On the futility of climate models: ‘simplistic nonsense’

Guest essay by Leo Smith – elevated from a comment left on WUWT on January 6, 2015 at 2:11 am (h/t to dbs)

edsel-fine-engineering

As an engineer, my first experience of a computer model taught me nearly all I needed to know about models.

I was tasked with designing a high voltage video amplifier to drive a military heads up display featuring a CRT.

Some people suggested I make use of the acoustic coupler to input my design and optimise it with one of the circuit modelling programs they had devised. The results were encouraging, so I built it. The circuit itself was a dismal failure.

Investigation revealed the reason instantly: the model parametrised parasitic capacitance into a simple single value: the reality of semiconductors is that the capacitance varies with applied voltage – an effect made use of in every radio today as the ‘varicap diode’. for small signals this is an acceptable compromise. Over large voltage swings the effect is massively non linear. The model was simply inadequate.

Most of engineering is to design things so that small unpredictable effects are swamped by large predictable ones. Any stable design has to work like that. If it doesn’t, it ain’t stable. Or reproducible.

That leads to a direct piece of engineering wisdom: If a system is not dominated by a few major feedback factors, it ain’t stable. And if it has a regions of stability then perturbing it outside those regions will result in gross instability, and the system will be short lived.

Climate has been in real terms amazingly stable. For millions of years. It has maintained an average of about 282 degrees absolute +- about 5 degrees since forever.

So called ‘Climate science’ relies on net positive feedback to create alarmist views – and that positive feedback is nothing to do with CO2 allegedly: on the contrary it is a temperature change amplifier pure and simple.

If such a feedback existed, any driver of temperature, from a minor change in the suns output, to a volcanic eruption must inevitably trigger massive temperature changes. But it simply never has. Or we wouldn’t be here to spout such nonsense.

With all simple known factors taken care of the basic IPCC style equation boils down to:

∆T = λ.k.log( ∆CO2)

where lambda (λ) is the climate sensitivity that expresses the presupposed propensity of any warming directly attributable to CO2 (k.log(CO2)) radiative forcing and its resultant direct temperature change to be amplified by some unexplained and unknown feedback factor, which is adjusted to match such late 20th century warming as was reasonably certain.

Everyone argues over the value of lambda. No one is arguing over the actual shape of the equation itself.

And that is the sleight of hand of the IPCC…arguments about climate sensitivity are pure misdirection away from the actuality of what is going on.

Consider an alternative:

∆T = k.log( ∆CO2) + f(∆x)

In terms of matching late 20th century warming, this is equally as good, and relies merely on introducing another unknown to replace the unknown lambda, this time not as a multiplier of CO2 driven change, but as a completely independent variable.

Philosophically both have one unknown. There is little to choose between them.

Scientifically both the rise and the pause together fit the second model far better.

Worse, consider some possible mechanisms for what X might be….

∆T = k.log( ∆CO2) + f(∆T).

Let’s say that f(∆T) is in fact a function whose current value depends on non linear and time delayed values of past temperature. So it does indeed represent temperature feedback to create new temperatures!

This is quite close to the IPCC model, but with one important proviso. The overall long term feedback MUST be negative, otherwise temperatures would be massively unstable over geological timescales.

BUT we know that short term fluctuatons of quite significant values – ice ages and warm periods – are also in evidence.

Can long term negative feedback create shorter term instability? Hell yes! If you have enough terms and some time delay, it’s a piece of piss.

The climate has all the elements needed. temperature, and water. Water vapour (greenhouse gas: acts to increase temperatures) clouds (reduce daytime temps, increase night time temps) and ice (massive albedo modifiers: act to reduce temperatures) are functions of sea and air temperature, and sea and air temperature are a function via albedo and greenhouse modifiers, of water vapour concentrations. Better yet, latent heat of ice/water represents massive amounts of energy needed to effect a phase transition at a single temperature. Lots of lovely non-linearity there. Plus huge delays of decadal or multidecadal length in terms of ocean current circulations and melting/freezing of ice sheets and permafrost.

Not to mention continental drift, which adds further water cycle variables into the mix.

Or glaciation that causes falling sea levels, thus exposing more land to lower the albedo where the earth is NOT frozen, and glaciation that strips water vapour out of the air reducing cloud albedo in non glaciated areas.

It’s a massive non linear hugely time delayed negative feedback system. And that’s just water and ice. Before we toss in volcanic action, meteor strikes, continental drift. solar variability, and Milankovitch cycles…

The miracle of AGW is that all this has been simply tossed aside, or considered some kind of constant, or a multiplier of the only driver in town, CO2.

When all you know is linear systems analysis everything looks like a linear system perturbed by an external driver.

When the only driver you have come up with is CO2, everything looks like CO2.

Engineers who have done control system theory are not so arrogant. And can recognise in the irregular sawtooth of ice age temperature record a system that looks remarkably like a nasty multiple (negative) feed back time delayed relaxation oscillator.

Oscillators don’t need external inputs to change, they do that entirely within the feedback that comprises them. Just one electron of thermal noise will start them off.

What examination of the temperature record shows is that glaciation is slow. It takes many many thousands of years as the ice increases before the lowest temperatures are reached, but that positive going temperatures are much faster – we are only 10,000 years out of the last one.

The point finally is this: To an engineer, climate science as the IPCC have it is simplistic nonsense. There are far far better models available, to explain climate change based on the complexity of water interactions with temperature. Unfortunately they are far too complex even for the biggest of computers to be much use in simulating climate. And have no political value anyway, since they will essentially say ‘Climate changes irrespective of human activity, over 100 thousand year major cycles, and within that its simply unpredictable noise due to many factors none of which we have any control over’


UPDATE: An additional and clarifying comment has been posted by Leo Smith on January 6, 2015 at 6:32 pm

Look, this post was elevated (without me being aware…) from a blog comment typed in in a hurry. I accept the formula isn’t quite what I meant, but you get the general idea OK?

If I had known it was going to become a post I’d have taken a lot more care over it.

Not used k where it might confuse,. Spotted that delta log is not the same as log delta..

But the main points stand:

(i) The IPCC ‘formula’ fits the data less well than other equally simple formulae with just as many unknowns.
(ii) The IPCC formula is a linear differential equation.
(iii) There is no reason to doubt that large parts of the radiative/convective thermal cycle/balance of climate are non linear.
(iv) There are good historical reasons to suppose that the overall feedback of the climate system is negative, not positive as the IPCC assumes.
(v) given the number of feedback paths and the lags associated with them, there is more than enough scope in the climate for self generated chaotic quasi-periodic fluctuations to be generated even without any external inputs beyond a steady sun.
(vi) Given the likely shape of the overall real climate equation, there is no hope of anything like a realistic forecast ever being obtained with the current generation of computer systems and mathematical techniques. Chaos style equations are amongst the hardest and most intractable problems we have, and indeed there may well be no final answer to climate change beyond a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil and tipping the climate into a new ice age, or a warm period, depending ;-)
(vii) A point I didn’t make: a chaotic system is never ‘in balance’, and even its average value has little meaning, because its simply a mathematical oddity – a single point on a range where the system never rests – it merely represents a point between the upper and lower bounds; Worse, is system with multiple attractors, it may not even be anywhere near where the systems orbits fr any length of time.

In short my current thinking says :

– there is no such thing as a normal climate, nor does it have a balance that man has disturbed , or could disturb. Its constantly changing and may go anywhere from ice age to seriously warm over extremely long periods of time. It does this all by itself. There need be no external drivers to move it from one attractor to another or cause it to orbit any given attractor. That climate changes is unarguable, that anything beyond climate itself is causing it, is deeply doubtful. That CO2 has a major effect is, on the data, as absurd as claiming that CO2 has no effect at all.

What we are looking at here is very clever misdirection cooked up for economic and political motives: It suited many peoples books to paint CO2 emissions as a scary pollutant, and a chance temporary correlation of rising temperatures and CO2 was combined in a linear way that any third rate scientist could understand to present a plausible formula for scary AGW. I have pointed out that other interpretations of the data make a non scary scenario, and indeed, post the Pause,. actually fit the data better.

Occam’s razor has nothing to say in defence of either.

Poppers falsifiability is no help because the one model – the IPCC – has been falsified. The other can make no predictions beyond ‘change happens all by itself in ways we cannot hope to predict’. So that cannot be falsified. If you want to test Newton’s laws the last experiment you would use is throwing an egg at a spike to predict where the bits of eggshell are going to land….

Net result is climate science isn’t worth spending a plugged nickel on, and we should spend the money on being reasonably ready for moderate climate change in either direction. Some years ago my business partner – ten years my junior wanted to get key man insurance in case I died or fell under a bus. ‘How much for how much’ ‘well you are a smoker, and old, so its a lot’ It was enough in fact to wipe out the annual profits, and the business, twice over. Curiously he is now dead from prostate cancer, and I have survived testicular cancer, and with luck, a blocked coronary artery. Sometimes you just take te risk because insuring against it costs more … if we had been really serious about climate change we would be 100% nuclear by now. It was proven safe technology and dollar for dollar has ten times the carbon reduction impact than renewables. But of course carbon reduction was not the actual game plan. Political control of energy was. Its so much easier and cheaper to bribe governments than compete in a free market…
.

IF – and this is something that should be demonstrable – the dominant feedback terms in the real climate equations are non linear, and multiple and subject to time delay, THEN we have a complex chaotic system that will be in constant more or less unpredictable flux.

And we are pissing in the wind trying to model it with simple linear differential equations and parametrised nonsense.

The whole sleight of hand of the AGW movement has been to convince scientists who do NOT understand non linear control theory, that they didn’t NEED to understand it to model climate, and that any fluctuations MUST be ’caused’ by an externality, and to pick on the most politically and commercially convenient one – CO2 – that resonated with a vastly anti-science and non-commercial sentiment left over from the Cold War ideological battles . AGW is AgitProp, not science. AGW flatters all the worst people into thinking they are more important than they are. To a man every ground roots green movement has taken a government coin, as have the universities, and they are all dancing to the piper who is paid by the unholy aggregation of commercial interest, political power broking and political marketing.

They bought them all. They couldn’t however buy the climate. Mother Nature is not a whore.

Whether AGW is a deliberate fraud, an honest mistake, or mere sloppy ignorant science is moot. At any given level it is one or the other or any combination.

What it really is, is an emotional narrative, geared to flatter the stupid and pander to their bigotry, in order to make them allies in a process that if they knew its intentions, they would utterly oppose,.

Enormous damage to the environment is justified by environmentalists because the Greater Cause says that windmills and solar panels will Save the Planet. Even when its possible to demonstrate that they have almost no effect on emissions at all, and it is deeply doubtful if those emissions are in any way significant anyway.

Green is utterly anti-nuclear. Yet which- even on their own claims – is less harmful, a few hundred tonnes of long lived radionuclides encased in glass and dumped a mile underground, or a billion tonnes of CO2?

Apparently the radiation which hasn’t injured or killed a single person at Fukushima, is far far more dangerous than the CO2, because Germany would rather burn stinking lignite having utterly polluted its rivers in strip mining it, than allow a nuclear power plant to operate inside its borders .

Years ago Roy Harper sang
“You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink
You can lead a man to slaughter, but you’ll never make him think”

 

I had a discussion with a gloomy friend today. We agreed the world is a mess because people don’t think, they follow leaders, trends, emotional narratives, received wisdom.. Never once do they step back and ask, ‘what really is going on here?’. Another acquaintance doing management training in the financial arena chalked up on the whiteboard “Anyone who presages a statement with the words ‘I think’ and then proceeds to regurgitate someone else’s opinions, analysis or received wisdom, will fail this course and be summarily ejected’

And finally Anthony, I am not sure I wanted that post to become an article. I dont want to be someone else’s received wisdom. I want the buggers to start thinking for themselves.

If that means studying control theory systems analysis and chaos mathematics then do it. And form your own opinions.

“Don’t follow leaders, watch your parking meters”

I say people don’t think. Prove me wrong. Don’t believe what I say, do your own analysis. Stop trusting and start thinking.

I’ll leave you with a final chilling thought. Consider the following statement:

“100% of all media ‘news’ and 90% of what is called ‘science’ and an alarming amount of blog material is not what is the case, or even what people think is the case, but what people for reasons of their own, want you to think is the case”

Finally, if I ever get around to finishing it, for those who ask ‘how can it be possible that so many people are caught up in what you claim to be a grand conspiracy or something of that nature?’ I am on the business of writing a philosophical, psychological and social explanation. It entitled ‘convenient lies’ And it shows that bigotry prejudice stupidity and venality are in fact useful techniques for species survival most of the time.

Of course the interesting facet is the ‘Black Swan’ times, when it’s the most dangerous thing in the world.

Following the herd is safer than straying off alone. Unless the herd is approaching the cliff edge and the leaders are more concerned with who is following them than where they are going…

AGW is one of the great dangers facing mankind, not because its true, but because it is widely believed, and demonstrably false.

My analysis of convenient lies shows that they are most dangerous in times of deep social and economic change in society, when the old orthodoxies are simply no good.

I feel more scared these days than at any time in the cold war. Then one felt that no one would be stupid enough to start world war three. Today, I no longer have that conviction. Two generations of social engineering aimed at removing all risk and all need to actually think from society has led to a generation which is stupid enough and smug enough and feels safe enough to utterly destroy western civilisation simply because they take it totally for granted. To them the promotion of the AGW meme is a success story in terms of political and commercial marketing. The fact that where they are taking us over a cliff edge into a new dark age, is something they simply haven’t considered at all.

They have socially engineered risk and dissent out of society. For profit. Leaving behind a population that cannot think for itself, and has no need to. Its told to blindly follow the rules.

Control system theory says that that, unlike the climate, is a deeply unstable situation.

Wake up, smell the coffee. AGW is simply another element in a tendency towards political control of everything, and the subjugation of the individual into the mass of society at large. No decision is to be taken by the individual, all is to be taken by centralised bureaucratic structures – such as the IPCC. The question is, is that a functional and effective way to structure society?

My contention is that its deeply dangerous. It introduces massive and laggy overall centralised feedback, Worse, it introduces a single point of failure. If central government breaks down or falters, people simply do not know what to do any more. No one has the skill or practice in making localised decisions anymore.

The point is to see AGW and the whole greenspin machine as just an aspect of a particular stage in political and societal evolution, and understand it in those terms. Prior to the age of the telegraph and instantaneous communications, government had to be devolved – the lag was too great to pass the decisions back to central authority. Today we think we can, but there is another lag – bureaucratic lag. As well as bureaucratic incompetence.

System theory applied to political systems, gives a really scary prediction. We are on the point of almost total collapse, and we do not have the localised systems in place to replace centralised structures that are utterly dysfunctional. Sooner or later an externality is going to come along that will overwhelm the ability of centralized bureaucracy to deal with it, and it will fail. And nothing else will succeed, because people can no longer think for themselves.

Because they were lazy and let other people do the thinking for them. And paid them huge sums to do it, and accepted the results unquestioningly.

Happy new year

674 thoughts on “On the futility of climate models: ‘simplistic nonsense’

  1. “With all simple known factors taken care of the basic IPCC style equation boils down to:
    ∆T = λ.k.log( ∆CO2)”

    Where do you get this from? Who actually says it? What do they say? Link?

    • Try not to be dense Nick, or dominate the thread with your “racehorse Stokes” nonsense. Once again, being first to comment within a couple of minutes of the posting, it further entrenches my view that you are paid to post comments at climate blogs.

      Given his track record, commenters are encouraged to ignore Mr. Stokes and concentrate on useful discussion.

      • The author wrote: ∆T = λ.k.log( ∆CO2)

        That’s a mistake. It should be the log of the CO2 ratio, or ∆.log( CO2). The rest of the post is reasonable.

      • My only comment to the guest author, is a cautionary one. Given the specific subject matter, your use of (k) as a scale factor is unfortunate. It should be avoided like the plague here unless you DO mean “Boltzmann’s Constant.” Don’t worry, I like using k as a factor too; but I refrain from doing so.

        And in the same vein, perhaps the Greek Lambda should be reserved for wavelength; again to avoid misconstrusion.

        You might edit this and try to avoid particularly thermodynamic looking labels. Tough I know; (h) is that pesky planck’s constant. (j is safe since it is only used as a unit (J) and not a parameter.

        Well you get the idea.

        G

      • “where lambda (λ) is the climate sensitivity that expresses the presupposed propensity of any warming directly attributable to CO2 (k.log(CO2)) radiative forcing and its resultant direct temperature change to be amplified by some unexplained and unknown feedback factor, which is adjusted to match such late 20th century warming as was reasonably certain.”

        This is wrong.

      • A little infilling and homogenization would set it all right, don’t ya imagine?
        Toss out what you don’t like and go with the rest. Simple.

      • Anthony: Unfortunately, Nick only found one of the problems with this post. The worst problem is that Joe Smith has forgotten the most important feedback in climate: Planck Feedback. Planck Feedback is negative. Since climate scientists don’t incorporate positive feedbacks (water vapor, for example) that are bigger than Planck Feedback, Joe’s fears of a runaway greenhouse effect or an unstable climate are groundless (and IMO not suitable for publication at a serious scientific blog).

        Planck Feedback can be understood by asking what should happen to outgoing radiation after the Earth has warmed 1.2 degK – the no-feedbacks climate sensitivity. In the absence of other feedbacks, the total outgoing radiation (OLR plus reflected SWR) should rise by 3.7 W/m2. However, increasing absolute humidity (water vapor feedback) might reduce the rise in OLR+rSWR to say 1.85 W/m2. In that case, the earth would have to warm 2.4 degK to increase total outgoing radiation by 3.7 W/m2 (to compensate for doubling CO2). Then climate sensitivity would be 2.4 degK. If rising humidity and decreasing cloud cover reduced total outgoing radiation to 1.2 W/m2, climate sensitivity would be 3.6 degK. If feedbacks prevented any increase in OLR+rSWR from reaching space, then you’d have a runaway greenhouse effect. If dramatically increasing cloud cover after warming resulted in a 7.4 W/m2 rise in OLR+rSWR, climate sensitivity would be 0.6 degK. Feedbacks that decrease OLR+rSWR are considered to be positive because they increase warming. However, these positive feedbacks are subtracted from the negative Planck feedback.

        Joe Smith’s post is fundamentally flawed because he focuses on small positive feedbacks and has forgotten about the fundamental big negative feedback – Planck feedback – that keeps temperature on our planet under control.

    • Nick, everybody talks about climate sensitivity. They talk about X degrees per doubling of CO2 all the time. The above equation states that exactly.

      • Yes, it’s a definition of sensitivity to CO2. It’s not a claim that that is a sole cause of temperature change.

        The definition is, btw, mis-stated. It should be
        ∆T = λ.k.∆(log( CO2))

        You could define a rule
        ∆Income = λ ∆Overtime
        where λ is the overtime pay rate. It doesn’t mean your only income comes from overtime. It just quantifies how your income will increase if you do more overtime.

        Willis has a good rule here. Quote my words.

      • yea, but if there’s a negative feedback then that equation of income and overtime is incorrect. imagine now that you spend more time on overtime, you cannot spend it on other things. in fact, your happiness is marginally decreasing in hours spent on overtime, so eventually this “negative feedback” means that your utility, or income, does not run away to infinity based on hours of overtime worked.

      • Mpainter

        No the two equations are different and they are not the same.
        ..
        ∆(log( CO2) is not equal to log( ∆CO2)

        The log of a sum (difference) is not equal to the sum (difference) of the logs

      • The correction by Nick Stokes really needs to be highlighted. Otherwise one could be logging a negative number (unlikely at present I know). That’s a definite mathematical no-no.

      • The actual global warming formula Nick according to the IPCC, Hansen, whoever is derived below:

        TempC Anom = 3/ln(2)*ln(CO2 ppm/280 ppm)*C
        TempC = 4.328*ln(CO2ppm/280ppm)*C
        TempC = 4.328*ln(CO2ppm)*C – 4.328ln(280ppm)*C

        TempC= 4.328*ln(CO2)C-24.38*C

        or alternatively derived with the same resulting formula:

        TempC Anom = TempResponse per Forcing * Forcing
        TempC Anom = 0.75C/W/m2 * 5.35*ln(CO2/280)*W/m2
        TempC Anom = 4,328C*ln(CO2/280)

        TempC Anom = 4.328C*ln(CO2) – 24.38C

        You can plug any CO2 ppm number you want into that formula and it will produce the 3.C per doubling of CO2 theory temperature expected.

      • Re Bill Illis

        Nick the modeller gets another spanking.

        Nick: You are exploiting a weakness to misdirect. Well played but not strictly honest.

        Bill: Thanks.

        Leo S: It would have been good to provide a link to the formula and it wouldn’t hurt to add one now. I have no problem with reading a living document updated on the need for additional explanations based on sound comment or misdirection from vested interests. Your explanation is sound and undermines the world of Modellers. Expect push back.

        I am particularly struck by the way you have parsed the models into those that have primary, dominant, known feedbacks vs the others. The most common explanation we hear about chaotic systems is about a butterfly flap causing a hurricane, which means all climate is totally unpredictable. You have provided a much sounder explanation as to why it is unpredictable with current knowledge at human-meaningful time scales.

      • lol, okay, Nick Stokes…

        “Where do you get this from? Who actually says it? What do they say?”

        Nick Stokes (today at 10:40am)

        …………..

        “Yes, it’s a definition of sensitivity to CO2. *** The definition is, btw, mis-stated. It should be ∆T = λ.k.∆(log( CO2)).” Nick Stokes (today at 11:36am)

        Where did you get that from? Who told you that? Some leprechaun?

        Bwah, ha, ha, ha, ha, haaa!

        THANK YOU, MR. STOKES. You are SO much fun!!

        #(:))

      • Nick Stokes

        In reply to Robert Wykoff having written
        Nick, everybody talks about climate sensitivity. They talk about X degrees per doubling of CO2 all the time. The above equation states that exactly
        you have wrtitten

        Yes, it’s a definition of sensitivity to CO2. It’s not a claim that that is a sole cause of temperature change.

        NO and NO.
        It is a definition of sensitivity to CO2 EQUIVALENCE
        and
        it states the resulting alteration to radiative forcing expressed as a change to global temperature which is claimed (e.g. by IPCC) to be the ONLY significant variable affecting radiative forcing since 1950.

        If you insist on picking nits then please choose nits which exist.

        And – as per your request – I have quoted your error verbatim.

        Richard

    • Better yet, Nick Stokes, you prove the equation is NOT correct.

      Mr. Smith, an engineer of fine credentials, has made a reasonable assertion.

      The burden of proving him wrong is on YOU.

      • Here are the climate models at work. They are utter garbage and Nick Stokes is a climate modeller by the way.

        Abstract
        The Key Role of Heavy Precipitation Events in Climate Model Disagreements of Future Annual Precipitation Changes in California
        Climate model simulations disagree on whether future precipitation will increase or decrease over California, which has impeded efforts to anticipate and adapt to human-induced climate change……..Between these conflicting tendencies, 12 projections show drier annual conditions by the 2060s and 13 show wetter. These results are obtained from 16 global general circulation models downscaled with different combinations of dynamical methods…
        http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00766.1

        I’m not done yet. Here is one of our favorite warmists.

        Abstract – 1994
        Naomi Oreskes et al
        Verification, validation, and confirmation of numerical models in the earth sciences
        Verification and validation of numerical models of natural systems is impossible. This is because natural systems are never closed and because model results are always non-unique. Models can be confirmed by the demonstration of agreement between observation and prediction, but confirmation is inherently partial. Complete confirmation is logically precluded by the fallacy of affirming the consequent and by incomplete access to natural phenomena. Models can only be evaluated in relative terms, and their predictive value is always open to question. The primary value of models is heuristic…….

        In some cases, the predictions generated by these models are considered as a basis for public policy decisions: Global circulation models are being used to predict the behavior of the Earth’s climate in response to increased CO2 concentrations;…….

        Finally, we must admit that a model may confirm our biases and support incorrect intuitions. Therefore, models are most useful when they are used to challenge existing formulations, rather than to validate or verify them. Any scientist who is asked to use a model to verify or validate a predetermined result should be suspicious.
        http://acmg.seas.harvard.edu/students/Oreskes_1994.pdf

      • “Nick Stokes is a climate modeller by the way”
        I’ve never been a climate modeller. Computational Fluid Dynamics in a mining/industrial setting was my activity.

      • Nick Stokes
        January 6, 2015 at 11:55 am
        ”I’ve never been a climate modeller. Computational Fluid Dynamics in a mining/industrial setting was my activity.”

        Well Nick, that just makes you seem far more disingenuous. If your are versed in CFD you would know exactly why climate models are all utter garbage. They cannot do CFD in the vertical dimension. The whole point is to model energy flow to and from the surface, and the models can’t do it. They rely on parametrisations for the primary energy transports away from the surface, convection and evaporation. They show warming because they are programmed to show warming.

        Radiative subsidence is a critical component of tropospheric convective circulation. Tropospheric convective circulation would stall and the atmosphere would heat were it not for radiative gases. What do the useless models you defend do? They hold the speed of tropospheric convective circulation constant for increasing radiative gas concentrations so they can fraudulently show near surface warming.

        Here’s some basic CFD for you –

        Which model best represents an atmosphere with radiative cooling at altitude, and which represents just heating and cooling an atmosphere at the surface? Which is running hotter?

      • GCMs do CFD perfectly well in the vertical direction (as do NWPs). They implement the momentum equation. It happens that you can generally ignore vertical acceleration (winds blow generally horizontally, or at least in line with topography), and also the vertical component of viscous stress. What’s left is hydrostatic balance. Some vertical transport due to sub-grid stuff needs to be modelled.

      • WOZ!

        Thank you for taking the time to write that. (blush) No one EVER says things to me like that ….. anymore. Even though I have no idea who you are, you made my day!

      • Nick Stokes
        January 6, 2015 at 3:03 pm
        ”GCMs do CFD perfectly well in the vertical direction (as do NWPs).”
        Garbage Nick, and you know it. You can’t fool anyone with that. Any claim that the GCMs have sufficient vertical resolution (100m cubes), let alone the hardware having the computational power to come close to correctly modelling tropospheric convective circulation is an outright lie. Simple 2D mathematical parametrisations are being used for vertical mass and energy transport between just two or three horizontal layers.

        ”It happens that you can generally ignore vertical acceleration (winds blow generally horizontally, or at least in line with topography), and also the vertical component of viscous stress.”
        Tripe, vertical circulation cannot be ignored or parametrised. No radiative subsidence and tropospheric convective circulation would stall. Add radiative gases and in will increase as will the speed of non-radiative energy transport away from the surface. Your precious climate models ignore radiative subsidence and try to invoke “immaculate convection” so they can show increasing radiative gases causing near surface warming.

        PS. I note you avoided any attempt at answering the simple questions about the CFD model shown above –
        “Which model best represents an atmosphere with radiative cooling at altitude, and which represents just heating and cooling an atmosphere at the surface? Which is running hotter?”

        Buk, Buk Bukcaaaw!

      • Look this post was elevated (without me being aware…) from a blog comment typed in in a hurry. I accept the formula isn’t quite what I meant, but you get the general idea OK?

        If I had known it was going to become a post I’d have taken a lot more care over it.

        Not used k where it might confuse,. Spotted that delta log is not the same as log delta..

        But the main points stand:

        (i) The IPCC ‘formula’ fits the data less well than other equally simple formulae with just as many unknowns.
        (ii) The IPCC formula is a linear differential equation.
        (iii) There is no reason to doubt that large parts of the radiative/convective thermal cycle/balance of climate are non linear.
        (iv) There are good historical reasons to suppose that the overall feedback of the climate system is negative, not positive as the IPCC assumes.
        (v) given the number of feedback paths and the lags associated with them, there is more than enough scope in the climate for self generated chaotic quasi-periodic fluctuations to be generated even without any external inputs beyond a steady sun.
        (vi) Given the likely shape of the overall real climate equation, there is no hope of anything like a realistic forecast ever being obtained with the current generation of computer systems and mathematical techniques. Chaos style equations are amongst the hardest and most intractable problems we have, and indeed there may well be no final answer to climate change beyond a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil and tipping the climate into a new ice age, or a warm period, depending ;-)
        (vii) A point I didn’t make: a chaotic system is never ‘in balance’, and even its average value has little meaning, because its simply a mathematical oddity – a single point on a range where the system never rests – it merely represents a point between the upper and lower bounds; Worse, is system with multiple attractors, it may not even be anywhere near where the systems orbits fr any length of time.

        In short my current thinking says :

        – there is no such thing as a normal climate, nor does it have a balance that man has disturbed , or could disturb. Its constantly changing and may go anywhere from ice age to seriously warm over extremely long periods of time. It does this all by itself. There need be no external drivers to move it from one attractor to another or cause it to orbit any given attractor. That climate changes is unarguable, that anything beyond climate itself is causing it, is deeply doubtful. That CO2 has a major effect is, on the data, as absurd as claiming that CO2 has no effect at all.

        What we are looking at here is very clever misdirection cooked up for economic and political motives: It suited many peoples books to paint CO2 emissions as a scary pollutant, and a chance temporary correlation of rising temperatures and CO2 was combined in a linear way that any third rate scientist could understand to present a plausible formula for scary AGW. I have pointed out that other interpretations of the data make a non scary scenario, and indeed, post the Pause,. actually fit the data better.

        Occam’s razor has nothing to say in defence of either.

        Poppers falsifiability is no help because the one model – the IPCC – has been falsified. The other can make no predictions beyond ‘change happens all by itself in ways we cannot hope to predict’. So that cannot be falsified. If you want to test Newton’s laws the last experiment you would use is throwing an egg at a spike to predict where the bits of eggshell are going to land….

        Net result is climate science isn’t worth spending a plugged nickel on, and we should spend the money on being reasonably ready for moderate climate change in either direction. Some years ago my business partner – ten years my junior wanted to get key man insurance in case I died or fell under a bus. ‘How much for how much’ ‘well you are a smoker, and old, so its a lot’ It was enough in fact to wipe out the annual profits, and the business, twice over. Curiously he is now dead from prostate cancer, and I have survived testicular cancer, and with luck, a blocked coronary artery. Sometimes you just take te risk because insuring against it costs more … if we had been really serious about climate change we would be 100% nuclear by now. It was proven safe technology and dollar for dollar has ten times the carbon reduction impact than renewables. But of course carbon reduction was not the actual game plan. Political control of energy was. Its so much easier and cheaper to bribe governments than compete in a free market…
        .

        IF – and this is something that should be demonstrable – the dominant feedback terms in the real climate equations are non linear, and multiple and subject to time delay, THEN we have a complex chaotic system that will be in constant more or less unpredictable flux.

        And we are pissing in the wind trying to model it with simple linear differential equations and parametrised nonsense.

        The whole sleight of hand of the AGW movement has been to convince scientists who do NOT understand non linear control theory, that they didn’t NEED to understand it to model climate, and that any fluctuations MUST be ’caused’ by an externality, and to pick on the most politically and commercially convenient one – CO2 – that resonated with a vastly anti-science and non-commercial sentiment left over from the Cold War ideological battles . AGW is AgitProp, not science. AGW flatters all the worst people into thinking they are more important than they are. To a man every ground roots green movement has taken a government coin, as have the universities, and they are all dancing to the piper who is paid by the unholy aggregation of commercial interest, political power broking and political marketing.

        They bought them all. They couldn’t however buy the climate. Mother Nature is not a whore.

        Whether AGW is a deliberate fraud, an honest mistake, or mere sloppy ignorant science is moot. At any given level it is one or the other or any combination.

        What it really is, is an emotional narrative, geared to flatter the stupid and pander to their bigotry, in order to make them allies in a process that if they knew its intentions, they would utterly oppose,.

        Enormous damage to the environment is justified by environmentalists because the Greater Cause says that windmills and solar panels will Save the Planet. Even when its possible to demonstrate that they have almost no effect on emissions at all, and it is deeply doubtful if those emissions are in any way significant anyway.

        Green is utterly anti-nuclear. Yet which- even on their own claims – is less harmful, a few hundred tonnes of long lived radionuclides encased in glass and dumped a mile underground, or a billion tonnes of CO2?

        Apparently the radiation which hasn’t injured or killed a single person at Fukushima, is far far more dangerous than the CO2, because Germany would rather burn stinking lignite having utterly polluted its rivers in strip mining it, than allow a nuclear power plant to operate inside its borders .

        Years ago Roy Harper sang
        “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink
        You can lead a man to slaughter, but you’ll never make him think”

        I had a discussion with a gloomy friend today. We agreed the world is a mess because people don’t think, they follow leaders, trends, emotional narratives, received wisdom.. Never once do they step back and ask, ‘what really is going on here?’. Another acquaintance doing management training in the financial arena chalked up on the whiteboard “Anyone who presages a statement with the words ‘I think’ and then proceeds to regurgitate someone else’s opinions, analysis or received wisdom, will fail this course and be summarily ejected’

        And finally Anthony, I am not sure I wanted that post to become an article. I dont want to be someone else’s received wisdom. I want the buggers to start thinking for themselves.

        If that means studying control theory systems analysis and chaos mathematics then do it. And form your own opinions.

        “Don’t follow leaders, watch your parking meters”

        I say people don’t think. Prove me wrong. Don’t believe what I say, do your own analysis. Stop trusting and start thinking.

        I’ll leave you with a final chilling thought. Consider the following statement:

        “100% of all media ‘news’ and 90% of what is called ‘science’ and an alarming amount of blog material is not what is the case, or even what people think is the case, but what people for reasons of their own, want you to think is the case”

        Finally, if I ever get around to finishing it, for those who ask ‘how can it be possible that so many people are caught up in what you claim to be a grand conspiracy or something of that nature?’ I am on the business of writing a philosophical, psychological and social explanation. It entitled ‘convenient lies’ And it shows that bigotry prejudice stupidity and venality are in fact useful techniques for species survival most of the time.

        Of course the interesting facet is the ‘Black Swan’ times, when it’s the most dangerous thing in the world.

        Following the herd is safer than straying off alone. Unless the herd is approaching the cliff edge and the leaders are more concerned with who is following them than where they are going…

        AGW is one of the great dangers facing mankind, not because its true, but because it is widely believed, and demonstrably false.

        My analysis of convenient lies shows that they are most dangerous in times of deep social and economic change in society, when the old orthodoxies are simply no good.

        I feel more scared these days than at any time in the cold war. Then one felt that no one would be stupid enough to start world war three. Today, I no longer have that conviction. Two generations of social engineering aimed at removing all risk and all need to actually think from society has led to a generation which is stupid enough and smug enough and feels safe enough to utterly destroy western civilisation simply because they take it totally for granted. To them the promotion of the AGW meme is a success story in terms of political and commercial marketing. The fact that where they are taking us over a cliff edge into a new dark age, is something they simply haven’t considered at all.

        They have socially engineered risk and dissent out of society. For profit. Leaving behind a population that cannot think for itself, and has no need to. Its told to blindly follow the rules.

        Control system theory says that that, unlike the climate, is a deeply unstable situation.

        Wake up, smell the coffee. AGW is simply another element in a tendency towards political control of everything, and the subjugation of the individual into the mass of society at large. No decision is to be taken by the individual, all is to be taken by centralised bureaucratic structures – such as the IPCC. The question is, is that a functional and effective way to structure society?

        My contention is that its deeply dangerous. It introduces massive and laggy overall centralised feedback, Worse, it introduces a single point of failure. If central government breaks down or falters, people simply do not know what to do any more. No one has the skill or practice in making localised decisions anymore.

        The point is to see AGW and the whole greenspin machine as just an aspect of a particular stage in political and societal evolution, and understand it in those terms. Prior to the age of the telegraph and instantaneous communications, government had to be devolved – the lag was too great to pass the decisions back to central authority. Today we think we can, but there is another lag – bureaucratic lag. As well as bureaucratic incompetence.

        System theory applied to political systems, gives a really scary prediction. We are on the point of almost total collapse, and we do not have the localised systems in place to replace centralised structures that are utterly dysfunctional. Sooner or later an externality is going to come along that will overwhelm the ability of centralized bureaucracy to deal with it, and it will fail. And nothing else will succeed, because people can no longer think for themselves.

        Because they were lazy and let other people do the thinking for them. And paid them huge sums to do it, and accepted the results unquestioningly.

        Happy new year

      • Konrad,
        “Any claim that the GCMs have sufficient vertical resolution (100m cubes), let alone the hardware having the computational power to come close to correctly modelling tropospheric convective circulation is an outright lie. Simple 2D mathematical parametrisations are being used for vertical mass and energy transport between just two or three horizontal layers.”

        Complete nonsense. Here is a GFDL poster. 32 vertical layers. Typically the surface layer is less than 100 m high.

        ” I note you avoided any attempt at answering the simple questions about the CFD model shown above”
        I have no idea what those inscrutable pictures represent.

      • Mr Stokes, you say your qualifications are in fluid dynamics. This puzzles me that you seem to believe in this modelled global warming. The reason it puzzles me is that most of the equations for fluid flow were never able to be used as they gave chaotic results. The puzzle of these equations was solved with chaos maths.

        That said our climate is controlled by all those fluid dynamic equations including the chaos ones that can not use.

        Thus any one who even thinks he can make a realistic equation for our climate is whistling dixie, thus the climate modellers and their predictions are all in fairy La La land.

        From and old engineer who oft found it was better to suck it and see, rather than predict and be made a fool.

      • Curious how Nick through critical minutiae avoids the main thrust of the post, which in my view is simply this…”So called ‘Climate science’ relies on net positive feedback to create alarmist views – and that positive feedback is nothing to do with CO2 allegedly: on the contrary it is a temperature change amplifier pure and simple.”
        ===================================================
        The supposed feedbacks, failing to materialize in the observations, but certainly present in the models, are a.f.a.i.k., primarily or wholly based on positive feedback to ANY increase in GAT. For instance in a typical irrational justification of the failure of the tropospheric hotspot to manifest, CAGW proponents stated that the hot spot should be there for ANY warming. (How this supported, or got the incorrect CAGW prediction off the hook for being wrong, escaped my mental capacity)

        The fact that the earth has not therefore repeatedly and often run up to the predicted catastrophic GAT, is quiet remarkable; almost as remarkable as Nicks ability to distract a thread.

      • Ooh! 32 layers! No Nick, still nowhere near what is needed. Average layer depth in that model is over 1Km. And vertical mixing? Yep, paramitized as always. You fail at flappy hooves.

        Oh and those inscrutable pictures? Who was supposed be the expert in CFD hmmm? Those are just simple 2D CFD models of insulated gas collumns in a gravity field. The first has gas heated at the base and cooled at the top. The second heating and cooling only at the base. Which best represents our atmosphere and which an atmosphere without radiative cooling at altitude? Which is running hotter?

        Easy answer isn’t it Nicky? AGW is a physical impossibility and 97% of climastrologists are assclowns.

      • @ Leo Smith on January 6, 2015 at 6:32 pm

        I am really glad your blog post was published as a seeded article hereon WUWT because I really enjoyed reading it and “Yes”, I did get more than “the general idea” of what you were intent on conveying to the readers of said.

        And no, it wouldn’t have mattered iffen you had taken more care in writing it because the naysayers would then have found fault with your use of “pronouns and prepositions“.

        Anyway, Leo Smith, your above posted commentary was far, far more enjoyable reading than your blog post …. and was “right on the money” in its entirety …. and the part I liked and agreed with the most was, to wit:

        I feel more scared these days than at any time in the cold war. Then one felt that no one would be stupid enough to start world war three. Today, I no longer have that conviction. Two generations of social engineering aimed at removing all risk and all need to actually think from society has led to a generation which is stupid enough and smug enough and feels safe enough to utterly destroy western civilisation simply because they take it totally for granted. To them the promotion of the AGW meme is a success story in terms of political and commercial marketing. The fact that where they are taking us over a cliff edge into a new dark age, is something they simply haven’t considered at all.

        They have socially engineered risk and dissent out of society. For profit. Leaving behind a population that cannot think for itself, and has no need to. Its told to blindly follow the rules.

        System theory applied to political systems, gives a really scary prediction. We are on the point of almost total collapse, and we do not have the localised systems in place to replace centralised structures that are utterly dysfunctional. Sooner or later an externality is going to come along that will overwhelm the ability of centralized bureaucracy to deal with it, and it will fail. And nothing else will succeed, because people can no longer think for themselves

        .

        I fear that the educational “pendulum” has done swung “too far off center to the left” to ever swing back ….. and thus there will be “Hell to pay” when the collapse begins in earnest.

        T’will be like a big flock of chickens when a fox gets inside the chicken coop.Mass hysteria and everyone for themselves.

        Thank you for the commentary, ….. Sam C

    • This equation simply states changes in temperature are a function of changes in CO2.
      I thought that was what you were saying all along. Was I mistaken?

      • My understanding is that the feedbacks which amplify increasing CO2 are all based on the increase in GAT.

        Nick S asserts that the models do not only consider CO2. This is a straw man no one stated. .

    • Mr Stokes may care to read chapter 6.1 of the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (2001), where he will find quite a clear description of the climate-sensitivity method used in climate models. That method, at its simplest, is well represented by the equation in the head posting to which Mr Stokes takes baseless exception. The models’ approach to climate sensitivity is indeed simplistic: and, as a forthcoming paper in a leading science journal will make clear, it is also erroneous.

