The Eruption Over the IPCC AR5

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

In the leaked version of the upcoming United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) Chapter 1, we find the following claims regarding volcanoes.

The forcing from stratospheric volcanic aerosols can have a large impact on the climate for some years after volcanic eruptions. Several small eruptions have caused an RF for the years 2008−2011 of −0.10  [–0.13 to –0.07] W m–2, approximately double the 1999−2002 volcanic aerosol RF.

and

The observed reduction in warming trend over the period 1998–2012 as compared to the period 1951–2012, is due in roughly equal measure to a cooling contribution from internal variability and a reduced 2 trend in radiative forcing (medium confidence). The reduced trend in radiative forcing is primarily due 3 to volcanic eruptions and the downward phase of the current solar cycle.

Now, before I discuss these claims about volcanoes, let me remind folks that regarding the climate, I’m neither a skeptic nor am I a warmist.

I am a climate heretic. I say that the current climate paradigm, that forcing determines temperature, is incorrect. I hold that changes in forcing only marginally and briefly affect the temperature. Instead, I say that a host of emergent thermostatic phenomena act

quickly to cool the planet when it is too warm, and to warm it when it is too cool.

One of the corollaries of this position is that the effects of volcanic eruptions on global climate will be very, very small. Although I’ve demonstrated this before, Anthony recently pointed me to an updated volcanic forcing database, by Sato et al. Figure 1 shows the amount of forcing from the historical volcanoes.

volcanic forcing 1850 2012 Sato

Figure 1. Monthly changes in radiative forcing (downwelling radiation) resulting from historical volcanic eruptions. The two large recent spikes are from El Chichon (1983) and Pinatubo (1992) eruptions. You can see the average forcing of -0.1 W/m2 from 2008-2011 mentioned by the IPCC above. These are the equilibrium forcings Fe, and not the instantaneous forcing Fi.

Note that the forcings are negative, because the eruptions inject reflective aerosols into the stratosphere. These aerosols reflect the sunlight, and the forcing is reduced. So the question is … do these fairly large known volcanic forcings actually have any effect on the global surface air temperature, and if so how much?

To answer the question, we can use linear regression to calculate the actual effect of the changes in forcing on the temperature. Figure 2 shows the HadCRUT4 monthly global surface average air temperature.

hadCRUT4 1850-2012 and gaussianFigure 2. Monthly surface air temperatures anomalies, from the HadCRUT4 dataset. The purple line shows a centered Gaussian average with a full width at half maximum (FWHM) of 8 years.

One problem with doing this particular linear regression is that the volcanic forcing is approximately trendless, while the temperature has risen overall. We are interested in the short-term (within four years or so) changes in temperature due to the volcanoes. So what we can do to get rid of the long-term trend is to only consider the temperature variations around the average for that historical time. To do that, we subtract the Gaussian average from the actual data, leaving what are called the “residuals”:

residual hadcrut4 monthly anomaliesFigure 3. Residual anomalies, after subtracting out the centered 8-year FWHM gaussian average.

As you can see, these residuals still contain all of the short-term variations, including whatever the volcanoes might or might not have done to the temperature. And as you can also see, there is little sign of the claimed cooling from the eruptions. There is certainly no obvious sign of even the largest eruptions. To verify that, here is the same temperature data overlaid on the volcanic forcing. Note the different scales on the two sides.

residual hadcrut4 monthly anomalies plus forcingFigure 4. Volcanic forcing (red), with the HadCRUT4 temperature residual overlaid.

While some volcanoes line up with temperature changes, some show increases after the eruptions. In addition, the largest eruptions don’t seem correlated with proportionately large drops in temperatures.

So now we can start looking at how much the volcanic forcing is actually affecting the temperature. The raw linear regression yields the following results.

R^2 = 0.01 (a measure from zero to one of how much effect the volcanoes have on temperature)

"p" value of R^2 = 0.03 (a measure from zero to one how likely it is that the results occurred by chance) (adjusted for autocorrelation).

Trend = 0.04°C per W/m2, OR 0.13°C per doubling of CO2 (how much the temperature varies with the volcanic forcing)

"p" value of the TREND = 0.02 (a measure from zero to one how likely it is that the results occurred by chance) (adjusted for autocorrelation).

So … what does that mean? Well, it’s a most interesting and unusual result. It strongly confirms a very tiny effect. I don’t encounter that very often in climate science. It simultaneously says that yes, volcanoes do affect the temperature … and yet, the effect is vanishingly small—only about a tenth of a degree per doubling of CO2.

Can we improve on that result? Yes, although not a whole lot. As our estimate improves, we’d expect a better R^2 and a larger trend. To do this, we note that we wouldn’t expect to find an instantaneous effect from the eruptions. It takes time for the land and ocean to heat and cool. So we’d expect a lagged effect. To investigate that, we can calculate the R^2 for a variety of time lags. I usually include negative lags as well to make sure I’m looking at a real phenomenon. Here’s the result:

rsquared forcing and temperatureFigure 5. Analysis of the effects of lagging the results of the volcanic forcing. 

That’s a lovely result, sharply peaked. It shows that as expected, after a volcano, it takes about seven-eight months for the maximum effects to be felt.

Including the lag, of course, gives us new results for the linear regress, viz:

R^2 = 0.03 [previously 0.01]

"p" value of R^2 = 0.02 (adjusted for autocorrelation) [previously 0.03]

Trend  = 0.05°C per W/m2, OR 0.18 ± 0.02°C per doubling of CO2 [previously 0.13°C/doubling]

"p" value of the Trend = 0.001 (adjusted for autocorrelation). [previously 0.02]

As expected, both the R^2 and the trend have increased. In addition the p-values have improved, particularly for the trend. At the end of the day, what we have is a calculated climate sensitivity (change in temperature with forcing) which is only about two-tenths of a degree per doubling of CO2.

Here are the conclusions that I can draw from this analysis.

1) The effect of volcanic eruptions is far smaller than generally assumed. Even the largest volcanoes make only a small difference in the temperature. This agrees with my eight previous analyses (see list in the Notes). For those who have questions about this current analysis, let me suggest that you read through all of my previous analyses, as this is far from my only evidence that volcanoes have very little effect on temperature.

2) As Figure 5 shows, the delay in the effects of the temperature is on the order of seven or eight months from the eruption. This is verified by a complete lagged analysis (see the Notes below). That analysis also gives the same value for the climate sensitivity, about two tenths of a degree per doubling.

3) However, this is not the whole story. The reason that the temperature change after an eruption is so small is that the effect is quickly neutralized by the homeostatic nature of the climate.

Finally, to return to the question of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, it says:

There is very high confidence that models reproduce the more rapid warming in the second half of the 20th century, and the cooling immediately following large volcanic eruptions.

Since there is almost no cooling that follows large volcanic eruptions … whatever the models are doing, they’re doing it wrong. You can clearly see the volcanic eruptions in the model results … but you can’t see them at all in the actual data.

The amazing thing to me is that this urban legend about volcanoes having some big effect on the global average temperature is so hard to kill. I’ve analyzed it from a host of directions, and I can’t find any substance there at all … but it is widely believed.

I ascribe this to an oddity of the climate control system … it’s invisible. For example, I’ve shown that the time of onset of tropical clouds has a huge effect on incoming solar radiation, with a change of about ten minutes in onset time being enough to counteract a doubling of CO2. But no one would ever notice such a small change.

So we can see the cooling effect of the volcanoes where it is occurring … but what we can’t see is the response of the rest of the climate system to that cooling. And so, the myth of the volcanic fingerprints stays alive, despite lots of evidence that while they have large local effects, their global effect is trivially small.

Best to all,

w.

PS—The IPCC claims that the explanation for the “pause” in warming is half due to “natural variations”, a quarter is solar, and a quarter is from volcanoes. Here’s the truly bizarre part. In the last couple decades, using round numbers, the IPCC predicted about 0.4°C of warming … which hasn’t happened. So if a quarter of that (0.1°C) is volcanoes, and the recent volcanic forcing is (by their own numbers) about 0.1 W/m2, they’re saying that the climate sensitivity is 3.7° per doubling of CO2.

Of course, if that were the case we’d have seen a drop of about 3°C from Pinatubo … and I fear that I don’t see that in the records.

They just throw out these claims … but they don’t run the numbers, and they don’t think them through to the end.

Notes and Data

For the value of the forcing, I have not used the instantaneous value of the volcanic forcing, which is called “Fi“. Instead, I’ve used the effective forcing “Fe“, which is the value of the forcing after the system has completely adjusted to the changes. As you might expect, Fi is larger than Fe. See the spreadsheet containing the data for the details.

As a result, what I have calculated here is NOT the transient climate response (TCR). It is the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS).

For confirmation, the same result is obtained by first using the instantaneous forcing Fi to calculate the TCR, and then using the TCR to calculate the ECS.

Further confirmation comes from doing a full interative lagged analysis (not shown), using the formula for a lagged linear relationship, viz:

T2 = T1 + lambda (F2 – F1) (1 – exp(-1/tau)) + exp(-1/tau) (T1 – T0)

where T is temperature, F is forcing, lambda is the proportionality coefficient, and tau is the time constant.

That analysis gives the same result for the trend, 0.18°C/doubling of CO2. The time constant tau was also quite similar, with the best fit at 6.4 months lag between forcing and response.

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In this case it’s the Sato paper, which provides a dataset of optical thicknesses “tau”, and says:

The relation between the optical thickness and the forcings are roughly (See “Efficacy …” below):

instantaneous forcing Fi (W/m2) = -27 τ

adjusted forcing Fa (W/m2) = -25 τ

SST-fixed forcing Fs (W/m2) = -26 τ

effective forcing Fe (W/m2) = -23 τ

And “Efficacy” refers to

Hansen, J., M. Sato, R. Ruedy, L. Nazarenko, A. Lacis, G.A. Schmidt, G. Russell, et al. 2005. Efficacy of climate forcings. J. Geophys. Res., 110, D18104, doi:10.1029/2005/JD005776.

Forcing Data

For details on the volcanic forcings used, see the Sato paper, which provides a dataset of optical thicknesses “tau”, and says:

The relation between the optical thickness and the forcings are roughly (See “Efficacy …” below):

instantaneous forcing Fi (W/m2) = -27 τ

adjusted forcing Fa (W/m2) = -25 τ

SST-fixed forcing Fs (W/m2) = -26 τ

effective forcing Fe (W/m2) = -23 τ

And “Efficacy” refers to

Hansen, J., M. Sato, R. Ruedy, L. Nazarenko, A. Lacis, G.A. Schmidt, G. Russell, et al. 2005. Efficacy of climate forcings. J. Geophys. Res., 110, D18104, doi:10.1029/2005/JD005776.

(Again, remember I’m using their methods, but I’m not claiming that their methods are correct.)

Future Analyses

My next scheme is that I want to gin up some kind of prototype governing system that mimics what it seems the climate system is doing. The issue is that to keep a lagged system on course, you need to have “overshoot”. This means that when the temperature goes below average, it then goes above average, and then finally returns to the prior value. Will I ever do the analysis? Depends on whether something shinier shows up before I get to it … I would love to have about a dozen bright enthusiastic graduate students to hand out this kind of analysis to.

I also want to repeat my analysis using “stacking” of the volcanoes, but using this new data, along with some mathematical method to choose the starting points for the stacking … which turns out to be a bit more difficult than I expected.

Previous posts on the effects of the volcano.

Prediction is hard, especially of the future. 

Pinatubo and the Albedo Thermostat

Missing the Missing Summer

Volcanic Disruptions

Dronning Maud Meets the Little Ice Age 

New Data, Old Claims about Volcanoes 

Volcanoes: Active, Inactive and Interactive

Stacked Volcanoes Falsify Models

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Resourceguy
September 22, 2013 9:53 am

I thought the plan was to hide the warming in ocean depths and under ice sheets where no one could monitor it with existing taxpayer funded systems like satellites and ocean buoys.

Tom McCord
September 22, 2013 9:58 am

Is it possible that the “Year Without a Summer” in 1816 was not really caused by the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia after all?

Greg Goodman
September 22, 2013 9:58 am

Probably a good time to throw in my volcano stack plots again:
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=285
They largely supports Willis’ hypothesis.

rogerknights
September 22, 2013 10:01 am

Willis says:
let me remind folks that regarding the climate, I’m neither a skeptic nor am I a warmist.
I am a climate heretic.

I agree that “skeptic” is too mild a term. We aren’t doubters, we’re disbelievers / dissenters / deviationists / contrarians (the term I prefer). Or “hot-air heretics.”

Ed_B
September 22, 2013 10:02 am

Again, brilliant work Willis. Thanks!

jai mitchell
September 22, 2013 10:04 am

Interesting,
Just be sure you set the correct boundary conditions when looking at your thermodynamic balance. I noticed in your previous work you listed “rain” as a potential cooling mechanism. I have heard from an uneducated caller on a radio show that more lakes means global cooling (because it is cooler near the lakes)
This kind of thinking isn’t really helpful since the correct boundary conditions are set about 1/4 of a mile above the top of the atmosphere. If the energy going into that sphere containing the whole earth and all of it’s functions is more than the energy leaving that sphere then the planet is warming.
There is no other scientific reality. You cannot put energy into an object without it warming, you cannot take energy from that object without it cooling.

September 22, 2013 10:16 am

With 2/3 of the planet covered by water, perhaps volcanoes’ greatest impact is the result of injecting heat into the oceans. Question here is whether this would result in net warming, or cooling (depending on location) due to positive cloud cover/precip? Any studies on this?

Jim S
September 22, 2013 10:20 am

Don’t volcanoes also emit large quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere? Is this taken into account?

Editor
September 22, 2013 10:25 am

Willis – please can you explain how you translate W/m^2 into “per doubling of CO2”. The IPCC report would presumably have two separate measures, direct and indirect (ie. without and with feedbacks). Also, why the figures you quote relate to ECS not transient sensitivity (I didn’t get that bit).
TIA

Greg Goodman
September 22, 2013 10:28 am

Willis, I’m a little troubled by the units you’ve chosen: 0.18°C/doubling of CO2. It’s not clear what this means or where it comes from.
I presume it is converting W/m2 into some ‘carbon equivalent’ but what value is used (ie assumed) to be the effect of CO2 doubling.
If you want to use such a unit it would be good to explain what it means.
It would be interesting to do your processing for tropical and extra-tropical regions separately. I found significantly different responses and since your hypothesis is based largely on the climate response in the tropics, this is where you need to look for confirmation or falsification.
My volcano stack processing showed exactly the kind of overshoot you are referring to in the tropics but not in extra-tropical regions. The small ex-tropical effect is also temporary. Due to units I don’t know how this compares quantitatively. But in form, it is in agreement.
You may well find better correlations to the ‘small’ effect in the split analysis since the tropics would tend to reduce the correlation.
It would presumably be very little effort to use regional temp time series and re-run the scripts.

Greg Goodman
September 22, 2013 10:29 am

Jim S says:Don’t volcanoes also emit large quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere? Is this taken into account?
Largeness is relative. In view of what we chuck out and the natural annual carbon cycle volcanoes are a fart in the wind.

Thomas
September 22, 2013 10:30 am

Jim S, the emissions from individual eruptions is pretty much negligible. Overall volcanoes emit around 1% of the amount from fossil fuels.
Maybe Eschenbach has written about it before, but I’m a bit confused on how he can reconcile “I hold that changes in forcing only marginally and briefly affect the temperature. Instead, I say that a host of emergent thermostatic phenomena act quickly to cool the planet when it is too warm, and to warm it when it is too cool” with the existence of ice age cycles. Whatever thermostat the Earth has doesn’t seem all that good.

Greg Goodman
September 22, 2013 10:34 am

theyouk says:With 2/3 of the planet covered by water, perhaps volcanoes’ greatest impact is the result of injecting heat into the oceans.
Look at my volcano stack graphs. They are interlinked and have some commentary. I worked on SST rather than land+sea indices but I did comment of the possible impact of land/sea ratios and the way land rate of change is twice ocean rate of change (dT/dt) and how this affects NH / SH differences.

September 22, 2013 10:40 am

theyouk:
At September 22, 2013 at 10:16 am you ask

With 2/3 of the planet covered by water, perhaps volcanoes’ greatest impact is the result of injecting heat into the oceans. Question here is whether this would result in net warming, or cooling (depending on location) due to positive cloud cover/precip? Any studies on this?

What mechanism would cause volcanos to “inject heat into the ocean”?
There can be no studies of something which is not known to exist.
And the “injection” could not happen in the warm tropics because there is a maximum sea surface temperature of 305K. When the sea surface is at that maximum temperature then additional heating (from any cause) results in the ocean COOLING.
The effect was first reported by Ramanathan & Collins in 1991.
Their paper is Ramanathan v & Collins W, ‘Thermodynamic regulation of ocean warming by cirrus clouds deduced from observations of the 1987 El Niño’, Nature 351, 27 – 32 (02 May 1991) doi:10.1038/351027a0
Its Abstract says
Observations made during the 1987 El Niño show that in the upper range of sea surface temperatures, the greenhouse effect increases with surface temperature at a rate which exceeds the rate at which radiation is being emitted from the surface. In response to this ‘super greenhouse effect’, highly reflective cirrus clouds are produced which act like a thermostat shielding the ocean from solar radiation. The regulatory effect of these cirrus clouds may limit sea surface temperatures to less than 305 K.
In other words, the effect they found is that increased heating of tropical ocean increases evapouration to increase cover by cirrus clouds which shield the surface from solar heating. This shielding sets a limit of 305K to maximum surface temperature.
But clouds don’t stay in one place. Therefore, when a region of the surface has temperature of 305K, then additional heating (from any cause) increases cirrus clouds which spread to shield surrounding regions. Thus, the effect does not merely set a maximum temperature: it induces a drop in surface temperature of the surrounding ocean regions when surface heating is increased.
The R&C Effect can induce a fall in surface temperature when surface heating is increased. And the Eschenbach Effect does that, too.
As Willis says, these effects – and any similar effects – would provide a homeostatic control to global temperature.
Richard

September 22, 2013 10:43 am

The large climate sensitivities claimed by IPCC not only give large negative temperature excursions but also very long times to return to normal. (See for example Lindzen http://link.springer.com/article/10.1140/epjp/i2012-12052-8#page-1). This must be true because climate senitivity is basically the climatic relaxation time divided by the effective specific heat of the climate system. So if IPCC were right, we still have not recovered from Krakatoa (1883) and Katmai (1912), not to mention Pinatubo (1992). In fact the IPCC climate sensitivity is so large that a normal century’s eruptions would keep the earth about a deg C cooler than otherwise and we would never be far from a volcanic “winter” from a few major eruptions.
This alone should raise eyebrows about the plausibility of the IPCC values of climate sensitivity.

Greg Goodman
September 22, 2013 10:43 am

Thomas: ” Whatever thermostat the Earth has doesn’t seem all that good.”
what happens at glaciation and deglaciation is clearly different from what happens in between. There is apparently two stable states ( attractors ) for the climate system. A positive feedback seems to make it snap form one state to the other. We don’t really know what triggers the change-over.
Assuming Willis is basically correct there are limits to the tropical storms range as a feedback mechanism. It cannot go beyond totally clear skies or fully cloud covered tropics. May be when it hits the rails the climate state flips?
I don’t see glaciation as being a major argument against what Willis is proposing.

Tom J
September 22, 2013 10:50 am

‘I say that the current climate paradigm, that forcing determines temperature, is incorrect. I hold that changes in forcing only marginally and briefly affect the temperature. Instead, I say that a host of emergent thermostatic phenomena act quickly to cool the planet when it is too warm, and to warm it when it is too cool.’
I think you will find plenty of agreement there. The statement above seems to mirror a similar point made by Dr. Richard Lindzen. I can’t recall his exact wording but he seemed to say, that in the end, Global Warming distilled down to a philosophical question: Does one believe that a long running natural system amplify perturbations, or would it minimize perturbations?
I think the answer is obvious simply from the description, ‘long running natural system.’ How could the Earth possibly have been a long running natural system if it stampedes away into nightmare land with every little deviation away from what nobody knows is really the norm? I think the planet has a lot more things to worry about then us little humans. And I think we have a lot more things to worry about too. And to take joy in. Welcome back from your trip Willis Eschenbach. I took joy in it.

Robert JM
September 22, 2013 10:56 am

While volcanos cause cooling initially, some may actually cause warming afterwards.
Have a look at the Temperature of the lower statosphere ftp://ftp.ssmi.com/msu/graphics/tls/plots/rss_ts_channel_tls_global_land_and_sea_v03_3.png
You can see a clear boom and bust signal, probably due to the SO2 stripping H2O out of the stratosphere from where it cannot be easily replenished.
Of course multidecadal volcanic cooling of the stratosphere may have nothing to do with tropospheric temp, but its hard to know when nobody has ever looked.

milodonharlani
September 22, 2013 11:01 am

Tom McCord says:
September 22, 2013 at 9:58 am
IMO evidence supports the contention that The Year Without a Summer was indeed caused by Tambora, with the effects amplified by having occurred during the already cold-stressed Dalton Sunspot Minimum.
Earlier in the Little Ice Age, the Pacific volcano Kuwae had similar effects after its c. 1452 eruption, shortly before the Spoerer Minimum. Also, an eruption of Huaynaputina in Peru is blamed for the severe Russian famine of 1601–03. The 1783 eruption of Laki in Iceland caused thousands of deaths in Europe. The latter two events fell before & after the Maunder Minimum.

