Stalking the Rogue Hotspot

[I’m making this excellent essay a top sticky post for a day or two, I urge sharing it far and wide. New stories will appear below this one.  – Anthony]

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Dr. Kevin Trenberth is a mainstream climate scientist, best known for inadvertently telling the world the truth about the parlous state of climate science itself. In the Climategate emails published in 2009, it was revealed that in private he had said:

The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.

This from a spokesman for the folks who have been telling us for years that the science is settled …  

However, the problem seems to be solved. Kevin Trenberth, Distinguished Senior Scientist, (as he is described on his web page) has emailed Joe Romm, Distinguished Senior Climate Alarmist, about the status of Dr. Trenberth’s tireless quest to find the missing heat, stating (emphasis in Romm’s post):

dr. kevin trenberthWe can confidently say that the risk of drought and heat waves has gone up and the odds of a hot spot somewhere on the planet have increased but the hotspot moves around and the location is not very predictable. This year perhaps it is East Asia: China, or earlier Siberia? It has been much wetter and cooler in the US (except for SW), whereas last year the hot spot was the US. Earlier this year it was Australia (Tasmania etc) in January (southern summer). We can name spots for all summers going back quite a few years: Australia in 2009, the Russian heat wave in 2010, Texas in 2011, etc.”

I’ll return to the serious question of Dr. Trenberth’s missing heat in a moment. But first, let’s consider Dr. Trenberth’ statement, starting with the section highlighted in bold in Joe’s post, viz:

“We can confidently say that the risk of drought and heat waves has gone up and the odds of a hot spot somewhere on the planet have increased but the hotspot moves around and the location is not very predictable.”

That single sentence contains all the required elements of a good novel—unpredictability, increasing risks, a dangerous moving “hotspot”, confident experts, a planet in peril … all the stuff that goes into an exciting story, it’s perfect for a direct-to-DVD movie.

The only problem with Dr. Trenberth’s statement is that like all novels, it’s fiction. To start with, Dr. Trenberth is very careful not to claim that droughts and heat waves and “hotspots” have actually increased. Did you notice that? You need to watch statements about climate very closely. He didn’t say that the number of droughts or heat waves have gone up. That’s a falsifiable statement, and one which is decidedly not true, so he prudently avoided that pitfall. The IPCC itself has said that we have no evidence of any increases in drought, in heat waves, or in any other climate extremes, despite a couple of centuries involving a couple of degrees of warming. But then, Dr. Trenberth didn’t say droughts or heat waves have gone up, did he?

He said the risk of droughts and heat waves has gone up. He said theodds of a hot spot somewhere on the planet” have gone up. Presumably, this deep knowledge of the probability of future climate catastrophes has been vouchsafed to Dr. Trenberth by means of the climate models … the same climate models that are part of the “travesty” because they can’t account for the missing heat. He’s citing risks and odds based on climate models that were unable to forecast the current hiatus in warming which has gone on for fifteen years or so now, despite continuing increases in CO2 and methane and black carbon and the like …

The part that I particularly enjoyed is the foreboding, menacing quality of his claim that there is now some roving “hotspot”, whose location “moves around” and “is not very predictable”. Dang, what if the dreaded “hotspot” comes to my town? Does he mean we might be faced with the much-feared phenomenon known locally as “a really hot summer”. We know those summers, when  bad things happen, like the time when Jimmy Fugate punched out the eleventh guy, by Jimmy’s actual count, who had said “Hot enough for ya?” to him on that fateful August day … but although I digress, we know the danger is real, because as Dr. Trenberth warns us, the hot spot is on the move, viz:

It has been much wetter and cooler in the US (except for SW), whereas last year the hot spot was the US. Earlier this year it was Australia (Tasmania etc) in January (southern summer). We can name [hot]spots for all summers going back quite a few years …

I gotta admit, this is stunning news. Dr. Trenberth is giving us inside climate information, full of extra scientificity, that every summer some places are extra-hot, while you’d be amazed to find out, other locations have extra-cool summers. We’re in one of the latter where I live. Around here, this has been one of the coolest summers in recent years.

So following in Dr. Trenberth’s trail-blazing footsteps, here’s my new climate theory. It revolves around the dreaded “coldspot”. You may be shocked when I tell you that every summer there’s a “coldspot” somewhere in the world, a place where the summer is much colder than usual. Last year the coldspot was Russia. This year it has moved to Northern California where I live. Here’s what makes coldspots so dangerous, as highlighted by Dr. Trenberth. The coldspot “moves around and the location is not very predictable” … so you should be very afraid, because science.

I mean … are we supposed to take this talk of “moving hotspots” seriously? Is this how desperate the alarmists are  getting?

Joe Romm’s quote of Dr. Trenberth closes with this suitably ominous line, which I assume is preparing us for the sequel …

Similarly with risk of high rains and floods: They are occurring but the location moves.

Ahhh, Dr. Trenberth is referring to the dreaded “wetspot”, and he doesn’t mean the one the baby leaves on your shoulder. Did you know that every year during the rainy season there’s a “wetspot” somewhere in the world, a place where it rains more than usual? And did you know the wetspot moves around the world and the location is not very predictable? There’s no end to the insights available in Dr. Trenberth’s concepts …

I have to say, I find Dr. Trenberth’s claims both very depressing and very encouraging. They’re depressing because they are a million miles from science. It’s just a frightening tale for children around the campfire, about how the risks of bad things are rising, and it’s worse than we thought.

But it’s encouraging, because when the intellectual leaders of the climate alarmism movement sink to peddling those kinds of scare stories, it’s a clear indication that they’re way short of actual scientific arguments to back up their inchoate fears of Thermageddon.

In any case, let me move on to the more serious topic I mentioned above, regarding Dr. Trenberth’s infamous “missing heat”. Let me suggest where some of it is going. It’s going back out to space.

One of the main thermal controls on the planet’s heat balance is the relationship between surface temperature on one hand, and the time of day of cumulus and cumulonimbus formation in the tropics. On days when the surface is warmer, clouds form earlier in the day. The opposite is true when the surface is cooler, clouds form later. This control operates on an hourly basis. I’ve shown how this affects the daily evolution of tropical temperature here and here using the TAO moored buoy data. Here’s a bit of what I demonstrated in those posts. Figure 2, from the second citation, shows how cold mornings and warm mornings affect the evolution of the temperature of the ensuing day.

tao triton all buoys warm cold

Figure 2. Average of all TAO buoy records (heavy black line), as well as averages of the same data divided into days when dawn is warmer than average (heavy red line), and days when dawn is cooler than average (heavy blue line) for each buoy. Light straight lines show the difference between the previous and the following 1:00 AM temperatures.

The control of the surface temperature is exerted in two main ways: 1) in the morning, cumulus cloud formation reduces incoming solar radiation by reflecting it back to space, and 2) in the afternoon, thunderstorms both increase cloud coverage and remove energy from the surface and transport it to the upper troposphere. We can see both of these going on in the average temperatures above.

The black line in Figure 2 shows the average day’s cycle. The onset of cumulus is complete by about 10:00. The afternoon is warmer than the morning. As you would expect with an average, the 1 AM temperatures are equal (thin black line).

The days when the dawn is warmer than average for each buoy (red line) show a different pattern. There is less cooling from 1AM to dawn. Cumulus development is stronger when it occurs, driving the temperature down further than on average. In addition, afternoon thunderstorms not only keep the afternoon temperatures down, they also drive evening and night cooling. As a result, when the day is warmer at dawn, the following morning is cooler.

In general, the reverse occurs on the cooler days (blue line). Cooling from 1 AM until dawn is strong. Warming is equally strong. Morning cumulus formation is weak, as is the afternoon thunderstorm foundation. As a result, when the dawn is cooler, temperatures continue to climb during the day, and the following 1AM is warmer than the preceding 1 AM.

Regarding the reduction in incoming solar energy, in a succeeding post called “Cloud Radiation Forcing in the TAO Dataset“, I provided measurements of the difference between the shortwave and longwave radiation effects of tropical clouds, based on the same TAO buoy data. The measurements showed that around noon, when cumulus usually form, the net effect of cloud cover (longwave minus shortwave) was a reduction of half a kilowatt per square metre in net downwelling radiative energy.

In addition to that reduction in downwelling radiation, there is another longer-term effect. This is that we lose not only the direct energy of the solar radiation, but also the subsequent “greenhouse radiation” resulting from the solar radiation. In the TAO buoy dataset, the 24/7 average downwelling solar radiation reaching the surface is about 250 W/m2. Via the poorly-named “greenhouse effect” this results in a 24/7 average downwelling longwave radiation of about 420 w/m2. So for every ten W/m2 of solar we lose through reflection to space, we also lose an additional seventeen W/m2 of the resulting longwave radiation.

This means that if the tropical clouds form one hour earlier or later on average, that reduces or increases net downwelling radiation by about 50 W/m2 on a 24/7 basis. This 100 W/m2 swing in incoming energy, based solely on a ± one-hour variation in tropical cloud onset time, exercises a very strong daily control on the total amount of energy entering the planetary system. This is because most of the sun’s energy enters the climate system in the tropics. As one example, if the tropical clouds form on average at five minutes before eleven AM instead of right at eleven AM, that is a swing of 4 W/m2 on a 24/7 basis, enough to offset the tropical effects of a doubling of CO2 …

Not only that, but the control system is virtually invisible, in that there are few long-term minute-by-minute records of daily cloud onset times. Who would notice a change of half an hour in the average time of cumulus formation? It is only the advent of modern nearly constant recording of variables like downwelling long and shortwave radiation that has let me demonstrate the effect of the cloud onset on tropical temperatures using the TAO buoy dataset.

While writing this here on a cold and foggy night, I realized that I had the data to add greatly to my understanding of this question. Remember that I have made a curious claim. This is that in the tropics, as the day gets warmer, the albedo increases. This means that we should find the same thing on a monthly basis—warmer months should result in a greater albedo, there should be a positive correlation between temperature and albedo. This is in contrast to our usual concept of albedo. We usually think of causation going the other way, of increasing albedo causing a decrease in temperature. This is the basis of the feedback from reduced snow and ice. The warmer it gets, the less the snow and ice albedo. This is a negative correlation between albedo and temperature, albedo going down with increasing temperature. So my theory was that unlike at the poles, in the tropics the albedo should be positively correlated with the temperature. However, I’d never thought of a way to actually demonstrate the strength of that relationship at a global level.

So I took a break from writing to look at the correlation of surface temperature and albedo in the CERES satellite dataset. Here’s that result, hot off of the presses this very evening, science at its most raw:

correlation between albedo and temperatureFigure 3. Correlation between albedo and temperature, as shown by the CERES dataset. Underlying data sources and discussion are here.

Gotta confess, I do love results like that. That is a complete confirmation of my claim that in the tropics, as the temperature increases, the albedo increases. Lots of interesting detail there as well … fascinating.

My conclusion is that Dr. Trenberth’s infamous “missing heat” is missing because it never entered the system. It was reflected away by a slight increase in the average albedo, likely caused by a slight change in the cloud onset time or thickness.

My regards to everyone,

w.

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DirkH
August 21, 2013 3:33 am

BTW it’s Puff The Magic Hotspot (h/t Kim2000).

steveta_uk
August 21, 2013 3:41 am

… so you should be very afraid, because science.

Indeed. At first I thought there was a word or two missing, but then I realised that is because science.

August 21, 2013 3:43 am

Perhaps Mr Trenberth should study historical weather records of the Dalton Minimum. He will see a lot of similarities with today. in his terms then there were hot spots, cold spots, dry spots, and wet spots. The problem then was that their locations weren’t very predictable – just as today. But how different is the predictability now compared to 10 and 20 years ago?

SteveV
August 21, 2013 3:50 am

The moving hotspot. I believe there is a term for this. It’s called the Texas sharpshooter fallacy.

steveta_uk
August 21, 2013 3:52 am

It was reflected away by a slight increase in the average albedo, likely caused by a slight change in the cloud onset time or thickness.

Ahhh – you lose, ‘cos the IPCC claims range from very likely to extremely likely but your claim is only likely.

Greg
August 21, 2013 3:53 am

I wonder what is driving this devilish hot spot around the planet. Giant bubbles of CO2, no doubt.

Greg
August 21, 2013 3:56 am

Opps, I forgot to mention giant bubbles of CO2, plus water feedback amplificaiton. It would be silly to suggest CO2 could do that on its own , wouldn’t it.

Chris Schoneveld
August 21, 2013 4:02 am

Willis, could you explain this: ” the net effect of cloud cover (longwave minus shortwave)”?

Admin
August 21, 2013 4:02 am

Its actually an inspired fib – it evokes image like that ghastly moving anti-cyclone in “The Day After Tommorow”, your town could be next. I think Trenberth is slime, but you’ve got to admire his creativity on this one.

Dudley Horscroft
August 21, 2013 4:04 am

If temperature falls fast in the second half of the night, it is probably because the air is dry and clouds do not form, hence the heat is being radiated away. If clouds do form, it is because the air temperature at which they are forming has reached dew point, and there is enough dust, etc, to enable water vapour to condense. So your blue line is equivalent to dry air, and the red line to humid air. A dry day means then that tomorrow will be warmer, and a wet day means it will be cooler. Until the usual sequence of depressions and anticyclones sweeps the humid air or the dry air away.
You might as well rely on your bits of seaweed. As it tends to be hygroscopic, when it is soggy, tomorrow will be cooler. And if it is crispy, tomorrow will be warm.
QED, something or other!

Tom in Florida
August 21, 2013 4:05 am

So do we have a moving cloud/albedo spot and where is it now?

Chris Schoneveld
August 21, 2013 4:08 am

Why is the correlation negative over the tropical rainforests of Africa and South America?

August 21, 2013 4:10 am

I didn’t see a good explanation of the hot spot. Does that mean temperatures above average? Or, like the case of Richmond weather it has been cooler than normal for several days and warmed up to about normal yesterday. So, was that retreating cool spot and then hot spot or just hot spot? And now Willis wants hot spots, cool spots, wet spots, dry spots, cold spots. It’s all so confusing.
I’m glad the science is settled and so solid it cannot be questioned. It’s all so confusing to the laity and common folk.

richardscourtney
August 21, 2013 4:11 am

Willis:
Thankyou for your comment which is wiity and accurate.
I agree with your opinion that

My conclusion is that Dr. Trenberth’s infamous “missing heat” is missing because it never entered the system. It was reflected away by a slight increase in the average albedo, likely caused by a slight change in the cloud onset time or thickness.

