New Study: Climate Alarmism Takes One Helluva Beating

Climate Sensitivity Takes Another Tumble (via the GWPF)


Since [the publication of the IPCC’s] AR5, various papers concerning aerosol forcing have been published, without really narrowing down the uncertainty range. Aerosol forcing is extremely complex, and estimating it is very difficult. In this context, what is IMO a compelling new paper by Bjorn Stevens estimating aerosol forcing using multiple physically-based, observationally-constrained approaches is a game changer. -Nic Lewis, Climate Audit, 19 March 2015

1) Climate Sensitivity Takes Another Tumble
Bishop Hill, 19 March 2015
Andrew Montford

Over at Climate Audit, Nic Lewis reports on the publication of a very important paper in Journal of Climate.
Bjorn Stevens has created a new estimate of the cooling effects of pollution (“aerosols”) on the climate. Readers will no doubt recall that to the extent that aerosol cooling is small the warming effect of carbon dioxide must also be small so that the two cancel out to match the observed temperature record. Only if aerosol cooling is large can the effect of carbon dioxide be large.

Stevens’ results suggest that the aerosol effect is even lower than the IPCC’s best estimates in AR5, which were themselves much lower than the numbers that were coming out of the climate models. He also suggests that the number is less uncertain than previously thought. This is therefore pretty important stuff.

Stevens chose not to calculate the effect on climate sensitivity but, being a helpful chap, Nic Lewis has done so for us, plugging the new numbers into the equations he recently used to calculate a decidedly low estimate of climate sensitivity and transient climate response based on the AR5 estimates. The effects, particularly on the upper bounds, are startling:
Compared with using the AR5 aerosol forcing estimates, the preferred ECS best estimate using an 1859–1882 base period reduces by 0.2°C to 1.45°C, with the TCR best estimate falling by 0.1°C to 1.21°C. More importantly, the upper 83% ECS bound comes down to 1.8°C and the 95% bound reduces dramatically – from 4.05°C to 2.2°C, below the ECS of all CMIP5 climate models except GISS-E2-R and inmcm4. Similarly, the upper 83% TCR bound falls to 1.45°C and the 95% bound is cut from 2.5°C to 1.65°C. Only a handful of CMIP5 models have TCRs below 1.65°C.
Remember folks, the IPCC’s official upper bound is 4.5°C, but Stevens’ results suggest that ECS can’t be above 1.8°C.
Jim Hansen, Bob Ward, Kevin Trenberth, Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt, your climate alarmism just took one helluva beating.

2) The IPCC versus Stevens
Bishop Hill, 20 March 2015
Andrew Montford
I’ve updated Nic Lewis’s graph of his new climate sensitivity estimates by adding the IPCC’s likely range of 1.5°C–4.5°C as a grey box. Something of a contrast here I would say.

The situation for TCR is only marginally better.

Full post & comments
3) The Implications For Climate Sensitivity Of Bjorn Stevens’ New Aerosol Forcing Paper
Climate Audit, 19 March 2015
Nicholas Lewis
In a paper published last year (Lewis & Curry 2014), discussed here, Judith Curry and I derived best estimates for equilibrium/effective climate sensitivity (ECS) and transient climate response (TCR). At 1.64°C, our estimate for ECS was below all those exhibited by CMIP5 global climate models, and at 1.33°C for TCR, nearly all. However, our upper (95%) uncertainty bounds, at 4.05°C for ECS and 2.5°C for TCR, ruled out only a few CMIP5 climate models. The main reason was that they reflected the AR5 aerosol forcing best estimate and uncertainty range of −0.9 W/m2 (for 2011 vs 1750), with a 5–95% range of −1.9 to −0.1 W/m2. The strongly negative 5% bound of that aerosol forcing range accounts for the fairly high upper bounds on ECS and TCR estimates derived from AR5 forcing estimates.

