science.
In any case, an internet poster that holds a world view where others who believe differently are all idiots deserving of back-handed sarcasm, condescension, and ridicule are not disqualified from being a dime a dozen. Nor will I challenge your authority on how to make oneself look bad in public without being drunk (grammar isn’t sloppy enough), how to alienate a massive group of people, how to proudly display and/or possess bigotry, and how to come off as an all around general douchebag. Please, fornicate yourself with an iron stick used in railroad construction.

phlogiston
September 8, 2011 9:44 pm

Brian
If the Arctic is ugly, just how beautiful is global sea level ? Or the no-show of the predicted el Nino?

September 8, 2011 9:47 pm

Kudos to Dessler for working with people who he disagrees with.
Kudos to Spencer for working with people he disagrees with.
If you want to see more of it, encourage it. put the knives down and encourage it.

Professor Bob Ryan
September 8, 2011 10:10 pm

Steven Mosher: absolutely and wouldn’t it be rather special once Dessler and Spencer have identified their areas of agreement/disagreement that their responses could go back to back in the same issue of GRL. Indeed, if they come to substantial consensus a joint paper on their common ground. Now that would require enormous courage and be a salutary reminder to the ideologues on both sides that science is a joint enterprise between those who disagree.

Theo Goodwin
September 8, 2011 10:12 pm

James Sexton says:
September 8, 2011 at 4:11 pm
“It seems there is a new review process(sheriff) in town. (To steal from a quote) I’ve seen the reviewers, and it is us! We (the skeptic blogosphere) just smoked the reviewers of GRL before it even got printed! I’m presuming all of the official reviewers held PhDs, and were climatologists.”
Very well said and the time is right.

Tilo Reber
September 8, 2011 10:28 pm

David: “Sorry, but I just don’t buy Dessler’s outreach.”
It doesn’t really matter if Dessler is sincere or not. Talking directly will mean that the science will be explored quickly. It’s better than waiting 6 weeks for a Dessler publication followed by waiting 2 years for a Spencer publication. If we can get clarifications in a couple of days that will mean we can get real results in a couple of months. I’m no Dessler fan, but in this instance, it’s a good thing that he did. I doubt that Dessler thinks that he can slip things past Roy in a one on one situation. I believe that the minimum that we can expect from this is better ENSO modeling. Getting a better climate sensitivity number means that Roy will have to show that his differences with the models are not just differences due to models reproducing ENSO badly.
It would be nice if this were a three way exchange that included Lindzen. Trenberth, on the other hand, would add nothing but personal attacks.

Tilo Reber
September 8, 2011 10:30 pm

Steven Mosher: “If you want to see more of it, encourage it. put the knives down and encourage it.”
Okay, we are on the same page for a change.

September 8, 2011 10:55 pm

Steven Mosher says:
September 8, 2011 at 9:47 pm
Kudos to Dessler for working with people who he disagrees with.
Kudos to Spencer for working with people he disagrees with.
If you want to see more of it, encourage it. put the knives down and encourage it.
============================================================
Steve, do you want to see people working and compromising with people such as Dessler? Recall his description of Dr. Spencer’s position regarding forcing and feedbacks. That wasn’t accidental. It wasn’t a mistake, even if he apologized. Which, would be to his credit. But, let’s not pretend. The views of both are not equal and opposite. Steve, your perspective is different than many here. Moderation at this point isn’t warranted. Here is the victory. Here is where, it wasn’t Spencer’s or McIntyre’s opinion that mattered. It was the skeptical blogosphere’s opinion that mattered. I’m not discounting from either one. In fact, it was to both of their credits that this was possible. However, McIntyre and Spencer are renowned for disagreeing. They’ve never changed a paper for them before. We shouldn’t try to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
If we chose so, peer review, as it is known to the cabal, dies today.
Don’t put the knives down. Pick them up! It isn’t for us to have science defined by someone else. This has been a long fought battle. Science is another name for knowledge. There should no longer be any question as to who reveres science more. It is obvious. I’ve long stated: One of the beautiful things about skepticism is that it brings together a confluence of people. All of different creed. Atheist, Jew and Gentile. Communist, socialist and capitalist. We’ve all been here. And many of us have been here for a long time. And we were all here for this!
The facts are, the climate science has been manipulated. It is beyond redemption. It is time to start anew. The peer review process has failed us for several years. Today shows us how much. And, it show us it has failed us for a very long time. We’ve known this. It is that, today, we can show this even the most simplest of people. The moment is to be seized. Clutch it! Grab it! Embrace it. Don’t say the people such as Theo, DC, David, UK, Doc, Steve, Lat, Mike, Amino….. (and the list goes on beyond my recollection..) are to rise for only one moment. We are here. And we’ll continue to be here. And we’ve shown where we’re better than the peer-reviewers. No, there is no compromise on this. To do else, would be to walk backwards.

September 8, 2011 11:01 pm

I meant to add……humility is a virtue, timidity is not.

