Interesting Post at RealClimate about Modeled Absolute Global Surface Temperatures

We recently presented and discussed modeled and observed global surface temperatures in absolute terms. See the post On the Elusive Absolute Global Mean Surface Temperature – A Model-Data Comparison. The WattsUpWithThat cross post is here. Yesterday, Willis Eschenbach at WUWT furnished EXCEL spreadsheets that included the outputs of climate model simulations of global surface temperatures in absolute terms. See Willis’s post CMIP5 Model Temperature Results in Excel.

Hot on the heels of those two posts comes a discussion at RealClimate of modeled absolute global surface temperatures, authored by Gavin Schmidt, the head of the Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS). Gavin’s post is Absolute temperatures and relative anomalies. Please read it in its entirety. I believe you’ll find it interesting. (Thanks, Gavin.)

Here are two quotes from it to get the discussion here rolling. First, Gavin Schmidt wrote (my boldface):

Second, the absolute value of the global mean temperature in a free-running coupled climate model is an emergent property of the simulation. It therefore has a spread of values across the multi-model ensemble. Showing the models’ anomalies then makes the coherence of the transient responses clearer. However, the variations in the averages of the model GMT values are quite wide, and indeed, are larger than the changes seen over the last century, and so whether this matters needs to be assessed.

Second quote (my boldface):

Most scientific discussions implicitly assume that these differences aren’t important i.e. the changes in temperature are robust to errors in the base GMT value, which is true, and perhaps more importantly, are focussed on the change of temperature anyway, since that is what impacts will be tied to. To be clear, no particular absolute global temperature provides a risk to society, it is the change in temperature compared to what we’ve been used to that matters.

See, I told you you’d find Gavin’s post interesting.

Enjoy your holidays.

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Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 24, 2014 1:17 pm

Merry Christmas, Bob. Thank you for all your hard work.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 24, 2014 2:06 pm

Yes. Merry Christmas and many thanks for the wonderful work you’re doing, Bob.

Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 24, 2014 2:33 pm

and the same back to you and everyone here.

RokShox
December 24, 2014 3:05 am

Backtrack all he wants, Gavin Schmidt has blood on his hands.

M Courtney
Reply to  RokShox
December 24, 2014 3:21 am

Steady on.
It’s Christmas.

Reply to  RokShox
December 24, 2014 3:43 am

“blood on his hands.”
Agreed. I also think that anytime you read his name you should cross yourself and say a Hail Mary.

Andrew
Reply to  markstoval
December 24, 2014 4:57 am

Magic spells don’t work.

Reply to  markstoval
December 24, 2014 9:41 am

It works better than your ‘back radiation’. 🙂

GaelanClark
December 24, 2014 3:33 am

What matters most “is the change in temperature compared to what we’ve been used to”…
Aaahhhhh……I see now. Because if we have become used to negative 20 during January in the High Rockies….well then, negative 2 is just too damned warm!!!

TRM
Reply to  GaelanClark
December 24, 2014 7:57 am

Except it would be more like -19.2 instead of -20 🙂

Reply to  GaelanClark
December 24, 2014 12:03 pm

“what we’ve been used to” limits one to the experience of one’s lifetime.
Which, from a the perspective of geophysical events and timelines, is an absurdly small interval.
Probably why it is used.
Merry Christmas
(and for Blackadder fans, Messy Kweznuz!)

M Courtney
December 24, 2014 3:35 am

However, while we can conclude that using anomalies in global mean temperature is reasonable, that conclusion does not necessarily follow for more regional temperature diagnostics or for different variables. For instance, working in anomalies is not as useful for metrics that are bounded, like rainfall.

Which is a bit of a problem if regional temperatures depend, in an any way, on rainfall.
Does this imply the models can’t replicate precipitation – thus can’t replicate cloud cover – but somehow are reasonable in predicting global mean temperature?
Curious.

Reply to  M Courtney
December 24, 2014 6:59 am

Yes, anomalies are good for downplaying lack of knowledge.

Reply to  M Courtney
December 24, 2014 9:10 am

“Does this imply the models can’t replicate precipitation – thus can’t replicate cloud cover – but somehow are reasonable in predicting global mean temperature?”
Some models do well om one and poorly on the other. That’s pretty well known to anyone who has actually looked at the data.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 24, 2014 9:43 am

They also have unnatural regional temps, but since it’s all mashed into a global average, most would never know that.

AndyG55
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 24, 2014 12:51 pm

“Some models do well om one and poorly on the other.”
Accidents happen !!

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 24, 2014 2:08 pm

I shall meditate on the data…

Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 24, 2014 9:35 pm

Actually, climate models do very poorly regarding rainfall, and in general are unable to reproduce it with any fidelity at all. That’s pretty well known to anyone who has actually looked at the data. See e.g. Koutsoyiannis, A comparison of local and aggregated climate model outputs with observed data.
w.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 25, 2014 2:41 pm

Mosher writes “Some models do well om one and poorly on the other. That’s pretty well known to anyone who has actually looked at the data.”
Only a diehard believer would see that as being anything other than a fit.

William Astley
December 24, 2014 3:40 am

Gavin is hoping to keep his job when there is the house cleaning after the change in the US administration.
It will be interesting to see if the start of significant global cooling will occur prior to the change in the US administration.

ConTrari
Reply to  William Astley
December 24, 2014 6:51 am

It would be interesting to compare the degree of backtracking with the years remaining to reitrement age for certain climate scientists.

Reply to  William Astley
December 24, 2014 6:54 am

Do have the faintest idea, whatsoever, how hard it is to fire a GS employee?

DAV
Reply to  TomB
December 24, 2014 7:18 am

He doesn’t have to be fired to be removed as head of GISS. For example, he could be laterally promoted to Head of Structural Anomaly Counts (sometimes referred to as crack counters) in the Office of Basement Studies in some choice location like North Dakota.

ferdberple
Reply to  TomB
December 24, 2014 7:24 am

typically you promote them to where they can do the least harm.

Ed_B
Reply to  TomB
December 24, 2014 9:38 am

You defund the entire organization as being less than useless, ie, for being harmful to the public.

Ron C.
Reply to  TomB
December 24, 2014 2:27 pm

Since firing one is so arduous, they are usually transferred to a dept known to others as a “Turkey farm.”

Jim Francisco
Reply to  William Astley
December 24, 2014 8:54 am

Sounds right. Gavin may find a rapid change in income is not a good thing either.

Reply to  William Astley
December 24, 2014 1:15 pm

Their house of cards is falling apart. Arctic sea ice extent is growing and will continue growing for the next 20 to 30 years. Antarctic sea ice is growing even during the southern summer. Satellites and radiosone data showing cooling, not warming. All this is happening despite increases in CO2. To top it all off, satellite observation of CO2 does not even show large emissions of the usual suspects. And then there is the blockbuster revelation about acidification. It is all falling apart. All they have left is the propaganda and the lies.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Alan Poirier
December 24, 2014 5:49 pm

Nice reply, Alan. Smart guys like Gavin And Trenberth see the writing on the wall today for where Earth’s temps are headed, and are positioning themselves accordingly. Just like they did 20 or so years ago.
They should be fired (IMAO)..

December 24, 2014 3:55 am

… However, the variations in the averages of the model GMT values are quite wide, and indeed, are larger than the changes seen over the last century, and so whether this matters needs to be assessed.
And the biased, politically motivated “adjustments”, “infilling”, “homogenization”, and all the rest produce a band that is even wider. It would help if we could trust the honesty of these government minions pretending to be scientists. If I could, I would fire every one of them right down to the guy who has to clean the restrooms. I would start fresh with new people and a mandate to get honest data —- and to be honest about all the problems associated with whatever data we come up with.
A Christmas message to the readers here — May God bless you and yours. ~ Mark

ConTrari
Reply to  markstoval
December 24, 2014 6:52 am

Indeed. The restrooms cleaning statistics are probably hockeysticked too.

Dodgy Geezer
December 24, 2014 3:59 am

…no particular absolute global temperature provides a risk to society…
Er… there is a HUGE amount of credibility invested in precise temperature figures – starting with Stern. Almost ALL the ‘anti-global-warming’ proposals are stated (and funded) with a justification of the need to hold the temperature down to a particular figure – the unstated belief being that ‘pre-industrial’ climate temperatures are the ‘right’ ones.
This sentence alone completely undercuts the entire warmist manifesto.
I assume that it will be altered, or modified in some way before very long….

Otteryd
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
December 24, 2014 5:32 am

The sentence or the manifesto???

mpainter
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
December 24, 2014 7:13 am

I would like to see a follow-up on Gavin’s comment. There will be a reaction amongst the cultists. Schmidt is sure to be drummed from the ranks.

Alx
December 24, 2014 4:14 am

…it is the change in temperature compared to what we’ve been used to that matters.”