The AR5 aerosol forcing best estimate and range reflect a compromise between satellite-instrumentation based estimates and estimates derived directly from global climate models. Although it is impracticable to estimate indirect aerosol forcing – that arising through aerosol-cloud interactions, which is particularly uncertain – without some involvement of climate models, observations can be used to constrain model estimates, with the resulting estimates generally being smaller and having narrower uncertainty ranges than those obtained directly from global climate models. Inverse estimates of aerosol forcing (derived by diagnosing the effects of aerosols on more easily estimated quantities, such as spatiotemporal surface temperature patterns) tended also to be smaller and less uncertain than those from climate models, but were disregarded in AR5.
Since AR5, various papers concerning aerosol forcing have been published, without really narrowing down the uncertainty range. Aerosol forcing is extremely complex, and estimating it is very difficult. One major problem is that indirect aerosol forcing has, approximately, a logarithmic relationship to aerosol levels. As a result, the change in aerosol forcing over the industrial period – anthropogenic aerosol forcing – is sensitive to the exact level of preindustrial aerosols (Carslaw et al 2013), and determining natural aerosol background levels is very difficult.

In this context, what is IMO a compelling new paper by Bjorn Stevens estimating aerosol forcing using multiple physically-based, observationally-constrained approaches is a game changer. Bjorn Stevens is Director of the Department ‘Atmosphere in the Earth System’ at the MPI for Meteorology in Hamburg. Stevens is an expert on cloud processes and their role in the general circulation and climate change. Through the introduction of new constraints arising from the time history of forcing and asymmetries in Earth’s energy budget, Stevens derives a lower limit for total aerosol forcing, from 1750 to recent years, of −1.0 W/m2.

Although there is no best estimate given in the published paper, it can be worked out (from the uncertainty analyses given) to be −0.5 W/m2, and a time series for it derived from an analytical fit used in the analysis. An upper bound of −0.3 W/m2 is also given, but that comes from an earlier study (Murphy et al., 2009) rather than being a new estimate.
I have re-run the Lewis & Curry 2014 calculations using aerosol forcing estimates in line with the analysis in the Stevens paper (see Appendix) substituted for the AR5 estimates. I’ve accepted the Murphy et al (2009) upper bound of −0.3 W/m2 adopted by Stevens despite, IMO, the AR5 upper bound of −0.1 W/m2 being more consistent with the error distribution assumptions in his paper.

The Lewis & Curry 2014 energy budget study involves comparing, between a base and a final period, changes in global mean surface temperature (GMST) with changes in effective radiative forcing and – for ECS only – in the rate of ocean etc. climate system heat uptake. The preferred pairing was 1859–1882 with 1995–2011, the longest early and late periods free of significant volcanic activity. These periods are well matched for influence from internal variability and provide the largest change in forcing (and hence the narrowest uncertainty ranges). Neither the original Lewis & Curry 2014 ECS and TCR estimates nor the new estimates are significantly influenced by the low increase in surface warming this century.
Full post with references & comments


106 thoughts on “New Study: Climate Alarmism Takes One Helluva Beating

  1. TS.6.2 Key Uncertainties in Drivers of Climate Change
    • Uncertainties in aerosol–cloud interactions and the associated
    radiative forcing remain large. As a result, uncertainties in aerosol
    forcing remain the dominant contributor to the overall uncertainty
    in net anthropogenic forcing, despite a better understanding of
    some of the relevant atmospheric processes and the availability of
    global satellite monitoring. {2.2, 7.3–7.5, 8.5}

    IPCC AR5 acknowledged a large uncertainty. Not news.

    • Yes, but they still claim 95%+ confidence that AGW is real and dangerous…

      AFAICT, they don’t include this uncertainty in their calculations, they just pay lip service to it.

      • No, you mean that they shouldn’t do so, because the theory of statistics does not support any assertion of confidence expressed as a meaningful percentage in the absurd analysis of CMIP5 multimodel ensemble results and because the simple standards of scientific honesty preclude using the term “confidence” in documents such as the Summary for Policy Makers, where it appears every other line in the money sections, without a sound foundation in empirical observation and the theory of statistics.

        They don’t perform any meaningful calculations. When they use the term “confidence” in the SPM, they are using it in the sense a “confidence artist” would use it. They are stating their own “educated” opinion, (mis)using the language of statistics. If you asked them to defend a specific number that would ordinarily be associated with any part of these assertions, they would be utterly unable to, as is evidenced by the simple fact that reality is already disagreeing with those assertions at a 95% or greater level in most costs. They are now reduced to asserting that the Earth is following a very, very unlikely climate track and that it “should” be warming at a hellacious rate because their models are correct after all.