September 8, 2011 11:52 pm

Frankly folks, this is surreal.
Less than a week ago, Trenberth tried and failed to get SB11 withdrawn by putting behind the scenes political pressure on the Editor-In-Chief of Remote Sensing. When Wagner failed, Wagner resigned in clear obeiscance to Trenberth, and mounted a criticism of SB11 that was barely above name calling. Trenberth broke into the picture proudling proclaiming (nay! BRAGGING) of a victory by having had Wagner apologise to him personsaly, and made it clear that an upcoming paper by Desller, would not only eviscerate the creibility of SB11, but would be published in a timeframe near instantaneous by academic standards. The paper appeared in record time as promised, laced with ad hominym attacks, critical of arguments SB11 never made and light weight at best. By who? Dessler of course, a second stronger on the The Team who serves as nothing more than attack dog for The Team.
Up until that point, The Team had been shooting each other, scoring goals into their own net, lighting themsleves on fire and proudly screaming their guilt as they race aroundf the field in flames. Keep in mind, this whole sequence of sordid affairs, personal attacks, and clear attempts to suppress original and credible science has unfolded over a period of just six days?
Now suddenly Dessler, a “B Team” attack dog, is singing a different tune than he was just 48 hours ago? He;s withdrawing the ad hominim attacks? The paper wasn’t actually publsihed after all, it was only part way through the process, so it can still be changed. Odd how that nuance didn’t surface before? So let’s get this straight.
Wagner’s resignation didn’t stand up to the smell test. It fell apart in a hurry as the real gacts emerged and the power that Trenberth wielded became evident. Wagner now stands on the world stage looking both empty of integrity and a fool played by Trenberth for Trenberth’s own purposes. Into the fra suddenly steps Dessler a known attack dog who goes right to work attacking. Pesonal innuendo, phlipant rermarks about things SB11 never said, badly done math. But one could hardly expect better from a B Team attack dog.
\Suddenly though, the The Team has their game back. They’ve gotten slaughtered on the field, and they had better come back with some real strategy, or even the most mesmerized with their story in the MSM will stand back and ask WTF? When you are getting your butt kicked, you need a time out to regroup. Desller reaching out to Spencer is asking for the time out. Consider what this buys them.
1. They get to delay any stories in the MSM because they’ve got a reconciliation process going that will produce a cooperative result. The MSM should just stay tuned until it is complete. Good idea for The Team. The rank, disgusting, and downright evil tactics of Trenberth to prevent the publication of SB11 will long been since forgotten by the time this process completes.
2. The Team will focus the MSM on “the results of their outreach to Spencer” as if they were the good guys going out of the way to mend the fences in the first place.
3. The final publication will still have areas of diasagreement, and now they will be spun by the Team as them having done their level best to engage, but the Spencer team turned out to be uncooperative, or unable to participate at the lofty intellectual levesl required by the subject matter.
Does anyone believe that a leapor so suddenly and so completely changes his spots? From attack dog make personal attacks to cooperative scientist trying to do what is right for sceince? Does anyone believe that Trenberth destroyed the credibility of a major figure like Wolfgang Wagner, bragged about it, and then bragged further that Dessler, his personal attack dog, would eviscorate SB11, and now will sit idley by doing nothing while Dessler makes nice with Spencer?
Really? From rapid attack dog acting on orders from Trenberth to a nice guy willing to put the knives down and work together? Give me a break. The enemy only signals for a truce when they are faced with utter defeat, and so a truce is a way to delay while tempers calm down, everyone shows how nice they really are, and behind the seens smuggling tunnels are buind built to bring in new arms and fresh soldiers so that the truce can be ended by a surprise attack on people who genuinely wanted peace and are stiing around with quilled feathers in their hands, waiting to sign all those nice, but meaningless , peace treaties.
History repeates itself. Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.
Yet it is being repeated right before ourt eyes. Backed intoa corner from which they cannot escape, they’ve contrived to wave a white flag so they don’t have to escape. We’ve set down our weapons and applaud them for seeking the path of peace.
Sorry, but I just, do, not, buy, it.

bair polaire
September 9, 2011 12:03 am

I guess we need a new word now for how to advance true science:
blogospeer review
blogoshpeere review
Or maybe WUWTing or wuwted like:
After the peer review process Dessler’s paper got wuwted and is now ready for print.
… more ideas?

bair polaire
September 9, 2011 12:05 am

should have been blogospheere review of course

HAS
September 9, 2011 12:45 am

KR @ September 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm
* Those three best matching models, which are known to model the ENSO well, are as close to the single observational data (HadCRUT3) as other temperature records such as GISTEMP. In fact, HadCRUT3 deviates the most from the models – another outlier.
Known by whom, particularly in the intra-decadial variability?

tallbloke
September 9, 2011 1:04 am

Steven Mosher says:
September 8, 2011 at 9:47 pm
Kudos to Dessler for working with people who he disagrees with.
Kudos to Spencer for working with people he disagrees with.
If you want to see more of it, encourage it. put the knives down and encourage it.