However, I write to point out another problem with the quoted Statement from Trenberth.
He talks about a ‘hot spot’ as being a region of high temperature which moves around.
This is NOT what is meant by the missing Hot Spot when considering AGW.
Trenberth’s phrase of “hot spot” quoted above – either deliberately or inadvertently – confuses discussion of the missing Hot Spot.

For the benefit of those who do not know, the AGW hypothesis as exemplified by climate models predicts that temperature at ~10 km altitude will rise by between 2X and 3X the rate of temperature rise at the surface. So, a region of elevated temperature (i.e. the Hot Spot) will occur at altitude.
This Hot Spot is induced by warming from greenhouse gases and NOT by warming from any other source. This is shown by Figure 9.1 and the associated text of the most recent IPCC Scientific Report (AR4) and its associated text which can be seen and read here
http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9s9-2-2.html
Clearly, the indication is that the Hot Spot is only visible in the Figure as 9.1 (c) showing effect of “well-mixed greenhouse gases” and Figure 9.1. (f) “the sum of all forcings”.
But no such enhanced warming at altitude has been observed by radiosondes mounted on weather balloons since 1958 or by microwave sounding units mounted on satellites since 1979.
Hence, the absence of the Hot Spot indicates
(a) The AGW hypothesis emulated by the climate models is wrong
OR
(b) There has been no discernible global warming from “well-mixed greenhouse gases” since 1958
OR
(c) There has been no discernible global warming from any cause since 1958.
The next IPCC Report (AR5) will need to explain this absence of the Hot Spot if the AGW hypothesis – and scare – is to be continued.
The above quotation from Trenberth inhibits clear discussion and understanding of the missing Hot Spot by the public.

Richard

cd
August 21, 2013 4:12 am

Very funny. I’m starting to worry if they’re even taking themselves seriously anymore.

Nylo
August 21, 2013 4:15 am

Brilliant, Willis, as always. And this time very funny too! It was quite hard to avoid starting to laugh out loud here in the office with the misteriously moving hotspots, coldspots and wetspots!

Bruce Cobb
August 21, 2013 4:16 am

Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis? The missing heat is in the deep oceans, having been transported there via teleportation. Star Trek was all about science.

MattN
August 21, 2013 4:20 am

I don’t think this hotspot is the droid he is looking for.

Mike Bromley the Kurd
August 21, 2013 4:20 am

“Full of extra scientificity”….Brilliant, Willis. I’m still wiping coffee off my Macbook. It’s a travesty, all right….that Trenberth’s ego is so large it obscures the view of his mirror, and he cannot see just how really how lofty he looks, if ‘lofty’ be the appropriate term. Hey Kevin, Your missing heat? It’s roving around roasting different places, just before Willis’ Cold spot comes a-cryovanting along.

August 21, 2013 4:23 am

So my theory was that unlike at the poles, in the tropics the temperature should be positively correlated with the temperature.
Presumably a typo?? Otherwise stating the obvious.
[Thanks, Murray, fixed. -w.]

johnmarshall
August 21, 2013 4:24 am

Trenberth’s main problem is his climate model which is as far from reality as is possible to get. Anyone who believes that the planet is flat, zero rotation, 24/7 weak sunshine will always come up with the wrong answer about planetary heat gain and loss.

michael hart
August 21, 2013 4:26 am

“Out, damned spot! out, I say!” Macbeth Act 5, Scene 1.

Bloke down the pub
August 21, 2013 4:27 am

Gotta confess, I do love results like that. That is a complete confirmation of my claim that in the tropics, as the temperature increases, the albedo increases. Lots of interesting detail there as well … fascinating.’
Interesting too that the Arctic shows higher albedo. Maybe this from wiki indicates why.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Water_reflectivity.jpg

techgm
August 21, 2013 4:33 am

Maybe the movement of that hotspot caused a partial vacuum that sucked in the record-low high temperature in Atlanta last week. Maybe he could find it if he looked in Alabama.

Pete Brown
August 21, 2013 4:33 am

Apologies for my ignorance, but I don’t understand what the correlation picture is saying. Any chance of spelling it out for the uninitiated?
Also, is this essentially the same basic premise as Dr Roy Spencer advocates?

aaron
August 21, 2013 4:44 am

It’d be nice if this was broken into two seperate posts.
I’d like to share the part about the missing heat, but no one I know wants to sit through talk about rhetoric.

aaron
August 21, 2013 4:48 am

The true brilliance, is it get us talking about their rhetoric, which makes us seem like cranks. He also gets to rederfine “the hotspot” away from the finger-print.

Gary Pearse
August 21, 2013 4:49 am

I get it, there are also windy spots, snowy spots…hey, this could indicate that climate is chaotic. Now there’s a concept. One more thing discovered here: the alarmist bloggers and news media don’t have to to any research at all for their articles. They just sit by the computer or phone and the distinguished senior scientist contact them whenever they have a vision.
Man, Willis, you are getting climate science stuffed into a nutshell and it is readily understandable. I am impressed. I hope you are considering broadening this idea broadly to higher lattitudes. The ocean and sky don’t know where they are, they just respond to the temperature at any given time to counter swings. The the temperate zones’ heavy thunderstorms (and tornadoes -this zone’s additional sun blockers and heat chimneys) also respond to the summer heat.
One excellent example of the large effect of small changes (your 1/2 hr differences in the onset of clouds) is the double rainy season in eastern Tanzania and Kenya. The border between them is roughly 4 degrees South. When the ITZ moves south through Tanzania it creates the “little rains” (called vuli) in October to December and when it comes back and N into Kenya and beyond, it creates the big rains (called Masika). The duration of these rains tells us that the onset occurs when the sun’s angle is only a few degrees off vertical. Very small changes indeed for such a response. I think a data set here would fine tune the model showing small differences. Willis, you have a lot of work to do – I certainly don’t trust the synod of climate science with this stuff.

Stephen Wilde
August 21, 2013 5:01 am

Willis is clearly right about the tropical response to any additional energy in the air of those regions.
Now extend it globally and factor in variable ocean cycles in each ocean basin altering the rate of energy release from oceans to air and add to that variable solar activity altering stratospheric temperatures so as to change the tropopause height gradient between poles and equator.
The interaction between top down solar and bottom up oceanic effects gives us climate zone shifting which alters the amount of energy entering the oceans and the tropical events noted by Willis are part of the negative global response to any forcing elements other than mass gravity or ToA insolation.

Jonathan Abbott
August 21, 2013 5:03 am

“I have to say, I find Dr. Trenberth’s claims both very depressing and very encouraging. They’re depressing because they are a million miles from science. It’s just a frightening tale for children around the campfire, about how the risks of bad things are rising, and it’s worse than we thought.”
Exactly. The alarmist hand-waving is getting more and more desperate in the convolutions they employ to avoid the oncoming train of actual data.

Latitude
August 21, 2013 5:07 am

Now the hot spot moves around…but only in the summer
…and the cold spot doesn’t count
because up to now, we were looking really stupid
…and we’re only going to count and promote those places where the hot spot is…because the cold spot doesn’t fit our agenda
Nothing has changed

Alpha Tango
August 21, 2013 5:09 am

“the dreaded “wetspot”,”
goddammit its all over my keyboard and screen – thanks dude – best laugh I’ve had in a while

thingadonta
August 21, 2013 5:10 am

So Trenberth’s mystery of the missing heat has turned into the mystery of the moving hotspot. I suppose summers in the past were never variable.
I wonder if the current pause in temperature has made alarmists start to worry about the effect that a LACK of climate change will have on sea levels, coral reef growth, ocean acidity, biodiversity, etc. After all, they have devoted their careers to worrying about something, so if there is nothing to worry about, they will have to make something up. If climate change stops, won’t there be all sorts of problems with the earth’s systems being unable to adapt back fast enough to the lack of change? (One thing they might start to do is see the natural variation in summers as moving climate-change induced ‘hotspots’…….)

richardscourtney
August 21, 2013 5:13 am

aaron:
I write to emphasise the important points you make in your succinct post at August 21, 2013 at 4:48 am which says in total

The true brilliance, is it get us talking about their rhetoric, which makes us seem like cranks. He also gets to rederfine “the hotspot” away from the finger-print.

For those who do not understand “the finger-print” I provide a link to my above post which explains the matter
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/21/stalking-the-rogue-hotspot/#comment-1395986
Trenberth has obfuscated that and made us “seem like cranks” with one statement.
As you say, that is very clever.
Those above who think this is only about rhetoric have missed the point.
Richard

jones
August 21, 2013 5:21 am

I’m extremely worried that with all these hotspots and coldspots that we are going to have an awful lot of tepidspots and all the catastrophe that might entail.
Anyone want to lay odds?

Navy Bob
August 21, 2013 5:23 am

I thought the wet spot was what you move off of afterwards.

Tom Stone
August 21, 2013 5:24 am

Dr. Trenberth is a warmist who retains some of the doubt of a true scientist. Joe Romm, James Hansen and Michael Mann are beyond doubt….. .

Horse
August 21, 2013 5:33 am

I assume that for Dr. Trenberth to claim “missing heat” he must be making some sort of extrapolation of measured incoming and outgoing energy and concluding that there is an imbalance. Can anyone tell me how these data are collected and a ‘budget’ calculated?

Eggy_01
August 21, 2013 5:33 am

Loving your work.

Tom Jones
August 21, 2013 5:34 am

Willis, you have outdone yourself. It is so enjoyable to get up in the morning and find something really funny waiting on your computer. The saga of people who desperately want to be taken seriously but are so silly continues.

WJohn
August 21, 2013 5:37 am

The Uncertainty Principle. This Hot-Spot follows the same rules. The very act of looking at it causes it to move.
See also Scarlet Pimpernel and The man Who Was Not There.

Ed_B
August 21, 2013 5:40 am

You never cease to amaze me!

David
August 21, 2013 5:40 am

Somebody should draw Trenberth’s attention to Psalm 148 verse 8 (King James version). “Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word:”. Sorry Kevin, King David published first.

KNR
August 21, 2013 5:41 am

Its crap science , but its right in-line for the guy that wanted to reverse the null hypotheses because that is the only way he could get this claims to make ‘any sense ‘
Even after all time I am still amazed that the standards seen in this area of ‘science’ are so shockingly low. Perhaps that is the only way they can actual work.

jones
August 21, 2013 5:44 am

What about the G-spot?

Peter Dunford
August 21, 2013 5:46 am

So what we’ve been calling natural variability is the result of greenhouse gas emissions?
That explains everything.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialst Level 7
August 21, 2013 5:47 am

Dr. Trenberth is correct when he says:

We can confidently say that the risk of drought and heat waves has gone up …

It all depends on how you define “risk”. Now I bet because the above fragment came just in front of:

… and the odds of a hot spot somewhere on the planet have increased …

you thought that “risk” and “odds” are different words used to mean the same thing — not so fast. As Steve McIntyre continually reminds us, you have to watch the pea under the thimble.
In the context of losses, “risk” means the total exposure in dollars, i.e., the cost of making good on damages. “Odds” means the likelihood of some loss occurring. So Dr. Trenberth is absolutely right to say that the “risk” of drought and heat waves has increased, because basically the risk (cost) of everything has increased, what with inflation, new regulatory compliance cost, etc. This is true even if the odds of droughts and heat waves decline.

Gary
August 21, 2013 5:51 am

Don’t forget about the dreaded, fugitive bald spot, Willis.

Mike from the cold side of the Sierra
August 21, 2013 5:52 am

will we be seeing these climate scientists jetting around the globe trying to keep up with this elusive roaming (romming) hot spot and what if it bifurcates, what then ?

RockyRoad
August 21, 2013 5:54 am

[snip . . I thought we had gotten past all the name calling stuff . . mod]

Zac
August 21, 2013 5:56 am

Australia has a hot spot every year. It’s called ‘Summer’, and I’m sure these environmental people should already be aware of it…

August 21, 2013 5:57 am

Greg says:
August 21, 2013 at 3:53 am
I wonder what is driving this devilish hot spot around the planet. Giant bubbles of CO2, no doubt.
===================================================================
Wrong. Ideology, I think you will find, is driving the hot spot hither and thither.

Terry
August 21, 2013 6:02 am

“parlous” or “perilous”?

Craig
August 21, 2013 6:04 am

STUDY: Climate change causing climate models to become less reliable
A groundbreaking new study has shown that climate change is the underlying cause of increasingly frequent and severe climate model failures. Researchers at Pennsylvania State Community College have discovered a critical link between atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration and general circulation model errors.
“Climate change has made it increasingly difficult to predict climate change,” says Dr. Manyard Michael, the lead scientist behind the study. “The current 16 year pause in global warming illustrates just how serious this situation has been; if not for climate change, we now know that we would have been able to accurately predict the current break in warming and clearly show that climate change is actually accelerating faster than forecast – not stopping as climate change is making it appear to those outside of the climate science community.” Dr. Michael also noted that they stumbled on this important finding almost by accident. “We just happened to notice that the higher carbon dioxide concentrations climbed, the more we had to adjust the data to get the results we knew to be right, and the more we adjusted the data, the bigger the error in the models. It’s a very strong positive feedback.”
This research has been quietly in the works for several years, and was almost compromised by the 2009 research theft known as “climategate.” For example, one particular email that has been cited repeatedly said in part, “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” Skeptics have misrepresented this quote to suggest that climate scientists can’t explain why the climate is not behaving as forecast and thus there is no climate change happening when in actuality, the researcher was lamenting exactly the opposite. He knew the fact that climate models did not predict a lack of warming meant climate change had progressed much faster than previously thought, and he was expressing sadness that man has brought the climate to this point.
Climate change deniers and anti-science websites have long grasped at the seemingly endless string of model failures and ever increasing forecast error as a way to argue the theory that humans are causing global warming is somehow falsified. Noted climate modeler Dr. Hans Jameson of the National Model Rocket Association commented, “thanks to this research, we can say with certainty what we in the climate research community known all along, that the bigger the climate model errors, the more confident we can be that manmade climate change is happening.” Because climate change continues to accelerate faster than at any time since before the dinosaurs, the scientific consensus is that that there will be some truly stunning model failures on the horizon.
The researchers also stressed that mainstream climate science has demonstrated a remarkable ability to hindcast. As Dr. Michael points out “we can now predict the lull in warming of the past 16 years with surprising accuracy.” He further remarked that “given how well we can predict the past, the only thing that explains the difficulty of forecasting the future with equal success is the increasing concentration of greenhouse gasses. This research changes everything.” And while they are yet unable to fully explain the exact mechanics behind the correlation, the researchers expressed 99% confidence in their conclusion.
The study which is set to be published in every scientific journal is expected to open up new areas of unprecedented spending in the emerging field of climate research research.

lurker, passing through laughing
August 21, 2013 6:12 am

The hunt for AGW evidence is like the great quests for the Holy Grail,or the True Cross are not about the objects but the faith involved and tested in the search.