Greg Goodman
September 22, 2013 11:04 am

richardscourtney says: … these effects – and any similar effects – would provide a homeostatic control to global temperature.
Thanks, Richard, I was not aware of that paper. Thunderstorms have more to do with convection and evaporation the “super greenhouse effect” but I suppose they had to boost AGW keyword count in order to get published.
the article is available through ReadCube (which is only just above unusable in my browser, I’ll perisist)
http://www.readcube.com/articles/10.1038/351027a0?locale=en

milodonharlani
September 22, 2013 11:05 am

Thomas says:
September 22, 2013 at 10:30 am
During glacial epochs, climate seems to have two (or three) phases, ie long glacial & shorter interglacial, with possibly an even colder phase within the glacial, associated with Heinrich Events. The Last Glacial Maximum is an instance of the possible third “steady state”, shorter than interglacials & perhaps just extra-cold D-O events.

Peter Miller
September 22, 2013 11:06 am

In all probability, the really huge volcanic eruptions of the past 2,000 years – in 542 and 1816 – did have a significant effect on temperature, but these were eruptions an order of magnitude greater than the Pinatubo one in 1992

Theo Goodwin
September 22, 2013 11:16 am

“I ascribe this to an oddity of the climate control system … it’s invisible. For example, I’ve shown that the time of onset of tropical clouds has a huge effect on incoming solar radiation, with a change of about ten minutes in onset time being enough to counteract a doubling of CO2. But no one would ever notice such a small change.”
Well, of course it is invisible and it will remain so until some climate scientists go into the natural environment, maybe the Virgin Islands, and start measuring the thermostatic control phenomena. Because climate scientists are so very averse to empirical research, they are not going to do the necessary work, at least not this generation of climate scientists.

Michael Jankowski
September 22, 2013 11:24 am

Maybe the 17 yr pause in global warming is due to a time-warp teleconnection to past volcanic eruptions. Their cooling was just in the pipeline until recently.

Gary Pearse
September 22, 2013 11:26 am

Willis, once a mere skeptic myself I became a climate heretic by simply reading your simple and elegant articles on homeostatic mechanisms for resisting changes up or down in earth temperature. Your demonstrating that there is an upper limit to SST of ~31C from the data clinched it for me. I came at the stability of climate from the long geologist’s view in which global temperature fluctuations over hundreds of millions of years has an amplitude of only 3-5K! If I now understand your ideas, the upper limit for SST is a sharp 31C – the sea surface won’t surpass this because of the governor mechanism. The lower limit is less firm in that with all the thunder clouds gone with cooling, heating depends essentially on insolation which may be insufficient to bring it back up toward 31C (Milankovitch cycles, and other). This would mean a slowing of the tropical – polar thermal exchange causing greater ice accumulation in a cooling system. It is my contention that a string of thermometers along the ITCZ is all we need to tell us the direction of significant changes in climate.
I think the groundwork you have laid will lead to the slam dunk physics of the climate system. An answer to the question why specifically 31C is the upper limit of SST will open a floodgate of understanding. Yes, to be a skeptic is good for science and good fun where you meet the interesting proportion of fellow humans. But to blow past it all and put forth an entirely new paradigm is even more exciting and interesting. There will be a lot of people who won’t like you but that is a good way to help winnow out those on whom you shouldn’t waste too much time.

Schrodinger's Cat
September 22, 2013 11:29 am

Willis, I too, am a heretic. The fact that our planet continues to be water based within a relatively narrow temperature range and its history of excursions towards an ice ball and back again seems to bear this out.
The current global warming mechanisms may be valid (though I doubt some of it) but the models completely underestimate the way our planet can restore climate stability. The climate scientists are too busy trying to defend their models to understand this.

September 22, 2013 11:30 am

Greg Goodman:
In your reply to me at September 22, 2013 at 11:04 am you say

Thunderstorms have more to do with convection and evaporation the “super greenhouse effect” but I suppose they had to boost AGW keyword count in order to get published.

For sake of clarity, I point out that the Ramanathan & Collins (R&C) effect induces cirrus not thunderstorms. They argued – initially against much opposition which their finding withstood – that when sea surface temperature reaches 305K the induced evapouration rate is so great that warm air rises to lift evapourated moisture so high that cirrus formation occurs. This cirrus sets the maximum surface temperature by reflecting sunlight so it cannot reach the surface.
The Eschenbach effect raises heat from the surface to high tropospheric altitude where it radiates to space. It starts to operate at temperatures below 305K.
They are very different – and complimentary – mechanisms.
Richard

Bloke down the pub
September 22, 2013 11:35 am

Once again, the IPCC has an hypothesis, backed up by simple lab experiments, that the addition of certain chemicals to the atmosphere should have an effect on global temperatures. Their response when it is pointed out that the effect is not as pronounced as predicted is to say that the
science is basic and settled.
Good to see Willis that your time spent in the Old Country has not blunted your analytical skills.

September 22, 2013 11:36 am

“Instead, I say that a host of emergent thermostatic phenomena act
quickly to cool the planet when it is too warm, and to warm it when it is too cool.”
But what sets the temperature (or rather system energy content) other than the strength of the gravitational field, the mass of the atmosphere and top of atmosphere insolation ?
AGW theory relies on compositional changes altering that baseline system energy content.
Compositional changes only result in circulation adjustments which prevent a change in the baseline level hence your emergent thermostatic phenomena but globally rather than just in the tropics.

Alan S. Blue
September 22, 2013 11:36 am

jai mitchell says:… If the energy going into that sphere containing the whole earth and all of it’s functions is more than the energy leaving that sphere then the planet is warming.
Proven counter-example of a closed system for which that is not true:
A steam engine with more heat provided doesn’t necessarily get any hotter or ’emit more heat’. It instead goes faster.
That is: The energy doesn’t need to come out – it can be converted into work. Just because you didn’t make the heat cycle with steel tubing doesn’t mean it isn’t a Carnot heat engine.

September 22, 2013 11:39 am

One has to ask what sets the governing mechanism and in my view it must be atmospheric pressure which is a consequence of mass alone held within a gravitational field:
http://www.newclimatemodel.com/the-setting-and-maintaining-of-earths-equilibrium-temperature/

September 22, 2013 11:44 am

Thanks Willis,
I’m not a scientist, so please pardon my ignorance, but in figure 4 are the two scales used equivalent? Does forcing of 4 w/m2 equal 0.8C in temperature anomaly? If so, what are the assumptions behind this analysis? Also, doesn’t figure 2 illustrate the temperature anomalies, rather than the actual surface temperatures? This seems like an important distinction which is often missed, but maybe I’m wrong.

September 22, 2013 11:44 am

” It is my contention that a string of thermometers along the ITCZ is all we need to tell us the direction of significant changes in climate. ”
Not necessary.
The net latitudinal position after stripping out seasonal variation is all one needs.
Towards the north pole = warming.
Towards the equator or the south pole = cooling.
It would be helpful to ascertain the neutral position first though.

September 22, 2013 11:47 am

Volcanic and Solar Forcing of Climate Change during the …
http://www.meteo.psu.edu/holocene/public…/Shindelletal-jclim03-preprint.pdf‎
This study concludes volcanic eruptions do have an effect on the climate.
In regards to the IPCC saying small volcanic eruptions caused the temperature rise to slow , they are wrong if one looks at a volcanic aerosol optical thickness graph which shows very low values since the Mt. Pinatubo eruption.
If one goes to Dr. Spencer’s website one will see a very clearly define temperature drop in global temperatures following the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in the early 1990’s. This temperature drop was despite an associated El Nino at the time, which clearly shows a large volcanic eruption will cause a substancial drop in global temperatures for a short time following the eruption.

September 22, 2013 11:48 am

Stephen Wilde:
It seems you have independently rediscovered the Jelbring Hypothesis.
Please google for it because there has been much debate of it over the years.
Richard

Jeff Patterson
September 22, 2013 11:50 am

A very nice piece of work. I guess I can go back and add in the data I lopped off the beginning of the SST record to eliminate the effects of Krakatoa.
All the best

September 22, 2013 11:50 am

3. Impact of Volcanic Eruptions
The global annual average surface temperature response to volcanic
eruptions is cooling, resulting from increased absorption and reflection of
incoming shortwave radiation by stratospheric aerosols. Averaging all years of the
simulations together, the mean annual average cooling was -0.35 C for the
periodic Pinatubo eruption, -0.77 C for the periodic Tambora 2P eruption, -1.09
C for the periodic Tambora 3P eruption, and -0.44 C for the observed 1959-1999
The above is from the study I sent inmy previous post.

Editor
September 22, 2013 11:52 am

Willis says: Thanks for another great post.

September 22, 2013 11:53 am

Volcanic and Solar Forcing of Climate Change during the Preindustrial Era
Drew T. Shindell1,2, Gavin A. Schmidt1,2, Ron L. Miller1,3, and Michael E. Mann4
1NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY 10025, USA.
2Center for Climate Systems Research, Columbia University, New York, NY
10025, USA.
3Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, Columbia University,
New York, NY 10025, USA.
4Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville,
VA 22902, USA.
If one wants to google the study.

Mike Smith
September 22, 2013 11:54 am

If Willis is correct (and this seems very plausible based on his data) does this not mean it likely that man-made aerosols have a lower than generally assumed impact on temperature?
I also wonder about the impact of volcanic ash on ice extent and temperatures in the polar regions. There is significant evidence that man-made deposits of black carbon will increase the thermal absorption of snow and ice accelerating the melt. Would volcanic ash not have an impact there?
There might be some mileage in correlating those volcanic events with polar temperatures specifically.

September 22, 2013 11:55 am

“The issue is that to keep a lagged system on course, you need to have “overshoot”. This means that when the temperature goes below average, it then goes above average, and then finally returns to the prior value”
I have already proposed such a scenario.
When the Earth gets warm enough for outward longwave to exceed solar incoming then there is an excess of energy going out and the system cools.
When the Earth cools so that outward longwave is less than solar incoming then there is an excess of energy coming in and the system warms.
The mediating mechanism in the atmosphere is the global convective air circulation which adjusts as necessary to maintain ToA energy balance..
The importance of the water cycle is that its heat shifting efficiency is so great that it does most of the work that would otherwise need to be done by changes in the speed of the convective circulation.
The existence of the water cycle means that the necessary adjustments need not be as violent as would otherwise be necessary.
It is atmospheric pressure which sets that top limit for ocean surface temperatures.

September 22, 2013 11:58 am

The evidence is that increased volcanic activity during past prolonged solar minimums enhanced the temperature declines the globe experienced at those times periods
Further the case can be made of a solar/volcanic correlation. Many studies showing increased volcanic activity being associated around solar minimum periods.

September 22, 2013 12:00 pm

richardscourtney says:
September 22, 2013 at 11:48 am
Hi Richard.
Hans Jelbring is correct in general terms as regards his ‘Wind Driven Climate’ but I have topped and tailed the whole climate story so as to incorporate a scenario that also accommodates the ideas of Willis, the data of Bob Tisdale, the latest upper atmosphere data and many other contributions from many other commentators.

milodonharlani
September 22, 2013 12:04 pm

Peter Miller says:
September 22, 2013 at 11:06 am
Volcanologists recognize or suspect three or four VEI7 eruptions in the past 2000 years: Tambora (1815), Rinjani (13th century, but unconfirmed), Baekdu (969) & Taupo (180-230). The candidates for the c. 540 event, Rabaul & Ilopango, are currently rated as VEI6. I might have missed some.

September 22, 2013 12:05 pm

“But what sets the temperature (or rather system energy content) other than the strength of the gravitational field, the mass of the atmosphere and top of atmosphere insolation ?”
That is important along with atmosphere composition. I realize that your website concludes that atmospheric composition is not important, but simulations of atmospheric columns differ from that conclusion. See hitran results in table 2: http://web.archive.org/web/20121226202653/http://www.john-daly.com/forcing/hug-barrett.htm
The important point that we can all agree on for this thread is that there are various thermostatic effects both local to the tropics and global that limit the planet’s warmth. Short term that includes convection and clouds. Long term thermostats include heat transport to the poles both by meridional flow in the atmosphere and by oceanic currents. For the latter, a good example is ice-free waters that allow more cold bottom water to form in the Arctic and flow into the Atlantic.
Cloud thermostats also limit cooling. Ice increases limit cooling as well by preventing heat loss and limiting cold bottom water formation. It’s not as if the planet is finely tuned regarding energy balance, but the thermostatic mechanisms are nonlinear and kick in more as the planet deviates from the baseline. That also determines the significance or insignificance of raised CO2 levels.

September 22, 2013 12:05 pm

John L. Casey1
Released for world wide web (www) distribution on Monday, March 1, 2010.
[1] An independent review of historical records was performed for 350 years of global volcanic activity
Link
[Salvatore, please do not post such a huge chunk of text, I’ve replaced it with a link. We can all read, so make your point and post a link. In this, you’ve not even commented on why you posted the link. -w.]

Editor
September 22, 2013 12:05 pm

Tom McCord says:
September 22, 2013 at 9:58 am

Is it possible that the “Year Without a Summer” in 1816 was not really caused by the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia after all?

I suppose it’s possible. The Sato dataset apparently doesn’t go that far back. Given that Tambora lifted 25 cubic miles of stuff into the atmosphere and Krakatau in 1883 only lifted 4.5 cubic miles, Tambora could have blocked 20 W/m^2. OTOH, the SO2 output was only a third greater, so maybe only about 5 W/m^2. The biggest impact of the Year Without a Summer was at latitudes where summer freezes killed crops, so perhaps the distance to the tropical convection governor allowed for the cooling and southerly shift in the storm track that made for an “interesting” year.
Willis shoots most of that down in http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/15/missing-the-missing-summer/ so your mileage may vary.

September 22, 2013 12:06 pm

Stephen Wilde:
Thankyou for your reply to me at September 22, 2013 at 12:00 pm. However, it seems I was inadequately clear.
I was not mentioning Jelbring’s PhD thesis on wind driven climate. I was mentioning his hypothesis that any planet has a surface temperature defined by gravity and atmospheric mass (assuming an atmosphere with sufficient atmosphere which e.g. Mars lacks).
Richard

September 22, 2013 12:07 pm

I should add that my previous comment is directed at Stephen Wilde.

Greg Goodman
September 22, 2013 12:07 pm

Thanks Richard. I’m struggling with Readcube so I have not been able to get a good understanding of that paper yet.
It’s a shame that most of the interesting and objective climate science seems to have stopped being published around 1990.

William Sears
September 22, 2013 12:28 pm

This has an uncanny similarity, in my mind at least, to the way weight gain and obesity is treated by most people, including those in medicine. That is, only the forcings are considered (food intake and exercise output as positive and negative forcings) and the homeostatic system is ignored. The governor (feedback) system actively affects the forcings in both cases.
Our friend W. M. Briggs might not be too pleased with your use of p-values. 😉

Hamish McDougal
September 22, 2013 12:29 pm

Would somebody on this blog (the most &c…) please highlight the sleight-of-hand (a.k.a. the movement of the pea …. watch it!) which the IPCC uses.
All their previous (woe is me, doom & gloom) prognostications have used 1971 (± whatever) to 1998 (± whatever) which has given them ) 0.2°C/decade. Continuation of that they used to scare us (to 2100! – catastrophe!).
Now, when we have the ‘pause’ (plateau … whatever) they start it at 1951 – that gives 0.13°C (or whatever). Comparatively that makes the current ‘pause’ (whatever …) look less destructive to their narrative (catastrophe … &c.).
w, I’ve followed you for a long time. Can’t you pick this up?
Help, anybody.

Greg Goodman
September 22, 2013 12:38 pm

Steven Wilde: re ITCZ
Towards the north pole = warming.
Towards the equator or the south pole = cooling.
It would be helpful to ascertain the neutral position first though.
Can you point me to data that supports that? This is something ( one of many things ) I’ve been meaning to look into.

September 22, 2013 12:44 pm

Eric1sceptic said:
” I realize that your website concludes that atmospheric composition is not important, but simulations of atmospheric columns differ from that conclusion. ”
Not quite right.
I accept that atmospheric composition has a role in climate change but not as regards total system energy content.
I am aware of simulations of the atmospheric column but they do not give enough weight to solar effects and give too much to GHG effects. Recent observations are suggesting that the solar effects are overwhelming but not from TSI variation alone. It is rather the effect of solar particles and wavelengths on the vertical temperature profile that matters and in particular as to how those variations affect the equator to pole gradient of tropopause height. That is what allows the jets and climate zones to slide to and fro latitudinally beneath the tropopause thereby adjusting the global energy budget.
Our emissions would affect the global air circulation such that the circulation must change to negate their net thermal effect.
However, observations and historical records suggest that solar and oceanic influences shift the circulation latitudinally by up to 1000 miles in certain regions.
Since mass determines the greenhouse effect and composition only the circulation the obvious conclusion must be that our emissions have a miniscule effect.
I would be surprised if we had shifted the circulation by as much as a mile. In reality we could never measure it because of the weather ‘noise’ in the climate system.

September 22, 2013 12:47 pm

Greg Goodman says:
September 22, 2013 at 12:38 pm
Check out the behaviour of the jets and climate zones in historical documents during the LIA, MWP and Modern Warm Period.
I also saw something about the Marshall Islands which are near the ITCZ I’m sure it moved northward during the recent warming spell and was nearer the equator in the LIA.

geran
September 22, 2013 12:50 pm

Thanks for the great input, SVP.

September 22, 2013 12:52 pm

.Richard Courtney said:
“I was mentioning his hypothesis that any planet has a surface temperature defined by gravity and atmospheric mass ”
Plus ToA insolation. If there is no insolation the atmosphere stays frozen on the ground (excluding geothermal energy)
I recall that being accepted science back in the 1960s. My contribution is to incorporate the principle into a plausible climate hypothesis.
It all went awry when the radiative only concept took over.
It is a pity that the old text books seem to have been destroyed and predated the internet. Some may still exist so there is a research project for someone

milodonharlani
September 22, 2013 1:08 pm

Ric Werme says:
September 22, 2013 at 12:05 pm
Willis shoots most of that down in http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/15/missing-the-missing-summer/ so your mileage may vary.
—————————————————
Thanks for the link to Willis’ post skeptical of the Year Without a Summer. I had missed it.
A few comments. Crop prices fell after 1814 because of the end of the Napoleonic Wars (except for the 100 days). They’d have fallen even more in Britain but for the Corn Laws.
Also, Willis’ closing comment, “That was the point I was trying to make above, that if the weather really had been all that bad in 1992 the crop yield would have reflected it, and it didn’t. Not for any type of produce, not for tubers, not for legumes, not for vegetables, not for fruits, not for grains” is simply wrong, in the case of wheat, an important grain crop.
Global wheat production fell dramatically in 1992 & didn’t recover to 1991 levels until 1998, prices took a big jump that year (as I well recall) & at least in the US, yield fell (from 39.5 bu/A to 34.3):
http://www.agmrc.org/media/cms/ccpwheat_47A4CABBA76E0.pdf
Table1. World Wheat Production, Consumption, Trade, and Ending Stocks (1986-
1999a)
Year Production Consumption Tradeb Ending stocks Stocks-to- Traded
(Million metric tons) (%) (%)
1986 494.9 490.4 84.7 170.6 34.8 17.11
1987 524.1 515.6 90.7 179.1 34.7 17.31
1988 496.0 527.2 115.6 147.8 28.0 23.31
1989 495.0 524.5 104.3 118.4 22.6 21.07
1990 533.2 532.7 103.8 118.9 22.3 19.47
1991 588.0 561.9 101.1 145.1 25.8 17.19
1992 542.9 555.5 111.2 132.5 23.8 20.48
1993 562.4 550.3 113.0 144.5 26.3 20.09
1994 559.0 561.9 101.4 141.5 25.2 18.14
1995 524.8 547.6 100.8 118.7 21.7 19.21
1996 538.6 550.6 98.8 106.7 19.4 18.34
1997 582.8 576.7 101.3 112.8 19.6 17.38
1998 610.0 584.9 100.6 137.9 23.6 16.49
1999 586.6 597.1 95.6 127.4 21.3 16.30
aJuly-June Marketing Year
bExclued intra-European Union Trade
cStocks-to-consumption ratio
dTrade-to-production ratio
ePreliminary estimate

KNR
September 22, 2013 1:10 pm

‘The forcing from stratospheric volcanic aerosols can have a large impact on the climate for some years after volcanic eruptions. ‘ like a small child , when there caught out lying they can never admit to their mistakes , but keep making up ‘reasons’ when they weren’t wrong despite all the evidence .

jai mitchell
September 22, 2013 1:12 pm

richardscourtney says:
September 22, 2013 at 12:06 pm
I was not mentioning Jelbring’s PhD thesis on wind driven climate. I was mentioning his hypothesis that any planet has a surface temperature defined by gravity and atmospheric mass (assuming an atmosphere with sufficient atmosphere which e.g. Mars lacks).
Amazing how often I have heard this explanation posited by people on this site as an alternative reason for climate change
what is even more amazing is that this theory has been thoroughly debunked ON THIS VERY WEBSITE:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/24/refutation-of-stable-thermal-equilibrium-lapse-rates/
As we can see, it is an introductory physics textbook exercise to demonstrate that an adiabatically isolated column of gas in a gravitational field cannot have a thermal gradient maintained by gravity. The same can readily be demonstrated by correctly using thermodynamics at a higher level or by using statistical mechanics, but it is not really necessary. The elementary argument already suffices to show violation of both the zeroth and second laws of thermodynamics by the assertion itself.
In nature, the dry adiabatic lapse rate of air in the atmosphere is maintained because the system is differentially heated from below causing parcels of air to constantly move up and down. Reverse that to a cooling, like those observed during the winter in the air above Antarctica, and the lapse rate readily inverts. Follow the air column up above the troposphere and the lapse rate fails to be observed in the stratosphere, precisely where vertical convection stops dominating heat transport. The EEJ assertion, that the dry adiabatic lapse rate alone explains the bulk of so-called “greenhouse warming” of the atmosphere as a stable feature of a bulk equilibrium gas, is incorrect.