        It’s like the whole idea of a hypothesis test is foreign to them.

        Perhaps this article will indeed be a “game changer”, but given the absolutely enormous amount of money on the line, given the fact that the political reputations of so many powerful people are on the line, given that the entire scientific community that has acquiesced, if nothing else, in this fraudulent abuse of statistics and statistical terminology in a manifestly politicoeconomic enterprise, all I expect to hear is exactly this. “Oh yes, the “deniers”, the “lukewarmists”, the “non-catatrophists” were right all the time but look! Our error bars were almost big enough to contain the way it turned out to be! Let’s declare the IPCC and its ARs and the models a success and continue to generate 20 times as much pointless research about the effects of 3 C warming on biosystems that a) is never going to happen; and b) if it did happen, would not have the effects predicted by that silly research as was ever justified by the science.”

        They’d better hope that this succeeds. Because otherwise out could easily come the pitchforks and the torches, when the people of the entire world realize how they have been systematically misled, for gain, by an entire body of people who were elected, appointed, or whose professional obligation is to do no such thing.

        I think all of us who have been watching this — including a whole lot of “climate scientists” — have been waiting for this shoe to drop for some time now. ECS has been in freefall, so to speak, since AR4. The Pause has created enormous problems by illuminating the utter absurdity of what they were trying to do with the models — it wouldn’t have been so bad as a research project, but to base the expenditure of the bulk of the elective wealth of all of human society on this poorly executed, incredibly mismanaged, global research project is beneath just “poor judgement”, it is beneath contempt.

        Do not think that this is over. With the new bounds on aerosol forcing dragging ECS kicking and screaming down very close to the “no net feedback, CO_2 only” starting point, all bets are off, because (almost) all the climate models were built based on the strong cancellation of two large numbers to fit a much smaller trend (where I won’t go into why solving an “a priori” computation like this with a reference period is neither a priori, nor anything but a very fancy model being fit to a finite data segment and them presumed to be extrapolable). Numerically this was a huge risk from the beginning, but it was the only way to make the nature part of the observed variation small compared to the CO_2 forced part of the variation during the reference period. By cancelling the large CO_2 plus water vapor feedback warming with a large aerosol, the models could ascribe a small weight to natural variations due to e.g. the multidecadal oscillations and any hypothetical unknowns such as a solar influence outside of the obvious one, fit the reference period, and then show strong/catastrophic warming as CO_2 forcing left aerosols and natural variation behind.

        This is no longer possible. They have to completely redo the models and wherever aerosols were canceling strong CO_2 plus feedback warming, since the CO_2 component is fixed (really) by physics, the feedback has to correspondingly diminish. But this is a disaster! That means that the entire cloud/albedo/water vapor feedback model is not only incorrect, it isn’t even close to correct! The numbers now indicate that it is close to neutral, but that is very dangerous ground tto be on because the former models were linearized around the wrong neighborhood, a neighborhood where natural variations were basically unimportant. Those natural variations are coupled, strongly to the water vapor cycle. Even the residual positive feedback from e.g. water in the ECS could be an artifact, the result of (wait for it) choosing as a reference period the upside of the natural 67 year cycle clearly visible in the climate of the last 165 years!

        Then there is still the data corruption issue to deal with. To me, as to many, it is implausible beyond any reasonable measure that every data adjustment made to the thermometric record has ultimately resulted in more warming than the original straight average of that record or that record plus all other subsequent corrections. Data correction only very, very rarely works that way, and there isn’t the slightest good reason to think that it would in this case. A substantial fraction of the observed “warming” has resulted strictly from the monotonic data corrections applied in e.g. HadCRUT4 and GISSTEMP, while corrections that could conceivably only (substantially) lower the warming estimated, such as the UHI, have been systematically ignored or have inexplicably been performed so that they worked out near neutral.

        That is, there are excellent statistical reasons to think that the models are being built on top of data that are not just uncertain in many way (with a systematically understated uncertainty of our knowleldge of past temperatures) but are actively corrupted by the adjustment process so that we aren’t even fitting the actual climate, but a made up one. Small surprise that fits to the made up climate don’t extrapolate well even when compared to the “adjusted” real one as it evolves, especially now that the satellite tropospheric record acts as a sanity check upper bound on the adjustments that they can make to present data.