Bill Illis
August 21, 2013 6:13 am

High-res July land temperatures look about as normal as it can get with no substantial hotspots or coldspots anywhere. Looks like Trenberth’s latest theory is missing again.
http://s11.postimg.org/ktfpmgyib/July_Land_Sat_Temps.jpg

Mark Hladik
August 21, 2013 6:14 am

jones @ 21 August 5:21 AM:
“Does anyone want to lay odds?”
Depends; what does she look like?
(Sorry, couldn’t resist — — a highly mobile hotspot hit me, and I lost control … … … )

aaron
August 21, 2013 6:14 am

Willis, can you do the same correlation graph with to absolute forcing change. I’ve seen some fuzzy descriptions of abledo and I’m never quite sure how the angle of light is treated. Is it a percentage of the light for that geographic location or a percentage of the average for the whole surface? There is a lot of blue over land and green in the mid latitudes, how does this compare to the energy of the red and orange in the tropics?

Gras Albert
August 21, 2013 6:15 am

Willis
Thank you, several laugh-out-loud at climate science moments, Trenberth is the travesty
MattN

I don’t think this hotspot is the droid he is looking for

Cough, splutter, 9½ out of 10. Congratulations, you created a localised keyboard & screen coffee spot

JimS
August 21, 2013 6:15 am

There is an old story about the Emperor’s New Clothes. The key line in this story is said by a child who yells out: “But the Emperor has no clothes.” This story should be updated for modern times, and still with a child yelling out the truth, but given the revised story, this is what the child says: “But the scientist has no brains.”

lurker, passing through laughing
August 21, 2013 6:16 am

….or it is like “The Hunting of the Snark”
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173165
“”He had bought a large map representing the sea,
Without the least vestige of land:
And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be
A map they could all understand.
“What’s the good of Mercator’s North Poles and Equators,
Tropics, Zones, and Meridian Lines?”
So the Bellman would cry: and the crew would reply
“They are merely conventional signs!
“Other maps are such shapes, with their islands and capes!
But we’ve got our brave Captain to thank
(So the crew would protest) “that he’s bought us the best—
A perfect and absolute blank!” “

John West
August 21, 2013 6:17 am

Willis, excellent post, (sarc) but it’s not the summer cold spot that is worrisome, it’s the winter roaming unpredictable cold spot that should scare us (be afraid, very afraid). (/sarc)
@ richardscourtney
A phrase involving a hammer, nail, and head comes to mind. I can almost already hear the remarks of the alarmist drones in response to a skeptical comment about the missing tropical tropospheric hotspot with something like: it shows up every year somewhere. God help us.

Joe Born
August 21, 2013 6:20 am

Mr. Eschenbach cites three of his previous posts–all quite interesting, to be sure–but I wonder if anyone has a more-complete list of his posts on the subject of the tropical response to temperature.
In particular, although there’s a scatter plot here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/12/observations-on-toa-forcing-vs-temperature/ that I found interesting, I seem to remember an even more relevant scatter plot, but I can’t locate it.

Hans H
August 21, 2013 6:21 am

Well …I dont know about u all…but I belive in extraterrestrial hotspots…

TomR,Worc,MA,USA
August 21, 2013 6:22 am

I must confess that when Willis mentioned “the dreaded wet spot”, my mind took me to a completely different place than the article.
BTW, spot on again Willis.

Peter Miller
August 21, 2013 6:24 am

For this gross heresy daring to suggest anything other than CO2 levels are responsible for changing global temperatures, the inquisitors will be coming to get you and make you atone for your apostasy.
The Climate Inquisition is here to enforce the true teachings of the IPCC and its devout followers. Everything is settled, there shall be no further discussion or debate.

TimTheToolMan
August 21, 2013 6:26 am

Kevin writes “Earlier this year it was Australia (Tasmania etc) in January (southern summer). ”
Well I live in Tasmania and I can tell you that it was touch and go there for us for a while. It was like some god had a giant magnifying glass and was turning ordinary “minding their own business” people into little puffs of smoke in the streets!

CodeTech
August 21, 2013 6:27 am

JimS, we already have something like that, it’s Monckton shouting out “but there’s been no warming for 16 years”. But they just counter it by saying “but it’s been the warmest decade everrrrrrrr in the entire time the planet has been around”…

Joe Born
August 21, 2013 6:33 am

“I seem to remember an even more relevant scatter plot, but I can’t locate it.”
Found it: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/19/a-demonstration-of-negative-climate-sensitivity/
h/t to Ed Caryl and Pierre Gosselin.

Bruce Cobb
August 21, 2013 6:38 am

Seriously though, Dr. Trenberth may be onto a new science here; the science of Spotology. They are sneaky, wild things, those weather spots, and someone needs to keep an eye on them. He could affectionately be known as “Dr. Spots”, and could voyage around looking for them. It’s the new frontier, you know.

Pamela Gray
August 21, 2013 6:40 am

Sounds to me like this AGWing condition is decidedly female. And yes I just said that.

JimS
August 21, 2013 6:40 am

@CodeTech:
“JimS, we already have something like that, it’s Monckton shouting out “but there’s been no warming for 16 years”. But they just counter it by saying “but it’s been the warmest decade everrrrrrrr in the entire time the planet has been around”…”
LOL! Yes, but in the old story, the Emperor admitted it, so what is wrong with these scientists?
Oh scratch that – the Emperor was not motivated by acquiring government grants, since he was the government.

Pamela Gray
August 21, 2013 6:42 am

Bruce! “Spotology”!!!! Spit sputter cough hack spew!!!!
spray, wipe, clean, dry

JimS
August 21, 2013 6:46 am

@Pamela Gray
Only someone of your gender could get away with such a statement as above. I am still chuckling. Thanks.

Ken Hall
August 21, 2013 7:03 am

So how come physicists have not been able to quantify and measure this new found function of heat, which I now label, ‘sneaky’. This function, apparently, renders heat able to hide away from satellites and even has the ability to sink in water, to depths of deeper than 700 meters, without being detected as it descends. What is the distinctive atomic or molecular mechanism, derived from CO2, which can transform ordinary, rising heat, into first the very sticky heat, (which does not leave the top of the atmosphere, (thus warming the planet according to models)) and then through to this new ‘sneaky’ heat, which can also sink and hide?
I ask because in spite of the alarmists claiming that there are the equivalent of n thousand Hiroshima nuclear blasts worth of heat being added to the atmosphere, the heat is stubbornly refusing to make itself known to all attempts to find it.
Yet trenberth STILL refuses to even contemplate the notion that the theoretical expression of a theory (as demontrated by models) could ever be …. wrong? He would rather believe the models than the actual, real data.
Does Trenberth really, seriously consider himself to be a scientist? Really?

Pamela Gray
August 21, 2013 7:09 am

Jim, I immediately related to this article. Being clearly on the last half of a century of life, this elusive hunt for spots of ANY temperature and dewyness is a topic of past-50 female discussions everywhere.
Willis, I simply adore this article and all the following comments. We all rose to new heights with this one. Haven’t uncontrollably laughed out loud this much in months! As for Trenbreth, my heart goes out to him. Poor man can’t find any hot or wet spots. He must not be doing it right.

Mark Buehner
August 21, 2013 7:14 am

We had a Wind Spot here the other day, but fortunately its moved on. The scary part is not knowing where it will move to next.

Chris Wright
August 21, 2013 7:14 am

Actually, I think this moving hot spot has been well documented by scientists and weather men. The technical term for it is weather.
Chris

Stephen Richards
August 21, 2013 7:15 am

Mark Hladik says:
August 21, 2013 at 6:14 am
jones @ 21 August 5:21 AM:
“Does anyone want to lay odds?”
Depends; what does she look like?
Fussy are we?

Editor
August 21, 2013 7:15 am

Reblogged this on Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations and commented:

A Willis Eschenbach classic!!!

Stephen Richards
August 21, 2013 7:17 am

Ken Hall says:
August 21, 2013 at 7:03 am
So how come physicists have not been able to quantify and measure this new found function of heat, which I now label, ‘sneaky’
No Ken No, as with quarks and their ilk it has be a ‘ness’. Like sneakiness, movieness, slinkiness. See what I mean – ness.

BarryW
August 21, 2013 7:18 am

I can see Gore’s cover for his next AGW scare talk:
The Hotspot

JimS
August 21, 2013 7:20 am

@Ken Hall
How can anyone question the credibility of someone like Dr. Kevin Trenberth? Did you not know that he won the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water?
http://www.psipw.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=321&Itemid=284

August 21, 2013 7:21 am

aaron says:
August 21, 2013 at 4:44 am
———————————————-
Rhetoric: you mean that stuff that fills today’s “scientific” journals? They have the bullhorn, let us have a little fun.

Björn
August 21, 2013 7:22 am

lurker, passing through laughing says:
August 21, 2013 at 6:16 am
….or it is like “The Hunting of the Snark”
———————————————————————
And mayhaps Kevin “Thingumbob” has just found and met the snark and it’s a “boj…” /sarc

Severian
August 21, 2013 7:23 am

Somewhere there’s a moving risk of a hot spot? Wow, reminds me of that bad fantasy movie Krull, the black castle of the evil overlord moved to a different, random spot every day. So now climatogists are copying bad fantasy movies?

August 21, 2013 7:23 am

Aren’t we just talking about the weather now?

August 21, 2013 7:24 am

Regarding Trenberth’s “except for the SW” comment, I would love to know which part of the US SW he is talking about… Here in “sunny” SoCal we have been having a summer that has averaged 2-3 degrees below normal (if John Coleman is lurking maybe he can confirm). I do not ever remember waking up to low clouds every morning in August like we are having this year. My MIL lives in AZ, and my parents live in NV, they both report a summer with below average temperatures.
So, Kevin, is the “hot spot” over the SW centered somewhere near Roswell,NM?

Pamela Gray
August 21, 2013 7:24 am

Jim are you kidding me? He won a prize for “understanding” river discharge but still can’t find the elusive “spot”. I bet he has a big engine in his pickup.

Editor
August 21, 2013 7:28 am

Trenberth says “We can name [hot]spots for all summers going back quite a few years ….
How many? 17 (since warming paused)? 34 (satellite record)? Since the Little Ice Age? I bet we could find hotspots for every year we have marginal records.
I think this work can be extended. Trenberth says excess heat is in the deep ocean. Maybe that shows up as a mobile hot spot too! It would certainly help explain why we can’t find it. In fact, why stop at the seafloor? I bet this year the hot spot is hiding under the Hawaiian Islands.

mpainter
August 21, 2013 7:28 am

Trenberth has no sense of the absurd or he would not talk in such a fashion. Now we have the famous Mexican jumping hotspot, thanks to Trenberth.

Rud Istvan
August 21, 2013 7:32 am

Willis you have two posts in one.
The first appropriately ridicules Trenberth’s nonsense, itself refutes by the IPCC’s 2012 SREX. Romm’s echo chamber merely shows the deliberate in thinking meme that increasingly self destructs.
The second is a brilliant follow on. It adds a major piece to the puzzle of how and why all GCM’s get it wrong (so there is not missing heat). You have adduced satellite proof of Lindzen’s adaptive iris hypothesis.
And, AR5 SOD itself admits clouds are poorly modeled. See chapter 7. That is inherent, since these convective processes take place on scales much smaller than the minimum GCM grids enabled by the newest, fastest supercomputers. So there is no way possible (in the foreseeable future) for such models to ever produce accurate results. So we should stop wasting money trying.

Colin
August 21, 2013 7:33 am

This is the type of article that should only be available on a Monday morning when people need the biggest laugh. And there should be a warning attached – “do not read with a mouthful of coffee”. I knew these individuals were desperate – what with hiding heat in deep oceans and all. But now the illusive hotspot and all the other spots (thanks Pamela – my wife is encountering those too) indicates the “OMG how are we going to get out of this” situation the alarmists have gotten into. They must be glad the English language has so many qualifier words in it so that can’t be pinned down for the garbage they spew. Its also sad that you really can’t have an actual DEBATE on the facts. But then, there are only one set of facts and they ain’t going their way. Thanks Willis

mkelly
August 21, 2013 7:35 am

Greg says:
August 21, 2013 at 3:53 am
I wonder what is driving this devilish hot spot around the planet. Giant bubbles of CO2, no doubt.
Now I know what went after Number 6 and others whenever they left the village. The bubbles that chased them were giant bubbles of CO2.

Robert W Turner
August 21, 2013 7:36 am

Anyone tracking the dreaded “perfect weather spot?” I’ve noticed it around a lot in the spring and fall but it has even been hanging around this summer. Climate dice, hot spots, and man-bear-pig…this sounds like a wonderful novel indeed.

Pamela Gray
August 21, 2013 7:37 am

Didn’t someone in the news say that they were contemplating naming hotspots like they do hurricanes? I’ll bet the first name will be either Betty or Carmen. How about Mae? Heck, let’s just go with Marilyn. I can’t even type wetspot names. Even my fingers are laughing!

John in L du B
August 21, 2013 7:41 am

Last night the cold spot moved through while I was away from home and created the rogue wet spot. However, the rogue wet spot was accompanied by the rogue hard spot, which luckily grazed by my house but dumped golf ball sized hail on a neighbouring community, which was unlucky for them but lucky for me since I’d left a vehicle parked outside and you should see what that kind of hail can do to a steel automobile roof.
The rogue cold spot was plowing up and displacing Dr. Trenberth’s rogue hot spot (~34 C. Well it’s hot for us here, ok?) that had been hanging around here for the last week.
And all along I just thought it was August dog days weather. Shows what I know. Now I’m really alarmed.

