Claim: simulated satellite data back to 1860 proves global warming caused by humans

This is just nuts, sorry, I just don’t have any other words for it.

Computer modeling and simulations are not hard data nor empirical proof, especially when trying to hindcast the upper atmosphere temperature back to 1860, well before radiosonde data exists. They can’t even calibrate the output against real-world upper air data for the majority of the time series. But, illogically, these authors claim that their method is sound. And, the timing is suspect. Look at the laundry list of names on the publication too. The fingerprint graphic seen on the second graph is downright corny, as if maybe the public just wouldn’t “get it” unless they put an actual human fingerprint on their graph. It’s like they threw this together as an insurance policy in case the IPCC AR5 report wasn’t convincing enough.  -Anthony

(Phys.org) —A team of climatologists with members from the U.S., Australia, Canada and Norway is claiming in a paper they’ve had published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that they have found proof that global warming is being caused by human influences. They are basing their claims on computer simulations they’ve run and data obtained from three decades’ worth of satellite observations.

satsim_fig1

Time series of simulated monthly mean near-global anomalies in the temperature of the lower stratosphere (TLS), the mid- to upper troposphere (TMT), and the lower troposphere (TLT) (A–C). Model results are from spliced historical/RCP8.5 simulations with combined anthropogenic and natural external forcing (ALL+8.5) and from simulations with natural external forcing only (NAT). The bold lines denote the ALL+8.5 and NAT multimodel averages, calculated with 20 and 16 CMIP-5 models (respectively). Temperatures are averaged over 82.5°N–82.5°S for TLS and TMT, and over 82.5°N–70°S for TLT. Anomalies are defined with respect to climatological monthly means over 1861–1870. The shaded envelopes are the multimodel averages ±2 x s(t), where s(t) is the “between model” SD of the 20 (ALL+8.5) and 16 (NAT) ensemble-mean anomaly time series. To aid visual discrimination of the overlapping ALL+8.5 and NAT envelopes, the boundaries of the ALL+8.5 envelope are indicated by dotted orange lines. Credit: (c) PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1305332110

Most of the world’s scientists agree that our planet is experiencing global warming. Most also generally support the theory that the cause of global warming is due to an increase in , primarily carbon dioxide. And while many also support the notion that the increase in greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere is likely due to human emissions, few are willing to go on record claiming that global warming is due directly to human activities. The researchers in this new effort are one such group and they claim they have proof. 

Satellites, as most everyone knows, have been hovering over or circling our planet for over half a century. Over that time period they have grown progressively more sophisticated, measuring virtually every conceivable aspect of the planet below—from gas levels in the atmosphere to temperature readings on an averaged global scale, to the impact of natural events such as volcanic eruptions. It’s this data the researchers used in their attempt to root out the true source of global warming.

The research team conducted a two stage study. The first involved creating computer models that simulated over the past several decades under three different scenarios: a world without human influence, a world with only human influence and a world without human emissions or naturally occurring incidents such as volcanic eruptions. The second stage involved gathering data from satellites and comparing it with what the team had found in creating their simulations. They say patterns emerged that prove that is the cause behind global warming. One example they cite is data that shows that the troposphere (the part of the atmosphere closest to us) has seen a steady rise in temperature over the past several decades, even as the layer just above it, the stratosphere, has cooled slightly.

Study finds human activity affects vertical structure of atmospheric temperature

But what has the team really convinced that humans are the true source behind global warming, is that they were unable to produce the type of warming we’ve seen with just natural events—it’s only when human emissions are added to models that such a trend can be realistically simulated. That, they say, proves that human practices over the past several decades are responsible for global warming.