No it’s not. I was used to being younger, now I am used to being older. Italy was used to “all roads lead to Rome”, now not so much. What matters is getting used to change without using fear of change to do harm or manipulate others.
In terms of temperature, the issue is how will increasing temperatures change regional eco-systems and in turn affect people living there. The answer is nobody knows. For now get used to change, because it may be sometime before we gain control over earths climate and eco-systems.

PeterinMD
Reply to  Alx
December 24, 2014 4:48 am

We will never gain control over earth’s climate and eco-systems, unless we create a nuclear winter maybe. I think we can be better stewards to the eco-system, but control is a pipe dream. IMHO

Reply to  PeterinMD
December 24, 2014 8:41 am

I think the lack of any substantial effects from the hundreds of massive oil fires during Iraq’s invasion and war on Kuwait put a pretty large stake into the heart of the “nuclear winter” theories.

CC Reader
Reply to  PeterinMD
December 24, 2014 10:31 am

Have you ever heard of the acronym “EMP”. Nuclear weapons destroy cities while EMP’s “turn-off” all electronics. IMO, the primary target of nuclear weapons would be large hydro-electric facilities, military depots and maybe capital cities.

Manfred
Reply to  PeterinMD
December 24, 2014 12:45 pm

Absolutely. The present climate obsession is among other things, a Babylonian delusion of titanic magnitude. It’ll be very messy when it topples.

skorrent1
Reply to  Alx
December 24, 2014 7:40 am

“the issue is how will increasing” OR DECREASING “temperatures change regional eco-systems …” Nobody knows the direction of change either.

JohnWho
Reply to  Alx
December 24, 2014 7:46 am

Well, “in terms of temperature” the real issue is whether “we, the people” are having any discernable effect, because if not, then we simply must prepare to adjust to whatever happens.

AP
Reply to  Alx
December 24, 2014 2:15 pm

Humans are constantly underestimating the resiliancy of “ecosystems”. In my opinion the whole concept of “ecosystems” is a crock, unless you are talking about a fully closed system, which is a fantasy. Indeed, even if certain ecological characteristics of an area disappear (and most often they just regenerate, not disappear) others soon appear in their place. Some of the most industrial places on earth 100 years ago are now “protected” because of their “ecological value”. A small example: we have a disused quarry near our house. It’s now protected despite being extensively mined with no regard for environmental issues from the mid-1800s. According to the environmentalists, the endangered ecological communities are to be admired for their resilliance, being able to fully regenerate since the quarry closed in the 1980s. However in the same paragraph they proslethise to us how we must carefully protect this “fragile” environment. Both can not be true.

George McFly......I'm your density
December 24, 2014 4:15 am

Sounds to me like he is hedging his bets…

Oatley
December 24, 2014 4:20 am

Dodgy:
I was having a debate with a chap and I stopped him with a few innocent questions:
1/. Ok, what then is the target average temperature for the earth?
2/. Who are the angels among us who decide that?
3/. If it waivers, who adjudicates the man made response?
4/. What if the guys at say, 40 degrees latitude don’t like the “orders from headquarters”?
It was fun to watch the sputtering.

Reply to  Oatley
December 24, 2014 7:17 pm

I asked those questions on a modestly trafficked blog years ago when climate issues were hot. Never did get an answer.

December 24, 2014 4:21 am

Gavin writes, “However, the variations in the averages of the model GMT values are quite wide, and indeed, are larger than the changes seen over the last century, and so whether this matters needs to be assessed.”
Translation: CAGW models are completely screwed, are far from reflecting reality and have ZERO predictive skill. However, we’ll keep “adjusting” climate data to keep this old hag plodding along to assure that I, and many others, have jobs for as long as possible…
Merry Christmas!

Steve from Rockwood
December 24, 2014 4:40 am

Change course slowly and others won’t notice you were originally headed in the wrong direction.
Happy Holidays!

Latitude
December 24, 2014 4:58 am

….no one will noticecomment image

Kelvin Vaughan
Reply to  Latitude
December 24, 2014 5:38 am

I see a warming of around !°F.

Rick K
Reply to  Latitude
December 24, 2014 6:24 am

Nice! I wonder if Gavin has seen that…

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Latitude
December 24, 2014 7:09 am

Obviously, thermometers stop working properly under the influence of alcohol.

Latitude
Reply to  Latitude
December 24, 2014 7:44 am

The only way you get global warming…..is on a graph in 1/10th and 1/100th degree

Reply to  Latitude
December 24, 2014 8:46 am

It makes research design so much more “flexible” when the effect you wish to “prove” is an order of magnitude or two below the accuracy of your data. But then again, humans have always had a lot of fun finding patterns in random data… like the pictures the ancients found in the constellations. They will always see what they’re looking for until we start making them either do it for free or pay for the search themselves.

Reply to  Latitude
December 24, 2014 9:29 am

I love that, Latitude, I just wish there were a similar graph in degrees c! It would be so great to send to your local Member of Parliament, here in the UK.
A plea I have made before:
Can anyone replicate this in degrees c? Pretty please, it is Xmas!

Reply to  Latitude
December 24, 2014 9:38 am

You should have shown the chart in degrees Rankine instead.

Bill 2
Reply to  Latitude
December 24, 2014 9:51 am

Why not use Kelvin with a range of 0 to 1000? Or 0 to 1,000,000?

AndyG55
Reply to  Bill 2
December 24, 2014 12:56 pm

It makes sense to use equipment that is designed to show the normal day to day variability of temperatures in most parts of the world. ie a standard alcohol based weather temperature thermometer.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Latitude
December 24, 2014 2:15 pm

“WE’RE GONNA DIE! WE’RE GONNA DIE!” –“Big Al” Gore

george e. smith
Reply to  Latitude
December 27, 2014 1:15 am

Who was taking the alcohol ??

eqibno
December 24, 2014 5:11 am

No longer having Hansen as his boss is gradually having an effect, apparently. Now, if they will next take a look at all the adjustment shenanigans and start to question all forms of warming bias, there may be hope yet. Either way, a nice Christmas present and a potential New Year’s resolution. 🙂

Reply to  eqibno
December 24, 2014 10:18 am

As mentioned above, the main problem is that the global mean temperature is very much an emergent property. That means that it is a function of almost all the different aspects of the model (radiation, fluxes, ocean physics, clouds etc.), and any specific discrepancy is not obviously tied to any one cause. Indeed, since there are many feedbacks in the system, a small error somewhere can produce large effects somewhere else.

I have to agree, Hansen would never have let anyone under him admit that climate has a sensitive dependency on initial conditions; that pretty much means that any chance of making predictions over any timescale greater than trivial is about nil.

KNR
Reply to  eqibno
December 24, 2014 12:36 pm

Sorry but Gavin got the job because Dr Doom knew he be a ‘safe pair’ of hands to carry on his work in the same , dam the facts all that matters is the message , way . And another one who is basically all in on AGW that can only look forward to nothing but a worse future should ‘the cause ‘ fall.

Frank K.
December 24, 2014 5:14 am

Some physical properties and phenomena that are dependent on *** absolute *** temperature:
(1) Specific heat, viscosity, thermal conductivity of all substances (air, water, solids…).
(2) Humidity, condensation/evaporation of water.
(3) Thermal radiation heat transfer (depends on Tabsolute^4) and related physical properties.
(4) Melting, freezing, boiling point of all liquids (e.g. water).
(5) Chemical reactions and combustion processes.
Other than these (and some others I’m sure I missed), absolute temperature doesn’t matter…

Reply to  Frank K.
December 24, 2014 7:08 am

Yes, as a first approximation, just to guide policymakers on how to ruin a country.

mib8
Reply to  Frank K.
December 24, 2014 9:10 am

Except that in this case, absolute global mean temperature is not considered as an actual procedural-instrumental measurement of reality, but only “emerges from the models”. So, don’t pay any attention to actual temperature measurements, but only this artifact of the models (absolute global mean temperature) versus that artifact of the models (anomalies from some arbitrarily chosen base-line)?
Help! The fog-machines are overwhelming.

Reply to  Frank K.
December 24, 2014 9:11 am

bingo.

AndyG55
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 24, 2014 12:58 pm

Have you been spending your time at the old ladies home again , Steve ?

December 24, 2014 5:15 am

Gavin appears to be trying to turn AGW debate into a cultural thing. It’s not about temperatures, it is about what we have become accustomed to.

Reply to  Joseph Ryan (@jmotivator)
December 24, 2014 7:10 am

Hadn’t you noticed as climatology became a social science?

Francois GM
Reply to  Joseph Ryan (@jmotivator)
December 25, 2014 4:47 pm

Exactly. This is a great example of post-modern touchy-feely science. If you feel consumerism and industrialization are bad, then science should reflect that. If you feel we’re living within a rape culture environment, science should reflect that as well. And so on …

Tom O
December 24, 2014 5:15 am

” To be clear, no particular absolute global temperature provides a risk to society, it is the change in temperature compared to what we’ve been used to that matters. ”
So what is this change that we need to be concerned with? I lived the first 40 years of my life in the State of Maine where very nearly, the average day time highs tracked the average daytime lows in Phoenix, AZ. I now line in Phoenix. The change in temperature was roughly 35 degrees F for summer highs and 55 degrees F for winter lows. Granted, that is not a world wide change, but I don’t think a 3 degree shift in temperature is going to be a crisis for most people on Earth or the animals and plants that survive here. I think the pseudo scientists believe the Earth’s ecology is far more fragile than reality. It appears that “reality,” to them, is about as transparent as their methods and data are to us.