      Even as the totalitarian political approach to science espoused by Mr Stokes becomes the regrettable norm in academe and in the corridors of impotence, true science is moving on and laughing at those who adhere to the old simplicities. On the evidence, there will not be much more in the way of manmade global warming, and it will certainly not prove catastrophic, regardless of the decisions taken in Paris this December by the world-government wannabes of the UN.

      • So Mr. Stokes takes umbrage with the exact same group he supports. How odd. Yet since he’s a full-time lurker like Anthony suggests, he’s either fixated on this blog or is paid by those he unwittingly skewers. Again, how odd. No wonder Anthony suggests he should be completely ignored.

      • As usual you are wrong, Nick was quite right to criticize such an elementary error. You’re also wrong re the TAR, they explicitly give ∆F = αln(C/C0).

    • CMIP5 models are complex coupled parameterizations of responses to CO2 forcing. Those parameterizations are best guesses to H2O feedback, cloud feedbacks, lapse rate feedbacks, aerosols and ice albedo feedbacks etc. Those guesses are tuned so as to match historic temperature data.

      So don’t kid me Nick this is simple !

    • “With all simple known factors taken care of the basic IPCC style equation boils down to:
      ∆T = λ.k.log( ∆CO2)”

      Where do you get this from? Who actually says it? What do they say? Link?

      He actual says that it “boils down to”. Its his interpretation rather than a quote and while ∆T = λ.k.∆log( CO2) would have been a better description of what it boils down to, it doesn’t take away from the point that he was trying to make. He goes on “∆T = k.log( ∆CO2) + f(∆T)…This is quite close to the IPCC model, but with one important proviso.” I read it as he is pointing out that there is a lot of subjectivity in how to model the second term and that there is a sub-conscious (maybe conscious) tendency to to have it come out as a positive feedback instead of negative.

      • Thank you., Yes, that was a bloggers twitch,. Your explanation is correct from my POV, and the equation was not as I intended it to be, which yours is.

    • Nick as usual you are stuck on stupid. The author asserts that IPCC assertions “boils down” to the equation he states. I hope the high density you demonstrate is feigned, otherwise believing that you are Slipery, I would have to replace that with Stupid

    • “””””…..
      mpainter

      January 6, 2015 at 11:52 am

      Nick, yours is the same as Leo Smith’s.
      You are a slippery sort of fellow, Nick……”””””

      Not really. Leo should have put log(CO2,1 /CO2,2), instead of delta CO2 (ratio, not difference)

      But then maybe Nick’s is wrong too, as delta log (CO2) might be construed as zero.

      I have to wing it without a savvy editor.to write correct maths.

    • From one engineer to another, I say well done. You have hit the nail on the head, regardless of people who are miStoken. All my electronic engineer friends are skeptics, for exacty
      the reasons you stated. In fact, many of them, including me, agree with the slayers that the effect if CO2 on surface air temperatures is zero. And that fits the data!

      • I don’t think there’s any doubt that the slayers have the right bottom line, i.e. zero, but there’s still work to be done on why it’s zero, or essentially zero.

      • Mr Leo Smith, I’ve been thinking about this AGW topic and studying this for a decade now. Especially with regards to your update, your words mirror many of the things i’ve been expressing to friends and colleagues.

        I have experience in my professional career in aerospace with design and analysis of non-linear control systems and when it is appropriate to simplify modeling of such systems to be linear. I couldn’t agree more that the climate of Earth is one big non-linear control system. I believe we have too little knowledge at this point as to what all the forcings and feedbacks of this system are to be able to effectively model it as a simple linear, CO2-driven control system. I do not know anyone who has in-depth knowledge of non-linear control systems that believes in CAGW.

        Most climate scientists seem to have little to no knowledge of even basic control systems theory and physics to be in their chosen field. Seems to me to be that we’ve either educated these people beyond their IQs or that there were too many participation awards in their childhoods to know just how incompetent they are at being scientists. Too many people suited for art and acting erroneously steered by a failing educational system into high-paying-taxpayer-funded climate scientist gigs (to get membership, just repeat after me: CO2 is evil…).

        Bruce

    • Nick Stokes’s question is not as daft as you all seem to think. Leo Smith has posted a nice simple equation which is more or less that used by the IPCC. However what should have been asked is how is this equation used. I very much doubt it is used inside any models to do calculations – the climate models are far more complex than that – but just to check – do any models really use that equation? Also, is the climate sensitivity an input to the models? Because if it is not then arguing about the form of that equation is a red herring.

      • I’ll try and answer that, because its a good question.

        First of all inside the IPCC nothing happens. The IPCCS terms of reference are not to run any models, but to examine the models of other people and to assess the impact of human derived cliamte change, not ever to question its actual existence.

        I repeat,. the IPCC starts from a position of total acceptance that human generated cliamte change is real and is happening and is almost completely dominated by CO2, its job is not to question that at all, its to see what this means to te world. And advise governments.

        It is a massive assumptive close The IPCC is what to do about ‘proven’ climate change, not what climate change is happening.Or why.

        As far as teh other models go, what I believe to be the case is roughly this.

        The models consist in the solution (integration) of that differential equation, over a world sized grid, and attempting to account for other factors like cloud cover and water vapour content, by parametrising them into a large grid.

        This gives localised solutions to the general differential equation. e.g just as dy/dx=2x is a simple differential equation that can be expanded into a parabola which has a y value for every x value, so a generalised climate equation can be expanded to give a three dimensional solution in terms of spatial and temporal co ordinates for temperature.

        The models are therefore trying to predict the future temperature of every point on the earth, using that basic equations as the governing principle,. That equation deosnt tell you about absolute temperatures of course, only about how they are changed by ‘additional CO2’ so they need to start with existing temperatures and run the model forwards and backwards to establish a reasonable constant. And they are not quite so stupid as to pretend that there are not issue of geography and things like mountains and oceans and so on that are gouing to be in the mix as well, so for example if the model shows an overall tropics to pole movement of warm air, they can put in Coriolis to determine heat transfer between grid cells, and if there is a mountain range, stick in adiabatic cooling and so on.

        My point is not that integrating the differential equations is simple, it isn’t. Nor that they have left pout everything that we all know is important. They haven’t. BUT the big big issue is two fold. First of all, is the flow between cells of the grid laminar flow, or is it nasty and turbulent – because that screws up the boundary transfers and makes a mockery of any attempt to predict it – you can only map a turbulent flow by going to a cell size below the major turbulence. Secondly, what justification do they have for the feedback they need to apply to map the actual radiative equation for CO2 onto observed climate change? This is an enormous fudge factor., What they are saying boils down to a need to introduce positive temperature feedback to make the models come anywhere near late 20th century warming if the changes then are solely due to the impact of CO2.

        The logic goes like this

        After having accounted for all the simple things that affect climate, we assume that climate should be stable and is represented by a smooth linear differential equation – which the radiative aspect surely is, then mutatis mutandis, if the temperature starts rising, something external to the system as it is understood must be causing it. So we look for some externality that is more or less correlated with late 20th century warming and decide that CO2 is a plausible candidate. The physics of CO2 are well understood, so we apply them to the warming, but are puzzled that by itself the CO2 equations dont give anything like the rate of rise that is in fact being experienced.

        It is at this point that I already have three major criticisms. Firstly IIRC about half of the heat loss from the earth’s surface is not due to direct surface radiation to space, such as CO2 intercedes in, but is in fact convection and conduction by colder air and water vapour whose radiative heat loss has been accomplished high in the atmosphere well beyond most of the CO2, and whose presence in the atmosphere as cloud, can radically affect the albedo and indeed heat loss and gain at lower altitudes. Its a massive elephant in the climate room, this water vapour. Its localised, its non linear and its effect can be warning or cooling depending on exactly what is going on. This massive non linear and very turbulent system of heat transfer is if not totally ignored, at least reduced to constant correction terms in the grid data. This is simply not good enough. What we have is what we are pretty damned sure is at least 50% of the surface loss being modelled very badly indeed. So the model is inherently not good enough at that level. Secondly, there is absolutely no justification for saying that just because you thought it was all a lineår equation, because that’s the easier sums to do – even for a billion dollar super computer – and therefore there must be an externality forcing climate to create warming, does not make it so. And that is the crucial point. The whole AGW argument is based on this chain of logic. Whatever the climate equations is, it’s some form of linear differential equation and therefore if climate changes some external forcing is happening to make it do that thing. And the only thing we can find that is external and correlates is CO2, ergo we will fudge the ‘feedback’ to make the basic physics fit the observed warming. And that’s what they did. And Lo, it was deeply scary.

        The possibility that it was something other than CO2, or worse, that the overall equation was non linear, in which case you dont need an externality at all, was simply brushed aside, ostensibly because even if they were totally wrong the chance that they might be right was so scary that it was fully justified in behaving as though they were right down to complete suppression of all dissent.

        So the answer to your question is that yes, the actual modelling is way more complex than that one equation BUT that that one equations is assumed to be the only externality that ’causes’ climate change in an other wise smooth and stable climate system that can be represented buy a simple set of radiative equations.

        What they have in essence is a very complex climate model based on iterative integration of various differential equations, to which is added a forcing term representing CO2 input, multiplied by some arbitrary constant to make the answer fit the data, or sometimes, they make the data fit the answer. whatever.

        The Pause of course has made it impossible to find a constant that fits all the data. either it fits late 20th century or it fits 21st century, never both. The correlations between CO2 and temp rise has simply broken down beyond repair, although they are trying hard by adding more complexity to the models. Its time for a Kuhnian paradigm shift. And the answer is there and its been screamed by so many people other than myself – my only skill perhaps is in making the argument accessible to people who are not well versed in the mathematics of system analysis (not that I am these days, but I remember the general principles) – and that is that once you posit a non linear set of differential equations as governing at least some heat loss from the earth’s surface, the need for an externality to ‘explain’ climate change falls away. The climate system then becomes one whose nature is necessarily constant change regardless of any externality. And whose predictability has become approximately zero with the mathematical and computing tools we currently have at our disposal.

        You can scrap the positive feedback in AGW, at which point your climate sensitivity to CO2 is almost zero, especially if there is inherent negative feedback instead. And the answer to the question of ‘how come it got warmer in the 20th century then ? what caused it? ‘ becomes “It managed to do it all by itself actually. Nothing caused it. Or it caused its itself,. Whatever”. And the next question ‘ok smarty pants what’s it going to do in 20 years time’ becomes ‘I really couldn’t say,. and I would be foolish to predict it, because although my model is not inconsistent with the data, all it tells me is that predicting a future cliamte trajectory is not possible with current tools. End of.’ And that is I think the essence of the climatologists claim that a model that is deeply flawed and nothing to do with reality, but does make predictions, is better than one that is much closer to reality, but doesn’t make any predictions, comes from. I will leave you to judge what better means in this context. Better to get funding with?

        At which point the scary thing about AGW is not that its right, but that its wrong, and huge sums of money have been squandered and millions of lives impacted by senseless activity ostensibly designed to remedy a situation that never in fact existed. But was politically and commercially convenient to act ‘as if’ existed.

        One of my hobbies is desperately trying to understand quantum physics and reading Penrose and the like and trying to remember what very little of tensor calculus I understood back in the day. But one thing I did understand, is that buried in the massive equations and impressive verbiage, what the mathematicians are trying to do is come up with some sort of equations that at least has the right SHAPE to explain quantum interactions. They are nowhere near ones that will make useful predictions at the sorts of levels Penrose is working at. But they may have found some that with work, might one day, hence 10 dimensional string theory etc etc. 10 dimensions are needed to give enough terms to fit all the observed data if strings are your bag, so to speak.

        Climate seems to me to be similar. The simplistic linear differential equations don’t in the end fit, and we know a class of equations that could fit*, but to adopt them takes us away from any possibility of predictability. That’s the end of climate science as a political and social force, if we do.

        *http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navier%E2%80%93Stokes_equations Maths porn alert!

        These are the equations that govern fluid flow. Unlike the basic radiative equations these are fiendishly complex beasts, and only very approximate solutions to specialised cases can be computed. IF surface heat loss is as much governed by fluid dynamics – conduction and convection – as by radiation, then these are the beasts that are involved. Of course all final heat loss from the earth is radiative, but it makes a big difference where that radiation occurs,. If its direct ground radiation to the night sky, then greenhouse gases in the atmosphere make a big difference, If however the heat rises and gets blown away to somewhere else and the radiation occurs higher in the atmosphere and perhaps in a darker place, then greenhouse gases have far less effect on it. Maybe.

      • Leo Smith commented

        If its direct ground radiation to the night sky, then greenhouse gases in the atmosphere make a big difference

        While it is likely measurable, it does not make a big difference, at dusk in clear lower humidity air you can see a 5-10F/hour cooling rate through all of that Co2. What happens is this rapidly cools the ground, as the air above the ground cools, rel humidity climbs, once it gets up around 80% or so the cooling rate drops to a degree or two per hour. Once again Co2’s effects are over ridden by waters.
        Now imagine with an increase of co2 that initial cooling rate slows some, all it does is change how long it takes for the humidity to rise, so it is a self regulating cooling system. This IMO is why increased Co2 hasn’t caused any warming (which if you look at surface data there’s been very little of, modeled GAT is not representative of what is actually happening on the surface)

      • Completely muddled. And still of course no actual links to what the IPCC says, or anything else much outside the rant.

        I’ll start with the last first:
        “The simplistic linear differential equations don’t in the end fit, and we know a class of equations that could fit*, but to adopt them takes us away from any possibility of predictability.

        These are the equations that govern fluid flow”

        I thought this post was based on great ignorance of GCMs. They solve those Navier-Stokes equations.

        “a generalised climate equation can be expanded to give a three dimensional solution in terms of spatial and temporal co ordinates for temperature”
        Nothing like that. They solve the Navier-Stokes equations for fluid flow. That is the core. Heat, moisture etc are convected along, and with heat, also transferred by radiation. They include a radiative model.

        “That equation deosnt tell you about absolute temperatures of course, only about how they are changed by ‘additional CO2′ “
        Nonsense. They work in absolute temperatures. How else could a radiative model function? And they only tell you about additional CO2 if that is varied as a forcing. CO2 is just one of the active gases/aerosols that enter into the radiative model.

        And there is no way they use the simple linear equation you have invoked. There is no place for it anyway. That equation is simply a definition of climate sensitivity as a partial derivative of T wrt log(CO2), used for interpreting model output, among other things.

        “First of all, is the flow between cells of the grid laminar flow, or is it nasty and turbulent – because that screws up the boundary transfers and makes a mockery of any attempt to predict it”
        Like almost all engineering CFD, they use turbulence modelling. There is no problem between cells. There is a well-known issue near the surface (as in all CFD), but there is general modelling needed there for air/sea heat and gas exchange etc.

      • Leo a book perhaps. Reading your last comment by half-way I realized my mental reading voice was a high-pitched fast forward chipmunk squeal. If you do/have write/written I’d be interested. Thanks.

      • Yes, I thought that was the case.
        Though it is tempting to read that equation from left to right and confused that the temperature change is calculated from the sensitivity, it is in fact the other way round. The temperature change is calculated from the models, which involve a lot of physics, some of which is well known like the radiative portion, and some of which is more dubious, and then the results are used to calculate the sensitivity. In other words the sensitivity is part of the output , and that equation is not used how you think it is.

      • Leo, if you think that Penrose and the modern physics gurus are worth studying, you need to reed Jim Baggott’s “Farewell to Reality” before investing much time. He makes the same devastating case against theories that are inherently incapable of predicting anything real that you have made against climate models here.

      • Nick Stokes is right. He actually seems to know something about climate models, whereas Leo Smith does not. The basic differential equation on which models is based is the Navier-Stokes equation, it is non-linear. In the lower troposphere, vertical heat transfer is mostly convective, it only becomes dominated by radiation higher up, especially in the stratosphere. Because of that, and the fact that the atmosphere is optically thick at most IR wavelengths, IR absorption near the surface has little effect, unless it is in one of the atmospheric IR windows. The greenhouse effect is mostly something that happens in the upper troposphere. Climate sensitivity is not input into the models it is output from the models. The models all agree that the climate is stable in the sense that the net feedback is negative. The models all agree that the climate system is very much a chaotic system.

        There is a lot wrong with trying to use the models to predict future climate. But Lea Smith is wrong about almost everything that is wrong.

        If you want to criticize something, you should learn something about it. Unfortunately, that is a bitch with climate science. My biggest single complaint about the field is the lack of introductory articles or texts that are not hugely oversimplified. If someone knows of any, I’d like to get the references.

      • well that’s a very crude way of expressing the..basic thesis, yes :-)
        Its not quite random, though, more chaotic. Pseudo periodic is perhaps a better term . And that’s sad for the Fourier analysts, who will find that instead of a flat or broad spectrum across all frequencies (noise) there is actually some evidence of peaks in the spectrum, but they will not be well defined nor will they be especially meaningful.

      • Pseudoperiodicy is a natural feature of all nonlinear dynamic ‘chaos’. Period doubling, bifurcations, and all that stuff. Just oscillations between various Lorentz ‘strange attractors’.
        Translating to the Bard, much sound and fury, but signifying (almost) nothing.

    • Looking at the poopstorm Nicks comment brought forth, maybe there would be a way to stop other people from replying other than the OP/Anthony/Contributors to the site. Even though the question was aggressive in tone, I was much curious about Leos answer to the question. The twenty some posts that just attack Nicks person before I could get to Leos answer, felt entirely unnecessary for me to read. I am not saying the site should be molded for my viewing pleasure, I am saying that all this borderline “troll” replies are making any kind of discussion between OPs article and questions from readers extremely muddy.

      Ps sorry for the bad english, thanks for the site, Anthony.

    • Nick when one can get a near perfect emulation of the performances of CGMs regarding temperature with a single independent variable model, with a lag, this claim is not unreasonable.

    • That formula depends on the effect that CO2 is supposed to have. A ”fact” yet to be validated by empirical data.

    • Dr. Marler (Jan. 6 at 12:58 pm) is correct. Also, “∆T” is the change in the global temperature at equilibrium and NOT the change in the global temperature. As the change in the global temperature at equilibrium is not observable, whether the relation from the change in the logarithm of the CO2 concentration to the change in the global temperature at equilibrium is a linear functional relation as alleged by the IPCC is non-falsifiable thus unscientific. That it is a linear functional relation is, however, the basis for the claim that our climate can be controlled. This claim is illogical and unscientific.

  2. Excellent. I’ve long advocated that molecular biologists would better understand what they study if they would be required to take a few engineering classes during college. The same holds for climate modelers.

    • That would require molecular biologists to learn scientific rigor & math [&, random sampling and such]. You know that mostly isn’t going to happen or they would already be engineering students. /sarc

  3. Great piece that resonates with my own experience. As an engineer and with plenty of experience in modelling, I couldn’t agree more.

    • Chemical Engineer Pierre Latour on climate control
      Leo Smith’s foundational statement is clarified by chemical engineering control specialist Dr. Pierre R. Latour in a Letter to the Editor, Hydrocarbon Processing, January 2009:

      “Mr. Temple’s (the writer of the other letter to editor),counter-claim against my comment about measurable, observable, controllable, stable and robust characteristics of the dynamic, multivariable nonlinear atmospheric temperature control system under design by Kyoto Protocols misunderstands my meaning. These mathematical concepts are part of the foundation of control systems engineering. . .They provide exact necessary and sufficient conditions for these characteristics for all linear systems and some nonlinear systems. I employed some of these for the Apollo command and lunar modules roll-pitch-yaw digital autopilots and lunar rendezvous trajectory designs. . . President John F. Kennedy charged competent control engineers rather than lawyers to design national control systems. All competent refinery control system engineers and thermostat closers should assure themselves these criteria are met before embarking on designing, implementing and closing feedback control systems. . . .
      “The tenuous link between CO2 greenhouse effects and the Earth’s temperature indicates humanity has no effective manipulated variable to control temperature; the steady-state gain dT/dCO2 is almost zero. If so, the system is uncontrollable. Kyoto will fail no matter what the political consensus may be.”

      Furthermore,

      Earth’s temperature is a chemical process system. Review of control system engineering of Earth’s thermostat with anthropogenic CO2 in 1997 proved it will never work because it is an unmeasurable, unobservable and uncontrollable system. CO2 does not affect temperature; temperature affects CO2. There are no greenhouse gases in physics. CO2 is not a pollutant; it is green plant food. Global warming stabilized since 1998

      Pierre Latour Engineering Earth’s thermostat with CO2?, Hydrocarbon Processing Feb. 2010.
      (emphasis added)

  4. Likewise an electronic engineer and I agree that if there were positive feedback in the climate, then the Earth would be burnt to a crisp already. It isn’t.

    • Also an EE. I think your statement is a bit too simplistic. Of course there are positive feedbacks in the climate. But they are dominated by negative feedbacks.

      Almost every electrical circuit has one or more positive feedbacks (poles) at some frequencies and conditions. But if the negative feedbacks predominate, the circuit is stable.

      • I am also an EE. If the net feedback is positive and equal to or more than 1, thermal runaway results.
        If the negative feedback factor is more than one and there is enough delay in the system, oscillation can result.

      • For Richard P.:

        Agree. And when you have multiple plus and minus feedbacks, you get chaotic oscillation. It may look stable at times, and then do something unpredictable. Hmm… almost like Earth’s climate!

        But there seem to be hard limits on how far climate can swing. At least for the past couple billion years.

      • “””””…..
        Richard Petschauer

        January 6, 2015 at 11:52 am

        I am also an EE. If the net feedback is positive and equal to or more than 1, thermal runaway results……”””””

        Why thermal runaway, the system may just latch up, and that could be a low dissipation condition.

        PS I’m NOT an EE

      • > Richard Petschauer
        January 6, 2015 at 11:52 am
        > If the negative feedback factor is more than one and there is enough delay in the system, oscillation can result.

        That could be happening y’know. There is some evidence for 30 year(AMO), 60(PDO) year and longer climate cycles, but no clear notions of what might be causing them — if indeed they aren’t just artifacts imposed on random climate noise by human desire for order.

        > Eustace Cranch
        > But there seem to be hard limits on how far climate can swing. At least for the past couple billion years.

        Generally, yes.
        Quibble: One of the more extreme climate excursions seems to have occurred less than a billion years ago just before multicellular life forms started to appear http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowball_Earth

    • Robert

      As a typical geologist in the private sector, I can tell you that your statement is self-evident. Feedback has to be negative, otherwise life on our planet would have ceased almost before it begun. Do not trust the views of government or NGO geologists on ‘climate change’ as they have to sing from the official alarmist hymn sheet, or there are employment consequences – regrettably, the same applies to almost all scientists in government or NGO employment.

      Unfortunately, those in the employ of the Green Blob, like Nick Stokes, can never admit to the simple truth that feedback has to be negative, something which totally shreds CAGW theory.

      • Has to have been negative is a better formulation. It is at least theoretically possible that anthropogenic activity has created a positive feedback that now predominates. Of course nobody’s actually proven that and are unlikely to prove that anytime soon. To do so, we’d need to know a lot more about the current negative feedbacks and how large they are that we seem to do at present.

      • “Feedback has to be negative, otherwise life on our planet would have ceased almost before it begun.”

        It is ironic that it may become necessary for the climate alarmists to choose between accepting the Biblical 6,000 year old earth, and abandoning the nonsensical crusade that has given their lives meaning.

  5. “Finally we must admit that a model may confirm our biases and support incorrect intuitions. Therefore, models are most useful when they are used to challenge existing formulations, rather than to validate or verify them. Any scientist who is asked to use a model to verify or validate a predetermined result should be suspicious.”

    http://www.likbez.com/AV/CS/Pre01-oreskes.pdf

    Someone just posted that quote and link over at William Briggs’s blog! It’s the concluding statement in a 1994 paper whose lead author was none other than Naomi Oreskes!! Amazing!

  6. Thanks Leo Smith. Its good to have this input from an engineer who knows modeling.
    It is the professional world of engineers who are dedicated to achieving fidelity in models, and the standards are much higher there than in the so-called climate sciences.

  7. Bravo!
    In the 80’s we had a contract to build a system for one of the States Waste Management Authorities. It combined physical units, stress gauges and signal devices communicating using RF data collection and feedback. We did build a model to test our real world scenarios. But despite my firm being primarily composed of computer engineers, we never dreamed of using a computer model. for simulation.

    Rather we chose to build a smaller static hydraulic version of the proposed vehicle mounted unit. Chatting this over recently amongst my crew they all agreed trying to simulate all the parameters and nuances with a computer model would have been out of the question.

    As for trying to simulate something as complex as the Earth’s climate, this would be, as has been proven time and time again over the last two decades, beyond ludicrous..

    • As an ole dinosaur computer designer and programmer of complex system software I hafta agree 100%.

      Any attempt to create a “computer modeling program” to simulate something as complex as the Earth’s climate, ….. (or even local weather for 10 days in advance) ……. which has dozens of randomly generated “input” variables that may or may not have a direct effect at modifying each other depending upon their intensity and time of “input” ….. goes way, way beyond ludicrous.

      • If you are that old, then like me, you must remember in the days before satellite pictures and computer weather models, the best forecasts would go out only 3 days. (around the late 1960’s)…

        Today the 5-day forecasts are quite accurate, and the 10-day is about as accurate as the old 3-day from the 1960’s

  8. As a biomedical engineer and modeller, I think you are dead right.

    The IPCC argument seems to be that additional water vapour in the atmosphere, due to increased CO2 temperature rise, will change the feedback from negative to positive and will create run away warming. Given that Earth has had higher CO2 levels and temperatures in the past without catastrophic temperature rises negates this argument as you point out.

    • rcs : Further to your point is the claim that without CO2 there would be no water vapour in the atmosphere! The implication lies in the claim that water vapour is ‘only a feedback’, something defended with vigour ten years ago.

      It would mean that sublimation would cease without CO2 present. Wow. As soon as it is admitted that water vapour is not ‘only a feedback’ the whole ‘amplification’ argument totters because it is based on it. As the water cycle strips CO2 from the atmosphere continuously it is what is in the Big Sink ocean than drives atmospheric CO2, not the reverse.

    • What is being confused here is a definition of the sensitivity to CO2 forcing, and an assertion that that is the total law governing temperature. That’s why I asked for sources. Your SkS link makes an appropriate caveat:

      “Of course this is just the temperature change we expect to observe from the CO2 radiative forcing. Humans cause numerous other radiative forcings, both positive (e.g. other greenhouse gases) and negative (e.g. sulfate aerosols which block sunlight).”

      • In fairness, I think there’s less of a distinction here than you’re claiming. First, Mr. Smith doesn’t claim the formula is the “total law governing temperature.” In context, he seems to me to be talking about CO2 sensitivity; exactly comparable to the SkS formula. Second, the practical distinction is nearly non-existent. The IPCC has stated, again and again, that anthropogenic forcings (positive and negative) constitute nearly all of the temperature variation we’ve seen.

        I tend to agree with the IPCC more than any other players in the climate discussion, and I understand you do as well. I can’t seem to understand your point here though. If Mr. Smith is indeed discussing CO2 sensitivity (I think he is), what is wrong with his characterization?

      • “First, Mr. Smith doesn’t claim the formula is the “total law governing temperature.”

        Well, he goes on to say
        “Consider an alternative:
        ∆T = k.log( ∆CO2) + f(∆x)”

        But as SkS notes, there is no exclusiveness. ∆T is expected to respond to the sum of many influences. That is why model forcings include volcanoes, solar variations etc.

        T also don’t respond immediately. That is why even the CO2 sensitivity equation has variants for ECS, TCR etc.

      • But Nick, it doesn’t matter if those climate models include all the other factors if they fixate on CO2, which they obviously do. So lying about it doesn’t justify your baseless conclusions.

      • Yet Nick they get it sorely wrong. Gues your list and theirs needs some reality. As the knobs and dials already in there do not predict reality.

      • Nick as always you make a lot of comments, tell us from all your vast knowledge what is going to happen based on your understand of the climate and what the models say. Leo is willing to say that nothing is going to happen that unbalances the system because of the rise in CO2 and deminstrates the reason why. You tell us what is going to happen that way we have something to test your assertion against.

        You will of course duck this request as you ALWAYS do. You are really good at saying what other people don’t know please let us hear what you do know!

  9. If one is looking for an inherently stable system with a negative feedback system they need not look any further than water vapor in our atmosphere. Given that there is an unlimited supply of water any increase in heat energy to the system leads to increasing concentrations of water vapor, which leads to ever increasing heat retention. Classic positive feedback and an unstable system. It does not happen of course because of condensation, cloud formation, reflected solar radiation – a negative feedback system.

    Water vapor swamps the impact of CO2, otherwise our beautiful planet would not be able to sustain life as we know it. Water vapor does not care what the mechanism for heat retention is, it provides the negative feedback whatever the source.

    • Well actually, that is not true.

      Increased water vapor, whether clouds or not, leads to LESS solar energy reaching the surface (mostly water) where it is converted to heat and retained.

      So more water vapor leads to less heat retention, and immediate negative feedback. Ozone also intercepts a significant portion of the incoming solar radiant energy also, leading to surface cooling, and CO2 does also but to a lesser degree.

      The ocean evaporation / cloud formation / precipitation, is in total control of the earth’s surface temperature, via strong negative feedback.

      Too cool, more precipitation, less clouds and vapor, more surface radiant energy, more warming.

      Too warm, more ocean evaporation, more vapor and clouds, less surface radiant energy, less warming.

      • george e smith writes “Too warm, more ocean evaporation, more vapor and clouds, less surface radiant energy, less warming.”

        Whether the warming has come from increased DLR from water vapour or from CO2 makes no difference in this scenario. The negative feedback still exists. AGW enthusiasts would have us believe that increased evaporation resulting in increased clouds results in net positive warming.

        This is climate scientists’ intuition. Engineers’ intuition says otherwise. Desler’s paper (as well as Spencer and others) have fruitlessly tryed to work that out by looking at far too small a data set.

      • The problem is that high cloud at night retains heat by acting to reflect IR back to the surface, Low cloud by day reduces heat input to the surface by reflecting radiation back to space before it gets here. So the net effect of water in the air can be plus or minus. Also consider the higher latitudes where nights can be long and days short,. Winter cloudiness= warmer. The reverse is true in summer.

        Deserts have high temperatures by day – the highest in the world – but they are cold at night, In fact the places with the highest average temperatures are more likely to be humid equatorial regions…

        I don’t have an answer here. I am trying to point out that it simply ain’t that simple,

        It gets worse when you start shuffling continental plates about. Lacking tectonic movement, we would have a world of little land or no land and shallow seas. the albedo of the sea is higher than land so that implies a much colder planet all round. I think that plates all at the poles is the snowball earth scenario? I cant remember. Anyone mapped the fluid dynamics if the molten sub crustal part of the earth? If sea levels did rise a couple of meters, how much land would we lose, and how much higher would the albedo be? Net cooling anyway

        No answers just a huge number of known unknowns and things that climate science doesn’t necessarily model well, that leads only to the conclusions that this science ain’t settled, its massively complex and only a fool with a huge amount of vanity (and probably a beard*) would claim other wise.

        * http://vps.templar.co.uk/Cartoons%20and%20Politics/Beards.png
        A collection of irritating egotists not a few of whom are on the AGW bandwagon. No prizes for identifying them.

      • george e smith writes “I don’t have an answer here. I am trying to point out that it simply ain’t that simple”

        That’s precisely why you cant look at individual effects and intuit which will predominate. You need to look at the problem from another perspective and that is by considering entropy.

        Whatever happens, the earth with adjust its climatic processes to maximise its entropy. Its the law. So it takes the forcing that the increased CO2 will impart and then there are two options. Either the feedbacks will enhance the effect (ie decrease entropy IMO by making the surface even warmer) or it will increase entropy by working to transport that energy up to where it can be radiated away.

        Looking at individual effects and trying to understand what they will each do and how they will interact is a fool’s errand IMO.

      • Leo Smith
        “Deserts have high temperatures by day – the highest in the world – but they are cold at night,”

        May I add: With the same amount of CO2 in the atmosphere
        As I have said before: We live in a “swamp cooler” atmosphere.

      • Clouds, fog and mists are all forms of atmospheric water (H2O) vapor which have collected into larger “droplets” of water and are visible to the naked eye, …. and are the same as humidity which can not be seen with the naked eye. And that is because of the density of the larger “droplets” of water and the fact that any source of visible light (or IR radiation) that strikes them will be absorbed more readily and/or reflected away from them more easily.

        But now the effects of clouds, fogs and mists relative to incoming solar energy and re-emitted energy from the earth’s surface ….. are quite different (extremely more pronounced) than the effects of humidity. Again, this is because of their density (mass).

        Clouds, fogs and mists act as a unidirectional buffer to both the incoming solar energy and the re-radiated IR energy from the earth’s surface. And the best way to explain this is by examples.

        Night time cloud cover or fog will prevent near surface air temperatures from cooling off as fast because they per say buffer the re-radiated energy from the earth’s surface.

        Day time cloud cover or morning fog will prevent near surface air temperatures from warming up as fast because they per say buffer the incoming solar energy.

        And this conundrum is what confuses the ell out of scientists who are trying to calculate “average surface air temperatures” ….. and which wrecks havoc with their Climate Modeling Programs ….. because it is such an important but indeterminate variable. ……. And thus, because they can not accurately calculate their affect, …… they completely ignore and omit said from any of their calculations …… and attempt to CTA by blaming everything on atmospheric CO2.

        Now in the past few years they have attempted to measure the amount of cloud “cover” and estimate its effect on surface temperatures. But as far as I know, no one has ever attempted to measure the amount of fog and mist “coverage” and/or ever attempted to estimate their effect on surface temperatures.

        Fogs, fogs, fogs and mists form everywhere, ….. everywhere, …… when the near-surface air temperature and the humidity (H20 vapor) are in the correct proportions.

        And iffen the truth be known, the yearly total fog and mist “coverage” is probably 2X+ times what the yearly total cloud cover is.

    • Yes,

      and anyone knowing anything about fluid dynamics (computational or otherwise) should easily recognize the similarities, and know that the negative feedbacks will quickly drive any bump in the system back toward the “middle”.

      I have always thought of “converging system” rather than negative feedbacks. If the earth was a diverging system, then statistically, the climate would have “diverged” to another (scary) state of equilibrium before now. A small amount of CO2 increase (yes, it is relatively small) will not and can not cause a divergence to a differing operational state.
      [The “doubling” or the amount of “change” relative to what has been defined as the beginning point is relatively meaningless … that is why the models are crap. Talking about a percent increase just confuses things … what is the overall carrying capacity?]

      It always takes a heck of a lot of additional input to kick a natural system to another state. Based on historic numbers, this current little addition of CO2 is not a significant input to the system.

    • The oceans are more important than the atmosphere. If the oceans didn’t have their extreme volume (relative to the water that Venus and Mars apparently received during the heavy bombardment period), i.e. if they were shallow without cold deep water and slow overturning, the behavior of Earth’s climate would have led to a freeze-over Ice World (even snowball earth would be too nice). The shallow oceans would have frozen to the sea floor. Earth would have gone more like Mars, due to the low output of the sun in it’s first 2 billion years, with no escape due to a lack of atmospheric water vapor to hold heat as the sun warmed.

  10. It all boils down to planetary connection to an astable NE555 circuit, of which we haven’t yet discovered the whereabouts, but predictably will, just before divulgence of the answer, “42”.

    Other than that, Lorenz ’63 applies.

  11. My (inadequate) understanding is the GCM builders don’t contented that the climate has positive feedback in the engineering sense of the term. By positive feedback, they mean less negative feedback than radiation of black body temperature change would imply. They start by saying something like if all other things are equal, a doubling of CO2 would increase temperatures by about 1.1 deg. centigrade. This already has the negative feedback built in it due to increased radiation. Therefore, any increase in temperature due to doubling of CO2 greater than 1.1 deg. is defined as positive (even though it might be negative feedback in the engineer since of the term).

    However, it would seem that as climate sensitive to a doubling of CO2 starts to get to be large (3 deg. and more) at some point you have to be talking about positive feedback in the engineer sense of the term.

    Where is that point? Comments anyone?

    • I think the difference is that there are a number of effects, some additive and some multiplicitive which determine what the total feedback is. Some of them are positive and some negative. In the long run the negative ones must dominate or we wouldn’t be here. Therefore we shouldn’t have a single sensitivity constant.

      BTW, to respond to Nick’s initial question “where do you get this from?” the answer is that Leo is converting a concept into mathematical language. Is Nick able to do the same or not? IMO, if you don’t understand the concept behind an equation, you can’t understand the equation at all. You may be able to use it, but you don’t understand it.

    • Dave in T, the difficulty is in the usage of the term feedback. In climatemodel speak, it is a change in a forcing (a forcing first derivative, so to speak) in response to CO2. Say clouds cool. That is a negative forcing. Now assume that clouds weaken with increased CO2. That would be a positive climate model feedback even though the overall cloud effect is still a negative damper on the climate system, just a bit less so. (BTW, the example posits the IPCC AR5 view of clouds, which is (a) mostly belief driven and (b) likely wrong. See essay Cloudy Clouds in Blowing Smoke.
      .
      In the systems engineering sense, however, clouds are still a negative damper on the overall system, and factor as a net negative into either the lamda version Leo cites, or the 1/(1-f) version Lindzen prefers, of the simple basic climate CO2 sensitivity equations. You can find about ten pages of equation explanations and footnotes in the Climate chapter of The Arts of Truth, vetted by Prof. Curry and partly guest posted on her blog back in 2012.

      • “That would be a positive climate model feedback even though the overall cloud effect is still a negative damper on the climate system, just a bit less so.”

        If clouds weakened with increased CO2 that would be a positive feedback, full stop. The sign of a dynamic feedback depends on the incremental change in forcing in response to an incremental change in the input. In your example, the lingering cooling effect of the clouds is merely a happenstance of initial conditions, or of overall stability. If the system were truly unstable, the cooling effect would quickly disappear, as all cloud cover was stripped away.

        To stabilize a positive feedback, you must have a more powerful stabilizing negative feedback. This, however, is not always feasible. See below.

    • @ David in Texas: January 6, 2015 at 11:06 am

      However, it would seem that as climate sensitive to a doubling of CO2 starts to get to be large (3 deg. and more)

      You could triple the CO2 and it wouldn’t cause a measurable increase in near-surface air temperature.

      The atmospheric H2O vapor (humidity) is always a lot greater than the CO2 and it has more than twice the Specific Heat Capacity as the CO2.

      Iffen 20,000 ppm of H2O vapor (humidity) won’t burn the socks off your feet ….. then 800 ppm of CO2 won’t even warm up your big toe.

  12. ‘a nasty multiple (negative) feed back time delayed relaxation oscillator’.

    You’ve just gotta love that!! If I understood it I would use it – up until relaxation oscillator I was with it all the way

    • mwh: I’ve used this line a few times in blogs, but for the first time I think I’ve found someone – Leo – who would understand that, as tongue-twisting as it is it is only ~90% accurate. And it would take someone like Leo to spot the illogicality of it – especially as it takes me back to hear someone talking about ‘varicaps’ and ‘interstage capacitance’ (steady now!). Other than that, the tongue-twisting phrase is not gobbledygook: It’s Parasitic oscillations due to interstage feedback in the Eccles-Jordan monostable double-diode flip-flop.
      In my early life, training as an electronics engineer, we were urged to know what was going on in that circuit. (It was an impossibility, btw).

      • Thank you Leo. Wiki sometimes puts things very well. I will now spend a day putting that into context. You complain to Anthony that this shouldnt have been put out as a post and that you like people to think for themselves. I beg to differ, posts like yours may be imperfect but look at the discussion it has provoked. Leo – dont be so sensitive this is a blogsite you cant expect fair treatment all the time. Great job I reckon and thanks for posting – I finally am turning my rusty mathematical brain to ‘the’ equation, so you have certainly achieved making me think for myself!!

      • Leo – I agree with mwh and I thank you for your contribution. I’m glad it was elevated to a post – look at all the response. This is much more useful to me than arguing with my neighbors about my letters to the editor.

        I am further thankful for your provision of a shape of the equations, which even I can consider. And your recognition that this is no longer about maths and sciences (although I trust we will continue on here).

        I agree with “No one has the skill or practice in making localised decisions anymore.” and woefully add – no one wants to.

  13. I totally agree. Stable systems are dominated by negative feedbacks. Our water based planet would have roasted long before now if positive water vapour feedback was dominant. It is clearly not. I can never understand why climate experts fail to grasp this.