Press release 1

Press release 2

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-09-satellite-global-humans.html#jCp

h/t to Dr. Leif Svalgaard

The paper:

Human and natural influences on the changing thermal structure of the atmosphere, PNAS, Published online before print September 16, 2013, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1305332110

Benjamin D. Santer, Jeffrey F. Painter, Céline Bonfils, Carl A. Mears, Susan Solomon, Tom M. L. Wigley, Peter J. Gleckler, Gavin A. Schmidt, Charles Doutriaux, Nathan P. Gillett, Karl E. Taylor, Peter W. Thorne, and Frank J. Wentz

Significance

Observational satellite data and the model-predicted response to human influence have a common latitude/altitude pattern of atmospheric temperature change. The key features of this pattern are global-scale tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling over the 34-y satellite temperature record. We show that current climate models are highly unlikely to produce this distinctive signal pattern by internal variability alone, or in response to naturally forced changes in solar output and volcanic aerosol loadings. We detect a “human influence” signal in all cases, even if we test against natural variability estimates with much larger fluctuations in solar and volcanic influences than those observed since 1979. These results highlight the very unusual nature of observed changes in atmospheric temperature.

Abstract

Since the late 1970s, satellite-based instruments have monitored global changes in atmospheric temperature. These measurements reveal multidecadal tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling, punctuated by short-term volcanic signals of reverse sign. Similar long- and short-term temperature signals occur in model simulations driven by human-caused changes in atmospheric composition and natural variations in volcanic aerosols. Most previous comparisons of modeled and observed atmospheric temperature changes have used results from individual models and individual observational records. In contrast, we rely on a large multimodel archive and multiple observational datasets. We show that a human-caused latitude/altitude pattern of atmospheric temperature change can be identified with high statistical confidence in satellite data. Results are robust to current uncertainties in models and observations. Virtually all previous research in this area has attempted to discriminate an anthropogenic signal from internal variability. Here, we present evidence that a human-caused signal can also be identified relative to the larger “total” natural variability arising from sources internal to the climate system, solar irradiance changes, and volcanic forcing. Consistent signal identification occurs because both internal and total natural variability (as simulated by state-of-the-art models) cannot produce sustained global-scale tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling. Our results provide clear evidence for a discernible human influence on the thermal structure of the atmosphere.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-09-satellite-global-humans.html#jCp

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Martin A

Benjamin D. Santer, Jeffrey F. Painter, Céline Bonfils, Carl A. Mears, Susan Solomon, Tom M. L. Wigley, Peter J. Gleckler, Gavin A. Schmidt, Charles Doutriaux, Nathan P. Gillett, Karl E. Taylor, Peter W. Thorne, and Frank J. Wentz
The usual suspects.

Jimmy Haigh.

They. Can. Not.be. Serious.

wobble

What’s wrong with what they are doing?
I once pretended what it would be like to fly the space shuttle above Civil War battles. How is this any different?

Man Bearpig

I wonder if that drawing will find it’s way into AR5 ?

Jknapp

So let me be sure I understand this. If we recreate the satellite data from 1860-1960, ie. assume it is constant because humans weren’t emitting CO2 yet. Then tune a model using natural forcings and a presumed CO2 effect to replicate the 1960-2010 data (omitting any of the new internal oscillation studies). Then we take out the CO2 and natural forcing data and the tuned model no longer fits the 1960-2010 data but does fit the 1860-1960 part where everything was assumed constant this proves CO2 forced warming. Really? I mean Really?

Man Bearpig

You can ‘vote’ for the paper here: http://phys.org/news/2013-09-satellite-global-humans.html
Be honest though!

Michel

I take an invalid model, use it to predict the past, take away one parameter (carbon dioxyde emmissions), recalculate it, re-predict the past, and guess what I get: the invalid answer that the parameter on which my original invalid model was based is the one causing the variation!
Quite circular!

Athelstan.

Obama’s re-election proves without doubt that, there are millions of gullible people who will believe anything from anyone, over here in Blighty that egregious liar, public peculator and peerless charlatan Tony Bliar was re-elected 3 times. Then, God help us [because we need divine intervention] we selected his spiritual brother David Cameron.
Yep, there are lots and lots of very stupid people in the west and men like Schmidt, Santer, Wigley et al play on it for all it’s worth, this latest offering is fantastical; “computers prove it’s all mankind’s fault!”
Even then and all things being equal, that’s a bit of a stretch lads.