        I do, however, think that we may finally have the explanation of “The Pause” — the one explanation that I don’t recall seeing on the long lists tallied from the literature. The models were wrong. ECS is in the ballpark of 1 to 1.5 C, and more than half of the warming observed in the past may well have been from natural causes so that when causes are properly rebalanced we learn that even this may be an overestimate. Net feedback could actually turn out to be negative.

        It is probably too early to jump to all of these conclusions — however tempting they might be to people who have been spending years pointing out the flaws with the existing models, process, conclusions and the enormous waste in dollars and human lives of ameliorating a climate disaster that was if nothing else very, very far from being a proven fact. It is still not a proven fact that a climate disaster will not occur (or might not have occurred even without CO_2, since the climate is not a stationary process!). But it is, however, almost certainly safe to say that if this result for aerosols withstands scientific scrutiny (where it is early days yet) AR6, if it happens at all, is going consist largely of (sorry about the ads):


      • Many years ago at ClimateAudit I caught Hell for suggesting that not only do we not know the magnitude of water vapor feedback, but that we were not even sure of the sign. Of course, clouds can make it just about anything, and therein lies the beauty of it all.

    • It certainly is news, as this paper, if correct, would remove that uncertainty from aerosol forcing.

  2. Can we please stop talking about this climate sensitivity crap when nobody really knows for sure if co2 has any effect whatsoever? It’s playing the game in their ballpark, when they haven’t earned the right to have a home game.

    • CO2 does indeed have an effect on the planet’s biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and climate.

      • I imagine many molecules effect the climate, but the climate sensitivity game only focuses on the one the energy rationers want to focus on.

      • RWturner, and until you also prove definitively that it has measurable effects, how it works and the magnitudes of those effects caused solely by CO2, using repeatable physical experimental procedures and real data from the real world, your statement means nothing.

      • RWturner

        As refreshing as your undocumented personal endorsement is, nobody else seems to be able to:

        a) define the alleged effect
        b) quantify the alleged effect
        c) make a testable & falsifiable prediction based on the effect (other than heating CO2 in a bottle)

        Until somebody convincingly does (a), (b), and (c), you got bupkis, nada, zip. You can believe in the Easter Bunny all you want – that won’t make it true.

      • Andres Valencia March 20, 2015 at 8:04 am 

        Please read “Global Warming 101″…

        I did read the excellent link to Dr. spencer’s “Global Warming 101.” Until there is empirical data it is all “global warning theory,” “calculated theoretically,” “feedback previously estimated,” and “some natural mechanism must be involved.” Not to mention: where CO2 comes from, where it goes, how long it stays in the atmosphere, and how much is anthropogenic. Interesting science worthy of more research and discussion and nothing more.

    • Agree with that. From what I can see, all the calculations, even Nic’s, re sensitivity derive from an underlying assumption that the simple radiation spectra of CO2 (‘its the physics, stupid!’) translate directly into climate consequences. It is entirely possible to argue that this isn’t so, and that there isn’t such a connection at all. I can’t claim to know, but the more I read, the more I am persuaded that short term feedbacks in the massively powerful hydrological cycle damp out CO2 effects very rapidly, and that ‘CO2 sensitivity’ is itself underlain by a false proposition. I don’t expect much sympathy for that argument right now, even from many sceptics, but I’ve noticed a few posts and a few papers recently going quite a long way down this road….

      • Yah, when the CO2 concentration can increase more than tenfold, and the overall warmth can plunge to deep ice age conditions (460 mya), it’s hard to see how there could be any CO2 sensitivity.

        Wouldn’t anything that warmed the atmosphere have the effect of “fluffing up” (expanding the volume of) the atmosphere, with the concomittant cooling via the ideal-gas law? With nothing to constrain the volume . . .