M Courtney
September 22, 2013 1:13 pm

As a complete amateur who has followed these discussions… The impact of volcanoes will be greatly affected by the latitude of the volcano, of course.
But, my unproven thought is that the impact will also be greatly affected by the physical geography too. If the volcano feeds into the jet stream then the impact would be amplified.
On the other hand, if the volcano is in a location next to a dustbowl then there will already be particulates in that place and only the cooling effect of the sulphates will have an effect. That would reduce the perceived impact.
And the effect of a volcano in a forest would have a longer time lag than in an arid area. There must be more complications too.
My apologies if this is self-evident and already considered.

Bill
September 22, 2013 1:28 pm

Willis, how does your governor theory explain ice ages?

September 22, 2013 1:33 pm

OBSERVATIONS OF THE ATMOSPHERIC EFFECTS OF THE 1991 PLINIAN ERUPTION OF MOUNT PINATUBO
Whether or not the data seem to become lost in long time series, Plinian volcanic eruptions can indeed influence climate and other parameters for a year or more. The major eruption of Mount Pinatubo on 15 June 1991 injected some 20 megatons of SO2 into the stratosphere. This evolved into a layer of aerosols above the tropopause that eventually blanketed most of the planet. At my observing station in South Central Texas, the arrival of the aerosol cloud in July 1991 was visually obvious during the day and especially at dawn and dusk.
As Willis observes, the aerosol blanket reflects sunlight back into space. The aerosols also absorb sunlight. In the case of the Pinatubo cloud, I used a calibrated unfiltered silicon solar cell and a variety of calibrated, filtered sun photometers to measure both direct and full sky solar irradiance. The aerosols caused an increase in the aerosol optical depth at 1000 nm of about 0.04 during the latter half of 1991 and most of 1992. This was a reduction of about 4 percent at 1000 nm. The aerosols reduced the photocurrent from the solar cell at noon by about 5 percent during this time. These observations were associated with a reduction in temperature of about 2 degrees F, which is similar to other reports elsewhere.
In contrast with the global time series presented by Willis, my time series from 1990 to the present clearly shows the Pinatubo eruption’s association with anomalies in temperature, aerosol optical depth, total solar irradiance and, later, a reduced total ozone column and an increase in solar UV-B.
During the early months the volcanic aerosols sometimes formed alto cirri clouds that were visible in full daylight and, especially, during twilight. The aerosols also formed a Bishop’s ring on a number of occasions. Brilliant, colorful sunsets were visible for more than 2 years, photographs of which I have published online and in print.
The Pinatubo aerosol cloud first arrived over the Gulf of California when I was aboard a cruise ship chartered for observers of the total solar eclipse of 11 July 1991. The aerosol cloud arrived the evening of 12 July with an extraordinarily red sky. Had it arrived around noon during the eclipse the previous day, my measurements of the ozone layer before and after the eclipse would have been compromised. Fortunately, the eclipse occurred a day earlier, and measurements were made of several waves in the ozone layer along the path or totality over the Gulf of California. My son Eric simultaneously measured waves just outside the path of totality in Texas, and we published a joint paper on our findings. (F. M. Mims III, and E. R. Mims, Fluctuations in Column Ozone During the Total Solar Eclipse of July 11, 1991, Geophysical Research Letters, 20, 5, 367-370, 1993. Also a poster paper at the Quadrennial Ozone Symposium, University of Virginia, June 1992.)

eco-geek
September 22, 2013 1:36 pm

“The reduced trend in radiative forcing is primarily due 3 to volcanic eruptions and the downward phase of the current solar cycle.”
The second point is of interest to me as it seems that the IPCC finally recognise that solar activity operates inversely with global temperature. Doubtless this will now be puit into their models and the late C20th warming explained as being as result of increased solar activity during the Grand Maximum with (any) contribution due to CO2 being adjusted downwards in line with an accurate quantification of this effect. Oh! And an appology for getting things all wrong yet again.

AndyG55
September 22, 2013 1:38 pm

“In response to this ‘super greenhouse effect’, highly reflective cirrus clouds are produced which act like a thermostat shielding the ocean from solar radiation.”
I find it a bit odd that we are referring to this as a “greenhouse effect”
More like a “”shadecloth” effect. It is not stopping heat escaping, it is stopping extra heat coming in.
Pretty much the opposite of a greenhouse.

RERT
September 22, 2013 1:39 pm

Willis –
It would be very helpful to see your lag linear-predicted lagged temperature anomaly overlaid on the actual temperature residual, to get a feel for how much volcanoes do or do not explain. Some of the forcing values (-4W/m2) are very large, so would explain anomalies of several tenths of a degree by your analysis, which are comparable to that in the residuals.
R.

September 22, 2013 1:46 pm

I’m not a scientist, just a citizen fascinated by the global warming debate. The AGW hypothesis seems to be an groupthink IPCC assumption. Richard S Courtney says on September 22, 2013 at 10:16 am Willis asks:
“With 2/3 of the planet covered by water, perhaps volcanoes’ greatest impact is the result of injecting heat into the oceans.”
Apparently there are hundreds or even thousands of unknown submarine volcanoes. My questions to Willis (or anybody) are:
1. Does the IPCC process estimate the GHG emissions, particularly CO2, that come from all these uncharted submarine volcanoes?
2. What about emissions from hydrothermal vents?
3. What about CO2 that must be bubbling up from much of the ocean floor?

jorgekafkazar
September 22, 2013 1:54 pm

Jim S says: Don’t volcanoes also emit large quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere? Is this taken into account?
Greg Goodman says: Largeness is relative. In view of what we chuck out and the natural annual carbon cycle volcanoes are a fart in the wind.
The annual human contribution to the atmosphere is 9 gigatons of CO2 measured as Carbon. There is only one place where the entire output of a volcanic seep is (or was) sequestered–Lake Nyos. Estimates of that source alone range as high as 700 million SCF of CO2 annually. Using a more conservative yearly figure of 187 million SCF and multiplying by three million subsea volcanoes, I get 5.61 X 10¹⁴ SCF/year, globally. Some fart, Greg!
Converting to metric tons of carbon per year, that’s about 8 gigatons versus the human contribution of 9 gigatons. No, we don’t know the sizes of those subsea volcanoes nor their emission rates, nor the emission of land-based volcanoes. But these figures hint that the volcanic CO2 release rate may have been grossly understated. [Note that I don’t say “underestimated,” because AGW-activist scientists don’t always state what they estimate.]

September 22, 2013 1:59 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
September 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm
I don’t accept every aspect of the Jelbring hypothesis, merely the part that emphasises the function of winds in redistributing energy. I don’t see the mass/gravity issue as his since to my recollection it was once the consensus view.
I am aware of your antipathy to the gravity/atmospheric mass issue but respectfully consider you and all those who support you to be wrong.
It is interesting to note that your own hypothesis proposes some baseline sea surface temperature that cannot be exceeded even if the atmospheric composition changes.
You have provided no suggestion as to how that might be achieved.
The only way I can see it being achieved is via atmospheric pressure on the water surface and that involves mass not composition.
Your own thermostat hypothesis needs the gravity/mass relationship to work in the first place unless you can come up with a more likely explanation.

jorgekafkazar
September 22, 2013 1:59 pm

Gerald Wilhite says: “Apparently there are hundreds or even thousands of unknown submarine volcanoes.”
In that regard, see: http://iceagenow.com/Three_Million_Underwater_Volcanoes.htm
More like millions, Gerald.

September 22, 2013 2:09 pm

Gerald Wilhite:
Your post at September 22, 2013 at 1:46 pm begins saying

I’m not a scientist, just a citizen fascinated by the global warming debate. The AGW hypothesis seems to be an groupthink IPCC assumption. Richard S Courtney says on September 22, 2013 at 10:16 am Willis asks:
“With 2/3 of the planet covered by water, perhaps volcanoes’ greatest impact is the result of injecting heat into the oceans.”

I am confused because neither Wiilis nor I said what you quote and – as far as I can see – neither of us replied to it.
However, I did respond to theyouk:suggesting volcanic heat could have an effect in his post at September 22, 2013 at 10:16 am.
My reply is at September 22, 2013 at 10:40 am
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/22/the-eruption-over-the-ipcc-ar5/#comment-1423700
and reports the Ramanathan&Collins effect.
Your post then goes on to discuss CO2 emissions from submarine volcanos. This could not affect atmospheric CO2 because of the carbonate buffer: almost all the CO2 in the carbon cycle is already in the oceans. However, sulphate emissions from submarine volcanos could significantly alter atmospheric CO2 concentration by altering ocean surface layer pH. I have explained this in WUWT threads where it is pertinent. It is NOT pertinent here and would confuse this thread which concerns atmospheric (n.b. NOT oceanic) SOx.
Richard

September 22, 2013 2:14 pm

John Daly used 6 different methods to calculate 2XCO2 sensitivity and all of them were in line with your result, around 0.2C.
http://www.john-daly.com/miniwarm.htm
Looking at the 7 major eruptions from Krakatoa onwards, 5 of them occurred in spring to mid-summer.
Mount Pinatubo Luzon Volcanic Arc Jun 15, 1991
5 Mount St. Helens Cascade Volcanic Arc May 18, 1980
6 Novarupta Aleutian Range Jun 6, 1912
6 Santa María Central America Volcanic Arc Oct 24, 1902
5 Mount Tarawera Taupo Volcanic Zone Jun 10, 1886
6 Krakatoa Sunda Arc Aug 26–27, 1883
5 Cosigüina Central America Volcanic Arc January 20, 1835
Plus El Chichon, March/April 1982
If I am correct in my thinking that monsoon intensity (especially NH monsoon) is a major climate feedback (negative) on an annual scale then the lag you show in Fig 5 would be significantly affected by the time of year the eruptions occurred.

September 22, 2013 2:14 pm

Stephen Wilde:
In your post addressed to Willis at September 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm you say

It is interesting to note that your own hypothesis proposes some baseline sea surface temperature that cannot be exceeded even if the atmospheric composition changes.
You have provided no suggestion as to how that might be achieved.

He does not need to because that has been known since 1991. Please read my post in this thread at September 22, 2013 at 10:40 am
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/22/the-eruption-over-the-ipcc-ar5/#comment-1423700
which reports the Ramanathan&Collins effect.
Richard

September 22, 2013 2:25 pm

milodonharlani says:
September 22, 2013 at 1:08 pm
Global wheat production fell dramatically in 1992 & didn’t recover to 1991 levels until 1998, prices took a big jump that year (as I well recall) & at least in the US, yield fell (from 39.5 bu/A to 34.3):
====================================================================
You’re applying a micro to a macro. Yes, for a very short time global wheat production declined, but at the same time corn and rice increased. There are many, many reasons for price fluctuation other than the ability to produce. If you wish, you can go here to see the near constant increase of crop global production. https://suyts.wordpress.com/2013/09/08/oh-puh-leeese-do-you-see-a-twelve-year-cycle-here-maybe-but-it-doesnt-make-any-difference/

David Douglass
September 22, 2013 2:27 pm

About six years ago my colleagues and I published a series of papers on Pinatubo. The first paper provoked two comment papers by prominent climate scientists disagreeing with our results. We published replies to both showing that their analysis was wrong. All five of these papers were published in Geophysical Research Letters (GRL).
Douglass, Knox, Pearson and Clark (DKPC) published a sixth summary paper “Thermocline flux exchange during the Pinatubo event” also in GRL.
(http://www.pas.rochester.edu/~douglass/papers/Douglss_Knox_pearson_clark2006GL026355.pdf). We found that the delay was 4.4 months and more importantly that the total heat flux integrates during this event integrates to zero — i.e. The temperature of the Earth after the event returns to what it was before.
——————————————-
ABSTRACT
“We analyze the temperature anomaly of the Pinatubo eruption using an exact mathematical solution of a standard energy balance model that includes coupling between the mixed layer and the thermocline. Our solution yields a short response time t = 4.4 months and a small climate sensitivity l = 0.22 C/(W/m2), implying short-term negative feedback. Also, our analysis determines a value of the effective eddy diffusion constant k = 2 x 10 (-6) m2/s that is much smaller than that assumed in many climate models. We find for this model that the heat flux to the thermocline reverses sign and integrates to zero for any forcing of finite duration. This effect should be observable in any future Pinatubo- type event.”
——————————————
The authors of the last IPCC report knew of our papers and the comment papers by the two prominent climate scientists who disagreed with our results. However, they deliberately failed to reference our replies showing that they were wrong. When that report came out, it was obviously why — our results disagreed with their conclusions.
I suspect that IPCC AR5 will again ignore our results which after six years is still the last word on Pinatubo.
David Douglass
Dept of Physics and Astronmy
University of Rochester

September 22, 2013 2:43 pm

Willis, I am a bit perplexed by the volcanic forcing dataset you graphed. I am not doubting the veracity of the dataset, it being from GISS and all…sorry. No, seriously, it is likely accurate, but why then is the forcing from Novarupta in 1912 so small? I wrote about it and the beheading of Katmai and other “extreme weather” events of 1912 recently so it is fresh in my mind. It was supposedly the “most powerful volcanic eruption of the 20th Century”:
By the time the eruption ended the surrounding land was devastated and about 30 cubic kilometers of ejecta blanketed the entire region. This is more ejecta than all of the other historic Alaska eruptions combined. It was also thirty times more than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens and three times more than the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, the second largest in the 20th Century.
Then why would it be but a blip in your graph? Novarupta’s volcanic forcing appears to rank 7th in your graph and about half as powerful a forcing as Mount Pelée in 1902. The other spikes all seem to correlate with the other known large eruptions of the last century-and-a-half, but Novarupta seems the anomaly. Any idea why it’s forcing would have been so weak? Different type of eruption perhaps? I know very little about volcanology so I figured I’d ask in case you or anyone else already had a likely explanation before I go digging any further.

September 22, 2013 2:58 pm

Welcome back from your travels, Willis, and thanks for a great thought provoking post to start off. The Earth has survived long enough to show that its natural system does not crash into wild fluctuations caused by minor variations of CO2 whatever their cause. Earth has a long term agenda. CO2 should not be on our agenda except to be thankful for its benefits to plants.

Admin
September 22, 2013 3:02 pm

Hi Willis, can you explain how your thermostat relates to Svensmark’s theory? I think I’ve got it – Svensmark’s GCR represents an adjustment to the thermostat itself – is that right?

September 22, 2013 3:02 pm

richardscourtney says:
September 22, 2013 at 2:14 pm
I found this in your link:
“the effect they found is that increased heating of tropical ocean increases evapouration to increase cover by cirrus clouds which shield the surface from solar heating”
The cirrus clouds are a secondary effect resulting from the initial increase in evaporation. My New Climate Model does in fact include cloud feedback effects.
By shading the surface the cirrus clouds reduce the amount of extra evaporation required to restore equilibrium.
Therefore that is not an adequate explanation for the process of increased evaporation in the first place, merely an example of the negative system response to whatever caused the initial rise in evaporation.
It is the increased rate of evaporation that is the primary effect arising from the addition of extra energy to the ocean surface. Willis does not explain how that increase in evaporation is always sufficient to put a firm lid on maximum sea surface temperature.
If the cirrus clouds did not form there would still be the same maximum temperature, just faster evaporation which would not decline if no cirrus clouds formed.
There comes a point where ALL the added energy is ejected by increased evaporation over water or increased convection over land.
That point is determined by atmospheric mass via pressure on the surface and not composition though composition does change the circulation required to achieve stabilisation of the system.
This issue is highly relevant to the volcanic aspect too.
Up thread it was pointed out that the effects of eruptions were neutralised eventually though there is some debate about how long it takes.
That neutralisation is achieved by the global air circulation changing to adjust the ToA energy budget and the changes in circulation required are a product of atmospheric mass and surface pressure.
The main point Willis made in his old thread was this:
“Once the system is at equilibrium, therefore, there is no net flow between the surface and the atmosphere. ”
But that begs the question because the system never is at equilibrium and every divergence from equilibrium causes an equal and opposite circulation response in order to adjust ToA energy balance.
There is always a net flow between surface and atmosphere and it is always a negative system response.
That brings us back inevitably to the question as to what sets the baseline temperature at the surface for any given level of ToA insolation.
That is surface pressure.
Even with a non GHG atmosphere the surface must be more than S-B because the mass (and thus pressure) of the non radiative atmosphere determines the amount of non radiative energy transfer between surface and atmosphere.
The rate of non radiative transfer is infinitely variable so that if anything other than mass, gravity or ToA insolation seeks to disturb system equilibrium (as is always happening in reality) then the appropriate negative system response is supplied via circulation changes which give rise to NON-NET energy exchanges between surface and atmosphere until ToA radiative balance is corrected.
It is wrong to simply ignore non radiative energy transfers between surface and atmosphere just because they net out over time.
They are constantly supplying the necessary negative system response by becoming non net as necessary which whichever sign of response is required.
No thermostat hypothesis can work without that mass/gravity relationship.

Catcracking
September 22, 2013 3:06 pm

Jai says
“There is no other scientific reality. You cannot put energy into an object without it warming, you cannot take energy from that object without it cooling.”
Really, did you ever hear of photosynthesis:
“Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy, normally from the sun, into chemical energy that can be used to fuel the organisms’ activities. “

milodonharlani
September 22, 2013 3:12 pm

suyts says:
September 22, 2013 at 2:25 pm
Wheat production, as I noted, didn’t recover for seven years, not a short time.
I wasn’t arguing for a major effect from Pinatubo, but merely pointing out that Willis overstated the case. There was at least one major crop that did show a negative response. Moreover, at the time, the agricultural literature I read attributed at least some of the drop in wheat production & lowering in yield to Pinatubo, based upon what to me seemed valid argument & compelling evidence.
Of course many factors go into total production & yield numbers for each crop. For instance, wheat acreage in the US also fell from 1991 to ’92, for a variety of reasons. Longer term, volcanoes fertilize soils locally & regionally.
I wasn’t arguing for or against the overall importance of Pinatubo in global agriculture. But the fact is that wheat yield & production fell after 1991 & stayed down for most of the rest of the ’90s.

gnomish
September 22, 2013 3:17 pm

“It is interesting to note that your own hypothesis proposes some baseline sea surface temperature that cannot be exceeded even if the atmospheric composition changes.
You have provided no suggestion as to how that might be achieved.
The only way I can see it being achieved is via atmospheric pressure on the water surface and that involves mass not composition.”
1- phase change of water happens with no change of temperature – much heat is absorbed by the conversion of water from liquid to gas.
2- the density of water gas is less than that of all other gases of an significant quantity in our atmosphere – therefore water gas rises without convection
3- once it’s risen, phase change radiates the heat with no change in temperature and the gas condenses to liquid – changing its volume from a bottleful to a spoonful.
(degrees ain’t watts when you have phase change, willis)

September 22, 2013 3:21 pm

Stephen Wilde:
I am replying to your long post at September 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm.
You say of the Ramanathan&Collins (R&C) effect

Therefore that is not an adequate explanation for the process of increased evaporation in the first place, merely an example of the negative system response to whatever caused the initial rise in evaporation.

That is a change of subject!
You had complained that Willis did not explain the limit of 305K to maximum sea surface temperature. I replied that he does not need to because that has been known since 1991 and I cited the R&C effect. It explains the limit as I had reported earlier in this thread (with quotation and reference) in my post at at September 22, 2013 at 10:40 am
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/22/the-eruption-over-the-ipcc-ar5/#comment-1423700
The “the process of increased evaporation” is an increase in sea surface temperature induced by any cause.
You then promote the Jelbring Hypothesis which – unless you can provide a reference – was not around in the 1960s because Jelbring did not provide it until the late 1990s. Discussion of it is not relevant to this thread and I repeat my suggestion that you do a Search for discussions of it.
Richard

September 22, 2013 3:26 pm

Tom: “Is it possible that the “Year Without a Summer” in 1816 was not really caused by the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia after all?”
Possibly. But it was cold from 1809 to 1816.
Consider HADCET June/July/Aug. Yes 1816 was the 3rd coldest JJA ever at 13.4. But the long term mean for JJA HADCET was 15.3
All of the JJA’s were colder than the long term mean from 1809 to 1816. 1812 was almost as cold as 1816.
1808 16.6
1809 14.5
1810 14.8
1811 14.9
1812 13.8
1813 14.4
1814 14.3
1815 14.8
1816 13.4
http://wp.me/a1ASzZ-Iv
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/ssn_HadCET_mean.txt

StuartMcL
September 22, 2013 3:34 pm

milodonharlani says:
September 22, 2013 at 1:08 pm
Global wheat production fell dramatically in 1992 & didn’t recover to 1991 levels until 1998, prices took a big jump that year (as I well recall) & at least in the US, yield fell (from 39.5 bu/A to 34.3):
====================================================================
It may have fallen “dramatically from the abnormally high 1991 production. But it is right on the trendline for the period 1986 – 1999. Graph those figures in Excel and add a linear trendline*, then tell us you can see a “dramatic” drop.
(*A trivial exercise, unless your real name is Phil Jones).