2kevin

“Claim: simulated satellite data back to 1860 proves global warming caused by humans”
Let me fix that headline for you.
“Consensus: simulated satellite data back to 1860 proves global warming caused by humans”

Barry Brill

Interesting that one of the authors is Nathan Gillet who recently co-authored Fyfe et al (2013), in Nature Climate Change. That paper said CMIP3 and CMIP5 simulations were out by 400% over the last 15 years and 100% over the 20 years since the IPCC’s FAR.
Just like climate forecasts for 100 years in the future are more reliable than weather forecasts for 10 days in the future. So too, these ensembles are hopeless at just 20 years but great for 160 years in the past.
It’s nature at work. Just like tree ring proxies are misleading for the past 50 years they shape up just fine for anything more than a century ago.

SadButMadLad

@Man Bearpig at 12:21 am: But you can’t vote a zero!

John Bochan

Well the IPCC AR5 Second Order Draft does mention the problem as the “limitations of satellite sensors” when used in climate modelling. “An alternative approach is to use is to calculate observation-equivalents from models using radiative transfer calculations to ‘simulate’ what the satellite would provide if the satellite system were ‘observing’ the model”.
La-la-land! A virtual earth with a virtual climate observed by virtual satellites sending back virtual data, because real satellite data doesn’t agree with virtual thermometers.

Nylo

Why do they keep saying that the stratosphere has cooled as predicted by the alarmists’ theory? The stratosphere stopped cooling in the early 90’s. Its temperature has been pretty stable for the last 20+ years despite CO2 rising 40 ppm in that time.

They are desperate to find “proof” that humans are the cause of all woes. They just can’t find it in the here and now, so they have to go back. I’m sure they are also trying to doge the real scientists who keep pointing out the flaws in their attempts with anything recent.
Don’t worry, I’m sure this latest will be in tatters by the morning.

Sorry “dodge”

londo

The degeneration of climate science simply knows no bounds. It publish any kind of stupidity of perish in this business. I hope this is a low point for a while at least.

Kev-in-Uk

I am sure somebody will try and defend this – like the made up Tornado data story – but the reality is, that there isn’t any !!

ConfusedPhoton

It is called desparation!

Another Ian

“Kev-in-Uk says:
September 18, 2013 at 12:57 am
I am sure somebody will try and defend this – like the made up Tornado data story – but the reality is, that there isn’t any !!”
Probably Luke over at Jennifer Marohasy’s blog will have a go IMO

Peter Miller

Just another instance demonstrating real science and climate science are poles apart in their practices and methodology.
Just another instance of when you construct a computer climate model, using pre-determined results in order to get funding, you end up with a classic case of GIGO.
Just another instance in climate science where the word ‘proof’ means “unsubstantiated guess using dodgy criteria to satisfy my/our financial backers”.
And finally: “But what has the team really convinced that humans are the true source behind global warming, is that they were unable to produce the type of warming we’ve seen with just natural events—it’s only when human emissions are added to models that such a trend can be realistically simulated.”
1. Dick Lindzen showed us recently on WUWT that the global temperature anomalies (52 year periods) of 1895-1946 and 1957-2008 were almost identical. 2. No one claims to fully understand the magnitude and timing of natural climate cycles, so what gives these guys the right or rationale to say they do?

Pete Brown

I was in William Hill’s yesterday with my hindcast of last year’s Derby winner but they wouldn’t pay up!

Nylo

As can be seen in the graphic of the lower stratosphere temperature anomaly, the stratosphere cooling has nothing to do with CO2. The cooling has happened in just two steps: one after Chichón eruption and one after Pinatubo eruption, as rebounds from the temperature increases that those eruptions temporarily caused. The rest of the time, including the last 20 years of massive CO2 emissions, temperature there has been pretty flat,
Here the data, here the graphic.

Txomin

Yay! Humans control the climate.
Quick, Mr Obama, tweet it.

TinyCO2

So using a computer to realistically simulate something makes it true? OMG, they’ve just proved that ghosts, aliens, dragons and green ogres (who make candles from their ear wax), are real. ROTFLMAO.
To be fair, since they’ll continue their lucrative careers on the back of this rubbish, they have proved it’s possible to make gold out of base metal.

johanna

Good point, Tiny, it’s the closest thing to alchemy that we’re likely to see.

Chad

Ben Santer, Gavin Schmidt, Susan Solomon, Tom Wigley, etc. They do have form when it comes to papers confusing simulation with fact.