Spencer and Dessler communicating to sort things out in a businesslike, dispassionate, scientific way is making Trenberth look really, really bad right now.
What a shame. 🙂
I’m all for Dessler ‘coming over the wall’ and I’m happy to see Spencer holding out a steadying hand to him.
Velvet revolutions begin in this way.
The Team members are looking at each other right now and wondering who gets to be Ceaucescu.
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/entente-cordiale-spencer-and-dessler-are-working-together/

Richard S Courtney
September 9, 2011 1:27 am

James Sexton:
At September 8, 2011 at 11:05 am you ask ‘KR’;
“KR, it doesn’t matter how often you mention this, it doesn’t change the fact that no one has been able to refute his conclusions. KR, is it that you believe so much in the models that you’re angry reality has shown them to be insufficient? Or is it that Dr. Spencer’s is questioning the orthodoxy that’s got your knickers in a wad? Or is it something else?”
With respect, I think you are misunderstanding KR’s position.
KR fails to recognise that Spencer’s recent paper is a scientific publication and KR thinks it is climsci of similar kind to Dessler’s recent paper. The two are very different.
A scientific paper is subjected to peer review with the intention of correcting any blatant errors prior to publication. This is time-consuming, and Spencer’s paper took two years to reach publication.
A climsci paper is approved for publication by pals who accept it ‘on the nod’. This takes very little time and, for example, Dessler’s paper was approved in days.
And a scientific paper reports work that is novel and/or an assessment of similar work. Spencer’s recent paper does both: it makes a novel assessment of cloud behaviour as indicated by data obtained using orbital satellites, and it determines the implications of that assessment for consideration of existing climate models.
A climsci paper confirms findings of the Team and/or dismisses work of scientists. Dessler’s recent paper attempts to do both and fails in both attempts. Such failure does not matter because the merit of a climsci paper is that it can be referenced in IPCC Reports and not whether its contents are factual and/or correct.
The contents of a scientific paper often include illustrations – commonly in the form of graphs – intended to present the findings of the work in a clear manner. Sometimes the illustrations present all the data but they may only present specified selections of the data to demonstrate a finding. Spencer’s recent paper selects two extreme ranges as illustration of a paper and it can be assumed that peer review confirmed the illustration was correct: subsequently, when queried about it, Spencer provided a graph that used all the data which proves his illustration was correct.
A climscie paper often includes graphs with the purpose of telling a ‘story’. The most extreme example of this are the climsci papers which used “Mike’s Nature trick” as a ploy to pretend an analysis method worked when the data indicated that it did not.
KR thinks Spencer’s recent paper is climsci. Hence, he looks at illustrations in that paper with a view to discerning what those illustrations misrepresent.
But Spencer’s recent paper is a scientific report and, therefore, its illustrations present the reported work in a clear manner.
Richard

fido
September 9, 2011 1:29 am

Dessler states he will change sentences of his paper. However, he is not allowed to do that at this stage. Scientific statements cannot be changed without another roud by reviewers…

September 9, 2011 2:00 am

Tallbloke: I’m all for people coming over the wall
Yes, this really feels like a Berlin Wall Coming Down moment. I remember how I watched the signs in those days, and could see the likelihood of this approaching, even before Gorbachev and glasnost, as attitides while “in captivity” matured… yet when it actually happened, it was still a miracle.
James Sexton, keep a razor-sharp MIND by all means, use Occam’s Razor, keep the pressure on for upholding fair practice, and watch for double-dealing… but please be gracious to welcome as far as possible.

September 9, 2011 2:32 am

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

In telling this story someone said to be at the foundation of our civilisation seems to have made the very same mistake as Spencer.

Ryan
September 9, 2011 2:33 am

Dressler working with Spencer? It could be that Dressler is acting like a man of honour and working together on this, but I have a suspicion that Dressler realises that Spencer would soon reply to the Dressler paper with a new paper of his own that would trash much of what Dressler had to say in his rushed, unreviewed paper. If Dressler had read Spencer’s response to this later paper he would be forced to concede that Spencer had some good points, so Dressler really doesn’t have much choice but to respond in some sort of positive manner. I suspect that Dressler will eventually release a new paper but take a long time doing so, it will still be strongly supportive of AGW and he won’t retract his original paper. Team AGW will, in the interim, continue to attempt to trash Spencer’s reputation.
The only people that will realise that Spencer was right and Dressler was wrong would be the skeptics. We can now be sure that the Dressler paper was nothing more than desparate, hurried propaganda with Team AGW in full support. If we didn’t know exactly what we were up against before, we do now. The scientists in Team AGW are really comfortable with telling atrocious lies and trashing the reputations of others to further their own ends. I have nothing but utter contempt for them. Those following the AGW bandwagon will not be convinced to change their opinions however. They are disciples of a new religion that don’t want to know that their new gods are made of clay.