ScottinMN
August 21, 2013 7:41 am

“We can name spots for all summers going back quite a few years: Australia in 2009, the Russian heat wave in 2010, Texas in 2011, etc.”
How long until the until the Weather Channel starts giving these hot & wet spots appropriate female names?

catweazle666
August 21, 2013 7:42 am

I’m sure that once upon a time this unpredictable variability had a name.
It was called “weather”.

Jeff Wood
August 21, 2013 7:42 am

Right, at the risk of provoking a dirty joke from the exquisite Pamela, where have you Evil Deniers hidden Kevin’s Hot Spot?

BobM
August 21, 2013 7:45 am

Is it April 1 somewhere on the planet? Could this be Kevin Trenberth’s April Fools day draft that leaked and Joe Romm doesn’t realize how FUNNY this is? What a gift !!! Great post Willis.
SPOTOLOGY – love it. Hot spots, Cold spots, Windy spots, Wet spots, Dry spots. This clearly ratchets up the level of climate science. Are there more ‘spot’ types to find like ‘cloudy spots’ and ‘sunny spots’ and ‘normal spots’?

R2Dtoo
August 21, 2013 7:45 am

Looks like a good project for a student. Steve Goddard regularly post historical reports of heat waves and droughts etc from all around the world. My guess is careful tracking would locate the whereabouts of the roving “hotspots” for most years. Paying attention to history might turn up some interesting things- or not! Where are all the physical geographers who used to love this type of project?

August 21, 2013 7:46 am

aaron says:
August 21, 2013 at 4:44 am
It’d be nice if this was broken into two seperate posts.
I’d like to share the part about the missing heat, but no one I know wants to sit through talk about rhetoric.
==========================================================================
Well they should. A classical education would include the study of rhetoric.
O tempora, o mores.

Chuck Nolan
August 21, 2013 7:47 am

Tom in Florida says:
August 21, 2013 at 4:05 am
So do we have a moving cloud/albedo spot and where is it now?
—————————————-
That might be a tough one Tom.
They’re not sure where it is at this particular moment and I believe they’re unable to predict where it will be next but, they can tell you where it was before now…..or maybe it’s after then.
Are they’re trying to confuse me?
cn

August 21, 2013 7:49 am

Terry says:
August 21, 2013 at 6:02 am
“parlous” or “perilous”?
=======================
Same thing. Parlous is somewhat archaic but perfectly legit.

Stephen Wilde
August 21, 2013 7:50 am

We need money for Spotographs and Spotometers.
Billions will be necessary.

richardscourtney
August 21, 2013 7:51 am

Trolls:
Where are you?
For once we have a thread we want you to join, but you are not here.
We know you are reading this, so join in.
Come on, we want you to play.
Richard

RACookPE1978
Editor
August 21, 2013 7:53 am

jeremyp99 says:
August 21, 2013 at 7:49 am (replying to)
Terry says:
August 21, 2013 at 6:02 am

“parlous” or “perilous”?
=======================
Same thing. Parlous is somewhat archaic but perfectly legit.

Much depends, of course, on jest how sharp the needles are: Surely you remember that old phrase “Knot one, parlous two”?

August 21, 2013 7:55 am

Eric says:
August 21, 2013 at 7:24 am
Regarding Trenberth’s “except for the SW” comment, I would love to know which part of the US SW he is talking about… Here in “sunny” SoCal we have been having a summer that has averaged 2-3 degrees below normal
=================================================================
http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/08/17/us-summer-maximum-temperatures-plummeting-since-1930/

philincalifornia
August 21, 2013 7:56 am

That guy is such a scientific dufus that I think he might actually believe the crap he spouts

ferd berple
August 21, 2013 7:57 am

Chris Schoneveld says:
August 21, 2013 at 4:08 am
Why is the correlation negative over the tropical rainforests of Africa and South America?
============
it isn’t. it is negative over the NH continental land masses. which is interesting. there is much to be learned from this graphic that is not accounted for in GHG theory. namely that the increased albedo due to increased moisture overpowers the assumed positive feedback due to increased moisture. in other words, that clouds are poorly understood by mainstream climate science, so they are assumed to have little effect.
in effect climate science takes the position that since we don’t understand clouds, they must not be very important. the things we do understand are what are important.

Editor
August 21, 2013 7:59 am

Hmm, One of the hallmarks of CAGW is that nighttime low temps are rising. The nightspot covers half the planet, of course, should I be seeking out hotspots in the nightspot? Are there any hotspots that climate scientists frequent?

bobl
August 21, 2013 8:00 am

I’ve FOUND IT – The Hot Spot. It starts out at about 2PM on any point of the planet and moves westward 15 degrees every hour until it comes back to you about 24 hours later !
Amazing ….

Chris B
August 21, 2013 8:04 am

Tremberth’s excitement over roving, “Hotspots”, with soon reach a climax and morph into the inevitable, “Wetspots” of the CAGW by CO2 pulpy novel inspired by the IPCC’s Pauchauri.

Ed Martin
August 21, 2013 8:07 am

If Trenberth persists in his quest to find the “lost” heat, he no doubt will eventually find it hidden in the windmills.

ferdberple
August 21, 2013 8:07 am

richardscourtney says:
August 21, 2013 at 4:11 am
The above quotation from Trenberth inhibits clear discussion and understanding of the missing Hot Spot by the public.
=============
agreed. i also had the feeling that Trengerth was seeking to hide the fact that there is no observed Tropospheric Hot Spot, which is one of the many failed predictions of climate science.
rather than admit that GHG theory is falsified by its failed predictions, Trenberth seeks to hide this fact through confusion by suggesting the hotspot is moving around. even though he knows full well this is not the same hot spot and at the same time seeks to explain the failed prediction of continued warming by suggesting the warming is now occurring in places we cannot measure.

Gary Hladik
August 21, 2013 8:10 am

Then there’s the “stupid spot”, which seems to show up wherever the IPCC happens to be meeting…

RACookPE1978
Editor
August 21, 2013 8:11 am

Pamela Gray says:
August 21, 2013 at 7:37 am

… I can’t even type wetspot names. Even my fingers are laughing!

The wetspot always lies about the other side of the bad.

August 21, 2013 8:11 am

Love the humor here; kudos to Craig 8/21 6:04!!!
Seriously, seasonality should figure into things too, as snow/ice albedo in fall and spring sends out reflected solar radiation at the same wavelengths as incoming, and 70%+ cannot be captured and re-radiated by the GHGs and thus leaves the planet (unwarmed), goes out into space, and doesn’t come back.
The combination of tropical cloud albedo and snow albedo is a great start towards explaining the temperature “standstill” of the last 16 years. The simplistic focus on CO2 is the real travesty performed by politicians pretending to be climate scientists!!!

ferdberple
August 21, 2013 8:11 am

The ABC theory of religion states that Climate Science is a religion if it satisfies 3 criteria:
1. Absolution – you will be saved if you stop burning fossil fuels.
2. Belief – CO2 from humans is the cause of climate change
3. Conversion – if you don’t believe, you are an evil denier and deserve to be punished.

Ferd
August 21, 2013 8:14 am

I think this is what I have been looking for. If you go back to the Senate testimony on CAGW that was posted here a few weeks ago, one of the two female scientists (I can’t remember which one) stated something to the effect that you “couldn’t look for a warming signal GLOBABLLY. Rather one has to look REGIONALLY.
Now the distinguished scientist suggests something very similar. We are now looking for regional hotspots as opposed to looking for a warming planet.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I submit to you that the goal posts have once again been moved!

Tom in Florida
August 21, 2013 8:19 am

After re-reading the post, I came to realize the “hot spot” is not about climate. It is referring to the “global warming, climate change, climate disruption, carbon pollution” conferences. We know where they have been but are not sure where they might be in the future.

ferdberple
August 21, 2013 8:25 am

Joe Born says:
August 21, 2013 at 6:33 am
Found it: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/19/a-demonstration-of-negative-climate-sensitivity/
=========
the correlation is consistent between both graphics. the NH continental land masses act differently than the rest of the planet. has this mislead researchers that live predominantly on the NH land masses.

Pamela Gray
August 21, 2013 8:29 am

Mann has been SOOOOOOOO excited today! He is racing back to that bristle pine tree to show Trenbreth the missing hotspot! Good boy! Here…have a prize from the treasure box.

Luther Wu
August 21, 2013 8:29 am

Willis- I really needed a laugh this morning. Many thanks!

Graham
August 21, 2013 8:32 am

I sense some channeling of the the late George Carlin here.

Pamela Gray
August 21, 2013 8:35 am

RACookPE1978 says:
August 21, 2013 at 8:11 am
Pamela Gray says:
August 21, 2013 at 7:37 am
… I can’t even type wetspot names. Even my fingers are laughing!
“The wetspot always lies about the other side of the bad.”
There is another side to bad? And wetspots lie? Wow! This is complicated climate science for sure! I see Nobel Prizes in Trenbreth’s future.
Don’t change a thing about your post. It was perfect!
Ladies and Gentleman of the jury, we now have wetspotgate.

Gary Pearse
August 21, 2013 8:35 am

Surely the hotspot can be followed around as a lump in the TOA (top of atmosphere) visible from satellite.

Theo Goodwin
August 21, 2013 8:35 am

Amazing little essay. Brilliant satire and brilliant science.

bit chilly
August 21, 2013 8:37 am

craig ,that was seriously funny,and very apt. lets hope trenberth himself does not read wuwt comments,he would be quite happy to pursue that line i am sure.

Ferd
August 21, 2013 8:38 am

and here I thought the hotspot was in a tree somewhere in Yamal?

Reply to  Ferd
August 21, 2013 8:45 am

New explanations from the Air Force are likely forthcoming.
“No ma’am, that wasn’t a flying saucer, it was a Rogue Hotspot flying about. We’ve been trying to track it for years. It’s nothing to worry about.”

milodonharlani
August 21, 2013 8:45 am

Don’t the GC models always show a hot spot at a particular tropospheric altitude in the tropics, not over Russia?
I wish that YouTube had the brilliantly acted scene from “A Bridge Too Far” with the late, great Denholm Elliott as a RAF meteorologist describing fog as “shifty stuff”.

hunter
August 21, 2013 8:48 am

The sad part of the quest the Dr. Trenberth and his fellow searchers are undertaking is that it is done with our money,and their goal is to impose their ever failing demands on all of us.

ferdberple
August 21, 2013 8:48 am

Bob Greene says:
August 21, 2013 at 4:10 am
I didn’t see a good explanation of the hot spot.
============
exactly, how does well mixed CO2 create a roving hot spot? The climate models predict it will remain stationary in the tropical troposphere. Dr T appears to have conjured up a demon that even the all seeing, all knowing climate models don’t know about.

Chuck Nolan
August 21, 2013 8:50 am

The temperature is falling.
I think the Cold Spot just traveled through here.
No wait, it was a cloud.
Sorry, I didn’t mean to cry wolf.
Climate Science is hard.
cn

Pamela Gray
August 21, 2013 8:50 am

Anthony! “Men In Black” sequel!

Box of Rocks
August 21, 2013 8:51 am

Stephen Richards says:
August 21, 2013 at 7:15 am
Mark Hladik says:
August 21, 2013 at 6:14 am
jones @ 21 August 5:21 AM:
“Does anyone want to lay odds?”
Depends; what does she look like?
Fussy are we?
Box of Rocks says –
Well it also depends – are you wearing beer goggles and does the hot spot show up?

Leonard Lane
August 21, 2013 9:00 am

johnmarshall says:
August 21, 2013 at 4:24 am
“Trenberth’s main problem is his climate model which is as far from reality as is possible to get. Anyone who believes that the planet is flat, zero rotation, 24/7 weak sunshine will always come up with the wrong answer about planetary heat gain and loss.”
John, is it really true that these assumptions (flat planet, zero rotation, constant sunshine instead of night and day i.e. ’24/7 weak sunshine’?)
are used in the climate models? I am not doubting you, but it is very hard for me to believe anyone would make these assumptions in their huge climate models. Do you have some quotes or citations? These would help blow up the entire scam. Thanks,

Box of Rocks
August 21, 2013 9:09 am

Can Boulder retrieve its village idiot?
The only spot I care about is cold and wet and is contained in a glass down at BJ’s.

Jimbo
August 21, 2013 9:11 am

Trenberth needs to produce data showing trends for his “drought and heat waves” going up. He also needs to stop fooling around. In the quoted passage he says:

…..This year perhaps it is East Asia: China, or earlier Siberia? It has been much wetter and cooler in the US (except for SW), whereas last year the hot spot was the US. Earlier this year it was Australia (Tasmania etc) in January (southern summer). We can name spots for all summers going back quite a few years: Australia in 2009, the Russian heat wave in 2010, Texas in 2011, etc.”

This is the weather and not the climate. A few years back sceptics were told that the weather is not the same as the climate. Now Trenberth moves his motorized goalposts to keep himself well employed, useful and well funded. It is a travesty.

Gary
August 21, 2013 9:13 am

See Spot Run.
Run, Spot, Run.
– this probably only resonates with the 60+ crowd. And Josh has a new meme for cartoons.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialst Level 7
August 21, 2013 9:15 am

Ken Hall says:
August 21, 2013 at 7:03 am

So how come physicists have not been able to quantify and measure this new found function of heat, which I now label, ‘sneaky’

Ken I think you are really onto something here. All this time we thought that heat was, well, just plain heat. Thanks to Dr. Trenberth, we now know there are several different kinds of heat.
There’s normal heat, which is easy to find because it’s hot.
Then there’s inverted heat which is often missed because it usually appears cold.
Then as you say there’s sneaky heat which moves around to avoid detection.
Finally there’s heat which binds itself to unlikely locations like the deep ocean where it can remain undetected for years or decades. I call this fourth type chained heat.
Boy, there sure is a lot to learn about this hotspot business.