MouruanH
September 22, 2013 3:45 pm

I had a quick look at the data. Maybe i was looking at too many numbers for today but i think i can see the drop and the lag response. GIStemp 3 months avg. plus Sato’s forcing.
DJF MAM JJA SON
1990 34 54 33 34 1990
1991 40 37 44 32 1991
1992 36 31 12 0 1992
1993 29 26 18 10 1993
1994 14 29 27 37 1994
1995 53 37 45 39 1995
1991.458 0.0179 0.0205 0.0153
1991.542 0.0377 0.0402 0.0353
1991.625 0.0710 0.0668 0.0751
1991.708 0.0964 0.0958 0.0970
1991.792 0.1197 0.1187 0.1208
1991.875 0.1380 0.1281 0.1480
1991.958 0.1385 0.1468 0.1301
1992.042 0.1483 0.1627 0.1338
1992.125 0.1494 0.1691 0.1298
1992.208 0.1428 0.1585 0.1270
1992.292 0.1386 0.1456 0.1317
1992.375 0.1379 0.1424 0.1333
1992.458 0.1265 0.1199 0.1332
1992.542 0.1228 0.1155 0.1300
1992.625 0.1141 0.1068 0.1214
1992.708 0.1044 0.1021 0.1068
1992.792 0.0978 0.0975 0.0982
1992.875 0.0918 0.0914 0.0921
1992.958 0.0793 0.0823 0.0763
1992 was a moderate El Nino year. Sorry about the format but it’s all about raw data, isn’t it.
Am i seeing things?

MouruanH
September 22, 2013 3:53 pm

That was unexpected. Before i posted my comment there were at least spaces between the data.
What a mess.
Here 1992 again – 3 months avg.: DJF 0.36 MAM 0.31 JJA 0.12 SON 0.0

September 22, 2013 3:56 pm

Richard said:
“You had complained that Willis did not explain the limit of 305K to maximum sea surface temperature. I replied that he does not need to because that has been known since 1991 and I cited the R&C effect”
I didn’t ‘complain’, I just asked if he had a better idea.
The suggestion from R&C is that the capping of sea surface temperature is achieved by the formation of certain types of cloud and not simply by an acceleration of the rate of evaporation sufficient to cancel out the added energy. Evaporation is a net cooling process so the faster it runs the more it cools a water surface.
Clouds are fickle entities and vary greatly in timing location density and depth. If it were clouds that achieved the capping effect we would see a much wider range of sea surface temperatures with no firm cap because conditions would regularly allow the cap to be exceeded when conditions were unfavourable for the right sort of clouds at the right time and in the right place.
Therefore I do not accept the R&C effect as an adequate explanation for such a firm cap. The observations are clear that 305C is the most we can get whatever the clouds do.
We are left with the rate of evaporation and the energy cost of the latent heat of vaporisation.
That is related to surface pressure.
I well remember being taught in the 60s and having read in books back then that the maximum surface temperature of a planet with an atmosphere is limited by atmospheric mass and gravity at any given level of ToA insolation.
The obvious reason for that is that any atmosphere whether radiative or not will acquire energy from and exchange energy with the surface and the amount exchanged will be related to mass rather than composition.
Furthermore the rate of energy exchange is not net zero at any given moment. It constantly changes as a negative system response to any disruptive forcing element other than more mass, more gravity or more ToA insolation.
You said I said:
“The “the process of increased evaporation” is an increase in sea surface temperature induced by any cause. ”
Where?
Doesn’t sound like me at all.
I might have said somewhere that an increased rate of evaporation arises from the addition of more energy from any cause but was it in this thread?

September 22, 2013 4:06 pm

Mike Smith says:
September 22, 2013 at 11:54 am
If Willis is correct (and this seems very plausible based on his data) does this not mean it likely that man-made aerosols have a lower than generally assumed impact on temperature?

‘Assumed’ is a good word to describe the published aerosol forcings from NASA/GISS, because they don’t have much empirical basis. There are important differences between anthropogenic aerosols and volcanic aerosols, including that the former are overwhelmingly in the lower troposphere and have a short residence time so their effects are primarily local to regional scale, while volcanic aerosols from major eruptions have a global effect and a residence time of months to perhaps several years. I wouldn’t draw any conclusions about anthropogenic aerosols from Willis’ conclusions about volcanic aerosols.

wayne
September 22, 2013 4:08 pm

Right off the bat I am wondering where (and exactly who) obtained the radiometers back in the late 1800’s to supply the aerosol data to us today that I.P.C.C. is then using to supply to politicians to make new laws and regulations?
( Willis, gee, I’m a climate heretic too (two years now), glad to have you onboard )
Now I’ll read the rest.

September 22, 2013 4:10 pm

milodonharlani says:
September 22, 2013 at 3:12 pm
suyts says:
September 22, 2013 at 2:25 pm
Wheat production, as I noted, didn’t recover for seven years, not a short time.
I wasn’t arguing for a major effect from Pinatubo, but merely pointing out that Willis overstated the case. There was at least one major crop that did show a negative response. Moreover, at the time, the agricultural literature I read attributed at least some of the drop in wheat production & lowering in yield to Pinatubo, based upon what to me seemed valid argument & compelling evidence.
==============================================================
No worries. I understand how it is. Crops are of particular interest to me relative to the greater climate discussion. So, when an opportunity presents itself to demonstrate global production has increased in spite of all of the wailing, I usually try to demonstrate it.

September 22, 2013 4:19 pm

sadly you cant calcuate sensitivity that easily from the response to volcanoes.
Imagine if I tried to calculate the sensitivity from the drop in termperature when the sun goes down.
If you want to extract sensitivity information from the relaxation response you have to do a bit more work
http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/cms-filesystem-action?file=research/weather-atmos-dynamics/wallace_held.pdf
Here is some more background. with references to papers one should read
http://ceres.larc.nasa.gov/documents/STM/2007-11/ce0711151415Boer.pdf
you need more than a back of the envelope.

dp
September 22, 2013 4:24 pm

The sun doesn’t go down – it goes somewhere else. It is not an impulse when the sun goes somewhere else.

Joe Born
September 22, 2013 4:35 pm

Willis Eschenbach: “T2 = T1 + lambda (F2 – F1) (1 – exp(-1/tau)) + exp(-1/tau) (T1 – T0)”
As my excuse for choosing this time to pick that particular nit, all I can say is that you’ve given this formula more than once before, and each time I’ve failed to understand how it applies to the usual situation with which you’re dealing, i.e., to matching data representing averages over intervals that are potentially significant fractions of the system’s major time constant.
Rather than attempt to set out my misgivings verbally, I’ll just set forth the following code, which draws a graph that compares how I understand you do it with the way I would have thought it should be done.
I do this with some trepidation, since as I recall your formula received Paul_K’s imprimatur, but my frustration over failing to comprehend a one-line formula has overcome my embarrassment at that failure.
simple = function(x, tau, lambda, delta_t, y0= 0){
# For the simple case of a single-pole, scalar (also called “one-box”,
# i.e., dy/dt = lambda / tau * x – y / tau), linear model, boils
# linearSystemResponse() down to a two-line iteration
n = length(x);
xl = lambda * x;
y = numeric(n);
alpha = 1 – exp(-delta_t / tau);
beta = 1 – tau / delta_t * (1 – exp(-delta_t / tau));
ys = y0;
for(i in 1:n){
y[i] = ys + beta * (xl[i] – ys);
ys = ys + alpha * (xl[i] – ys);
}
y;
}
eschenbach = function(x, tau, lambda, delta_t = 1, y0 = 0){
# Implements my understanding of the implementation used at wattsupwiththat.com
# by Willis Eschenbach after discussionwith Paul_K
x = c(0, 0, x);
n = length(x);
y = numeric(n);
y[1] = 0;
y[2] = y0;
for(i in 3:n){
y[i] = y[i – 1] + lambda * (x[i] – x[i – 1]) * (1 – exp(-delta_t/tau)) +
exp(-delta_t/tau) * (y[i – 1] – y[i – 2]);
}
y[-(1:2)];
}
modelImplementationQuery = function(){
# Illustrates my difficulty with applying the Paul_K / Willis Eschenbach
# approach to characterizing a system in accordance with the “one-box” model
# when the system data take the form of averages over intervals whose
# durations may be a significant fraction of the system time constant.
x = rep(1, 5); # The stimulus’s averages over each of five successive intervals
tau = 2; # The (single) time constant of the system to be simulated
delta_t = 1; # The duration of each time interval over which x represents stimulus averages
lambda = 1; # The equilibrium ratio of the system’s response to its stimulus
t = (0:(length(x) – 1)) * delta_t; # Each interval’s start time
# Now compute the system’s response
# averages over those intervals in accordance with . . .
y1 = eschenbach(x, tau, lambda, delta_t); # the Paul_K/Eschenbach approach
#y2 = linearSystemResponse(x, -1 / tau, lambda / tau, delta_t); # my general-purpose routine
y3 = simple(x, tau, lambda, delta_t); # that routine boiled down to the first-order-scalar (“one-box”) case
# Since the data are intended to represent interval averages, plot them at
# respective intervals’ midpoints:
plot(t + delta_t / 2, y3, xlim = c(0, range(t)[2] + delta_t),
ylim = c(0, lambda), xlab = “time”, ylab = “response”);
#points(t + delta_t / 2, y2, pch = 3);
points(t + delta_t / 2, y1, col = “red”);
# Now plot the analytically determined step response:
tFine = seq(t[1], t[length(t)] + delta_t, by = diff(range(t)) / 100);
lines(tFine, lambda * (1 – exp(-tFine / tau)), lty = 3);
}
modelImplementationQuery();

September 22, 2013 4:39 pm

Stephen Wilde:
I am writing to say that as a result of your post at September 22, 2013 at 3:56 pm I shall not be replying to anything else from you.
At September 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm

It is the increased rate of evaporation that is the primary effect arising from the addition of extra energy to the ocean surface. Willis does not explain how that increase in evaporation is always sufficient to put a firm lid on maximum sea surface temperature.

In your post I am answering you quote my saying of that

You had complained that Willis did not explain the limit of 305K to maximum sea surface temperature. I replied that he does not need to because that has been known since 1991 and I cited the R&C effect

And you assert

I didn’t ‘complain’, I just asked if he had a better idea.

Not true! You did NOT ask if he had a better idea. You complained that he “does not explain”.
You assert without evidence

Therefore I do not accept the R&C effect as an adequate explanation for such a firm cap. The observations are clear that 305C is the most we can get whatever the clouds do.

That is arm-waving. How do you know “whatever the clouds do”?
And you say to me

You said I said:
“The “the process of increased evaporation” is an increase in sea surface temperature induced by any cause. ”
Where?
Doesn’t sound like me at all.

I did NOT say you said that! I said that.
I said it in my post at September 22, 2013 at 3:21 pm where I objected to your changing the subject when shown to be wrong
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/22/the-eruption-over-the-ipcc-ar5/#comment-1423928
So, you changed the subject when shown to be wrong, you claim to have not said what you did say, you arm-waved to refute when presented with evidence you didn’t like, and you falsely accused me of misrepresentation. Hence, I see no purpose in further discussion with you.
Richard

Latitude
September 22, 2013 4:44 pm

milodonharlani says:
September 22, 2013 at 3:12 pm
But the fact is that wheat yield & production fell after 1991 & stayed down for most of the rest of the ’90s.
========
Scab and Vomitoxin….
November 1996
Wheat diseases becoming a national priority
TCK smut and Karnal bunt barely register a bite on U.S. wheat acreage and production, but are bad dogs that bark loudly in the export market. It is the perceptibility of these two fungal diseases in U.S. wheat, not actual infections, that may be blamed for economic losses, largely in lost sales opportunities and testing, containment, and processing costs.
On the other hand, Fusarium head blight, or scab, has been a more tangible disease. Yield and quality losses from scab, and its toxic byproduct, vomitoxin, have devastated half of the six major U.S. wheat classes
It’s estimated that wheat growers in N.D. have lost well over $1 billion to scab in the 1990s, and wheat and barley growers in Minnesota, about $1.2 billion.
http://www.smallgrains.org/springwh/November96/Sayler.htm

LdB
September 22, 2013 4:49 pm

@Willis Eschenbach
I have real issues with your idea I am afraid Willis and I do not care what relationship you can show on a graph … CORRELATION DOES NOT EQUAL CAUSATION.

Instead, I say that a host of emergent thermostatic phenomena act
quickly to cool the planet when it is too warm, and to warm it when it is too cool.

So for that to be remotely believed you need to provide mechanisms by which it would do it and correlating a few lines on a graph is far short of that, I think I would rather believe that the decrease in the number of pirates is causing global warming because that is a near perfect fit.

A Crooks
September 22, 2013 4:51 pm

The effect of the eruptions is easily seen in the moving average global temperature data at this climate4you site.
The regular 7.5 year cycle of plateau and dip, plateau and dip is interrupted twice once by El Chichon and once by Pinatubo and manifests itself by the loss of shoulders on the transition between plateau and dip. The temperatures soon bounce back pretty much in line with the atmospheric transition data.
http://www.climate4you.com/images/AllCompared%20GlobalMonthlyTempSince1979.gif

milodonharlani
September 22, 2013 4:53 pm

suyts says:
September 22, 2013 at 4:10 pm
Crops are of interest to me, too, as a former wheat rancher whose family still farm wheat.
But I’m more interested in reality even than making a point.

Editor
September 22, 2013 4:57 pm

MouruanH says:
September 22, 2013 at 3:53 pm

That was unexpected. Before i posted my comment there were at least spaces between the data.
What a mess.
Here 1992 again – 3 months avg.: DJF 0.36 MAM 0.31 JJA 0.12 SON 0.0

Try putting <pre> before and </pre> after the block of text that is “preformatted,” e.g.:

mysql> select dt, out_temp, dew_pt, rain, rain_rate, bar from raw where dt > '2013-9-21 7:0:0' and rain > 0.0;
+---------------------+----------+--------+------+-----------+--------+
| dt                  | out_temp | dew_pt | rain | rain_rate | bar    |
+---------------------+----------+--------+------+-----------+--------+
| 2013-09-22 04:00:00 |     68.3 |   65.3 | 0.01 |      0.00 | 29.543 |
| 2013-09-22 04:10:00 |     67.4 |   64.7 | 0.25 |      7.20 | 29.543 |
| 2013-09-22 04:20:00 |     66.1 |   63.7 | 0.05 |      0.46 | 29.545 |

See my Guide to WUWT at http://home.comcast.net/~ewerme/wuwt/index.html for more HTML formatting information and experiment at http://wattsupwiththat.com/test-2/

milodonharlani
September 22, 2013 4:58 pm

Latitude says:
September 22, 2013 at 4:44 pm
Scab didn’t hit MN wheat until 1993, & the effect on national production was negligible.
Maybe the infestation was a delayed effect of Pinatubo. Who knows?

September 22, 2013 5:06 pm

Richard.
The simplest way to deal with the R&C issue is as follows:
I) If surface atmospheric pressure were higher then more energy would be required to break the bonds between water molecules and evaporation could only occur at a higher temperature than at present. The temperature at which the sea surface temperatures are capped would have to rise The formation of clouds would be delayed until after the evaporation had occurred. It is obvious that higher pressure would need a higher temperature to counter it.
II) If surface atmospheric pressure were lower then of course the opposite would happen.
The key to the temperature at which the cap is set is the amount of energy required to break the bonds between water molecules and that is pressure dependent.
Recognition of these facts rounds off any proposition of a thermostat effect so as to make it plausible in terms of the known physics.
Willis, in my humble opinion, needs such a process to make his hypothesis work.

wayne
September 22, 2013 5:07 pm

@ MouruanH
To help prevent a mess with formatting of columnar data on a blog, do this: format in a separate text editor using a mono-spaced font like Courier, !! use NO tabs !!, only spaces. When you post, put a tag, <pre> before your data, put </pre> behind, the PRE tag. Your frustration should vanish. Brush up on how to use the PRE or CODE tags on the web.

Jim G
September 22, 2013 5:10 pm

A true super eruption of a super volcano might be at odds with your “self regulating” surface temperature hypothesis. Yellowstone for instance:
“The oldest identified caldera remnant straddles the border near McDermitt, Nevada-Oregon, although there are volcaniclastic piles and arcuate faults that define caldera complexes more than 60 km (37 mi) in diameter in the Carmacks Group of southwest-central Yukon, Canada, which is interpreted to have formed 70 million years ago by the Yellowstone hotspot.[5][6] Progressively younger caldera remnants, most grouped in several overlapping volcanic fields, extend from the Nevada-Oregon border through the eastern Snake River Plain and terminate in the Yellowstone Plateau. One such caldera, the Bruneau-Jarbidge caldera in southern Idaho, was formed between 10 and 12 million years ago, and the event dropped ash to a depth of one foot (30 cm) 1,000 miles (1,600 km) away in northeastern Nebraska and killed large herds of rhinoceros, camel, and other animals at Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park. Within the past 17 million years, 142 or more caldera-forming eruptions have occurred from the Yellowstone hotspot.[7]” per Wikipedia (sorry)
Living 243 mi from this caldera, much of the soil here is imbued with bentonite, a form of ancient volcanic ash. I suspect the atmospheric effects of such an eruption might last longer and be more significant than those you have looked at from the recent past.

Latitude
September 22, 2013 5:10 pm

milodonharlani says:
September 22, 2013 at 4:58 pm
Scab didn’t hit MN wheat until 1993, & the effect on national production was negligible.
====
I thought you were talking global?….dunno, I grew cows
From the link….
“Scab and vomitoxin were significant problems this year in the soft red winter wheat growing area, which includes Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Arkansas, and Kentucky. Michigan’s ag director said that “wet weather and warm temperatures have created the worst outbreak of wheat scab in that state in 100 years.” It was the second major scab outbreak for the SRW growing area in the 1990s, with the previous occurrence in 1991.”

Aphan
September 22, 2013 5:10 pm

I’m going to throw this out there, because for me, ANY Global Warming/Cooling theory no matter which way you lean, has a HUGE gap in it. We didn’t “discover” tectonic plate movement etc until the 1970’s. So “baby” science and added to it the fact that ocean floor is so vast and so hard to reach in some places that we just don’t have a complete picture of what the heck goes on down there.
NOW, that said, in recent years, ocean specialists have been shocked over and over again when they find HUGE geothermal vents in the ocean floors spewing HOT WATER and CO2 and other “greenhouse gases” 24/7. They have ALSO recently discovered that submarine volcanoes can and DO “erupt” just like surface volcanoes (which they previously thought could not happen due to temperatures and deep sea pressures-so for the most part they expected ‘pillow lava’ and mild spreading etc.
SO….it seems to me, that according to the research I’ve read, that there could be at least TWICE as many “active” submarine volcanoes (they estimate many, MANY more-in the thousands) going off-venting-erupting, etc PLUS the tectonic activity which allows HOT WATER and CO2 etc to enter the oceans all the time. Any “consensus” crap I can find on volcanic forcing is based SOLELY on land volcanoes that are KNOWN, and old, OLD measurements/calculations that don’t even begin to touch the ocean floor activity that I suspect IS GOING ON ALL THE TIME. In some cases the CO2 is so hot and under such pressure that it’s LIQUID CO2. A “superfluid”.
Now, over centuries-that would of course cause oceans to warm, AND cause serious CO2 outgassing as those lower, compressed waters are mixed in with the oscillations etc. HUGE amounts of increase. But I don’t know all the mechanics and formulas regarding how much it could rise or intermix etc or how “fast” the effects of it could be seen on the surface and in the atmosphere. I HIGHLY suspect that once we discover and figure it out, ANY “slight” increase in CO2 in the atmosphere could be blamed totally on submarine volcanism. AND-because it wouldn’t be putting the particulate matter into the air, it wouldn’t cause “cooling” necessarily but the CO2 and methane and sulphates etc would STILL be affecting climate.
ANYONE? Can I get a serious “scientist” to look into this as a serious contributor to our climate? Here are just a FEW of the hundreds of links I have to get you started:
http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/submarine
http://www.iceagenow.com/Archived_Articles-2011.htm (this guy might not be right about all of his info, but he’s been tracking underwater volcanic activity for a long time and has links up the wazoo on his “old website”)
http://oceantoday.noaa.gov/deepoceanvolcanoes/
http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/10/21/explosive-underwater-eruptions-are-deepest-yet-seen/
http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/stories/underwater-volcanos-eruption-kills-fish-offers-clues-to-c
Anyone? Thanks 🙂

Aphan
September 22, 2013 5:13 pm

This does not mean I think Willis is wrong. I think Willis is uninformed-as is most of the scientific community about how MUCH volcanic activity is happening that no one is reporting AND how that can be extrapolated into how much COULD BE happening and we just can’t record/measure yet.

September 22, 2013 5:13 pm

“Tambora’s 1815 outburst was the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history”
Yet, HADCET was barely perturbed other than the temperatures staying below normal which started years earlier.