TRM
Reply to  Tom O
December 24, 2014 8:09 am

Exactly! The absolute global temperature is no risk but the change from what “we’re used to” is? WTF?
Serious question for Gavin: Used to over what time frame? The last 12,000 years? 6000? 2000? 150?
After this year’s el-Nino petered out I’m thinking they are all in duck and cover mode for next year’s la-Nina.

Admin
December 24, 2014 5:21 am

What change in temperature?
:->

Jim G
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 24, 2014 7:24 am

More to the point, change FROM what?

skorrent1
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 24, 2014 7:52 am

The change in global average of the annual average of the measured local daily average, donchano! Now if we could only figure out the significance of “average temperature” …

Alan Robertson
December 24, 2014 5:26 am

What a Christmas gift to Gavin! Today’s enhanced RC daily click rate should be good for quite a few bragging rights, but oh, what an interesting site… the very next post let’s me understand that Antarctic sea ice increases don’t matter because Polar Bears don’t care and there’s even a handy link to Tamino’s site for even morre twisty- turnies as proof.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 24, 2014 10:04 am

So, we’ll only quadruple their daily visitation rate, then?
Merry Christmas Bob and many thanks for the information and insights you provide.

Ron C.
December 24, 2014 5:28 am

“it is the change in temperature compared to what we’ve been used to that matters.”
I have done some analysis of the temperature change trends in the 42 models in the dataset. The results are interesting.
So the models are estimating monthly global mean temperatures backwards to 1861 and forwards to 2101, a period of 240 years. It seems that the CHIP5 models include 145 years of history to 2005, and 95 years of projections from 2006 onward.
Over the entire time series, the average model has a warming trend of 1.26C per century. This compares to UAH global trend of 1.38C, measured by satellites since 1979.
However, the average model over the same period as UAH shows a rate of +2.15C/cent. Moreover, for the 30 years from 2006 to 2035, the warming rate is projected at 2.28C. These estimates are in contrast to the 145 years of history in the models, where the trend shows as 0.41C per century.
Clearly, the CHIP5 models are programmed for the future to warm more than 5 times the rate as the past.
One wonders what is the evidence for such an increase in projected temperatures.

Reply to  Ron C.
December 24, 2014 7:15 am

M.M.’s hockey stick. There’s the evidence.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Ron C.
December 24, 2014 7:48 am

CMIP, not CHIP. Though I think CHIMP is more appropriate.

TRM
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 24, 2014 8:11 am

As in a monkey and a dart board? Very true.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 24, 2014 4:37 pm

Or an infinite number of monkeys coding an infinite number of computer models. Eventually one of them will come up with 6×9=42.

rd50
December 24, 2014 5:31 am

This is what we need. Finally, our Christmas Gift: No More Anomalies!

Dodgy Geezer
December 24, 2014 5:40 am

@Oatley

1/. Ok, what then is the target average temperature for the earth?
2/. Who are the angels among us who decide that?
3/. If it waivers, who adjudicates the man made response?
4/. What if the guys at say, 40 degrees latitude don’t like the “orders from headquarters”?

He wasn’t a true disciple of the warmist church, then. The correct answers for these questions, as approved by the IPCC, are:
1 – The ‘pre-industrial temperature’ – defined to be 0.75 degC less than today, whatever today is.
2 – This is decided by Al Gore, with advice from Mike Mann, Phil Smith,William Connolley and Tamino.
3 – The correct response is specified by Lord Stern, taking advice from lead authors of the IPCC Report.
4 – If anyone doesn’t like this, their heads will be removed explosively. See 10:10.

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
December 24, 2014 7:18 am

Dodgy, it seems like your sarcasm switch is stuck even worst than mine!

Dodgy Geezer
December 24, 2014 5:44 am

@RonC
…Clearly, the CHIP5 models are programmed for the future to warm more than 5 times the rate as the past.
One wonders what is the evidence for such an increase in projected temperatures….

Simple.
1 – Temperatures were predicted to increase rapidly.
2 – They haven’t, so the heat must be hiding somewhere.
3 – When this hidden heat comes out from behind the sofa, everything will get hotter much faster.
This advance on current thermodynamics theory is brought to you courtesy of Greenpeace….

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
December 24, 2014 7:21 am

It doesn’t have to come out; The sofa, much like the ice caps will melt down and let it out.

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
December 24, 2014 9:56 am

Darn, I must have missed the “Behind the Sofa” paper… but I’m sure it passed “peer review.”

Don B
December 24, 2014 5:46 am

Was the 2 degree tipping point just thrown under the bus?

Reply to  Don B
December 24, 2014 7:22 am

Ouch!

John Peter
December 24, 2014 5:48 am

I thought this chap Heller over at stevengoddard.wordpress.com has been beating the drum on absolute temps rather than anomalies all along and got the thumbs down from Mosher & Co. A slow movement towards absolutes as the 6th January approaches & 114th Congress commences with Inhofe in ascendancy.

Reply to  John Peter
December 24, 2014 9:15 am

wrong.
1. At berkeley we work in absolute temperature.
2. given hellers average approach, he must use anomalies or he will get the wrong answer.
Whether you use anomalies is tied to your METHOD.
Some methods, like Hellers, REQUIRE anomalies.
Other methods, like ours, do NOT require anomalies.
Simply: if you want to average temperatures like heller does, you first must create anomalies otherwise
you will get a biasedd result. However, if you want to estimate the temperature field, then you dont use anomalies.

CC Reader
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 24, 2014 10:49 am

How does BEST differ from the followings?
Another problem arises if people try and combine the (uncertain) absolute values with the (less uncertain) anomalies to create a seemingly precise absolute temperature time series. Recently a WMO press release seemed to suggest that the 2014 temperatures were 14.00ºC plus the 0.57ºC anomaly. Given the different uncertainties though, adding these two numbers is misleading – since the errors on 14.57ºC would be ±0.5ºC as well, making the a bit of a mockery of the last couple of significant figures. – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/12/absolute-temperatures-and-relative-anomalies/#.dpuf

Rienk
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 26, 2014 4:02 am

wrong.
You cannot get a field from point sources unless…. and then you’ll have to use….

jim hogg
December 24, 2014 6:25 am

“the change in temperature compared to what we’ve been used to”… is what matters . . Dead on . . this is the crux of the problem, and every winter, without fail, it hits home . . . And the older I get the harder it hits . . . Up to 80 degrees fahrenheit on summer days and down to less than 30 degrees in January and February . . . but, still, most of us cope . . . Warmer winters? Bring them on . .

michael hart
December 24, 2014 6:36 am

He seems to return us to where we were when I first started taking more notice of the topic in the 1990s. I recall hearing/reading many times that what mattered was not really the absolute temperature but the rate of increase.
And here we are a quarter of a century later, and the temperatures are not increasing rapidly. Goodnight Vienna.

David H
December 24, 2014 6:36 am

It’s constantly a moving target with these guys. Once one of their explanations fails they come up with another.

danallosso
December 24, 2014 6:47 am

Did you mean “you’ll find it interesting” as an example of scientists fine-tuning their ideas about climate and acknowledging the limits of a particular model’s applicability? Or did you mean to suggest that because the model can’t be applied as a universal blanket it’s completely invalid and the “bad guys” were finally admitting this?
In your second cherry-picked quote, the author says “no particular absolute global temperature provides a risk to society, it is the change in temperature compared to what we’ve been used to that matters.” This seems like common sense, if a global number is an average. It is easy to imagine that plus 5C, for example, might not be as devastating to human society in the Sahara as it would be on the Himalayan glaciers.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  danallosso
December 24, 2014 7:44 am

Anyone who expects “the temperature we’ve been used to” to never change, has no common sense. The question is, are changes we’re seeing due primarily, or even measurably, to human industrial activity. We simply don’t know. CO2 went up, but temps went up and down, and even remained static in many places. Therefore we have no evidence of any even minor impact due to CO2. We have no evidence as to whether today’s temps are unprecedented in any way, none.

danallosso
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 24, 2014 8:38 am

But IS that really the question? Or is arguing about the cases of change a way to justify doing nothing? If glacial ice is melting at the headwaters of river systems billions of people depend on for water, for example, does it matter whether it’s AGW or natural variation? Shouldn’t we, in either case, think about the possible effects and prepare?