Man Bearpig

SadButMadLad says:
September 18, 2013 at 12:34 am
@Man Bearpig at 12:21 am: But you can’t vote a zero!
—-
Yes, it uses well known field of mathematics aka AGW_BS which means results of 97% of respondents score >0 then it is consensus approved

ConfusedPhoton

I am about to publish a paper on simulating the growth of slugs since 1860 and can prove that Global Warming is caunsed by aliens.
To be published in the next issue of the Journal of Lysenko Science

Jimbo

The vast majority of models used by the IPCC have failed to simulate the observed surface temperature standstill for over the last 16 years. Here is one of the paper’s authors, Santer, bemoaning the failure of models. It came out last year. You have to wonder why Santer now believes his former concerns have now been addressed and fixed. If you fail post 1979 then why do you think you can be more successful since 1860?

D. Santer et. al. – June 22, 2012
Identifying human influences on atmospheric temperature
Abstract
We perform a multimodel detection and attribution study with climate model simulation output and satellite-based measurements of tropospheric and stratospheric temperature change. We use simulation output from 20 climate models participating in phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. This multimodel archive provides estimates of the signal pattern in response to combined anthropogenic and natural external forcing (the fingerprint) and the noise of internally generated variability. Using these estimates, we calculate signal-to-noise (S/N) ratios to quantify the strength of the fingerprint in the observations relative to fingerprint strength in natural climate noise. For changes in lower stratospheric temperature between 1979 and 2011, S/N ratios vary from 26 to 36, depending on the choice of observational dataset. In the lower troposphere, the fingerprint strength in observations is smaller, but S/N ratios are still significant at the 1% level or better, and range from three to eight. We find no evidence that these ratios are spuriously inflated by model variability errors. After removing all global mean signals, model fingerprints remain identifiable in 70% of the tests involving tropospheric temperature changes. Despite such agreement in the large-scale features of model and observed geographical patterns of atmospheric temperature change, most models do not replicate the size of the observed changes. On average, the models analyzed underestimate the observed cooling of the lower stratosphere and overestimate the warming of the troposphere. Although the precise causes of such differences are unclear, model biases in lower stratospheric temperature trends are likely to be reduced by more realistic treatment of stratospheric ozone depletion and volcanic aerosol forcing.
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/11/28/1210514109
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/11/28/1210514109.full.pdf

markx

Seems quite basic to me. If a model is built with the mechanism that increasing one parameter will result in an increased temperature, and you then increase that parameter, the result is a foregone conclusion.

It would be great to have satellite data back to 1860, since it would shed much light on the human influence on the climate. And here the climate research community seems to suffer from a compulsive thinking disorder. The thought that if data are missing, it simply must be possible to model them. And the inability to handle the thought that some data are beyond recovery.

Jimbo

The head posting says: “But what has the team really convinced that humans are the true source behind global warming, is that they were unable to produce the type of warming we’ve seen with just natural events—it’s only when human emissions are added to models that such a trend can be realistically simulated. That, they say, proves that human practices over the past several decades are responsible for global warming.”
This is an egregious instance of the argumentum ad ignorantiam, the fallacy of argument from ignorance. “We can’t think of any other reason why the world is warming, so it must be Man.” That is really all this pathetic paper says.
Send all the authors back to elementary school to learn the elements of Classical logic. A Classicist, taking one look at their feeble argument, would know a priori that it was an invalid argument. The conclusion, therefore, may or may not be true, and the paper adds no light to enable us to decide one way or the other. This is intellectual feeble-nindedness of the worst kind.

Radical Rodent

It is only within the last 50 years that thermometers have become accurate to within ±50°C, so what was the allowable accuracy for thermometers 100 years ago? And, how can we verify the accuracy of those thermometers, now?
It is known and accepted that many of the monitoring sites have been re-located, and the readings of many have been discarded. As the re-locations seemed to have been to lower altitudes and latitudes, with the discarded sites from higher altitudes and latitudes, and many of the presently accepted sites having become “urbanised”, when did this process stop? My suspicions are that this might have effectively been around 1997.
Would it be possible to base a study on such hypotheses? If so, who wants to join me, and where could we get the funding?