Year  Jan  Feb Mar  Apr  May  Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec Annual
1806  4.2  4.3 5.1  6.8 12.1 14.9 15.4 16.2 13.4 10.6  7.8  6.8   9.80
1807  2.8  3.7 2.9  7.7 11.8 14.2 17.1 16.9 10.5 11.4  2.9  1.9   8.65
1808  2.6  2.8 3.2  5.8 13.7 14.8 18.4 16.7 12.7  7.2  6.0  2.2   8.84
1809  2.0  5.7 6.0  5.2 13.1 13.7 15.1 14.8 12.7 10.2  4.6  4.1   8.93
1810  2.2  3.5 4.9  8.2  9.2 14.6 15.2 14.6 13.9  9.8  5.4  3.6   8.76
1811  1.2  4.6 7.1  8.9 12.8 14.1 16.1 14.4 13.7 12.3  7.7  3.1   9.67
1812  2.6  5.3 3.5  5.5 10.9 13.0 14.2 14.3 13.2  9.3  4.9  1.7   8.20
1813  1.9  5.8 6.8  7.6 11.6 13.6 15.0 14.5 12.5  8.1  4.3  2.8   8.71
1814 -2.9  1.4 2.9  9.6  9.2 12.2 16.0 14.7 12.8  8.1  4.7  4.3   7.75
1815  0.3  6.5 7.3  8.1 12.6 14.3 14.9 15.3 13.4 10.3  3.4  2.3   9.06
1816  2.7  2.1 3.9  6.6  9.9 12.8 13.4 13.9 11.8 10.3  3.9  3.1   7.87
September 22, 2013 5:15 pm

Reblogged this on sainsfilteknologi and commented:
The Eruption Over the IPCC AR5

Jurgen
September 22, 2013 5:16 pm

Good informative post Willis. It made me wonder about equilibrium mechanisms.
What about micro-organisms as one of the equilibrium agents? They are everywhere in abundance and react to changing circumstances on short time scales. With this picture in mind you can easily see them as an active part of the weather system:
http://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/images/b/ba/Amatof2.jpg
They did find a lot of them up there:
http://www.pnas.org/content/110/7/2575
”Quantitative PCR and microscopy revealed that viable bacterial cells represented on average around 20% of the total particles in the 0.25- to 1-μm diameter range and were at least an order of magnitude more abundant than fungal cells, suggesting that bacteria represent an important and underestimated fraction of micrometer-sized atmospheric aerosols.”
Did read a book from Lovelock years ago. But I am not thinking macro-mechanisms here, just micro-organisms and shorter timescales. Guess this is speculative stuff still, not easily studied.
I know of one intriguing example of temperature equilibrium in living organisms, apart from the warm-blooded animals: tree-leaves, from this post on WUWT:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/06/13/surprise-leaves-maintain-temperature-new-findings-may-put-dendroclimatology-as-metric-of-past-temperature-into-question/
So live can be very adept in maintaining an equilibrium. I would speculate the biosphere is one of the players in the game.

milodonharlani
September 22, 2013 5:21 pm

Latitude says:
September 22, 2013 at 5:10 pm
It’s insignificant. Outbreak in 1991 occurred in year with then highest global production. Climate does affect fungal diseases, of course, but US scab had almost no measurable affect on world production.
To attribute global decline in wheat production to scab in US is, excuse me, simply nuts. Affect of drought in Australia was much greater, which began in second half of 1991, coincidentally after the Pinatubo eruption.

September 22, 2013 5:23 pm

Forrest M. Mims III (September 22, 2013 at 1:33 pm) “The aerosols reduced the photocurrent from the solar cell at noon by about 5 percent during this time. These observations were associated with a reduction in temperature of about 2 degrees F, which is similar to other reports elsewhere”
What happened at night? My guess is that nights became warmer.

milodonharlani
September 22, 2013 5:26 pm

sunshinehours1 says:
September 22, 2013 at 5:13 pm
There were prior volcanic eruptions, too.
Not summer temperatures in 1816, among lowest ever recorded in the CET series.
To quote yourself:
HADCET: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/mly_cet_mean_sort.txt
out of 353/354
1816
Coldest July ever
20th coldest August
26th coldest June
38th coldest May
50th coldest April
34th coldest September
238th coldest October – the outlier
23rd coldest November
11th coldest December
1817
3rd coldest May
15th coldest July
10th coldest August
2nd coldest October.

September 22, 2013 5:39 pm

Steven Mosher (September 22, 2013 at 4:19 pm) “Imagine if I tried to calculate the sensitivity from the drop in termperature when the sun goes down.”
Imagine if you tried calculating sensitivity without the correct daily rise in temperature over the ocean that creates the convection that cools the planet (i.e. one of the thermostats being referred to here). That’s what climate models do, see fig 3: http://echorock.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/adai/papers/DaiTrenberth_JC04.pdf

kuhnkat
September 22, 2013 5:39 pm

Willis,
try it again using RAW Data if you can find it. You may be a victim of the reduction of historic temps.

September 22, 2013 5:46 pm

Hmm, my guess might actually be correct: “it is shown that the dominant decreasing trend of mean maximum temperature and the dominant increasing trend of mean minimum temperature over periods 1992–1994 and 1985–1987 relative to that over the period 1988–1990 are consistent with the distribution of stratospheric volcanic aerosols and predictions from aerosol radiative forcing in the southeastern U.S.”
From http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1352231097002446

September 22, 2013 5:49 pm

Willis, if you look at my links you’ll find references to Douglas’ paper. Hmm arguably one of the first words, but not the last word in trying to estimate sensitivity from volcano data.

September 22, 2013 6:06 pm

“dp says:
September 22, 2013 at 4:24 pm
The sun doesn’t go down – it goes somewhere else. It is not an impulse when the sun goes somewhere else.”
The sensitivity parameter is a measure of the system response over a given time period.
Lets take a simple example. The speed of your car is D/T
Now, lets apply a force to your rear tires by stomping on the pedal. there will be an instaneous response, a transient response as you gain speed, and an equlibrium response when you hit top speed.
The ECS is what we are mostly interested in, the full response after all feedbacks,
Estimating that from a tap on the breaks requires a bit more work than Willis presents.
It’s an active area of research. What I can say is that most of the models cant replicate the effect perfectly they tend to over estimate the cooling and overestimate the rebound. This has been known for a while.
At first I surmised it had to do with sensitivity. But it doesnt.

pat
September 22, 2013 6:17 pm

an ambiguous ‘central’ in the headline; the Nobel Prize gets a mention of course, plus some classic quotes:
23 Sept: BBC: Matt McGrath: Global warming pause ‘central’ to IPCC climate report
Scientists will underline, with greater certainty than ever, the role of human activities in rising temperatures.
But many governments are demanding a clearer explanation of the slowdown in temperature increases since 1998.
One participant told BBC News that this pause will be a “central piece” of the summary…
In the latest draft summary, seen by the BBC, the level of scientific certainty has increased…
This slowdown, or hiatus as the IPCC refers to it, has been leapt upon by climate sceptics to argue that the scientific belief that emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere increases the temperature of the planet, is wrong.
Scientists have attempted to explain the pause in a number of ways, with many arguing that the Earth has continued to warm but that the heat has gone into oceans…
But there is no certainty and little agreement among scientists on the mechanisms involved…
Prof Arthur Petersen is the chief scientist at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and part of the Dutch delegation that will review the IPCC report.
“Governments are demanding a clear explanation of what are the possible causes of this factor,” he told BBC News.
“I expect that this will be a central piece of the summary.”…
Any changes to the text will need to be approved by the scientists, who will want to make sure that they are consistent with the underlying reports. This could lead to some tense moments.
“I wouldn’t say there is a reluctance of the authors to take up such an issue as the pause, but they want to do it in a proper way,” said Prof Petersen.
“There will remain a tension between how much you can deliver based on the peer-reviewed science and what the governments would like to have.”***
***In the wake of that year’s report, a small number of embarrassing errors were detected in the underlying material. The organisation’s reputation was also questioned in the Climategate rumpus.
“Overall, the message is, in that sense more conservative I expect, for this IPCC report compared to previous ones,” said Prof Petersen.
“The language has become more complicated to understand, but it is more precise.
“It is a major feat that we have been able to produce such a document which is such an adequate assessment of the science. That being said, it is virtually unreadable!”***
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24173504

Chuck Nolan
September 22, 2013 6:19 pm

Stephen Wilde says:
September 22, 2013 at 11:39 am
One has to ask what sets the governing mechanism and in my view it must be atmospheric pressure which is a consequence of mass alone held within a gravitational field:
http://www.newclimatemodel.com/the-setting-and-maintaining-of-earths-equilibrium-temperature/
—————————————————-
Excellent read Stephen but does that mean temperature/climate/weather are somehow affected or controlled by earth’s gravity?
I believe the gravity vector is different throughout the world but it is also constantly changing.
Does that mean as gravity shifts due to earth quakes and core movement we get “climate change”?
Or would these changes be too small to really affect atmospheric pressure?
cn

milodonharlani
September 22, 2013 6:25 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
September 22, 2013 at 5:51 pm
I showed the data for yield & production & linked to those figures & the price numbers. Don’t know how you could have missed them. Your own FAO chart shows exactly what I posted, ie that wheat production fell from 1991 & didn’t recover until 1998. It’s you who ignore the data.
Your claim was that every crop of every type did not fall after Pinatubo. That is simply false. Wheat is the number two crop in the world by tonnage & number one by area planted. Yield & production went down after Pinatubo, & price went up. Sorry if you don’t like inconvenient truths, but that’s a fact.
That you don’t like this fact hardly means that I’ve gone over to the dark side. Quite the opposite. I rely on facts & data even when I might wish them to be otherwise.
I knew you were wrong about wheat. I didn’t check other crops, but since you were wrong about wheat, could be you’re wrong on the others as well, although my recollection is that corn went up. In science it’s best to avoid categorical statements, especially without checking.

gbaikie
September 22, 2013 6:38 pm

“The amazing thing to me is that this urban legend about volcanoes having some big effect on the global average temperature is so hard to kill. I’ve analyzed it from a host of directions, and I can’t find any substance there at all … but it is widely believed.”
One problem seems that you using air temperature.
So I don’t Earth is warmed by changes in air temperature.
So what would expect is for the oceans to gain less energy.
And I think people think volcano affect global average temperature because
affects the weather- you get cooler days. As in it causes it to snow in the summer.
Such weather may not show up in temperature records as significant.
It also seems that dust in atmosphere will have less affect at noon compared to when
sun is lower in the sky. So it could have less to do with daytime highs or nighttime
lows.
So tropical temperature could not affected as much as higher latitude regions.
So to measure affects one needs to careful measure ocean temperature in top
100 meters- I think it affects entire ocean, but top 100 meters would easier to measure.
Or measure long term affects of slightly cooler ocean.
And I think matters how big the eruption is. Pinatubo ejected about 5 cubic kilometers,
which quite different than ejecting 100 cubic km.

September 22, 2013 6:39 pm

Tom McCord says:
September 22, 2013 at 9:58 am
Is it possible that the “Year Without a Summer” in 1816 was not really caused by the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia after all?
———————————————–
Looking at Tony Brown,s reconstruction of the CET chart 1816 appears to be the heart of the Dalton Minimum. There are 3 years together that form the low point. The first of which is about -1.2, then -1.7C, the last shows -1.5+C.

thingadonta
September 22, 2013 6:54 pm

It’s so easy being in climate alarmism. You can get rid of the missing meat through volcanos, the deep sea, or maybe the hot water at the bottom of the ocean is being subducted at ocean trenches (funding for deep sea missions?), or going into deep sea volcanos. Maybe the soil is hotter now?. The possibilities are just endless.

Greg Goodman
September 22, 2013 6:59 pm

Joe Born says:
September 22, 2013 at 4:35 pm
You may have an interesting point. But how about you post a graph produced by you code so that we can see what the effect is without every man jack of us having to do it just to see your point?
It seems you take a deliberately extreme case of tau=2x sample interval (which is fine to make the point) and imply that tau=5x sample may also be corrupted. Paul_K agreed with the basic formula , it don’t recall him commenting on what you say here.
One added word of caution is needed on the use of iterative response formulae like the one in question. They can take a very long time to spin up, ie converge to an accurate result from the initial conditions.
I looked into the possibility of using iterative filters to low-pass temperature time series. Often to get within even 5% accuracy it look more that half the length of the dataset. (Depends upon specifics.)

September 22, 2013 7:53 pm

Willis said,
The binomial distribution says that if you flip a coin seven times, you get five or more heads A QUARTER OF THE TIME!!! And that’s exactly the odds of five of seven volcanoes occurring in half of the year.
So you look at that result, which has NO STATISTiCAL SIGNIFICANCE AT ALL, and you build a whole theory about how volcanoes operate out of it …
Sorry to make an example out of your foolishness, Philip, it’s not personal. I just can’t tell you how tired I am of people claiming significance where none exists.

I don’t take this stuff personally. Although, I don’t why you blew up at me. Fig 5 says to me that volcanic cooling is limited by one or more sub-annual processes, and monsoons are an obvious candidate. If so, then time of year of the eruption will affect the lag to maximum cooling.
I wasn’t constructing a theory from 7 data points. If anything I was making a prediction based on what I know of monsoon processes. I’ll see if I can find some data that supports my prediction or not.

Greg Goodman
September 22, 2013 8:00 pm

Willis: “The amazing thing to me is that this urban legend about volcanoes having some big effect on the global average temperature is so hard to kill. ”
This was part of the cold war government by fear strategy. Nuclear winter was based of the same idea and made reference to the already accepted idea about volcanoes. The principal has been embedded for at least two generations. It is not going to be displaced because Willis said so on WUWT. It takes more than that to change an orthodoxy.
However, we all seem agreed that there is some effect. It’s just that the IPCC are spinning it to be many times larger in order balance their GHG forcings being many time larger than life too.
The problem is Chichon and Mt P coincided with cooling periods that were already under way, but anyone expecting to see a volcano effect will get bias confirmation and latch onto a false attribution.

@njsnowfan
September 22, 2013 8:02 pm

HadCRUT4 monthly global surface average air temperature look just like this Historical Total Solar Irradiance Chart.
http://lasp.colorado.edu/lisird/tsi/historical_tsi.html
Picture of chart Hansen did in 1988, Solar Irradiance and N hem temperatures.
https://twitter.com/NJSnowFan/status/380225825263456256/photo/1
Biggest puzzle piece of Global temperature variations I feel.
The SUN

milodonharlani
September 22, 2013 8:15 pm

Latitude says:
September 22, 2013 at 7:27 pm
Wheat yield went down, production went down, supply went down, so yes, as you’d expect, prices for the commodity went up. Being a wheat rancher, I was perforce also a commodity trader then.
In 1992, farmers, brokers & traders blamed the ash & SO2 from Pinatubo at least in part for abnormal WX patterns & cool spells in the Midwest & elsewhere in the US, including the famous Father’s Day Freeze. A mild winter & warm, early spring preceded a cool, wet summer & cold, early fall in 1992. Corn was slow to dry that fall & test weights were low, but national average yield set a record, unlike wheat.
Also, California suffered heavy rains during 1991-93.
http://www.nytimes.com/1992/02/13/us/new-california-storm-brings-worst-floods-in-decades.html
http://ks.water.usgs.gov/pubs/reports/wsp.2499.sumca0193.html
There was also the Inauguration Day Windstorm of January 1993 in Washington State. None of this may have anything to do with Pinatubo, of course.
But regardless of the causes, the fact is that Willis was wrong to assert that yields of every single crop went up after Pinatubo. Wheat yield in the US fell, as did global production, by a lot. That’s my point.

richard verney.
September 22, 2013 8:20 pm

Willis
A timely article which for the main part details points raised in your earlier articles, but of course, given the impending claim by the IPCC it is relevant to consider volcanos and whether the forcings associated with such and the effect that these claimed forcings have on temperatures.
First, it should be noted that often temperature trends pre date the vocano eruption, by which I mean there is often a short term downward temperature trend occurring shortly before a volcano eruption and this masks the effect, if any, of the eruption since it is not known whether that short term trend would or would not have continued but for the eruption.
So for example, consider:
(i) Krakatoa (1883). my eyeballing of Fig2 and 4 suggests that temperatures were trending downwards as from about 1875 and Krakatoa just happened to erupt in the middle of a period when temperatures were already falling. The fall in temperature around the time of Krakatoa, does not appear to be any greater, ie., the eruption does not appear to have added anything over and above natural variation in the midst of an already pre-existing downward trend. According to Wiki: “Average global temperatures fell by as much as 1.2 degrees Celsius in the year following the eruption.” but I cannot see that that claim is sound when one looks at the data you have set out. The claim appears greatly exagerated.
(ii) Novatubo (1912) my eyeballing of Fig2 and 4 suggests that temperatures were trending downwards as from about 1910 and Novatubo just happened to erupt in the middle of a period when temperatures were already falling. The fall in temperature around the time of Novatubo, does not appear to be any greater, ie., the eruption does not appear to have added anything over and above natural variation in the midst of an already pre-existing downward trend.
(iii) Pinatuboa (1992), my eyeballing of Fig2 and 4 suggests that temperatures were trending upwards as from about 1980s and Pinatoa just happened to erupt in the middle of a period when temperatures were already rising. One can see a possible response to Pinatubo in Fig4, but this is very short lived.According to Wiki: “Global temperatures dropped by about 0.5 °C” and that claim could conceivably be reasonable based upon the data that you have set out, but if so, the depression in temperature was very short lived.
To properly evaluate these claims, I consider that better resolution is required and it would be useful to set out the temperatures on a monthly basis for the 7 years before and after each eruption so one can see what is going on and whether the eruption adds anything significant to what ever short lived trends were already occurring in and around the time of the eruption.
Second, the claimed forcings associated with Pinatubo and Krakatoa are remarkably similar, and yet no one in their right mind would consider that Pinatubo was nearly on a par with Krakatoa. I do not know whether the claimed forcing with respect to Karakatoa has been under assessed or whether the claimed forcing with respect to Pinatubo over assessed, but I am highly sceptical of the claim that they are nearly similar to one another. Whilst I do not like Wiki, the comments quoted from their site (of up to 1.2degC cf up to 0.5degC) suggests that the forcings canot be similar.
Third, it is strange that the forcing with respect to the 1912 eruption (Novarupta) is so small given that it was the largest eruption of the 20th century, ie., bigger than Pinatubo. One opines whether the forcing has been assessed to be small simply because the temperature fall (if any, my comment in (ii) above refers) was so small that it would appear ridulous and indeed contradictory for climate scientists to ascribe a large forcing to this eruption.
Fourth, whilst i agree that there is a lag before ocean temperature responds, I do not see why there should be any significant lag to land based temperatures, ie., atmospheric temperature. The atmosphere has little latent heat capacity so responds quickly to change. One can see this on a sunny day when clouds appear; the temperature drops within minutes. Most people have experienced significant temperature changes from one day to the next; it being not uncommon for there to be changes of 10degC from one day to the next and this demonstartes how little latent heat capacity the atmosphere has. Indeed, if the atmosphere possessed significant latent heat capacity, night time temperatures would be far more similar to day time temperatures (as you know over the oceans there is very little diurnal range, about 1 degC because the ocean which has a large heat capacity continuously warms the air above it such that the air temperature reflects very closely the ocean temperature night or day). Additionally, there is in most regions a quick response between summer and autumn, and autumn and winter which once again demonstrates that there is little lag. I would therefore suggest that you might like to give further consideration to lag at least as regards land based temperatures.
In summary, if you go through each and every eruption evaluating the claimed forcing against temperature change, there is no correlation (some small eruptions arguably appear to have large effects on temperatures and some large eruptions appear to have all but no effect on temperatures, and in the main, there is a downward temperure trend pre-existing the eruption in question), and as I have said, numerous times before, this all appears to be a fudge which has been necessitated because of too high a sensitivity being given to CO2 forcings.
I am even more suspicious given the latest claims that druing a period when there has been no notable volcano activity (late 1990s) volcanos are being used as a reson (I would say excuse0 to help explain the lack of warming. Surely, this is a patently bad claim by the IPCC and does not stand up to even cursory scrutiny.

RACookPE1978
Editor
September 22, 2013 8:29 pm

David Douglass says:
September 22, 2013 at 2:27 pm

About six years ago my colleagues and I published a series of papers on Pinatubo. The first paper provoked two comment papers by prominent climate scientists disagreeing with our results. We published replies to both showing that their analysis was wrong. All five of these papers were published in Geophysical Research Letters (GRL).
Douglass, Knox, Pearson and Clark (DKPC) published a sixth summary paper “Thermocline flux exchange during the Pinatubo event” also in GRL.
(http://www.pas.rochester.edu/~douglass/papers/Douglss_Knox_pearson_clark2006GL026355.pdf). We found that the delay was 4.4 months and more importantly that the total heat flux integrates during this event integrates to zero — i.e. The temperature of the Earth after the event returns to what it was before.