Ryan
September 9, 2011 3:11 am

@KR:
I must take issue with your claim that Spencer “cherry picked” the models he used in his paper. Spencer makes it quite clear that effectively he was interested in disputing those models that showed high senstivity of global temperature to CO2. So he picked the three highest. However, to show balance he felt compelled to include the three models with the weakest sensitivity. I don’t see that as “cherry picking”. He was focussed on showing that the climate is not very sensitive to CO2 and so he focussed on attacking those models that show high sensitivity. Seems like a reasonable approach to me.
The models he missed out that model ENSO better are actually not “better” at all. They still don’t model ENSO very well – the phasing is wrong and maybe the amplitude? Well we don’t know because the amplitude could be spot on or the amplitude could be way out – we just know there is a big discrepancy between the models and the satellite measurements. As a result of this huge discrepancy (which really only serves to demonstrate that even over the short period of satellite measurements we have the models that aren’t able to be tuned to reality) we can’t use the models as predictors of future climate in any reasonable way at all. You are assuming that because the ENSO models look more like the satellite data that they are “better”. Well they aren’t because we are not interewsted in ENSO at all in this case – we are looking at what is left after ENSO is taken into account, and in that case the models still differ substantially. Dessler has tried to “tune” the models to fit the data by introducing a 4month lag – but this is just an exercise in numerology. If it was that easy to account for the phasing difference in models and data, why didn’t the models include it in the first place? It doesn’t help much anyway because the ENSO models are virtually sinusoidal whereas the satellite data is more of a sawtooth.

tallbloke
September 9, 2011 3:30 am

fido says:
September 9, 2011 at 1:29 am (Edit)
Dessler states he will change sentences of his paper. However, he is not allowed to do that at this stage. Scientific statements cannot be changed without another roud by reviewers…

Fido,
my reflex on Roy’s blog was to agree with you, and you are technically correct. But I think there’s another way to look at this.
You just saw Dessler appoint Roy Spencer as a pre-publication reviewer, and the whole thing played out in front of your eyes in the sceptical part of the blogosphere! 🙂
This is an unconventional but exciting development in the way climate science is conducted. A real breath of fresh air. You might say that since it was Spencer Dessler was rebutting, then if Roy is happy for Dessler to publish the paper he helped revise, then all is well.
That’s not to say they don’t still have disagreements over which is the best data, and what are the correct parameters and equations, but it does get some of the trivia out of the way and allow for faster progress.
If Roy doesn’t insist on the paper going back to the reviewers, that fact will not be lost on GRL’s editors, and they would have to expedite publication of any paper Roy now submits to them in respect of Dessler 2011, or look really, really bad, along with travesty Trenberth.
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/entente-cordiale-spencer-and-dessler-are-working-together/

tallbloke
September 9, 2011 3:35 am

davidmhoffer says:
September 8, 2011 at 11:52 pm
Frankly folks, this is surreal.

The important thing is that Roy has stayed true to his own good nature.
The quality shines through and the Trenberth slurs slide as muddy water off a duck’s back.
By accepting Roy’s equanimity, and effectively inviting him to be a pre-publication reviewer, Andy Dessler is changed for the better by the experience. Richard Black might call it the ‘committed Christian effect’. 😉
He also becomes an unwitting party to a tableaux which makes Trenberth look very bad indeed.

Jim Turner
September 9, 2011 5:08 am

I haven’t read all the comments so this point may have already been made.
It seems that Dessler has conceeded that his quickly written, peer reviewed and accepted paper is flawed in both content and clarity and as such requires significant revision. This seems like a fairly damning criticism of both the journal and the reviewers, I am sure that they are not happy about it.

Fred Bloggs
September 9, 2011 5:21 am

When does the editor in chief of GRL resign ?

DaveS
September 9, 2011 5:25 am

Jim Turner says:
September 9, 2011 at 5:08 am
Editors have resigned over less… 🙂

eyesonu
September 9, 2011 5:50 am

The term “trust but verify” comes to mind here. Dessler should be quite humbled now and well understand that watchful eyes will be watching him closely. He will likely be under great pressure from the AGW Team and will have to choose between his conscience and more of the same. I feel certain that Dr. Spencer is making the call as he best feels comfortable with, and would guess that he may also be applying the “trust but verify” principle here.
I fully understand the concerns some have as to trusting anyone associated with the AGW Team and I am fully with you. However, Dr. Spencer lead this battle and gained a decisive victory. That said, I stand with Dr. Spencer’s decisions. I will also keep a skeptical eye on Dessler. His credibility took quite a hit on this one.

eyesonu
September 9, 2011 6:00 am

Fred Bloggs says:
September 9, 2011 at 5:21 am
When does the editor in chief of GRL resign ?
—————————–
Good question! 🙂

Wade Poziombka
September 9, 2011 6:05 am

I am sure the Dr. Spencer and others here are operating under the goal of finding truth. However, one cannot help but wonder if we are damaging Dr. Spencer’s work (at least how it is perceived) by offering free, on-line peer review service of Dessler’s work before it is published. It appears to me that pre-publish critiques offer Dessler the opportunity to “fix” his problems (or at least to provide more skillful “explanations” and justifications) in the paper that he was in such a rush to publish .
Perhaps Dr. Spencer’s work would be better served in the long run if we let the original get published as it was “peer reviewed” then address it point by point in another paper.