Jimbo

I see Gavin A. Schmidt as one of the authors. He told us to expect warmer northern hemisphere winters! Now they tell us to expect colder NH winters. Next they’ll tell us that co2 caused average NH winters and it’s our fault. Grrrrrrrrr.

Warm Winters Result From Greenhouse Effect, Columbia Scientists Find, Using NASA Model
June 4, 1999
“Based on this research, it’s quite likely that the warmer winters over the continents are indeed a result of the increasing amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” Dr. Shindell said. “This research offers both a plausible physical mechanism for how this takes place, and reproduces the observed trends both qualitatively and even quantitatively.” …………………….
“Despite appearing as part of a natural climate oscillation, the large increases in wintertime surface temperatures over the continents may therefore be attributable in large part to human activities,” Dr. Shindell said.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990604081638.htm

AndyG55

Simulated Satellite data…
seriously !!!
ROFLMAO !!!
they really have lost their marbles, haven’t they ! 🙂

According to my computer simulation. I won WWII in a spitfire. does it need the /sarc

Goldie

So this is just – we can’t explain the change so it must be human induced.

Espen

Nylo says:
September 18, 2013 at 1:14 am
As can be seen in the graphic of the lower stratosphere temperature anomaly, the stratosphere cooling has nothing to do with CO2. The cooling has happened in just two steps: one after Chichón eruption and one after Pinatubo eruption
Exactly! I’ve pointed this out on several occasions here. Though I wonder when the lower stratosphere will finally start rebounding to the the level before Pinatubo?
Also: If the longer term effect (after the initial stratospheric warming) of a large volcanic eruption is a cooler stratosphere, what if that also means a warmer troposphere?

I ratherlike the results of an imagined steampunk satellite. Perhaps they built a difference engine to run the analysis.

H.R.

John Bochan says:
September 18, 2013 at 12:46 am
“Well the IPCC AR5 Second Order Draft does mention the problem as the “limitations of satellite sensors” when used in climate modelling. “An alternative approach is to use is to calculate observation-equivalents from models using radiative transfer calculations to ‘simulate’ what the satellite would provide if the satellite system were ‘observing’ the model”.
La-la-land! A virtual earth with a virtual climate observed by virtual satellites sending back virtual data, because real satellite data doesn’t agree with virtual thermometers.”

==================================================
Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today.
Oh how I wish he’d go away.
Hughes Mearns
——- Now I get it. The team has managed to replicate Mearns’ results.

Billy Liar

They are making it plain for all to see that their models are an international joke. Wigley prides himself on being the first to use ‘multi-model averages’. No-one has ever explained why the average of 10 wrong models is better than any individual wrong model.

Radical Rodent

Damn! Just seen my truly dreadful typo!
While thermometers are accurate to within 50°C, the accepted error margin is within 0.5°C. Oh, with a foolish mistake like that, I wonder if I am on the wrong side or the argument…

George Turner

That is quite possibly the stupidest paper I’ve ever seen published in what claims to be a science journal, and I’m a big fan of ig-Nobel prize research. ig-Nobel prize winning research might be silly, but at least it obeys scientific methods and procedures. But this? At least ESP researchers actually tried to measure the effects of psychic powers in real experiments, instead of a running ensemble computer simulations to prove that people would be guessing correctly more often than predicted by chance – in the experiments that they didn’t conduct.
I thought measuring temperature to a fractional degree with a treemometer was insane, but these people don’t even bother using a tree, or an ice core, or a lichen, or a clam, or a coral. It is data produced solely from their fevered imaginations, and somehow it got published it in a science journal.

Oatley

I hear the same complaints from my buddies at the golf course. I usually win and they keep wanting to see my computer scoring model. Imagine…

John B

Santer, Solomon, Wigley and Schmidt. All that’s missing is Mann then you have a complete set. Stupid is as stupid does.

DEEBEE

Seeing Santer and Gav in the authors list reminded me — History / Historic personages come back first time as tragedy and second time as farce.

So can we recreate the satellite record during the Eemian now?

The surprising thing is not that they produced this rubbish, that’s kind of to be expected from this list but that someone actually agreed to publish it.

Phil's Dad

The Viscount has the right of it (at 2:02am).
Think of a number. Take away the number you first thought of. What you have is zero.