      • Actually, it is the physics. There is no doubt at all from the physics that the partial derivative in some averaged multivariate sense \partial T/\partial cCO2 > 0. That is, if one increases CO_2 concentration, there should be a small positive temperature increase. However, these are small changes (again, because of the physics). The raw quantum physics, worked out in a plausible way line by line or integrated subject to reasonable assumptions either one, leads one to the conclusion that the average surface temperature should increase by roughly 1 C per doubling of CO_2 concentration (the increase at this point is a logarithm of the concentration, so a fourfold increase would produce only 2 degrees C). I don’t want to argue about this, but I can direct you to a review paper in the American Journal of Physics that walks one through the computation in a comparatively simple presentation if you are interested and competent to read it.

        So it is not reasonable argue that there is “no such connection at all”, that is simply not correct. Furthermore, the spectroscopy involved is straightforward and is an actual photograph (in the broad-spectrum sense) of the process at work, so you’d be arguing against the evidence of your own eyes, if your own eyes looked at and tried to understand the evidence. See Ira Glickstein’s article on the GHE on WUWT, and/or get a copy of Grant Petty’s “A First Course in Atmospheric Radiative Physics”, which has spectrographs taken at the top of the atmosphere looking down and bottom of the atmosphere looking up at the same place and time that really pretty much eliminate any such argument.

        You are more on the money when you talk about the possibility that other natural effects either a) are as large or larger than the CO_2-linked effect; and b) the feedbacks could either cancel or augment this CO_2-only, all-things-equal warming. The major import of the top article is that most climate models were built on the assumption of base CO_2 of 1 C, base feedback from water vapor two to three times this for an additional 2-3 C, take away over 1 C from aerosols, plus a bit of fuzz from natural processes. This lead to median estimates of around 3 C total climate sensitivity, linked to the log CO_2 process.

        This worked during the reference period because it was assumed that aerosols were slowly varying and already cancelling most of their 1 C, so that the warming expected from CO_2 only during the CMIP5 reference period in the 1980s and early 90’s, heavily augmented by water vapor, would fit the strong increase in temperature observed during that period (the only 15 year period in the last 65 years where substantial warming has rapidly occurred is 1985-2000; they couldn’t have chosen a worse reference period to try to fit). Then, as CO_2 continued to increase, augmented by the water vapor, almost all the model predicted that it would leave the aerosol cancellation behind so that we’d start to “see” runaway warming. That’s why AR5 models look like this:

        Note that they all fit pretty well over the reference period, but then rocket up, leaving reality behind starting in the year 2000 or thereabouts.

        The simplest explanation for this was the misrepresentation of aerosols, ascribing far too large a cooling effect to them. I personally did an analysis of volcanic aerosols and correlation between major volcano events (as has Willis and a number of other WUWT posters) and found that even VEI 5 and 6 events (Mt St Helens, Pinatubo) had very little effect on the climate and that for a very brief period. This fits perfectly with observations of atmospheric broadband transparency taken at Mauna Loa — volcanoes and aerosols in general simply don’t have much of a cooling effect, and whatever effect they have is more likely due to their impact on cloud formation than due to changing the radiochemistry of the atmosphere per se. But all of the different models fit aerosols different ways, with different weights, and nearly all of those weights started to look far too high.

        If aerosols have less of a cooling effect, then they weren’t cancelling the strong CO_2 plus water vapor warming. That meant that to fit the data across the reference period at all, one could not count on cancelling a strong positive water vapor feedback component. The only reasonable conclusion is that this feedback is egregiously wrong, in nearly all of the models. If aerosols only cool at the -0.1 C level suggested by Lewis, we may find that net water vapor feedbacks — after accounting for and rebalancing models for natural variation that now cannot be shrugged aside as is implicitly done in the models built on the assumption of strong cancellations that do not occur — are negative, as one expects in what is, after all, a remarkably stable climate.

        We could end up after all the dust settles concluding that ECS from the doubling of CO_2 is less than 1 C, and that the global warming scare was the result of a mix of plain old bad luck (picking the worst possible reference period and listening to a supposedly objective scientist who has a lifelong track record of being on a crusade — or one of several crusades — instead of being dispassionate and objective, who happened to be in charge of NASA GISS at the time) and sadly, human greed multiply expressed. Or, we could end up (again, to be entirely fair) with ECS around 1.8 C, or 1.4 C, or even on a really bad day 2.1 C. But as Nic Lewis indicates, this is the vicinity of the lower bound of the AR estimates, and the upper bound of those estimates — which Hansen repeatedly endorsed in public as part of his crusade — are over 5 C. But then, Hansen with a straight face said that he believed that sea level rise would be 5 meters by 2100 and predicted that his offices in New York would be underwater by now (as indeed they’d have to be if the world were on the way to a 5 meter rise by 2100).