  14. All the bottom up numerical climate models are useless both because they are inherently incomputable and also because we simply do not understand well enough the physics involved in the various processes and we cannot initialize the various parameters with a grid that is of small enough size and sufficiently precise. Thise simple truths have been obvious ab initio . Yet most of the discussion on this thread continues to discuss things like ECS. radiation balance, etc as though they have some meaning.
    In practice the modelers have known for some time that their models have no skill in forecasting, and they have indeed said so in the WG1 reports. The IPCC AR4 WG1 science section actually acknowledges this fact. Section IPCC AR4 WG1 8.6 deals with forcings, feedbacks and climate sensitivity. The conclusions are in section 8.6.4 which deals with the reliability of the projections. It concludes:
    “Moreover it is not yet clear which tests are critical for constraining the future projections, consequently a set of model metrics that might be used to narrow the range of plausible climate change feedbacks and climate sensitivity has yet to be developed”
    What could be clearer. The IPCC in 2007 said itself that we don’t even know what metrics to put into the models to test their reliability (i.e., we don’t know what future temperatures will be and we can’t calculate the climate sensitivity to CO2). This also begs a further question of what erroneous assumptions (e.g., that CO2 is the main climate driver) went into the “plausible” models to be tested any way.
    Things have not improved much by the time of the AR5 WG1 report which says in FAQ 9.1
    “Although future climate projections cannot be directly evaluated, climate models are based, to a large extent, on verifiable physical principles and are able to reproduce many important aspects of past response to external forcing.”
    The successive uncertainty estimates in the successive “Summary for Policymakers” take no account of the structural uncertainties in the models and almost the entire the range of model outputs probably lays outside the range of the real world future climate variability. By the time of the AR5 report this is obviously the case
    The IPCC has now even given up on estimating CS – the AR5 SPM says ( hidden away in a footnote)

    “No best estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity can now be given because of a lack of agreement on
    values across assessed lines of evidence and studies”
    but paradoxically they still claim that we can dial up a desired temperature by controlling CO2 levels .This is cognitive dissonance so extreme as to be crazy.
    The key factor in making CO2 emission control policy and the basis for the WG2 and 3 sections of AR5 is the climate sensitivity to CO2. By AR5 – WG1 the IPCC itself is saying: (Section 9.7.3.3)
    “The assessed literature suggests that the range of climate sensitivities and transient responses covered by CMIP3/5 cannot be narrowed significantly by constraining the models with observations of the mean climate and variability, consistent with the difficulty of constraining the cloud feedbacks from observations ”
    In plain English, this means that the IPCC contributors have no idea what the climate sensitivity is. Therefore, there is no credible basis for the WG 2 and 3 reports, and the Government policy makers have no empirical scientific basis for the entire UNFCCC process and their economically destructive climate and energy policies.
    We need to stop wasting time going around in circles discussing model based approaches to forecasting and base our forecasts and discussions on the natural cycles so obvious in the temperature data.
    Looking at the Millennial cycle it seems very likely that we are just past a peak in the millennial cycle and can look forward to a 600 year generally cooling trend towards another LIA at about 2600.
    Furthermore the climate discussion needs to move on from discussing a pause to discussing this cooling trend because in fact we have had 11 years of cooling already see
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1980.1/plot/rss/from:1980.1/to:2003.6/trend/plot/rss/from:2003.6/trend
    see my post
    http://climatesense-norpag.blo
    for details and cooling forecasts. This shows that the late 20th century rise is simply the rise to the peak of the millennial cycle which peaked in the RSS series at 2003.6 give or take a couple of weeks no doubt.
    This corresponds to the peak in the solar activity driver seen at about 1991 in Fig 14 of the linked post. There is about a 12 year lag between the driver peak and the RSS peak. The lag will vary according to the climate metric used and the region under consideration.
    Realists might wish to celebrate every anniversary of peak heat which I calculate as 4th July 2003 at about 4pm.( or maybe 3pm!!!!!)

    • To separate a science model from a political one:

      The political model is ∆T = k.log( ∆CO2) ‘cuz that’ll get us down the road we want, but we’ve got to baffle brains so let’s add + f(∆x) and we’ll give out bundles of money to model that holy grail, which they won’t find as Nature has hidden it but they’ll be well occupied in obfuscation, so we’ll have to do it all over again in Paris by which time we’ll have our redistribution Phase I in place for those poor souls in Vermont where it’ll be -20F tomorrow night with no sun shining nor wind blowing.

      It can’t be ∆T = k( ∆anything else) because any other plan such as ∆T = k(∆solar, ocean, earth, cosmic) doesn’t enable us to take over the world’s energy game or provoke the people who we need to help get us to the party plus nothing we can do about those, but about deadly CO2, the sky’s the limit.

      There is no remaining political interest whatsoever in ∆T = k.log( ∆CO2)+ f(∆x), just ∆$.

      • Sadly I can only agree.

        After many years accepting AGW the investigation into the political and commercial relationships to it set off alarm bells in what passes for my brain these days.

        It may not have been designed as a political and economic tool, but it sure was massaged into one very early on.

        It was and remains a most convenient lie for far too many people. And a meal ticket.

    • Excellent defenestration of the IPCC, Leo Smith and Dr. Page.

      And let us note that the IPCC’s confession they are unable to come up with a best estimate of ECS comes after 30+ years of modeling effort and many billions spent on computer modeling according to the orthodox paradigm. Apart from what you have said, their theory and all of their models require and predict an upper tropical tropospheric hotspot that 60 years of balloon data and 35 years of satellite data conclusively show is not there. Modeling is a dead end because the theoretical premises are obviously wrong and the paradigm being modeled is obviously wrong.

    • ‘but paradoxically they still claim that we can dial up a desired temperature by controlling CO2 levels .This is cognitive dissonance so extreme as to be crazy.’

      A large dose of realigning themselves to a new income stream whilst hanging on to the old one, methinks. So probably finacially necessary rather than plum crazy

  15. Engineers have the unhappy task of actually making models they use work by testing results against actuality.

  16. Great post Leo Smith. The fact that we haven’t yet been fried to a crisp, via involvement of water vapour and positive feedback effects acting on temperature perturbations, clearly indicates that there are overarching net negative feedbacks operating in the system. The remarkable stability of temperature of the global climate system over geological time scales attests to that.

  17. http://www.bing.com/search?q=indroduction+.Piocene+climate+processes+and+problems&src=IE-TopResult&FORM=IETR02&conversationid=

    Until the past known climate changes can be explained which they can’t no model is going to have any clue on the future climate.
    The Pliocene warm period 3 to 4 million years ago is such a great example of our lack of knowledge when it comes to the climate. Why was it so much warmer then (some 3.0C warmer) in contrast to today when CO2 concentrations were only slightly higher then today at around 425ppm? What were the reasons for the climate to go from the warm Pliocene to the cold Pleistocene?

    Until climate models can simulate this ,they have no business in being used to predict future climatic conditions going forward based on CO2 increases.

    Anthony a possible topic for future discussion could be why did the climate change from the warm Pliocene to the glaciated Pleistocene. Reason being how can a future forecast be made when even in hindsight no explanations or model simulations can be produced to explain why the climate did what it did in any comprehensive adequate fashion.

  18. Brilliantly readable. What I have learnt in 30 years of commerce is that in the end, the guys who have to make the stuff the salesmen sell perform some near miracles to satisfy the salesman’s portrait of the product. But if it cannot be engineered, it cannot be engineered and salesmen should always qualify the product with the engineer before they make their pitch. Problem in this context, is the salesmen continue to try and sell when the product clearly doesn’t work and would have been well advised to check with the engineers before they started

  19. Any electrical/electronic engineer learns early that positive feedback leads to melt-down (sometimes, literally). The only place it has is in an oscillator, and even then it needs to have some negative feedback applied to limit the positive feedback if you are interested in signal purity.

    I find it totally incomprehensible that anyone with half a brain could believe that the earth has unconstrained positive feedbacks, and that it has survived this long without locking up into a frozen ball of ice or a glowing desert.

    The feedbacks are (obviously, IMHO) negative.

    But, of course, if that is true, CAGW doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

    • Actually, I will modify this to mention another use of positive feedback, one which is probably only familiar to older readers – the regenerative receiver.

      These were common at one point, and worked by having a tuned circuit to select the signal (like a crystal set), followed by an rf amplifier which had a positive feedback circuit. As you increased the positive feedback, the gain increased enormously, as did the selectivity of the receiver.

      Using these receivers was an art. You had to tweak the feedback to amplify the signal for good reception, but not too far, otherwise you rapidly had nothing but a loud squeal, and the receiver turned into a transmitter, annoying neighbors trying to listen for many miles around.

      Anyone that has used one of these will understand just how touchy anything with positive feedback is.

      If you ever find yourself on a planet with positive feedbacks in its climate system, by advice is to get off it as soon as possible!

      • Built several of these as a kid. The super regenerative version was even more impressive in it’s performance. You could get the gain of a five tube radio with one tube. The drawback was that it oscillated in the process and transmitted a strong wideband white noise signal centered at the frequency you were receiving, while you were receiving. It was OK to use in the higher ham bands (6 meters and above), but not neighbor friendly if used in the FM broadcast or TV bands.

      • My first one was a super- regenerative receiver. Designed to be in constant crashing broad band oscillation, and only to step into line when it detected a signal. Almost any signal which was its main drawback. It was for model aeroplanes. In order to ensure I was not subject to ‘adjacent transmitters’ I built a thoroughly illegal 5W transmitter. I could fly with the ‘superhets’ and control any other super regen in the air. And did on more than one occasion when they flew out of range of their commercial 50mW transmitters ‘but are you on my frequency’ ‘I can assure you, it doesn’t matter’.

        The receivers were also capable of chattering gaily to ‘Voice of America’ which was a MHz away or so.

        The transmitter proved massively able to completely (temporarily) destroy any TV within 20 meters too.

        A fact I passed on years later to a friend who had a neighbour given to playing loud music at 3 a.m. A simple time generators and a blagged ex police band transmitter deliberately detuned was enough to almost destroy his loudspeakers. The message eventually got through..

        Who says engineers dont have fun…actually in neighbours my best ever was being kept awake by a nice but noisy bunch of grunts fresh back from the first gulf war…in a fit of frustration I leapt out of bed, without bothering to put on a single thing, and grabbing a very loud firework planted it under their window, lit it, and leapt back to hear the results of a an air burst directly overhead – the language was extremely colourful and I think I heard at least one person ‘taking cover’,

        That did shut them up. We got quite friendly afterwards. They never asked and I never told..

        BTW strictly speaking an oscillator does not have positive feedback., It has delayed negative feedback. It then oscillates at a frequency where the delay is equal to n half cycles of the output waveform.

        And that is the point about time delays and negative feedback,. It makes things oscillate. so given something like the gulf stream which takes what – several years to do the round trip, you will get an oscillation of about twice the delay period in length.

        I dont know how long it takes to thaw a continental ice sheet, but there’s a lovely big delay as well.

        the earth is full of large objects with lots of thermal mass, and not a few of which exhibit extremely non linear responses to temperature. Ice will slowly warm as the temperature rises but lag behind a huge amount, until it starts to melt, and there the temperature will stay until its essentially all melted. There is a huge barrier to get an ice sheet from 0C to 1C and a huge delay. BUT once it starts if its over land, the permafrost will vanish rapidly. As the land absorbs far more sunlight. That could explain the rapid end of ice ages, but I still dont understand why they start. the relaxation oscillator model implies a bistable state with a bit of differential delay. Why does cooling happen more slowly than warming? I dont know.

      • BTW strictly speaking an oscillator does not have positive feedback., It has delayed negative feedback. It then oscillates at a frequency where the delay is equal to n half cycles of the output waveform.

        If you build a Wien bridge oscillator it has both a negative feedback loop and a positive feedback loop with delay, giving a net gain of one (to guarantee it works, slightly more than 1.0 is good). Oscillates nicely with sufficient overall gain but with a gain of 0.99 nothing.

      • Thanks Philip, I was trying to put in to words that exact same thing. As a young tinkerer with chrystal radios, my parents did get the occasional complaint about excessive noise from some where around our house And to Mr. Smith thanks for the post to me it was very understandable and cleared up a lot of fuzzy things, thanks again.

    • It’s rather interesting that most electrical/electronic engineers learned about positive and negative feedback loops long before hearing about climate models … Many of the above-listed comments by EE’s indicate how negative feedback was a design option to restrain uncontrollable positive feed back in non-linear circuits.

    • I worked for forty years as a process control engineer in the oil industry (Big Oil).

      Some positive feedback is used in some control loops but is modulated by time delayed, over-whelming negative feedbacks.

      Overall, the whole plant, e.g. oil refinery, is kept stable by negative feedbacks.

      If this is not the case and positive feedbacks get control, you will soon find that your oil refinery has disappeared off the map. And usually, along with a bunch of workers.

  20. This argument is what drove me to the skeptic side in the first place and it’s one we know with almost no doubt to be true. There has been possibly several occasions where the Earth’s climate system has not been stable, i.e. Permo-Triassic extinction, but for the most part it is a remarkably stable. Calling the climate instable over the past 200 years is akin to saying a slate top pool table top is uneven because you looked at it under an SEM.

  21. Good article. I come from another angle. I have spent more than two decades using computer models to anticipate commodity market price changes. These are also, as the IPCC calls climate, coupled, non-linear chaotic systems. Recently I got into a discussion over at ARS Technica, where I made the point that what was being done was a clear case of curve-fitting a computer model to (poor quality) historical data. I did not receive a good welcome when I pointed out that climate modeling was very similar to what Richard Feynman wrote about and called Cargo Cult Science. In fact, what is being done in the modeling to determine sensitivity factors appears exactly like what Feynman talks about with an example of Millikan measuring the charge on an electron. I referred to Euan Mearns’ blog. I won’t repeat everything here, but if anyone is interested, this is the last page of the ARS Technica comments:
    http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/12/emit-some-co2-its-warming-influence-should-peak-in-about-a-decade/?comments=1&start=160

    • Aging done the same for about the same number of years, IMO, the climate models are worse than the $3,000 commodity trading systems commonly available with parameters or rules tightly fitted to the past.

    • Cargo Cult behavior has been a significant issue in all software development. I may have the details wrong, but the gist is during WWII natives on an island were trained to wave flags to guide incoming planes delivering supplies. The supplies were shared with the appreciative natives. When the war was over the allies and their planes left, but the natives still went out to the runways waving the landing flags expecting the planes to deliver useful supplies as they had in the past. The moral of the story for developers is before you can program a system you have to understand how the system works. Sounds obvious but your would be surprised how much programming can go on with little understanding of what the hell is going on.

      The natives obviously did not understand the relationship between the delivery of supplies and their flag waving. In the same way climate modelers are programming away while having little understanding of the system (climate) they are modeling. A pretty excellent example of Cargo Cult Science.

  22. I am just trying to figure this out. The equation:

    ∆T = λ.k.log( ∆CO2)

    must have some valid region of operation, right?

    Clearly, going from one molecule of CO2 int the atmosphere to two molecules does not produce the same result as going from 250 ppm to 500 ppm.

    Also, isn’t the form of this equation wrong?

    Going from 250 ppm to 300 ppm (delta of 50 ppm) cannot have the same effect as going from 1100 ppm to 1150 ppm, right? What am I missing?

  23. Todd, the log function takes care of the delta.
    Inside the log() can only be a pure number- no units. So a ratio of the CO2. If it goes from 100 to 200 OR from 200 to 4000ppm, both doublings, then the ratio is 200/100=2 or 400/200=2. the same.

    In your example 300/250 does not equal 1150/1100, even though the change is 50ppm.

    This is from the logarithmic form of Beers law. The ratio of intensities is the transmission, but Beer’s law is based on absorbance which is log of the transmittance.

  24. Well explained article in terms even a geologist could understand. I would however, exchange ‘continental drift’ with the term plate tectonics.

      • @Stephen

        Plate Tectonics is the modern term, continents don’t drift, they are components of the lithospheric plates that are driven by Earth’s mantle convection. Leo is spot on to point out that processes associated with plate tectonics have far greater impact to overall ‘climate’ than a singular minor atmospheric compound. Plate tectonics showed how scientists (geologists, physicists, biologists, and oceanographers) pieced together fundamental data, ideas, and many wrong directions (to help identify the right direction) to provide and predict meaningful discovery (and to continue to modify those ideas, without jerry rigging outcomes), something that CO2 driven climate change and climate science in general (in its current format) just can’t seem to do.

    • showing my age. ‘continental drift’ was in my day the hottest and most controversial thing in geography class.

      IT became plate tectonics about that time. In fact reviewing the wiki entry shows that actually plate tectonics was the mechanism that finally explained why contnents did in fact drift.

  25. I’ve just been thirty years into the future and taken a look around. The weather is fine. It was the least of our problems. The biggest obstacle we faced in those three decades was the suffocating self-righteousness of the scientific classes. Fortunately, eventually, we abandoned science when we realised it was nothing but window dressing for the same smug certainties that have always tripped up humankind. I’m right. You’re wrong. You don’t know the basic physics. Why I oughta…..

  26. The futility of climate models is as futile as arguing against AGW alarmists. Whilst we may win every individual argument . AGW propaganda and indoctrination is winning the war. If actual climate results as have occurred over the last 18 years can’t swing the debate in our favour then the discrediting of climate formulations aren’t going to do it either. Unfortunately the population of decision makers who spend our money on this climate nonsense are not listening and only selectively hear arguments that further their own interests. Any logical discussion is ignored.
    If people don’t understand that validation of models can only be proven correct by showing them working in the real world then showing them that their models are wrong isn’t going to do it. Ironically the AGW movement spends most of its time trying to change facts to fit its models. There is no acceptance that their models could be ( and in fact clearly are) wrong. When all the headlines say is that 2014 was a record year ( although it wasn’t ), they should be saying that 2014 was another year of climate model failures.
    No amount of disproving of models is going to stop the determination of the AGW alarmists to push their agenda.

    • You have a vote. Use it. You have a voice. Use it in places like op eds and letters to your representatives. When Naomi Oreskes babbles in the NYT about loosening evidentiary standards, you may be sure reality (pause, polar ice, sea level, polar bears, busted Energiewende in Germany, …) is finally catching up to warmunist propaganda. It is just that there is a ways to go yet given all the vested reputational and financial interests in CAGW. Rome was not built in a day. CAGW won’t be unbuilt in a day, either.

    • I think you make a very good point David S. I have been trying to figure out how this horror story can be stopped. Arguing the science is not working. Maybe some kind of amnesty period for the lead CAGW people. A guaranteed job of equal pay. I know we would like to see them punished for the harm they have caused but just as punishing Germany after WW1 did not turn out well they should be offered a way out before they cause any more harm.

    • Sadly, the only thing that may bring this immoral nonsense to an end is sustained global cooling….

      Or would it? My guess is that the vast majority of people don’t actually know there has been no warming in this century. Simply by trumpeting every new short-term record, which has zero scientific significance, people will assume that the records must have been caused by continued global warming.

      Having said that, after sustained global cooling, there will probably be no more warm records, depending on how much the records are ‘adjusted’. But I’m sure these people will find ways of deceiving everyone with the enthusiastic help of the BBC, the Guardian and all the others. Apart from anything else, many jobs depend on the continued climate change scare.
      Chris

  27. The trouble is listening to engineers went out of fashion around the early 80s and around the same time science had to start proving itself economically. How has that turned out? Although, I think in the UK we stopped listening to engineers a while before.
    Thank you for this Leo. The key line for me was:
    “The miracle of AGW is that all this (previous paragraphs) has been simply tossed aside, or considered some kind of constant, or a multiplier of the only driver in town, CO2.”

  28. Two thumbs up for the article.

    I would revise ‘Continental Drift’ to Plate Tectonics (mantle recycling of carbon, hydrogen, sulfur and silica compounds (with a load of heavy elements) on long time scales and aerosols on short time scales and mountains like the himalayas et al that add steering to the near-surface wind fields — Greenland among other things has elevations in excess of 3 km at Summit [high, dry and dang cold]).

  29. Eustace Cranch @ January 6, 2015 at 11:33 am
    David in Texas @ January 6, 2015 at 11:06 am

    You fellows make the point that is generally used to explain all this away – you can have internal positive feedbacks if the system is dominated by negative feedback to stabilize it. The positive feedback then simply results in magnification.

    However, it cannot simply be taken for granted that it would. For example, suppose we have a perturbed system of the form

    dT/dt = -alpha*T + beta*C

    and suppose C is a function of temperature and external forcing, C = gamma*T + f. Then,

    dT/dt = -(alpha-beta*gamma)*T + beta*f

    The system is stable if alpha – beta*gamma is greater than zero. The alpha term tends to be very large, because it is related to T^4 radiation (alpha is proportional to To^3 where To is the temperature state about which the equations are linearized), so the system would almost certainly be stable.

    Now, however, suppose that C obeys a differential equation of the form

    dC/dt = gamma*T + f

    This system with the dT/dt equation above is always unstable – the solutions of the characteristic equation are at -alpha/2 +/- sqrt((alpha/2)^2 + beta*gamma), and one of the roots is always positive.

    Climate models generally assume the CO2 response for C as in the first case. In actual fact, CO2 evolves according to the second case.

    Even with the massive negative feedback of SB radiation, this system would be unstable. Result: it is not possible to have significant sensitivity of temperature to CO2 in the present climate state.

    • Bart, Hocker made the same mistake that McLean (2009) made in his ENSO paper.

      1) Correlation is not causation
      2) Taking the derivative removes the long term trend(s)

      PS….why are you now using a running mean of 24 instead of the 12 in previous incarnations of your “graph?”

      • Bart as proven to you plenty of times, the year by year variability is caused by (tropical) vegetation (proven by the reverse CO2 and δ13C variations), which reacts on temperature (and drought) changes (Pinatubo, El Niño). Higher temperatures give more temporarily CO2 release, until the “fuel” (vegetation debris of previous years) is gone or the temperature/drought is reversing.
        The longer term (> 3 years) increase of CO2 is proven not from vegetation, as (global) vegetation is a net sink for CO2 since ~1990.

        Two different processes, short and long term, which have nothing to do with each other. That means that you can’t deduce from the short term variability that the long term increase in C is temperature dependent…

      • Bart hasn’t “proven” anything.

        If he claims “causation” he’s committing the same error(s) that McLean and Hockey made.
        ..
        1) Correlation is not causation.
        2) The derivative removes the long term trend.

      • No, Ferdinand, you are wrong. As explained many times, there is no evidence of the phase distortion which would be necessary for your assertions to hold any water.

      • Bart, there is no phase distortion if one CO2 producing/removing process is temperature dependent and the other CO2 producing process is not temperature dependent (as is the case for human emissions).

        Neither if two independent processes are both temperature dependent: the seasonal variability and the 2-3 years disturbances both depend on temperature, but the disturbances have no influence on the phase lag of CO2 after temperature over the seasons, which is opposite to the reaction of CO2 on temperature for the disturbances.

        You still think that one process is responsible both for short term and long term CO2 changes caused by temperature…

      • No. Wrong. The slope in temperature has to cause the slope in the rate of change of CO2 unless it is taken out. Taking it out would require a high pass filtering operation which takes out the trend, while leaving very low frequency components untouched. That dynamic necessarily would leave a marked phase distortion right in the middle of the observation band.

        It isn’t there. The slope in temperature therefore necessarily is causing the slope in CO2 concentration. Human emissions also have a slope in the rate of change. There is little room for them which is not already explained by the temperature relationship. Ergo, human emissions cannot be having a significant impact.

        This is all quite ordinary behavior for a negative feedback system. There really is no doubt about it.

      • What you do not seem to get, Ferdinand, is that your idealized “short term” process can only be short term if it does not react to the slope in temperature, i.e., if it has a high pass response. That response would necessarily distort the phase. It doesn’t. Therefore, your conceptualization of what is driving the short and long term is wrong.

      • PS Mr. Bart

        Just a suggestion for you in future analysis of data.

        If you take the 12 or 24 month mean of one variable in your chart (i.e. CO2)…make sure you also take the 12/24 month mean of the temperature in the same chart. Because if you do not do that, you are making the mistake of comparing apples to oranges.

        Your chart will then look like this.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1959/mean:24/derivative/plot/hadcrut4sh/from:1959/mean:24/scale:0.22/offset:0.10

        Good luck fixing that chart to “prove” something

    • A bit of hand waving might be more effective. LS wrote “If such a feedback existed, any driver of temperature, from a minor change in the suns output, to a volcanic eruption must inevitably trigger massive temperature changes.” More importantly, if the models require volcanic eruptions and variable out put of air-borne aerosols from human activity to produce periods of pauses, how come the correlation is so good?

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/graph/esrl-co2/from:1959/mean:24/derivative/plot/hadcrut4sh/from:1959/scale:0.22/offset:0.10

      • Robert, you are looking at the small year-by-year variability around the trend, which is (near) entirely caused by temperature changes. The variability is +/- 1 ppmv around the trend.
        The trend itself is (near) entirely caused by human emissions, as these show an incredible high correlation with the increase in the atmosphere of 95 ppmv with 170 ppmv of human emissions since 1900:

        In this case I am pretty sure that human emissions cause the increase, as the reverse cause-and-effect would be rather impossible.
        Further, it would be very difficult for any natural cause to have the same effect in exact ratio and timing as human emissions…

      • This plot has almost zero information in it beyond an increase in both emissions and atmospheric concentration. It has no probative value for the debate.

      • Except that plotting the integral of temperature has no physical meaning: if you have a fixed temperature offset, that doesn’t produce a continuous stream of CO2 in the atmosphere without a reaction of the increased CO2 pressure in the atmosphere on CO2 influx and outflux in the oceans (and vegetation):

        The difference between the temperature increase and the CO2 increase is quite clear:

        A temperature change of near halve the scale has hardly an effect on CO2 levels, but double that would give the 100 ppmv increase over 112 years…
        Further, the 1960-1975 period shows a decrease in temperature, 1975-2000 an increase, 2000-current is flat, while CO2 simply follows human emissions, not temperature:

      • “…the integral of temperature has no physical meaning…”

        Yes, it does. If the ocean surface is being progressively driven higher in CO2 concentration, that produces outgassing which progressively drives atmospheric concentration higher, and the rate of outgassing is temperature modulated.

        You keep trying to impose what you want the dynamic to be instead of coming to terms with what the data indicate it is. The rate of change of CO2 in the atmosphere is unequivocally related affinely to global temperature anomaly. There is no doubt about it.

      • To clarify, Ii the ocean surface is being progressively driven higher in CO2 concentration due to upwelling of CO2 enriched waters, then the rest follows.

      • “There is no doubt about it.”
        ..
        Yes there is a lot of doubt about it.
        Namely that human emissions of CO2 are the cause, not “T”

      • Any process which influences CO2 concentration with relatively steady, temperature modulated, rate would beget an essentially affine relationship between CO2 concentration and the integral of temperature. There is nothing unphysical about it.

      • Bart, the oceans are a sink for CO2 not a curse with respect to atmospheric concentrations of CO2

      • Socks says:

        Yes there is a lot of doubt about it.
        Namely that human emissions of CO2 are the cause, not “T”

        I’ll agree with the first part if you replace “a lot” with “little”. It’s no big deal, just a matter of degree.

        The second part of your comment is what’s called a non sequitur. It’s just an assertion, baseless in this case, which doesn’t follow.

      • Dbstealey

        I can’t replace “a lot” with “a little” because the 40% increase of CO2 from 280 ppmv to 400 ppmv is due to humans, and not due to “T”

        If you think that “T” is the cause, I suggest you look at the ice core record.

        Back 175,000 years ago, when “T” was higher than it is today, yet CO2 never exceeded 300 ppmv

      • Socks says:

        when “T” was higher than it is today, yet CO2 never exceeded 300 ppmv

        Most folks would say, “Of course, global temps go up despite CO2, not because of it!” Duh…

      • Whazzzamatta Mr. Dbstealey…..do you have a problem facing the fact that 175,000 years ago, CO2 was not at 400 ppmv?

      • Socks, get a grip on reality.

        The entire claim of you and your alarmist pals is that a rise in CO2 [“carbon”] will lead to runaway global warming. At least that’s the basic scare — but as each piece of it is debunked in turn, it constantly morphs into a slightly new narrative.

        So, you folks have a problem. Because as you have been forced to admit by the real world, global T can rise fast without any added CO2.

        Welp. There goes your whole conjecture, along with your scare.

        As you see, I don’t have a problem. But you do: credibility.

      • Dbstealey, your deflection doesn’t work

        Why is it that 175,000 years ago, when it was warmer than it is today, did CO2 not exceed 300 ppmv?

      • Bart, there is no phase distortion because the CO2 reactions on temperature are from different processes with largely different phases:
        1. seasonal:
        – 5 ppmv/°C
        – CO2 down with temperature
        – CO2 and δ13C opposite to each other
        – cause: extra-tropical vegetation
        2. short term (2-3 years):
        – 4-5 ppmv/°C
        – CO2 up with temperature
        – CO2 and δ13C opposite to each other
        – cause: tropical vegetation
        3. (very) long term:
        – 8 ppmv/°C
        – CO2 up with temperature
        – CO2 and δ13C parallel each other
        – cause: deep oceans
        4. past 160 years:
        – +110 ppmv
        – temperature independent
        – CO2 and δ13C opposite to each other
        – cause: human emissions

        The short term processes don’t react on the long term changes, because these have “phases” far beyond any influence on the short term phases: thousands of years for the deep oceans to at least 680 years for human emissions, which are not temperature dependent. If you combine a short term variation with a very long term increase, there is no distortion at all, even not after integration:

      • Bart :

        Yes, it does. If the ocean surface is being progressively driven higher in CO2 concentration, that produces outgassing which progressively drives atmospheric concentration higher, and the rate of outgassing is temperature modulated.

        Come on Bart, that needs an incredible coincidence of timing and quantities compared to human emissions: upwelling (and temperature) increasing in ratio with human emissions since 1850, which is contradicted by about all observations:
        – Oceans are net sinks for CO2 as all observations of DIC (total carbon) and recently pH show.
        – Oceans have a positive δ13C rate. Both the atmosphere and the ocean surface show a sharp drop in δ13C, in ratio to human emissions. If the deep oceans should give extra upwelling, the δ13C should go up in the atmosphere, not down.
        – More upwelling also means more uptake, as the mass balance for natural circulation is more sink than source. But there is not the slightest indication for an increased throughput of CO2 through the atmosphere, to the contrary.
        – Temperature has its ups and downs, but CO2 simply follows human emissions, not temperature.

      • I you truly understood how feedback systems work, you would know that it is not only not unlikely, but quite ordinary. And, no, your demonstration is not applicable. You have temperature driving the rate of change of CO2. That temperature has a trend in it, as well as shorter term variation. The response must be to all components, unless the trend is somehow filtered out. That filtering process would leave signs of phase distortion. There is none. Hence, the trend in temperatures is causing the trend in the rate of change of CO2. Emissions also have a trend in their rate of input. There is no significant room left over for them.

        There is no way around it, and all your handwaving assertions cannot change it. There is no doubt about it. A temperature modulated process is the driver of atmospheric CO2. Human inputs have little effect.

      • Bart:

        I you truly understood how feedback systems work

        Bart I may have forgotten most of the theoretical background, but after 34 years of practical work with chemical processes, including a few run-away reactions, I think that I know what a feedback process is.
        What you don’t see is that the temperature driving CO2 has a very limited influence on CO2 levels over all historical times and there is hardly any feedback from CO2 on temperature.
        That means that nature has managed to keep an equilibrium between temperature and CO2 levels of ~8 ppmv/K over at least the past 800,000 years with sufficient fast (order of decades) negative feedbacks

        You have temperature driving the rate of change of CO2.

        That is what you think, but temperature levels drive CO2 levels over all times with a lag, except for the past 160 years, and the rate of change of temperature drives the rate of change of CO2. Temperature doesn’t drive the rate of change of CO2 as there is no lag between T and dCO2/dt in the short term variability, that is an artifact from taking the derivative of only one of the two variables. The lag is between dT/dt and dCO2/dt.

        The slope of dT/dt is near zero and not responsible for the slope in dCO2/dt, but the slope of dCO2/dt(emissions) is twice the slope of dCO2/dt(atmosphere)…

        Further, you reject all observations which demonstrate that your theory can’t be true: vegetation is a proven sink for CO2, based on the oxygen balance. The oceans are a proven sink of CO2, based on the mass balance, millions of DIC and pCO2 (and recently pH) measurements and the too high δ13C level, which excludes the oceans as important source both for an increase in throughput and an increase in the atmosphere. And there is not the slightest sign of an increased release of CO2 from any other source, known or unknown…

        As human emissions fit all observations and your theory doesn’t fit any observation, I think that there is more than sufficient proof that your theory isn’t right…

      • Ferdinnand.

        No amount of physical real world evidence that you can provide will persuade Bart to renounce his “theory”. The reason is clear. Bart is using the definition of causation as his linchpin. Bart’s logic goes like this. T causes CO2 under all conditions. Since T is a cause, and CO2 is the effect, therefore CO2 cannot cause warming, hence AGW is false.

        So, no matter how much evidence you have that CO2 levels today are independent of T, Bart cannot accept the evidence, as it destroys his logical construct.

      • “What you don’t see is that the temperature driving CO2 has a very limited influence on CO2 levels over all historical times…”

        Nobody sees that. They infer it from preconceptions, and dubious proxy measurements which superficially seem consistent with it. But, consistency is not proof, the proxies are not verifiable, and the preconceptions are not unique.

        In the end, though, it does not matter whether they are right or wrong. We do not need to know the manner in which temperatures affected CO2 in the long ago past to know what the relationship is in the modern era. It is evident that, since at least 1958, the rate of change of CO2 is modulated by temperatures.

        “…and there is hardly any feedback from CO2 on temperature.”

        I mostly agree with that. If there is any positive feedback, it is squelched by other negative feedbacks. If it were not, the system would be unstable.

        “That is what you think, but temperature levels drive CO2 levels over all times with a lag, except for the past 160 years…”

        To be specific, a 90 degree phase lag, since at least 1958. And, that requires an integral relationship.

        “…and the rate of change of temperature drives the rate of change of CO2. “

        No. It is quite clear from the plots. There is absolutely no wiggle room. The empirical relationship is

        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

        Temperature is driving the rate of change of CO2 in the atmosphere, and has been since at least 1958.

        “Temperature doesn’t drive the rate of change of CO2 as there is no lag between T and dCO2/dt in the short term variability…”

        Which means there is a 90 deg phase lag between T and CO2, which means there is an integral relationship. It isn’t arguable. It’s staring you right in the face.

        “The lag is between dT/dt and dCO2/dt.”

        Or, between T and CO2. It is a 90 degree phase lag. That indicates that there is an integral relationship.

        “The slope of dT/dt is near zero…”

        The relationship is

        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

        The slope in T is responsible for the slope in dCO2/dt. The rate of emissions also has a slope. There is little to no room for it.

        “Further, you reject all observations which demonstrate that your theory can’t be true”

        No, I reject that there is a unique explanation for those observations. There is a unique explanation for the integral relationship we see. The unique relationship wins over those subject to other explanations.

        “As human emissions fit all observations …”

        Human emissions do not fit with the rate of change. They do not explain the variability, and their long term trend is already taken up by the temperature relationship.

        Moreover, human emissions are accelerating. Atmospheric concentration is at a steady rate. They are therefore incompatible as cause and effect.

      • Why is it that 175,000 years ago, when it was warmer than it is today, did CO2 not exceed 300 ppmv?

        You don’t even understand how thoeroughly that deconstructs your belief system.

        Do you?

      • “You don’t even understand how that deconstructs your belief system”

        Try explaining how it does.

      • Bart:

        Nobody sees that. They infer it from preconceptions, and dubious proxy measurements which superficially seem consistent with it.

        As said, you don’t like any data which contradicts your theory, thus the data must be wrong…

        at least 1958, the rate of change of CO2 is modulated by temperatures.

        Modulated, yes, driving the trend, no. There is not the slightest indication that there is any increase in any natural source of CO2, causing an overall increase in throughput (as the net effect still is more sink than source) and causing an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere…

        To be specific, a 90 degree phase lag, since at least 1958. And, that requires an integral relationship.

        Look again at your plot: there is zero lag between T and dCO2/dt. That is not an integral relationship, but that is the base for your formula:

        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

        But the formula doesn’t include the negative feedback caused by the increased CO2 pressure in the atmosphere:

        dCO2/dt = k*(T1 – T0) – k2*(P – P1)

        Where P is the actual pCO2(atm) and P1 is the atmospheric CO2 pressure in equilibrium with the oceans for the average ocean temperature T1. That gives that the increase in the atmosphere is limited after any temperature increase and/or any deep ocean upwelling increase:

        The plot shows the effect of a 10% increase in CO2 upwelling (either concentration or deep ocean flux) at the tropics, followed by an 1 K increase in sea surface temperature.
        The latter effect is probably overblown, as I used 17 ppmv/K, while in the literature one can find 4 to 17 ppmv/K and the long term average as seen in ice cores is 8 ppmv/K.

        For the current P-P1 difference (~110 μatm), the net sink rate is ~2.15 ppmv/year. That gives an e-fold decay rate of the excess CO2 in the atmosphere of slightly over 50 years or a half life time of ~40 years. Fast enough to follow ice ages, but not fast enough to suppress the short term changes caused by temperature changes.

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen @ January 9, 2015 at 6:08 am

        “There is not the slightest indication that there is any increase in any natural source of CO2, causing an overall increase in throughput…”

        Name an anthropogenic source of any size which is modulated by temperature. Anthropogenic input does not depend on temperature. That is why the emissions and atmospheric concentration are currently diverging. Anthropogenic emissions are accelerating. Atmospheric CO2 concentration is not, and at the same time that temperatures have plateaued. That is no coincidence.

        “Look again at your plot: there is zero lag between T and dCO2/dt. That is not an integral relationship…”

        That is a self-contradition right in one sentence. If

        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

        then

        CO2 = CO2(0) + integral(k*(T-T0))

        It’s an identity relationship.

        “But the formula doesn’t include the negative feedback caused by the increased CO2 pressure in the atmosphere:

        dCO2/dt = k*(T1 – T0) – k2*(P – P1)”

        Such a term, if it were significant in the era 1958-present, would cause massive and readily observable phase distortion. There is none, and you are clutching at straws.

      • Bart January 9, 2015 at 9:43 am
        Ferdinand Engelbeen @ January 9, 2015 at 6:08 am

        “There is not the slightest indication that there is any increase in any natural source of CO2, causing an overall increase in throughput…”

        Name an anthropogenic source of any size which is modulated by temperature.

        A natural sink of CO2 (the ocean) is modulated by temperature via Henry’s law which causes the modulation in the CO2, the overall growth in CO2 (the ~linear component) is due to anthropogenic source which is growing about 4ppm/year.

      • This is why Bart makes me laugh.

        Mr Calculus claims that I don’t know what a “derivative” is.

        Then Mr. Calculus says, “It’s an identity relationship.”

        Too bad Mr Calculus forgot about that wonderful thing called the “Constant of Integration”…..which if he wasn’t asleep in class at the time, insures that the operations of derivative and integration are not “identity” relationships.

        Thanks for the humor Mr. Calculus

      • A more complete set of equations should be something like

        dCO2/dt = (CO2eq – CO2)/tau + E

        dCO2eq/dt = k*(T – T0)

        CO2eq is the instantaneous equilibrium level set, perhaps, by the irresistible force of outgassing from upwelling CO2 rich ocean waters. E is anthropogenic emissions, and tau is a time constant relating to the power of the sinks. The (CO2eq – CO2)/tau term models your partial pressure dynamic.

        If the sinks are active, then tau is short, and the impact of E is on the order of E*tau, which is small. CO2 then tracks CO2eq.

        This is a very ordinary feedback dynamic.

      • Phil. @ January 9, 2015 at 9:58 am

        “A natural sink of CO2 (the ocean) is modulated by temperature via Henry’s law which causes the modulation in the CO2”

        It does not fit the data. The data fit a curve of the form of a proportionality constant (at least reasonably constant in the modern era) times appropriately baselined temperature anomaly. Temperature anomaly has been rising roughly linearly since 1958, with a plateau in the past decade and a half or so.

        The rate of emissions has been rising linearly, and continues to do so. Were this dynamic of emissions coupled with Henry’s Law responsible for it, the rate of atmospheric rise would have been quadratic, and in the last decade+, become linear.

        It has not. The rate of atmospheric rise has been essentially linear, and in the last decade+, essentially constant.

        There is a deeper reason that we should not expect emissions to be the driving force, but I do not think I could get it across in this forum. The above is sufficient.

      • David Socrates @ January 9, 2015 at 10:07 am

        Another ineffably stupid comment. David, you are either A) incredibly ignorant, B) just trying to derail the discussion, or C) both. In any case, you are not helping your side. You haven’t stated a single thing either apposite or valid in the entire thread. Do yourself and your friends a favor: butt out.

      • Bart, if you are incapable of defending your supposed “theory” I can understand. Your arrogance is your downfall. You need to understand that it is incredibly easy to poke holes in your “theory” because it is not causative, it is merely a simplistic correlation. Your methodology is also easy to find fault in.
        ..
        Too bad you can’t deal with someone that pokes holes in your position. A good scientist would be able to handle criticism of their work, but you can’t There’s a reason that your “theory” can’t make it into a respectable science journal. It can’t pass peer review.

      • There is nothing to defend against, David. You haven’t offered anything even remotely approaching a substantive criticism.

      • ” You haven’t offered anything even remotely approaching a substantive criticism.”