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 24, 2014 10:14 am

No one ‘gets used to’ an average temperature. If the high for the day is ‘comfortable’ then it is too cold at night and vise versa.
I travel around and the max temps I deal with are over 40 C and the minima well below -30 C. I am not ‘used to’ any of them. I just deal with it.
The idea that ‘rapid change’ is a threat is simple unjustifiable. The changes from summer to winter and back are far more rapid. Mosquitoes and elephants and polar bears survive. Temperatures change and it is just not very alarming. Deal with it.

timg56
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 24, 2014 1:28 pm

danallosso,
RE: If glacial ice is melting at the headwaters of river systems billions of people depend on for water, for example, does it matter whether it’s AGW or natural variation?
First point is that yes it does matter whether it is AGW or natural variation, if the proposed solutions are focused on AGW. It matters where you decide to spend your resources. Do you address the water issue or do you address a “suspected” root cause that may or may not exist? If you go the first route, it doesn’t matter the cause. If you go the second, you have screwed billions of people if you are wrong.
Second point is that you need to be careful in using the glacial headwater example, since knowledgable people know that for some of the most heavily populated basins below glaciers, it is seasonal rainfall, not glacial melt which supplies the majority of fresh water.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 24, 2014 4:41 pm

Danallosso, those glaciers have receded and advanced thousands if not millions of times. We simply have no evidence that now is any different than the countless times before. If we can’t adapt to an ever changing world, then we’re doomed. Purposefully crippling our ability to adapt by crippling economies will doom us faster than a speeding glacier. We should prepare, by adapting, becoming more resilient, not less, by reducing our access to dependable energy.

mpainter
Reply to  danallosso
December 24, 2014 9:43 am

Note “cherry-picked quote” in above comment. This fellow has to reach way down to fetch a sneer at the poster Tisdale.

mebbe
Reply to  danallosso
December 24, 2014 8:12 pm

danallosso
When glacial ice melts, it becomes water. Under the influence of gravity, it flows downhill to a convenient spot where thirsty humans can scoop it up and drink it. If glacial ice does not melt, the people have to hike up the hill and break off bits of ice to chew on. Most people find this exciting the first few times, but it becomes tedious.
Each year, it snows (to varying degree) on the glacier. Some of that snow becomes water the following summer and some of it doesn’t melt for 400 years, but eventually it melts and makes its way to the ocean, carrying giga-buckets of calcium and magnesium that rush to to the rescue of the beleaguered molluscs.
Glaciers do not irrigate fields. Glacial melt does.
I’m really curious to know what a non-cherry-picked quote would be. Would it be some random selection or the entire text?
Or, is the term “cherry-pick” such a reflex utterance that it doesn’t actually have an actual meaning?

danallosso
Reply to  mebbe
December 25, 2014 6:03 am

Yes, mebbe, as long as not too much melts.
Re: cherry picking, since you asked. Generally when we quote, we try to accurately represent what the author said. Then if we disagree, we make our own counterargument. In the case of this article, the author seemed to be saying that although flawed, the model was useful in some circumstances. The cherry picking involved grabbing a couple of lines out of context and suggesting that the author’s words somehow inadvertently prove your point, which was clearly not his intent.
If you think an author is inconsistent and actually does argue against his own point, you need to demonstrate that, not just throw up a couple of quotes and yell “gotcha!”

mebbe
Reply to  mebbe
December 25, 2014 11:22 am

danalloso,
If, as you say, “too much melts”, the timing of the arrival of the water in the valley below might change but, without an alteration of the precipitation volume, the same amount of water flows down the hill.
Initially, of course, as the old ice is melting there is an abundance of water beyond annual precipitation, but this is precisely the melting that you deplore.
Dearth of water can only arise through a reduction of rainfall/snowfall or an inability to store the inconveniently delivered water.
As for quotes; they are what the author said, by definition. These were paragraphs, not partial sentences preceded and followed by ellipses.

Dr Slop
December 24, 2014 6:51 am

Haven’t we had eighteen years to get used to the current temperature?

December 24, 2014 6:55 am

Thanks, Bob. Very interesting Schmidt talk.
I found Aaron Lewis comment very interesting too:
“Ok, the models have done a pretty good job of estimating global temperature anomalies. And, it is nice to be able to give the modelers kudos for a win. (We were not so sure, running card decks in the basement of NCAR in 1964.) However, are GLOBAL temperature anomalies useful in the real world? Did they warn us of the 2007 Arctic sea ice retreat? Did it warn us of the ongoing Antarctic glacier (PIG) bottom melt? All of the real impacts and effects of AGW are local events – weather as it were. People have died in heat waves affected by AGW. However, those people died from the local temperature, and not the average global temperature.”
All climate, weather, is local in its effects. This I’m learning from Jim Steele (Landscapes & Cycles. 2013).
Steele attacks papers on local populations that base their findings on global temperatures and shows how the local temperatures for those studies had in fact been dropping.
Merry Christmas for all!

December 24, 2014 7:06 am

A few points to combat climate alarm and any futile de-carbonisation policies
The last millennium 1000 – 2000 AD was the coldest of the whole of our currently benign Holocene epoch. The Holocene epoch is now about 10,000 years long and coming towards its end. Then there will be an inevitable slide into the next real ice age, whether in this millennium or the next.
According to ice core records, the Holocene “optimum” some 8000 years ago was about 3degC warmer than at present. Prior to that the previous Eemian interglacial epoch peaked at a much higher temperature than has ever occurred in our current epoch. Hippopotami thrived in the Rhine Delta.
The world survived these overheating “disasters”.
see
https://edmhdotme.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/the-temperature-context/
Richard Tol confirms that any modest negative effects of warming could only ever begin at ~+2degC.
And anyway +2degC can never be attained with added CO2 because of the diminishing effectiveness of CO2 as a greenhouse gas with its increasing concentration.
see:
https://edmhdotme.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/the-diminishing-influence-of-increasing-carbon-dioxide-co2-on-temperature/
The UK is currently producing ~1.6% of world CO2 emissions, so any UK efforts at de-carbonisation could never have any discernible impact on global temperature. The annual growth of emissions from China outstrips UK emissions regularly.
see:
https://edmhdotme.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/the-record-of-recent-man-made-co2-emissions-1965-2013/
And take note of what sensible academics have said in formal testimony:
Professor Judith Curry’s of Georgia Institute of Technology Congressional testimony 14/1/2014:
“Motivated by the precautionary principle to avoid dangerous anthropogenic climate change, attempts to modify the climate through reducing CO2 emissions may turn out to be futile. The stagnation in greenhouse warming observed over the past 15+ years demonstrates that CO2 is not a control knob on climate variability on decadal time scales.”
Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT UK parliament committee testimony 28/1/2014 on IPCC AR5:
“Whatever the UK decides to do will have no impact on your climate, but will have a profound impact on your economy. (You are) Trying to solve a problem that may not be a problem by taking actions that you know will hurt your economy.”

Reply to  edhoskins
December 24, 2014 7:29 am

Thanks, Ed. Judith Curry’s and Richard Lindzen’s testimonies are important.
Merry Christmas!

Terry
December 24, 2014 7:07 am

Gee I wonder how the people in Calgary have managed their Chinook’s over the years .Do they have a life expediency lower then the rest of the country ? They never seemed to have ever worried about them . Maybe Lew and Cook should do a paper on the subject ,just so we can have a consensus . A make work projects of sorts .
Merry Christmas everyone .

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Terry
December 24, 2014 10:22 am

Terry, I agree with you there. How have the poor birds managed to deal with. 30 deg C change in 12 hrs?
I think there is no day of the calendar that it NEVER snowed in Edmonton. Yet the trees, forest life and farming carry on decade after decade. Whether anomaly, absolute temp, peaks high or low – it just isn’t supporting an alarming narrative.

mebbe
Reply to  Terry
December 24, 2014 8:30 pm

Terry,
You may have a point, but you’ll note the total absence of pachyderms and marsupials.
In fact, most of the many species of fauna around the world are not to be seen in Calgary. This is probably due to the extreme fluctuations in air temperature on all scales. I barely survive the visits that I occasionally make.

Phil Cartier
December 24, 2014 7:08 am

a most interesting reply on RealScience- #6 Aaron Lewis a few quotes:
“However, are GLOBAL temperature anomalies useful in the real world? Did they warn us of the 2007 Arctic sea ice retreat? Did it warn us of the ongoing Antarctic glacier (PIG) bottom melt? All of the real impacts and effects of AGW are local events – weather as it were. People have died in heat waves affected by AGW. However, those people died from the local temperature, and not the average global temperature.”
“In my culture, the most learned men debated, “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” for centuries. I have come to see modeling global temperature anomalies as a similar pastime. Modeling global temperature anomalies is just a way of delaying answering the real questions of how local conditions will affect the people and infrastructure at that location.”
This hits the nail on the head. Small changes in local temperatures can have big effects on local results- 2in. of rain vs. 2 ft. of snow, or in the summer no rain at all vs. a gulley-washer thunderstorm. Local effects don’t necessarily average out year to year or over distance. Phoenix and Savannah are at the same latitude and won’t respond the same way to small changes in temperature.