Fred Bloggs
September 9, 2011 6:10 am

A parable for our times
– Spencer and Brasswell published a paper (S&B 2011) showing that clouds play a larger role in global warming than previously thought
– Dessler did not agree with all of S&B 2011 and left to his own devices he would have probably bided his time and written a measured response when he was ready after having thought it all through
– When S&B 2011 got big media hype, he became more annoyed and jealous
– At that time Kevin and almost surely many others, not having actually read S&B 2011 properly, contacted Dessler telling him they needed a serious rebuttal ASAP.
– Kevin Trenberth let the editor of Remote sensing know that he was far from happy that this paper had been published. Wagner got scared for his career.
– Dessler then got to work on a fast response. He cut corners, sexed-up the language and did not take time to read and understand S&B fully
– He then submitted it to GRL where it was fast-tracked by a favourable choice of reviewers hand-picked by the editor of GRL (S&B who would naturally be allowed to be one of the reviewers were omitted purposely)
– Trenberth continued to persecute Wagner for his “sloppiness” in allowing S&B 2011 to be published. After all, the “team” did want to “redefine what peer review means”
– Wagner, in a move to get back onside, announced his resignation with a massive PR campaign intended to discredit S&B 2011 despite the fact that no-one had done anything wrong.
– GRL published Dessler’s paper with a fanfare riding on the back of Wagner’s resignation. This was meant to be a PR coup for the alarmists.
– Dessler’s paper which was not reviewed carefully if at all is unravelling now that it is being subjected to the scrutiny it never received and S&B 2011 is looking more credible than ever.
This is the state of modern climate science.

Messenger
September 9, 2011 6:26 am

How refreshing to find Roy Spencer refusing to take the opportunity to gloat over Dessler’s errors. What a contrast to the previous comments emanating from the “other side”.

John Whitman
September 9, 2011 6:28 am

Roy Spencer and Andy Dessler,
I applaud your recent public example of professional discussion and gentlemanly discourse regarding your critical scientific work.
You enhance the idea of an open and transparent scientific process.
Please keep us included in your future discourse. Thanks in advance.
John

G Adlam
September 9, 2011 6:38 am

What does Wolfgang think of Spencer’s paper now given that the author of the refutal paper is amending his paper in light of Spencer’s comments?

Dave Springer
September 9, 2011 6:39 am

I told y’all a couple of days ago that Steve McIntyre confirmed Spencer did everything right and Dessler was the one whose analysis left the reservation. McIntyre also renewed his call that real statisticians be involved in these analyses.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lies,_damned_lies,_and_statistics

“Lies, damned lies, and statistics” is a phrase describing the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments, and the tendency of people to disparage statistics that do not support their positions. It is also sometimes colloquially used to doubt statistics used to prove an opponent’s point.
The term was popularised in the United States by Mark Twain (among others), who attributed it to the 19th-century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881): “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

‘Tis a sad day for science and it’s going to get even sadder before it’s over as more and more of the general public find out they’ve been played like a fiddle by climate boffins and others with vested finanical and political interests in catastrophic anthropogenic warming charade. The sad part is that this hoodwinking spills over onto the reputations of other scientists not involved in climate science even though they deserve it for naively trusting in their peers who are involved in the climate science. This has been the core problem all along. Climate scientists are a tiny subset of all scientists but the way the science community works, the way it must work, is scientists expert in one discipline trust those who are experts in other disciplines. In this case the climate boffins were not deserving of that trust yet those outside the core group just blindly went along with it signing petititions and such supporting the AGW narrative and thereby manufacturing a consensus without exercising any due diligence that what they were agreeing with was good science – they signed off on it with blind faith in their peers. The few that actually took the time to look into it close enough to see that the emperor was wearing no clothes mostly just went silent because the political situation was such that anyone rocking the CAGW boat could kiss his career goodbye in exactly the same way that a cop who snitches on another cop is ostracized – its traitorous.

Dave Springer
September 9, 2011 6:51 am

Wade Poziombka says:
September 9, 2011 at 6:05 am
“I am sure the Dr. Spencer and others here are operating under the goal of finding truth. However, one cannot help but wonder if we are damaging Dr. Spencer’s work (at least how it is perceived) by offering free, on-line peer review service of Dessler’s work before it is published.”
We were told Dessler’s paper was in press and given a firm publication date.
In fact Dessler, GRL, and the rest of the usual suspects in the climate science pal-review community jumped the shark (again) and now they’re paying for it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_the_shark

Jumping the shark is an idiom, first employed to describe a moment in the evolution of a television show when it begins a decline in quality that is beyond recovery.
In its initial usage, it referred to the point in a television program’s history where it has “outlived its freshness” [1] where viewers feel “the writers have run out of ideas” and that “the series has [lost] what made it attractive.”[2] These changes were often the result of efforts to revive interest in a show whose audience had begun to decline.[3]
The usage of “jump the shark” has subsequently broadened beyond television, indicating the moment in its evolution when a brand, design, or creative effort moves beyond the essential qualities that initially defined its success, beyond relevance or recovery.

First rule of holes: When you find you’ve dug yourself into one the first thing to do is stop digging.
Climate boffins have not only not stopped digging they’re digging even faster with rather predictable results. Rather than just fade away into insignificance they’ve chosen to go down in flames. So be it. Either way it’s a lost cause.