        1) Namely that human emissions of CO2 are the cause, not “T”
        2) the oceans are a sink for CO2
        3) Back 175,000 years ago, when “T” was higher than it is today, yet CO2 never exceeded 300
        4) operations of derivative and integration are not “identity” relationships.

        However Mr. Bart, the biggest "criticism" I have offered is to point out that your "evidence" is very poor. A contrived chart from WFT does not show "causation"
        ..
        Your relationship shows correlation. It does not show causation.

        And the biggest mistake you have made is saying I don't know what a "derivative" is………

      • Socks,

        Have you noticed that most everyone disagrees with you here? I think that’s the consensus, anyway.

        Maybe you should go back and re-examine your basic beliefs. For example, why do you still believe that CO2 will have a measurable effect on the planet? The IR window is sarturated with CO2 molecules; more won’t make any measurable difference.

        Global warming has stopped. That’s the bottom line. The ‘carbon’ scare has fizzled. Why can you not accept that? “Man-made climate change” is nonsense. The public doesn’t buy it any more. The bloom is off the rose. Jump ship while you can.

      • Dbstealey….
        ..
        I’m impressed.
        Now you are arguing using “consensus” as evidence.
        ….
        Do you enjoy being part of the 3%?

        “The IR window is sarturated with CO2 molecules;”
        ..
        Now you are funny.

        The satellites in orbit can measure the outbound IR. If the window was “saturated” why can they measure it?
        ..
        I suggest you read this… http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=10.1.1.131.3867

        Get up to speed on measuring outbound IR.

        “Global warming has stopped.”
        ..
        Really?….better read the press release from the Japan Meteorologic Agency.
        ….
        “Man-made climate change” is nonsense”

        You crack me up. But if you are happy being part of the 3% of the folks that can’t see straight, that is your choice.

      • These are merely assertions. Assertions are not evidence. It was the refusal to take assertions at face value which brought forth the Enlightenment, and allowed humankind to break the shackles of superstition and rule by self-proclaimed authorities. Those who insist that one must bow down to the proclamations of authority figures are primitive throwbacks to a pre-Enlightenment era. That is not “science”. That is pre-science. That is medievalism. That is ignorance, poverty, and death.

        It is quite obvious you had no idea what a derivative was when you wrote: “Look at how the “derivative” removes the long term trend of the data.” I refrained from responding, “Holy cow! Somebody alert the Fields Medal committee! Who’da thunk it!” But, there was no need. Everyone saw it. Everyone had a good chuckle. I doubt any who were watching will ever consider you a serious commenter again. I especially enjoyed MiCro’s pithy comment at January 8, 2015 at 6:34 pm. And, Janice Moore’s at January 8, 2015 at 6:37 pm.

        Then you wrote absurd things like ‘Too bad Mr Calculus forgot about that wonderful thing called the “Constant of Integration”’ when my equation clearly had just that in CO2(0). Everything you have written has either been totally irrelevant like the one above, or laughably unaware like the this one. It is very obvious that you are flailing in deep water way over your head, and there is no point in attempting to throw you a lifeline and educate you as learning is obviously not your primary purpose.

        The only thing you have contributed to the threads here has been comedic sideshow. But, I did not want that. I wanted a serious conversation with the likes of Ferdinand and Phil and Fred et al. But, it seems you cannot keep the clowns out when they are determined to make a spectacle of themselves. Now please, for the last time, and for your own good… Go away.

      • Bart….

        OK….I guess I’ll have to drop down to your level of comprehension.

        1) Here is the raw CO2 data
        ..
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2

        2) Here is the raw CO2 data with the “derivative”
        ..
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/derivative

        3) Here is the raw CO2 data and the derivative on the same chart
        ..
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/plot/esrl-co2/derivative

        4) Here is the raw CO2 data and the derivative with an offset on the raw data
        ..
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/offset:-330/plot/esrl-co2/derivative

        5) Here is the raw CO2 data, the derivative and their associated trend lines.
        ..
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/offset:-330/plot/esrl-co2/derivative/plot/esrl-co2/offset:-330/trend/plot/esrl-co2/derivative/trend


        Now if you can’t see that applying the derivative function on the raw data removes the long term trend in that data……..

        ….
        So again, I will repeat my claim…..
        ….
        ” “Look at how the “derivative” removes the long term trend of the data”

      • Yeah, David. I know. We all know. Now, drink your milk and cookies like a good little boy, and go to bed.

      • PS Mr Calculus
        ..
        “when my equation clearly had just that in CO2(0)”

        The constant of integration is not fixed, and is arbitrary. I can select a different value, such as 1,000,001 which would invalidate the equation. Nothing prevents me from doing so, and nothing in your argument prevents this number as a constant. With a value of 1,000,001 your equation now has a CO2 concentration of 1,000,0001 parts per million which is logically impossible. Unless you have provided a constraint to the equation of your theory, the integration fails due to the integration constant. Good luck trying to “educate” someone that rips your attempt at proffering a hypothesis. It’s much too weak to withstand the scrutiny of someone with a good rounding in mathematics.

        Keep on posting your “theory” and I will continue to have fun poking holes in it.

      • Socks,

        Rather than doing what comes easy — refuting your nonsense point by point — let me just condense it: you are full of carp. Everything you argue is either deceptive, or based on assertions that support the alarmist Narrative. No one agrees with you, either. Truth has nothing whatever to do with the Narrative you promote, whose purpose is to put a hoax over on productive citizens.

        Finally, anyone can play with the WoodForTrees site and create millions of charts, but most of them are worthless, as are all the ones you posted.

      • “Now, drink your milk and cookies like a good little boy, and go to bed.”

        Classic ad-hominem

        You know Bart, when you start using that as an argumentative technique, it’s a clear sign you’ve lost

        You have yet to address the fact that your “theory” is mere correlation
        ….
        Will you now respond by calling me names?

      • “The constant of integration is not fixed, and is arbitrary.”

        Ah…(chuckle), no dear boy. The constant of integration is fixed by the initial condition.

        “Classic ad-hominem”

        No, that would fall under the heading of classic ridicule. I strive for patience, but one can abide only so much errant nonsense.

      • “classic ridicule?”

        Your ad-hominem approach is so juvenile.
        ..
        Why do you feel the need to insult someone that pokes holes in your “correlation?”
        ..
        PS ….except you never stated the “initial condition”
        ..
        Want me to take down your use of 12 month averaging on CO2 data in your supposed “evidence?”

      • ‘Why do you feel the need to insult someone …?”’

        Because, despite your repeated self-inflicted wounds, complete lack of self-awareness, and yawning deficit of technical skill, you refuse to slink away in embarrassment as one should have long ago at this point.

        No, I do not want to see your “take down”. It is painful to watch you flounder so cluelessly. It’s like watching a special needs child throw a tantrum – not at all pleasant.

        You have accomplished nothing here, David. Your “points”, when you have had anything approaching one, have no object, no relevance, no value. You don’t know what you are talking about, you don’t understand your argument, and you lack even the basic skill to know it.

        You do not see me treating Ferdinand or Phil in this manner, do you? That is because, though they have not yet fully grasped the logic and import of the argument, they are making cogent points which merit a respectful response.

        You have none of that. You have nothing. Zip. Nada. Nothing. You are, as it is said, not even wrong. You’re off in an entirely alternate universe, babbling incoherently to an audience of one.

      • Bart January 9, 2015 at 10:10 am :

        A more complete set of equations should be something like
        dCO2/dt = (CO2eq – CO2)/tau + E
        dCO2eq/dt = k*(T – T0)

        Not agreed, as CO2eq, not dCO2/dt does depend of k*(T-T0). That gives:
        dCO2/dt = (CO2eq – CO2)/tau + E + dT/dt
        Where CO2eq = k(T-T0)
        and that doesn’t imply that the k is large and tau is short…

        Temperature does change the CO2 equilibrium between (sea)water and the atmosphere, but that equilibrium doesn’t change over time, it is fixed per Henry’s law.
        From the literature, k gives a net result in the order of 8 ppmv/K (4-17 ppmv/K) before a new equilibrium is reached. That is all. That is the real, measured influence of temperature on the equilibrium of CO2 from the oceans, today from a single sample to the whole ocean surface (3 million measurements) and in the (far) past (from ice cores).
        You need some 12°C ocean surface temeprature increase to give the 110 ppmv CO2 increase by temperature alone…
        You can invoke some extra upwelling, but there is not the slightest sign of such an increase in upwelling. Even so, the bulk of the increase then would be from the upwelling, not from temperature.

        Moreover, tau is easy to calculate, as all other variables are known in this case: slightly over 50 years for the last years and still about the same as 18 years ago:
        http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm

        As E hardly shows any variability (none detectable) and tau is long, that doesn’t disturb the synchronization or the variability caused by temperature variations. All what happens is that the sink capacity varies year by year which gives a steady increase caused by E and a variability of dCO2/dt around the trend caused by temperature changes. The total CO2 rate of change in the atmosphere then is:

        Where the red line is dCO2/dt = (CO2eq – CO2)/tau + E for a tau of slightly over 50 years and a CO2eq change of 8 ppmv/°C over a pre-industrial value of 290 ppmv.

      • Some addition:
        In
        dCO2/dt = (CO2eq – CO2)/tau + E + dT/dt
        the term dT/dt needs some factor to calculate dCO2 from dT. On short term that is a factor 4-5, based on the 1991 Pinatubo and 1998 El Niño. Thus the ultimate formula then is:
        dCO2/dt = (CO2eq-CO2)/tau + E + k2*dT/dt
        Where CO2eq = k*(T-T0)
        k = 8
        k2 = 4-5
        tau = ~51
        which gives the above result…

      • “Where CO2eq = k(T-T0)”

        Doesn’t work. Does not produce 90 deg phase lag which indicates integration.

        This is what you want the dynamic to be, but not what it very clearly is. You have to deal with the system as it observably is, not what you want it to be.

        “Temperature does change the CO2 equilibrium between (sea)water and the atmosphere, but that equilibrium doesn’t change over time, it is fixed per Henry’s law.”

        Only for a closed system. Continuous upwelling of CO2 rich ocean waters to the surface, for example, would continuously shift the equilibrium level. As the rate at which they outgas to the atmosphere would be proportional to temperature anomaly relative to an appropriate baseline, that would result in a dynamic of the form

        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

        “…for a tau of slightly over …”

        When you use an incorrect model, your calculations will be incorrect.

      • Should have said

        dCO2eq/dt = k*(T – T0)

        Since tau is necessarily short, they become approximately equal.

      • Bart:

        “Where CO2eq = k(T-T0)”
        Doesn’t work. Does not produce 90 deg phase lag which indicates integration.

        That is exactly the point of discussion: your
        dCO2/dt = k(T-T0) doesn’t show a 90 deg. phase lag, but you do integrate T…
        The real influence of temperature is in the third term:
        k2*dT/dt, which gives a 90 deg phase lag between dCO2/dt and dT/dt.

        This is what you want the dynamic to be, but not what it very clearly is. You have to deal with the system as it observably is, not what you want it to be.

        Bart, as all observations show a limited change in pCO2 equilibrium between ocean waters and atmosphere for a fixed change in temperature, you can’t make that a floating equilibrium…

        Only for a closed system. Continuous upwelling of CO2 rich ocean waters to the surface, for example, would continuously shift the equilibrium level. As the rate at which they outgas to the atmosphere would be proportional to temperature anomaly relative to an appropriate baseline, that would result in a dynamic of the form
        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

        Again, any change in upwelling is an independent factor of temperature, even if temperature will modulate the CO2 flux from that upwelling. That is an extra term N(atural) in the equation. The extra CO2 then is largely from the upwelling, hardly from temperature change: less than 3% in influx for 1 K increase in temperature, as the pCO2(ocean) increase is not more than 8 μatm/K at the upwelling places and the influx is in direct ratio to the pCO2 difference between oceans and atmosphere (~350 μatm in the upwelling zones).
        Even with 10% more upwelling (for which is no sign), that gives not more than 30 ppmv increase, as the term (CO2eq-CO2)/tau increases and after some time equals the extra input.
        Only when your upwelling shows a continuous, slightly quadratic increase over time, you know a 4-5 fold in the period 1959-current (like human emissions do), then you will have a steady increase of CO2 in the atmosphere…

        “…for a tau of slightly over …”
        When you use an incorrect model, your calculations will be incorrect.

        Nothing to do with a model, simply applying the observed sink rate and the observed increase in the atmosphere, which in average looks like a simple linear process and applying Henry’s law for the ocean equilibrium with the atmosphere at any area of the oceans…

      • “That is exactly the point of discussion: your
        dCO2/dt = k(T-T0) doesn’t show a 90 deg. phase lag, but you do integrate T…”

        Of course I integrate T. That is what the equation shows. If

        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

        then

        CO2 = CO2(0) + integral(k*(T-T0))

        They are two ways of expressing the same relationship. I do not integrate temperature anomaly to get dCO2/dt. I integrate it to get CO2. And, there is a 90 deg phase lag between T and CO2.

        “The real influence of temperature is in the third term:
        k2*dT/dt, which gives a 90 deg phase lag between dCO2/dt and dT/dt.”

        There is no phase lag between dCO2/dt and dT/dt in your model

        dCO2/dt = (CO2eq-CO2)/tau + E + k2*dT/dt

        The response from dT/dt to dCO2/dt here is high pass – the phase goes from a 90 deg lead at low frequency to zero degrees at high frequencies. See phase plot here.

        “…you can’t make that a floating equilibrium…”

        “Equilibrium” is an informal way of saying it and not strictly proper, but yes, you can make a time varying attractor for the atmospheric CO2 level. I spelled one way out for you in having an increase in CO2 enriched waters upwelling from the deep oceans.

        “The extra CO2 then is largely from the upwelling, hardly from temperature change…”

        The temperature does not account for the initial level of outgassing, but its effect is significant. It accounts for the slope in the rate of change of CO2, and for the variation.

        This is no different from anything I have been saying.

        “…as the term (CO2eq-CO2)/tau increases and after some time equals the extra input.”

        No. CO2 will track CO2eq in the equation. As long as CO2eq is rising, CO2 will rise.

        “…which in average looks like a simple linear process and applying Henry’s law for the ocean…”

        As I explained above, that is not consistent with the observations.

      • Bart

        Of course I integrate T. That is what the equation shows. If
        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)
        then
        CO2 = CO2(0) + integral(k*(T-T0))

        That is your equation, but dCO2/dt doesn’t depend of T, dCO2/dt depends of dT/dt, as good as CO2 depends of T:
        CO2 = CO2(0) + k2*(T-T0)
        where k2 = 8 ppmv/K over at least the past 800,000 years, before the human emissions made a difference.
        or CO2 = CO2(0) + integral(k*dT/dt)
        The latter term is very small: around 6 ppmv since the Little Ice Age…

        The response from dT/dt to dCO2/dt here is high pass – the phase goes from a 90 deg lead at low frequency to zero degrees at high frequencies

        What I said is that dCO2/dt lags dT/dt with 90 deg, but that is for all frequencies, as this is not a filtered process: it is an open loop process where CO2 simply follows T with a 90 deg. lag, whatever the frequency (but that does influence the amplitude: lower at high frequencies). That is anyway the case for seasons to 2-3 years. But I suppose that you can make that fit better with a sin() function or so for the dT/dt term…

        We are not talking about radio frequencies here, but about relative slow physical-chemical processes where the removal of any extra CO2 in the atmosphere is an order of magnitude slower than the frequencies of interest.

        I spelled one way out for you in having an increase in CO2 enriched waters upwelling from the deep oceans.

        Bart, upwelling causes more CO2 to the atmosphere, but that doesn’t change the temperature equilibrium. The temperature equilibrium does influence the CO2 influx and outflux, but that is not more than 3%/K change in temperature, the ultimate result is a slightly higher increase (8 ppmv/K) in the atmosphere than from the upwelling alone.

        The temperature does not account for the initial level of outgassing, but its effect is significant. It accounts for the slope in the rate of change of CO2, and for the variation.

        As the effect of temperature is not more than 3%/K of the initial outgassing, its effect does influence the variability (which may be small in the upwelling) but hardly influences the slope or the finite increase in the atmosphere from the increased upwelling and the increased temperature.

        No. CO2 will track CO2eq in the equation. As long as CO2eq is rising, CO2 will rise.

        CO2 tries to track CO2eq, but as CO2eq only shows a small, fixed change with temperature (per Henry’s law and measured at lots of places), the current CO2 levels are way higher than CO2eq, which gives that tau is relative long, far too long to remove all human emissions in the same year.
        That CO2eq changes a little with temperature was extensively discussed by Paul_K at Bishop Hill’s blog, fourth comment:
        Note that this model is completely compatible with Henry’s Law – including the fact that for a fixed temperature change, the model does, if left alone, equilibrate at a new constant concentration value of CO2.. In your model CO2eq never stops changing for a sustained (even small) change in temperature, which is physically impossible.

        As I explained above, that is not consistent with the observations.

        As shown in the graph here, the simple linear sink process still is largely within the natural variability caused by temperature variability)…

      • “That is your equation, but dCO2/dt doesn’t depend of T, dCO2/dt depends of dT/dt, as good as CO2 depends of T:
        CO2 = CO2(0) + k2*(T-T0)”

        NO! It is very clear from the plot of the data. That is NOT the relationship. You must deal with the system as it is, not how you wish it to be.

        “…it is an open loop process where CO2 simply follows T with a 90 deg…”

        And, -20 dB/decade gain response. It is an integral process. There is absolutely no doubt about this.

        “We are not talking about radio frequencies here, but about relative slow physical-chemical processes where the removal of any extra CO2 in the atmosphere is an order of magnitude slower than the frequencies of interest.”

        It does not matter if it is radio frequencies or any other natural process. All processes subject to differential relations behave the same way.

        “Bart, upwelling causes more CO2 to the atmosphere, but that doesn’t change the temperature equilibrium.”

        Correct. The temperature change is caused by other processes, probably solar/lunar forcing interacting with the natural dynamics of the oceans.

        “The temperature equilibrium does influence the CO2 influx and outflux, but that is not more than 3%/K change in temperature”

        Whatever the percentage, it is multiplicative and cumulative as long as new CO2 keeps upwelling into the system.

        “…but as CO2eq only shows a small, fixed change with temperature…”

        It shows a large change with ocean upwelling, which would be modulated by the temperatures.

        “That CO2eq changes a little with temperature was extensively discussed by Paul_K at Bishop Hill’s blog, fourth comment:”

        You have completely misunderstood Paul_K’s input, as I and others have told you. His model is the same as mine, with the addition of a small restoring term

        τ * dCO2/dt = ΔT – f(T)* ΔCO2

        He missed a necessary coupling factor with ΔT. It should be

        τ * dCO2/dt = k*τ*ΔT – f(T)* ΔCO2

        which reduces to

        dCO2/dt = k*ΔT – (f(T)/τ)* ΔCO2

        The only difference is the last term, but this is necessarily very small to match the observations, and can be neglected over the timeline of observation since 1958. In that way, you recover entirely my equation.

        ΔT is the temperature anomaly relative to the appropriate baseline. You do not see d(ΔT)/dt on the right side of this equation – that would produce the wrong phase relationship. As Paul_K himself says further down:

        “Bart,

        Thanks for your responses. You, Murray Salby and I all share a common view that the modern observational data displays an approximate relationship of the form
        dCO2/dt = gamma* (T-Te)”

        Paul_K’s only concern was my claim that the dynamic would lead to an unstable system if there were a positive response of temperature to CO2. It is true that the addition of a small restoring term allows a small positive temperature sensitivity to CO2 while remaining stable. But, it cannot be a significantly positive sensitivity, because of the weakness of the restoring term.

        “As shown in the graph here, the simple linear sink process still is largely within the natural variability caused by temperature variability)…”

        You are fooling yourself, and grasping at straws. Emissions are accelerating. Concentration is not. The relationship from temperature anomaly to atmospheric CO2 is an integral one. There is no room here to have a significant effect from human emissions.

      • “…it is an open loop process where CO2 simply follows T with a 90 deg. lag, whatever the frequency…”

        Such a lag does not just happen. It is necessarily the result of an integrating process. For any natural system with minimum phase,

        90 deg. lag, whatever the frequency = integration

        It is an equivalence relationship. You cannot sidestep the math. You cannot dismiss the phase as unimportant. The 90 deg phase lag indicates uniquely an integration.

      • Bart:

        NO! It is very clear from the plot of the data. That is NOT the relationship. You must deal with the system as it is, not how you wish it to be.

        Just compare the T variability and the dT/dt variability, that is a similar form, only shifted with 90 deg. There is no reason to prefer the ΔT causes dCO2/dt over the form
        CO2 = CO2(0) + k2(T-T0)
        to the contrary, as the latter follows Henry’s law: an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere forms a negative feedback to the increase caused by higher temperatures. That is as good the case for a static as for a dynamic system and that is what is seen in 800,000 years of ice cores.
        The current slope in dCO2/dt is entirely caused by human emissions, which have double that slope. Temperature has hardly a slope and the resulting influence is not more than 6 ppmv CO2 since the LIA.

        If your formula was right, a warming coke bottle always would explode, as the increase in temperature gives a continuous release of CO2 and thus a continuous increase of CO2 pressure under the cork, without any feedback from the increased pressure…

        and, -20 dB/decade gain response. It is an integral process

        Sorry, that doesn’t follow. The -20dB/decade is the Bode Theorem, which is for a closed loop. Here we have an open loop with a simple gain, with negligible feedback. The total response is ~8 ppmv/K with a one-way warming lag of ~800 years. The short term transient response is 4-5 ppmv/K for seasonal to 2-3 years.
        It is an integrating process where CO2 levels respond to T-T0 without any limit in bandwidth as the feedback is in the pressure change, not in temperature.

        Whatever the percentage, it is multiplicative and cumulative as long as new CO2 keeps upwelling into the system.

        Again, you forget the negative feedback from the increased pressure in the atmosphere:
        – The highest ocean CO2 pressure is at the upwelling sites near the equator. The total CO2 influx there is estimated to be 40 GtC/year (not important if that is a lot smaller or larger, it is about the influence of temperature).
        The total sink rate near the poles also is estimated at ~40 GtC/year into the deep oceans (slightly higher, because the deep oceans are a sink for CO2).

        40 GtC/year CO2 input is the result of 750 – 400 = 350 μatm CO2 pressure difference between oceans and atmosphere.
        Let us assume that the CO2 influx increased with 10% for the same temperature:
        44 GtC/year is the result of 750 – 400 = 350 μatm, but at the sink side, nothing happens yet as the pressure in the atmosphere is not (yet) increased: still 40 GtC/year sink rate.
        An increase of 1°C at source and sink side increases the local pCO2 with 8 μatm, thus the influx near the equator increases to:
        44 * (758 – 400) / (750 – 400) = 45 GtC/year (that is an increase of 2.2%…)
        while the output at the poles decreases to ~39 GtC/year

        The difference with the sinks thus gives an increase of 6 GtC/year (~3 μatm/year, that is near 3 ppmv/year) in the atmosphere for the first year. Less and less in the following years as the CO2 increase in the atmosphere pushes more CO2 into the sinks and reduces the outflux at the upwelling zones…
        With an increase of 8 μatm CO2 in the atmosphere (just a few years…), the result of the temperature increase is already fully neutralized. With an increase of ~18 μatm, the CO2 influx and outflux are again in the same (dis)equilibrium as before the extra upwelling at an increased throughput of ~42 GtC/year. Thus in total, a 10% extra upwelling and 1 K temperature increase is fully equilibrated by an increase of 26 ppmv in the atmosphere:

        In this plot, the temperature influence still was estimated at 17 ppmv/K, which is overblown.

        You have completely misunderstood Paul_K’s input, as I and others have told you. His model is the same as mine, with the addition of a small restoring term
        Paul_K:
        This equation is based on the assumption that the process of release of solute with temperature change starts off quickly and slows down as the concentrations adjust – a commonly observed phenomenon for the transient behavior of chemical equilibration processes.

        I don’t think that I misunderstood Paul_K, as the additional term is the essential difference between us: the restoring term is not small as the foregoing example shows, it is the influence of temperature which is small…

        The relationship from temperature anomaly to atmospheric CO2 is an integral one. There is no room here to have a significant effect from human emissions.

        The integral of temperature minus the integral of the temperature caused increase of pCO2 in the atmosphere gives an increase of 6 ppmv since 1959, that is all:
        At the current temperatures and pressures, the influx rate of CO2 from the deep oceans increased theoretically from the baseline in 1959 from 40 GtC/year to 40.6 GtC/year, but that is fully compensated with a 6 ppmv increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.
        The measured increase in the atmosphere was 70 ppmv since 1959, in total 110 ppmv above the temperature dictated equilibrium. That gives a net sink rate of ~5 GtC/year (all sinks combined, deep oceans at ~3.5 GtC/year). Human emissions are currently ~10 GtC/year…

      • “Just compare the T variability and the dT/dt variability, that is a similar form, only shifted with 90 deg. There is no reason to prefer the ΔT causes dCO2/dt over the form
        CO2 = CO2(0) + k2(T-T0)”

        Yes, there is. T is not in phase with CO2. If you cannot match the phase, you do not have a match.

        “If your formula was right, a warming coke bottle always would explode…”

        Put a Coke bottle on your stove and turn the eye up to high, watch it explode.

        “The -20dB/decade is the Bode Theorem, which is for a closed loop.”

        No, Ferdinand. The Bode gain-phase theorem is applicable for any analytic rational transfer function. And, the -20 dB/decade gain factor is readily observable in the data. Otherwise, we would not match

        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

        The higher frequency formations in T would be much greater amplitude than those in dCO2/dt.

        “Again, you forget the negative feedback from the increased pressure in the atmosphere:”

        Again, you forget the continuous pumping of new CO2 into the system from CO2 enriched waters.

        Yes, you send one parcel up. It outgasses, and nudges CO2 higher, but then stops. Now, you send another parcel up. The same thing happens. You send a continuous stream of CO2 enriched parcels up, and you get a continuous increase in atmospheric CO2. All you have to have is upwelling water which is higher in pCO2 than the atmosphere.

        Vary the temperature, and you will vary the rate at which outgassing occurs. That is consistent with what the data show us is happening. Your scenario is not consistent with that data record.

        “the restoring term is not small as the foregoing example shows, it is the influence of temperature which is small…”

        A) Your foregoing example is not Paul_K’s system. It has the wrong phase response. He does not have dT/dt as an input to dCO2/dt, he has ΔT = T-Te, i.e., the same input as I have with Te=T0.

        B) If the influence of any restoring force were large, it would result in marked phase distortion in the output. It must, therefore, be too small to be observable in the data record since 1958. The result is the same whether it is there or not: human inputs have negligible effect.

        Bottom line: you cannot ignore the phase response. You must match the phase. Phase response is not arbitrary. It comes about from the specific form of the system. CO2 = CO2(0) + k2(T-T0) is unequivocally wrong. It matches neither phase, nor amplitude across the spectrum.

        And, that is my final word, until we meet again.

      • Note in the above, in case this is causing any confusion: T0 is not T(0). I am using T0 as just a variable to indicate a particular instantaneous “equilibrium” level of T at which outgassing would cease.

      • Bart, January 12, 2015 at 8:13 am

        Put a Coke bottle on your stove and turn the eye up to high, watch it explode.

        Yes, that is at 100°C or so, but your formula says that 2°C warming is enough to burst the bottle, as that induces an extra, continuous flux of CO2 from the liquid into the gas under the cork, without any reaction on the flux caused by the resulting pressure increase…

        Again, you forget the continuous pumping of new CO2 into the system from CO2 enriched waters.

        Yes, you send one parcel up. It outgasses, and nudges CO2 higher, but then stops. Now, you send another parcel up. The same thing happens. You send a continuous stream of CO2 enriched parcels up, and you get a continuous increase in atmospheric CO2. All you have to have is upwelling water which is higher in pCO2 than the atmosphere.

        Bart, what I described was for a continuous pumping of parcels of CO2 enriched deep ocean waters into the atmosphere, that happens already today and probably since the earth has oceans. The resulting CO2 release at the upwelling zones (mainly the eastern equatorial Pacific) is currently estimated at about 40 GtC/year. The pCO2 there is at a maximum of 750 μatm.
        If the deep ocean upwelling increased with 10%, that would give an instantly increase of influx to 44 GtC/year. A temperature increase of 1°C would increase that to 45 GtC/year. So far we agree.

        What you don’t take into account is that the influx is not only temperature and upwelling dependent, but also pressure (difference) dependent: the influx is in direct ratio to the difference pCO2(ocean) – pCO2(air).
        If the CO2 level in the atmosphere increased to 750 ppmv, the CO2 influx at the upwelling zones would be zero, because the pressure in the atmosphere is in equilibrium with the ocean surface, even if the upwelling doubled or tripled.

        All what the extra input does is increase the CO2 pressure in the atmosphere until a new equilibrium between upwelling, temperature and pressure is reached.
        In the case of (global) temperature, 8 ppmv/°C increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is sufficient to restore the initial in and out fluxes.
        In the case of more upwelling, that depends of the extra amounts, but as both the CO2 release decreases with increased pressure in the atmosphere and the CO2 sinks increase with increased pressure, the new dynamic equilibrium is reached at an increase of pCO2 which reduces the extra influx to halve the initial value.

    • What you do not seem to get, Ferdinand, is that your idealized “short term” process can only be short term if it does not react to the slope in temperature, i.e., if it has a high pass response. That response would necessarily distort the phase. It doesn’t. Therefore, your conceptualization of what is driving the short and long term is wrong.

      • Bart, what you don’t seem to get is that the short term processes are completely independent of the long term process that is the main driver for the current CO2 rise, which is human emissions. Deep ocean temperature is the main driver for ice ages and interglacials at a rate of 0.02 ppmv/year during a deglaciation (even less the other way out), immeasurable distortion of that on processes which are seasonal or 2-3 years frequency and human emissions are not temperature dependent… The resulting curve is the simple sum of the increase caused by human emissions and the short term disturbance from temperature changes where the pressure difference between atmosphere and oceans (and plant alveoli) is driving the overall sink rate.

      • This is a narrative. A set of assertions of how you think things should be, but lacking proof. The lack of phase distortion establishes that you are wrong.

      • Bart, we know with reasonable accuracy the effect of short term variability of T on CO2 over the seasons and the short term disturbances (Pinatubo, El Niño), both in the order of 5 ppmv/K with a lag of CO2 after T.
        We know with reasonable accuracy the effect of (very) long term T changes: ~8 ppmv/K over the MWP-LIA cooling up to glacial-interglacial transitions with (very) long lags of CO2.

        Now you have a theory that the 110 ppmv increase since 1850 (70 ppmv since 1960) is caused by an increase of 0.8 K (0.6 K since 1960) temperature with zero lag in variability and a continuous influx of CO2 from that small change in temperature without any feedback from the sink processes (oceans and vegetation)…
        Seems to me that there is something wrong with your theory…

      • “Bart, we know with reasonable accuracy the effect of short term variability of T on CO2 over the seasons and the short term disturbances (Pinatubo, El Niño), both in the order of 5 ppmv/K with a lag of CO2 after T.”

        That is incorrect. The relationship in the modern era is

        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

        The sensitivity k is in units of ppmv/K/unit-of-time. You cannot just ignore the evidence, and assert the dynamic is something other than what you see in that plot.

        “…and a continuous influx of CO2 from that small change in temperature…”

        No. The temperature did not create the influx, it merely modulates it.

      • David, you do not understand. You’re not qualified. Anyone who thinks it is news that a derivative turns a trend into a constant should not be participating in this debate. I could no more explain these plots to you than I could explain spontaneous photon emission to a squirrel. Now, please, for the second time, go away.

      • socrates says:

        And you are so wrong about that.

        If it were not for the non sequitur fallacy, Socks wouldn’t have much to say.

        Without an explanation, that comment just does not follow.

        Since Socks protests, I wonder what his own CV is? Or even if he has a CV? [For that matter, I wonder how he holds a job that allows him to post to blogs throughout the workday — just like Brandon does! Man, these alarmists sure are lucky in their employment… unless, of course, they aren’t employed. That would explain it, no?]

        One thing I would like explained is: how the offset and scale factor was decided upon. The last chart is a hoot, too. Socks still doesn’t understand how charts work. There’s no teaching him, either, that’s a given.

        Anyway, this is getting away from the original article, which points out that climate models are simplistic nonsense. They are. Models are what the alarmist crowd hangs it’s collective hat on. And they are wrong. All of them.

      • Dbstealey,
        ..
        “Yes, those of us up to speed on the subject know that global temperature (T) rises or falls the most at night”
        ..
        Don’t worry about my job. I would worry about your understanding of reality.

      • “Shows how the “derivative” removes the long term trend. Why don’t you comment on that.”
        You do know if the trend is constant, that’s exactly what a derivative would do, right?

      • Don’t worry about it …it’s none of your concern.

        LOLOL!!

        Keep deflecting…

        But really, how do you folks manage to comment on blogs constantly, when regular folks are busy earning a living? Do you have an understanding boss?

        Nah, I think being unemployed is the answer. What boss would tolerate that sort of behavior?

      • Take a calculus class, Socrates the Younger.

        “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.”

        Socrates the Elder

      • Mr. Socrates: that you ask for an explanation of the obvious proves that trying to explain would be pointless.

      • Dbstealey

        ” how do you folks manage to comment on blogs”

        Try and focus on the discussion at hand, and leave the ad-hominem out of it.
        ..
        My employment situation is not significant to the discussion of how the derivative removes the long term trend in the data. Why don’t you attempt explaining it.

      • My reply about not explaining the obvious was directed to your request to D. B. Stealey at 6:31pm today.

        To answer your other Q about explaining derivatives: because that is not my job.

      • Great Janice Moore !!
        Please take the “explanation of the obvious” and direct it to Mr Bart and his dCO2/dt “theory”

      • David Socrates…. (head shake and a chuckle). I think…. it is time to call it a night, hm?

        YOU ARE GETTING JUST PLAIN SILLY, NOW!

        The “Great Janice Moore”

        #(:))

      • Janice Moore
        ..
        What is “JUST PLAIN SILLY” is the error that Bart makes. He has swallowed Hocker’s argument hook line and sinker. The dCO2/dt argument makes the same error that McLean (2009) makes with respect to the ENSO.

        1) Correlation is not causation
        2) The derivative removes the long term trend in the data.

      • Okay. Mr. Socrates (llolololoolo). (re: you at 7:01pm today)

        You got a couple of those things right, but…

        “One of These Things Is Not Like the Others” — (Sesame Street — youtube)

        Did you get it?

        Good!

        You are on your way to learning about derivatives. Just 73 more courses to take!

        You can do it!

        Yes, this was an attempt at humor (thought I’d better explain … heh).

        TRYING to have some FUN….

        (but, you’re making it kinda tough, Socrates)

      • dbstealey @ January 8, 2015 at 6:09 pm

        “One thing I would like explained is: how the offset and scale factor was decided upon.”

        Basically, I just eyeballed it, and chose values which produced a reasonable fit, while integrating reasonably closely into the observed CO2.

        If someone wanted, they could use constrained least squares to get a better fit. I do not have time to polish it up. The model isn’t perfect*, and the measurements have errors, but the signal to noise ratio is high – high enough to see the rather stark relationship between temperatures and CO2 rate of change and draw appropriate conclusions.

        * A more accurate model would weight the surface data to focus in on active regions, and allow for random drift and such.

      • Janice, you are doing an excellent job in the humor endeavor.

        This comment made me laugh …“Take a calculus class, Socrates”

        After that, anything you said was mostly irrelevant

      • David Socrates

        How does your “theory” explain the fact that global temps are flat but CO2 rises?
        What is dCO2/dt when (T-Teq) is zero? (like the past 15-17 years?)

        Bart then changes Teq to the right value and changes the factor to fit the trends (would be quite small for a glacial-interglacial change…)… That is all what Bart has done: curve fitting over the past 55 years and then make unwarranted conclusions of cause and effect.

        If you use the right offset and factor, you can fit any straight line (which the temperature increase more or less is) with any other straight line (which the dCO2/dt trend is).
        The problem is in the variability: because Bart uses the same factor for the amplitude of the variability as for the trend, the amplitude strongly depends of the difference in slopes between T and dCO2/dt. That means that since 1997 the amplitude of the variability is approaching infinity, as he needs a huge factor to match the trends for that time frame.

        If you plot the trend lines in his 1959-current diagrams, you will see that the trends don’t completely match, but the amplitudes do. If you make a perfect match of the trends, the amplitudes don’t match anymore…

        It simply proves (besides a lot of other indications) that the variability and trend of dCO2/dt have nothing to do with each other and are caused by different processes…

      • Ferdinand
        ..
        Another interesting quirk of the Bart theory is the following.

        He uses the chart

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1979/mean:12/derivative/plot/uah/from:1959/scale:0.22/offset:0.14
        ..
        As “evidence.”
        ..
        But note that if you look at the tail end of the chart up to the present time

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:2011/mean:12/derivative/plot/uah/from:2011/scale:0.22/offset:0.14

        The red line for the derivative of CO2 stops six months prior to the end of the temperature data.
        ..
        So, in order to discover what the dCO2/dt for December 2014 is, you have to wait until July 2015 for it to show up in the “evidence”

        In other words, the “evidence” for today’s value depends on data from the future.

        I don’t think that is a very good way to show a causal relationship.

      • I’ve been working with global CO2 data and these runnning annual slope data represent a global signiture of atmospheric CO2. That is, there is no significant difference in such plots from pole to pole. It is calculated on twelve months and centered on the middle month. This factors out the large annual variations that are latitude dependent. A running twelve months difference will give you a similar plot. The UAH temperature data are monthly averages which show a strong ENSO signal. To get the combined plot, the temperature data are normalized to the CO2 rate of change date and offset to match the peaks and valleys. It is strong evidence that natural emission rates from the tropics are atmospheric temperature dependent. Presently, I am doing mass balances on the the Arctic and the Antarctic. Multiple regression analysis reveals that both the ENSO temperature signal and anthropogenic emission rates are statistically significant, ENSO being stronger than anthropogenic.

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen @ January 9, 2015 at 6:33 am

        You are going off the rails.If you are going to recognize a guy who doesn’t even know what a derivative is on your team, you are going to lose credibility.

        “If you use the right offset and factor, you can fit any straight line (which the temperature increase more or less is) with any other straight line (which the dCO2/dt trend is).”

        That is what you are doing with the emissions data. The temperature data match both the trend and the variability. The emissions data do not.

      • fhhaynie @ January 9, 2015 at 8:24 am

        Will be interested to see what you come up with. “Statistically significant” is, of course, different from “significant”. With anthropogenic emissions estimated at something like 3% of natural emissions, I expect their impact to be on the order of 3% of the total, which is not a very significant proportion.

      • “a guy who doesn’t even know what a derivative is ”

        Too funny.

        Keep it up Bart….you crack me up.
        ..
        You can’t even tell the difference between correlation and causation, making a judgement about what I know?

      • Socks says:

        How does your “theory” explain…

        How many times must we explain that skeptics of the man-made global warming conjecture have nothing to prove. We have no global warming theory or conjecture to defend. The onus is on the alarmists who floated the CAGW conjecture, to defend it. The onus is not on skeptics. If it were, skeptics would be in the position of having to prove a negative.

        I have tried to teach that to socks, with the same miserable results. So the misunderstanding pops up again, and must be explained again.

      • Dbstealey.

        You are free to keep sticking your head in the sand if that is your desire. However, real scientists realize that the 0.8 degree C rise in global temps in the past 100-150 years needs an explanation. “Natural variation” is not sufficient. Secondly, the 400 ppmv of CO2 in the atmosphere is “unprecedented” in the 800,000 year ice core record.

        (reference: http://www.physics.mcgill.ca/~gang/eprints/eprintLovejoy/neweprint/Anthro.climate.dynamics.13.3.14.pdf for the rejection of H-zero)

      • David, we may be on the same line about Bart’s theory, but we are not on the same line about global “warming”.
        In short:
        – The direct theoretical effect (based on Modtran radiation changes) of 2xCO2 is ~0.9°C, all the rest is models, of which over 95% fail already today to follow the real temperature trend.
        – The latest estimated for 2xCO2, based on empirical data, not theory or models show 1-1.5°C for 2xCO2, the longer the “pause” gets, the lower that value will be.
        – The theoretical increase in radiation balance with the current 30% increase of CO2 is about 2 W/m2. The main sinks are the oceans, but the ocean heat content increase (as far as reliable) over the past decade needs less than 1 W/m2 for the observed warming. A small change in cloud cover has already more effect…
        – Something natural – whatever that may be – is the cause of the current “pause” in the warming, but as we don’t know what it is, the same natural cause may be responsible for (a large part of) the warming 1975-2000. Because it is unknown it is not included in climate models, neither in any theoretical calculation…
        – The 97% scientists who agree is complete nonsense, as what they agree upon is so broad that near everybody can agree on that. A much better insight on what lives in the scientific community can be seen in the enquiry from GKSS:
        https://www.academia.edu/2365610/A_Survey_of_Climate_Scientists_Concerning_Climate_Science_and_Climate_Change

      • Yes Mr Ferdinand Engelbeen

        We agree on more than one item.
        The 97% thing is an appeal to authority. I’m with you on that point.