Arsten
Reply to  Phil Cartier
December 24, 2014 9:48 am

The problem, though, is that we have no idea how local weather works and how it interacts not only within the region, but how regions interact with each other, negating or amplifying events. On top of that, we don’t know how much of the change is a product of natural variation versus man-made influence. We also don’t know WHAT influences man has had or will have. We have observable effects, like the UHI, which we can’t usefully link to weather in most places and we have effects that are mathematically possible, like the CO2 link to temperature but we can’t usefully link to weather or temperature.
The time scales that we have useful specific data on is extremely short – upto 150 years or thereabouts at the best sites. The California drought, for instance, is occurring in a region that swings between lush and arid. Some historical droughts are estimated to have lasted up to 800 years. So how do we relate this current drought incident back to CO2 that _may_ have slightly accelerated a warm oscillating (warming, cooling, warming, cooling) temperature trend found in the last 150 years?
We can’t. We simply do not have enough data for a comprehensive statistical analysis of natural cyclic weather patterns that could extend for 300 (MWP) to 500 (LIA) years in length. We only have upto 2 complete 60 year cycles for the short term oscillations we’ve identified. Our world-wide data sets are even more temporally constrained – only since the 60s for the longest data sets and as you get more comprehensive/extensive data sets, the time we’ve had them goes down. The ARGO buoy system, for instance, has only been online since 2003/2004.
Metaphorically, we are looking at the headlamp on a vehicle and declaring with certainty that the entire car is made from Aluminum – when the data indicates that the filament is Tungsten.

Arsten
Reply to  Arsten
December 24, 2014 10:02 am

Ehhh. Too strong. Not “No idea” just not enough of an idea to plan more than 7-10 days in advance of. 🙂

danallosso
Reply to  Arsten
December 24, 2014 10:55 am

To extend your metaphor, we’re looking at the headlamp of an oncoming vehicle and arguing over what it’s made of rather than getting put of the way.

Reply to  Arsten
December 24, 2014 11:17 am

…we’re looking at the headlamp of an oncoming vehicle and arguing over what it’s made of rather than getting put of the way.
I am getting SO tired of these wild-eyed scare statements. They are nonsense.
The fact is that there is nothing either unusual or unprecedented happening. Nothing. What we oberve today has happened in the past, repeatedly, and to a much greater degree — and before human emissions were a factor.
This constant crying of “WOLF!!” is the reason the public is starting to point and laugh at the climate alarmist crowd. They believe it’s the end of the world — but as Chicken Little found out, it is nothing but a tiny acorn.
Not even that, really. There is simply NO scientific evidence showing that we need to be alarmed about anything. So please stop emitting the preposterous scare statements. They only prove that you are a foolish person.

mpainter
Reply to  Arsten
December 24, 2014 1:03 pm

Looso is loosing $ on his blog. His reaction will be to ratchet up his alarmism out of desperation. Then one day he will disappear, like the rest.
Looso, look around. All of the alarmist blogs are winking out, one by one. It’s the pause, looso, and now it is fixing to get colder. Cold and hungry?

timg56
Reply to  Arsten
December 24, 2014 1:39 pm

danallosso,
You have it wrong.
We are looking at the on-coming light and arguing whether it is a train or some guy on a bicycle. Or that yes it is the train, but it’s the 7:30 Express which comes through on a regular schedule.
Or there are those like me who argue that in either case, the solution is pretty simple – just step a couple of feet off the track. Those who are sure it is a train and want us to rip up the tracks and build a parallel track for a yet to be developed renewable light weight train that won’t hurt anyone if hit by it are the ones who need to provide hard proof.

Streetcred
Reply to  Arsten
December 24, 2014 4:24 pm

danallosso December 24, 2014 at 10:55 am
That’s your crack headache you’re looking at !

Arsten
Reply to  Arsten
December 24, 2014 8:02 pm

danallosso,
Prove that the oncoming headlamp is a vehicle and not a firefly without having any data on what a “vehicle” or “firefly” is.

David in Cal
December 24, 2014 7:22 am

It’s a shame that scientific papers are written in fancy gobbledygook. Translated to simple English, Gavin makes a couple of good points. We can’t say that one particular global mean absolute temperature is better than another one. However, if the global anomaly is rising at some very fast rate, e.g., 6 degrees C per century, then we have a big problem.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  David in Cal
December 24, 2014 8:34 am

Not necessarily. A great deal depends on the period you use to establish your trend. 6°C per century extrapolated from 10 years of actual data does not impress me. But even if we grant a true century-long rise at that rate it does not follow that we have a “big problem”; we have rather a climate shift for which we have no previous historical experience to serve as a guide. Which means models based strictly on theory (i.e., not validated against any actual experience) probably are not worth much, and really just amount to taking counsel of your fears.
In the history of climate, 100 years is a very short time. In human civilization it is a rather long time. Unless we have a general collapse, it’s a very safe bet in 100 years our ability to adapt will have increased considerably more than the challenges caused by a 6° C rise.

Richard Ilfeld
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
December 24, 2014 9:00 am

This “adaptation” question bothers me a lot. If I see 6 deg warming, or cooling….in most of the US I can drive 600 miles north, or south. Presto – Adaptation. If you live in a temperate climate, there is a slightly warmer or cooler temperate climate that the local population is fully adapted to. Whats the big deal? Farmers will have to plant different seeds, or change their calendars a week or so. we spend a little more, or a little less on Heat and AC? We are a little more or less comfortable on Friday nite at the football game?, or need to play most hockey on indoor rinks?. More storms? So i have a ,02% greater (or less) chance of being hit by a hurricane.
My preparations are identical, my insurance may vary a few dollars. A little less rain in Kansas? I’m already irrigating. A little more in Louisana. The pumps still run the same way. The river is up a down a few inches.
10 % of normal seasonal variation….big deal. And so on.
The only truly rigid and brittle institutions we have to worry about are governments.

danallosso
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
December 24, 2014 11:10 am

Richard says we can drive north. True. Forests can’t though. And losing an agricultural region like California’s Central Valley will not wipe out human civilization in North America. But it will change it.
There’s a belief I see shared by many of my “Free-market” friends that echoes Richard’s conclusion: “the only truly rigid and brittle institutions we have to worry about are governments.” I think recent experience in the US suggests that “big corporate” is as maladaptive and out-of-touch as “big government.”
And incidentally, there are already some people living “up north.” We’re not exactly prepared, I don’t think, for Texas to collectively jump in its car and move up here.

Mark Luhman
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
December 25, 2014 6:33 pm

danallosso Where I grew up in northern Minnesota I live twenty miles from where the Northern forest started, from their it runs fairly uninterrupted to the Arctic circle the funny part about your statement that forest cannot move it in the last glacial period that forest was covered with a mile of ice. There was no Northern forest in North America, The northern part of the North American content was covered with ice. It looked like Greenland does to day, yet today most of what was covered with ice is now forest. I would have to say with that knowledge yes forest can move. Oh by the way I now live in Arizona, back when the glaciers were up north, this desert was a pine forest, it certainly is not now. Like all AGW proponent I really have to question you knowledge on climate and it effects on the environment over the history of earth. Somehow you seem to thing things should not change when the evidence show it changing all the time. I don’t deny climate change, I just find it had to believe we have much affect since we only occupy 3% of the earth surface! top that off on the long view it has always change sometime slower and sometime faster than now. When you can prove we are making the climate change check back to me I will have another question is it going to be better of worst or just different.

Jeff Alberts
December 24, 2014 7:28 am

Since there is no physically meaningful GMT, Gavin’s and this post are pretty much moot.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 24, 2014 9:16 am

yet another person who doesnt understand the meaning of GMT. read more comment less.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 24, 2014 10:31 am

Are you communing with yourself?
If so good luck.
Also merry Christmas.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 24, 2014 6:12 pm

I understand it perfectly. Maybe you don’t. I also understand how to capitalize and punctuate. You obviously don’t.

Frank K.
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 24, 2014 5:39 pm

Jeff is absolutely correct. GMT is thermodynamically meaningless. I invite others to prove otherwise. Merry Christmas.

DHF
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 25, 2014 11:38 am

Would you mind putting forward an argument why and a context in which you do not consider a global mean temperature to be physical meaningful? It is not easy to respond to your assertion.

mpainter
December 24, 2014 7:29 am

According to theory, AGW will be manifested mostly as milder winters in the higher latitudes. The truth is that residents of those areas would benefit greatly. Unfortunately for those folks, AGW has come a bust.
Gavin’s assertion that the “it is the change in temperature compared to what we’ve been used to that matters” is very weak, considering that from summer highs to winter lows people will experience as much as 80°F difference in temperature, and that is the way it’s always been. So we are “used to it”.

milodonharlani
Reply to  mpainter
December 29, 2014 8:03 am

In NE Oregon I}ve experienced 150 degree F swing, from -35 to 115.