So, if you accept the evidence for very vivid, very sharp two-year transmission “brownout” for the most recent two volcanoes volcanoes (shown here from the WUWT solar page )
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/grad/mloapt/mlo_transmission.gif
does the much longer assumption of earlier “brownouts” (because of an assumed greater size for those earlier volcanoes) make sense from a transmission standpoint?

gopal panicker
September 22, 2013 8:47 pm

Forcings…never liked the word…a lot of these graphs and figures of Watts/sqm are just Pretended Precision…from Aphelion to Perihelion…sunlight reaching the earth varies by almost 7%….which is a lot….yet the Earth just keeps on truckin….inertia ?…well buffered system ?…whatever it is…we human beans have no say in it.

accordionsrule
September 22, 2013 9:06 pm

Thank you, little CO2 molecule, for averting the catastrophe of volcano-induced ice-hockey-stick global freezing.
Thank you, IPCC, for making it clear that it a very good idea to maintain high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Brian H
September 22, 2013 9:10 pm

Schrodinger’s Cat says:
September 22, 2013 at 11:29 am

the models completely underestimate the way our planet can restore climate stability. The climate scientists are too busy [making their models generate instabilities and excursions]

Since payday depends on finding and hyping (CO2-driven) instabilities, it’s not surprising that’s what the models are set to project/predict.

richard verney.
September 22, 2013 9:42 pm

richardscourtney says:
September 22, 2013 at 10:40 am
/////////////////////////
Richard
I would appreciate your further thoughts/clarification on ocean temperatures..
The paper you refer to suggests that there may be a cap on the temperature of the tropical ocean of about (may be a little less than) 305K (ie.,32degC). You explain (sorry if my para phrasing is not accurate) that at that temperature evapoation is such taht it causes cloud formation which clouds shield the ocean below from receiving as much solar as they would otherwise receive (ie., if the clouds had not formed).
However many oceans have temperatures significantly higher than 32degC, in particular the Red Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, the West coast of Africa (between say Equitorial Guineee and Ivory Coast), some parts of the Indian ocean, some parts of the China sea and seas around Indonesia. Temperatures in these seas frequently reaches 34 degrees, 35 and 36degC is not uncommon and I have seen temnperatures as high as 38degC (incidentally, I have some 30 years experience of reviewing ship’s logs and have reviewed hundreds of thousands of temperature entries so I know that these are not rogue reports).
Now if there is a direct and causal link between temperature and evaporation leading to cloud formation leading to blocking of solar, how come is this not operative over these oceans?
I raised this point when Willis wrote one of his arcticles on ARGO and I provided him with a number of links detailing the then current sea temperature (ie., the temperature on the day of my comment) as recorded by local weather stations covering some of these oceans and these were reporting temperatures in excess of 32 degC (some were reporting 34degC, I think but I can’t recal for certain that one was reporting 35degC or a high of 35degC that year).. I suggested to Willis that whilst evaporation is one factor that seeks to limit temperature, it is not the only operative factor (I suggested some other factors) and Willis only slightly widened his view (iniatially he was suggesting that it was all down to evaporation).
I don’t dispute that evaporation leading to cloud formation is a factor, but in my opinion, it can only be one of a number of different factors, since if it was the sole governor then one would not see significantly higher temperatures in the oceans/seas that I mention.
Your further insight would be appreciated.
PS. ARGO only has sparse coverage. It does not really cover the ocean/sea areas that I am referring to. This is probably due to depth considerations. These oceans/seas are not shallow but neither are they deep oceans. I suspect that ARGO is not deployed in these areas since it would be unable to perform its really deep dives down to 2,000m and this would then lead to bias in that more oceans would be sampled say in the 0-700m range.

September 22, 2013 9:51 pm

Stephen Wilde says:
September 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm
It is the increased rate of evaporation that is the primary effect arising from the addition of extra energy to the ocean surface. Willis does not explain how that increase in evaporation is always sufficient to put a firm lid on maximum sea surface temperature.
——————————————————————————-
Your first sentence is a repeat of what Willis has already said. I thought that he also explained that the once the cloud formation starts that it tends to overcompensate, which is why it always achieves the extra cooling process? Afterwards, an opposite reaction reinstates the normal mode.

richard verney.
September 22, 2013 10:03 pm

Greg Goodman says:
September 22, 2013 at 8:00 pm
/////////////////////////
According to Hadcrut4, there was a drop of some 0.3degC (or even more) between the start of 1944 and the end of that year. Was this due to the 2 nuclear bombs dropped on Japan? Or, did scientists consider that the temperature drop was probably due to the 2 nuclear bombs dropped on Japan thereby leading them to be fearful of a nuclear winter?

milodonharlani
September 22, 2013 10:11 pm

milodonharlani says:
September 22, 2013 at 1:08 pm
Since outside the US, acreage didn’t drop by much (see below), lower production necessarily implied lower yield.
I pointed out in my original comment that wheat yield in the US fell after Pinatubo, from 39.5 bu/A to 34.3. Clearly yield fell globally as well, as your own graph shows. I can see it if you can’t. But I wonder why you posted an imprecise graph instead of the actual data, which show a drop from 2.6 tonnes per hectare to 2.5 post-eruption.
http://www.fas.usda.gov/grain/circular/2010/05-10/grainfull05-10.pdf
Total Wheat and Coarse Grains
Millions of Metric Tons/Hectares
Year Area Harvested Yield Production
1990/91 549.0 2.6 1,417.5
1991/92 546.3 2.5 1,355.5
But the situation is actually worse, because of China, close to the Pinatubo eruption, where yield went down in 1991, then up in 1992, contrary to global average (didn’t check India). Since China, world’s top wheat producer (US is usually third, after India, although Russia beat us in 2009 & 2011), is mainly a spring wheat country, the growth of its crop could have been affected by the June eruption that year. See Table 1 in:
http://repository.cimmyt.org/xmlui/bitstream/handle/10883/1222/64613.pdf
Average wheat yield in China was 3.225 T/ha in 1990, falling to 3.120 in ’91 & rising 3.392 in ’92
(Data Sources: Statistic Books of Chinese Agriculture).
Your whole closing comment was: “That was the point I was trying to make above, that if the weather really had been all that bad in 1992 the crop yield would have reflected it, and it didn’t. Not for any type of produce, not for tubers, not for legumes, not for vegetables, not for fruits, not for grains”. As I noted, this is not true for wheat, as the above figures show.
http://www.agmrc.org/media/cms/ccpwheat_47A4CABBA76E0.pdf

September 22, 2013 10:13 pm

Willis, thank you for using your superb analytical skill to show what a minor impart volcanoes have on climate. I have never accepted volcanoes as being a significant climate force, but I lack your math skill and strong ability to analysis the records.
For a decade I have been convinced that carbon dioxide has only a minor impact on climate. But, I have been greatly concerned that no one has come up with a theory and solid supportive scientific data to explain some other reason behind the shifts in climate. No one has ever explained to my satisfaction how variations in solar activity drive variations in Earth’s climate. Nor has anyone explained how variations in ocean currents and volcanic eruptions have enough impact to drive our climate shifts.
Recently, however, I have been reading the papers from Henrik Svensmark that link cosmic rays with the formation of low clouds on Earth. He explains how the cosmic rays produce cloud droplet nucli particles and how those clouds drive the planets climate swings. I am wondering if he has discovered an important driving force behind climate shifts.
Willis, it would be very helpful, perhaps, if you would do an analysis of Svensmark’s theory. Please consider this as a serious request for you to apply your skills to this concept.
Thank You.

milodonharlani
September 22, 2013 10:14 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
September 22, 2013 at 9:36 pm
It’s you who make things up. I’ve repeatedly posted the actual numbers instead of crayon-drawn graphs. When will you bother to read the data I’ve given, with sources?
US wheat yield (& acreage planted) fell after Pinatubo from 39.5 bushels per acre to 34.3, as above.
Why don’t you bother to check facts before posting such sweeping falsehoods, so easily shown wrong, especially after having been shown the actual data more than once?

Joe Born
September 22, 2013 10:20 pm

Willis Eschenbach: “Also, this is monthly data … how am I “averaging over intervals” that are significant fractions of the time constant? Sure, I’d prefer daily data … but it’s hard to argue with success, and an R^2 of 0.98 is success in my book.”
Well, perhaps 1/6 is not as large a fraction as to be considered “significant,” and it’s true that the formula’s inaccuracies are more apparent at larger fractions. But I would have thought the graph my previous comment’s code drew would give you pause about the formula’s correctness.
I’m not saying that you’re getting wildly inaccurate results. But if you apply your formula to data from a low-time-constant system, I believe your results will overstate the time constant. If the time constant were on the order of only a month, for example, my tests (on synthetic data with no noise) indicate that you’d tend to arrive at 50% too long a time constant. And my guess is that your 6.4-month estimate is likely to be about 25% high.
That’s not a discrepancy of great concern in this context, of course. But I thought you might want to reconsider the formula nonetheless.
(I hasten to add that the formula I use tends for some reason to estimate a little low–but more on the order of 10% in cases where yours gets 50%–and achieves much closer matches on noiseless synthetic data.)

pochas
September 22, 2013 10:33 pm

Eric1skeptic says:
September 22, 2013 at 12:05 pm
“I realize that your website concludes that atmospheric composition is not important, but simulations of atmospheric columns differ from that conclusion. See hitran results in table 2:”
When I gave Hitran a fling, I found that one of the first things you do is input a temperature profile. One of the options is the U.S. Standard profile, which is, of course, the lapse rate. So, you input the temperature profile and a CO2 concentration and it calculates downward and upward flux at various levels, including TOA. To get a sensitivity for doubling you double the CO2 concentration and fiddle with the temperature offset at the surface until you recover the original TOA flux. The surface temperature offset is then the sensitivity for a doubling. I checked the output files and yes, the program is simply adding the “offset” to the temperature profile you entered and calculating from there. Now, I had expected the temperature profile to emerge from the calculation and not be a required input. And I speculate that the reason for this is that the mechanism that establishes the lapse rate, convection, is unknown to the program and any attempt to develop a profile from a purely radiative calculation produces a disaster. So, you forge a temperature profile as an input, allowing it to blithely ignore reality.

RACookPE1978
Editor
September 22, 2013 10:37 pm

richard verney. says:
September 22, 2013 at 10:03 pm (replying to)

Greg Goodman says:
September 22, 2013 at 8:00 pm
/////////////////////////
According to Hadcrut4, there was a drop of some 0.3degC (or even more) between the start of 1944 and the end of that year. Was this due to the 2 nuclear bombs dropped on Japan? Or, did scientists consider that the temperature drop was probably due to the 2 nuclear bombs dropped on Japan thereby leading them to be fearful of a nuclear winter?

Please re-consider this question very, very carefully: The two (relatively small!) A-bombs were dropped over a two-day period the first week of August 1945. Immediately after that week, WWII ended, with all firebomb raids over Japan occurring March-July 1945.
The fire bomb and blast raids over Germany ended much earlier in that same year: May, 1945 saw VE Day come and go. (The two A-bomb blasts in August 1945 followed months of fire bomb raids over other Japanese cities, but few other areas of the world outside of ever-smaller areas of Germany and western Poland were attacked after January 1945.)
True, “some” of the limited area blast damage in 1944 over Europe “might” have impacted worldwide dust cover during 1944, but there really were very, very few raids over Japan in 1944 since the aircraft bases had not been built yet to support large raids. And, bombing raids were days-per-month basis, not every-hour-of-every-day.

TomRude
September 22, 2013 11:10 pm

The IPCC report is meant to fuel doubts about the plateau. It’s the ocean, it’s the volcanoes, it’s whatever as long as a doubt is seeded in the mind of the reader… Not of course a doubt about these alarmists models and catastrophsim, no those are still right despite reality proving otherwise. It’s post modern science and defence of a failed theory.

milodonharlani
September 22, 2013 11:18 pm

richard verney. says:
September 22, 2013 at 10:03 pm
The atomic bombs were dropped on Japan in August 1945, not 1944. The conventional fire raids on Japanese cities were also mainly in 1945. European cities were fire-bombed in 1944, but the two biggest fire storms were Hamburg in 1943 & Dresden in 1945.
For the nuclear winter scam to have a hope of working, many cities around the world would have to suffer such storms, lofting soot high into the atmosphere, rather than locally as during the Kuwait oil well fires. It’s rather hard to ignite a firestorm, so “nuclear winter” is improbable even in an all-out nuclear war intentionally targeting cities.

September 22, 2013 11:49 pm

richard verney. says:
September 22, 2013 at 10:03 pm
According to Hadcrut4, there was a drop of some 0.3degC (or even more) between the start of 1944 and the end of that year.
————————————–
The year 1944 was the bottom of the solar minimum. Doesn’t the minimum usually translate to a slightly cooler year?

richard verney.
September 23, 2013 12:01 am

milodonharlani says:
September 22, 2013 at 11:18 pm
///////////////////////
Whoops. I must be going mad, or may be it was just because I have been up all night with too little sleep, or too much alcohol, or a combination of both..

September 23, 2013 12:27 am

jai mitchell says:… If the energy going into that sphere containing the whole earth and all of it’s functions is more than the energy leaving that sphere then the planet is warming.
To add to what Willis said, rain does indeed help transport heat out of the earth. Sunlight primarily heats the oceans, since they account for 3/4 of its surface. One of the primary ways for that heat to get back into outer space is through evaporation, which transports heat as water vapor into the upper atmosphere, where it forms clouds. When that water vapor turns to rain, that heat is released into the atmosphere, where it can be radiated away into space. So even for the entire earth system, rain is part of the cooling mechanism whereby incoming heat is gotten rid of. The fact that it also cools the surface is simply an additional benefit. Without it, more heat would remain trapped in both the oceans and the atmosphere for longer periods of time. So rain does indeed cool the system.

September 23, 2013 12:51 am

richard verney. says:
September 22, 2013 at 9:42 pm
Thanks for that additional input regarding maximum sea surface temperatures.
I wasn’t aware of the extent to which 305K can be exceeded locally.
Having considered the matter further overnight I still don’t see how emergent cloudiness can provide any sort of cap on achievable temperatures because a cap has to be exceeded before the clouds form (at least the types of clouds proposed).
It is true that once the clouds form they do provide a negative feedback but they don’t form at all unless the cap is exceeded.
It has to be surface pressure because the weight of the atmosphere pressing down sets the amount of energy required to break the bonds between water molecules.
If that breaking of bonds didn’t occur first the clouds would not form.

Greg Goodman
September 23, 2013 12:53 am

richard verney. says:
According to Hadcrut4, there was a drop of some 0.3degC (or even more) between the start of 1944 and the end of that year. Was this due to the 2 nuclear bombs dropped on Japan?
HadCRUT=hadSST+CRUtem
There was a 0.5 deg C “adjustment” made to the SST record in 1945 which I refer to as Folland’s folly in honour of its founder.
Since you obviously are not aware of it I suggest you read my article of last year:
judithcurry.com/2012/03/15/on-the-adjustments-to-the-hadsst3-data-set-2
As for the bombs it’s a reasonable question to ask but is quickly dismissed. I have specifically tried to find some evidence of an effect , more likely from the much larger aerial explosion tests or the french test at Bikini Island that unintentionally reached the ocean surface , and found none.

RC Saumarez
September 23, 2013 12:55 am

Dear Willis,
Yo will recognise that I have been a critic of your signal processing methods. having gained a PhD in a world class DSP lab and used it for 30 years (on and off). If you want some help I am happy to advise you.
Richard Saumarez

September 23, 2013 1:13 am

Having looked at Willis’s original Thermostat Hypothesis again I see that he includes vapour pressure as a relevant variable but not absolute pressure.
I think that is a significant omission because absolute atmospheric pressure for an entire atmosphere sets the average strength of the bond between water molecules on any given planet and thus the basic minimum amount of energy required to break those bonds (latent heat of vaporisation).
Absolute surface pressure over a dry surface also sets the average amount of energy required to lift a molecule of any particular weight off the surface to form an atmosphere.
This is relevant to Willis’s hypothesis and to this thread because it sets the basic energy requirement from which the thermostatic process starts and the baseline to which it inevitably returns.
The thermostat deals not only with water in vapour form but also any molecules that are caused to lift off the surface in the first place. Hence the relevance to the gaseous and particulate products of volcanic eruptions.
Without something to set that basic energy requirement there is no baseline to which any thermostatic mechanism can return.
It is indeed all about absolute pressure and that is a function of atmospheric mass and not composition.
That is an elephant in this particular room.

lemiere jacques
September 23, 2013 1:20 am

substracting the gaussian average is far from neutral, and the demonstration would be much more effective showing harcut data,the several things appear clear to me, you can “see something” in recent time, but you can’t see much in the oldest period but to me it means that uncertainties of temperature may be very underestimated for this time.
Hard to apply the same method t and he same filters on such an “object”.

Silver Ralph
September 23, 2013 1:43 am

Willis.
A couple of thoughts on the diurnal tropical temperature charts you showed, many moons ago, whilst explaining your tropical cumulus governor theory. The graphs showed a cooling in the afternoon, and then a slight uptick in temperature before sunset, which was unexplained. A couple of possibilities for you:
The afternoon has decreasing convective activity, and so less cooler air from the upper troposphere is being brought to the surface. Thus the lower atmosphere is able to recover some warmth from the warm land surface, without any tropospheric cooling.
The afternoon heralds the end of the daytime sea breeze. If these temperatures were from coastal recording stations, they would change in the afternoon from the cooler sea breeze, to the warmer land breeze. Again, you might get a late afternoon recovery in temperature.
Just a thought.

Greg Goodman
September 23, 2013 1:44 am

richard verney. says:
September 22, 2013 at 8:20 pm
“First, it should be noted that often temperature trends pre date the vocano eruption, by which I mean there is often a short term downward temperature trend occurring shortly before a volcano eruption and this masks the effect, if any, of the eruption since it is not known whether that short term trend would or would not have continued but for the eruption. ”
===
I made the same point just a few posts above yours, 20m earlier.
I also a whole series of graphs and comments I did on this that no one seems to read or comment on.
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=278
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=310
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=312
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=285
These specifically show a marked difference in the response of the tropics and extra tropical regions.
The method is not statistically rigorous but is prima facea evidence of the kind of non-linear feedback response Willis is suggesting. It also shows that degree.day integral is maintained in the tropics but not outside, where the temperature does recover but there is loss of degree days.
I suggested Willis repeat the analysis he presented here on extra-tropical data. Oddly he has not even commented on the suggestion.
There clearly is a detectable response in ex-tropics, looking for it directly may allow a better evaluation of its magnitude and significance.
My impression was that is was land based rather than sea based, hence more marked in NH. Some zonal mixing due to ocean gyres probably allows the very stable tropics to diminish the impact on extra-tropical zones.

September 23, 2013 1:47 am

Stephen Wilde:
Thankyou for your post addressed to me at September 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/22/the-eruption-over-the-ipcc-ar5/#comment-1423915
Firstly, to ensure that everyone is clear about this, we are discussing the Ramanathan&Collins (R&C) effect and not my work.
You ask me

The paper you refer to suggests that there may be a cap on the temperature of the tropical ocean of about (may be a little less than) 305K (ie.,32degC). You explain (sorry if my para phrasing is not accurate) that at that temperature evapoation is such taht it causes cloud formation which clouds shield the ocean below from receiving as much solar as they would otherwise receive (ie., if the clouds had not formed).
However many oceans have temperatures significantly higher than 32degC, in particular the Red Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, the West coast of Africa (between say Equitorial Guineee and Ivory Coast), some parts of the Indian ocean, some parts of the China sea and seas around Indonesia. Temperatures in these seas frequently reaches 34 degrees, 35 and 36degC is not uncommon and I have seen temnperatures as high as 38degC (incidentally, I have some 30 years experience of reviewing ship’s logs and have reviewed hundreds of thousands of temperature entries so I know that these are not rogue reports).
Now if there is a direct and causal link between temperature and evaporation leading to cloud formation leading to blocking of solar, how come is this not operative over these oceans?

OK. My first answer is that I don’t know. I merely reported the findings of R&C. So, I will mention the reaction in the literature and then state some suggestions I make as to why the effect is not observed everywhere.
The R&C paper initially received much opposition in the literature. The main question was whether the maximum tropical sea surface temperature actually existed. R&C ‘stood their ground’ and others reported the same result so opposition to the R&C Effect withdrew.
But the R&C effect is observed in the tropical ocean and not everywhere. So you ask the very reasonable question (which was raised in the literature decades ago) as to WHY doesn’t it happen everywhere.
I suggest – and please note this is merely opinion – the difference is probably a combination of geography and atmospheric circulation patterns. I explain this suggestion as follows.
The R&C Effect results in increased evapouration from sea surface and this has two direct effects; viz.
(a) the ocean surface is cooled by extraction of heat of evapouration
and
(b) the air above the cooled ocean surface gains humidity (I,e. water).
But. both theoretical calculation and – as you say – observations elsewhere indicate the direct cooling of the sea surface is not sufficient to keep the surface temperature below 305K. This is why R&C required an additional effect to explain the maximum temperature limit.
The R&C Effect overcomes the difficulty posed by the inability of evapouration alone to establish the maximum sea surface temperature observed in the tropics. Other observations indicate that in other regions the R&C Effect either does not exist or is not sufficient to keep sea surface temperature below 305K.
The high temperatures in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Mexico may be because the sea is surrounded by land, and cirrus shielding of the land will not cool the water. Cirrus forms at altitude (typically higher than 20,000 feet) and winds may carry the moist air over land before it rises to an altitude where it can form cirrus.
In other places the R&C Effect may be reduced by winds, too. When the cooling by cirrus shielding occurs adjacent to the region of highest temperature then the shielded adjacent region will cool. But the maximum sea surface temperature may rise above the limit of 305K because it is not shielded from solar radiation by the cirrus which forms nearby. In this case, total heating of sea surface is reduced by the cirrus formation, but the limit to maximum sea surface temperature is not imposed in the hottest region.
Nearly a quarter of a century has passed since the R&C Effect was discovered. In that time US$billions have been spent on climate modelling. Nothing has been spent on field work to investigate the R&C Effect.
Richard

September 23, 2013 1:50 am

I couldn’t find any direct evidence of time of year of a volcanic eruption influencing the lag to minimum temperature, only the indirect evidence that major volcanic eruptions reduce monsoon intensity and in particular reduce rainfall in Central and other parts of Asia.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2010GL044843/abstract
https://www.geo.umass.edu/climate/papers2/Fan_etalJClimate09.pdf
As water vapour (latent heat) in the monsoon is a major mode of heat transport poleward, cooling the climate, the reduced monsoon is a season specific negative feedback to volcanic aerosol cooling. Although its hard to say how this will pan out for surface temperatures, as reduced monsoonal flow will increase the length of the pre-monsoon season. Always the hottest time of year in monsoonal zones. A negative feedback to a negative feedback.