        The problem with the empirical data on 2xCO2’s measurement is that we cannot accurately gauge the thermal inertia of the planet as a whole. We need both more time and more data to narrow the error bands.
        ..
        I refuse to use the word “pause”. From a statistical point of view, the current data not only says “there has been no global warming in X years”…..the current data also says “there has been no global cooling in X years”…truth of the matter is that what 2-sigma significance really says is……”We can’t say anything about the trend” or in simpler terms, “We don’t know” If you want to talk about 1-sigma confidence intervals, that is another story.

      • @ David,
        “we cannot accurately gauge the thermal inertia of the planet as a whole. We need both more time and more data to narrow the error bands.”
        We have lots of data for both a measure of 24 hour response and the surface response as the length of day changes.

      • Mi Cro
        ..
        Yes we have lots of data, but we lack the most important data necessary.
        .
        We don’t have enough data on the response of the world’s oceans to gauge the planet’s response to any given forcing.

  30. The formula :

    ∆T = k.log( ∆CO2) + f(∆T)

    I believe this might explain why CO2 lags temps (vs leading temps) in the Vostok ice core data. Perhaps some dat that suggests this is a more appropriate formulation.

    • Ice core Proxies and CO2 Equations

      At about 18:02 to 34:00 on the below video, you will see Dr. Murry Salby’s slides of:

      Conservation Equation, then, the Cross-covariance Between CO2 and Temp Equation (arrived at by multiplying the Conservation Eq. by Temp.), then, –> etc… .

      — using ice core proxies to prove that CO2 lags temp by a quarter cycle.

      Dr. Murry Salby – Hamburg, April, 2013

      • Janice, Dr. Salby is completely wrong on CO2 in ice: these only underestimate rapid changes, smaller than the resolution (=averaging time) of the ice core. But that doesn’t change the average. If the factor 10 (from an earlier video, here he speaks of a factor 15) underestimation after a period of 100,000 years was true, then we have:
        – a negative CO2 value for the last glacial period, as the 300 ppmv peak value lasted 10,000 years in the last interglacial (the Eemian), followed by 100,000 years of 180 ppmv values. If the 300 ppmv was in reality 3000 ppmv (as Dr. Salby alleges), then that was spread over 110,000 years (CO2 can’t creep out of the total of ice layers, as the atmosphere is currently much higher…), then the original values during the glacial period would have been around 180 – 270 = -90 ppmv, effectively killing (near) all life on earth…
        – an enormous decrease of CO2 over time: a factor 10 for each CO2 level 100 kyear back in time: that means 300*10^8 CO2 800,000 years ago. That is more carbon as CO2 than the earth has in stock, carbonate rock and sediments included…

        Thus sorry, Janice, what Dr. Salby says here is physically impossible…

      • Hello, Mr. Englebeen, we meet again!

        1. Assertion {at 11:57am on 1/7/15}: “the original values during the glacial period would have been around 180 – 270 = -90 ppmv, effectively killing (near) all life on earth…”

        Answer:

        {Note: I am granting, ad argumentum, for the purpose of this reply, that you have correctly applied Dr. Salby’s damping in ice/diffusion equation {at about 23:00 in the lecture} and all of his other analyses re: ice core proxies.}

        Yes. That is to say, your theory rules this possibility out by fiat, a priori. That is not science, it is a guess.

        **********************************

        2. Assertion {addressed to Bart at 1:19pm, today}:

        “Now you have a theory {…} without any feedback from the sink processes (oceans and vegetation)… .”

        Answer:

        Come, now, Mr. Englebeen. You are better than that. As if. You know very well that Bart is well aware of and has taken into account carbon mass balance and natural sources and sinks. Tsk, tsk.

        **************************************

        3. Assertion {addressed to Bart at 12:53pm today}:

        “… the too high δ13C level, { } excludes the oceans as important source both for an increase in throughput and an increase in the atmosphere.”

        Answer:

        You are making an unsupported assumption here. Dr. Salby and others assert, based on observations, that natural CO2 sources DO alter atmospheric Carbon 13.

        From my notes on Dr. Salby’s Hamburg lecture (posted by me on this thread on 1/6/15 at 3:58pm):

        *
        *
        *

        – CAGWers claim that human CO2 dilutes atmospheric Carbon 13; for this to be true, native sources of CO2 must NOT dilute C13. [35:41]
        – Native Sources of CO2 – 150 (96%) gigatons/yr — Human CO2 – 5 (4%) gtons/yr. Native = 2 orders of magnitude greater than human. [36:34]
        – Native sinks approximately* balance native sources —
        *approximately = even a small imbalance can overwhelm any human CO2. [37:01]

        – Since many native sources also involve Carbon 13, leaner than in the atmosphere, “ALL BETS ARE OFF.” [37:34]

        – What controls atmospheric CO2 is net emission from ALL sources and sinks. [33:47]
        – CO2 being conserved in the atmosphere, it is homogenized, i.e., evenly distributed, over long time periods (as observed, for land levels only, via satellites). [39:14]
        – High CO2 values (per SCIAMACHY satellites) are big CO2 sources – Note: they are not in industrialized nor highly populated regions (they are in Amazon basin, tropical Africa, and SE Asia). [39:40]

        – Observed deviations of global mean (natural) CO2 deviate widely, sometimes more than 100% from year to year, decade to decade – they are INcoherent with human CO2 emission rate, i.e, net global natural emission evolves independently of human emission. [41:20]
        – Observed global (land or ocean measurements) CO2 emission has strong sensitivity (.93 correlation [43:41]) to surface properties (mostly temperature, c = .8, and also soil moisture), i.e., increase in either increases CO2 native emissions. [42:35]
        C13 has strong coherence with temp. and soil moisture, but inversely, temp. up = C13 down. [44:28]
        — These opposite changes of C13 and CO2 are the same ones seen in the ice proxy record. [45:15]
        – The satellite record shows that the emissions are clearly NOT human, unless human emissions cause volcanic eruptions and El Nino. [45:22]

        *
        *
        *

        Good to see you again, Mr. Englbeen.

        HAPPY NEW YEAR, may 2015 be your best year, so far!

        Janice

      • Hello Janice,

        Some reactions:

        1. If Salby is right, the original CO2 level of 100,000 years ago as measured in an ice core is a factor 10 (15) too low. That is only possible if there was migration of CO2 in the ice core in that time frame.
        If that is the case, then the 300 ppmv measured over a period of about 10,000 years (interglacial) was originally 3000 ppmv and that has spread over the 100,000 long glacial period. That means that the CO2 levels during the glacial period (according to Salby) were much lower than the 180 ppmv which is measured now. CO2 can not disappear in ice (modern sublimation techniques recover >99% of all CO2 out of the samples), thus that means negative values in ice cores before the peak 3000 ppmv CO2 had largely migrated over the total time frame. 180 ppmv is already at the border of survival of C3 plants, it doesn’t look like that there was much migration in ice cores, or the original level would have been fatal for a lot of plants (and animals).
        Further, the net result of migration only stops when there is no difference in CO2 levels anymore. But we see peaks of ~300 ppmv during all interglacials, each 100,000 years further back in time. If Salby was right, then the first peak was originally 3000 ppmv, the second peak was 30,000 ppmv, etc.

        2. Bart’s formula only shows the influence of temperature without any feedback. That means that for a fixed temperature increase, the increase of CO2 goes on forever. Which is physically impossible…

        3. There are only two main sources of low-13C: fresh organics and fossil organics. All other known sources (oceans, volcanoes, rock weathering,…) are higher in 13C/12C ratio than the atmosphere. Thus if one of the other sources was the cause of the increase, the 13C/12C ratio in the atmosphere would go up, while we see a firm drop since humans added fossil fuels.
        Thus either fossil or recent organics are the cause. We know from the oxygen measurements that the biosphere as a whole (land and sea plants, microbes, molds, insects, animals) is a net producer of oxygen, thus a net user of (preferentially) 12CO2. Thus not the cause of the drop in 13CO2… The earth is greening… Something Salby should know if he had followed the (not so) recent literature.

        C13 has strong coherence with temp. and soil moisture, but inversely, temp. up = C13 down. [44:28]
        These opposite changes of C13 and CO2 are the same ones seen in the ice proxy record. [45:15]

        First sentence is right, second sentence is not right: over glacial-interglacial changes the δ13C level and CO2 levels parallel each other: the (deep) oceans are the cause of the increase of CO2, not increasing plant life, as that sucks CO2 out of the atmosphere (more plant growth in general at higher temperatures and more area freed from ice). Moreover, the change in δ13C is a few tenths of a per mil over the whole warming period and a few tenths of a per mil variability over the whole Holocene. Since 1850, the drop of δ13C is 1.6 per mil, far beyond anything seen over the past 800,000 years…

    • To david,

      The long term trend in the CO2 data should equal the average value of the short term derivative for the same time period. The derivative data from wood for trees appears to be calculated as a running two months difference and should be multiplied by 6 to be in ppm/year units. The short term (two months running trend)gives us information related to short term changes in net accumulation rates. These rate changes are at least an order of magnitude greater than anthropogenic emissions. The problem in the analysis is in determining what fraction of the long term derivative is natural and what is anthropogenic. One should not assume that there are no long term changes in natural emissions.

      • You sure about that scaling, Fred? When I integrated the temperature data, it appeared to me the data were in months, and so the scaling was degC-months. I thought the numerical derivative of CO2 was in ppm/month, so you would multiply by 12 to get ppm/year. It seems very odd to output stuff in ppm/(2 months). I’ll have to look at it more closely to confirm, but you might want to double check.

      • I looked at the raw data and the derivative gives no units and the values match the running two month differences (ie Mar – Jan centered on Feb) of the accumulation data. Also, I did running means and slopes on three months of accumulation data and got values 6 times the reported derivative values. What you are working with could be different from the data that David linked to. Your first plot did have running twelve months slopes.

      • Fred, the problem is in the fact that you can’t deduce the cause of the CO2 trend from the variability in the rate of change, as by taking the derivative you have removed the trend itself.
        From the opposite CO2 and 13C/12C changes it is clear that the variability in the rate of change is near completely caused by temperature changes (mostly ENSO on tropical forests). But that says next to nothing about the cause of the trend in the derivative, which anyway is not caused by vegetation: the whole biosphere is a net, increasing sink for CO2, the earth is greening.

        Both human emissions and the increase in the atmosphere show a slightly quadratic trend over time:

        If you take the derivatives (WfT has not the emissions data in its database), the slope of the CO2 emissions derivative is about twice the slope of the CO2 rate of change in the atmosphere, while the slope of the derivative of temperature is near zero:

        Thus in my opinion, based on all available data, the variability is near completely caused by the influence of temperature on the sink rate (oceans and vegetation), but the trend in CO2 is near completely caused by human emissions…

      • Bart’s argument is that the twelve months derivative (slope) of CO2 is a function of temperature, not that the slope is a function of the twelve months derivative of temperature. Normalize the Hadcrut raw data to the CO2 derivative data and do your second plot from 1960 and see what you get. Also, you can fit the temperature data to a segment of a long wave length sign wave to compare in your first plot.

      • Fred, I know that Bart combines the short term variability of temperature and its longer term (more or less linear) trend to “prove” that temperature is the driver of both the short term variability and trend of the CO2 rate of change.
        While that is true for the dT/dt and dCO2/dt, and CO2 and T, as both show a (process caused) 90 deg. lag, the timing of T and dCO2/dt has no lag, thus T is not the cause of the variability in dCO2/dt. That is the result of taking the derivative which shifts dCO2/dt 90 deg back in time, so that variations in dCO2/dt and T synchronize.
        Moreover dT/dt causes the variability in dCO2/dt as that is a direct influence of temperature (and drought, ENSO) on tropical forests. But vegetation is not the cause of the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere over longer periods (>3 years): the biosphere is a net sink for CO2.
        Thus while the short term variability in sink capacity is modulated by the variability in temperature, there is no reason to assume that the long term trend is temperature related…

      • Your circular reasoning mass balance want let you accept that natural emissions can be increasing over the longer than a year term or that such increases are not enough to make a difference. You know that natural emissions are around twenty times anthropogenic emissions and a few percent increase in natural emissions is in the same order of magnitude as anthropogenic emissions. As for the net sink “theory”, all the major sink areas do not function when they are frozen or dry.

      • fhhaynie:

        Of course, natural emissions and sinks do change over time, but as long as human emissions are larger (twice) the increase in the atmosphere, it is difficult to explain that the human emissions are not the cause of the increase. There is no sign that any natural source increased over time and there is no sign that the throughput in the atmosphere increased over time.
        Further, the biosphere is a proven sink for CO2 (from the oxygen balance) and the oceans are too high in 13C/12C ratio to explain the rapid drop in ratio as well as in the atmosphere as in the ocean surface.

        The difference between natural inputs and outputs was always more sink than source in the past 55 years and the variability of the net difference was only halve the human input:

        Thus while many natural inputs are an order of magnitude larger than the human input, the total variability of all natural sources and sinks together is relative small, only halve the human input and always negative (for yearly averages).

      • Bart’s temperature relationship indicates that longterm changes in natural accumulation rates is significant and my mass balance analysis on Arctic data indicates that the resulting natural accumulation rate is about twice that of the anthropogenic. Try doing your mass balance on the Arctic without the assumption that there is no longterm change in natural emission rates. Also, to be a valid relationship, it should track changes with time so your definition of long term has to be a fraction of the time of your data. Try five or ten years.

      • fhhaynie

        The medium long term increase in the atmosphere tracks the human emissions quite well, here for a 5-year running average:

        only the 1991 Pinatubo eruption is an outlier.
        For a 10-year average, it only gets better…

        I don’t think it is possible to have a detailed mass balance at any place of the world, we only have a quite accurate global mass balance as CO2 is readily mixed in the atmosphere. But if local CO2 levels are of some indication of local in/out fluxes, here the yearly averages at Barrow compared to Mauna Loa, Samoa and the South Pole:

        It doesn’t seem to me that there is more variability at Barrow over yearly averages than for the other places, even if the seasonal variation at Barrow is largest of all stations. Moreover, the year by year variability is in the order of +/-1 ppmv around the trend, while the trend is 2-2.5 ppmv/year and human emissions around 5 ppmv/year…

        Maybe some better local mass balances can emerge from OCO-2 and other satellites after a few full years of measurements…

      • Question, why do you think Pinatubo influenced Co2 sink rate?
        Second, I wonder what time of year Barrow and the S Pole, well actually when all of them were measured.

      • Your first figure is based on the assumption that natural emission rates are always balanced out by sink rates and sink rates only take up about half of the anthropogenic emission. It is a forced fit. Normalize the CO2 derivative data, the emissions data, and any tropical zone atmospheric temperature using a five year averaging period for each and find out which gives you the best fit. As to the second figure, as I have stated before, the derivatives of all those lines are essentially the same and represent a global signature for CO2. The derivatives are NET accumulation rates. So if anthropogenic emissions are uniformly distributed, you should be able to to estimate the relative contributions of natural and anthropogenic in any latitude zone.

      • Mi Cro,

        The influence of the Pinatubo explosion was two-fold: a small decrease in temperature, mainly in the tropics, which increases CO2 uptake (or less release) by the oceans and the scattering of sunlight by the debris/aerosols high up the stratosphere. That made that leaves, normally in the shadow of other leaves during part of the day, received more incoming light, thus more photosynthesis and less CO2 increase…

        Modern CO2 monitoring is continuous at all stations.
        Mauna Loa monitoring is described here:
        http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/about/co2_measurements.html
        They measure 10-second snapshots during 20 minutes of successive 2 input lines from a small tower. Then successive monitor 3 calibration gases with exactly known composition to calculate the slope between measured voltage and CO2 for the past hour. The hourly CO2 average + stddev of these calculated CO2 snapshots is published, the hourly averages are marked if something shows that not “background” CO2 was measured, like enriched by CO2 coming downslope from volcanic vents or upslope (depleted) from the valley, or instrument failure,… The marked data are not used in daily to yearly averages, but that hardly makes a difference: maximum 0.1 ppmv if you include or exclude the “outliers”.

      • fhhaynie,

        Your first figure is based on the assumption that natural emission rates are always balanced out by sink rates and sink rates only take up about half of the anthropogenic emission. It is a forced fit.

        What? I didn’t make any assumption, besides that the carbon in CO2 can’t be destroyed or can be created out of nothing… Emissions are quite well known from taxes, maybe somewhat underestimated (to avoid taxes), which only increases the sink rate. Increase in the atmosphere is quite exactly measured. The difference is always what nature as a whole absorbs or releases in that year.

        That may be all human emissions (as mass, not original molecules) plus a lot more in one year and more release than sink in the next year, which will show up as a decrease of CO2 in one year and an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere larger than the human emissions in the next year…

        Thus it is nature itself that shows that the natural CO2 inputs and outputs are quite balanced and that the sinks are larger than the sources no matter if any individual source or sink doubled or halved from one year to the next or switched from sink to source or vv. The net result of all natural ins and outs together is what the graph shows for each year as sink rate.

        That the average is about halve the yearly emissions is just coincidence, as the sink rate is directly proportional to the pCO2 difference between atmosphere and oceans (and plant alveoli), near independent of the emissions of that year. If we should stop one year with all emissions, the sink rate the first year would be the same, thus decreasing CO2 in the atmosphere.
        That the slope of the derivative is near a straight line is the result of the slightly quadratic increase of the (emissions and) increase in the atmosphere (and thus the sink rate). The variability around that slope is (near) entirely from temperature variability, which modulates the sink rate.

        The only way that Bart’s formula may work is when the natural sources completely paralleled the increase of human emissions at the same ratio and timing over the past 55 years: a 4-5 fold increase over that time frame. For which is not the slightest indication.

        So if anthropogenic emissions are uniformly distributed, you should be able to estimate the relative contributions of natural and anthropogenic in any latitude zone.

        Fred, one can’t deduce anything about the cause of a trend by looking at the derivatives: you have effectively removed the trend. In this case all what you can say is that the origin of the increase in the atmosphere is slightly quadratic in slope…
        What one can say by looking at the second figure is that the increase in the atmosphere starts at sea level in the NH and needs time to distribute with altitude and latitude towards the SH.
        The global increase is 2-2.5 ppmv/year, the NH ground level leads with 1 ppmv (6 months) the NH height of Mauna Loa (3,400 m) and with 2-3 ppmv (12 months) the SH at sea level + 6 months at 3,000 m height of the South Pole.

        As 90% of human emissions are in the NH at ground level, and show a slightly quadratic increase (and a lot of other observations that fit), that seems to me a good candidate for the origin of the increase. The proposed alternative: an increased upwelling from the deep oceans, which main source is in the SH Pacific before the Peruvian/Chilean coast, seems rather implausible if you look at the lead/lags (and a lot of other observations)…

      • So you say. Who to believe? I look to see what the data tells me not what I want the data to show. Do you agree that the derivative is the measured net rate of accumulation on any time scale or not? Please, for others, describe how you do your mass balance.

      • Fred, the mass balance:

        increase in the atmosphere = natural inputs – natural outputs + human emissions

        For the past years, that is about:
        4 GtC/year = X GtC/year – Y GtC/year + 9 GtC/year
        X – Y = – 5 GtC/year
        Where 1 ppmv in the atmosphere = 2.12 GtC

        Whatever X and Y may be, nature was a net sink for CO2 over the past 55 years.

        Some more details are known about the gross fluxes in nature, approximately (in = into the atmosphere):

        Ocean surface over the seasons:
        50 GtC in, 50.5 GtC out, net 0.5 GtC/year sink (based on ocean measurements and buffer theory)
        Deep oceans, continuous between poles and equator and back via the atmosphere:
        40 GtC in, 43.5 GtC out, net 3.5 GtC/year sink (based on tracer measurements and rest balance)
        Total biosphere over the seasons:
        60 GtC in, 61 GtC out, net 1 GtC/year sink (based on measurements of oxygen use, increasing sink since 1990)

      • The idea that nature has been a net sink is where you fail. Both natural and anthropogenic emissions have been increasing resulting in net accumulation. You are assuming a natural net sink in order to sink up half of anthropogenic emissions to get your mass balance. You could just as well estimate increased natural emissions and show that anthropogenic emissions are insignificant. Data indicate that both are increasing and you should be able to get a better handle on those assumed average flux rates you are using.

      • fhhaynie

        The idea that nature has been a net sink is where you fail. Both natural and anthropogenic emissions have been increasing resulting in net accumulation.

        It is possible that the natural emissions have been increasing, but there is no sign of that in any observation. But even if that was the case, the natural sinks must have increased as much as the natural emissions, except for the year by year variability (which is halve the human emissions) or you can’t have less increase in the atmosphere than of the human emissions alone (there are hardly any human sinks…).
        There is no sign of an increased throughput (increased natural sources + increased natural sinks) either.

        If you add extra CO2 from natural sources and from humans, without increased sinks, the net result would be a larger increase in the atmosphere than from human emissions alone.

        You can’t have AND an increase in net natural AND human emissions AND have only halve the increase of human emissions (as mass) in the atmosphere: what goes in minus what goes out is less than the human emissions (in mass), thus human emissions are fully responsible for the increase in the atmosphere as natural sinks were always larger than the natural sources over the past 55 years…

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen commented

        The idea that nature has been a net sink is where you fail. Both natural and anthropogenic emissions have been increasing resulting in net accumulation.
        It is possible that the natural emissions have been increasing, but there is no sign of that in any observation. But even if that was the case, the natural sinks must have increased as much as the natural emissions, except for the year by year variability (which is halve the human emissions) or you can’t have less increase in the atmosphere than of the human emissions alone (there are hardly any human sinks…).
        There is no sign of an increased throughput (increased natural sources + increased natural sinks) either.
        If you add extra CO2 from natural sources and from humans, without increased sinks, the net result would be a larger increase in the atmosphere than from human emissions alone.
        You can’t have AND an increase in net natural AND human emissions AND have only halve the increase of human emissions (as mass) in the atmosphere: what goes in minus what goes out is less than the human emissions (in mass), thus human emissions are fully responsible for the increase in the atmosphere as natural sinks were always larger than the natural sources over the past 55 years…

        While your conclusion does fit the facts, your “no sign of an increased throughput” doesn’t mean there isn’t any in the least expected of places (hence why we don’t really expect it).
        That new Co2 satellite will help us better understand the flow of Co2 in the environment.

      • Your circular reasoning fails again. The sinks don’t take up all of the natural emissions and leave half of the anthropogenic emissions in the atmosphere. The sinks are taking up about 95 percent of both leaving about five percent of both as accumulation. Also, a larger fraction of the natural increase could be biological (the Brazilian blob) resulting in the observed long term changes in the 13 CO2 index. Try putting some confidence limits on your flux numbers.

      • Mi Cro:

        While your conclusion does fit the facts, your “no sign of an increased throughput” doesn’t mean there isn’t any in the least expected of places (hence why we don’t really expect it).

        I have no problem with accepting that some individual input or output fluxes may have doubled or halved over time, because all we know with reasonable accuracy is the end result over a year: more sink than source and a year by year variability of +/- 1 ppmv, although more and more detailed fluxes are known from the installation of tall towers with inputs over different heights and more and more satellite measurements are coming in…

        The “no sign of an increased throughput” is based on different estimates of the residence time of any CO2 molecule in the atmosphere. That is around 5 years, but that slightly increased over time: the oldest estimates are slightly shorter than the most recent estimates. That points to a rather stable throughput in an increasing amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
        Here a graph of the different estimates:
        http://jennifermarohasy.com/2009/09/why-i-am-an-anthropogenic-global-warming-sceptic-part-3/
        Where the red line is not the residence time of CO2, it is the decay time of an extra amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, according to the Bern model, as used by the IPCC. The following discussion was focused on that difference…

      • fhhaynie

        The sinks are taking up about 95 percent of both leaving about five percent of both as accumulation.

        Agreed, except that it is about 20% of each that is replaced, not 95%, as both inputs are distributed over the total mass of CO2 in the atmosphere and the outputs take out the mixture.
        Moreover, the sinks react on total CO2 in the atmosphere above equilibrium with the oceans and vegetation, not on the CO2 input of that year. That is only ~2.5 ppmv/year (~5 GtC/year) from a 110 ppmv extra pressure in the atmosphere…

        If and only IF the natural and human inputs were both responsible for the increase, then the sink rate would be in ratio to the contribution of each:
        Natural inputs are ~150 GtC/year responsible for 4.7 GtC net sink rate
        Human inputs are ~10 GtC/year responsible for 0.3 GtC net sink rate
        or the net natural sink rate still is 4.7 GtC/year while the net contribution of human emissions still is 9.7 GtC/year…

        That is the real contribution of each net flux to the increase in the atmosphere.
        That means that there is no contribution of the natural carbon cycle to the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, only a lot of circulation through the atmosphere from natural sources and sinks and more sink than source.

        Also, a larger fraction of the natural increase could be biological (the Brazilian blob) resulting in the observed long term changes in the 13 CO2 index. Try putting some confidence limits on your flux numbers.

        That simply is impossible, as the oxygen balance shows that the earth is greening: the biosphere as a whole is a net, increasing sink for CO2, as the oxygen balance shows: More oxygen is produced by plants by photosynthesis than is used by plant decay and feed and food for insects, animals, humans…See:
        http://www.sciencemag.org/content/287/5462/2467.short
        http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mbattle/papers_posters_and_talks/BenderGBC2005.pdf
        Both with confidence limits…

  31. The general nature of the major (short run, not long run) negative feedback which must exist is probably Lindzen’ adaptive infrared iris hypothesis(2000), which Willis Eschenbach has independently developed here in his thermoregulation posts. The essence is tropical convection cells (thunderstorms) which move latent heat in water vapor into the upper troposphere. There, condensation into rain not only releases the heat where it has an easier time radiating to space (less GHG ‘fog’ to get through), the precipitation lowers the water vapor concentration reducing its GHG effect. Both are negative feedbacks as a function of temperature and water interactions.

    That this is so is supported by the CMIP5 tropical upper troposphere hotspot that does not exist observationally. It explains why CMIP5 undermodels rainfall by nearly a factor of 2. And it explains why observational UTrH declined with warming, while GCMmodels have it roughly constant (see AR4 WG1 black box 8.1).

    Even ignoring the mathamatical difficulties of nonlinear dynamic convection cells (which can be somewhat mitigated by boundary conditions of strange attractors in N-1 Poincare space), this process cannot be simulated by GCMs because computationally intractable. Grid cells would need to be on the order of less than 10×10 km. The finest CMIP5 resolution in about 110×110. As gird size shrinks, not only does the number of cells go up exponentially, the time steps have to shrink exponentially. It is roughly a three orders of magnitude beyond todays best supercomputers problem which (in discussing clouds) AR5 WG1 7 says won’t be resolved for decades, if ever.
    So the models are parameterized and tuned instead with respect to the ‘iris’ phenomena. The CMIP5 archive experimental design has tuning from roughly 1975 to YE2005. So of course GCMs run hot forward and have missed the pause/hiatus. Simple consequence of Akasofu’s 2009 observations.
    Essays Models all the way Down, Humidity is still Wet, Cloudy Clouds, and Sensitive Uncertainty in Blowing Smoke contain longer explanations, vivid illustrations, and literature references for all this.

    • “…The essence is tropical convection cells (thunderstorms) which move latent heat in water vapor into the upper troposphere. There, condensation into rain not only releases the heat where it has an easier time radiating to space (less GHG ‘fog’ to get through)…”

      Are you (or Willis or whoever) implying the tops of thunderstorm are the same or greater temperature than the surface where the parcel originated due to latent heating so all this ‘heat’ can radiate to space?

      References please…

      • Of course not. The cumulonimbus tops are usually well below freezing. Bottoms are near ambient surface. Hail, cold downdraft straight line winds, and all that. Hence the large circular windshear sensors at every major airport.
        But a convective cell generates upward momentum from its mass, and its core will be (even given altutude lapse rates) warmer than its surroundings until topped out by windshear ( the anvil portion of a thunderhead). You need to read up on convective Tstorms. And on what happens to latent heat when water vapor comdenses in a phase transition. Then get back.

      • GromitDog –

        Are you (or Willis or whoever) implying the tops of thunderstorm are the same or greater temperature than the surface where the parcel originated due to latent heating so all this ‘heat’ can radiate to space?

        You appear to be trying to impose Stefan Boltzmann radiative laws to latent heat release on state change – this is incorrect.

        The latent heat of water is not altered by ambient temperature. When water vapor changes state there is a standard latent heat of state change. If that state change gives off latent heat then that amount of heat will radiate and will not be altered by ambient temperature changes.

        So a water droplet freezing will radiate the same latent heat whether it freezes in ambient temperatures of 263K or 203K

        Updrafts in the Hadley Cells in the Intertropical Convergence Zone can be over 100kts and often carry water vapor and liquid water droplets to 30,000ft. You can see this radiation on the GOES satellite infrared imagery.

      • @Rud –

        “…The cumulonimbus tops are usually well below freezing.”

        Which is *exactly* my point, thank you! The tops of thunderstorms have less heat to radiate to space compared to surface parcels in the tropics (or most anywhere else). The latent heat is nearly irrelevant because it only adds 2.5 F additional heat to the 5.5 F dry adiabatic *cooling* process. If the top of a thunderstorm is around -70F, even after all the latent heat released on the way up, there is still less LWIR to radiate out to space than there was at the surface.

        “…warmer than its surroundings until topped out by windshear ( the anvil portion of a thunderhead).”

        uhh, no. The thunderstorms flatten out because they reach the tropopause which is a temperature inversion (temp gets warmer w/ height instead of colder) & the parcels stop lifting…and the latent heat process stops, btw. Wind shear is irrelevant to the thermodynamic process.

        “You need to read up on convective Tstorms. And on what happens to latent heat when water vapor condenses in a phase transition. ”

        Already have 40 years experience, thanks!

  32. your simplistic analysis doesn’t bear out against the actual published work.

    for instance, a small part of the climate models is the temperature feedback responses. . .

    maybe you can read and understand this paper, if so, then you would be very glad to understand that these are certainly NOT simple models. If, however, you cannot understand it, then I can certainly understand why you might call them simple.

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/11/1417/2011/acp-11-1417-2011.pdf

    Emulating coupled atmosphere-ocean and carbon cycle models with
    a simpler model, MAGICC6 – Part 1: Model description and
    calibration

    M. Meinshausen et. al. (2011)

    • Jan, I know English may not be your native language, so it may be you who does not get the ‘simple models’. From your referenced paper.

      Table 1. Overview of calibration exercises. The hemispheric land and ocean surface air temperatures and ocean heat uptake were used for each experiment.
      Calibration Method Experiments Useda Calibrated Parametersb
      I. “Basic/AR4-like” Idealized Scenarios (1pctto2×, 1pctto4×) 1T2×, RLO, Kz
      II. “Medium” Idealized Scenarios (1pctto2×, 1pctto4×) 1T2×, RLO, Kz, dKztop, dT, kNS, kLO, μ
      Idealized Scenarios (1pctto2×, 1pctto4×)
      III. “Full” and Multi-Forcing Runs 1T2×,RLO, Kz, dKztop, dT, kNS, kLO, μ
      (20c3m, COMMIT, SRESB1, SRESA1B)

      a The scenarios are: 1pctto2×= 1% annual CO2 concentration increase until CO2 doubling, then stabilization; 1pctto4×= 1% annual CO2 concentration increase until CO2 quadrupling, then stabilization; 20c3m = historical 20th century run; COMMIT= year 2000 concentration stabilization; sresb1 = IPCC SRES B1 scenario; sresa1b = IPCC SRES A1B scenario.
      b The calibrated parameters are as follows: 1T2× = climate sensitivity (KW−1m2), i.e., warming after a doubling of CO2 concentrations; RLO=Land-Ocean warming ratio at equilibrium; Kz = vertical diffusivity in ocean (cm2 s−1); = sensitivity of feedback factors to radiative forcing change 1Q away from doubled pre-industrial CO2 forcing level 1Q2×, see Eq. (A51); dKztopdT =sensitivity of vertical diffusivity at mixed layer boundary to global-mean surface temperatures (i.e., thermal stratification). A linear diffusivity profile change is assumed for layers between the mixed and bottom layers; kLO = Land-Ocean heat exchange coefficient (Wm−2 K−1); μ = an amplification factor for the ocean to land heat exchange (see Eq. A50).

      I seem to recall something about number of parameters and elephants waving their trunks. That was with 5 parameters and these guys are using 8. “Now I’ve seen an elephant fly!”

      http://www.johndcook.com/blog/2011/06/21/how-to-fit-an-elephant/

    • jai mitchell,

      Although you use the terms ‘simple’ and ‘simplistic’ in your comment, it appears that you don’t know that they’re not synonyms of one another.
      ‘Simplistic’ means ‘simpler than what is called for.’. It doesn’t imply simplicity by any other criterion.

      Anyway, Leo Smith called the climate models ‘simplistic’, he didn’t call them ‘simple’.

      Funnily enough, the paper you linked to does refer repeatedly to ‘simple’ models and how well they emulate complex models.

  33. “The miracle of AGW is that all this has been simply tossed aside, or considered some kind of constant, or a multiplier of the only driver in town, CO2.

    When all you know is linear systems analysis everything looks like a linear system perturbed by an external driver.

    When the only driver you have come up with is CO2, everything looks like CO2.”

    Boom.

    • Provoter: That just about simplified it to a simplistic level….. or not. But I hear a complaint from the hammer and nails. :)

  34. See 11:57AM and 11:12 AM comments above.
    Also,The climate models are built without regard to the natural 60 and more importantly 1000 year periodicities so obvious in the temperature record. Their approach is simply a scientific disaster and lacks even average commonsense .It is exactly like taking the temperature trend from say Feb – July and projecting it ahead linearly for 20 years or so. They back tune their models for less than 100 years when the relevant time scale is millennial.
    The entire UNFCCC -IPCC circus is a total farce- based, as it is, on the CAGW scenarios of the IPCC models which do not have even heuristic value. The earth is entering a cooling trend which will possibly last for 600 years or so.
    For estimates of the timing and extent of the coming cooling based on the natural 60 and 1000 year periodicities in the temperature data and using the 10Be and neutron monitor data as the most useful proxy for solar “activity” check the series of posts at
    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com
    The post at
    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2014/07/climate-forecasting-methods-and-cooling.html
    is a good place to start. One of the first things impressed upon me in tutorials as an undergraduate in Geology at Oxford was the importance of considering multiple working hypotheses when dealing with scientific problems. With regard to climate this would be a proper use of the precautionary principle .-
    The worst scientific error of the alarmist climate establishment is their unshakeable faith in their meaningless model outputs and their refusal to estimate the possible impacts of a cooling rather than a warming world and then consider what strategies might best be used in adapting to the eventuality that cooling actually develops

  35. Somewhat O/T

    Seems to me that there is a “positive forcing” common in one activity in the world and that is making a graded track with a bulldozer.

    The blade on a dozer is in front of the track system, so a rise in the front idler is magnified at the blade edge. And again (negatively) when the track passes over the hump. And more-so when the track gets to the hump just created. And worse at the next one.

    Takes operator skill to minimise (I guess this is called minimising the instability) and needs caution when driving on such tracks.

    • That’s why old bull dozer operators take advantage of angling the blade. Damps out the oscillations. Call it the tropical convection cell of pioneer road building.

      pbh

    • That’s why they use road graders for the finish work. Bulldozers are just used to get it close.

    • Not that off topic. Something as simple as the corrugation of dirt roads is not understood properly. If the IPCC guys get to it, all cars other than their luxury mobile homes will be banned.

  36. I’m an engineer too, with lots of heat transfer experience. When you hot roll steel, 0.9 emissivity, its net radiative heat loss only exceeds natural convection at ~100 deg C. For aluminium, ~300 deg C. The Earth’s surface emits net mean surface IR at ~63 W/m^2; 40 via the Atmospheric Window ( 8 – 14 microns ), 23 via non self-absorbed H2O bands, absorption depth a few kms, no real warming.

    The claim of 157.5 W/m^2 ‘Clear Sky Atmospheric Greenhouse Factor’ being absorbed and thermalised in the lower atmosphere is based on the assertion from 1981_Hansen_etal.pdf that there is a discrete -18 deg C OLR emitting zone between 5 and 6 km, also radiating downwards. It doesn’t exist.

    This is part of a ‘bait and switch’ claiming ‘back radiation’ is a real energy flux instead of the atmospheric radiant Emittance, potential energy flux to Absolute Zero. They create the following energy balance: 238.5 total SW atmospheric warming + 333 ‘back radiation’ – 238.5 Down |OLR| = 333, 40% increase over reality.

    66% increase in lower atmosphere warming is partitioned between oceans and the atmosphere; upper atmosphere cooling is increased 36% compared with reality. Until 2010 we didn’t know how they got the imaginary extra humidity; it’s done on the GISS models by assuming ~35% more low level cloud albedo than reality. This heats the sunlit modelled ocean air by twice the rise above mean temperature compared with cooling under clouds; exponential evaporation kinetics purports imaginary future evaporation whilst keeping mean hind-cast temperatures at the correct level.

    When Hansen warned US Congress in 1988 of more lower atmosphere warming, more upper atmosphere cooling, higher humidity as [CO2] increased, all these were modelling artefacts. I’ve left the best bit until last. In 1977, co-IPCC founder Sir John Houghton showed that lapse rate convection means no temperature difference between surface and local (~30 m ) atmosphere. 157.5 W/m^2 would need 15.47 K temperature drop (assumes 0.75 atmospheric Emissivity), cooler atmosphere than since the Ordovician Ice Age, 444 million years ago. There can be no Enhanced GHE!

    Because the atmosphere self-controls via the water cycle warming for all well mixed GHGs, making it near zero, we explain the ‘hiatus’. The previous warming was the positive ENSO plus the real AGW from Asian aerosols, now saturated. When Houghton co-founded the IPCC using the Hansen ‘mistake’, it seems he gave up Science.

    PS The problem is that for >50 years, US Atmospheric Science has taught incorrect radiative physics so most people imagine emitters continuously spew out photons; incorrect – you must use wave mechanics plus Maxwell’s Equations. Net surface IR flux is the vector sum of Irradiances at a plane just outside the surface. In time, Science will prevail and eject the fraudsters and incompetents.

    • Alecm
      You are making progress.
      “Net surface IR flux is the vector sum of Irradiances at a plane just outside the surface”
      You used to say that incoming photons inhibited outgoing emissions.
      “most people imagine emitters continuously spew out photons; incorrect ”
      No wait, you still say it.
      For a moment there I had hopes.

      • The photon only exists at the instance of energy transfer to or from matter; see Planck’s disspiative oscillators.

        The ‘inhibition’ is the vector interaction of Poynting Vectors; Maxwell’s Equations.

      • In vacuum, a photonic energy packet is enclosed in the vector sum of the Irradiances t a plane or a point.

        In other words, it is a virtual entity which is only activated by measurement.

        Heisenberg knew this……

  37. WRT you opening photo…

    Would that climate models had followed the same “turkey flight” trajectory of the Edsel… gone in three years (1958-60). Maybe we’ve reached the “beginning of the end”.

    • There was, of all things and I really am serious, an Edsel parked in side-street in Carlisle (right up here in the furthest corner of Cumbria) about 3 weeks ago. Never seen before nor since.
      You had to form an orderly queue to get a glimpse of it.
      I don’t think any more cameras could have flashed if Scarlett Johanssen had come to town wearing only a smile and some No 5
      Be careful what you wish for and all that…..

      • Shoot, a neighbor on my block had one for years. Terrible paint, quite a bit of rust, but it ran, and he made a good bit of money renting it out for weddings.

  38. “If such a feedback existed, any driver of temperature, from a minor change in the suns output, to a volcanic eruption must inevitably trigger massive temperature changes.”

    Thank you, Leo, for this observation. It is one that I have long thought should be made more often and forcefully by sceptics. In particular, why did the temperature rise generated by the huge El Nino of 1998 so quickly dissipate, rather than being amplified. Surely, the warming ‘pause’ that has followed that event is counter-intuitive to this idea of amplification?

    • You will find another anomaly in the response to Pinatubo (sp?) . I can’t recall where I read the paper, but the IPCC positive feedback should have amplified the response to Pinatubo to create a sort of nuclear winter. It didn’t.

      My memory of that paper is not good, but the impression I left with was that the feedback had to be about zero,. That is the effects of Pinatubo ash and aerosol was precisely what you would expect in there was no temperature amplification at all.

      There is so much evidence against the feedback being there and yet its all so ignored.

  39. An ignoramus’s question: what’s the difference between positive and negative feedbacks, as described in the post? Positives are bad, and negatives are good? Would somemone scientific indulge me with a sentence of two? Thanks.

    • U. Books,

      Not a bad question at all. An elevator explanation:

      With negative feedbacks, the system is hard to perturb. It will tend to remain the same, because negative feedback tends to pull the system back to it’s long term base line.

      With positive feedbacks, a tiny change can make the system go out of control.

      [/elevator speech.]

      Holding a microphone next to it’s speaker will amplify the very faint sounds it picks up. You get a positive feedback loop; the system reinforces the feedback — and you will immediately hear loud squeals from the speaker: positive feedback.