Nik
December 24, 2014 7:29 am

I blame the last ice age. It’s been getting warmer ever since.

ferdberple
December 24, 2014 7:29 am

However, the variations in the averages of the model GMT values are quite wide, and indeed, are larger than the changes seen over the last century, and so whether this matters needs to be assessed.
==============
that was the point of my quick min/max analysis of the models. the min/max range in values in the models allows that we could get warming or cooling, regardless of CO2 policy.
We could spend hundreds or trillions of dollars to get rid of CO2, and not have the slightest effect. Money that could have been spent to cure poverty and disease, instead going to tilt at windmills.

ferdberple
Reply to  ferdberple
December 24, 2014 7:36 am

it would appear that Gavin reads WUWT.

MikeN
December 24, 2014 7:47 am

I’m confused. don’t they set the models with initial values that include the current GMT? Then any change in absolute GMT across different models will all be relative to the same base GMT.

Reply to  MikeN
December 24, 2014 9:17 am

you dont initialize a model that way. google GCM spin up.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 24, 2014 12:18 pm

I just googled GCM spin up, and just realized that climate models really don’t seem to have any basis in reality at all; before I assumed the GCMs at least started with some representation of reality.

Frank K.
Reply to  MikeN
December 24, 2014 5:51 pm

Climate models are non-linear initial/boundary value problems. To solve them correctly you must have a proper initial condition. However, that is very difficult in practice to do, so you start the model at an earlier time with fake initial conditions and hope that the “spun up” solution actually represents something physically plausible. Given that the equations, bcs, and source terms are non-linear, and the numerical schemes vary, it’s not surprising that the reported solutions are all over the place, in terms of absolute quantities like temperature and precipitation. Hope this helps.

Steve Oregon
December 24, 2014 8:13 am

Of course Gavin reads WUWT.
They all do. As sure as they read comments on their own stories.
Just as most MSM journalists read various blogs despite their lofty positions.
They can’t resist, it’s a quick way to see what’s going on and often nets good leads and useful information.
Gavin is now Captain Obvious who has essentially advised us that if we come in the from the cold and don’t remove our coat we’ll soon get uncomfortable.
Or something like that there. 🙂

December 24, 2014 8:15 am

tell that to Ice.
getting the absolute temperature correct is important

Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 24, 2014 9:19 am

well I’m glad somebody is finally talking about the absolute temperature issue. I got pretty tired of raising this
issue before.
I see too many skeptics raising silly issues about models and missing the elephant in the room.

ferd berple
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 24, 2014 11:32 am

well I’m glad somebody is finally talking about the absolute temperature issue.
=================
to be fair William Briggs has most definitely mentioned the problem. He has said in no uncertain terms that you do not average first and then analysing the data. I believe Steve Goddard at Real Science has also prointed out the problems with averages and annomalies.
I saw the problem today when I used the 42 models to try and calculate a trend. When I averaged the models there was most definitely a trend. However, the trend went away when I used the underlying raw data without averages. It was actually rather surprising.
This showed me immediately that Briggs is right. Do not use averages to do your analysis, unless of course spurious trends are what you are seeking. If what you need to find is a trend when there is none, then by all means work with averages and annomalies. But what you are practicing isn’t science.

AndyG55
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 24, 2014 1:04 pm

“silly issues about models and missing the elephant in the room.”
Yep, If there was an elephant in the room.. the models would miss it ! 🙂

mebbe
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 24, 2014 10:05 pm

Steven,
So, all those hundreds of comments declaring that molecules are models, that everything is a model, were not analphabetic expressions of indignation? They weren’t instances of compulsive response to banal denigration of your fetish?
You were actually exhorting the people to face the truth about absolute temperature. And not a soul rose to the challenge. No discussion ensued. The skeptics obdurately persisted with their silly vituperation of climate models.
So, here in this thread that was provoked by Gavin’s words about absolute temperature, where people are making comments about anomalies and absolutes, where you “finally” have the attention of silly skeptics, you produce a handful of model replies, a vague response about Berkeley method, and a tribute to yourself.
Why do you not take advantage of this opportunity to clarify the absolute/anomaly issue for the misguided folk that you normally respond to?
Why are you content to be the snide sniper, picking off naive non-combatants from the cover of haughty disdain?

Stu Miller
December 24, 2014 8:16 am

ferd,
Surely you meant …instead of building windmills at which to tilt?

Mike Maguire
December 24, 2014 8:29 am

This has relevance to a little trick that warmists use to negate the so called “hiatus” of the past 16 years or so. You can draw a trendline that starts in 1980 or even better, 1900 and ends today and you will get an impressive upslope that washes out the flat lined shorter term trend over the most recent period(most important period by several orders of magnitude).
If the trend remains steady or even with a slight upslope the next 15 years, you can go back and turn it upwards by using older data from years that have less and less importance.
Even if we cooled slightly in the next 15 years(not my projection) the longer term uptrend can still be maintained by using this method of trend analysis.
In order to completely neutralize this tactic/method of misleading trend drawing from being an effective way to “mask” the lack of recent warming, we would need to have temperatures fall far enough so that compared to several decades ago, they are no longer warmer.

ferd berple
Reply to  Mike Maguire
December 24, 2014 11:34 am

any trend that depends on the choice of endpoints is not a trend.

Jim Francisco
December 24, 2014 8:38 am

How could anyone who has been a participant in a multi trillion dollar worldwide fraud ever admit that they were wrong/guilty?

December 24, 2014 8:58 am

In comment 6 to the RC post, Aaron Lewis wrote: “People have died in heat waves affected by AGW.” I replied:
In discussions of climate change, reports of deaths caused by temperature extremes are highly misleading if only deaths caused by excessively warm temperatures are cited. In a 2014 CDC paper, J. Berko, et al, reported that of deaths attributed to weather, 31 percent resulted from excessive heat and related effects while 63 percent resulted from excessive cold and related effects. (Deaths Attributed to Heat, Cold, and Other Weather Events in the United States, 2006–2010, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr076.pdf)

A C Osborn
December 24, 2014 9:02 am

As others have noted humans are used to up to 80°F difference in temperature over the year, or even 80°F difference in temperature over one day/night cycle in high Deserts and he thinks a degree or two could be dangerous?
They just don’t live in the same world as the rest of us.

ferd berple
Reply to  A C Osborn
December 24, 2014 11:44 am

unprotected humans die of exposure at temps below those of the tropical jungles. there is almost nowhere on earth we can survive without clothing and shelter, the cliamte is just too cold.
humans have no problem cooling so long as their is a source of water. perspiration requires almost zero energy and therefore zero expense, because water is by and large inexpensive, falling as it does from the sky.
however, heating is a huge problem because it requires energy, which is an expense. insulation helps slow cooling, but this requires capital. and ultimately the cost of capital is a further expense.
Thus, cold temperatures represents a threat to the poor, because they involve an expense. While on the other hand, hot temperatures are not a threat to the poor, because they involve little expense.
Thus, Gavin is wrong to suggest the problem with temperature is relative to what you are used to. The true problem with temperature is absolute, in that cold involves and expense while hot does not. Thus, cold will always remain a threat to the poor, while hot does not so long as there is water.
Thus the strategy in trying to take advantage of hot, by trying to take over the world’s fresh water supplies. This is the equivalent of trying to take advantage of cold, by taking over the world’s energy supplies.

Joe Civis
December 24, 2014 10:08 am

hmmmm so he is now saying that because “the temperature we are used to” is changing that creates the problem?? I guess no one ever on the planet has ever traveled from winter time New York to the tropics because of all the problems that would arise from the change from the temperature they are used to. Quick alert all airlines to stop flights especially all the flights carrying the IPCC conference attendees that come from places with different temperatures. What a load of road apples, seems more like Gavin is trying to back away from the “we are all doomed” meme that he has been supporting. Seriously with the temperature change that has been touted to be so damaging to the planet etc. because that is “what we are used to” how does any living thing make it from sunrise to sunset or visa versa each day? Heck how do people make it from indoors to outdoors and back again? Uhhgg!! Makes me wonder if he even reads what he writes, definitely no reality or logic to it in any case.
Mele Kalikimaka!
Joe

ferd berple
Reply to  Joe Civis
December 24, 2014 11:46 am

exactly. it is not what you are used to, it is what you can afford. poor people live in the tropics because the cost of cooling is a supply of water, which is cheap. Rich people live outside the tropics becuase the cost of heating is energy, which is expensive. we can argue about the chicken and egg, and why poor and rich are segregated by lattitude, but the fact remains that they are.

December 24, 2014 10:14 am

So all along then it’s actually been Catastrophically uncomfortable Anthropogenic Global Warming? I did not know that.

Jos
December 24, 2014 10:26 am

Stevens, B., & Schwartz, S. E. (2012). Observing and modeling Earth’s energy flows. Surveys in geophysics, 33(3-4), 779-816.
http://www.bnl.gov/envsci/pubs/pdf/2012/BNL-96154-2012-JA.pdf
Figure 11.