Jimbo
August 21, 2013 9:18 am

Trenberth is beginning to sound like this weatherman. 🙂

First, I asked Stephen Belcher, the head of the Met Office Hadley Centre, whether the recent extended winter was related to global warming.
Shaking his famous “ghost stick”, and fingering his trademark necklace of sharks’ teeth and mammoth bones, the loin-clothed Belcher blew smoke into a conch, and replied,
“Here come de heap big warmy. Bigtime warmy warmy. Is big big hot. Plenty big warm burny hot. Hot! Hot hot! But now not hot. Not hot now. De hot come go, come go. Now Is Coldy Coldy. Is ice. Hot den cold. Frreeeezy ice til hot again. Den de rain. It faaaalllll. Make pasty.”
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/19/hump-day-hilarity-big-kahuna-warmy/

Hunter Paalman
August 21, 2013 9:23 am

As one reads this piece of spoofology regarding Trenbeth’s frustrated mumblings, one must recall that still accurate wail by Dr. Paul Jones of the Brit’s CRU, “…there has been no statistically significant temperature increase since 1995.” In which case, Willis’ scurrying coldspots cbasing Kevin’s hotspots are well balanced and nullify one another – zip, nada. A comforting nihilistic ballet across the weather charts.

richardscourtney
August 21, 2013 9:27 am

Leonard Lane:
Re your post at August 21, 2013 at 9:00 am
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/21/stalking-the-rogue-hotspot/#comment-1396196
in response to the points from johnmarshall.
As you imply, the climate models don’t have the faults he suggests.
However, it is known that each climate model emulates a different climate system. Hence, at most only one of them emulates the climate system of the real Earth because there is only one Earth. And the fact that they each ‘run hot’ unless fiddled by use of a completely arbitrary ‘aerosol cooling’ strongly suggests that none of them emulates the climate system of the real Earth.
I recently again explained this (with quotations and references) on WUWT, and this is a link to that recent post
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/19/shocker-global-warming-may-simply-be-an-artifact-of-clean-air-laws/#comment-1395914
I hope this helps.
Richard

Keitho
Editor
August 21, 2013 9:31 am

Nice to see the debate is coming to a bit of a climax.

Tim
August 21, 2013 9:32 am

Perhaps it could be called the T Spot. It is what makes global warming alarmists go wild!

Tim
August 21, 2013 9:37 am

Tim says:
August 21, 2013 at 9:32 am
Perhaps it could be called the T Spot. It is what makes global warming alarmists go wild!
I should have mentioned that they also have a hard time finding it.

Bert Walker
August 21, 2013 9:38 am

Willis said “So my theory was that unlike at the poles, in the tropics the temperature should be positively correlated with the temperature.”
Did you meant to say “…in the tropics the albedo should be positively correlated with the temperature.” ?

Mike M
August 21, 2013 9:38 am

Perhaps Josh could come up with a new mascot, a dog named “Hotspot” with a wanderlust and we’re all trying to find him like “Where’s Waldo?”

Jimbo
August 21, 2013 9:39 am

Willis brings up the Arctic. This brought back memories of a NASA researcher a few years back where he basically talked of melting ice, more clouds, no loss of albedo.

“Sea Ice and Snow Change, but Reflection Remains the Same”
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/ArcticReflector/arctic_reflector4.php

http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=18294421

John Endicott
August 21, 2013 9:39 am

Let’s see. the Hot Spot moves around, it’s location can’t be predicted – just like the pea under one of the three shell.

JDN
August 21, 2013 9:40 am

@Wilis: Does your correlation get better if you just plot summer in NH & summer in SH instead of the yearly average?

August 21, 2013 9:43 am

Willis You might want to fix a glitch in the post.- You say “temperature should be positively correlated with the temperature” Otherwise a great piece.You might extend this line of investigation to climate. by integrating the tropical radiation balance due to orbital variations (mainly the precession of the equinoxes – see http://journalofcosmology.com/JOC22/Steel_PPPIGW.pdf )
with the changing solar radiation spectrum see the latest SORCE data.
and the changes attributable to the change in incoming GCRs.
That would just about wrap up the the whole climate question. I can ook forward to a post from you along these lines in a couple of weeks – no doubt.

August 21, 2013 9:51 am

To continue where Jimbo left off:

Hurling the still-beating heart of the chicken into a shallow copper salver, Professor Sutton inhaled the aroma of burning incense, then told the Telegraph: “The seven towers of Agamemnon tremble. Much is the discord in the latitude of Gemini. When, when cry the sirens of doom and love. Speckly showers on Tuesday.”

…climate science. ☺

milodonharlani
August 21, 2013 9:59 am

dbstealey says:
August 21, 2013 at 9:51 am
Surely the entrails of a starved to death polar bear cub are the One True Prognosticatory Sign.

Richard M
August 21, 2013 10:00 am

While many have focused on the humorous “spotology”, the real spear into the AGW elephant is the CERES graph. Nice find Willis, it is clear evidence that clouds are a negative feedback where it matter most … in the tropics. I should also note that CERES data also verifies the RSS data showing a clear regime shift from warming to cooling around 2005. CERES is a skeptics best friend.

Pamela Gray
August 21, 2013 10:06 am

I love Family Circle, especially when Billy tries to walk a straight line through the neighborhood. Replace Billy with Hotspot and we have the makings of a … wait for it … cartoon! Climate Science reduced to a cartoon. And that’s the end of THAT story!

Gordon C
August 21, 2013 10:10 am

Sorry folks, only North and south Carolina have “Hot Spots”. We have located them all years ago and have moved on: http://www.hotspotcstore.com/locations.html

RockyRoad
August 21, 2013 10:25 am

I know where Trenberth’s “hot spot” is–he couldn’t find it in the atmosphere, so he looked down on Earth and found multiple hot spots! They just happen to coincide with every coal-fired power plant.
And that explains Obama’s war on coal.

August 21, 2013 10:33 am

SteveV says:
August 21, 2013 at 3:50 am
The moving hotspot. I believe there is a term for this. It’s called the Texas sharpshooter fallacy.
______________________
Brilliant. However, it surely applies to much more than the moving hotspot.

choey2
August 21, 2013 10:34 am

Eschenbach is right. It would make a great b-movie. One of those scifi movies that are so bad they’re funny. “The Hotspot That Baked Chicago”.

Colin
August 21, 2013 10:36 am

I see spots befors my eyes. Call Trenberth quick. I need to know which spots they are.

milodonharlani
August 21, 2013 10:36 am

choey2 says:
August 21, 2013 at 10:34 am
Eschenbach is right. It would make a great b-movie. One of those scifi movies that are so bad they’re funny. “The Hotspot That Baked Chicago”.
——————
Since sharks are out, maybe the roving hot spot carries with it buzzards & vultures.

EthicallyCivil
August 21, 2013 10:39 am

One cannot claim the “odds” of drought have increase if there is no shift in the sampled set.
One cannot claim loaded dice when the sampling to date shows an unloaded distribution. If we start with a hypothesis of “loaded die”, and look at the rolling history of that die and see even distribution (within expected sampling errors), then we can invalidate the hypothesis.

BBould
August 21, 2013 10:39 am

richardscourtney Thanks for your clarifications they are important.

Kick
August 21, 2013 10:40 am

Ken Hall says:
August 21, 2013 at 7:03 am
“So how come physicists have not been able to quantify and measure this new found function of heat, which I now label, ‘sneaky’. This function, apparently, renders heat able to hide away from satellites and even has the ability to sink in water, to depths of deeper than 700 meters, without being detected as it descends. What is the distinctive atomic or molecular mechanism, derived from CO2, which can transform ordinary, rising heat, into first the very sticky heat, (which does not leave the top of the atmosphere, (thus warming the planet according to models)) and then through to this new ‘sneaky’ heat, which can also sink and hide?
I ask because in spite of the alarmists claiming that there are the equivalent of n thousand Hiroshima nuclear blasts worth of heat being added to the atmosphere, the heat is stubbornly refusing to make itself known to all attempts to find it.”
Perhaps an entirely new field of study? Combine ‘sticky heat’ and ‘sneaky heat’ in the new field of ‘Black Heat’? or perhaps ‘Anti-Heat’- since Dr. Trenberth and colleagues can’t seem to find it?

Pamela Gray
August 21, 2013 11:06 am

Dear God let us NOT get into another row of exactly what is the definition of the “heat” in the illusive hotspot. Keep that hatchet BURIED!

Berényi Péter
August 21, 2013 11:08 am

Dr. Kevin Trenberth, Distinguished Senior Scientist says:
“We can confidently say that […] the odds of a hot spot somewhere on the planet have increased.”
It is supposed to be a scientific proposition, is it? In that case it should be falsifiable, that is, we can unequivocally describe a hypothetical state of affairs, which, if observed, would make its negation true. Something along the lines “It is not the case we can confidently say…”. Or, somewhat more directly and ridiculously:
“We can diffidently say that the odds of a hot spot somewhere on the planet have increased.”
Now, what kind of proposition is that? Its subject matter is not even climate, but the mental state of some climate scientists, that is, their confidence or the lack thereof. As such, it is surely not a scientific proposition, or if it was, it did not belong to the natural sciences, but to sociology, psychology, whatever.
However, we are not interested in those disciplines right now, are we? So, let’s proceed with the kernel of Trenberth’s proposition, which relates to objective reality, not his pals’ stance concerning a certain proposition.
“The odds of a hot spot somewhere on the planet have increased.”
Much better. We only need a clear cut definition of “hot spot” to make it falsifiable. Or rather, a definition of “hot spot (B)”, because there is already a technical term in climate science under the very same name, with a completely different meaning. Ouch. A Distinguished Senior Scientist is surely aware of this inconvenient fact. Anyway.
1. Hot Spot (A): A hypothetical layer high up in tropical troposphere where rate of warming is much faster than close to the surface (not observed).
2. Hot Spot (B): A region close to the surface anywhere on the globe, which happens to be much warmer than its surroundings. Or something to that effect.
We have some 24 years of continuous satellite observations in digital format with reasonable resolution, therefore it should be possible to identify all occurrences of “Hot Spot (B)” in channel TLT (Temperature Lower Troposphere) under any reasonable technical definition of the concept using a simple script. I am not aware of such a study, nevertheless it looks quite feasible.
Its result would either confirm or reject Trenberth’s proposition.
The only question remaining is what fuels the confidence of a Distinguished Senior Scientist in the absence of such study. But that’s a question for psychology and has nothing to do with climate science as such.

JeffC
August 21, 2013 11:10 am

and when they got home they found a hook dangling from the car door handle … the hooked killer had just missed 2 more victims …

Editor
August 21, 2013 11:12 am

First the “hotspot” was the relatively rapid warming of the upper troposphere that would be seen if warming were caused by increased CO2, but that hotspot went missing. Then there was Trenberth’s Loch Ness deep ocean hotspot, where the missing heat was supposedly slipping into the abyss, too far down for us to find it. Now he’s claiming that for gauging climate it is weather that matters, not climate. From the upper troposphere to the deep oceans to rank disinformation, and he will probably find a way to go lower still.

Editor
August 21, 2013 11:16 am

P.S. to Willis: awesome albedo correlation discovery. Any speculation on how the tropical albedo effect is likely to change as the world warms or cools? That is, any speculation on the second derivative of albedo with respect to temperature? I’m curious because the second derivative is dramatic in the case of polar albedo effects, making cooling inherently much more dangerous than warming, but what really matters is the planetary second derivative, which requires putting the polar second together in an appropriately weighted sum with the tropical second.
In the polar case the albedo effect gets weaker as the world warms and stronger as the world cools. In the cooling direction, snow and ice descend to latitudes that cover much larger swaths of surface area (which in the northern hemisphere are mostly land, which only needs freezing temperatures to hold snow cover). These lower latitudes also receive more direct insolation, so the albedo effect rapidly increases by both area and the amount of energy reflected per area. In the warming direction the marginal polar albedo effect decreases for the same reasons. There is not much snow and ice left to melt and it is only reflecting away a very oblique insolation anyway.
Thus from our present starting point the polar albedo feedback in the warming direction would seem to be benign in terms of having little power to create any runaway temperature change, but in the cooling direction the albedo feedback is increasingly “vicious,” confirmed by fact that it regularly throws the planet into hundred thousand year long glacial periods. For figuring out what we should be worried about, the second derivative is huge. It marks a strong asymmetry where there is little to worry about in one direction and much to worry about in the other.
But the polar albedo effect is only part of the picture so I’m curious what the tropical second derivative of albedo with respect to temperature might be.

Editor
August 21, 2013 11:19 am

Maybe we should call it “dark heat”, similar to dark matter. Our instruments don’t see it, but AGW theory says it’s supposed to be there. So observations-be-damned, we’re going to pretend it’s there.

Chad Wozniak
August 21, 2013 11:32 am

Eureka!! I’ve found it!! The MISSING HOTSPOT!! It’s painted squarely on the middle of Trenberth’s back!! No wonder he can’t find it! A dog never catches its tail when chasing it.

clipe
August 21, 2013 11:32 am

jones says:
August 21, 2013 at 5:21 am
I’m extremely worried that with all these hotspots and coldspots that we are going to have an awful lot of tepidspots and all the catastrophe that might entail.
Anyone want to lay odds?

Global Tepidity is my greatest fear. Children won’t know what a good cup of tea is.

tadchem
August 21, 2013 11:32 am

So the hotspot “moves around and the location is not very predictable,” like a cockroach in a kitchen? Does it leave its ‘footprints’ on the thermometers?

Brian H
August 21, 2013 11:38 am

Another reality disconnect: heat waves and drought are very different. Drought comes mostly from atmospheric cooling and drying, not heat.

Richard G
August 21, 2013 11:40 am

A Forest Gump misquote is in order here:
“We been through every kind of heat there is. Little bitty stinging heat, and big old FAT heat, heat that flew in sideways, and sometimes the heat seemed to come straight up from underneath. Shoot, it was even hot at night.”
http://youtu.be/s3eLJdb2ZN4

Leonard Lane
August 21, 2013 11:53 am

richardscourtney says:
August 21, 2013 at 9:27 am
Leonard Lane:
Re your post at August 21, 2013 at 9:00 am
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/21/stalking-the-rogue-hotspot/#comment-1396196
in response to the points from johnmarshall.
As you imply, the climate models don’t have the faults he suggests.
———————
Thank you Richard, it does help.

August 21, 2013 11:54 am

Weather vs climate

Tom in Florida
August 21, 2013 12:20 pm

RACookPE1978 says:
August 21, 2013 at 8:11 am
Pamela Gray says:
August 21, 2013 at 7:37 am
… I can’t even type wetspot names. Even my fingers are laughing!
“The wetspot always lies about the other side of the bad.”
————————————————————————————————————-
I think “bed” is simply misspelled.