      That analogy holds with the planet: if negative feedbacks control the climate, there is nothing to worry about. Any oscillations or amplification will be promptly damped out. But if positive feedback was the controlling factor, the planet would either hit its extreme limit as an icehouse, or a hothouse world. With positive feedbacks a system will promptly go to extremes.

      But since the planet’s temperature has been extremely steady [temperatures at the equator have remained within ±1ºC for more than a billion years], the obvious conclusion is that negative feedbacks control the climate system.

      The alarmist narrative claims that positive feedbacks will result in runaway global warming and climate catastrophe. But there is no evidence whatsoever of that happening.

      • Here’s my understanding of what happens with positive feedbacks. When the CO2 forcing stabilizes, the climate will come into equilibrium, so there’ll be no danger of runaway global warming,

        The changes we have seen in the climate so far are only part of the full response we can expect from the current energy imbalance, caused only by the greenhouse gases we have released so far. Global average surface temperature has risen between 0.6 and 0.9 degrees Celsius in the past century, and it will likely rise at least 0.6 degrees in response to the existing energy imbalance.

        As the surface temperature rises, the amount of heat the surface radiates will increase rapidly. If the concentration of greenhouse gases stabilizes, then Earth’s climate will once again come into equilibrium, albeit with the “thermostat”—global average surface temperature—set at a higher temperature than it was before the Industrial Revolution.

        However, as long as greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise, the amount of absorbed solar energy will continue to exceed the amount of thermal infrared energy that can escape to space. The energy imbalance will continue to grow, and surface temperatures will continue to rise.

        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/EnergyBalance/page7.php

      • So if the sensitivity is low and anthropogenic emissions are not causing most or all of the rise in CO2 concentrations, the AGW arguement for reducing the burning of fossil fuels has no legs to stand on.

    • UB, see posts above for references.
      For a simple analogy, think about a simple weight hanging from a spring, motionless. The system is in equilibrium. Now ‘force’ the system by stretching the spring (what adding CO2 is supposed to do to climate). The weight starts to bob up and down on the spring (described in first year physics by partial differential equations).
      Now air friction, heating losses from elastic distention of the spring, and a bunch of other stuff provide ‘negative’ feedback. We all know that eventually the spring and weight settle down to their prior motionless state unless there is another ‘forcing’. That is negative feedback– it damps the system.
      If there was somehow positive feedback, the system would oscillate ever more violently until finally the spring broke and the weight flew off. Which is why one comment above said if you ever land on a planet with net positive feedback, get off ASAP. And another said such circuits will melt down.

      Apologies for borrowing the analogy from Feynman’s Lectures on Physics (1962-63) Book 1. But it is another illustration of how the warmunist ‘Cargo Cult religion’ is mostly devoid of real basic science, despite all the trappings. Another Feynman reference.

      • Thank you very much for your response. I really appreciate it. I love coming here for some sanity, and explanations by people who know what they are talking about. I’m just embarrassed, sometimes, to ask dumb questions, but I’m learning.

      • UB, one thing I learned long ago. There are no dumb questions.
        The dumber the question, the smarter the questioner probably is. Not having specific knowledge is not dumb. It is merely uninformd concerning the facts behind the question.
        Inspector Columbo comes readily to mind…AH, Sir, just one more question (pats pockets)…
        Glad to have been of some small service as you educate yourself on a wickedly complex topic.

      • The spring/weight system is a false analogy. It has, when you remove friction etc, no mechanism for energy loss, and if you force an input with no outlet, something’s gotta give.

        Climate has a loss mechanism, which is S-B IR radiation to space. Here’s a circuit analogue. You connect a 1mA current source to earth through a 1 kΩ resistance. The source is at 1V (Ohm’s law).

        Then you feed back half the current. That feedback current also has to flow through the resistor. Some linear stuff says that you now have 2mA flowing. The 1mA feedback is half that, and there is still the 1mA from the current source. And 2V across the resistor.

        That is linear, stable; what you see from the source is a doubled resistance.

        If you feed back 90% of current, the resistance is 10x. And 100% means that indeed no current can get out. Runaway, V= ∞. But there is a big range of positive feedback before you get there.

        In climate, we are at about the 2 kΩ stage. Mainly, a rise of 1K raises the temperature, increases up IR, and the warmth increases humidity, wv radiates back about half the increased IR, and the effective resistance to out IR is doubled. But still stable.

      • Nick, nice try. It was an analogy to explain negative feedback to UB. Finding you responding to it means it was a ‘treffer’.
        Else you would not be babbling on down thread here using non-resonant circuit analogies that have no feedbacks and are therefore irrelevant.
        You are busted in terms of general science. But that is not new news, as AW’s opening response already revealed.

      • An excellent analogy. For a positive one, we can take a look at a Disney movie – The Absent Minded Professor, and his invention, Flubber. Flubber was an example of a positive feedback, where a little energy interjected into the system was multiplied by positive feedbacks.

        Fortunately, Flubber is just make believe.

    • Positive feedback acts to amplify changes, negative feedback acts to oppose changes.

      Too much positive feedback leads to runaway.

      That’s the case for static system, dynamic systems are a bit more complicated. Imagine a system where the negative feedback arrives late. For a while the system changes unimpeded. Then the negative feedback comes along and tries to stop it, but its already changed, so it starts to back down on the change, but the negative feedback is still telling it to back down even after it HAS backed down, so the system goes into reverse and undershoots and it takes yet more time before the negative feed back that has done the job stops trying to do it, and things start to get back to normal. If the feedback is too great instead of stabilising the system it turns it into an oscillator.

      Are you familiar with the terms ‘tank slapper’ and ‘tail happy’ from the motor racing fraternity? The vehicle starts to lose grip at the rear, so you turn into the skid and reduce power, which massively pulls the back end in so fast it goes into a skid in the opposite direction..ouch. Got the T shirt on that one many times.

      The trick is to use feed forward – you have to add anticipation to the feedback so it knows what’s going to happen before it has happened, and adjust itself a bit. A good racing driver will start to uncorrect and reapply power well before the car is back square with the road.

      The fundamental issue is that time delayed negative static feed back makes a dynamic oscillator. Add in two or three negative feed back paths with different time delays and maybe a touch of non linearity – like a steering rack with lots of play in it, and some worn out shock absorbers and a toolbox sliding around the trunk and you can get all sorts of wildly unpredictable behaviours.

      And that is really what I am saying ‘fits the bill’ for climate. negative feedback and plenty of it via various different paths all of which have different delays and many of which exhibit non linear transfer functions turns a stable system not into an oscillator, but into a chaotic system that is always over correcting and is never stable except briefly and by pure coincidence. Conversely the gain is such that its never truly unstable either. It will not go beyond certain limits.

      I maintain that that matches what we know of climate far better than linear simple models.

      It maps well onto la nina and el nino events too. Sometimes they look periodic, and there is a certain tendency to be there in a periodic fashion, but sometimes they just are not there at all for periods too.

      Static systems are the easiest to analyse,(think bridges) then linear dynamic ones with few feedback paths (a radio set or amplifier perhaps) . Go for multiple feedback paths with varying delays and non linearity and you have the most complex systems analysis its possible to get. Engineers avoid building machines like that simply because they fail in being what machines should be. Predictable. They make great toys though.

      is as good as it gets to show how the magnets – which represents three independent negative feedback paths (gravity is a fourth) trying to pull the pendulum to their preferred ‘stable’ state cause it to wobble around massively with no guarantee it will end up over any given one of them. If there was no friction in the system you can imagine than it would wobble forever, and it night, depending on how much energy was in it, stay for a large period of time orbiting one magnet, before jumping off to orbit another. This is very much the simplest non linear negative feedback dynamic system you can build where the time lag is a function of the mass and inertia of the pendulum bob.

      In chaos maths that is a ‘system with three attractors’.

      • Interesting that the pendulum does seem to go through similar variations in its motion before settling on an attractor. Perhaps this appearance disappears over many trials.

      • Comment on this non-linerar system — ah, yes. Fine example of a simple non-linear system, with three attractors (both literally and in the chaos theory sense).

        Pearse is absolutely correct — “the pendulum does seem to go through similar variations in its motion before settling on an attractor.” — similarity of this type is a feature of chaos, not a bug ( eek…a geek computer joke!). Many chaotic system have sequential results that seem entirely random, yet “appear” to have similarities in different segments or periods — some appear so “similar” that one swears they are periodic or repeating sequences — but they are not found to be so when looked at numerically. . Some of those system are quite beautifully ordered if looked at in slightly different ways.

        Try the suggested reading list on the topic.

  40. A model that doesn’t match or come close to representing reality is, at best, a toy.
    (OK. Sometimes eye candy.8-)

    • At least the Edsel has some collector value.
      Doubt GCMs ever will except to some Museum of Science Gone Wrong. An exhibit next to Phlogiston, perhaps. Better, next to Piltdown Mann holding a hockey stick.

      • Such a museum would be of great value.
        If we only teach the sciences by their successes then we will keep reproducing their failures.

        Does anyone know of such an online Museum of Scientific Blunder?

  41. At the top of this post Anthony said he suspected Nick Stokes might be paid.
    Just happens that I noticed something a little odd at the Guardian over the recent holiday period.
    An article on Climate Change was posted and a number of skeptics were first to respond, normally these comments would have been swamped and howled down by Warmists within minutes…there was quite a few hours of eerie silence before this happened.
    I’m guessing paid Warmists need their holiday breaks just like the rest of us…or maybe nowadays their pay masters simply can’t afford the penalty rates for holiday workers!

    • Or sceptics work from home (or work) while Alarmists are in Academia – which closes down entirely.

      Academia requires science activity and profile building as the core part of the job. Commenting on the Guardian may not be a paid activity but rather an obligation of the Academic world.

      Maybe check the summer holidays for a test?

  42. The first few words made me think it was yet another rant against models in general, and therefore against science in general.

    However, I was very pleasantly surprised that this article was excellent. As an EE, I deeply appreciate Leo’s engineering mindset and reasoning.

    Since I don’t have first hand knowledge of actual climate models, I have to agree with Nick Stokes partially about the characterization of those models. I would –GUESS– that they are a lot closer to Leo’s characterization than they are to a thorough control systems analysis based solely on established first principles.

    No one is arguing over the actual shape of the equation itself.

    You’re right. I did make the same arguments some 7 years ago on CA.

  43. From ~1983 to 1997, I was an Electronic Design Automation Application Engineer, one of my main tasks was demo’ing and supporting customers with our simulation products. I’d be the guy someone like Leo would call and ask why his simulation didn’t do what he expected (ie in this case the simulation results showed the circuit worked, and the actual design didn’t).
    There are all sorts of considerations with models, test conditions, assumptions, plus we had 4-5 different simulation products, Analog differential equation solvers (basis for GCM’s), gate level digital simulators, behavioral simulator, Digital Timing analyzer, and then we also had interconnect modeling, and test vector analysis / simulators, all with different strengths, weaknesses, different levels of dependance on the circuit setup in the simulator, all this mattered. Then once you got a result, you had to understand what it was answering in reference to the question you asked.

    I too believe the claims of the Modelers are overstated, and suspect that all they’ve done is taken the long road into the wilderness and ended up lost, but afraid to ask for directions.

  44. Great post. As (also) an engineer, I’ve come to think about it this way:

    1. As Mosher, among others, tell us repeatedly, man-made growth in CO2 is a growth in forcing.
    1a. CO2 is not a feedback.
    2. We know from ice cores, etc. that CO2 has been much higher in the past, hence the forcing from CO2 must have been higher in the past.
    3. We know that the temperature of the earth did not runaway in the past from the increase in CO2 forcing.
    4. CO2 is CO2 in that the climate system cannot tell the difference between CO2 generated by man versus CO2 generated by nature.
    5. Therefore, CO2 from man cannot cause temperature to runaway, unless someone wants to define the mechanism by which manmade CO2 (and only manmade CO2, not nature-made CO2) acts both as a forcing and changes the feedback mechanisms.
    6. Should mankind survive long enough we will eventually see both extremes of climate. We should prepare to live with both versus wasting time thinking we can control the climate.

  45. And kudos on this from yet another engineer. Thanks for saying what a lot of us think about this modelling mess. I use simple optical radiation and imaging models every day it always amazes me how one could expect all their high powered GCM’s to work when they don’t yet know how the climate works to begin with. We should call them GPM’s, Global Political Models because that’s all the inputs and outputs are… pure politics.

  46. [snip – more krap from the BANNED Doug Cotton. Doug, when are you going to get it through your head that you are not welcome here under ANY of the many different fake names you use? Get, out, stay out. -Anthony ]
     
    .

  47. This is just amazing.

    Leo Smith contributes an interesting anecdotal post about an a “perfect” model yielding an imperfect “real” system, and we get 120 intense comments (mine included) in the space of 3 1/2 hours, that do little more than prove arguments about angels on the heads on pins still enthrall us.

    The only legitimate response to Leo’s point is (like the GEICO commercial) “everybody knows that”, or, perhaps “everybody SHOULD know that”.

    • With many of the posters having used simulation tools, and been responsible for their results when measured against real examples of the systems modeled.

    • Unfortunately, too many refuse to see reality, but you’re right. Stuck on Stupid seems to be the order of the day for far too many.

    • But the point he makes is this:

      (And I absolutely agree with it)

      “…That leads to a direct piece of engineering wisdom: If a system is not dominated by a few major feedback factors, it ain’t stable. And if it has a regions of stability then perturbing it outside those regions will result in gross instability, and the system will be short lived.

      Climate has been in real terms amazingly stable. For millions of years. It has maintained an average of about 282 degrees absolute +- about 5 degrees since forever.

      So called ‘Climate science’ relies on net positive feedback to create alarmist views – and that positive feedback is nothing to do with CO2 allegedly: on the contrary it is a temperature change amplifier pure and simple.

      If such a feedback existed, any driver of temperature, from a minor change in the suns output, to a volcanic eruption must inevitably trigger massive temperature changes. But it simply never has. Or we wouldn’t be here to spout such nonsense….”

      • A computer model that produces something that doesn’t match reality is worthless.
        How many manufacturers would produce a product that a computer model said would work after the actual prototype failed?
        In such a case only the trial lawyers win.
        Who wins what by basing policy on the climate models?

  48. With engineering computer models, the more real measurements and data you get on the response of your system the more correlation you can do to improve your model. What surprises me about looking at computer model predictions is that I haven’t seen any that have been adjusted to match the response of the last 20 years. Shouldn’t they be able to take the climate data over the last X years that we have measurements for, CO2 levels, solar activity, volcanic activity, ocean currents, whatever else is a variable in climate predictions, put in real measured values after you get them, and then change the unmeasurable unknowns (like feedback levels in a climate system) so the model predictions for temperatures match what was observed? Once your model makes predictions that match the past, you have more confidence it can predict future responses. It won’t be perfect, but you keep learning from new data, keep refining your model so the predictions improve. Then you re-run your refined model to show that you match the past, and show your updated prediction for the future. But I haven’t seen any climate model output that has shown it can match the past 20 years. They update their predictions so they are CLOSER to the measured temperatures, but still above them, and still wrong. I don’t get that, its like they don’t believe the measurements. “Well we think the REAL temperatures were at this level up here above the measured data, so we correlated to that”. Why don’t they update the models so the predictions MATCH measured temperatures in the past? Then show us their predictions for the future.

    • put in real measured values after you get them, and then change the unmeasurable unknowns (like feedback levels in a climate system) so the model predictions for temperatures match what was observed?

      Steve,
      My understanding is that when they do this, CGM output doesn’t match measurements, and that they use aerosols as an modelers adjustment.

    • “What surprises me about looking at computer model predictions is that I haven’t seen any that have been adjusted to match the response of the last 20 years. ”

      These adjustments would likely cause the model results to contradict the message that CO2 is a huge environmental threat. That’s why they haven’t been made; and also why they haven’t managed to cull the known bad actors from the ensemble.

  49. I have been preparing a guest essay on the applicability of the various principles of “Chaos Theory” to this subject. In the meantime, I suggest re-reading Dr. Robert G. Brown’s recent essay which touches on the issues involved.

    The simple fact is that the climate system itself is a bounded coupled non-linear dynamic system — and made up more-than-one non-linear sub-systems — similar to Mr. Smith’s capacitance problem:

    Over large voltage swings the effect is massively non linear. The model was simply inadequate……Most of engineering is to design things so that small unpredictable effects are swamped by large predictable ones. Any stable design has to work like that. If it doesn’t, it ain’t stable. Or reproducible.

    Unfortunately, even mentioning Chaos and Climate in the same sentence tends to bring out two equally-wrong camps: those that say “See, the whole climate/weather system is just random and can’t be predicted at all” and those who claim that “calling the climate chaotic is anti-science — to say the climate is chaotic denies all of science!”

    That is what I hope to dispel in my essay — don’t hold your breath — I have struggled with the essay for months.

      • RCB is really the inspiration for what i said. I cant beat him on knowledge: I just tried to make it more accessible. I left academia after gaining a degrees and worked in industry. It was a challenge to transfer my knowledge to others who hadn’t had that education. But I persisted in the attempt.

        On several occasions I got my comeuppance, and finally dealt it back too.

        1/. “How do you know that hoist will safely lift ten tonnes’ ‘because we had fifteen on it last week and it didnt bend or break”.

        2/. “How can you repair that amplifier when you dont know how it works at all?” “Well I just take out all these things here (transistors) and if those are burnt (resistors) , them too, and replace them, and then it works” “And if it doesn’t?” “I give it to Richard and if he cbnt fix it in ten minutes he throws it in the bin after we take all the expensive bits off it and test them”.

        3/.” How do you know the noise is coming from this wonderful German designed Philips tuner head and not your own amateurish designed IF strip” “I forget. I am busy and I think getting you in and paying you three times my salary is a bloody waste of money”…a week later…”well I have done all the calculations on your IF strip and it seems to be ok so I guess it is the tuner head” “well I told you so. I remember now, I took the tuner head off, pout on a dummy load and the noise all went, so it had to be the tuner head” “and how long did that take you? ” “30 seconds actually”.

        I think what struck me is the radically different approaches to problem solving that people of different backgrounds would take …one time a pair of us were trying to puzzle out if we had the right number of tables to fully describe all te possible combianations of some data transformational rules we wanted to specify. We thought we had it taped, but we couldn’t prove that we had. Until along came our Phd Maths guru. ‘can you see a way to prove this?’ “oh, what’s that, three tables of two columbs, and you variables are..oh yeah. That’s right. That’s all you need’. ‘Are you sure?’ Pitying look, ‘iys basic 3×2 matrix. Didnt you DO matrices? Well I had, but I used to bug out an read the newspaper in those lectures. Never saw the pint…Hmm.

        Which is all to say that RCB is the real McCoy, and I am merely translating his words of wisdom into concepts that mere mortals can understand.

        He is like my maths guru. saying ‘its simple 3×2 matrix or t ‘an array of coupled non linear Navier Stokes equations’ doesn’t do it for me.

        A ‘system of sufficient complexity it can do that all by itself ‘ is the point we want to make.

    • Kip, I understand the idea of it, but to me, the most obvious thing about the climate system is its stability, the +/- 2% variance in degrees Kelvin over millions of years. Yes this variance can take us from a glacial max to an interglacial optimum (I prefer maximum for this, too) and it is important to try to know which way we might be heading, especially in the cooling case. I think thinking chaos arises out of the bottom up science in a problem (I’m an engineer, too) perhaps better viewed from the top down.

      I like Smith’s type of formula a lot. We know certain things, some of which I think are quite remarkable. The energy budget seems decently known – we have satellites measuring what comes in and what goes out. We know the enthalpy of water in its three states and an effort to better quantify the volumes of these and their changes would be an early priority in a real climate science mission. I just learned a day or so ago from Willis’s post that the albedo of both northern and southern hemispheres is the same, regardless of the differences between the two! We know there is a cap of ~31C for open ocean SSTs. We know significant orbital mechanics effects. We know maybe enough about radiative physics. Finally we know that no matter how these things all stack up at one time or another, negative feedbacks will limit the extremes to ~2% of the T-Kelvin. We know it involves albedo changes and such but perhaps we can make some strides if we make the feedback equal + or -“x” to start with the direction of course being to limit the drift to the roughly known variance.

      You know, we are quite happy with the Ideal Gas Laws and have designed some precision machines and devices based on this knowledge. However, we don’t know where any particular molecule is or where it will be a second from now in the system we are confidently working with. This is chaotic but bounded and the variance at STP is small. So, so what? It would be like mainstream climate science’s microbial viewpoint if we were spending billions trying to track the chaotic paths of gas molecules to arrive at a formula for its behavior in order to design systems based on it. Atomic theory is also the domain of statistical mechanics because we aren’t presented with hard little electron balls behaving like a planetary system. I’ve always felt that any discussion of chaos theory should also consider these types of ideas. We may one day have a perfectly workable predictive theory based on statistical mechanics. Before we do, however, we should set aside our models for the moment and go forth and start sampling the real system in earnest without fiddling the data to make it acceptable to entrenched ideas. We are definitely handicapped in our quest by the deterioration of data in the hands of climate missionaries.

      • Reply to Gary Pearse ==> The steadiness of the climate system — generally believed to be between two extreme states, Ice Ages and Interglacials — is one of the ‘expected’ possible outcomes of a bounded coupled non-linear dynamic system. Many non-linear systems settle down to oscillation between two (or more) states, with deterministic but unpredictable behavior in between. It is important not to confuse “chaotic” (in the Chaos Theory sense) with random — in the Brownian motion sense.

        I assume you’ve looked at Dr. Brown’s post linked above — the section in it on non-linearity.

        My suggested reading list for Chaos Theory includes:

        Chaos: The Making of a New Science by James Gleick
        and
        Does God Play Dice?: The New Mathematics of Chaos by Ian Stewart

      • Thanks Kip Hansen, I will look at these references. I’m a mining engineer/processing engineer and a geologist so the stuff is probably going to be somewhere up above my head, but I have been inspired by the many talented folks like yourself, RGB, Steve McIntyre and Willis Eschenbach that I’ve met here and on other technical threads and have taken up the hobby of relearning and expanding my knowledge of physics and math that I learned over 50 years ago. To me, it doesn’t get any better than the internet for a real education.

    • As usual the essay by Dr Brown is excellent. Reading his work is always a pleasure since it is filled with logic and common sense.

  50. But, but, it only takes a little bit of sensitivity to a little bit of CO2 increase to upset the “dynamic equilibrium” and anthropogenic emissions are causing that little bit of increase./sarc

  51. The lack of runaway on feedback in either direction on Earth makes me feel somewhat religious on those days I’m feeling humble. OK, not that often, but doesn’t it seem strange that we cling to life on a Goldilocks planet? A little bit in or a little bit out and poof – no life, of any kind.

    • So the question appears to be does this “Goldilocks” moment warrant your humility. Well, earth’s been here 4,500,000,000 years and humans for 2,000,000 = 0.04% of the time.

      By sheer coincidence (I hope) 400ppm of CO2 equals 0.04%. OMG! Now I’m feeling religious…

    • reverse the logic. If it weren’t like that we wouldn’t be here to find it remarkable.

      It is not possible to make statements about the probability of a single event. It happened. Probability implies counting lots of other events where it didn’t or did. We dont have that luxury with the one universe.

  52. “There are far far better models available, to explain climate change based on the complexity of water interactions with temperature. Unfortunately they are far too complex even for the biggest of computers to be much use in simulating climate.”

    What are these “far far better models” you speak of? What makes them too complex for the biggest of computers? (Does anyone know how “big” computers are these days?)

    What are “water interactions with temperature”?

  53. The Earth has flipped from ice house to hot house at least four times in the last half-billion years. It appears fairly sudden in geological time scales, but regardless, one might suspect that even without those mischievous humans to cause them, the planet has undergone natural positive feedbacks (tippling points for the after-hours alarmists).

    http://www.scotese.com/climate.htm (please scroll down to see graph)

    A “real” question from an uninformed observer: how many feedback loops are actually at work in determining Earth’s climate on a billion-year time scale?

  54. http://www.meltdata.com/articles/pliocene-epoch-climate.html

    If one would read this one would understand how asinine the climate models/AGW theory is. The climate models can’t even predict how /why the climate changes in the future even if they know how the climate changed into the future. Example the Pliocene to Pleistocene climate change.

    CO2 versus climate change is the WRONG way to go when trying to piece the climate puzzle. It is an exercise in futility and my approach is much better. Read below.

    The four factors as to why the climate changes are

    Initial state of the earth- In regards to how close the climate is to glacial/inter-glacial thresholds(THE ICE DYNAMIC), land /ocean arrangements, land elevation levels ,random terrestrial events such as a mega volcanic eruption or random extra terrestrial events which played a role at times although minor in the scheme of things.

    Earth Magnetic Field Strength- which will moderate or compound solar effects in regards to galactic cosmic ray /other charged particles being able to penetrate the earth’s atmosphere and in turn influence cloud formation/geological activity. Also at times of magnetic excursions galactic cosmic rays may be concentrated in lower latitudes where moisture is more abundant causing a greater impact in cloud formation.

    Milankovitch Cycles – Which will favor a colder climate when obliquity is at a minimum, earth’s orbit is most elliptical and aphelion in the orbit of the earth occurring during the N.H. summer.

    Solar Variability and Secondary Effects- Although solar variability(solar irradiance) may be on the order of .2 to .3 percent (from Grand Maximum to Grand Minimum conditions) it is the secondary effects associated with this solar variability which could have an impact on the climate ranging from changes in atmospheric circulation patterns, to an increase in volcanic activity , to more clouds, ocean heat content lowering etc.

    Solar Parameters and possible effects.

    Solar Irradiance Changes .1 to .3% lower- Effects ocean heat content /sea surface temperature distribution and actual sea surface temperatures which effects Enso /Ocean currents. An example being the Thermohaline circulation or Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, the AMOC .

    Solar Wind Changes to lower then 350 km/sec- Will effect concentrations of galactic cosmic rays entering the atmosphere and increase low cloud amounts. Cosmic Ray Counts north of 6500 units per minute should achieve this. Also at times of low solar wind speed the AP index will be very low which shows a correlation to volcanic activity according to data in that during prolonged minimum solar conditions going back to 1600 ad-present, 87% of all major volcanic eruptions took place at such times.

    EUV Light Changes– very low levels(100 units or less) will effect ozone distributions in the atmosphere in both a vertical/horizontal sense which will in turn impact the atmospheric circulation pattern by warming the polar regions more then the mid-latitudes causing a more meridional atmospheric circulation pattern This type of atmospheric circulation pattern at the unset should result in more clouds, precipitation ,more cloud cover causing an increase in earth albedo hence cooler temperatures.

    In addition EUV light in the near visible range and visible light will penetrate the ocean surface waters to significant depths(up to 50m) there by effecting ocean heat content /sea surface temperatures.

    One must remember that factor one, Initial State Of The Earth, factor two, Earth Magnetic Field Strength and factor three, Milankovich Cycles will cause factor four Solar Variability/Secondary Effects to have different climatic outcomes even if the given solar changes are the same.

    In addition at times of limited solar variability although it is still impacting the climate noise in the climatic system can obscure the solar climatic signal.

    In summary I will take my theory over AGW theory any day of the week, it is a 1000x better as an explanation as to why/how the climate changes and why it has in the past.

  55. As a systems engineer I am sensitive the the idea that one has to get the system right and, by this article and the commentary, it is comforting to know there exist a lot of like minded individuals. I have always had difficulty with the apparent AGW model for the climate system.

    1. Water vapor is the primary greenhouse gas yet all that the AGW theory says about it is to make some very rash assumptions. They claim that CO2 controls the effect of H2O such that H2O amplifies the effect of CO2 and that is all H2O does. It is very simplistic assumptions that can get one into a lot of trouble. It turns out that while H2O is the primary greenhouse gas in the Earth’s atmosphere, it is also a major coolant, moving heat energy from the Earth’s surface to where clouds form via the heat of vaporization. According to some of the energy distribution models that I have seen, more heat is moved by H2O via the heat of vaporization then by both convection and LWIR absorption band radiation combined. This one phenomena invalidates the AGW climate model as thiadditionalal phenomena provides a negative feedback.

    2. AGW theory seemsadmitmitt that they do not really understand clouds and cloud formation but they assume clouds are neutral and so they can just forget about them. But clouds do exist in the real world and cannot be ignored. I can at least assume that more global H2O will result in more global clouds which not only reflect mincomingming solar energy but that radiate to space more efficiently then the clear atmosphere that they replace. Clouds would seem to provide another negative feedback that is not included in the AGW model.

    3. CO2 is not a source of energy. To cause warming CO2 must actradiantadient, thinsulatorulator causing warming in the lower atmosphere and cooling in the upper atmosphere. AGW theory appears to have forgotten about the upper atmospheric cooling which reduces upper atmospheric H2O and hence counteracts the effect of adding CO2. This mechanism represents another negative feedback that is not included in the AGW model.

    4. More greenhouse gas in the atmosphere should increefficiencyfeciency of LWIR absorption band radiation to space. This is still another negative feedback that is not included in the AGW model.

    5. In rereading the AGW literature, they claim that greenhouse gases absorb IR radiation from the surface and then re-radiate it out in all directions. If such re-radiation take place heat energy is not really absorbed. What they seem to be describing is a diffuse reflector and not an energy absorber. They say the energy is radiatdirectionsdierctions then they cthemselvesthemsemves and say the energy is radiated either up or down which is wrong. It is all a matter of probability as to whether a photo interacts with the Earth’s surface, another gas molecule or makes it back to space. As altitude increases, there are fewer gas molecules and a higher probability that a particular photon will be radiated to space. In keeping with the laws of thermodynamics, heat energy flow, even by radiation, has to be from hot to cold. So I have my doubts about any such radiative greenhouse effect as described in the AGW literature. The AGW literature seems to ignore that there are means of heat transport within the Earth’s atmosphere other than LWIR absorption band radiation.

    6. I have appreciated articles on the convective gravity greenhouse effect which is much more how it works in a real greenhouse but I am not sure according to that theory how energy gets radiated off this planet. When speaking to proponents of AGW one has to phrase things in terms of their language and that means radiative energy transport theory.

    • Wilhaas: I do not know whether the following textbooks are nowadays regarded as “kosher” in the AGW debate : Goody “Principles of Atmospheric Radiation and Physics” and Salby: “Fundamentals of Atmospheric Physics” , but their chapters on radiative transfer and the green house effect deal with the amplification factor of water vapour . A simplified requirement for the amplification to lead to a runaway positive feedback is that the optical depth of water in the relatively transparent 10micron region should exceed a critical value . This value is reached with Venus, with greater solar input, which therefore exhibits the result of runaway greenhouse effect , but not on Earth , or at least not until the surface temperature on Earth reaches 314K ( Goody ) which is 25-30C higher than mean temperature at present . Salby also has interesting section on radiative – convective heat transfer as opposed to solely radiative transfer.
      I would be interested to know what others think of these authors and their relevance to the AGW debate.

  56. I have a database of all the CO2 estimates from geologic history (from the methods that produce reliable results). There are 2,700 in total. I also have a database of the temperature history (derived from the dO18 isotopes) and I backfit that temperature line to the date the CO2 estimates came from. In other words, the best estimate of equilibrium CO2 sensitivity that can be made, and there is 2,700 of them.

    It indicates CO2 sensitivity has probably had NO influence at all on the temperature history of the planet and all the other variable mentioned in the post like Albedo are the governing factors (think of the Earth’s Albedo in the ice ages for example. All that extra land ice, sea ice and yes, cloud cover (because the IPCC feedback parametre says cloud cover goes up when it gets colder)).

    Here is the CO2 sensitivity of the past (the last 10,000 years, the last 25 million years and then 750 million years). It is just a random +/- 40.0C per doubling.

  57. I’ve been asking myself this question for a while: If the climate is so sensitive, why hasn’t it already blown up?

    • Pretty much what Dr Brown has been trying to say all along, there have many natural disasters that have unbalanced the system much more than man could in even his wildest dreams but it still settles into a steady state. This is what leaves the strongest evidence that the negative feedbacks rule.

  58. It took me awhile to find this. (I “forced” myself to find it.) This post brought it to mind. Sorry, no lambdas or other other mathematical formulas people can’t follow, but for what it’s worth…..

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/05/12/tisdale-an-unsent-memo-to-james-hansen/#comment-985181

    Gunga Din says:
    May 14, 2012 at 1:21 pm
    joeldshore says:
    May 13, 2012 at 6:10 pm
    Gunga Din: The point is that there is a very specific reason involving the type of mathematical problem it is as to why weather forecasts diverge from reality. And, the same does not apply to predicting the future climate in response to changes in forcings. It does not mean such predictions are easy or not without significant uncertainties, but the uncertainties are of a different and less severe type than you face in the weather case.
    As for me, I would rather hedge my bets on the idea that most of the scientists are right than make a bet that most of the scientists are wrong and a very few scientists plus lots of the ideologues at Heartland and other think-tanks are right…But, then, that is because I trust the scientific process more than I trust right-wing ideological extremism to provide the best scientific information.
    =========================================================
    What will the price of tea in China be each year for the next 100 years? If Chinese farmers plant less tea, will the replacement crop use more or less CO2? What values would represent those variables? Does salt water sequester or release more or less CO2 than freshwater? If the icecaps melt and increase the volume of saltwater, what effect will that have year by year on CO2? If nations build more dams for drinking water and hydro-power, how will that impact CO2? What about the loss of dry land? What values do you give to those variables? If a tree falls in the woods allowing more growth on the forest floor, do the ground plants have a greater or lesser impact on CO2? How many trees will fall in the next 100 years? Values, please. Will the UK continue to pour milk down the drain? How much milk do other countries pour down the drain? What if they pour it on the ground instead? Does it make a difference if we’re talking cow milk or goat milk? Does putting scraps of cheese down the garbage disposal have a greater or lesser impact than putting in the trash or composting it? Will Iran try to nuke Israel? Pakistan India? India Pakistan? North Korea South Korea? In the next 100 years what other nations might obtain nukes and launch? Your formula will need values. How many volcanoes will erupt? How large will those eruptions be? How many new ones will develop and erupt? Undersea vents? What effect will they all have year by year? We need numbers for all these things. Will the predicted “extreme weather” events kill many people? What impact will the erasure of those carbon footprints have year by year? Of course there’s this little thing called the Sun and its variability. Year by year numbers, please. If a butterfly flaps its wings in China, will forgings cause a tornado in Kansas? Of course, the formula all these numbers are plugged into will have to accurately reflect each ones impact on all of the other values and numbers mentioned so far plus lots, lots more. That amounts to lots and lots and lots of circular references. (And of course the single most important question, will Gilligan get off the island before the next Super Moon? Sorry. 8-)
    There have been many short range and long range climate predictions made over the years. Some of them are 10, 20 and 30 years down range now from when the trigger was pulled. How many have been on target? How many are way off target?
    Bet your own money on them if want, not mine or my kids or their kids or their kids etc.

    I know. Lots of “ifs”. I don’t know the answers to them. But the climate models do?

  59. In IPCC AR5 TS.6 they admit uncertainty about the factor.

    IPCC AR5 TS.6 Key Uncertainties is where climate science “experts” admit what they don’t know about some really important stuff. They are uncertain about the connection between climate change and extreme weather especially drought. Like the 3” drought that hit Phoenix. They are uncertain about how the ice caps and sheets behave. Instead of gone missing they are bigger than ever. They are uncertain about heating in the ocean below 2,000 meters which is 50% of it, but they “wag” that’s where the missing heat of the AGW hiatus went, maybe. They are uncertain about the magnitude of the CO2 feedback loop, which is not surprising since after 17 plus years of rising CO2 and no rising temperatures it’s pretty clear whatever the magnitude, CO2 makes no difference.

    http://www.writerbeat.com/articles/3713-CO2-Feedback-Loop

    Barring some serious flaw in science or method, Miatello’s paper should serve as the death certificate for AGW/CCC.

    http://principia-scientific.org/publications/PSI_Miatello_Refutation_GHE.pdf

    • And there is this recent paper published in a peer reviewed paper by folks in the field (they speak climate science better than us engineers);

      http://www.seipub.org/des/paperInfo.aspx?ID=21810

      The summary states;

      “In our view the greenhouse phenomenon, as it was postulated by J. Fourier (1824), estimated by S. Arrhenius (1906), first quantified by S. Manabe and R. Wetherald (1967), explained by R. Lindzen (2007), and endorsed by the National Academy of Science and the Royal Society (2014), SIMPLY (sic) DOES NOT EXIST” (bold highlighting is mine).

      Cheers, Kevin

  60. Mr. Smith, great post,

    Thank from another engineer, EE and optical system design (aka applied radiation physics).

    You wrote;

    “Engineers who have done control system theory are not so arrogant. And can recognise in the irregular sawtooth of ice age temperature record a system that looks remarkably like a nasty multiple (negative) feed back time delayed relaxation oscillator.”

    Your time delayed relaxation oscillator example reminds me of the “solder joint oscillator” circuit I once built (by mistake of course). I had a driver for a fluorescent light bulb, it output about 2500 volts at a few kiloHertz. The capacitance of the gas in the tube determined the resonant frequency (along with a few other components). All worked fine for the first few minutes after start-up, flip the switch and the lamp lit up perfectly. Then the light output slowly faded over a few minutes or so, then suddenly went back to full brightness.

    Quite the head scratcher, the circuit models showed no such response, all the currents and voltages in the circuit looked nominal, nothing appeared to be saturating. The negative feedback loop in the circuit followed all the guidelines for control system design.

    Turns out that the switching transistor was just a wee bit too warm (not a large enough heatsink to shed the thermal load), not warm enough to be damaged however. This caused the solder that connected the transistor leads to start to liquify (not enough to open the connection so the lamp stayed lit). Slightly liquid solder has a higher resistance than solid solder. This higher resistance reduced the control voltage to the transistor which reduced the output voltage and the lamp dimmed. Then the lower output from the transistor reduced the thermal load and the transistor cooled which cooled the solder which quickly returned to a solid state (solder becomes solid more quickly than it liquifies, ask me how I know that). Then the lamp quickly jumped back up to full brightness and the process started all over again.

    I could not have designed a circuit to behave like that if I tried, and I doubt a model would even reflect that behavior. Needless to say there were several positive and negative feedbacks present with different (and asymmetric, i.e. different cooling and warming response) time constants involved.

    So when I hear about folks that believe they can model the climate I do have to chuckle to myself and remind myself about my “solder joint oscillator”. Seems like the climate is like a trillion little “water molecule” oscillators all acting at random, cooling, freezing, melting, vaporizing…..

    I doubt anyone will ever be able to model the climate.

    Cheers, Kevin

    PS: once I found the problem I simply upgraded to a larger heatsink and kept my job, and some of you may have purchased a fax machine or document scanner with a little fluorescent lamp inside, one of those units included this design (after it worked).

  61. Leo

    Well done! I have process control and PID control background and have been saying this in 25 words or less for 8 years now. If our climate was dominated by positive feedbacks, it would have saturated at one extreme or the other: ice world or Venus. Geologists think we have had, or been very close, to snowball Earth on two occasions but have come back to current, relatively stable temperatures.

    Process control engineers get it, climate scientists either choose to ignore the truth or just don’t get it.

    Thanks for you clear analysis of their falicies!

    Bill

  62. Assuming C02i at 280 and CO2f at 420, log(∆CO2)=2.1461128 and ∆(log(CO2)=0.176091; so with normally accepted values of λ and k (I’m not a scientist and would like to know what they are), which equation makes the thing come out with the P.C. ∆T?

  63. Isn’t going to help my popularity any, but at least I’ll be able to sleep tonight.

    Thanks Nick. I’m pretty sure you’re correct. I think tribalism is getting in the way of people’s better judgment here. I don’t know if you are paid to post. I think it’s a shame you’re not paid to QA some of the posts in the blogosphere before they get released; it might help cut back on math errors.

    People, everybody makes mistakes; everybody loses sooner or later. The trick is not acting like losers when it happens. Demonstrate a little character.

    • Dear Mr. Bofill,

      Your popularity is intact. That said, I think you may want to reconsider your support of Nick Stokes’ claims (other than the correction to the equation which EVERYONE AGREED was necessary while ALSO pointing out that that minor correction did not negate Leo Smith’s main point and also was NOT a significant point as Stokes erroneously asserted).

      Smith (in above article):

      1) “… the basic IPCC style equation boils down to:

      ∆T = λ.k.log( ∆CO2)∆.log( CO2) where lambda (λ) is the climate sensitivity that expresses the presupposed propensity of any warming directly attributable to CO2 (k.log(CO2)∆.log( CO2)) radiative forcing and its resultant direct temperature change… .” ***

      2) “… a massive, non linear, hugely time delayed, negative, feedback system {…} considered some kind of constant, or a multiplier of the only driver in town, CO2.”

      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      Stokes (above at 11:36am today)

      “Yes, it’s a definition of sensitivity to CO2. It’s not a claim that that is a sole cause of temperature change.”