        So my strong advice is not to assert that there is no such thing as the GHE, or that CO_2 causes no warming, at least not without a rigorous quantitative, empircally validated proof of this. That kind of claim is one of the things used by the community that trumpets doom to assert that anyone who disagrees with them doesn’t understand the science. One can, in fact, understand the science quite well and not agree with them (and I’m a case in point, as are many others on this list) and more importantly, so far the Earth itself has not agreed with them, but now especially will not be the time for making statements that cannot be defended as the “warmist” community is forced to confront the magnitude of their past mistakes and the grave economic and social and human consequences and costs attendant upon them.


      • RGB,

        Well stated, however I’d punch up the possibility that in a complex atmosphere-hydrosphere-lithosphere climatic environment the feedbacks and other effects might well lead to a net of no GHE from increasing CO2. Under certain circumstances, cooling could even occur, as might be the case in the warmest moist tropical conditions.

        But in any case, whatever the effect, it’s likely to negligible either way on a self-regulating planet. And if the net sign of all human activities indeed be positive, ie a warming effect, then that’s a good thing. Plus of course CO2 is plant food and science really doesn’t have a handle on carbon sinks.

      • rgb,
        Thanks as usual for the great clarity with which you write.
        I wasn’t ARGUING with the physics, and I don’t deny the GHE, and I don’t doubt that, all else being equal, CO2 direct sensitivity would be around 1 deg C. Perhaps I wrote carelessly.
        The argument, which I myself am not really competent to make, relies on the assumption (for which I claim there is very strong, though circumstantial, evidence) there there IS a stabilising feedback, and that the feedback will operate in exactly the same way whether or not there is ANY CO2 in the atmosphere. If it serves to save us from frying in the absence of CO2, then it will act on ANY warming, whether CO2 initiated, H2O initiated, or other. As another poster has mentioned on this thread, a small change in albedo, for instance, can swamp CO2 effects, and my own guess, from what I have read, is that cloud albedo is the favourite ‘missing link’ but there are other candidates.
        Of course, it will require an effort from somebody smarter than me to put some numbers on this, and also to quantify the speed of the feedback, which I think is rapid enough to justify my rather careless statement that ‘there is no connection at all’. And I accept it may be refuted, and I’m listening out.
        The kernel of what I am saying encloses the question –

        ?In what way is CO2 warming different from other warming.

        Of course, there are differences- CO2 is ‘well-mixed’ in the atmosphere, whereas water vapour – the proposed potentiator but also the source of feedbacks, is both vertically and spatially rather unmixed.
        And I know nothing about the radiative interactions of CO2 and water vapour at different altitudes.

        But if CO2 warming is, for the purposes of this argument the same, then surely it is subject to the same thermostatic mechanism? I’ve asked around about this, and have usually been patronised or ignored, and I have also looked around the web. The only significant staement I have come across to explain a difference, and I don’t recall where I found it, is the dismissive “water vapour cannot potentiate itself because it’s residence time in the atmosp[here is too short”. I didn’t find that very convincing. Can you help me?

      • “And how, pray tell, do you end up making that conclusion? The correlation between temperature and CO_2 concentration is strongly positive over the last 150 years.”

        You have a correlation? I’ll be dogged! Well that must settle it then. And a whole 150 years? Settled Science!

        The long term shows that CO2 lags warming and does not cause it. The short term just shows that coming out of the Little Ice Age the temps warmed some — and at the same time mankind experienced the industrial revolution. So?

        The physics of the issue convinced me long ago that the Jim Hansen theory is dead wrong. (was he ever right about anything?)

      • mothcatcher
        March 20, 2015 at 11:46 am

        ?In what way is CO2 warming different from other warming.

        Short simple question, deserves a short simple answer. :-)

        In the present period of the last 150 years the difference between the other warming and the CO2 warming is that the other warming is the problem and the CO2 warming is the solution. to that problem.

        The RF is the main tool of Atmosphere,to assist atmosphere in and with the accommodation of any warming from the earth system in the prospect of higher efficiency and sufficiency.