DirkH
August 21, 2013 12:30 pm

BTW, Trenberths hotspot reminds me of UCS’s Brenda Ekwurzel’s Turbocharged Weather Patterns.
New York. 2011 – how Global Warming is causing more snow

JPeden
August 21, 2013 12:36 pm

August 21, 2013 at 4:44 am
It’d be nice if this was broken into two seperate posts.
I’d like to share the part about the missing heat, but no one I know wants to sit through talk about rhetoric.

How dare you diss “mainstream” Climate Science! It’s rhetoric is its “science”. The farther away its rhetoric is from reality and science, the better! Aka, the Ivory Tower in very high orbit, maybe even unprecedented! NOAA has already erected some kind of post-modern/post-normal science fetish to it, the” Four Pillars of Climate Science,” while the rest of us only need take some LSD.

F. Ross
August 21, 2013 12:50 pm

Clinton. Parse anything he [or she] says very carefully.
Obama. dittto
Trenbirth: sadly, ditto.
Mann: fuhgedaboudit!

Dan Murphy
August 21, 2013 12:53 pm

“mkelly says:
August 21, 2013 at 7:35 am
Greg says:
August 21, 2013 at 3:53 am
I wonder what is driving this devilish hot spot around the planet. Giant bubbles of CO2, no doubt.
Now I know what went after Number 6 and others whenever they left the village. The bubbles that chased them were giant bubbles of CO2.”
_______________
Am I the only one that caught mkelly’s reference to the classic show “The Prisoner”? Come to think of it, there are many characters in the show that remind me of certain personalities in the climate debate. Perhaps we can cast Willis in the roll of Number 6. Funny how the warmist crowd always seem to be trying to keep folks in the village of AAGW Doctrine.

Dennis Dunton
August 21, 2013 1:02 pm

Craig says:
August 21, 2013 at 6:04 am
STUDY: Climate change causing climate models to become less reliable
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Absolutely brilliant Craig…..LMAO

Resourceguy
August 21, 2013 1:05 pm

I heard there is a hot spot in southern Somalia or was it in Egypt? Better go check it out.

August 21, 2013 1:13 pm

So funny, thank you Willis

The part that I particularly enjoyed is the foreboding, menacing quality of his claim that there is now some roving “hotspot”, whose location “moves around” and “is not very predictable”. Dang, what if the dreaded “hotspot” comes to my town? Does he mean we might be faced with the much-feared phenomenon known locally as “a really hot summer”.

Gosh Eric Worrall, could you be any meaner? For no apparent reason?
Also funny Bruce Cobb:

He could affectionately be known as “Dr. Spots”

Ken Hall,

No Ken No, as with quarks and their ilk it has be a ‘ness’. Like sneakiness, movieness, slinkiness. See what I mean – ness.

You mean Nessie?
and Stephen Wilde :

We need money for Spotographs and Spotometers. Billions will be necessary.

I keep laughing anew–this is all so hilarious.
And funniest of all. Gary says:

See Spot Run.
Run, Spot, Run.

milodonharlani
August 21, 2013 1:15 pm

Walter Dnes says:
August 21, 2013 at 11:19 am
Maybe we should call it “dark heat”, similar to dark matter. Our instruments don’t see it, but AGW theory says it’s supposed to be there. So observations-be-damned, we’re going to pretend it’s there.
——————-
It’s worse than we thought. The missing dark heat is actually cool heat. Unprecedented!
And the dark energy is anti-energy.

Mickey Reno
August 21, 2013 1:18 pm

What do the tree rings say? C’mon all you dendrospotometrists… there’s PAPERS to publish!

milodonharlani
August 21, 2013 1:18 pm

Day By Day says:
August 21, 2013 at 1:13 pm
So, Richard Muller’s BEST is now Spotted Dick Pudding?

August 21, 2013 1:28 pm

Willis your reasoning makes sense as far as it goes, but when the tropics have had La Nina Periods in the past there was still no evidence of even a hint of a tropical hotspot..
I predict if the tropics cool going forward due to greater La Nina activity going forward that the hot spot will still be missing in action.
Meanwhile relative humidities keep falling at all levels of the atmosphere over the past many years further showing a lack of a positive feedback between co2 and water vapor.
Willis is also admitting that cloud coverage acts as a cooling agent overall in stark contrast to what the global warming models predict.
I agree with that Willis.

Ian W
August 21, 2013 1:36 pm

While the levity is interesting – I thought I would see why a hotspot was thought to exist. So I went to the fount of all knowledge on that SKS:
“The tropospheric hot spot is due to changes in the lapse rate (Bengtsson 2009, Trenberth 2006, Ramaswamy 2006). As you get higher into the atmosphere, it gets colder. The rate of cooling is called the lapse rate. When the air cools enough for water vapor to condense, latent heat is released. The more moisture in the air, the more heat is released. As it’s more moist in the tropics, the air cools at a slower rate compared to the poles. For example, it cools at around 4°C per kilometre at the equator but a much larger 8 to 9°C per kilometre at the subtropics.
When the surface warms, there’s more evaporation and more moisture in the air. This decreases the lapse rate – there’s less cooling aloft. This means warming aloft is greater than warming at the surface. This amplified trend is the hot spot. It’s all to do with changes in the lapse rate, regardless of what’s causing the warming. If the warming was caused by a brightening sun or reduced sulphate pollution, you’d still see a hot spot. “

http://www.skepticalscience.com/What-causes-the-tropospheric-hot-spot.html
(my bolding)
I have no way of knowing if the explanation above has been slavishly transcribed into code in the various GCMs, but I think I can see an error in the logic of the explanation that would explain a missing hot spot.
Humid air has higher enthalpy than dry air as the water molecules hold heat until state change condensing or freezing. There is no doubt that water changing state from vapor to liquid on condensation then from liquid to ice on freezing releases latent heat. If you look at the GOES satellite imagery the outgoing infrared can be seen – see http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/natl/flash-rb.html
Note that the infrared is from latent heat of state change and therefore is temperature independent thus not subject to Stefan Boltzmann’s equations.
The assumption made in the SKS description above is that this ‘warms’ the atmosphere. However, what is released is Electro Magnetic Radiation (EMR). EMR of itself has no ‘temperature’ it needs to be incident on and absorbed by a gas molecule that is sensitive to that particular frequency of radiation to ‘raise its temperature’ i.e. increase the molecule’s kinetic energy. Well we can see some EMR on the satellite imagery so a fair amount is directly radiating to space. The EMR travels in all directions. The non-radiative gases Oxygen and Nitrogen will not be affected they are transparent to the long wave EMR. Carbon Dioxide may scatter some of the long wave EMR in one of three very narrow bands but at height in the tropopause there is little carbon dioxide to scatter the infrared anyway. Those few Carbon Dioxide molecules that do absorb the EMR and which collide with an Oxygen or Nitrogen molecule before re-emitting the energy may raise the kinetic energy of the molecule they collide with – raising the temperature of the atmosphere at that point. However, what is guaranteed to absorb the EMR will be water molecules close to the radiating molecule as it changes state and radiates the EMR. Those water molecules are likely also about to change state or have changed state on cooling; receiving another EMR photon may delay its change of state or reverse its change of state. BUT it will not raise the temperature of the water molecules. That is It will increase the molecule’s energy content rather than the molecule’s kinetic energy.
So there is more energy in the high level tropical troposphere – but it is held by the water molecules not changing state as rapidly not as a ‘hot spot’ with higher temperature i.e. gas molecules with higher kinetic energy. When these water molecules do eventually change state condensing or freezing the EMR mainly escapes to space.
Climate ‘science’ lax use of terms may have led to this, as heat radiation is not equivalent to temperature; carbon dioxide and water vapor are both called ‘green house gases’ but their behavior is fundamentally different.
Am I down a rat-hole – or does that explain the lack of a ‘hot’ spot.

Lars P
August 21, 2013 1:40 pm

Well, Jupiter has its Hot Spot the Earth needs one too. It is not the hot spot forecasted by the models but it should do, the running Hot Spot.
Maybe it is running to catch the Cold Spot?
Thanks Willis for the good laugh!

Tagerbaek
August 21, 2013 1:44 pm

Craig: funniest satire I’ve read in a long time. Brilliant. Thank you.

JP
August 21, 2013 1:48 pm

So, what Dr Trenbeth is saying is that during the summer months some part of the globe will have a drought/ heat wave conditions? That is, some part of the globe will be very hot and very dry? Could it be that his “roaming hotspot” is nothing more than seasonal variations determined by synoptic level oscillations in our atmosphere? That is, this magical hot spot is in fact a normal atmospheric condition known as summer? I bet there is an +80% chance of some location on the globe going through a drought/heat wave at any given time. Sheesh.

richardscourtney
August 21, 2013 2:09 pm

Ian W:
Re your post at August 21, 2013 at 1:36 pm
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/21/stalking-the-rogue-hotspot/#comment-1396416
Sorry, but the SkS explanation you quote is plain wrong.
Indeed, if it were right that

It’s all to do with changes in the lapse rate, regardless of what’s causing the warming. If the warming was caused by a brightening sun or reduced sulphate pollution, you’d still see a hot spot.

then the absence of the Hot Spot would be clear evidence that THERE HAS BEEN NO GLOBAL WARMING FROM ANY CAUSE since 1958 when measurements began.
The true reason for the tropospheric Hot Spot is Water Vapour Feedback (WVF).
Please read my above post at
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/21/stalking-the-rogue-hotspot/#comment-1395986
and read its link to the pertinent IPCC text for a proper explanation of the Hot Spot.
The absence of the Hot Spot indicates that the WVF is so small as to have no discernible effect. Hence, anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW) is too small for it to be discernible.
Your explanation of the absence of the Hot Spot is wrong because it is based on information from SkS which is wrong. But you could do worse than going to SkS when researching AGW by going to RC.
Richard

Jon
August 21, 2013 2:09 pm

But fortunately for everyone, the stupidspot is rapidly moving away from the centres of power and gradually shrinking as it goes.

Mickey Reno
August 21, 2013 2:19 pm

I’m going to withhold judgement until I hear what the tree rings say. Does dendro-spotometry verify Trenberth’s claim?

Jay
August 21, 2013 2:39 pm

Half the temperatures are below the average.

taxed
August 21, 2013 2:42 pm

Well it looks like we have a cold spot forming over Northern Russia.
A high has formed of the type l have been posting about that is sitting on the Arctic circle.
Because its northern edge is deep into the Arctic. Its drawing a lot of cold air down (with the help of a area of low pressure to the east) across northern Russia. Bringing a early start to winter with the temps up to 5C below average.

BBould
August 21, 2013 2:51 pm

richardscourtney Do you concur with the 3 scientists on climate dialog’s web site that the warming can’t be found in the tropical troposphere?

richardscourtney
August 21, 2013 3:09 pm

BBould:
At August 21, 2013 at 2:51 pm you ask me

Do you concur with the 3 scientists on climate dialog’s web site that the warming can’t be found in the tropical troposphere?

Sorry, but I do not understand the question as it is stated.
What is meant by “the warming can’t be found in the tropical troposphere?”
I stated the facts in my above post at
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/21/stalking-the-rogue-hotspot/#comment-1395986
where I said

The absence of the Hot Spot indicates
(a) The AGW hypothesis emulated by the climate models is wrong
OR
(b) There has been no discernible global warming from “well-mixed greenhouse gases” since 1958
OR
(c) There has been no discernible global warming from any cause since 1958.

For an explanation of why please read what I wrote in that post and use the link in that post to access the IPCC AR4 and associated text which provides detail.
If this answer is not what you wanted then please rephrase your question so I can understand what you do want.
Richard

BBould
August 21, 2013 3:15 pm

richardscourtney – “Climate models show amplified warming high in the tropical troposphere due to greenhouse forcing. However data from satellites and weather balloons don’t show much amplification.” Quotes from climate dialog. I’m still learning the jargon so I can understand if I was being obtuse. I did read you other post as well.

Chris R.
August 21, 2013 3:22 pm

As Pamela Gray has noted above, the pursuit
of hotter “hotspots” and wetter “wetspots” goes better when the
two types of spots are combined.
I have just started writing a grant request for $5M funding to allow
me to extensively research the phenomena mentioned above.
Now, where do I submit this request….

richardscourtney
August 21, 2013 3:30 pm

BBould:
re your post to me at August 21, 2013 at 3:15 pm
You quote a statement from ‘climate dialog’ that says

Climate models show amplified warming high in the tropical troposphere due to greenhouse forcing. However data from satellites and weather balloons don’t show much amplification.

Actually, that is not correct. It should say;
Climate models show amplified warming high in the tropical troposphere due to greenhouse forcing. However data from satellites and weather balloons don’t show ANY STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT amplification.
This problem is so serious a problem for the AGW hypothesis that Allen & Sherwood published a paper which attempted to claim wind speed was a better indicator of temperature than calibrated temperature sensors on weather balloons!
I hope this additional information answers what you want from me.
Richard

Doug Proctor
August 21, 2013 3:47 pm

If his heat is not missing, what is it he has “found” in the deep ocean?

BBould
August 21, 2013 3:52 pm

richardscourtney: Thank you very much, it did make it clearer.

David A. Evans
August 21, 2013 4:02 pm

Craig
Brilliant, love it, or I would, except that I understand it is now in pal review in Nature. 🙁
Pamela, Naming hotspots after women is sexist, I propose Popeye, Tom, (Cruise), Richard, (Gere) and Brad, (Pitt), as alternatives.
Coldspots, I can only think of Angela, (Merkel).
Wetspots, Retaining the gender neutral theme…
Dick & Fanny. (May require transatlantic translation.)
DaveE.

Green Sand
August 21, 2013 5:08 pm

Folks, you’re missing the point. This is just the opening PR gambit for the first truly Global Warming Global Lottery!
Place your bets where will the next “Hot Spot” land?
Round and round its goes, where it stops nobody knows!
Place your bets!
Form, rating data and offers are available from the usual online gambling sites. For example, at present the UKMO have an offer to refund all losing bets on a whole continent! Fine print – (Antarctica)

Pamela Gray
August 21, 2013 5:24 pm

Doug! Once again…
spray, wipe, clean, dry

dp
August 21, 2013 6:21 pm

It took me less than 2 minutes to find Trenberth’s missing hotspot:

Jeff Alberts
August 21, 2013 6:22 pm

I think the “wetspot” is wherever Mann happens to be when he has a hissy fit. Depends…

Streetcred
August 21, 2013 6:43 pm

Ahhh, Dr. Trenberth is referring to the dreaded “wetspot”, and he doesn’t mean the one the baby leaves on your shoulder.