Dave Springer
September 9, 2011 6:58 am

Messenger says:
September 9, 2011 at 6:26 am

How refreshing to find Roy Spencer refusing to take the opportunity to gloat over Dessler’s errors. What a contrast to the previous comments emanating from the “other side”.

Admirable of Spencer to be sure. Personally I’m not the committed Christian willing to turn the other cheek. Dessler is a puppy who piddled on the floor and should get his nose rubbed in it to teach him a lesson and set an example to his peers. Fight fire with fire I say. Wagner was coerced into resigning to set an example for other editors of what happens when they publish a paper from a CAGW skeptic. Now it’s our turn to make an example out of Dessler and GRL. Tough break for him and GRL but both were willing patsies and I have no sympathy for them.

September 9, 2011 6:59 am

If the editors of GRL want to avoid possible law suits and loss of credibility, they will publish a joint paper as an ongoing debate with their readers given the opportunity to pose questions and make comments. It need not go through selective peer review and an editor could serve as moderator. They should be able to sell more articles. Three or four more timely issues could be published before the 2012 elections. I think that even Nature and Science would jump at that opportunity.

Ed
September 9, 2011 7:00 am

The reasoned discourse we are seeing between Spencer and Dessler shows how science should work, and so frequently does not in this field. That doesn’t mean people will end up completely agreeing; there are always different ways to analyze data and develop explanations, but at least each side will understand the point of view of the other. Very commendable on both sides.

KR
September 9, 2011 7:11 am

Ryan
“I must take issue with your claim that Spencer “cherry picked” the models he used in his paper. Spencer makes it quite clear that effectively he was interested in disputing those models that showed high senstivity of global temperature to CO2. So he picked the three highest. However, to show balance he felt compelled to include the three models with the weakest sensitivity. I don’t see that as “cherry picking”. He was focussed on showing that the climate is not very sensitive to CO2 and so he focussed on attacking those models that show high sensitivity. Seems like a reasonable approach to me.”
However, the models that best fit the data have climate sensitivity in the middle of the range. If nothing else, this appears to show that climate sensitivity (which after all is a separate question from matching short term variations) is the wrong criteria for this comparison.
“The models he missed out that model ENSO better are actually not “better” at all. They still don’t model ENSO very well…”
Apparently they do – the reference is to Lin 2007, Interdecadal variability of ENSO in 21 IPCC AR4 coupled GCMs, GRL. Note that the plot in both SB11 and Dessler 2011 is a lead-lag plot, not a time series, and you wouldn’t expect to see the time series sinusoid there.
“Well they aren’t because we are not interewsted in ENSO at all in this case – we are looking at what is left after ENSO is taken into account, and in that case the models still differ substantially.”
Neither Spencer nor Dessler attempted to remove the ENSO from the computations.
“Dessler has tried to “tune” the models to fit the data by introducing a 4month lag – but this is just an exercise in numerology.”
You have perhaps noted that Spencer’s paper is all about lead/lag relationships to cloud forcing???
The issue here is that model climate sensitivity does not correlate with 10 year ENSO lead/lag matching, despite Spencer’s assertions to the contrary.

Richard S Courtney
Ah, yes, the “it was accepted too fast” argument. Dessler’s paper timeline (four weeks?) is actually close to average for GRL, I believe the range goes between about three days and six months with a mean around five weeks. Geophysical Research Letters is a journal specifically intended for short, clear articles (not literature reviews, for example), and Dessler’s five page paper fits those criteria. Short articles are much faster to review, oddly enough.
But it’s absolutely a science paper, reviewed by people in the field of climate studies, whereas the Remote Sensing staff don’t have a lot of expertise there, and may not have chosen very qualified (or unbiased) reviewers for Spencer. In fact, given the publicity Spencer’s paper received, it may have been easier to review Dessler’s, as many potential reviewers would be familiar with the work.
“…Spencer’s recent paper is a scientific report and, therefore, its illustrations present the reported work in a clear manner.”
In a clear manner? Yes. In a complete manner, including data run by Spencer that did not support his hypothesis?
No.

Shona
September 9, 2011 7:12 am

Richard S Courtney @
September 9, 2011 at 1:27 am
I think “Climsci” should be “Clym-sy” you know like ” Sci-Fi” became “Sy-Fy” when it stopped doing Sci-Fi and became a wrestling channel?
For the topic, I would like to thank Spence and Dess (that’s an 80s cop show 🙂 ) for the
fascinating gentlemanly discussion. It’s great to see science happening in real time! Way to go guys!

Dave Springer
September 9, 2011 7:20 am

davidmhoffer says:
September 8, 2011 at 11:52 pm
I’m in complete agreement with your comment.

Chris D.
September 9, 2011 7:41 am

I do hope that Dr Spencer will insist that Dessler take down his video while the paper is being revised.

Shona
September 9, 2011 7:44 am

KR, passim
You think that your pet models would better make your point for you, Spencer disagrees, and he has chosen the models which he thinks are the most significant. Why don’t you do the calculations yourself and post the results, instead of spamming the thread?