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      IPCC’s Claims about CO2:

      “IPCC has three Working Groups {…}. WGI produces the Physical Science Basis Report, which proves {asserts} CO2 is the cause {of climate change}. {…} WGI {…} state{s},

      Five criteria that should be met by climate scenarios {…}: Criterion 1: Consistency with global projections. They should be consistent with a broad range of global warming projections based on increased concentrations of greenhouse gases. This range is variously cited as 1.4°C to 5.8°C by 2100, or 1.5°C to 4.5°C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration (otherwise known as the “equilibrium climate sensitivity”).

      ” (emphases mine)

      Source: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/11/13/why-and-how-the-ipcc-demonized-co2-with-manufactured-information/

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      CONCLUSION: Mr. Smith wins the point. Mr. Stokes’ quibble in support of the IPCC over “sole” versus “a” (driver) is shouted down by the IPCC’s own heavy emphasis on CO2 as the main driver of global warming.

      Take care, down there, and, hey, climate bro, next time you take a long road trip (like you did the winter of 2013-14) call your mom to let her know you go there okay this time!!

      #(:))

      Janice

      • Additionally, Mother Nature’s shredding of climate model predictions augurs well for Mr. Smith and is a bad omen for Mr Stokes.

        Doesn’t matter how much lipstick Mr Stokes puts on his “quibbles”…

      • So THAT’S who was rummaging through my purse… . And here I was, blaming my best friend for borrowing my Bodacious Berry and not returning it! Nicholas Chamberlain {just sounded good, heh} Stokes!!! Hand it over.

      • “Five criteria that should be met by climate scenarios “

        ???? You’re quoting from a document setting out how they will design model runs to test response to CO2. Of course they will focus on varying CO2 appropriately. That’s not making any assertions about atmospheric physics.

      • Nick,

        ???? You’re quoting from a document setting out how they will design model runs to test response to CO2.

        Sure that way, dunnit. Question is which models? Here’s the actual text from the source document:

        http://www.ipcc-data.org/guidelines/pages/scen_selection.html

        Criteria for Selecting Climate Scenarios

        Five criteria that should be met by climate scenarios if they are to be useful for impact researchers and policy makers are suggested:

        Criterion 1: Consistency with global projections. They should be consistent with a broad range of global warming projections based on increased concentrations of greenhouse gases. This range is variously cited as 1.4°C to 5.8°C by 2100, or 1.5°C to 4.5°C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration (otherwise known as the “equilibrium climate sensitivity”).

        Here’s Janice’s hack job: [1]

        Five criteria that should be met by climate scenarios {…}: Criterion 1: Consistency with global projections. They should be consistent with a broad range of global warming projections based on increased concentrations of greenhouse gases. This range is variously cited as 1.4°C to 5.8°C by 2100, or 1.5°C to 4.5°C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration (otherwise known as the “equilibrium climate sensitivity”).

        A rose by any other name would smell as sweet … to some.

        ————————

        [1] For brevity of course. That’s what {…} means, after all.

    • Look, this post was elevated (without me being aware…) from a blog comment typed in in a hurry. I accept the formula isn’t quite what I meant, but you get the general idea OK?

      If I had known it was going to become a post I’d have taken a lot more care over it.

      Not used k where it might confuse,. Spotted that delta log is not the same as log delta..

      But the main points stand:

      Fair enough, thank you.

    • RobertLane,

      Rare that I see the portion after the comma included in this debate. Rarer still that folk recognize which portion of that quote is unassailable fact and which is opinion.

      • It is indeed an unassailable fact that the models have been useful for the redistribution of wealth, also known as the redistribution of poverty. Well done.

      • Brandon Gates commented on

        George Box, statistician and modeler, wrote, “All models are wrong, but some are useful.”
        RobertLane,
        Rare that I see the portion after the comma included in this debate. Rarer still that folk recognize which portion of that quote is unassailable fact and which is opinion.

        But you must understand they wrote the model specifically to make Co2 warm, and get amplified my water, specifically.

        Now, if they’re right, applause’s for everyone, if they’re wrong it makes CGM’s wrong.
        Unfortunately the only way we can test them is to compare them with Earth, but we’ve bollixed what data we have it up.

      • Mi Cro,

        But you must understand they wrote the model specifically to make Co2 warm, and get amplified my water, specifically.

        You make that sound like a bad thing. What known principles of physics does their allegedly dubious assumption necessarily violate?

        Now, if they’re right, applause’s for everyone, if they’re wrong it makes CGM’s wrong.

        Hold on now, I’m already saying the models are always going to be wrong ….

        Unfortunately the only way we can test them is to compare them with Earth, but we’ve bollixed what data we have it up.

        Ok, well ultimately the question “are the models useful” is the subjective piece of the puzzle. But jumping ahead to that without quantifiying how wrong the models are is lumping subjective with subjective and that’s a big mess.

        You’ve complicated matters by adding in, “well the observational data are screwed up too”.

        I can’t count how many times people here have insisted AGW is my burden of proof. What am I supposed to do when the best evidence at my disposal to discuss my point of view is hand waved away like this?

        Let me shortcut this. The ONLY way to definitively “prove” AGW is a disaster waiting to happen is for disaster to actually happen. Period, full stop, end of story, that’s the only way to know for sure.

        That’s not exactly the best way to achieve certainty. To put it quite mildly.

      • Brandon Gates commented on

        “But you must understand they wrote the model specifically to make Co2 warm, and get amplified my water, specifically.”
        You make that sound like a bad thing. What known principles of physics does their allegedly dubious assumption necessarily violate?

        It’s how the physics aggregates into a much larger, much more complex system.

        “Now, if they’re right, applause’s for everyone, if they’re wrong it makes CGM’s wrong.”
        Hold on now, I’m already saying the models are always going to be wrong ….

        When you write out the code there by creating a model of something, you are describing to a computer how you think that thing does whatever. Worse still because we both don’t know all of how the climate works, we have to do the code as an abstraction of how the climate works, we can’t do this at the quantum level, nor the molecular macro scale effects, we don’t even get down to surface scale objects (clouds, warm/cold fronts, rain clouds). Think of an original 16 track studio recording of my favorites Led Zeppelin, Digitize it, first at high sampling, then lower and lower, finally, substituting a programmers synthesizing the notes of Pages guitar, or Bonham’s drum, not samples, just a tone generator. How close to you think a programmer could get.

        “Unfortunately the only way we can test them is to compare them with Earth, but we’ve bollixed what data we have it up.”
        Ok, well ultimately the question “are the models useful” is the subjective piece of the puzzle. But jumping ahead to that without quantifiying how wrong the models are is lumping subjective with subjective and that’s a big mess.
        You’ve complicated matters by adding in, “well the observational data are screwed up too”.
        I can’t count how many times people here have insisted AGW is my burden of proof. What am I supposed to do when the best evidence at my disposal to discuss my point of view is hand waved away like this?

        I’ve looked at at least some of the data we have for historical measured temperatures, and to say we know what global land temps were in the 60’s, or further back is a joke, and ocean temps have been sampled far less than the land. So, using the same hypothesis of surface temps used in GCM’s, they mark a model of surface temps, to test their GCM’s against (and they still have problems). And I don’t think I’ve done any hand waving, and in fact I think I’m doing something novel with the surface data we have, and I think it gives a rather different view of surface temps.

        Let me shortcut this. The ONLY way to definitively “prove” AGW is a disaster waiting to happen is for disaster to actually happen. Period, full stop, end of story, that’s the only way to know for sure.
        That’s not exactly the best way to achieve certainty. To put it quite mildly.

        Are you going to hold you’re breath until you turn red?

        Hey, it was clear and cold this morning, got the IR thermometer out, shoveled sidewalk was 11.9F, the snow on the grass was -15F (that’s 27F change due to land use alone) Air temps were about -2 or so, the sky was -90F. But you do have to add the DWIR flux back into a -90F BB spectrum, but it’s still very cold. It must have been cloudy until ~4:00am, because at 4:00am, temps started to drop at 5F/hour, that stopped about sunrise.

        Now at 5F, clear sky (very low humidity, ended up in the upper 30% rel), it can lose 5F/hour.
        Compare that to the absurdity of this whole circus over what is presumably a 1/10th of a degree/decade (YMMV), which quite possibly most of it is a natural set of ocean cycles or other non-ghg causes (like land use). And they want to turn over the entire world society over it.

      • Mi Cro,

        It’s how the physics aggregates into a much larger, much more complex system.

        [sigh] I’m pretty sure climatologists got the memo they’re dealing with a large, complex, chaotic physical system.

        When you write out the code there by creating a model of something, you are describing to a computer how you think that thing does whatever. Worse still because we both don’t know all of how the climate works, we have to do the code as an abstraction of how the climate works, we can’t do this at the quantum level, nor the molecular macro scale effects, we don’t even get down to surface scale objects (clouds, warm/cold fronts, rain clouds).

        This is academic. On average, the people doing the modeling have forgotten more about how the actual system works than 100 of me will ever know.

        Think of an original 16 track studio recording of my favorites Led Zeppelin, Digitize it, first at high sampling, then lower and lower, finally, substituting a programmers synthesizing the notes of Pages guitar, or Bonham’s drum, not samples, just a tone generator. How close to you think a programmer could get.

        Close enough that I would still melt to John’s beats on No Quarter. Might even do fun stuff to that flangy/chorusy thing on Jimmy’s guitar licks. But then I listened to that album on a cassette to cassette dub my buddy made for me. And wore it out. And still listened to it. I could play any Zep album over a tin can telephone in mono and love it. But then I had every measure of music in half their albums memorized by the time I was 18 ….

        Other than that, I do know what you’re saying.

        [On second read, I see you mention a tone generator … so maybe I do have to draw the line here and fully agree with you that even Led would suck redone a toy Casio keyboard type device….]

        I’ve looked at at least some of the data we have for historical measured temperatures, and to say we know what global land temps were in the 60’s, or further back is a joke, and ocean temps have been sampled far less than the land.

        Data are not a joke, and this isn’t funny. We can only use what we have. Period. We can’t go back and gather better data with more modern instruments no matter how much we wish we could.

        And I don’t think I’ve done any hand waving, and in fact I think I’m doing something novel with the surface data we have, and I think it gives a rather different view of surface temps.

        Hand waving wasn’t the correct term. Waving the data away is what I was going for. I do respect the work you’re doing in your analysis of it. What you’re hearing from me is general annoyance bordering on fatigue at what I perceive is the arbitrary way which some data are uncritically accepted as absolute “proof” AGW is bunk, while anything that runs contrary to that narrative is either casually tossed aside, or henpecked to death in a way meant to look rigorous and properly skeptical but really which amounts to nothing more than splitting hairs about issues common to any and all data in any science.

        It wasn’t fair of me to take that frustration out on you in the context of the comment I was applying to and I apologize.

        That said, your argument here that GCMs don’t have the fidelity to be useful grinds on me in a way that makes my bile rise again. Just exactly would you have “us” do here? You don’t seriously think they’re just mailing it in do you? Why would they NOT want to get it right?

        Are you going to hold you’re breath until you turn red?

        Don’t be silly, of course not. But I would happily pay an additional 1% or so of my annual income for my energy consumption if the additional cost to me went toward incentivising construction of more nuclear plants, developing geothermal resources, funding research into algae-based petroleum replacements, etc.

        And they want to turn over the entire world society over it.

        I don’t want that, I don’t advocate it, and would oppose it if I thought that what was being proposed. My main frustrations are about the things which aren’t being done that I think both sides could agree on doing, and that severely ticks me off.

      • Brandon Gates commented

        “It’s how the physics aggregates into a much larger, much more complex system.”
        [sigh] I’m pretty sure climatologists got the memo they’re dealing with a large, complex, chaotic physical system.
        “When you write out the code there by creating a model of something, you are describing to a computer how you think that thing does whatever. Worse still because we both don’t know all of how the climate works, we have to do the code as an abstraction of how the climate works, we can’t do this at the quantum level, nor the molecular macro scale effects, we don’t even get down to surface scale objects (clouds, warm/cold fronts, rain clouds).”
        This is academic. On average, the people doing the modeling have forgotten more about how the actual system works than 100 of me will ever know.
        “Think of an original 16 track studio recording of my favorites Led Zeppelin, Digitize it, first at high sampling, then lower and lower, finally, substituting a programmers synthesizing the notes of Pages guitar, or Bonham’s drum, not samples, just a tone generator. How close to you think a programmer could get.”
        Close enough that I would still melt to John’s beats on No Quarter. Might even do fun stuff to that flangy/chorusy thing on Jimmy’s guitar licks. But then I listened to that album on a cassette to cassette dub my buddy made for me. And wore it out. And still listened to it. I could play any Zep album over a tin can telephone in mono and love it. But then I had every measure of music in half their albums memorized by the time I was 18 ….
        Other than that, I do know what you’re saying.
        [On second read, I see you mention a tone generator … so maybe I do have to draw the line here and fully agree with you that even Led would suck redone a toy Casio keyboard type device….]

        No matter the effort they’ve extended, or the desire to replicate climate in it’s highest fidelity, what we have now is Zeppelin getting played not so much Casio keyboard as on a touchtone phone.

        “I’ve looked at at least some of the data we have for historical measured temperatures, and to say we know what global land temps were in the 60’s, or further back is a joke, and ocean temps have been sampled far less than the land.”
        Data are not a joke, and this isn’t funny. We can only use what we have. Period. We can’t go back and gather better data with more modern instruments no matter how much we wish we could.

        I don’t find it very funny what they’re trying to do based on how well we can tell the global temp in 1930, 17xx whenever, and proclaim that 2014 was 0.01C or 0.001C warmer than ever.

        “And I don’t think I’ve done any hand waving, and in fact I think I’m doing something novel with the surface data we have, and I think it gives a rather different view of surface temps.”
        Hand waving wasn’t the correct term. Waving the data away is what I was going for. I do respect the work you’re doing in your analysis of it. What you’re hearing from me is general annoyance bordering on fatigue at what I perceive is the arbitrary way which some data are uncritically accepted as absolute “proof” AGW is bunk, while anything that runs contrary to that narrative is either casually tossed aside, or henpecked to death in a way meant to look rigorous and properly skeptical but really which amounts to nothing more than splitting hairs about issues common to any and all data in any science.
        It wasn’t fair of me to take that frustration out on you in the context of the comment I was applying to and I apologize.

        Accepted.

        That said, your argument here that GCMs don’t have the fidelity to be useful grinds on me in a way that makes my bile rise again. Just exactly would you have “us” do here? You don’t seriously think they’re just mailing it in do you? Why would they NOT want to get it right?

        Okay, here’s the key. As I point out above the models may or most likely not capture all of the pertinent processes to model surface climate, but regardless of this, we know what they used for the GHG physics, and we already know it runs hot, and we know this is how it was programmed.

        So the one thing we really need to know from CGM’s is warming, and we already know it runs warm, the only thing we have to know, we know it’s wrong.

        Is it because we missed a process, or GHG model physics is wrong, I don’t know

        “Are you going to hold you’re breath until you turn red?”
        Don’t be silly, of course not. But I would happily pay an additional 1% or so of my annual income for my energy consumption if the additional cost to me went toward incentivising construction of more nuclear plants, developing geothermal resources, funding research into algae-based petroleum replacements, etc.
        And they want to turn over the entire world society over it.
        I don’t want that, I don’t advocate it, and would oppose it if I thought that what was being proposed. My main frustrations are about the things which aren’t being done that I think both sides could agree on doing, and that severely ticks me off.

        I’ve paid, and do pay more than plenty. But it’s easy to encourage private business, give them a discount on taxes from profits based on research money spent. If I understand it right, that’s the big subsidy given to Oil Companies, the US Gov talked them into buying, and developing the technology to do deep water drilling and then horizontal drilling in the Gulf, and now that they did their part, people are complaining they get a discount on that oil profit. But if they didn’t make it work, they would have been out the development money.

        We need to do the same for Nuclear, and get the Gov to not allow the millions of injunctions brought to stop construction, tying the corp up in court for decades until they just give up. This is one of my litmus test to see if people really want to reduce Co2, or is it a I hate all things oil.
        Basically tax breaks on profits from R&D on alternate energy.

      • Mi Cro,

        No matter the effort they’ve extended, or the desire to replicate climate in it’s highest fidelity, what we have now is Zeppelin getting played not so much Casio keyboard as on a touchtone phone.

        All the more reason to reduce our need for them as much as reasonably possible.

        I don’t find it very funny what they’re trying to do based on how well we can tell the global temp in 1930, 17xx whenever, and proclaim that 2014 was 0.01C or 0.001C warmer than ever.

        I’ve said before, one of the nasty conundrums of my side of the policy and political debate is that I’m all but forced to root for big number increases year after year, without fail. I could say the planet doesn’t know what’s good for it but the fact of the matter is, the planet doesn’t care and will continue merrily on its way regardless what we do, or don’t do.

        Okay, here’s the key. As I point out above the models may or most likely not capture all of the pertinent processes to model surface climate, but regardless of this, we know what they used for the GHG physics, and we already know it runs hot, and we know this is how it was programmed.

        Is it because we missed a process, or GHG model physics is wrong, I don’t know

        We missed multiple processes. A lot of the ones we missed we did so knowingly. It’s the unknown things we’re missing of most concern to me.

        We need to do the same for Nuclear, and get the Gov to not allow the millions of injunctions brought to stop construction, tying the corp up in court for decades until they just give up. This is one of my litmus test to see if people really want to reduce Co2, or is it a I hate all things oil.
        Basically tax breaks on profits from R&D on alternate energy.

        Those are all things I support and would like to see more of. I like coal and oil in the sense that I like gasoline and electricity. I would like to see them sensibly phased out for other things I could like better. Do that properly and I see it as a growth opportunity. I like money too.

      • @ Brandon
        “I’ve said before, one of the nasty conundrums of my side of the policy and political debate is that I’m all but forced to root for big number increases year after year, without fail. I could say the planet doesn’t know what’s good for it but the fact of the matter is, the planet doesn’t care and will continue merrily on its way regardless what we do, or don’t do.”

        If they are low, why wish they were high? Just to force a stop to using fossil fuels?

  64. log is a function, only variables change.

    Ergo, ∆.log( CO2) outs you (Nick) as a fool and buffoon and worse, old boy. Go to bed and do not rise in the morning.

    • spaatch

      Go to almost any web news article; trolls or bots are generally the first entries in the commentary section, explaining how their mother/brother/sister-in-law (fill in the blank) has made $1000, $5000, $7500 (fill in the blank) doing some kind of crap on the web. Maybe some of this is blog posting.

      /sarc off

  65. Excellent post, thanks Leo Smith.
    Same reaction myself when I first read of these amazing catastrophic positive feedback mechanisms, on a water world no less.
    Then there is the data, the signal that 0.7 C warming, is less (than noise in) the error range of the measured temperatures.
    Then I attempted to go to the science, working through the IPCC FAR, I attempted to go to the cited science.
    The trail turns to vapour.
    But then I have become convinced that science has nothing to do with the UN IPCC Team ™,
    in government bureaucratize, the appearance of scientific data, supporting the approved policy is all than is required.
    A cloak, a cover for blatant policy based evidence manufacturing.By our tax funded bureaucracies.
    The desired “solution” of the UN is a bureaucrats dream,accountable to no taxpayers, unlimited funding, power. Forcing all to pay for the fixing of a non problem,preventing a non-existent change, by taxing air.
    Indeed good enough for government.

  66. I read Leo Smith’s comment on an earlier thread which is the lead post here. It caught my attention then and has clearly caught the attention of many here. A lot of engineers are commenting. They obviously have ‘skin’ in their careers much more so than the so-called climate ‘modelers’ and climate ‘scientists’. A failure in engineering is a career ending catastrophe while a failure in the career of the “climate establishment’ leads to continuation of feeding at the trough of govt. funding.

    I’ll place my trust in the engineers. They must understand the underlying physics, properties, and parameters affecting their results. They live in a real world. It’s good to hear from their view of reality. I will sleep well tonight.

  67. I’m afraid I agree with Nick on one point – surely the formula should be the difference of the logs, ∆(logCO2) or put another way (logCO2*-logCO2), rather than the log of the difference Log∆CO2(as stated in the essay). Otherwise the ‘effect’ at 50ppm and 100ppm is equivalent to 1000 and 1050 but we know it isn’t because, well, the ‘effect’ is logarithmic. Or is my mathematical notation buggered – please can a mathematician clear this up.

    • Would you be so kind as to calculate that with a change from say 350 to a doubling to say 700 ppm and tell us what the percentage difference is.

      • eyesonu,

        I get a 3 K temperature difference using:

        5.35 * ln(700/280) * 0.8 – 5.35 * ln(350/280) * 0.8 = 2.97

        Present temperature of the planet’s surface is ~287 K, 3/287 is close enough to 1% to call it good. Peanuts! Yet keep in mind: Climate has been in real terms amazingly stable. For millions of years. It has maintained an average of about 282 degrees absolute +- about 5 degrees since forever.

        3/5 = 60%. The planet at 282 K vs. the present 287 K is miles thick ice sheets covering large portions of landmasses in areas we presently call temperate zones, so small numbers make a big difference apparently.

  68. Why don’t some of you guys petition IEEE,or something and try to get them to issue a statement to try to put an end to the nonsense?

    • I suspect because the IEEE has either drunk the cAGW cool aid or they are afraid of the politics.

    • As an IEEE member and have considered pushing for this very thing. I think there is sympathy for the skeptical viewpoint within the ranks, but as politically charged as the topic has become I suspect they are careful about saying anything. Jim Steele gave an informative presentation to a group of IEEE members recently (the video is on WUWT from a few weeks back), the fact that they were willing to listen I think bodes well for our cause.

  69. Leo, I will add my voice as another engineer in support of your views. I noticed several comments that were hung up on the form of your equation, but I think they miss the bigger point – that for a model to be reliable, all of the significant inputs must be well characterized. Electrical circuit simulators work amazingly well for circuits where parasitics are negligible, but once the parasitics become significant such as at microwave frequencies, the simulator output becomes useless, just as in your amplifier example. It is surprising how difficult it becomes to model even simple electronic systems once you have to start factoring in poorly quantified parasitic effects.

    When I think of the immense complexity of the climate, and my experience with electronic simulators, I am skeptical from the get-go about climate models. Then, when I see model projections that don’t match real data much at all, I become more skeptical. And finally, when I see scientists standing behind models that have shown such little predictive skill, rather than openly discussing the failures, I find it hard to give this branch of science any credibility at all. The engineering mindset naturally sees this, as engineers jobs depend on building things that actually work. Hence the folks at RC seem to detest engineers. What some clowns.

    • >>And finally, when I see scientists standing behind models that have shown such little predictive skill, rather than openly discussing the failures, I find it hard to give this branch of science any credibility at all. <<

      Well said, I fully second that. And taken into consideration that many of these 'scientists' actively try to hide methods, data, or "the decline" gives your arguments a paramount momentum.

    • average joe commented

      Electrical circuit simulators work amazingly well for circuits where parasitics are negligible, but once the parasitics become significant such as at microwave frequencies, the simulator output becomes useless,

      A quibble, they do not become useless, but you do have to actually start to model the parasitics, the original OP’s design simulation issue (voltage dependent capacitance) could have been modeled, if the significant influences were added to the model.
      This is part of understanding what the simulator is doing. The right course was for Leo to realize this parameter was significant to his circuit, review the model, and enhance it to include a voltage dependent capacitance, rerun the simulation, rinse and repeat. In an electronic’s lab, maybe you do this, maybe not. But if you’re making models that need to work right in this condition, you fix them and move to the next issue. There are always infidelities, you just need to understand what you’re doing enough so you either fix them, or control the conditions.
      And you don’t demand that 10’s of trillions of other peoples money is spent until you do figure it out.

  70. Pretty much what I’ve said, specifically that the climate is amazingly stable over incredibly large amounts of time. These tiny wiggles in recorded temperatures might serve to panic the ignorant, but anyone with an IQ over 100 should know better.

    There have been times in the past where CO2 and other things emitted by human industry were far higher or lower in the atmosphere, and the net result was inconsequential.

    Also, the atmosphere is capable of absorbing and evenly distributing HUGE amounts of heat, both through the polar regions and that little thing called NIGHT. It has always been and always will be a lack of heat that is harmful.

  71. There are only 4 problems with climate models.

    1. Climate models attempt to model climate as if it was a closed linear system with constants and a limited set of variables when it is not. Might as well model when WWIII is going to start and who emerges as the next super power. I know Issac Asimov did similar in his Foundation series, climate modelers are not quite there yet.

    2. Inadequate understanding of the system being modeled. The cottage industry of reasons of why the models did not forecast the 15-20 year pause/peak highlights the inadequate understanding of climate mechanisms.

    3. You cannot use your conclusion as a basis for your conclusion. Climate models begin with the premise CO2 is the only important driver of climate and then produce output that shows CO2 driving the climate.

    4. Climate model forecasts have a poor track record. They do not model well against reality either backward or forward in time.

    Other than those 4 issues it’s all good, keep those CPU cycles spinning.

  72. Nick Stokes January 6, 2015 at 11:36 am
    Yes, it’s a definition of sensitivity to CO2. It’s not a claim that that is a sole cause of temperature change.
    —-

    Technically true, but pretty meaningless and misleading.

    When are\were any other causes given any material consideration in the IPCC reports? Especially in the Executive\Policy Makers versions?

    So they are in included in the models, in a mostly insignificant way? So what? What is your point? What does it prove?

    If anything, these factors are only mentioned in the blame game when the models diverge from observations, which is always. And I repeat: always, always and always.

  73. Leo,

    If a system is not dominated by a few major feedback factors, it ain’t stable. And if it has a regions of stability then perturbing it outside those regions will result in gross instability, and the system will be short lived.

    Works for me.

    Climate has been in real terms amazingly stable. For millions of years. It has maintained an average of about 282 degrees absolute +- about 5 degrees since forever.

    Consistent what you just wrote above there much be a few major feedback factors to stabilize it.

    It’s a massive non linear hugely time delayed negative feedback system. And that’s just water and ice. Before we toss in volcanic action, meteor strikes, continental drift. solar variability, and Milankovitch cycles…

    I skipped quite a bit there. It was interesting to note the progression from “amazingly stable” to “massive non linear hugely time delayed negative feedback system” and now to …

    Engineers who have done control system theory are not so arrogant. And can recognise in the irregular sawtooth of ice age temperature record a system that looks remarkably like a nasty multiple (negative) feed back time delayed relaxation oscillator.

    … “a nasty multiple (negative) feed back time delayed relaxation oscillator”

    That looks like it was fun to write. Still, what a heck of a transition to that from “amazingly stable … for millions of years … since forever.”

    Ok, now that I’ve got my digs in, let’s look at this irregular sawtooth pattern so everyone can see what we’re about to discuss:

    What examination of the temperature record shows is that glaciation is slow. It takes many many thousands of years as the ice increases before the lowest temperatures are reached, but that positive going temperatures are much faster …

    I have gone blue in the face attempting to point that out to folks here, so I’m near giddy that you wrote it. Maybe you could elaborate a bit on what it means when a series of multiple, smooth sinusoidal input signals come out of the black box looking like a saw blade, with the rising part of the signal being the (near) vertical part.

    Depending on how that goes, I may have some questions for you about signal to noise ratio, and how you as a control systems engineer might go about figuring out lambda from these and other similar time series data.

    … we are only 10,000 years out of the last one.

    Which is unusual. It’s difficult to see it on this plot, here’s one which does a much better job:

    Second curve from the top.

    • Gates posted a chart [above] from an outfit called “green” something or other.

      That chart is an overlay, which has been altered just enough to decptively show that maybe CO2 doesn’t follow temperature.

      Here is the same chart using NOAA data:

      ^That^ chart shows that ∆T leads ∆CO2. But naturally Gates will believe the fabricated chart he posted, since it supports his confirmation bias.

      I have lots more charts showing that ∆T causes ∆CO2. Just ask, and I’ll post some of them, like this one [note the “Note” in the upper left center in the graph]:

      • dbstealey,

        Gates posted a chart [above] from an outfit called “green” something or other.

        Oh silly man, that figure is from Petit et al. (1999), first published by an outfit called “Nature”: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v399/n6735/fig_tab/399429a0_F3.html#figure-title

        That chart is an overlay, [1] which has been altered just enough to decptively show that maybe CO2 doesn’t follow temperature.

        And just what alterations were done to accomplish this feat? [2]

        Here is the same chart using NOAA data:

        ROFL. Why, that looks exactly like …. Petit 1999 again. You’re on FIRE tonight DB. Someone put him out, quick!

        ——————

        [1] Has anyone here ever figured out what DB means by “overlay chart”? I mean other than somehow falsified or misleading … I get that bit. But seriously, what is the man’s technical definition of an “overlay”?

        [2] If he says, “flipped the x-axis” I will have seen it all and can die in peace, having lived a full, interesting and amusing life.

      • Brandon…
        ..
        Any chart dbstealey doesn’t like is called an “overlay chart”

        Any chart dbstealey likes and uses is not an “overlay chart”
        ..
        Do you understand now what an “overlay chart” is?

      • Well I suggest you use them because that last one is a load of junk, the axes are obviously wrongly marked. For example the Temperature axis shows ‘variation from present temperature (C)’ and ranges from -450 to -350 and yet a horizontal line is drawn showing ‘present day temperature’, if that were so then it should be at 0 not -397! in fact the number presented is delta Deuterium not temperature and the value for 70 yr BP (the most recent datapoint) should be -391). However it gets worse, the data plotted is actually the 3000 yr average, the average from 0BP (1950) back to 3000BP is 397 so that ‘Present Day Temperature’ Line is wrongly labelled. Of course a title saying “Times that were HOTTER than the average of the last 3,000 years” doesn’t have quite the same propaganda value.
        If the legend to the ‘Age’ axis is to be believed then ‘NOW’ refers to 1950, but there are no CO2 data for the last 390,000 years, the graph indicates that CO2 lagged T about 620,000 years ago, big deal. If the CO2 data were continued to the present day, it would be off-scale at ~400ppm, if the idea that that rise was caused by temperature is correct, where is the implied T rise of ~60 units?

        The Vostok graph is also incorrectly labelled, year zero is again 1950 not 1995, a mistake sealey routinely makes.

        It would be a good idea if you understood the data you present before you do so rather than misleading readers with graphs such as this one.

      • Phil,

        You don’t like NOAA’s data. In fact, you don’t like anything. You never do. Is this your picture?

        Go argue with NOAA if you have a problem.

        Next, Socks says:

        Any chart dbstealey doesn’t like is called an “overlay chart”

        Any chart dbstealey likes and uses is not an “overlay chart”
        ..
        Do you understand now what an “overlay chart” is?

        Wrong as usual, Socks. Sorry you don’t understand what an overlay chart is. It is not my term, as you seem to believe. It is a widely used label for two charts overlaid on one graph, to show a relationship. It can be done accurately, or not; like lying with statistics, people can also lie with charts.

        For your edification, here are many examples of chart overlays. [For more chart goodness, add “CO2, temperature” to the search terms.]

        You’re welcome.

        Charts are very useful for communicating with the public. They show at a glance what might take a long screed to explain. I have folders with many thousands of charts, collected over the past 15 – 20 years. Whenever I see an interesting chart, I save it. Together they tell the story: catastrophic AGW is complete nonsense. That is something I have a hard time teaching any of you. But I won’t give up. Maybe you will never learn. But the public is coming around, big time.

      • Socks,

        Now you’re starting to get it.

        Yes, those are all overlay charts. Now, for your next lesson:

        Some charts are simple overlays [does “simple overlay” ring a bell?], and some overlay charts show a cause and effect. The ones that show which is the cause and which is the effect between changes in CO2 and temperature, are the interesting subset of the overlay universe.

        Why is that, you ask?

        Since you asked so politely, the answer is that the question and answer of cause and effect debunks the “carbon” scare. Completely. Once you accept reality, there’s nothing more for you to argue about [Of course I know that isn’t true. You would argue that down is up if it involved your too-sensitive ego.]

        So as you can see in the last chart you posted:

        Note: TEMPERATURE CAUSES CO2 CHANGE

        That is what you need to know. Really, that is all you need to know.

        Finally, what I need to know is this: how do I get a job like yours? A job where I can post to blogs all throughout the workday, and get paid to do it? Please don’t tell us you’re an unemployed layabout…  ☹

      • Dbstealey

        Your second chart doesn’t show cause and effect.
        It shows a correlation

        And you know that correlation doesn’t prove causation.

      • Socrates,

        My view on this is that the main knock against the isolate function in this context is that it inherently removes any secular trends in the time series it’s applied to. That’s a good feature when looking for lead/lag relationships which is an integral part of establishing causation … since as you rightly point out correlation alone doesn’t demonstrate causation. Used this way, isolate tells us something about timing and amplitude about a mean, which I think is nifty.

        Thing is, any trends in the data longer than the chosen sampling period will get stomped flat. Not looking at longer sampling periods with this technique is not nifty, dare I even say wrongly motivated:

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/isolate:480/mean:12/scale:0.1/plot/hadcrut3vgl/isolate:480/mean:12/from:1958

        I could cherry-pick sampling periods all day with this method and find other exceptions to DB’s “temperature causes CO2 always” mantra. Or I could arbitrarily rescale and use the same number of isolate samples just because I like the looks of it better:

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/isolate:480/mean:12/scale:0.05/plot/hadcrut3vgl/isolate:480/mean:12/from:1958

        Thing is, over a 40 year cycle the other “noise” in the system really does become a factor relative to the bleeding obvious secular trends isolate is hammering flat:

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/mean:12/offset:-280/scale:0.26/plot/hadcrut3vgl/mean:12/from:1958

        I offset CO2 by -280 ppmv, that being the canonical pre-industrial value. I scaled CO2 by 0.26 since that’s the same exact scaling factor DB used in his plot to make things fit nicely along the y-axis.

        I expect him to balk about my choice of the -280 offset. If not that, I guarantee you he will find some reason to declare what I have just done a “simple” overlay (as opposed to what, “complex?), cry confirmation bias, or find some other dubiously creative way to claim that CO2 is not presently leading temperature.

        Or maybe he’ll hint around that it might be volcanoes is whut dunnit. Who knows.

      • dbstealey January 7, 2015 at 9:58 am
        Phil,

        You don’t like NOAA’s data.

        I have no problem with the NOAA data, but I do have a problem with the graph which totally misrepresents that data, and which was obviously put together by someone who doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing! At least as far as the added annotations which are completely wrong as indicated above.

      • Oldest recovered Greenlandice 150 Ka, not 110 Ka as stated on the chart, so dates from before the Eemian.

      • Socks says:

        …Your second chart doesn’t show cause and effect. It shows a correlation

        It shows cause and effect — just like it states, right in the chart!

        You are crazy. Or trolling.

        Good bye.

      • Dbstealey

        Your chart is an “overlay”

        According to you an overlay chart does not show “causation”

    • Oh, don’t feel bad about your “digs,” Mr. Gates. Your entire pile of objections can be dismissed with the concept of: long-term effects versus short-term effects which reconciles every one of the false inconsistencies you allege.

      Your fatuously vain attempt to laugh at Mr. Smith only made you look ridiculous.

      • Hi, Janice. Mr Gates has not yet figured out that he is testifiying in “moot court” and events have passed him by.

      • Hi, Mike,

        Indeed. He likes his own little imaginary world better than the one the rest of us live in. Liked your clever pun “bon appetit.” I tried to come up with some suitable repartee and gave up. Thanks for sharing and for saying “Hi.”

        Janice

      • Janice Moore,

        Oh, don’t feel bad about your “digs,” Mr. Gates.

        Thanks, that’s a relief actually. I was getting worried that Mr. Smith might not be a grown man fully capable of defending his own words for himself and might get cross with me for my snark.

        Your entire pile of objections can be dismissed with the concept of: long-term effects versus short-term effects which reconciles every one of the false inconsistencies you allege.

        You know, you’re right. The past 18 years does seem like an eternity. It’s almost like there’s no room left in time for the events of 1850-1998.

        Your fatuously vain attempt to laugh at Mr. Smith only made you look ridiculous.

        I grudgingly award you two points for use of the word fatuously in conversation. You also get 2015’s fourth ‘sploded irony meter as a door prize. Congrats!

      • Mike the Morlock,

        Mr Gates has not yet figured out that he is testifiying in “moot court” and events have passed him by.

        Here I was thinking this was kangaroo court because the prosecution hasn’t yet asked a single relevant question about my initial post. The jury box being stuffed to overflowing with a pack of laughing hyenas should have tipped me off.

      • Mike the Morlock,

        Duh, the most politically correct kind of course — everything’s said in sign language.

      • good night Brandon If you are on the same side of the world as me, sleep well (no sac or ill will)

        michael

      • Janice,

        Gates doesn’t feel bad about trolling this excellent article and thread. He is fixated on his belief that “carbon” is gonna getcha. Even though Mr. Smith absolutely destroys that nonsense, Gates continues in the only way he has left: using his impotent ridicule.

    • Brandon,

      More than the use of the “isolate” function in most of these various incarnations of charts, I find the use of the “mean” on the CO2 data to be problematic. When a 12-month mean is used, the seasonal variation of CO2 vanishes

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:2005/plot/esrl-co2/from:2005/mean:12

      The second problem I have is when attempting to “find” relationships, they anomaly temps are used with again makes seasonal variation vanish.
      ..

      If one is attempting to establish a relationship between two variables, they need to use absolute values, and not anomalies.

      When these two criteria are enforced, the “T causes CO2” argument is next to impossible to make.

      • Gates, you will never learn. Charts like those do not indicate which is the cause, and which is the effect. They are simple overlays.

        WFT allows lots of overlays in a single chart. But the only meaningful ones in the AGW debate are the T/CO2 charts that show causality.

        None of the charts you posted show causality. In fact, the only legitimate charts that show causality show only one thing: changes in T are the cause of subsequent changes in CO2. I can find no honest charts that show the reverse causality.

        It all comes down to measurements. Produce a credible measurement quantifying AGW, and everything will fall into place.

        But so far there are no measurements of AGW. So AGW is just a conjecture; a baseless conjecture at that. Even if AGW exists, clearly it cannot be very large, can it? It is so small that we can’t even measure it.

        This is just more evidence that the whole ‘man-made global warming’ scare is completely baseless. It is nonsense. If I’m wrong… post a measurement of AGW.

      • I think I understand Mr Dbstealey’s thinking about “overlays”

        When a chart shows what dbstealey wants it to show, it is not an “overlay”
        Whrn a chart shows what dbstealey doesn’t want it to show, it is an “overlay”

        Got it

      • I think I understand Mr Dbstealey’s thinking about “overlays”


        When a chart shows what dbstealey wants it to show, it is not an “overlay”
        Whrn a chart shows what dbstealey doesn’t want it to show, it is an “overlay”

        Got it

      • Socks, you not only don’t understand what I’m trying to teach you, you don’t even know how to avoid double-posting…

        …that was an accident. Wasn’t it? Even 7 minutes apart?

      • Hey Mr Dbstealey

        Can you teach me about this?

        “those of us up to speed on the subject know that global temperature (T) rises or falls the most at night”

      • Socks says:

        You are not capable of “teaching”

        Anyone is capable of teaching. Even a bee or a flea can teach you.

        But some folks are not capable of learning. Mr. Socrates.

      • dbstealey,

        Gates, you will never learn. Charts like those do not indicate which is the cause, and which is the effect. They are simple overlays.

        They were not meant to.

        I can find no honest charts that show the reverse causality.

        Much depends on your definition of “honest”.

        Produce a credible measurement quantifying AGW, and everything will fall into place.

        Why should I do that? You’ve already told me what you think is a credible measurement:

        How did whoever did this chart come up with 0.5 as the value for lambda?

      • Please Mr Dbstealey….
        I’m asking you in a nice way.
        Please teach me why, ““those of us up to speed on the subject know that global temperature (T) rises or falls the most at night”

        I need to understand this……seems a very extraordinary claim on your part, but I suppose if you provide me with the details, I will learn how you discovered this.

      • Socrates, is it just me or does it look like DB is beginning to run out of room to manuver?

      • Socrates,

        Could be. My past few exchanges with him have had the feel of trying to fish barehanded.

      • Gates, Leo Smith has ridden the alarmist crowd hard and put them to bed wet. That’s why and your Bobbessey Twin constantly change the subject. You emit pixels, but you are getting thrashed in the debate.

        And I’m still waiting for a measurement quantifying AGW. I’m beginning to think you don’t have one.

        Without a measurment of AGW, you’ve got nothin’. No wonder you argue in circles.

        Socks says:

        Please teach me why…

        You are simply not teachable. I’m not the only one who has pointed out that fact.

      • dbstealey,

        Gates, Leo Smith has ridden the alarmist crowd hard and put them to bed wet.

        I’ve always been partial to that metaphor since the first time I heard it.

        That’s why and your Bobbessey Twin constantly change the subject.

        It might help if you demonstrated some understanding of the actual subject instead of cutting and running when me ‘n Socks et al. ask you pointy questions about what you get and what you don’t. To wit this chart you so graciously provided for discussion and now suddenly avoid talking about like death itself:

        Not tell us hotshot, how did whoever generated this plot come up with the y-axis temperature values? You could really impress by writing out the formula for it, containing the correct values for the coefficients.