No, he means the one left by the continual bed-wetting of the CAGW protagonists … including himself.

RDCII
August 21, 2013 7:18 pm

And just think…suppose a year goes by and no Hot Spot is observed…Trenberth can say that it still happened. It’s just that the Hot Spot coincided with a Cold Spot that year…

Steve Keohane
August 21, 2013 7:48 pm

bobl says:August 21, 2013 at 8:00 am
I’ve FOUND IT – The Hot Spot. It starts out at about 2PM on any point of the planet and moves westward 15 degrees every hour until it comes back to you about 24 hours later !
Amazing ….

You beat me to it. I was going to say it actually doesn’t move, the earth rotates around the sun, not vice versa. I think that is settled science.

thisisnotgoodtogo
August 21, 2013 8:17 pm

Kevin already identified sol as a cool spot since the warming got more lost.

August 21, 2013 8:26 pm

What I got out of Willis Eschenbaughs fine presentation is that Dr. Trenberth is not a practicing scientist following the Scientific Method because he is busy pushing disjointed propaganda about a “roving” SURFACE hotspot which is clearly different from the conjectured 10 KM high in the tropics atmosphere for a hotspot that is never seen.
Thus he finds the WEATHER based roving hotspot easily in his addled mind but fails to realize that the conjectured hotspot is based on climate trend as pointed out even in their own published paper.
The man is a mess.

August 21, 2013 8:28 pm

TomR,Worc,MA,USA says:
August 21, 2013 at 6:22 am
I must confess that when Willis mentioned “the dreaded wet spot”, my mind took me to a completely different place than the article.

I’m sure that place crossed Willis’s mind as well, but in a rare moment of delicacy, he opted for the baby.
/Mr Lynn

TimTheToolMan
August 21, 2013 8:34 pm

Gary says:
See Spot Run.
Run, Spot, Run.
I can tell you mid to late 40s is enough to ROTFLMFAO about that 🙂

climatebeagle
August 21, 2013 8:36 pm

Ferd says:
“We are now looking for regional hotspots as opposed to looking for a warming planet.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I submit to you that the goal posts have once again been moved!”

GRW – Global Regional Warming – the new tagline

C.K.Moore
August 21, 2013 8:39 pm

Nice clear explanation Willis. Makes me glad to live on a wet planet.
BTW: “Scientificity” is a good word–until I tried to say it out loud. One false move on the syllable accent and it’s all over. 🙂

August 21, 2013 8:40 pm

The “hot spot” won’t happen because it would require a decrease in entropy

TomRude
August 21, 2013 8:42 pm

When reality does not fit the narrative, change reality…

RoHa
August 21, 2013 8:47 pm

Could someone please move the hotspot back to Brisbane? It’s got cold again here, and I’m beginning to have doubts about Global Warming.

jcspe
August 21, 2013 8:56 pm

OMG, Oh, dear, Oh Gosh!!!!!! The dreaded wetspot. Now I won’t be able to sleep. 8)

Admin
August 21, 2013 9:03 pm

Day by Day I think Trenberth is slime, because while confessing to mates there were serious problems with their heat budget, he maintained a facade of absolute conviction in the science, and helped foster the myth that it was “settled”.
Trenberth has helped and continues to help facilitate the squandering of horrendous amounts of money on green cr@p, money which could have been spent on medical care or education or simply been left in people’s pockets, so they could decide how to spend it.
All for what? Because his ego is too big to admit in public that he might be wrong? Because he’s on a good thing and doesn’t want to let it go? Because he is prostituting his credibility as a climate scientist to further a personal political agenda? We might never know the real reason he does what he does – but what he is doing is in my opinion very, very wrong.

ferdberple
August 21, 2013 9:29 pm

Ian W says:
August 21, 2013 at 1:36 pm
This amplified trend is the hot spot. It’s all to do with changes in the lapse rate, regardless of what’s causing the warming. If the warming was caused by a brightening sun or reduced sulphate pollution, you’d still see a hot spot. “
==============
SKS argument means the neither co2 nor sun nor sulphate caused warming, because there is no tropospheric hotspot.

ferdberple
August 21, 2013 9:35 pm

but of course the sks argument leads to nonsense, because there reasoning is nonsense. co2 warms from the atmosphere to the surface. the sun and sulphates warm from the surface to the atmosphere. in the case of co2, the surface lags the atmosphere. in the case of the sun and sulphates it is the atmosphere that lags the surface.

stan stendera
August 21, 2013 9:51 pm

Willis’ Eagle soars ever higher.
I have been reading this blog for five years. The WUWT community have outdone themselves.
You have hit my funny spot.

ferdberple
August 21, 2013 9:56 pm

pick anything you like, for example the odds of finding a $100 bill lying on the ground. you can definitely say that there is a place on earth right now where the odds of this happening have increased. and also that this spot will move around and it is hard to predict where and when it will happen next.
And it is all caused by increased CO2.

Resources Wire
August 21, 2013 10:00 pm

The hotspot is quite predictable: it is the locational reciprocal of Al Gore’s current location.

Jean Parisot
August 21, 2013 10:06 pm

Here’s a hint, the hotspot will generally be facing the sun – the cold spot, not.

ferdberple
August 21, 2013 10:12 pm

memo to Dr T
if climate never changed, the odds that this year will be hotter than any other on record increases every year for every place on earth. this is a result of a change in the length of time you have been keeping records and has nothing to do with climate change.
what you call your rogue hotspot was discovered year ago. it is called the laws of chance. seriously dude, get a grip.

ferdberple
August 21, 2013 10:27 pm

Dr. T’s rogue hotspot is no different than a rogue wave on the ocean. the longer you travel on te ocean the greater the odds you will encounter a rogue wave larger than any others you have seen previously. which of course means that co2 powers the ocean. before we had SUV’s the ocean was flat calm.

Matthew R Marler
August 21, 2013 10:35 pm

Dear Willis,
When you’re hot you’re hot, and this short essay is excellent.

intrepid_wanders
August 21, 2013 10:49 pm

Jean Parisot says:
August 21, 2013 at 10:06 pm
Here’s a hint, the hotspot will generally be facing the sun – the cold spot, not.

Would that be a wet hot-spot and should I be alarmed?

Mike Tremblay
August 21, 2013 11:04 pm

Well done Willis. Random hotspots do not explain how the average temperatures stay the same unless there are corresponding cold spots of equal magnitude which maintain the average at the same temperature – this is the fundamental problem with Trenberth’s current explanation. In other words, if the average daily temperature remains the same, a record high temperature must be matched by a corresponding record low.

KNR
August 21, 2013 11:52 pm

Eric Worrall like Mann Dr T has no choice but to keep doubling up on this ‘bet’ has he knows his academic ‘dead meat ‘ when the cause falls . Without AGW these guys have nothing they could not get a job teaching physics in poor high school when it falls . All they have to look forward to is public ridicule.

Richard Lewis
August 22, 2013 12:45 am

The dread wet spot has been sighted! And you all thought this “spot” stuff was daft!
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/20/climate_change_made_sea_levels_fall_in_2010_and_2011/

Bruce
August 22, 2013 12:48 am

You’re a clever chap Willis. So is Trenberth. The difference is that his belief system – or is it funding system – acts like a straight-jacket on his mind, channelling his thoughts in one direction only. You’re a free thinker. If the funding went to free thinkers we’d crack this climate conundrum in jig time.

Peter Miller
August 22, 2013 1:06 am

Interesting – not a single troll comment.
I think the conclusion in this post of Willis may have touched a very raw nerve.
“My conclusion is that Dr. Trenberth’s infamous “missing heat” is missing because it never entered the system. It was reflected away by a slight increase in the average albedo, likely caused by a slight change in the cloud onset time or thickness.”
Mother Nature’s clouds versus CAGW theory. No doubt who’s the winner here.

John Trigge (in Oz)
August 22, 2013 1:33 am

After Dr T eventually finds the ‘hot’ spot, which I fully expect him to do even if he has to torture, homogenise, adjust and statistically contort the ‘data’, perhaps he could assist all of us males in finding the elusive ‘G’ spot.

Aynsley Kellow
August 22, 2013 1:48 am

Would someone please point out to Kevin Trenberth that the record maximum temperature in Hobart last summer was caused by the very same factors that caused the previous record to be reached c1982: strong northerly airstreams bringing down air from central Australia that was not unusually hot for central Australia.
The whole explanation seems on a par with a wonderful (so bad it is good) movie set in Hobart, ‘Arctic Blast’. Plot summary from IMDB:
‘When a solar eclipse sends a colossal blast of super chilled air towards the earth, it then sets off a catastrophic chain of events that threatens to engulf the world in ice and begin a new Ice Age.’
The more observant will have noticed that it’s a bit difficult for an Arctic blast to begin in the oceans south of Tasmania. Rent it for a good laugh. It won’t have quite the same appeal it does for us Hobartians seeing familiar sights in a climate catastrophe schlock-fest, but it still contains gems (Including CSIRO’s Division of Marine and Atmospheric Research vessel ‘Southern Surveyor’ in a cameo role).

Londo
August 22, 2013 2:34 am

“Craig says:
August 21, 2013 at 6:04 am
STUDY: Climate change causing climate models to become less reliable”
Hilarious stuff.

Mr Green Genes
August 22, 2013 2:38 am

jones says:
August 21, 2013 at 5:44 am
What about the G-spot?

==========================
Ah! Would that be the cause of Frank Zappa’s G-Spot Tornado?
FZ strikes again!

Kon Dealer
August 22, 2013 2:49 am

Ah Trenberth’s version of Heisenberg’s “Uncertainty Principle”
We can predict the temperature of the “hotspot, but not its position:-)
What a whack-job!

Ulric Lyons
August 22, 2013 3:01 am

“In addition, afternoon thunderstorms not only keep the afternoon temperatures down, they also drive evening and night cooling. As a result, when the day is warmer at dawn, the following morning is cooler.”
Something that the Silver Lining Project should take not of.

Ulric Lyons
August 22, 2013 3:01 am

Something that the Silver Lining Project should take note of.

David Riser
August 22, 2013 3:15 am

LOL Willis you really shouldn’t mix good science with bad. I hope there is a follow on essay on your cloud theory.
v/r,
David Riser

David
August 22, 2013 3:20 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
August 21, 2013 at 9:33 am
Chris Schoneveld says:
August 21, 2013 at 4:02 am
Willis, could you explain this: ” the net effect of cloud cover (longwave minus shortwave)”?
Sure, but it’s better explained the the citation. Clouds affect the shortwave (solar radiation), they decrease it. They also affect the longwave radiation, but that, they increase. So their net effect is the difference in the absolute values of those two effects
==================================================
I would like to add that the “net” affect should not be related just on a direct comparison, of watts per sq M. The residence time, of the energies involved must be calculated. It is clear that the residence time of SWR in the tropics penetrating the ocean surface is imense compared to LWIR.
Therefore the SWR entering the ocean may still be there for a very long time (potentially decades) where as the LWIR is rapidly escorted back to the atmosphere. In such an example 1/10th the W/M2 SWR may, OVER TIME, add far more heat to the earth then a ten fold larger W/M2 increase in LWIR, if that is daily exited from the planet.
(The short version, “Tomorrows SWR may well be additive totodays, and the day before, whereas tomorrows LWIR will be gone tomorrow.”

August 22, 2013 3:25 am

Funny stuff. Thank you Willis and everyone. After all their years of well-funded scientific research, the UN, the Nobel Peace Prize … a tiny mouse’s squeak of fear. We need the late Terry-Thomas to conduct an interview; I’ll give it a try.
Dr. T: The future is hard to predict.
Me: Thank you Dr. T for that acute observation. I know we can all learn a great deal from someone of your … credentials. But just one thing: the so-called skeptics are pointing out that your observations have gone downhill over the years, and now you seem a bit less acute than any blowhard in any bar.
Dr. T: The so-called skeptics are deniers. They don’t recognize the truth of the consensus.
Me: But you’ve always had these outbursts of honesty where you admit that the consensus isn’t particularly persuasive, and now there seems to be nothing but a vague fear that something bad might happen.
Dr. T: You don’t seem to recognize the significance … IPCC … hmph hmph … alphabet soup of scientific credentials and, er, journalistic credentials and, er, quite a few bachelor’s degrees in something or other.
Me: But what has actually been learned from all this?
Dr. T: We apply our huge intelligence, our acute judgment, and our scientific understanding in order to constantly refine our conclusions so we can tell the world what the consensus is.
Me: The future is hard to predict?
Dr. T: Not just that. Many years ago, in our first massive tome, we said the future is hard to predict. The media swooned over our insight. A few years later, we said the future is very very hard to predict, and we had a lot of bogus hockey stick graphs. In the report that is about to come out, we say the future is triple hard to predict. The blowhard in the bar is correct, but unlike us with our superb training and insight, he doesn’t know just how correct he is.

August 22, 2013 4:00 am

Well written, well explained, thank you for writing in a way that opens up the science for us non scientists to understand. In the end it is mostly common sense.
Which brings one to the main point of this article, at what point does a man like Trenberth admit that what he is saying has no common sense? We all know we can see patterns in anything because the mind is designed to pick out patterns, and statistics can be used to prove anything, but at some point integrity has to kick in.
Belief has a role in science, it guides you towards targets which can be tested and falsified, but there comes a point where you have re-engage with those believes and change direction, surely Trenberth has reached such a moment. Or does he have no integrity?
One feels that Climate science has reached a point where the advocates have to choose between admiting they are on the wrong side of the debate, or lose their reputations as scientists of integrity. It is not good enough to clutch at straws.
Love the preview mode! Now can we have a spelling checker?

aaron
August 22, 2013 4:05 am

I’ve reproduced the second part of this post here to share with friend. Let me know if this isn’t okay.
http://cumulativemodel.blogspot.com/2013/08/warm-weather-increases-albedo-in-key.html

August 22, 2013 4:10 am

Let’s cut to the chase, no matter what is happening in climate, if it’s hot or cold, dry or wet, whenever, wherever, it is due to anthropogenic global warming…so saith the vainglorious overlords,,,

Dr Burns
August 22, 2013 4:11 am

“Dr. Trenberth’s claims both very depressing and very encouraging. ” It’s also encouraging that he claims the key “proof” for AGW is sea levels. If that’s the best he can come up with, the IPCC is clearly lost at sea.