This is what the authors have to say:
Given a globally and annually averaged flow of energy into the Earth system, models would ideally also produce a model state that is consistent with what is observed. In this respect, there is also room for improvement. The pre-industrial control climate can differ substantially among models, even if the flow of energy into the system is prescribed, or tuned to match the best estimate of the observations. This is evident in Fig. 11, which shows simulated global mean temperature over the twentieth century taken from all of the relevant simulations, 58 in total, in the CMIP3 archive. Simulated temperatures at the end of the twentieth century exhibit a range of nearly 3 _C (from 12.8 to 15.5 _C). Most models are biased cold, despite being forced with a total solar irradiance that is now thought to be too large. The multi-model mean temperature is more than 0.5 _C lower than measured, an offset that is comparable to the temperature change observed over the twentieth century. From a certain perspective, the agreement is excellent; errors in temperature of 1 K out of 288 K corresponds to an error of only 0.35 %, albeit somewhat larger (5.5 W m-2 or nearly 1.4 % when translated into an energy flux). However, even such a small temperature error can alter the modeled climate in ways that are as great as the climate change that has occurred over the twentieth century or are projected for the twenty-first century. Such an error would seem to have implications for model projections of climate change; so it is surprising that, despite these differences the models, individually and collectively, still represent the trend in twentieth century temperatures as accurately as they do. This surprise is tempered by a realization that the agreement in the twentieth century temperature trend may also be a reflection of the model development process and the considerable latitude that uncertainty in the aerosol forcing gives model developers in matching the observed temperature trend (Kiehl 2007).

Jos
December 24, 2014 10:27 am

[img]http://i.imgur.com/VxyhzVW.jpg[/img]

Jos
December 24, 2014 10:28 am
Latitude
Reply to  Jos
December 24, 2014 12:50 pm

yep, sorry that even thought it was hind casted to match…it still fell completely apart in 1999
http://www.climatedialogue.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Figure-2-Pielke.jpg

AndyG55
Reply to  Latitude
December 24, 2014 1:17 pm

yep, hindcasting to match a massively adjusted temperature series.
Not much skill in that !

Rainer Bensch
Reply to  Latitude
December 25, 2014 2:09 am

yep, they just took a new base line.

Crispin in Waterloo
December 24, 2014 10:47 am

From a comment above: “However, if the global anomaly is rising at some very fast rate, e.g., 6 degrees C per century, then we have a big problem.”
6 degrees per century is a problem as far as we understand things – but will it continue for. Century? That is a separate question.
The daily change in temperature, say 15 C in 12 hrs, is “30 degrees rise per day” and “210 degrees per week.”
A rate of change is only meaningful in context. The Younger Dryas ‘rate of change’ was enormous but didn’t last long. Negative feedbacks kick in and cloud cool the planet.
Rate of change of an anomaly has another problem. Was the nighttime temperature anomaly responsible for 100% of the change in the average temperature anomaly? That information is hidden when the average is calculated.

ferd berple
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
December 24, 2014 11:52 am

same problem when you average over the globe. most of the temp change has occurred in the arctic, with very little anywhere else. so we are proposing to spend trillions we don’t have to keep the arctic cool? for what benefit? does anyone truly think the arctic is too warm?

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
December 24, 2014 9:43 pm

“Rate of change of an anomaly has another problem. Was the nighttime temperature anomaly responsible for 100% of the change in the average temperature anomaly? That information is hidden when the average is calculated.”
It is from min temps, but it’s not from any trend in day over day change, but regional excursions.

Jason Calley
December 24, 2014 11:07 am

@ Frank K. “Some physical properties and phenomena that are dependent on *** absolute *** temperature: (snip) (3) Thermal radiation heat transfer (depends on Tabsolute^4) and related physical properties.
True, black body radiation goes as T^4 — but Gavin says they have calculated something very different. Absolute Global Mean Temperature does not give a certain specific amount of radiation. Two (or three or four or…) versions of the Earth could all have the same Absolute Global Mean Temperature and each radiate very different amounts of energy from the others. The catch is in that word “mean”. Consider a globe that has the same temperature “T” at all points on the surface. The mean temperature would be the same as the temperature (T) at any given point, and the globe would radiate some certain amount of energy per second. Consider another globe, identical, except that now half the globe is at T+1 and the other half is at T-1. The absolute global mean temperature is the same, but this second globe radiates out more energy per second. That T^4 means that the increase in radiation from the warm side outweighs the drop in radiation from the cool side. The more the surface is differentiated in temperature, the more effective it will be at radiating energy for any given absolute global mean temperature.
I do not know whether the global climate models base their estimates of radiated global energy on mean temperatures or not… but if they do , they are doing it wrong, and low-balling the amount of energy going into space.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Jason Calley
December 24, 2014 3:43 pm

Jason, I have been having a long conversation in my livingroom pondering a reply on exactly this point. An ‘average’ temperature arrived at by area-weighted temperature averaging is useless for calculating the energy radiated. Note that the ‘no atmosphere’ temp is calculated from the input put energy and the emissivity. The average temperature now is a measured and calculated value. Using it and the input energy we can calculate the emissivity. But that is only possible if the average temp is the actual temp, which it is not. The calculation of the energy out based on a known emissivity, or the calculation of the average emissivity (were such a thing meaningful) can only be done by using the initial cell areas and the average temp in each cell, calculated separately and summer because of the huge effect of T^4 on the answers, as you correctly point out.

RACookPE1978
Editor
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
December 24, 2014 4:48 pm

Crispin in Waterloo (replying to Jason Calley.)
Using it and the input energy we can calculate the emissivity. But that is only possible if the average temp is the actual temp, which it is not. The calculation of the energy out based on a known emissivity, or the calculation of the average emissivity (were such a thing meaningful) can only be done by using the initial cell areas and the average temp in each cell, calculated separately and summer because of the huge effect of T^4 on the answers, as you correctly point out.

True: But the LW energy radiated out also requires
(1) (the correct emissivity – which you began. But each “area” requires
(1b) the correct emissivity (farmland, cities and developed areas = not very much actually), desert, jungle, tundra, ice and ice caps and snow, water, forests and taiga, pampas and plains and savannah and steppes, etc.
(1b) AND the correct assumption for total area for that type of surface in each grid AND
(1c) AND the correct assumption for the absolute temperature for that area for that date (or month if you are going to get very crude)
(1d) AND the correct assumption for Tsky (or Tair) that the surface is radiating “up” into from the surface for that day, date, latitude, and hour-of-day
(1e) the correct assumption for the relative humidity, air pressure and/or radiation fudge factor” for that day-of-year, latitude and hour-of-day that makes the “outward radiation” calculation actually work.
Then …
You have to correct the inbound radiation at TOA for its day-of-year variation
AND
the Latitude of the region
AND
total area of the planet being radiated.
Thus, the Arctic sea ice at minimum in Sept 22, for example, is 0.8% of the earth’s surface (3-4 Mkm^2 compared to 510.3 total area.
The latitudes between -45 and +45 latitude is 70.9 percent of the total area.

EternalOptimist
December 24, 2014 11:54 am

Even IF 2 degrees causes a social upset, it’s a price worth paying if we don’t have to listen to these fools any more, and if we get to keep our world heritage sites like the Nazca lines

Ron C.
December 24, 2014 12:01 pm

In presenting the CMIP5 dataset, Willis raised a question about which of the 42 models could be the best one. I put the issue this way: Does one of the CMIP5 models reproduce the temperature history convincingly enough that its projections should be taken seriously?
I have now had time to look at this and can comment based upon analysis of the temperature trends produced by each of the 42 models. To reiterate, the models generate estimates of monthly global mean temperatures in degrees Kelvin backwards to 1861 and forwards to 2101, a period of 240 years. This comprises 145 years of history to 2005, and 95 years of projections from 2006 onwards.
I identified the models that produced an historical trend nearly 0.5K/century over the 145 year period, and those whose trend from 1861 to 2014 was in the same range. Then I looked to see which of the subsets could match the UAH trend 1979 to 2014, and which showed the plateau in the last decade.
Out of these comparisons I am impressed most by the model producing Series 31.
It shows warming 0.52K/century from 1861 to 2014, with a plateau from 2006 to 2014, and 0.91K/century from 1979-2014. It projects 1.0K/century from 2006 to 2035 and 1.35K/century from now to 2101.

Reply to  Ron C.
December 24, 2014 12:16 pm

Thanks for that Ron C.
So is that most impressed, as in very accurate match, or most impressed as least worst?
Without bothering to look for myself, how does series 31 differ from eyeballing a graph of estimated past temperatures?
Is there any way to test series 31’s usefulness as a policy supporting tool?

Ron C.
Reply to  john robertson
December 24, 2014 2:12 pm

The match backwards is not bad. A rise of 0.75 since 1850 is fairly widely accepted (that’s about 0.5/century). Series 31 is a little cooler than UAH since 1979. The projections are modest in comparison with most other models, but I don’t know what assumptions are built in.

Political Junkie
December 24, 2014 12:59 pm

Just a lurker here.
It would be fun to see the top five and the bottom five – even if you only eyeball the matches. Then, if we could get someone knowledgeable to look at the main assumptions behind the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ models, their complexity and cost, etc.
The weeding of the garden has to start somewhere!