John Whitman
September 9, 2011 7:48 am

Dave Springer says:
September 9, 2011 at 7:20 am

davidmhoffer says:
September 8, 2011 at 11:52 pm

I’m in complete agreement with your comment.
————–
Dave & David,
: ) My lame humorous attempt => A conspiracy of Davids? : )
John

Tilo Reber
September 9, 2011 7:49 am

Too much us versus them on this thing. The objective is not to win and gloat, the objective is to get the science right. Spencer and Dessler talking can only help serve that end. This is not about compromising to an intermediate position. This is about getting the science a little closer to the truth. Yes, the bashing by Trenberth and Dessler earlier was a travesty. But letting that get in the way of advancing the science is too much about ego and not enough about common sense. Again, I can only see Dessler and Spencer talking as being a good thing.

Tilo Reber
September 9, 2011 7:55 am

Chris: “I do hope that Dr Spencer will insist that Dessler take down his video while the paper is being revised.”
I was glad that the video was there. The comments for it are moderated, but I took a bunch of quotes from Spencer and submitted them to the comments section of his video. I don’t know if Dessler reads WUWT, but I figured that he couldn’t ignore the comments on his video, even if he moderated them out.

Richard S Courtney
September 9, 2011 7:55 am

KR:
Your reply at September 9, 2011 at 7:11 am to my post at September 9, 2011 at 1:27 am proves that you did not read my post or – if you did – then you failed to understand it.
Your self-imposed refusal to understand the issues is a pity because it can only prevent you from understanding the importance of the hoped-for cooperation of Spencer and Dressler.
Please note that the hoped-for cooperation is intended to correct the errors in the Dessler paper: there are no discerned errors in the Spencer paper. This is important because this is the first time a member of the Team has openly admitted errors despite many such arrors by the Team being blatant.
Many people (including me) have great hopes that the cooperation could be the start of an important change. It could be the first phase of the demise of climsci and a return to real science in climatology. Some (including me) have worked for that for decades.
Richard

Crispin in Waterloo
September 9, 2011 8:14 am

It seems to me there is an expectation from the Team that problems will only be imagined and calculated in a certain manner, which critics point out can result in predetermined types of answers.
Here is a reminder from Alexander Callandra in times past that there is more than one way to skin a cat.
I have made [insertions] a couple of times.
Crispin
++++++
Angels on a Pin
A Modern Parable
by Alexander Callandra
Saturday Review, Dec 21, 1968.
Some time ago I received a call from a colleague who asked if I would be the referee on [peer review] the grading of an examination question. He was about to give a student a zero for his answer to a physics question, while the student claimed he should receive a perfect score and would if the system were not set up against the student: The instructor and the student agreed to submit this to an impartial arbiter, and I was selected.
I went to my colleague’s office and read the examination question: “Show how it is possible to determine the height of a tall building with the aid of a barometer.”
The student had answered: “Take a barometer to the top of the building, attach a long rope to it, lower the barometer to the street and then bring it up, measuring the length of the rope. The length of the rope is the height of the building.”
I pointed out that the student really had a strong case for full credit since he had answered the question completely and correctly. On the other hand, if full credit was given, it could well contribute to a high grade for the student in his physics course. A high grade is supposed to certify competence in physics, but the answer did not confirm this. I suggested that the student have another try at answering the question I was not surprised that my colleague agreed, but I was surprised that the student did.
I gave the student six minutes to answer the question with the warning that the answer should show some knowledge of physics. At the end of five minutes, he had not written anything. I asked if he wished to give up, but he said no. He had many answers to this problem; he was just thinking of the best one. I excused myself for interrupting him and asked him to please go on. In the next minute he dashed off his answer which read:
“Take the barometer to the top of the building and lean over the edge of the roof. Drop that barometer, timing its fall with a stopwatch. Then using the formula S = ½at², calculate the height of the building.
At this point I asked my colleague if he would give up. He conceded, and I gave the student almost full credit.
In leaving my colleague’s office, I recalled that the student had said he had many other answers to the problem, so I asked him what they were. “Oh yes,” said the student. “There are a great many ways of getting the height of a tall building with a barometer. For example, you could take the barometer out on a sunny day and measure the height of the barometer and the length of its shadow, and the length of the shadow of the building and by the use of a simple proportion, determine the height of the building.”
“Fine,” I asked. “And the others?”
“Yes,” said the student. “There is a very basic measurement method that you will like. In this method you take the barometer and begin to walk up the stairs. As you climb the stairs, you mark off the length of the barometer along the wall. You then count the number of marks, and this will give you the height of the building in barometer units. A very direct method.”
“Of course, if you want a more sophisticated method, you can tie the barometer to the end of a string, swing it as a pendulum, and determine the value of ‘g’ at the street level and at the top of the building. From the difference of the two values of `g’ the height of the building can be calculated.”
Finally, he concluded, there are many other ways of solving the problem. “Probably the best,” he said, “is to take the barometer to the basement and knock on the superintendent’s door. When the superintendent answers, you speak to him as follows: “Mr. Superintendent, here I have a fine barometer. If you tell me the height of this building, I will give you this barometer.”
At this point I asked the student if he really did know the conventional answer to this question. He admitted that he did, said that he was fed up with high school and college instructors trying to teach him how to think, using the “scientific method,” and to explore the deep inner logic of the subject in a pedantic way, as is often done in the new [post-normal] mathematics, rather than teaching him the structure of the subject. With this in mind, he decided to revive scholasticism as an academic lark to challenge the Sputnik-panicked [CAGW-panicked] classrooms of America.