Frank
September 23, 2013 1:53 am

Willis: There is a flaw in your post: You are looking for a correlation between radiative forcing (W/m2 or POWER per unit AREA) and temperature, which is proportional to mean kinetic ENERGY. The larger the object, the more kinetic energy it contains; so temperature is really ENERGY per unit VOLUME. Dimensional analysis immediately tells you that any relationship between radiative forcing and temperature needs to take into account additional factors.
To convert power into energy, one multiplies by time. A radiative forcing by itself can’t cause any temperature change, but a radiation forcing applied for several months or years can change temperature. You need to INTEGRATE the radiative forcing over time in order to have any hope of understanding how much the temperature will change. Looking for a lagged relationship between radiative forcing and temperature isn’t a very good substitute for integrating the forcing over time (as your poor R2 shows).
You also need to take into account the volume of material whose temperature is being changed by a forcing. We know that every summer and winter, seasonal temperature change in the ocean can be detected down to about 100 m, so several months of seasonal radiative forcing is able to warm an average of roughly the top 50 m of the ocean – the mixed layer. So the radiative forcing from volcanos passing through every m^2 of the ocean’s surface also effects the temperature of about 50 m^3 of ocean.
With the correct factors for converting area to volume and power to energy, you might have some chance of performing a useful calculation. This complicated subject has been discussed for Pinatubo at the Blackboard by Paul_K and in references he cites. He arrives at a climate sensitivity of about 1.4 degC for doubling CO2. It appears as if he might be trying to publish this result. http://rankexploits.com/musings/2012/pinatubo-climate-sensitivity-and-two-dogs-that-didnt-bark-in-the-night/
To get started, how long will it take a radiative forcing of 1 W/m^2 to warm the 50 m^3 of mixed layer underneath by 1 degC? The heat capacity of water is 4.17 J/cm^3/degC or 4.18*10^6 J/m^3/degC. With 50 m^3 of mixed layer below every m^2 of ocean surface, 2.09*10^8 J of energy needs to enter every m^2 of ocean surface to warm 1 degC. It therefore takes a radiative forcing of 1 W/m^2 or 1 J/s for every m^2 of surface 6.6 years for the ocean to warm 1 degC!
The real situation is far more complicated than this: Ocean covers only 70% of the surface, but the air and land have some heat capacity too. And a little energy escapes into the deeper ocean over a period of a few years. Even worse, as the ocean warms, it will emit more energy through radiative cooling. The Planck feedback (the increase in “blackbody” radiative cooling with temperature) is -3.2 W/m^2/degC. So we can actually can warm the ocean only about 0.3 degC before the increase in radiative cooling completely negates a 1 W/m^2 of radiative forcing! And half of the forcing has been negated once the temperature has risen 0.15 degC during the first year. So the correct answer is that a forcing of 1 W/m^2 can never raise the temperature 1 degC!
These calculations suggest that it is absurd to expect a radiative forcing of a few W/m^2 – which is mostly gone in two years – to produce more than a fraction of a degC of cooling. And Planck feedback begins to counteract this cooling as soon as begins. With Figure 3 showing noisy spikes in global temperature of about 0.3 degC, it is going to be hard to convincingly see the cooling from every big volcanic eruption. BEST averaged the results from about 9 large eruptions to reduce noise by a factor of three and the cooling from volcanos became obvious. Paul_K reduced noise by analyzing the change in temperature over 18+ individual months.
So it makes complete sense that you can’t find unambiguous evidence for cooling by inspecting the record by eye, but others can find evidence by performing more sophisticated analyses. ALARMISTS have increased your expectations for volcanic cooling far past what is expected from my “back of the envelop” calculation. For example, those who attribute the “year without a summer” in 1816 in New England to the 1815 eruption of Mt. Tambora are confusing unusually cold WEATHER in New England with transient global cooling of perhaps 1 degC. New England is not normally within 1 degC from getting snow in August, so Tambora didn’t cause the year without a summer, it simply enhanced it a little.

September 23, 2013 1:57 am

In my view, there is a simpler way to show the absurdity of AR5 speculation.
According to Wikipedia, there were 18 major volcanic eruptions in the 21st century, none over VEI 4.
In the period 1991-2000 there were two eruptions of VEI 5 or more, Mt. Hudson VEI 5+ and Pinatubo VEI 6, both in 1991. (plus a number of lesser eruptions).
Now remember that if the Volcanic Explosively Index increases by 1, the volume of erupted material is increased by a factor of 10. Which means that Pinatubo alone ejected over 20-times the material of *all* the eruptions in the 21st century.
If the 18 21st century eruptions caused the “hiatus” in global warming – why was the climate warming in the 1990s, despite more then 20-times larger volume of volcanic emissions?

Greg Goodman
September 23, 2013 2:10 am

richard verney. says: “To properly evaluate these claims, I consider that better resolution is required and it would be useful to set out the temperatures on a monthly basis for the 7 years before and after each eruption so one can see what is going on and whether the eruption adds anything significant to what ever short lived trends were already occurring in and around the time of the eruption.”
Almost exactly what I did. Try looking at the links.

Greg Goodman
September 23, 2013 2:20 am

Frank: ” You need to INTEGRATE the radiative forcing over time in order to have any hope of understanding how much the temperature will change.”
A valid point.
What Willis writes in Notes and Data appendix includes an iterative formula which is in fact a exponentially weighted integral. I would have thought that doing a similar integral on the forcing would be the correct way to do the simple regression. I suspect this is what the difference between his Fi and Fe data is , though this is not stated explicitly.

September 23, 2013 2:27 am

milodonharlani (September 22, 2013 at 10:14 pm) “US wheat yield (& acreage planted) fell after Pinatubo from 39.5 bushels per acre to 34.3, as above.”
Please post a link that shows wheat yield in the US falling from 39.5 bu/acre to 34.3 bu/acre.
The only document you have posted with yield data is http://www.fas.usda.gov/grain/circular/2010/05-10/grainfull05-10.pdf which shows yield fluctuating between 2.5 and 2.6 for the years in question. The particular drop from 2.6 to 2.5 has no significance since many years show similar fluctuations (or larger).http://www.fas.usda.gov/grain/circular/2010/05-10/grainfull05-10.pdf

Greg Goodman
September 23, 2013 2:31 am

Richard: Nearly a quarter of a century has passed since the R&C Effect was discovered. In that time US$billions have been spent on climate modelling. Nothing has been spent on field work to investigate the R&C Effect.
Yes, it seems that before 1990 there was a much broader range of ‘normal’ scientific investigation. Since about that point the zealots took over, trying to ‘save the planet’ by distorting science. Defunding, gatekeeping and nobel 😉 cause corruption seem to have replaced objectivity.
That process is starting to reverse but it’s going to take years.

michael hammer
September 23, 2013 2:33 am

“I say that the current climate paradigm, that forcing determines temperature, is incorrect. I hold that changes in forcing only marginally and briefly affect the temperature. Instead, I say that a host of emergent thermostatic phenomena act
quickly to cool the planet when it is too warm, and to warm it when it is too cool.”
Willis why use such convoluted and hard to understand language – Why not just say “I believe there is strong negative feedback in the climate system” because that’s what your comment boils down to.

Greg Goodman
September 23, 2013 2:47 am

Frank: “These calculations suggest that it is absurd to expect a radiative forcing of a few W/m^2 – which is mostly gone in two years – to produce more than a fraction of a degC of cooling.”
My estimation shows 0.2 degree.years in extra-tropical SH , that mostly happened between 6 and 18mths. ( similar in hadSST3 and hadCRUT4)
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=285
NH hadSST3 shows about 0.4 degree.years withi similar form.
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=310
That means as an average it was 0.2 (0.4) K cooler for a year, or 0.1 (0.2) K cooler for two years. then back to previous conditions. The tropics show no such loss.

Greg Goodman
September 23, 2013 3:06 am

michael hammer says:
Willis why use such convoluted and hard to understand language – Why not just say “I believe there is strong negative feedback in the climate system” because that’s what your comment boils down to.
===
Willis is trying to refute the idea that tropical storms and cloud cover can be treated as a simple linear negative feedback globally. This is how climate models deal with it as well as being based on guestimated “parameters” not a modelled response based in science.
Thus he dislikes use of the word feedback at all.
Emergent phenomena are _positive feedbacks_ at work. They are ultimately constrained by more powerful negative feedbacks that prevent the system from being unstable. Since the overall effect is a negative feedback on temperature, the internal +ve f/b makes the storms into a NON-LINEAR negative feedback.
It is the key word non-linear that makes the overshoot required to preserve the degree.day integral. A linear neg. f/b will not do this.
This broader understanding of feedbacks seems to be outside Willis’ way of looking at things so he tends to reject any description using the word feedback, which he associates with the IPCC linear feedback which is inadequate and denies the possible role of tropical storms he is proposing.
The self-sustaining nature of tropical storms is due to internal +ve feebacks. I think it would be useful if Willis saw that feedback based descriptions are the proof of what he is saying , not the opposite.

TimTheToolMan
September 23, 2013 3:12 am

RC Saumarez says: “…If you want some help I am happy to advise you.”
Willis has been specific enough here for you to be able to critique his method. If you have actual suggestions then I’m sure he’d like to hear them but I’ve now seen a couple of posts of yours implying criticism of his method in a general sense without actually being specific about anything.

September 23, 2013 3:16 am

michael hammer:
Your entire post at September 23, 2013 at 2:33 am says

“I say that the current climate paradigm, that forcing determines temperature, is incorrect. I hold that changes in forcing only marginally and briefly affect the temperature. Instead, I say that a host of emergent thermostatic phenomena act quickly to cool the planet when it is too warm, and to warm it when it is too cool.”

Willis why use such convoluted and hard to understand language – Why not just say “I believe there is strong negative feedback in the climate system” because that’s what your comment boils down to.

No! Your misunderstanding has induced you to misrepresent Willis, so I write to answer in hope of reducing the ear-bashing which your misrepresentation deserves.
There is no definition of emergent effects such as the Eschenbach Effect, the R&C Effect, and any similar effects which may exist. So, for convenience, I will call them ‘Reversal Effects’.
A negative feedback reduces the magnitude of an effect.
A governor limits the magnitude of an effect.
A Reversal Effect arises in response to a direct effect, and it combines with the direct effect such that the combination has opposite sign to the direct effect (i.e. when the direct effect is +ve the combination is –ve).
Richard

Greg Goodman
September 23, 2013 3:36 am

I think your “reversal effect” is so vague as to be unhelpful. “Governor” in the sense you define necessarily uses a negative feedback.
A “governor” will not maintain the degree.day integral as appears to happen in the tropics and so is also inadequate.
Someone in another of Willis’ threads suggested this was closer to an industrial PID controller. I think that description is more suitable.
In any case there is a need for precise well defined terms here which is why I favour feedback descriptions. There is a whole branch of engineering that knows how these work and describe things in precise mathematical terms.

Greg Goodman
September 23, 2013 3:39 am

proportional-integral-derivative controller
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PID_controller

September 23, 2013 4:13 am

milodonharlani, never mind. I found your numbers here http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/usda/ers/WHS//1990s/1994/WHS-11-15-1994.pdf
In appendix table 1 it shows yield decreasing from 39.5 in 1990/91 to 34.3 in 1991/92. But it also shows an increase from 32.7 in 1989/90 to 39.5 in 1990/91. If the drop was caused by the volcano, what caused the rise, an anti-volcano?
Clearly you have cherry-picked that fluctuation. A primary cause of the fluctuations is weather, specifically drought or too much rain. It is obvious from the data that those factors vary without volcanoes. The variation you attribute to the volcano is well within the range of variation for previous and subsequent years.

richard verney.
September 23, 2013 5:30 am

richardscourtney says:
September 23, 2013 at 1:47 am
///////////////////////
Richard
Thank you for your reply which was a response to a request raised by me, not Stephen. i was aware that the point that I raised related to the R&C paper, not to your own research, but you are one of the commentators whose comments I always seek to read and consider (because of your informed research led views) and hence the reason why I addressed my point to you.
I accept the points that you raise. I would add to those points ocean overturning and ocean currents to the mix. These oceanic currents effectively take away from the tropical ocean much heat that is/would be generated by the solar irradiance received by the tropical oceans as the heat is being created and effectively distributing this ‘excess’ ‘energy’/’heat’ to other regions of the globe, particularly polewards. I suspect that but for these currents, one would see higher temperatures in many parts of the tropical oceans.
Personally, I consider that we have a slightly biased view of ocean temperatures due to the sampling by ARGO buoys (and I am sceptical as to whether the free floating nature adds to the bias since these buoys float with currents/density profiles which in themselves are heat dependent/correlated) . If I recall Willis’ post correctly (appologies to Willis if I have got this wrong through being too lazy to check it out), he was arguing that for practical purposes the tropical ocean temperature is capped at 30degC. I recall pointing out to him that the process he described did not cap ocean temperature at that figure and that was clear from his own data which showed some ARGO buoys reporting 32degC. My recollection was that Willis took the view that the number of ARGO buoys reporting 32degC was very small (which is so) and even took a similar approach with the buoys reporting 31degC.
I accept that relatively few ARGO buoys report temperatures of 32degC, and whilst Willis and I may disagree as to what consitutes a ‘few’ for the purposes of considering the number that report 31degC, the small numbers are a consequence of the chosen distribution of ARGO, and the fact that this chosen distribution excludes ARGO from sampling some of the warmest oceans on the planet..
By way of aside, in my view, the most important element of understanding the climate and how it is driven is the full and proper understanding of the oceans, their temperature profiles, oceanic currents, the interaction of the oceans with the atmosphere immediately above the oceans, the manner in which ocean heat content is distributed around the globe including how this influences the jet streams etc. In this I would include the detailed interaction of DWLWIR in the immediate atmosphere above the oceans (which is not only high in water vapour content, but also contains water droplets/a fine mist of windswept spray and spume) and not simply its absorption in the first millimetre (bearing in mind that about 60% of all LWIR is fully absorbed in just a few microns and probably less than 10% makes it way to past 10 microns – given that DWLWIR is omni-directional even the absorbtion could be even greater in the first few microns). i guess that one should not overlook the fact that it is only oceanic temperature measurements which inform upon the energy budget given that land based temperature data sets are not measuring energy and therefore can inform little as to whether there is any ongoing change to the energy budget of planet Earth. Planet Earth is a water world, and understanding the significance of that is, in my opinion, the key to understanding the planet’s climate and how it is driven. personally,I do not consider that enough emphasis has been placed on this, but this may change given the ‘warmists’ mantra that energy is being sequested and hiding in the deep oceans. This claim will inevitably lead to greater investigation and scrutiny of the oceans and the role they play in influencing climate.

Joe Born
September 23, 2013 5:32 am

Greg Goodman: “It is the key word non-linear that makes the overshoot required to preserve the degree.day integral. A linear neg. f/b will not do this.”
While I am almost certain that non-linear effects are the key to the climate’s being limited to a relatively narrow temperature range, it is not true that only non-linear systems exhibit overshoot. Any “two-box” system will overshoot, and some will in fact oscillate.
Example: a system whose response y to a stimulus x is given by
d^2 y / dt^2 + 2 dy/dt + 40 y = 40 x
will exhibit a (decaying) oscillatory response to a step in stimulus.

richard verney.
September 23, 2013 5:53 am

Stephen Wilde says:
September 23, 2013 at 12:51 am
////////////////////
I accept the point that surface pressure is relevant to the temperature at which bonds are broken. The world would be a different place if atmospheric pressure was different (some consider that it was different at the time of the dinosaurs and there is much research into this and in particlur with respect to flying dinosaurs as well as long necked varieties).
I am not sure what to make of your comment “Having considered the matter further overnight I still don’t see how emergent cloudiness can provide any sort of cap on achievable temperatures because a cap has to be exceeded before the clouds form (at least the types of clouds proposed).” Don’t clouds form over all oceans even those with cold temperatures, no doubt because evaopration begins to take place as soon water is liquid, albeit the rate of evaporation is proportional to its temperature such that the rate of evaporation and hence the volume of evaporated water is greater over the tropical oceans than over high latitude oceans. Doesn’t any cloud block solar irradiance such that cloud formation is a negative feedback, although I accept that the type of cloud (not only its areal extent, but also its volume, water content, vapour & water droplet size, height, time of formation and time of dissipation) influences the extent of that negative feedback. Clouds are infinitely complex (and chaotic in nature notwithstanding that they may have certain key drivers) and without understanding these there is no chance of modelling climate.

Eliza
September 23, 2013 6:04 am

Looks like mainstream press is turning in droves to being at least skeptical. In Google news “global warming” This will definitely be the last IPCC meeting. Even the BBC’s main reporters are beginning to get it
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24173504

geran
September 23, 2013 6:12 am

Frank says:
September 23, 2013 at 1:53 am
>>>>>>>
Great input, including a little math to help our understanding. I was trying to put it all together last night, but was too tired and gave up, so was pleased to find your helpful comment this morning.
Thanks!

September 23, 2013 6:13 am

Greg Goodman:
At September 23, 2013 at 3:36 am you reply to my having said

A Reversal Effect arises in response to a direct effect, and it combines with the direct effect such that the combination has opposite sign to the direct effect (i.e. when the direct effect is +ve the combination is –ve).

by saying

I think your “reversal effect” is so vague as to be unhelpful.
{snip}
In any case there is a need for precise well defined terms here which is why I favour feedback descriptions. There is a whole branch of engineering that knows how these work and describe things in precise mathematical terms.

The definition I provided is precise and not “vague”. I can state it in mathematical terminology if required but see no reason to do that here.
A negative feedback reduces the magnitude of an effect.
A positive feedback increases the magnitude of an effect.
A governor limits the magnitude of an effect.
No combination of feedbacks and governors reverses the sign of an effect.
Richard

rgbatduke
September 23, 2013 6:19 am

what happens at glaciation and deglaciation is clearly different from what happens in between. There is apparently two stable states ( attractors ) for the climate system. A positive feedback seems to make it snap form one state to the other. We don’t really know what triggers the change-over.
At least two attractors. More likely, the system is highly multistable with attractors all over the place and with at least two MAJOR “attractors of attractors” as it were.
There are even multiple distinct ways the climate system can shift. As you say, when the climate is in a major-bistable critical regime, chance fluctuations can kick the system too far from the currently dominant (say) warm-phase attractor and the system can then descend — probably via a series of transitions to transiently stable intermediate attractors — to one of the many cold-phase attractors sufficiently stable to hold the system once again, or it can start to descend — as perhaps it did during the LIA — but then can pop back up. Bobbles of this sort are clearly visible in the geological record, where even during glacial eras there are stretches of warming that doesn’t reach the critical/tipping point followed by aggressive cooling, or the Younger Dryas, where it warmed to interglacial temperatures but then “suddenly” re-descended into glaciation for close to a thousand years before re-warming into the Holocene proper.
In addition to jumping attractors, the attractors themselves appear capable of secular moment on longer timescales — the stable point itself is no doubt a weak function of a variety of forcings plus a non-Markovian integral over the climate history into the past (of the sort Willis is exploring with his lagged response models above, where it isn’t the state of things “right now” that always matters, sometimes it is the state of things a year, ten years, fifty years past PLUS the state of things right now. The ocean has mixing/turnover phenomena with timescales of centuries on up (in addition to shorter time scales as well).
The pattern of temperature shifts over the “reliable” temperature era (the last 33-50 years) has been periods of relative stability order of 15 years followed by a rapid shift over 2-3 years followed by relative stability. The less reliable thermometric era (HADCRUT-whatever or GISS-whatever) also suggests a pattern of stable temperatures for periods of 1-3 decades, followed by 1-3 decades of warming, a punctuated series of equilibria, with the high frequency noise Willis plots above reflecting motion AROUND the current attractor, not the motion OF the attractors or the jumps between attractors (where the latter two would be very difficult to differentiate without a knowledge of the dimensionality of the space and some feel for the nonlinear functions that describe the locally stable points to gain some insight about how they might vary, appear, disappear as underlying parameters in the climate system change).
However, the fundamental problem with doing the analysis Willis presents so ably above is that it neglects the probable errors. HADCRUT4 actually has an estimated error bar of 0.15 C for present day data. It is at least 0.5 C, if not larger, for most of the rest of the thermometric era, in particular for those parts back in the 19th century and early 20th century. Remember that entire continents were still mostly terra incognita (as far as systematic sampling with reliable thermometers is concerned) well into the 20th century.
The inclusion of probable error into the fits makes it even more difficult to discern the effect of volcanoes or any other secular causes in the temperature trend. If one is trying to resolve a 0.1 C effect in data that is both (possibly) trended (with high autocorrelation) and noisy at 0.5 C, you simply cannot expect to obtain a reliable causal/correlative decomposition. If you like, the p-values Willis obtains are too optimistic — it is even more likely that the almost completely invisible trend he uncovers within the data is there by random chance, because the detrended noise he fits is, in fact, uncertain within a range that is slightly larger than the range of the noise itself.
With that said, I do like looking at fluctuation-dissipation in climate models as I think it has a lot to teach us. The response of the climate to a sudden forcing (like a volcano, like a powerful ENSO) in principle gives us a direct look at the shape of the attractor(s) that govern the climate’s current set point.
rgb

Joe Born
September 23, 2013 6:30 am

richardscourtney: “A Reversal Effect arises in response to a direct effect, and it combines with the direct effect such that the combination has opposite sign to the direct effect (i.e. when the direct effect is +ve the combination is –ve).”
Not sure I follow that, but might the following be a quotidian example?
A water drop hitting a skillet as the skillet only starts to heat up evaporates slowly. As the skillet heats up, subsequent drops evaporate more quickly–but only up to a point. After that, there’s a regime in which increasing skillet temperature causes the drops to evaporate more slowly. (They form little water marbles that roll around.)