Dolphinhead
August 22, 2013 4:26 am

on the face of it Figure 3 seems to indicate that there is overall greater negative correlation (based on surface area) but does anyone know what the relative heat energy levels are given that the tropics receive proportionally far more solar insolation than other latitudes?

Gary Pearse
August 22, 2013 4:52 am

Willis, I’ve re-read this brilliant piece of very concentrated science and I’m blown away with its elegance and simplicity. Following your stuff is like eavesdropping on the birth of climate science. How can card-carrying climate scientists stand to be in the wings also only eavesdropping on the birth of what is supposed to be their child. It was good narrative to begin with the desperate, bankrupt, disoriented extinguished “Senior Scientist”, but I fear many of your readers were a bit blinded by mirth and seem to have missed out on something very big in this post.
From your insights over many posts I’ve come to the idea that when there is a lack of fundamental understanding of phenomena, we appeal to chaos theory to ease the stress of not grasping the nub of the science – it must be chaotic. Man, climate is becoming more and more deterministic as your probing continues. Why already, I think we can predict that if on August 20th, 2050, equatorial ocean water will reach a maximum temperature of 31C, it will be a very cloudy and rainy afternoon and if its much cooler than that, it will be a bright sunny day! How good is that?

Michael Schaefer
August 22, 2013 5:19 am

I have met a beautyspot down at Venice Beach, which turned my hotspot into a wetspot…

Richard Lyman
August 22, 2013 5:26 am

Pamela Gray: Dinner with you would be a hoot.
Chris R: Your grant application should be sent to Eliot Spitzer. (A NY joke- in every sense of the word!)
Rattus, Rattus, wherever you are, I was looking for a balancing argument. There being none, to quote Charlie Brown, “Rats!”

Latitude
August 22, 2013 5:50 am

These glorified weathermen just said they can’t predict the weather………

eyesonu
August 22, 2013 6:00 am

Willis,
Your excellent essay/lecture seems to have lost out on much of the serious discussion it deserved in the comments.
You brought up the clown and the class erupted in laughter (me too). The thread took its own course. I hope you can find the opportunity to bring it up again, perhaps with the thermostat hypothesis and related links, for more discussion.
Now is that hot/wet spot located somewhere between a hard spot and a sweet spot?

Yrreg.
August 22, 2013 6:01 am

I’m unconvinced on the hotspot theory, but I’m living in one of this year’s wetspots in Western North Carolina. Every time I drive past NOAA’s National Climate Data Center, I imagine them crouched over a huge bank of monitors, trying to locate the antipodean dryspot. Most people don’t realize that for every wetspot there is a paired dryspot somewhere on the opposite side of the world.
.

Frank K.
August 22, 2013 6:11 am

From Trenberth…
“We can confidently say that the risk of drought and heat waves has gone up and the odds of a hot spot somewhere on the planet have increased but the hotspot moves around and the location is not very predictable. This year perhaps it is East Asia: China, or earlier Siberia? It has been much wetter and cooler in the US (except for SW), whereas last year the hot spot was the US. Earlier this year it was Australia (Tasmania etc) in January (southern summer). We can name spots for all summers going back quite a few years: Australia in 2009, the Russian heat wave in 2010, Texas in 2011, etc.”
Two points:
(1) Does Trenberth really talk like this?? He has a very incoherent style of explaining anything, especially science (and this is not the first example where I have observed this).
(2) So the people who have spent enormous amounts of U.S. tax dollars on climate modeling research (at NCAR) can’t predict where this mythical “hot spot” will be NEXT YEAR?? This is incredible! They are making climate predictions as far out as 100 years, and yet they have NO way of predicting regional climate NEXT YEAR?? So this begs the question: is the “hot spot” a random weather phenomenon or a (unpredictable) climate feature?

aaron
August 22, 2013 6:14 am

“Craig says:
August 21, 2013 at 6:04 am
STUDY: Climate change causing climate models to become less reliable
Hilarious stuff.
________________________________________
Agreed! This should be a post.

aaron
August 22, 2013 6:29 am

Should add: “As greehouse gas concentrations and global average temperatures increase, temperatures fall further and futher outside of projections. Just a small amount of warming over the recent half-century has caused temperatures to fall far outside of expectations, and it’s getting worse. The high temperatures which have persisted the past two decades have caused temperatures to fall further outside confidence ranges than earlier years, despite almost no measurable warming.”

Kristian
August 22, 2013 6:42 am

Excellent post indeed, Willis! And very funny!
You know I don’t agree with you on the DLR issue, but that is of trivial importance here. Thanks for the TAO and CERES data and analysis. Very enlightening!

mogamboguru
August 22, 2013 6:45 am

“Hotspotting” – with Ewan McGregor, Kevin Trenberth, James Hansen.
Soon in a cinema near you.
/sarc

goodspkr
August 22, 2013 7:10 am

I keep waiting for Trenberth to break out in song and sing, “Yes we have trouble. Right here in River City. With a capital T that stands Temperature hotspots somewhere. Yes we’ve got trouble….

Pamela Gray
August 22, 2013 7:14 am

Tornado chasers soon to be replaced with hotspot chasers. Not to be outdone by the competition, we will soon see entire caravans and their sequal movies for wetspots, dryspots, windspots, snowspots, hailspots, coldspots, tepidspots (loved that one) and the far more elusive -as in children will not know what it is- perfectspot. And there you have it folks. The next horrible climate change outcome. A reduction -nay- extinction, of the perfectspot.

August 22, 2013 7:32 am

I made the following comment at Climate ‘&’ but it did not get much feedback. I’ll try it here.
A focus on the physical domain in order to avoid discussions of mathematical modeling with the continuous equations, the discrete approximations to these, numerical solution methods used for solution of the discrete approximations, coding of all aspects of the models and methods, and application procedures and users.
The following are well-established.
1. Gaseous CO2, and the gaseous phase of H2O, both are interactive media with respect to radiative energy transport in the wavelengths of interest to the earth’s climate system.
2. The earth’s climate system is an open system relative to radiative energy transport: the systems can both gain and reject radiative energy. Some portion of the planet is rejecting energy out of the earth’s climate system for some portion of every day.
3. The earth’s climate system has never been in the past, is not now in the present, and will never be in the future in thermodynamic equilibrium. In particular, radiative energy transport at the top of the atmosphere has never been in exact balance between the incoming and outgoing energy. Thermodynamic equilibrium between components within the climate system is an impossibility.
4. The liquid phase of water, and, to lesser extent, the solid phase, and various other radiatively interactive solid particulate matter are present in the earth’s atmosphere. Some of the non-gaseous matter in the atmosphere reflect a portion of the incoming radiative energy back out of the earth’s climate system.
5. Relative to the postulated energy imbalance assigned to increases in CO2 concentration, convective transport of energy into the atmosphere from the surface and energy transport / exchange issues associated with the phase changes of water are not minor.
Disregarding any and all possible effects due to human activities other than addition of CO2 into the earth’s climate system, on what basis is it known with absolute certainty that the energy content of the earth’s climate system shall increase over time as the concentration of CO2 increases? That is, what aspect(s) of the earth’s climate system ensures with certainty that over time the energy content of the system must remain above the level associated with a previous state having lower CO2 content.
Corrections of incorrectos will be appreciated.

Jonathan Abbott
August 22, 2013 7:37 am

As others have noted, so far there is not a single comment trying to directly defend Trenberth’s claim. It’s so laughable even the usual alarmists don’t dare.

Stephen Fox
August 22, 2013 7:50 am

I think it’s the humour which has proved too much for the trolls. They can manage a sort of clever smug thing, but that doesn’t work against both barrels of 12 gauge laughter… I like the dark heat best.

BarryW
August 22, 2013 7:51 am

Dr Trenbeth! Dr Trenbeth! I found your hotspots. They’re called cities. Oh, wait….

MinB
August 22, 2013 8:14 am

I think those of us living in Boulder should play a light-hearted prank on the good doctor Trenberth. Perhaps taping a large brightly colored spot on his office door labeled “Missing Hotspot” or slapping same onto his back. Or perhaps standing him a round of beers as reward for his entertainment. C’mon, dare us!

Ole Sandberg
August 22, 2013 8:23 am

If there is any justice in the world (questionable assumption I know), the thermostat mechanism Willis outlines will become known as the “Eschenbach Effect.” Perhaps if WUWT contributors start using the phrase both science and justice will be served.

JPeden
August 22, 2013 8:25 am

“We can confidently say that the risk of drought and heat waves has gone up and the odds of a hot spot somewhere on the planet have increased but the hotspot moves around and the location is not very predictable.”
Apparently the use of the Precautionary Principle makes some people very “wild and crazy guys”. While some other people with an uncommon amount of common sense – wink wink to “Willis The Merciless” – actually use the data to try to help everyone understand what the hell is going on back here in reality. “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

August 22, 2013 8:43 am

Dear Willis,
Excellent post: Science as science should be: the inquisitive mind, undisturbed by politics, status and money. My compliments: And with reference to reader Ole sandberg: THE ESCHENBACH MECHANISM controlling the climate. Thanks.

Jeff
August 22, 2013 8:49 am

Trenberth forgot the critical “idiot spot.” If you take the names of all the big CAGW prophets, and put them in a row, a little white spot bounces around above the names, like over the lyrics of “Auld Lang Syne” on New Year’s Eve.

August 22, 2013 8:59 am

Another way to look at this is the energy released through latent heat. 1 kg of H2O vapor converted to vapor is the same as 627 Wh/kg heat released to the atmosphere. 1 kg will cover 1m^2 in 1mm depth. At least 50% of that (and most likely much more than that depending on altitude) will go directly to space. So an inch of rain will shunt 25.4*627*0.5 or 7.96kWh/m^2 minimum directly to space. Assuming with 3.7W/m^2 per doubling of CO2, a good rain will counteract 2152 hours or 89 days of that forcing. And it will do it at the drop of a hat.
So, kids, let’s make sure we stay focused on the factor that is 4.6E-4 times as important as H2O.

Pamela Gray
August 22, 2013 9:00 am

I think a debate about the essential differences between the idiotspot and the stupidspot is in order! Yes, there is a teleconnection. Stupidspots follow idiotspots. But they are not the same thing.

Pamela Gray
August 22, 2013 9:03 am

And did I read this correctly? Since the heat must be in the planet somewhere, research is now being done to find darkspots?

August 22, 2013 9:16 am

Well, let’s just give the good Dr. T the benefit of the doubt and assume he forgot to add the “/sarc” tag to his comments.
That would explain EVERYTHING!

TomR,Worc,MA,USA
August 22, 2013 9:17 am

I predict that Trenberth will, after his reirement (I believe he is 69 or so) express doubts about CAGW.
Don’t know the man ……… just a feeling I have.

barry
August 22, 2013 9:29 am

<blockquote.This from a spokesman for the folks who have been telling us for years that the science is settled
IIUC, Trenberth is referring to short-term fluctuations and the capacity of monitoring systems to account for that.
My question is: what particular parts of the science is claimed to be settled? I think the difference will likely be to do with the topic. I’m pretty sure those ‘folks’ have said the science on short-term variability is not settled, just long-term, large-scale understanding (like continued GHG increase will cause the planet to warm in the long-run, or most of the warming since 1950 is caused by anthor GHGs). Proponents advise that cloud feedback is uncertain, so I know they don’t claim every component is settled.
What of the science of climate change is claimed to have been settled in your understanding? It would be good to nail that down.

Chris R.
August 22, 2013 9:32 am

To Richard Lyman:
Your suggestion about sending the grant application to Eliot Spitzer
is a good one. I was considering Playboy….

FrankK
August 22, 2013 9:39 am

There are 3 classes of researchers in this world:
1. Those who make things happen
2. Those who watch things happen and
3. Those who wonder what-the-f*** is happening
and the right honourable is now well established in the last category.

August 22, 2013 10:18 am

Point to Willis for getting to the roving “cold spot” more quickly than I did.
As for Trenbeth’s missing heat having never arrived, I thought that we all knew that already and were just gaping in amazement as Trenbeth dove overboard into the Drake Passage without a life preserver pursuing it on its way down.
Another point to Willis on the positive correlation of albedo at the tropics. Well done.
W^3

Theo Goodwin
August 22, 2013 10:58 am

Gary Pearse says:
August 22, 2013 at 4:52 am
Excellent post. Also, every hypothesis that Willis puts forth and every criticism that he makes of others’ hypotheses or explanations is perfectly in accordance with scientific method. The Eschenbach Effect pleads to be investigated and tested. It is highly falsifiable, which does not mean that it is likely false. The general statements that make it up offer first rate explanations for the heating and cooling phenomena that it purports to explain. Genuine scientists with serious research budgets would be all over it. “Big Climate Science” will studiously ignore it.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
August 22, 2013 11:04 am

Galane said August 21, 2013 at 10:34 am:

A randomly roving hot spot? Sounds like a kid with a magnifying glass and an anthill…

The aliens hiding in the clouds of Jupiter are researching the best target zone for maximal effect, playing the beam across Earth’s surface as the death ray idles between “irritate” and “radicalize“.
Humans are getting closer to having non-terrestrial bases capable of possible retaliation. They’ll have to act soon…

David L. Hagen
August 22, 2013 11:12 am

On the cloud thermostat hypothesis, Roy Spencer observes:

But you have to be careful about what you use as evidence, and cloud formation over warm areas (e.g. at the end of this post at WUWT) is simply not evidence. Even climate models with strong positive cloud feedback (decreasing clouds with warming) are going to form clouds over warm areas of the oceans. That’s the way atmospheric circulation systems work.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
August 22, 2013 11:36 am

FrankK said on August 22, 2013 at 9:39 am:

There are 3 classes of researchers in this world:
1. Those who make things happen
2. Those who watch things happen and
3. Those who wonder what-the-f*** is happening
and the right honourable is now well established in the last category.

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka” but “That’s funny…”
—Isaac Asimov (1920–1992)

Wondering WTF is happening, is scientific. It’s part of the discovery process. Watch, wonder WTF, figure out the why and how, then make it happen (replication).
Did you just accidentally accuse Trenberth of doing science?

August 22, 2013 11:40 am

I know one thing the “Rogue” cold spot this summer has been in the SE USA.
Atlanta, Georgia and surrounding states have had 56 out of the last 72 days average below normal. incredible that you don’t here much about this cool SE summer on the news.
But then again it doesn’t feet the global warming narrative.