        And I’m still waiting for a measurement quantifying AGW. I’m beginning to think you don’t have one.

        Hint: you’ve already supplied a putative measurement in the graph YOU submitted above and STAND BY as correct. This really is like fishing bare handed, but at least you’re in a barrel and don’t have too many places to dart off to.

      • Gates says:

        It might help if you demonstrated some understanding…

        Plenty of understanding here. Unlike noobie Gates, I’ve been completely immersed in this subject for more than twenty years.

        As for Gates not being able to understand that graph, maybe it would help to go back and read the WUWT post that it came from. And as I’ve posted before, there are other charts, from different sources — all of them showing the same thing.

        It’s radiative physics on a chart, and it clearly shows why adding more [harmless, beneficial] CO2 to the atmosphere will not cause any measureable rise in T. Which debunks the ‘man-made global warming’ hoax, no?

        For those of us who understand that, it makes it clear that there is nothing to worry about.

        ~ Hotshot

      • DBStealey.

        Let’s look at a computer model of a “perfect physics” derivation of a simple reaction system of a few round objects

        Surely, “physics” can get everything right (in the real world) by creating a “computer model” of the simple reactions of a limited simple system. No gravity, friction, inertia, rotation, tolerances to worry about, right?

        http://community.wolfram.com/groups/-/m/t/418720

        So. How come this has never happened in real life? The “Physics” is perfect, right? 8<)

      • dbstealey,

        Plenty of understanding here.

        Show me, don’t tell me, Missouri. I am testing your ability to explain the concepts at work here by showing me the math, not your ability to write, “go read the post”.

        You are failing that test miserably and for all the world to see. Time to put your money where your piehole is. Long past time, as this is on the order of the 10th time I’ve asked you about the chart.

        It’s radiative physics on a chart …

        And just how exactly how were those physics verified, DB? How do you know the y-axis values are accurate hmm?

      • Gates, you are an unteachable novice. I suggest that you go read the WUWT archives for a few months, try to get some inkling of reality, then come back and dip your toe in the water.

        Because right now you’re running around in circles like Chicken Little, convinced the sky is falling. Instead of being a clueless noob, learn something for a change. If possible.

        =========================

        RACook,

        Very interesting link. I liked it a lot! Thanks.

      • dbstealey,

        Still can’t answer the questions I see. Or is it won’t? Why woudn’t you want to answer these very simple, easy questions I wonder:

        And just how exactly how were those physics verified, DB? How do you know the y-axis values are accurate hmm?

        What happened to “show me”, Missouri? What’s with this even more pompously delivered, “go look yourself” buffoonery all about? Self-identifying principles are anything but if they change so capriciously.

        Tell the world what you really stand for, DB. Because, see, from where I’m sitting, self-consistency, honesty and integrity don’t appear to be on your list of guiding values.

      • Gates, what are you still babbling about? Face it, you lost the debate a long time ago. Why are you still digging?

        And you never answer my questions, like where are your measurements of AGW? Oh, right. That’s the reason you lost the debate. You don’t have any measurements, all you have are your baseless assertions.

        Another question you never answer: how do I get a job like yours and socks’s? It must be great being able to post blog comments throughout the work day! Where do I apply?

        Of course, you’re probably just unemployed. Either that, or you’re cheating your employer — unless your employer is the one paying you to post comments. Cheating your employer — then claiming that I lack ethics?? Look in the mirror, son.

        Let’s recap. You are either:

        • Unemployed, or

        • Cheating your employer, or

        • Being a paid troll

        Have I left out any other possibilities?

      • dbstealey,

        Gates, what are you still babbling about? Face it, you lost the debate a long time ago. Why are you still digging?

        The shovel in my hand is for digging you out of that hole when it collapses inward on you.

        And you never answer my questions, like where are your measurements of AGW?

        You know darn well where they are. You’ve been steeped in this stuff for 20 years, remember? Apparently you put some stock in them because of this little chart you posted:

        The issues you keep ducking are:

        1) How the creator of this chart came up with the values for the y-axis TEMPERATURE values.

        2) Why you think they are accurate if Global Warming is too insignificant to measure.

        Your turn to show me, Missouri.

        Let’s recap. You are either:

        • Unemployed, or

        • Cheating your employer, or

        • Being a paid troll

        Have I left out any other possibilities?

        That pretty much covers the bases. Why the details of my personal situation are any of your concern boggles the mind. It’s also indicative that you’re pretty much out of arguments, if indeed you have much of anything substantive to say on this topic at all.

      • PS, if it helps, a paid troll wouldn’t muck up the @$%@ing blockquote tags.

        [Life happens. What is the correct blockquote location? locations? It is not immediately obvious now. .mod]

      • (mod, this is the post w/ corrected blockquotes. please nuke the original. thanks.)

        dbstealey,

        Gates, what are you still babbling about? Face it, you lost the debate a long time ago. Why are you still digging?

        The shovel in my hand is for digging you out of that hole when it collapses inward on you.

        And you never answer my questions, like where are your measurements of AGW?

        You know darn well where they are. You’ve been steeped in this stuff for 20 years, remember? Apparently you put some stock in them because of this little chart you posted:

        The issues you keep ducking are:

        1) How the creator of this chart came up with the values for the y-axis TEMPERATURE values.

        2) Why you think they are accurate if Global Warming is too insignificant to measure.

        Your turn to show me, Missouri.

        Let’s recap. You are either:

        • Unemployed, or

        • Cheating your employer, or

        • Being a paid troll

        Have I left out any other possibilities?

        That pretty much covers the bases. Why the details of my personal situation are any of your concern boggles the mind. It’s also indicative that you’re pretty much out of arguments, if indeed you have much of anything substantive to say on this topic at all.

    • It should be obvious that you cannot tell anything about a trend using de-trended data.

      This is the problem with all graphs which have used the isolate function, such as those popular with dbstealey. Like this one,
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/isolate:60/mean:12/scale:0.26/plot/hadcrut3vgl/isolate:60/mean:12/from:1958
      which just shows the difference between two different ways to calculate a running mean.

      He also has a fixation on the position of the peaks, not noticing that they are cancelled by the troughs in the graph, as they must be if the trend is zero.

      • Or another way of putting it, because isolate relies on centered running means, it’s using data from the future for its calculations. Have either of you two futzed with the derivative function in WFT?

      • Jimmi says:

        It should be obvious that you cannot tell anything about a trend using de-trended data.

        You can tell the direction of the trend, and which came first, T or CO2 [yes, it is T].

        Next:

        He also has a fixation on the position of the peaks, not noticing that they are cancelled by the troughs

        Incorrect, because the troughs show the same causal relationship as the peaks ∆T causes ∆CO2. Both coming and going.

        Finally, you don’t like the graph you posted. But there are lots of graphs showing the same causation in many different time frames, from different sources.

        They aren’t all wrong.

        [Note this in the chart: “Note: TEMPERATURE CAUSES CO2 CHANGE”]

  74. What I would like to see is a graph of the temperatures in degrees Kelvin with the Y axis from 0*K to 400*K and the X axis of 100 million years.

    The data does exist.

    This might just put all our squabbles in perspective. And we might be able to see who is fooling who.

    • Chris in Australia,

      You know, I brought that up not long ago as a joke.

      There are some data here: ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/antarctica/vostok/deutnat.txt

      That gives you >420,000 years of temperature data from Vostok which is sufficient to illustrate your … point. Add 287 to each value to convert to Kelvin scale. Not that it matters for this exercise, but to be most realistic you’ll want to multiply every value by 0.44 before doing the conversion to K.

  75. Again: Assuming C02i at 280 and CO2f at 420, log(∆CO2)=2.146128 and ∆log(CO2)=0.176091…
    Which values of values of λ and k make the thing work?

    • Or if the whole thing is designed around decimal ppm, then λ and k, or the multivariable equations they might represent, would be adjusted accordingly. I really am trying to understand how this supposedly “works”. There must be some generally accepted definitions regardless of the political debate and I’d like to know what they are.

    • Essentially λ x k x ln(2) = ‘climate sensitivity’

      IIRC without lambda its about 0.4 degrees per doubling of CO2 from memory. I,e that is what CO2 in an utterly stable linear we-have-all-the-bases-covered ought to do, if they have got the physics right (Alecm maintains they haven’t: I am not getting involved mkay?)

      whereas the IPCC & chums IIRC has values from 1 to around 5 as possible values. lambda is tweaked to fit the curves of the data, real imagined or cherry picked according to your taste… The problem is it no longer fist the data for ANY value of lambda…hence the desperate struggle to introduce extra terms to save the theory. Of course the problem with that is that those extra terms might actually explain global warming without needing CO2 at all. If heat is hiding in the oceans to pop up later on..well who needs CO2, there’s your long term time delay feedback mechanism that with a bit of bent paperclip will cause global warm periods and little ice ages without needing CO2 at all. Oh dear. Up Queer Street in a right buggers muddle without a paddle it seems.

      I am saddened to note that Judith Curry, a proper scientist and a luke warmist, stills buys the proposition that CO2 has a significant effect on climate and is concerned to establish ‘by how much’

      Us chaos phreaks are more or less saying “by not enough to be worth losing any sleep over: the pause shows very low correlation between CO2 and climate so we either have ‘and something else is causing it” – the last refuge of the Linear Modellers, or we go the full Monty on the Emperor’s new green clothes and say “it ain’t linear, so Occam’s razor at this point in time says its almost certainly capable of doing global warming all by itself, and as far as we can tell, has done in the past, times ten”.

      That is the appalling reality. There might be no need to have anything causing climate change at all, beyond natural feedback in the climate system itself.

      the greatest rule of models is not what you put in, but what you can safely leave out.

      Given the financial emotional and intellectual investment in AGW, the prospect that it was a chimera after all, will not be received joyously.

      Chicken embryos physog, on.

      Imagine if you will a smug bearded be-sandalled professor of the philosophy of Climate change specialising in examining the moral implications of human induced climate change. Who discovers that actually, there wasn’t any.

      • for the record my clarification re the formula is born from commenting on CAGW zealot sites here in Aust like ‘The Conversation’ – a government funded blog where academia holds the fort on climate propaganda with articles that are sometimes embarrassing in their simplistic preaching. Anyways if you make a little error on that blog, lookout as you are in for some abuse. Never mind the CAGW crew take a grain of physics and turn it into the end of the world. You gotta get it perfect otherwise they use the ‘you spelt accommodation wrong so all you work is shiite’ trick. As I think our Nick attempted and very nearly pulled off.

        Great article Leo and goodonya mate – you make some very very good points and thanks for the formula correction, that is what honest thinkers do.

      • Re Judith Curry, don’t be saddened that she is going to seek out “by how much” CO2 matters. This lady will say it doesn’t matter if her findings are such. She is one of the very few beacons of honesty and integrity in this business and she has been excoriated viciously for it!!

      • Leo Smith
        January 6, 2015 at 11:24 pm

        Leo, I was also intrigued by your idea for a book. Make sure to research the evil genius behind much of this world takeover: the Canadian communist/entrepreneur/, Maurice Strong who created the UNFCCC , the Stockholm conference, the Rio summit that kicked off Kyoto AND set the task for IPCC of showing how much humans have effected the climate with CO2. This guy is a very bright fellow with only a high school education, now currently living in Beijing. I know it reads like doctor evil but this guy is real. Especially find his choice quotes.

      • Reply to Leo S ==> I would take objection to this characterization of Dr. Curry’s views:

        I am saddened to note that Judith Curry, a proper scientist and a luke warmist, stills buys the proposition that CO2 has a significant effect on climate and is concerned to establish ‘by how much’

        Your comment’s applicability depends entirely on which “significant” you mean — the scientifically/statistically significant or the everyday English significant.

        She is probably the most honest, straight forward, fair playing climate scientist currently willing to interact with the general public — and does very important work. Her views and actions deserve your respect.

        I would suggest reading her Stadium Wave paper.

    • As has been pointed out above you can’t take the log of a dimensional variable so the correct version is ∆log(CO2)=0.176, i.e. the contents of the brackets must be a dimensionless ratio.

    • The scientific method has failed to restrain human egos from venturing outside of the scientific domain. I think the uncertain and varying boundaries of the scientific domain make people feel uncomfortable, and there are more than a few scientists, politicians, etc. who are prepared to exploit that discomfort for personal gain. That said, they created a sea monster simply through extrapolation from a single loose tooth. Anyway, keep the faith, or something.

  76. Why not just assume independence and uniformity in time and space, and save billions of dollars and time trying to concoct plausible heuristic models? Perhaps that would be too obvious. Oh, well. It’s not cheap to operate outside of the scientific domain. I wonder if the [social] consensus adds or detracts from this enterprise’s credibility. A series of inconvenient truths.

  77. The incredible Mike MacCracken is defending models on Yahoo climate Sceptics:
    “So, it is not just models—though I would add in their defense that models are constructed based on our understanding of physics, chemistry, etc.–so just super fast pen and paper calculations, etc.
    Mike”

    Pierre Morel, the founder of Dynamic Meteorology Laboratory and former Secretary General of the Global Program Climate Research in Paris explained in a 2009 conference that this is typically what modelers are trying to make people believe -i.e. we’re right because these are the laws of physics-, but the reality is different: Quotes from the conference, courtesy of http://www.pensee-unique.fr/paroles.html#morel

    “We read in official documents” Climate models are derived from the laws of physics “I quote this because I read it, but it’s not true Climate models do.! are not based on the laws of physics.

    The laws of physics are microscopic laws. And the fact that the models in question have a gap between what they actually represent, ie the average on the scale of a block of 100 by 100 km or more, and then the detailed reality, local, if you like, this hiatus that there has disconnected. The laws of physics no longer apply. While it’s true that modelers like to believe that their models are based on the laws of physics because if it were true, at that time, there is no need to check their formulas. Their formulas are automatically good as they would be based upon the laws of physics. But unfortunately they are not ..
    This is the system clay foot. The big danger is that these models are not really connected solidly, supported, based on the laws of physics.
    So you have to go check the empirical laws. you have to go watch them closely. And that is unfortunately very difficult because if you take the average over 100 per 100km in a series of convective clouds, if you mean you do not see anything. the rising air is very humid, that comes down is drier. Are averaged, there is an intermediate thing is, everything but there is nothing of the detail of the mechanical operation of the system.”

    MacCracken once again is simply trolling on Yahoo and real scientists know better.

  78. I will leave a more general comment here, since I’m not well versed in the details of climate modelling. But i did a bit of modelling in grad school. I had a perfectly sane professor who insisted that we all understood one thing, if nothing else: Never confuse models with reality. They are tools that can yield insight, but they do nothing other than what you program them to do. They are as fallible as the scientists who create them. That may be the root of the problem. Climate scientists cannot admit fault in their models, because they would then have to admit their own fallibility. And let’s face it: humility is not in abundance amongst that crowd.

    • Or the skeptics, so it seems – and I am one. I find it disappointing that much of this debate degenerated into mudslinging over the meaning of a simple equation which is logarithmic no matter who is right, and as far as I can see, there is still no concise answer understandable to the layman. At the end of the day, the laymen will decide at the ballot box; and they deserve the courtesy of replies understandable to those of them willing to put in a little effort.

  79. First line in the Job Description of Nick Stokes’s contract:

    You will turn every non-conforming post on man-made climate change into an exercise in mental masturbation

  80. “But it simply never has. Or we wouldn’t be here to spout such nonsense.”

    Never is a long time for geology and geophysics and should be for climatology too..

    COSMIC RAYS AND CLIMATE by Jasper Kirkby, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/0804.1938.pdf

    Celestial driver of Phanerozoic climate? by Nir J. Shaviv and Ján Veizer,
    http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/twimberley/enviropol/EnviroPhilo/Phanerozoic.pdf

    A more accessible entry to cosmo-climatology is by: Svensmark and Calder, The Chilling Stars, Icon Books UK, 2007. (In Canada: Penguin Books)

    More here: http://thecloudmystery.com/The_Cloud_Mystery/Home.html

  81. Can someone please make sure this gets presented at a Congressional/Senatorial hearing with the EPA present. There are some good guys on those panels that need to hear this.

  82. Climate sensitivity is the pseudo-science behind all of AGW. It is usually expressed as the temperature increase °K/ doubling of atm. CO2. Its derivation is based on a string of unverifiable assumptions, and has been variously figured at values ranging from 0.5 °K to over 8 ° K, according to the lights of who does the figuring.
    And figures don’t lie, do they?
    But the truth is that the late warming trend circa1977-97 was due to increased insolation, as cloud data shows.
    Starting in the mid-eighties, global cloud coverage has decreased:
    decrease in clouds—>decrease in cloud albedo—>increased insolation
    Pretty straightforward. A number of studies have addressed this decrease in global cloud coverage. One of these, by John McLean, was posted on WUWT several months ago.

    So AGW has been knocked in the head by cloud data and is now yesterday’s bugaboo.

    Wonderful stuff, that CO2; what would we do without it?

    • Easy to say when you are preaching to the choir. I suggest it’s time to redouble efforts toward the gathered public, which is looking for facts, not one-upsmanship…

      • If the people concerned with climate were looking for facts we would have nothing to be concerned about. Hansen, Mann, Gore, Obama would all be laughing stock for their claims regarding climate. Oreskes would be a disreputable hack and Ehrlich would be a minor footnote and warning about integrity.

  83. Frankly my dear, the gathered public don’t give a damn.

    If you look around at the overwhelming silence that greeted the carefully cobbled up and gleeful announcement of the “HOTTEST!!!! YEAR EVAHHH!!!” by those that crunch, adjust, tweak and fudge the numbers then the overall response was eff off. Apart from the climate faithful the remarks and comments wherever it was written could generally be summed up as “so what”. It would seem that the climate beauty has lost her pizzazz, her allure is fading, the cracks are showing. Time to move on to the next “OHMYGOD IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD” scare. I am excited to know what it will be. Must get in early on the funding stream.

    • CAGW has political and funding momentum, highly entrenched vested interests, and the “save the planet” folks looking for a purpose in life. I’d be cautious with complacency.

      • These “save the planet” folks are having double fun: they enjoy Halloween every day by frightening people stiff and making good profit out of it. Some occasional travel for free to nice places is the icing of those rotten fruitcakes. The scariest scaremongers are those ‘scientists’ that tweak, pasteurize, sterilize and manipulate data to make their living out of that fudge.
        Disgusting.

  84. It’s always interesting to see which angle of argument is deemed ‘scientific’ in situations like this. I (as a former research biologist) and several others on this site over the past 4 years, have argued from ‘common sense’ that the climate system had to be a self-regulating system akin to a very strong spring (in other words very hard to break out from Hookes’ Law) to have survived in stable form for millions of years. Common sense was regarded as ‘our opinions’.

    Now we bring in some systems engineers who use a few terms like oscillators, feedback loops, time delays etc etc and it becomes ‘science’.

    It makes me wonder which branch of science, philosophy, religion or ethics will be brought in to finally nail the ‘common sense contention’ that murdering millions of people for oil isn’t ‘pragmatic foreign policy’, it’s genocide…….

    • ‘Common Sense’ is not going to feed egos, unfortunately.

      I believe that Homeostasis guides the system back to a desirable range – even in the face of great cataclysms, let alone a minor trace gas percentage blip. The ‘Pause’ is a good example of a return to equilibrium.

    • Who is “murdering millions of people for oil”? Please also quote the policy of any country that is suggesting killing people for any reason, “practical” or otherwise by the millions for oil.
      TIA

  85. I confess, I find the embedded defense of the Sky Dragon Slayers heartwarming. When you want to learn something about thermodynamics, modeling and feedback systems, you have choices. For example, you could go to engineers or to climatologists.

    • And I find the arguments of the Sky Dragon Slayers pointless and without merit, being little more than a passionate and confused interpretation of physics that isn’t winning any converts except at the fringe.

      • Anthony, with all due respect, Ken’s post was basically “who do you believe; engineers that apply physics to make things that work, or climate scientists that “predict” how things MIGHT work ?”.

        I have applied state of the art modelling tools (and designed a few custom modelling tools as well) for dozens of complex products. Most of which where eventually successful. Models are just one part of an engineer’s toolbox, they can inform, confuse, clarify and waste time. It all depends on how they are used.

        The “radiative greenhouse effect” is STILL just a hypothesis, model predictions are CUTE, but observations are facts.

        I can assure you that my interpretation of “physics” is solidly based as demonstrated by many successful designs I have contributed to. Several of which are currently orbiting the Earth and sending back nice color images that you can access from websites like Google Earth ™. My interpretation of “physics” is hardly confused.

        And speaking of merit, I have invented and patented several ideas that where applied in products, in fact some of those patents and products have become obsolete/expired during the several decades that folks have been fooling around trying (with absolutely no demonstrable success) to model the climate.

        And when exactly did science involve “winning converts” ??? That sounds a lot like a religion to me.

        So who do you believe; engineers that have applied the laws of thermodynamics (evolved from engineering efforts by the way) to make things that work, or climate scientists that have abused those laws to make “predictions” ?

        Cheers, KevinK

        PS I do appreciate all that you have done to provide this forum and expose flaws in the temperature record, but I would like to remind you of a wise person who said (paraphrased); “if the observations don’t match your hypothesis, the hypothesis is WRONG”

      • It is true that some of the Slayers were less than polite, but there has been a lot of that on all sides in this debate. The Scotish Skeptic explained it well in this post: http://scottishsceptic.co.uk/2014/07/04/skydragons-good-physics-appalling-pr/ Which he called “Skydragons: good physics – appalling PR”

        I have watched this debate from the days of “a new ice age is comming” till now. I can honestly say that agreeing with the Jim Hansen theory of CO2 warming the planet may be politically good for the luke warmers but it is not proven in any way. In fact, unless Maxwell was not any good at physics then my money is on the Jim Hansen theory being as wrong as everything else he has been involved with.

        In the lower atmosphere, conduction and convection rule. That is where we need to start.

        Oh, and it was Dr. Brown of Duke who agreed with his old friend Peter Morcombe in a thread I read that CO2 was much, much more likely to bump into an oxygen or nitrogen molecule and give up its energy recieved long before it had a chance to radiate the recieved energy, thereby thermalizing the non-CO2 molecule. Another way of saying that convection rules in the lower atmosphere.

      • markstoval commented on

        Another way of saying that convection rules in the lower atmosphere.

        Unless the air at the surface is still, then the surface temps are radiatively cooled. On a clear windless nights, the surface is first cooled at a rate limited by humidity and GH gases I believe, as the surface radiatively cools, that cools the air at the surface and that causes rel humidity to increase, which at somewhere around 80% humidity or higher, cooling slows by more than 50%. This regulates the rate of radiative cooling at the surface.
        Winds would control how much surface air cools before it’s replaced, so the humidity would be closer to the air’s bulk humidity, and should cool at that rate for a longer time.
        Then your convection rules all above this.

      • With all due respect (and this is huge, your contribution to the debate is immense and irreplaceable), Anthony, your intractable opinion is very well known. We’ll see how it all settles out. Once more people consider the nature of an atmospheric CO2 molecule and its capability, then the merits of the Sky Dragon Slayer arguments will be fully known, for better or worse. As an example: at near sea level how “hot” must a CO2 molecule be to measurably increase the temperature of 2,500 of its N2, O2 and Argon neighbors? Is it even possible for a CO2 molecule to achieve this elevated temperature without flying apart? Think about it.

      • My position is that CO2 has an effect far smaller than posited and supported by a number of new studies emerging demonstrating lower climate sensitivity, but to ignore it entirely is absolute folly.

        Given some of the people that are “slayers” and their horrid PR skills and mannerisms (Doug Cotton and John O’Sullivan come to mind) I’m really not interested in engaging the “Slayers”. Please refrain from further discussion of “slayer” topics.

      • kencoffman January 8, 2015 at 4:27 am
        As an example: at near sea level how “hot” must a CO2 molecule be to measurably increase the temperature of 2,500 of its N2, O2 and Argon neighbors? Is it even possible for a CO2 molecule to achieve this elevated temperature without flying apart? Think about it.

        A vibrationally excited CO2 molecule at 15 microns contains ~1.4×10^-20 J in the vibrational mode, the kinetic energy of the average gas molecule at 300K is ~0.6×10^-20 J. So that’s enough energy to increase the average temperature of 600 colliding molecules by ~1ºC. The vibrating CO2 molecule does not fly apart, that would require ~10^-18 J. Hope that helps.

  86. The main issue with positive feedbacks is that the temperature itself increasing is a negative feedback. This is reason we don’t have run away temperatures and oceans do not boil.

  87. george e. smith January 6, 2015 at 2:25 pm
    My only comment to the guest author, is a cautionary one. Given the specific subject matter, your use of (k) as a scale factor is unfortunate. It should be avoided like the plague here unless you DO mean “Boltzmann’s Constant.” Don’t worry, I like using k as a factor too; but I refrain from doing so.

    George, in chemical kinetics k is used universally as the symbol for a rate constant, in that case kb is used for Boltzmann’s constant.

  88. This discussion reminds me of one of my favorite ‘self-check’ quotations:
    “No matter how absolutely certain you are, you may be wrong.”
    I don’t know the source, but it sounds like Feynman.

  89. In dbstealey January 6, 2015 at 9:14 pm post, the Vostok core temperature/CO2 relationship is shown.

    We can clearly see (in control engineering terms) a stable system. After a transient input change, the system restores itself relatively quickly to its quiescent position.

    Control engineers understand that without energy being input to a system, there can be no change in controlled variable (temperature in this discussion).

    To me, the massive changes in temperature at 150000, 250000 and 350000 years imply external to the earth ‘input changes’ to the system, and the small ‘returning’ oscillations are the earths damped response to these massive changes.

    The plot above looks just like a damped system ( gain < 1.0) which is given step changes, just like the one described above with a spring, mass and damper.

    The massive changes, in such a short time span indicate massive changes to the energy input to the earth.

    The smaller changes appear to be the earths response to these massive changes.

    The sun is the power source for the earth. On a geological timescale something appears to have temporarily changed the amount of energy that the earth received 4 times.

    • We can clearly see (in control engineering terms) a stable system. After a transient input change, the system restores itself relatively quickly to its quiescent position.

      Looks more like a limit cycle to me rather than the stable node you describe, I would also say that the restoration is relatively slow.

      Control engineers understand that without energy being input to a system, there can be no change in controlled variable (temperature in this discussion).

      Not just the input but also the losses, for example KevinK’s accidental oscillator described above occurred because of a change in losses not input.
      A change in GHGs changes the losses for the earth.

      • With respect, my accidental oscillator occurred because of an unanticipated change in material properties (i.e. the resistance of solder versus temperature) not because of a change in losses.

        You wrote; “A change in GHGs changes the losses for the earth.”, not so, an change in “GHG’s” simply changes the delay time for energy as it flows through the system. It all starts at the SUN, flows through the system (Earth with atmosphere) and exits to the energy free vacuum of space.

        And another elephant in the climate science suite (as if there is not a huge herd of pachyderms present already) is that ALL of the properties of real materials; thermal conductivity, thermal capacity, density, etc. etc…. are dependent on temperature, often in a non-linear fashion.

        Heck, I think there are fewer pachyderms in Africa than in the “climate science room”.

        Cheers, KevinK

      • KevinK January 7, 2015 at 9:23 pm
        With respect, my accidental oscillator occurred because of an unanticipated change in material properties (i.e. the resistance of solder versus temperature) not because of a change in losses.

        With respect that phase change was caused by inadequate heat loss to maintain stability. “Turns out that the switching transistor was just a wee bit too warm (not a large enough heatsink to shed the thermal load), not warm enough to be damaged however. This caused the solder that connected the transistor leads to start to liquify (not enough to open the connection so the lamp stayed lit)”
        You fixed it by increasing the heat loss:
        “once I found the problem I simply upgraded to a larger heatsink and kept my job, and some of you may have purchased a fax machine or document scanner with a little fluorescent lamp inside, one of those units included this design (after it worked).”

        You wrote; “A change in GHGs changes the losses for the earth.”, not so, an change in “GHG’s” simply changes the delay time for energy as it flows through the system. It all starts at the SUN, flows through the system (Earth with atmosphere) and exits to the energy free vacuum of space.

        Your model for the action of GHGs is not correct.
        At a given insolation the Earth’s surface radiates energy towards space (T^4), CO2 filters out some of that energy (log dependence on CO2), using it to heat the atmosphere, as a result less energy is emitted to space than is lost from the surface. The Earth therefore increases its temperature until incoming and out going match.

    • steverichards1984 commented

      The massive changes, in such a short time span indicate massive changes to the energy input to the earth.

      This is the derivative of station temp (Mn,Av,Mx) from global surface stations from the NCDC GSoD data set showing daily rate of change from Apr till Oct (Cooling), and Oct to Apr (Warming), The yellow spike in 1972 is most likely due to a large change in the number of surface stations from 1970-1973 (sample count changed from ~1800 to ~525,~450, and ~3700 for those years). But other than that you can see the acceleration plot of station temps. Fairly stable Mx temps, Mn temp changes are large local (regional) spikes, like you might see with a large change in temps of an upwind pool of water might have.

  90. Reblogged this on Maley's Energy Blog and commented:
    Blogging this mainly as a bookmark for future reference. Leo Smith sounds like a brilliant engineer. Note that the post is actually a promoted comment. Mr. Smith’s subsequent comment (1/6/15 at 6:32 pm) is remarkable in its clarity, insight and warning.

  91. Showing up late, but increasingly Nick Stokes, with his quick pounce to derail any discussion is nearly indistinguishable from Omanuel, the kook and troll. The only cure for trolls and kooks is to stop feeding them.

  92. I have a suggestion inspired by Leo Smith’s post: I believe that one can take Leo Smith’s insight further and actually compare it to topics in standard climatology textbooks to get an insight into his feedback parameter by reformatting his proposal as :
    dT = lambda *k*ln2(1 + f(dx)/(lambda*k*ln2))

    Then refer to , say Goudy ‘s textbook and in particular Ch 5 eqtns 5.43 to 5.47 for the amplification factor associated with water vapour. Apply the simplification that 1/(1 – a) = (1 +a) for a<<1 and you end up with an
    equation similar to that proposed by LS , with the unknown parameter f(dx) associated with the relative contribution of the optical depth of water vapour (tau,w) to the total optical depth (tau) , ie the ratio
    tau,w/tau where tau = tau,w + tau, CO2
    So whilst CO2 continues to rise , and with it tauCO2 the contribution from water falls and global temperatures fail to rise as expected .
    So , a fall in the optical depth of water vapour is the LS feedback parameter , and it is within the framework of orthodox AGW theory so it is surely not an improper suggestion that I am making . H2O is the key.

  93. Hidden away in Leo Smith’s excellent article are, for me, the real guts.

    “It’s a massive non linear hugely time delayed negative feedback system. And that’s just water and ice. Before we toss in volcanic action, meteor strikes, continental drift. solar variability, and Milankovitch cycles…
    The miracle of AGW is that all this has been simply tossed aside, or considered some kind of constant, or a multiplier of the only driver in town, CO2.
    When all you know is linear systems analysis everything looks like a linear system perturbed by an external driver.
    When the only driver you have come up with is CO2, everything looks like CO2.”

    Why do climatologists attempt to model a blatantly non-linear system with what are essentially linear models rather than complex dynamic models? Or am I wrong and have any climate scientists come up with a complex dynamic model?

    • They know it is not good, but some, out of arrogance, dismiss the other factors as non-factors, and the rest do not understand dynamic models. Man (one N) does not have the data necessary to accurately put in the other factors yet. And that is why their models are so bad.

  94. Stokes

    GCMs do CFD perfectly well in the vertical direction (as do NWPs). They implement the momentum equation. It happens that you can generally ignore vertical acceleration (winds blow generally horizontally, or at least in line with topography), and also the vertical component of viscous stress. What’s left is hydrostatic balance. Some vertical transport due to sub-grid stuff needs to be modelled.

    Oh Dear

    So “winds blow generally horizontally” do they? Have you ever heard of mountain (gravity) wave? The kind that produces vertical ‘wind’ frequently > than 50kmh (25kts), measurable to the stratosphere, i.e. > 30,000m (100,000ft) and which are observed to stretch for 1500km (1000ml), never heard of “the land of the white cloud”?

    It never ceases to amaze me how those that comment on climate from a CAGW perspective can be so ignorant of lower atmosphere physics

    Nick, whenever the wind blows horizontally it also blows vertically, see NASA’s image of gravity waves stretching between Indonesia and Australia

  95. “To an engineer, climate science as the IPCC have it is simplistic nonsense.”

    An excellent article.

    Anyone who thinks a temperature ‘change’ that amounts to a tiny fraction of the daily range (at any location) or the regional range (at any point in time) is even going to be problematic – is a fool.

    Once again Dick Strokes is shown to be missing his natural calling – as a Merchant Banker.

  96. spot on. clear, concise, understandable to laymen and professionals alike. best post ever.

  97. “Sooner or later an externality is going to come along that will overwhelm the ability of centralized bureaucracy to deal with it, and it will fail. ”

    An externality, like maybe a national debt in excess of 20 TRILLION dollars.

  98. As another engineer I came to a similar conclusion when the climate alarmism fist came to prominence.
    These two paragraphs capture it for me.

    “So called ‘Climate science’ relies on net positive feedback to create alarmist views – and that positive feedback is nothing to do with CO2 allegedly: on the contrary it is a temperature change amplifier pure and simple.

    If such a feedback existed, any driver of temperature, from a minor change in the suns output, to a volcanic eruption must inevitably trigger massive temperature changes. But it simply never has. Or we wouldn’t be here to spout such nonsense.”

  99. As I have shown and said if climate models can’ t show why the climate changed the way it did in the past even when they know how it changed (Pliocene to Pleistocene) how are they going to be able to predict the climate now?

    The answer is they can not and the CO2 /AGW climate connection theory is nonsense in my opinion.

    The strength of the GHG effect is a result of the climate not the cause and that is illustrated by the fact that CO2 responds to temperature and not the other way around.

  100. Great collection of AGW refuting here.

    However, Team AGW, at least their icons, are fully aware of how fatally flawed their “science” and models are.

    That why it’s a fraud being perpetrated.

    The purposefully mendacious advancement of fallacious justification for the gross misappropriation of public money on illegitimate programs and policies.

  101. “We are on the point of almost total collapse, and we do not have the localised systems in place to replace centralised structures that are utterly dysfunctional. Sooner or later an externality is going to come along that will overwhelm the ability of centralized bureaucracy to deal with it, and it will fail. And nothing else will succeed, because people can no longer think for themselves.”

    Quite.

  102. Commenting as a 40 yr. control systems engineer w/thermo & fluids & chemE background it was obvious to me years ago that the IPCC models were very simplistic & probably never get close to modeling reality… Oh yes one can constantly re-initialize the models, tweek & retrain them to look like reality… but they are worthless at hind casting… let alone forecasting. It would be nice to be well paid to develop models that are basically worthless. But I’m from the old school where you are paid based on your performance & actually making a product or profit. I am betting that most climate or physics majors doing modeling have never worked in engineering or have built workable or operational chemical, controls or fluids models. There is a basic attitude problem with these folks and an amazing lack of humility whatsoever…. AMAZING…

  103. There are a ton of factors that affect climate in the short term. There are probably 2 factors that completely dominate all of those other factors over the long term- the output of the sun, and the content of water on earth. The atmosphere itself is really just a product of these two factors, and gravity (which is not a variable obviously). Water vapor dominates the green house effect that keeps the earth from icing over. If CO2 was the major driver, the earths temperature would be radically unstable and data disproves that possibility.

  104. Smith wrote: “So called ‘Climate science’ relies on net positive feedback”. That is just plain false. The climate system has net negative feedback and every single climate model has net negative feedback. Otherwise the models would give wild numbers, which they most assuredly do not. The dominant feedback in the climate system, and in the climate models, is the “Planck feedback” – warmer temperatures result in the emission of more radiation, which has a cooling effect. Some of the other feedbacks are negative and most are positive. In the models, the sum of all the other feedbacks is positive, but is smaller in magnitude than the dominant Planck feedback. So the net feedback is negative, but less negative than the Planck feedback alone. The question the climate models seek to answer is: How much less negative?

    If the net feedback is as negative as the Planck feedback, it is very hard to explain why the global climate is as unstable as it is: ice-ball earth, crocodillians in the Canadian high arctic, ice ages.

    Smith wrote: “If such a feedback existed, any driver of temperature, from a minor change in the suns output, to a volcanic eruption must inevitably trigger massive temperature changes. But it simply never has. Or we wouldn’t be here to spout such nonsense.” Absolutely true. But it is Leo Smith, not the climate scientists, who is the one spouting this nonsense, .

    Smith wrote: “With all simple known factors taken care of the basic IPCC style equation boils down to:
    ∆T = λ.k.log( ∆CO2)
    where lambda (λ) is the climate sensitivity that expresses the presupposed propensity of any warming directly attributable to CO2 (k.log(CO2)) radiative forcing and its resultant direct temperature change to be amplified” Not an unreasonable description of a simple way to describe the results.

    Smith wrote: “by some unexplained and unknown feedback factor”. This proves that Leo Smith knows nothing about the subject. EVERY feedback that is included is explained and known in at least some sense, NONE can be even remotely described as being “unexplained and unknown”. The evidence for some feedbacks is fairly good and for others the evidence is highly questionable, consisting solely of model results with no observational support. There is plenty to criticize in what the modellers do. But please criticize what they do, not some paranoid fantasy of what you suppose they do.

    Maybe I will read and comment of the rest of this if I decide I have the time to waste.

  105. Leo, thanks for your involuntary contribution. It was very informative and has set off a rather lively discussion. Much appreciated!

  106. Mike M. says:

    If the net feedback is as negative as the Planck feedback, it is very hard to explain why the global climate is as unstable as it is…

    That is backward. Negative feedbacks make for stability. It is positive feedbacks that would make the climate unstable.

    Furthermore, the past century and a half has been exceedingly stable. There is nothing either unprecedented or unusual happening. When you start off with a wrong premise, you are sure to reach an incorrect conclusion.

    Also, I agree with ‘bones’ above. Leo Smith has shown that runaway global warming is nonsense, and he shows it from an engineer’s perspective.

    Engineers are like scientists, only better:

    Understanding Engineers #1

    Two engineering students were biking across a university campus when one said, “Where did you get that great bike?” The second engineer replied, “Well, I was walking along yesterday minding my own business, when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike, threw it to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, “Take what you want.” The first engineer nodded approvingly and said, “Good choice: The clothes probably wouldn’t have fit you anyway.”

    Understanding Engineers #2

    To the optimist, the glass is half-full. To the pessimist, the glass is half-empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

    Understanding Engineers #3

    A priest, a doctor, and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers. The engineer fumed, “What’s with those guys? We must have been waiting for fifteen minutes!” The doctor chimed in, “I don’t know, but I’ve never seen such inept golf!” The priest said, “Here comes the greens-keeper. Let’s have a word with him.” He said, “Hello, George. What’s wrong with that group ahead of us? They’re rather slow, aren’t they?” The greens-keeper replied, “Oh, yes. That’s a group of blind firemen. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime.” The group fell silent for a moment. The priest said, “That’s so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight.” The doctor said, “Good idea. I’m going to contact my ophthalmologist colleague and see if there’s anything he can do for them.” The engineer said, “Why can’t they play at night?”

    Understanding Engineers #4

    What is the difference between mechanical engineers and civil engineers? Mechanical engineers build weapons. Civil engineers build targets.

    Understanding Engineers #5

    The graduate with a science degree asks, “Why does it work?” The graduate with an engineering degree asks, “How does it work?” The graduate with an accounting degree asks, “How much will it cost?” The climate studies graduate asks, “Do you want fries with that?”

    Understanding Engineers #6

    Three engineering students were gathered together discussing who must have designed the human body. One said, “It was a mechanical engineer. Just look at all the joints.” Another said, “No, it was an electrical engineer. The nervous system has many thousands of electrical connections.” The last one said, “No, actually it had to have been an environmental engineer. Who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area?”

    Understanding Engineers #7

    Normal people believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet.

    Understanding Engineers #8

    An engineer was crossing a road one day, when a frog called out to him and said, “If you kiss me, I’ll turn into a beautiful princess!” He bent over, picked up the frog, and put it in his pocket. The frog spoke up again and said, “If you kiss me, I’ll turn back into a beautiful princess and stay with you for one week!” The engineer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket. The frog then cried out, “If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I’ll stay with you for one week and do anything you want!” Again, the engineer took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket. Finally, the frog asked, “What is the matter? I’ve told you I’m a beautiful princess and that I’ll stay with you for one week and do anything you want. Why won’t you kiss me?” The engineer said, “Look, I’m an engineer. I don’t have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog — now that’s cool!”

    • 8-)
      Modelers project reality. Engineers design reality. The rest of us have to live with it. 8-)

  107.  

    FUTURE CLIMATE

    Those who are interested in learning why long-term (~500 year) cooling will start after the year 2059 can see my new website whyitsnotco2.com.

     

  108. This has to be one of the most comprehensive yet clearly articulated reviews of the entire field of climate science I’ve ever read. Thanks to both the author and Anthony for elevating it.