Ron C.
Reply to  Political Junkie
December 24, 2014 2:01 pm

Good idea, I will look at that. It seems to be more like Goldilock’s soup problem: Some are too hot, some too cold, and some in the middle (can’t say “just right”). All this is about replicating the history; whether the future is like the past or not is where the argument is.

December 24, 2014 1:25 pm

“To be clear, no particular absolute global temperature provides a risk to society, it is the change in temperature compared to what we’ve been used to that matters.” Accepting change or not? Things should not change or there is always change. They seem to be playing the role of the conservatives.

Reg Nelson
December 24, 2014 4:00 pm

“As an aside, people are often confused by the ‘baseline period’ for the anomalies. In general, the baseline is irrelevant to the long-term trends in the temperatures since it just moves the zero line up and down, without changing the shape of the curve. – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/12/absolute-temperatures-and-relative-anomalies/#sthash.05bunHKx.dpuf” ~ Gavin Schmidt
——————————
I, for one, am never confused by this. The “baseline period” is deliberately chosen to push a “predetermined conclusion”.
It is entirely relevant, because policy makers (and their Gruber minions) only look at the zero line — up or down. The shape of the curve is entirely irrelevant.
Beginning and ending points, adjustments and proxies are all also relevant and often chosen to mislead.

Streetcred
December 24, 2014 4:05 pm

[ … ] it is the change in temperature compared to what we’ve been used to that matters.

It matters nought … plenty of equatorial Africans living in Northern Europe and plenty of Swedes living here in the Antipodes ! What a goose !

Half tide rock
December 24, 2014 11:54 pm

More and more friends have been expressing an interest in fleeing winters in New England. I don’t think it will warm up quickly enough to reverse this experiential trend. Sailers often make up shanties to add a rhythm to repetitive work….Like shoveling the deck! “Oh I wanna go where there ain’t no snow and the water flows out the scupper. Oh I wanna go where there ain’t no snow and the only ice comes with supper. Oh I wanna go four days south bear 278 through Town Cut Bermuda! ” Each refrain keeps up the rhythm of two shovel loads…shanties are very personalized and verses made up to keep the mind above the drudgery. It occurs to me that there should be a shanty for the process of digging out and disposing the piles of CAGW horse muffins.

December 25, 2014 4:04 am

Gavin wrote that global mean temperature anomalies can bei determined with an uncertainty of no more the ± 0.1 K. And cites Jones et al 1999 in order to support this claim. At least 3 papers showed recently that this is wrong. see below. The remaining uncertainty due to their findings ist much higher than any variation of said anomaly.
1:NEW SYSTEMATIC ERRORS IN ANOMALIES OF GLOBAL
MEAN TEMPERATURE TIME-SERIES by Michael Limburg (Germany), ENERGY &
ENVIRONMENT
VOLUME 25 No. 1 2014
2. P. Frank, “Uncertainty in the Global Average Surface Air Temperature Index: A Representative Lower Limit,” Energy & Environment, vol. 21 , no. 8, pp. 969-989, 2010.
3. P. Frank, “Imposed and Neglected Uncertainty in the Global Average Surface Air Temperature Index,” Energy & Environment · , vol. Vol. 22, N, pp. 407-424, 2011.

Athelstan.
December 25, 2014 8:29 am

Global average whatever……temperatures blah bloody blah, Schmidt indubitably: is beating the retreat.
We will remember the Alarmist trouble makers and Schmidt – you were one of the loudest and most raucous. There will be a reckoning, in the US – probably in court.

ferdberple
December 25, 2014 12:19 pm

[ … ] it is the change in temperature compared to what we’ve been used to that matters.
===================
what utter nonsense. If that was the case no one would take a vacation in the tropics. No one would look forward to summer. No one would look forward to the sun coming up in the morning.
One thing is clear “what we’ve been used to” means that humans are able to adapt to a wide range of conditions, because we have people from all over the world, hot and hot that have moved to different countries and climates without any difficulty at all.
According to Gavin’s logic, simply walking outside from inside the house, with the change in temperature would be too much for people. They would all need to stay inside, so that they are not exposed to “the change in temperature compared to what we’ve been used to”.
And this is what passes for Science in the United States.

ferdberple
December 25, 2014 12:30 pm

[ … ] it is the change in temperature compared to what we’ve been used to that matters.
===================
so in other words, people are too stupid to dress for the weather. they are too stupid to put on warm clothing when it is cold outside. they are too stupid to put on cool clothing when it is hot outside. they are too stupid put on waterproof clothing when it is wet outside.
and farmers are also too stupid to plant the correct varieties crops for the local climate and they are too stupid to raise the the correct varieties of animals for the local climate. And heaven forbid the climate was to change in, farmers would be too stupid to recognize the change and make adjustments.
we need scientists like Gavin to prevent any change, because we are all too stupid to deal with change. we are all so inflexible, unable to learn, unable to adapt, unable to respond to temperature change compared to what we’ve been used to.

Latitude
December 25, 2014 4:38 pm

it is the change in temperature compared to what we’ve been used to that matters……that explains the annual migration of the Winnebagos

masInt branch 4 C3I in is
December 25, 2014 5:55 pm

Typical day at GISS for “Dr.” Gavin Schmidt (Lord Warphin/Dr. Lazardo):

Ha ha

John Murphy
December 25, 2014 9:06 pm

And the biased, politically motivated “adjustments”, “infilling”, “homogenization”, and all the rest produce a band that is even wider. It would help if we could trust the honesty of these government minions pretending to be scientists. If I could, I would fire every one of them right down to the guy who has to clean the restrooms. I would start fresh with new people and a mandate to get honest data —- and to be honest about all the problems associated with whatever data we come up with.
How about the non-scientist public servants who keep filling the money trough from our pockets for these pigs to snuffle in?
If I had mine, I’d sack every government employee and start again.
PS Happy Christmas, Anthony. I hope your hearing is still holding up, mate.

Stephen Richards
December 26, 2014 6:09 am

These guys remind me of my old fishing days when eels were in plentiful supply. The only way you could get them off the barbed hook was to cut their heads off. Slimy isn’t the word.

Richard Greene
December 26, 2014 8:41 am

So only the change in temperature matters … well it seems the average temperature went from 56.8 degrees F. in 1880 to 58.1 degrees F. in 2013 (GISS).
.
Thanks “Latitude” for the “132 Thermometers” (132 red lines) chart you pasted in the comment section — that says it all.
.
I have no idea how many “adjustments” were made to the raw surface data, whether the measurements are anywhere near accurate or global, or whether the average temperature of Earth has any importance … although I know it is a statistic that can be compiled in many ways (hundreds?) rather than a single measurement of something.
The 1880 temperature is probably too low since thermometers of that era tend to read low,
and who even knows what the raw data are, and how many measurements were “adjusted”.
.
No one knows what temperature is “normal”, or whether a little warming is good or bad news.
.
No one knows what caused the warming already measured (assuming the data are accurate).
.
Without a jagged anomaly chart showing 0.1 degree temperature changes, scary predictions of the future climate, and some politician claiming life on Earth is going to end as we know it … the average temperature becomes a boring subject to the layman … similar to most science subjects … where scientists calmly collect data, make observations, and do experiments … rather than taking taxpayer dollars to play computer games and make scary wild guess predictions about the future climate … that (heh, heh) requires a lot more study … and more grants!.
.
When absolute temperatures are shown on a chart — a type of chart rarely presented by “skeptics”, and never used by “warmists” — the subject of climate change becomes about as interesting as staring at an outdoor thermometer for an hour.
.
.

David Socrates
Reply to  Richard Greene
December 26, 2014 8:52 am

“The 1880 temperature is probably too low since thermometers of that era tend to read low”

Citation?

Alan Robertson
Reply to  David Socrates
December 26, 2014 4:04 pm

Your search engine doesn’t work?
Ps Your query is a well- known troll trick…

Reply to  David Socrates
December 26, 2014 8:56 pm

Alan Robertson December 26, 2014 at 4:04 pm


Ps Your query is a well- known troll trick…

Say what? Asking for a citation for an unsupported assertion is not a “troll trick” of any kind, it is a perfectly legitimate request.
w.

Ron C.
December 26, 2014 10:07 am

Further to my comment about Series 31 above, I have looked more into the details, and I am less impressed, though it is probably one of the best in the CMIP set. The historical part of the series does not present any plateau, either last century or this one. Moreover, as is typical of all these models, the future is projected to warm at a rate 3 times that in the history up to 2005.

AlexS
December 26, 2014 2:20 pm

“To be clear, no particular absolute global temperature provides a risk to society, it is the change in temperature compared to what we’ve been used to that matters.”
What a poor sloppy scientist…

Erik Aamot
December 27, 2014 2:52 am

.. don’t worry about Gavin
.. he’s still raking in million$ selling DVDs of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth
.. through his RealClimate network of cloned warming alarmist blogs

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