September 23, 2013 6:30 am

richard verney:
Thankyou for your reply to me at September 23, 2013 at 5:30 am.
I apologise to you and anybody else whom I failed to specifically name but ‘lumped as one’ in my reply to requests for explanation of the R&C Effect. This was an error but was not intended as a slight or as any other offence to anyone.
I hope my explanation was adequate, and I read your resulting comment with interest.
Richard

MattN
September 23, 2013 6:41 am

What eruptions are they attributing the current non-warming to? Pinitubo and Chichon? Ridiculous. It’s long been established the effect is short term (1-2 years).

September 23, 2013 6:54 am

Joe Born:
re your post at September 23, 2013 at 6:30 am
Thankyou for that example. I did not know of it. However, I do not think that is an example of what I am calling a Reversal Effect.
In your example the formation of ‘marbles’ acts to reduce evapouration rate so acts as a negative feedback on evapouration.
[If the formation of ‘marbles’ acted to stop evapouration and to induce condensation then it would have a Reversal Effect on evapouration.]
The R&C and Eschenbach Effects are Reversal Effects on temperature because they induce the system to COOL (n.b. not warm) in response to increased heat input to the system.
Richard

September 23, 2013 6:57 am

Ouch! I stupidly wrote
If he formation of ‘marbles’ acted to stop evapouration and to induce condensation then it would have a Reversal Effect on condensation.
I intended to write
If the formation of ‘marbles’ acted to stop evapouration and to induce condensation then it would have a Reversal Effect on evapouration.
Sorry. Richard

Jim G
September 23, 2013 7:11 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
September 22, 2013 at 6:15 pm
Jim G says:
September 22, 2013 at 5:10 pm
A true super eruption of a super volcano might be at odds with your “self regulating” surface temperature hypothesis.
“We’ve had supervolcanoes in the past, and the temperature has always recovered. Under the models’ view, that wouldn’t happen … with my hypothesis, it would. ”
w.
Willis,
I was not implying that the models were correct. Being better than the models is damning yourself with faint praise. If one takes a long enough view of climate/temperature even the Milankovich cycles do cycle back.

Greg Goodman
September 23, 2013 7:19 am

richardscourtney says: The R&C and Eschenbach Effects are Reversal Effects on temperature because they induce the system to COOL (n.b. not warm) in response to increased heat input to the system.
What are you trying to suggest here? Is your “reversal” the overshoot that Willis refers to which is part of a reaction that brings the system back to it’s previous state or are you suggesting a reaction the leaves the system in a settled state, cooler than it was before the perturbation. If that is the case I want to see proof. Not just inventing a name for it.
If it’s the former, it already has a name: non-linear negative feedback.

beng
September 23, 2013 7:20 am

***
Steven Mosher says:
September 22, 2013 at 6:06 pm
The ECS is what we are mostly interested in, the full response after all feedbacks,
***
All forcing aren’t created equal. IR back-radiation from GHGs can’t penetrate beyond water surfaces, so the effects are immediate (changes in ocean surface temp and atmospheric latent heat from evaporation). Only short-wave solar forcing can be stored in the oceans and have a significant time-lag.

more soylent green!
September 23, 2013 7:22 am

Quick question:
How long do this particles stay in the stratosphere, and do their affects change as they fall through the troposphere?

RC Saumarez
September 23, 2013 7:39 am

@Tintoolman.
Here some points:
1) The model posed by Eschenbach is a simple 1st order ARMA model. It is well known that the autocorrelation fundtion of temperature does not correspnd to this model. Therefore it is incorrect. This has been widely discussed. by McIntyre, Luck and Ludeke and others in the past. See for example:
http://judithcurry.com/2012/02/19/autocorrelation-and-trends/
2) There are significant non-linearities in the climate system and characterisation is made over change in climate. The degree of linearisation possible is unknown and therefore it is unknown whether linear models can be applied to the climate system as has been done here( I suspect not). I would comment that establishment of linearity or non linearity, although extremely difficult using this data is a first step. A non-linear Hurst dynamic model is practically impossible to distinguish from a linear multicompartment model in the global temperature signal. (See link above for details).
3) The errors involved in fitting parameters to a climate model are enormous, even if the data were perfect. If one is going to propose a model, rigorous assessment of that uncertainty is essential. Furthermore,the functions being fitted are highly ill-conditioned, meaning that small changes in the input data will lead to large changes in fitted parameters.
As I have said in past, I am happy to write a criticism of the methods employed here, particularly how one can be misled by spurious linearisation of non-linear systems. Since i was challenged to put up or shut up, I have written an essay on the difficulties in establishing system responses in non-linear systems that might appear to be linear at first sight, sent it to WUTW but it is has clearly not been thought to be suitable for posting, It is difficult to take the argument further
I have said that I am happy to help Mr Eschenbach if he wishes to develop a more elaborate model since this is a constructive approach.

MikeN
September 23, 2013 7:57 am

Is the IPCC trying to blame the pause in global warming on a handful of small volcanoes?

Greg Goodman
September 23, 2013 8:01 am

MikeN says:
Is the IPCC trying to blame the pause in global warming on a handful of small volcanoes?
Any straw in storm … 😉

September 23, 2013 8:02 am

The real climate drivers – ocean and solar cycles amplified by levels

MattN
September 23, 2013 8:03 am

Krakatoa was not 1815. That would be Tambora.

September 23, 2013 8:06 am

[snip – don’t post whole pages in comments with dozens of striped out links to images etc – Anthony]

September 23, 2013 8:14 am

In the above post to get pictures and graphs just google The real climate drivers -ocean and solar cycles amplified by levels of volcanism.
Willis study is flawed in many ways, one way is he is trying to isolate the effects of volcanos in the climatic system by putting them in isolation against all the zillion other climatic parameters trying to obtain a climate direct cause and effect due to the volcanic eruption itself.Does not work.
The IPCC is also flawed because the Aerosol Optical thickness for the N.H. ws only .01 tau during the time the IPCC claimed volcanic activity and or aerosols was having an impact of slowing down the warming.
Weatherbell Inc. led by Joe Bastardi and Joe D’Aleo see it differently then what Willis is trying to convey from his study. I am in their camp 100%.

September 23, 2013 8:15 am

Thanks Anthony.

September 23, 2013 8:22 am

Stratospheric aerosols cut back on incoming solar radiation. Values of 7% reduction or higher have been measured. This is widely accepted as being a factor in causing global cooling for 2 to 3 years after a major eruption. Some eruptions have been estimated to throw aerosols to 80,000 or even 120,000 feet high into our atmosphere. While ash and aerosols (sulfate converted from O2) typically falls out from low level eruptions in days or weeks, those that make it into the stratosphere have a lifetime of a few years. While there, they serve to cool the atmosphere and surface (although with regional variances) and when they fall out to serve as nuclei for ice and water droplet clouds and precipitation (rain and snow). Remember the big Midwest flood of 1993 and the huge snows of March 1993 to the winter of 1993/94 and 1995/96
Dr. Richard Keen, who lives in the beautiful Colorado Rockies and is both a weather observer and astronomical expert has been using eclipses to measure this effect. He found the thickness varied and estimated the effect on temperatures
The above is part of the article by Joe D’Aleo of Weatherbell. Again to get the whole article google The real climate drivers -ocean and solar cycles amplified by levels of volcanism.
Many graphs will be found.

RC Saumarez
September 23, 2013 8:24 am

I have just seen Eschenbach’s charming post.
I have never made the claims that you say i have because they are total nonsense. Having been taught this subject formally, I hope that I do not make those sort of mistakes.
I was asked to write a post because you wrote a post on filtering and statistics that was completely wrong. I did not go out of my way to be offensive in that post, which was written at a very elementary level,, but it was completely apparant from what I wrote that filtering, as you had done in the bandwidth of a signal, will alter the correlation functions.
I would point out that these sort of mistakes stem from a failure to understand the theory of the subject rather than an ability to do something in “R”.
You ask me what is wrong with your model? For a start, you apply a first order ARMA process to signal when there is subtantial evidence that the temperature signal does not have an autocorrelation function that conforms to that process, Therefore you cannot apply this model.
Second, you have failed to consider any possibilityof non-linear effects in your model.
Third, you have not performed any sort of proper analysis of uncertainty in your analysis, which you should, The errors in the type of an analysis you have performed are potentially large. Your claim that it accounts for 90% of the energy in the signal (I presume that you really mean this? Are you familiar with Parseval’s theorem?) is inadequate to clain that that you have identified the system in question.
Finally you ask for help from some MSc students. If they are properly taught, I have no doubt that they form an opinion on your mathematical expertise.

Joe Born
September 23, 2013 8:34 am

richardscourtney: “Thankyou for that example. I did not know of it.”
You’re welcome. Although I encountered it in the kitchen, personnel of a utility-boiler manufacturer I once had as a client referred to the phenomenon as “departure from nucleate boiling” and were wont to discuss “departure-from-nucleate-boiling ratio.”
“In your example the formation of ‘marbles’ acts to reduce evapouration rate so acts as a negative feedback on evapouration.” As far as “feedback” goes, I guess my taxonomy is different from yours, but I doubt that either of us would gain much from further pursuing that discussion.

September 23, 2013 8:36 am

Willis or somebody else with good science-fu… can somebody help the liberal arts major here?
It seems to me (but sometimes my ideas accidentally violate the laws of thermodynamics), that part of the equilibrium might have something to do with axial tilt? No, I’m not trolling, hear me out for a second, and then illuminate/slap-me-around as needed:
You get something like a volcano: it’s going to produce a lot of localized cooling. But then it becomes winter, and the local area gets dropped even further below what the volcano would be doing…end result being more heat circulation from the rest of the globe, bang, it’s evened out, resulting in, as measured globally the forcing mechanism is destroyed at a global energy cost that is distinct, but miniscule.
I’m assuming the 305k ocean-temp limit combined with lots and lots of summer sunlight handles the other side of said equation, but… I was a history major. You wanna know why Hugh de Beaux kidnapped Mary of Siciliy in 1350, I’m your dude…. this stuff, not so much (but interested).
What am I not getting here? Thanks in advance.

Silver Ralph
September 23, 2013 8:38 am

Bill says: September 22, 2013 at 1:28 pm
Willis, how does your governor theory explain ice ages?
_____________________________________
I know this is slightly OT for this thread, but it is an interesting and related topic.
It is said that Milankovitch Cycles can vary the insolation at latitudes above 60N by as much as 20%. That is quite possibly enough change in insolation to generate an Ice Age, as you sure would not get an ice sheet to grow over London with our current insolation levels. So something must be stopping the insolation.
Here is a common Milankovitch Cycle vs Temperature graph. Plus a graph of Ice Ages. I am not sure whether the match between calculated insolation and the temperature is significant mathematically, but the layman’s ‘one-eyed squint’ method says the correlation has some merit.
http://www.climatedata.info/Forcing/Forcing/milankovitchcycles_files/BIGw02-milankovitch-and-temperature.gif.gif
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c9/Co2_glacial_cycles_800k.png/800px-Co2_glacial_cycles_800k.png
But if Milankovitch Cycles were responsible for N hemisphere Ice Ages, then I would presume that the southern hemisphere must have equal and opposite glaciation periods. Is this so? I was unable to find any info on this.
So in answer to Bill’s question:
The Tropical Cumulus theory will probably work well as a regulator for the temperature of the system over long periods of time. But if someone turns the Sun off in the N hemisphere (a negative Milankovitch Cycle), its going to get cold.

Catcracking
September 23, 2013 8:40 am

Willis, excellent pose with good scientific analysis unlike AR 5
“…period 1951–2012, is due in roughly equal measure to a cooling contribution from internal variability and a reduced 2 trend in radiative forcing (medium confidence). The reduced trend in radiative forcing is primarily due 3 to volcanic eruptions and the downward phase of the current solar cycle.”
Strange the same suspects denied these factors before when there was an increase in temperature and now admit to these when temperatures are flat or downward.
Furthermore these are not new considerations (they have been mentioned before by skeptics and ignored) and if the computer models did not consider them it further confirms the flaws in the models. Let’s face it, the models are a total fabrication using preconceived, erroneous notions and bear no resemblance to science or reality.

milodonharlani
September 23, 2013 8:53 am

eric1skeptic says:
September 23, 2013 at 2:27 am
I posted the link in my first comment on the topic, & subsequently, as would have been easy to check.

September 23, 2013 8:55 am

Greg Goodman:
I am replying to your post at September 23, 2013 at 7:19 am which says in total

richardscourtney says:

The R&C and Eschenbach Effects are Reversal Effects on temperature because they induce the system to COOL (n.b. not warm) in response to increased heat input to the system.

What are you trying to suggest here? Is your “reversal” the overshoot that Willis refers to which is part of a reaction that brings the system back to it’s previous state or are you suggesting a reaction the leaves the system in a settled state, cooler than it was before the perturbation. If that is the case I want to see proof. Not just inventing a name for it.
If it’s the former, it already has a name: non-linear negative feedback.

NO!
I do not know how I could be more clear than I have been in my series of attempts to explain this matter in this thread.
A negative feedback – be it linear or otherwise – reduces the magnitude of an effect.
So, for simplistic illustration, if a heat input causes warming of 2.0K per hour then a negative feedback of 0.5 will reduce that rate of rise to 1.0K per hour.
A Reversal Effect is induced when the system passes a threshold. It is larger and has opposite result to the original effect. So, when the Reversal Effect initiates the combination of the original effect and the reversal Effect provides the opposite of the original effect.
In the simplistic illustration, the heat input causes warming of 2.0K per hour but when the Reversal Effect initiates the system starts to COOL although the heat input is continued. This has nothing to do with overshoot because it has nothing to do with feedbacks on the original effect .
It happens because an ADDITIONAL effect initiates in the system.
Thunder clouds and storms are the additional initiated effect of the Eschenbach Effect.
Cirrus clouds are the additional initiated effect of the R&C Effect.
In other words, the system becomes a different system when a Reversal Effect initiates.
Richard

September 23, 2013 8:59 am

RC Saumarez:
In your less than “charming” post at September 23, 2013 at 8:24 am you say

I hope that I do not make those sort of mistakes.

I can accept that because we all have similar hopes. I hope to win the lottery.
Richard

September 23, 2013 8:59 am

Willis is trying to show ever so hard that volcanic forcing is much less, then all the past evidence shows to the contrary. He is entitled to his opinion and methold of trying to prove it, although it is not convincing to me.
Look at what happened to the temperatures following the Mt. Pinatubo eruption, they went down in the face of an El Nino.
Each volcanic eruption is different in regards to it’s location, composition of what it ejects into the air, height/amounts of material it ejects into the air making a volcano /temperature correlation amost impossible to obtain, not to mention other climatic items acting in concert or against the volcanic climatic effects.
Willis says and it it correct in a sense( but not really) the following: a host of emergent thermostatic phenomena act quickly to cool the planet when it is to warm, and to warm it when it is to cool.
If true 100% of the time as you convey more or less; reconcile that statement with the fact the earth has had many ABRUPT climatic changes in the past, and have shifted from a glacial state to an inter glacial state many times in the past. Apparently that statement does not hold up under all circumstances for if it did the climate would never have abrupt climate swings in temperature both up and down, or vary from a glacial to an inter glacial state..
Something else has to be at work here.
The three dryas periods(oldest,old and younger) and the 8200 years ago abrupt cooling period are some examples of rapid climatic temperature drops, which run counter to your statement.

Pippen Kool
September 23, 2013 9:02 am

Is your analysis in conflict with the following study?
Global surface-temperature responses to major volcanic eruptions
SEAR, KELLY, JONES & GOODESS
Nature 330, 365 – 367 (26 November 1987)
…In a previous study5 it was shown that significant surface cooling occurs over the landmasses of the Northern Hemisphere in the first few months after a major eruption in that hemisphere. Here we extend that work using new surface-air temperature compilations based on land and marine data6 for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Our results indicate that major Northern Hemisphere eruptions have an immediate effect on the Northern Hemisphere average surface temperature but little or no effect on the Southern Hemisphere average. Southern Hemisphere eruptions affect both Southern and Northern Hemisphere temperatures after a lag of between six months and a year.

milodonharlani
September 23, 2013 9:02 am

http://books.google.com/books?id=3me16ll_TRkC&pg=PP152&lpg=PP152&dq=39.5+34.3+bushels+acre&source=bl&ots=kl-4vVGj5c&sig=87fK59G59caccvIgP5J6GlrtRUA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=f2RAUsL5HYiwigKN8oGIDQ&ved=0CE4Q6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=39.5%2034.3%20bushels%20acre&f=false
Checking I see that it was 39.5 bu/A in 1990 & 34.3 in 1991, then back up in ’92, so I was off by a year. My mistake; yet price did go way up in ’92. USDA marketing year differs from international, but the error appears to have been mine.
However the fact remains that globally yield fell in 1992, as shown above, from 2.6 T/ha in ’91 to 2.5 T/ha. It’s noticeable, to me at least, even in Willis’ graph. I believe it went up for corn, but didn’t check other crops.

milodonharlani
September 23, 2013 9:08 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
September 23, 2013 at 7:02 am
Manly & scientific of you, but please explain why you disagree with the world wheat yield data I posted from the USDA’s FAS, reposted here:
http://www.fas.usda.gov/grain/circular/2010/05-10/grainfull05-10.pdf
Total Wheat and Coarse Grains
Millions of Metric Tons/Hectares
Year Area Harvested Yield Production
1990/91 549.0 2.6 1,417.5
1991/92 546.3 2.5 1,355.5
Thanks.

September 23, 2013 9:20 am

WIllis if volcanos made no contributions to the Maunder Minimum and Dalton Minimum ,you are then adding more evidence that is was caused by direct changes in various solar parameters rather then perhaps a secondary factor associated with the direct solar changes in solar parameters.
In this case volcanism being an associated secondary factor asociated with prolonged solar minimum periods,(which many studies show to be the case) which enhances any change in the climate due to direct solar vairiations, which you also do not feel is real ,despite once again past history showing very clearly that is not the case.
Willis something has caused the climate to change in abrupt ways and from glacial to inter glacial states. I say, it is changes in the sun and all the associated secondary effects which phase into either a warming /or cooling of the climate, if not you tell me what it might be?
I will be most interested in any explanations you may have. Seriously.

September 23, 2013 9:28 am

PIPPEN I agree 100%. Evidence is so very clear,look at the Mt. Pinatubo eruption(very recent evidence) and what temperatures did for a short time following that eruption.Look at the graph Dr. Spencer has, which clearly illustrates this fact. Google Dr. Spencer to go to this web-site.
Yes the effects are short lived but they are real and again each and every volcanic eruption is different, and goes off under different climatic scenarios..

September 23, 2013 9:32 am

There are HUNDREDS of studies that run counter to what Willis has concluded.

RC Saumarez
September 23, 2013 9:37 am

I would like to ask Willis Eschenbach a direct question.
Have you formed the auto-correlationfunction of your model? If so, does it conform to the calculated ACF from the data? I think you may find determination of the latter quite difficult and not immediately accessible in “R”. I would be extremely careful about applying a filter if I were you as this can give rise to wildely incorrect results in calculating correlation functions.
You will find that that your model does not does not conform to the correlation structure of the temperature signal – this is well known.
In this case your model is wrong, either because the structure of the system is linear but more complex than the single thermal capacitance you assume, or it is a non-linear process with possibly, as has been speculated, Hurst process dynamics.
I would be interested to know how you resolve this problem.

mwhite
September 23, 2013 10:45 am

” ALL-CLEAR IN THE STRATOSPHERE”
http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=19&month=12&year=2010
Earth’s stratosphere is as clear as it’s been in more than 50 years. University of Colorado climate scientist Richard Keen knows this because he’s been watching lunar eclipses. “Since 1996, lunar eclipses have been bright, which means the stratosphere is relatively clear of volcanic aerosols. This is the longest period with a clear stratosphere since before 1960.”
“The lunar eclipse record indicates a clear stratosphere over the past decade, and that this has contributed about 0.2 degrees to recent warming.”

Pamela Gray