S Basinger
September 9, 2011 9:05 am

I am absolutely delighted to hear that Spencer and Dessler are working together like professionals. After all the political wrangling, editor quitting and badmouthing left an absolutely horrible atmosphere around these two individuals – to see them actually co-operating is a staggeringly positive step in the right direction.
What a great day. I just hope that this trend continues.

Ged
September 9, 2011 9:20 am

@KR,
Nice job ignoring me and the whole issue of significance. Which is, after all, at the heart of this issue scientifically!
Also, I am so bemused reading your posts. You talk about waiting for Spencer’s reply, and do so in a thread that is about Spencer’s reply. Have you not read the above article this comment tread is attached to? Your comments make me believe you have not. Spencer shows all 14 models right up there, and you can see none are “significantly” similar to observations, even without having to do the calculations (but you could, yourself, do them if you would actually participate in science instead or parroting things that have already been addressed in the actual body of the article).
You should also notice that Spencer’s calculations, the equation listed right here in this article, are using directly measured numbers. Have you even read and understood the equation and each of its parts? There are three OBSERVATIONAL measurements in the equation, from which everything is based.
Please read the article, and get back to me with actually valid scientific points. Use statistics and tests of significance to back up your claims. Otherwise you’re just cluttering this thread with your repeated fluff.

September 9, 2011 9:35 am

Lucy Skywalker says:
September 9, 2011 at 2:00 am
Tallbloke: I’m all for people coming over the wall
Yes, this really feels like a Berlin Wall Coming Down moment. I remember how I watched the signs in those days, and could see the likelihood of this approaching, even before Gorbachev and glasnost, as attitides while “in captivity” matured… yet when it actually happened, it was still a miracle.
James Sexton, keep a razor-sharp MIND by all means, use Occam’s Razor, keep the pressure on for upholding fair practice, and watch for double-dealing… but please be gracious to welcome as far as possible.
====================================================
Lucy, you know I love your writings and deem your opinions as very weighty. Indeed, I hold you in high regard. However, graciousness is a luxury only afforded to victors. And we’re not there, yet. We’ve advanced, but we must stay relentless.
Our raison d’être isn’t to be accepted by climatology, it is to have the world reject these people. Lucy, on your page, you listed some, but not nearly all, of the commonly known transgressions of these people. Their transgressions weren’t just toward science, but towards all of humanity. And they’ve done so repeatedly, throughout the years, and without remorse. Dr. Dessler has been there for all of it. Indeed, their impunity and transgressions are the reason for our presence. Their defeat is sine qua non for our victory. (If you would excuse the butchered use.)
Lucy, you, me, and many on this page, have been around long enough to know this hand, extended in an offer of cooperation, is left-handed. We shouldn’t sully our hands in acceptance of theirs. This event was unprecedented (heh) and truly monumental. We shouldn’t let it simply become a footnote.

Ron Cram
September 9, 2011 9:36 am

davidmhoffer,
I mostly agree with your comments of 11:52 pm Sept 8… except on one point. I do not consider Dessler an attack dog. Dessler was mostly courteous in his communications with Spencer, at least back in 2010, even though they disagreed. (Dessler was discourteous in the video, but I think this was out of character for him.) In addition, Dessler provided his data to Steve McIntyre and he joined McIntyre in calling for the IPCC to put the review comments online rather than their first plan to store them in Harvard Library. Dessler has behaved better and upheld the standards of science better than most on The Team.

September 9, 2011 9:39 am

Richard S Courtney says:
September 9, 2011 at 1:27 am
James Sexton:
……..
KR thinks Spencer’s recent paper is climsci. Hence, he looks at illustrations in that paper with a view to discerning what those illustrations misrepresent.
But Spencer’s recent paper is a scientific report and, therefore, its illustrations present the reported work in a clear manner.
=====================================================
Sigh, I keep forgetting to try and think like a warmista. Thanks for the reminder.
James

Werner Brozek
September 9, 2011 9:44 am

The question was asked above:
“When does the editor in chief of GRL resign?”
Am I missing something since in the update it says:
“Also, apparently his paper has not been officially published.”
It seems likely that the editor in chief saw many of the rebuttals in the blogs before it was even published and decided not to publish it after all until revisions had been made. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that the editor is between a rock and a hard place. If he DOES publish problematic work, he may get fired for that. But if he does NOT publish the Dessler paper, could Trenberth extract an apology and have the editor fired for not publishing the flawed paper?

eyesonu
September 9, 2011 9:48 am

Crispin in Waterloo says:
September 9, 2011 at 8:14 am
____________
I loved it! I can relate to that.

eyesonu
September 9, 2011 10:25 am

S Basinger says:
September 9, 2011 at 9:05 am
________________
When did you arrive here? Media matters?, Huffpo? Damage control? You sound like spam.

Theo Goodwin