        This time around the RF (as per the last 150 years) is used as a weapon instead as a tool, the RF “hammer” is used as a weapon, because that other warming is in contradiction with the rest of the earth system variation trend, and is big enough to trigger such as a climate response to it.

        All CO2 emissions, regardless of any anthropogenic signature there, are wholly natural, in the view point as per above.

        Of course I could be wrong, but that will be my answer to your question…


    • “… nobody really knows for sure if co2 has any effect whatsoever …”

      And if it does have some effect, no one knows what it is as we can not measure it. From 4 decades of of looking at the matter, I am of the opinion that CO2 on net cools the atmosphere.

      • And how, pray tell, do you end up making that conclusion? The correlation between temperature and CO_2 concentration is strongly positive over the last 150 years. It isn’t positive on a short time scale — temperature fluctuates a lot, over multiple years — and CO_2 fluctuates a little, annually so their short time correlation sucks to be sure. But let me put it this way.

        The stock market has, generally speaking, risen over the last 100 years. So has, generally speaking, the temperature. If I make the following statement: “The stock market affects the temperature in some way”, it would be silly indeed to assert that the stock market has a cooling effect on temperatures — I would need a specific, complex model with empirical support in order to make an assertion anybody should take seriously, ideally one that explains the physics of how a bunch of people bidding on stocks affect the energy balance of the planet. To be honest, one would need the physics even to conclude that the stock market causes warming instead of cooling, for reasons that are — in the case of the stock market — pretty obvious. One could easily find a correlation (in face, CO_2 is the physical link in one such correlation, as we make more of it as the standard of living and the general wealth available to a society increases, so both the warming and the additional wealth could be “caused” by burning more coal). This illustrates the dangers of post hoc ergo propter hoc, correlation is not causality, etc.

        However, the correlation between temperature and CO_2 concentration is backed up by both physics and observation. It would require a very complex model indeed, some subtle aspect of chaos coming into play perhaps, to assert that at this particular instant in the Earth’s climate history more CO_2 causes cooling, when a fairly simple physical theory backed up by direct observations of spectra and the aforementioned positive correlation between CO_2 and temperature all suggest otherwise.

        So sir, can you provide me, or anyone, with such a theory? Does it even make sense? I can’t see it.

        I can, however, see this:

        This figure is not inappropriate to post in this thread. Lewis gets an ECS (plotted in the actual CA article) ranging from maybe a bit under 1 C to where it tails off rapidly and asymmetrically around 2, centered around 1.5 C. This is a two parameter direct fit of a reasonable model for CO_2 from 1850 to the present to HadCRUT4, plus a second fit that adds a single sinusoidal term with an apparent 67 year period to further improve the fit. CO_2 has incredibly good explanatory power for the data.

        Now, you can argue that the data being fit (HadCRUT4) are themselves corrupt, and I wouldn’t disagree — I think there is empirical/statistical evidence that HadCRUT4 has added 0.2 to 0.4 C warming (as much as half of what is reported from 1850 to the present, largely by selecting the corrections applied to the data as well as by neglecting UHI. It also without any question underestimates its total error in the year 1850 relative to the present. This number (which I’d already arrived at) is very interesting, as if one subtracts a linear function equal to zero in 1850 and 0.2, 0.3, and 0.4 C in 2014 from HadCRUT4 and refits, one obtains a series of best fit ECS estimates of 1.44 C (almost dead on Lewis and Curry’s money estimate), 1.25 C, and 1.05 C.

        In fact, HadCRUT4 in its entirety fits ECS estimates from 1.0 to (completely unshifted, as above) 2.0 assuming only that it has a high bias of 0.2 C from neglected UHI and its own cited uncertainty of around 0.2 C.

        I think that when all of this is carefully analyzed together, it will be difficult to avoid the conclusion that the global average surface temperature is indeed increasing logarithmically with CO_2 concentration, with an ECS somewhere between 1 and 2 C (most likely in the middle of this around 1.5 C), with decacal variability of around 0.1 to 0.2 C independent of this, plus or minus the subdecadal variations (basically, noise) of order 0.2 to 0.3 C around the CO_2-established baseline. This will by no means settled science — we do not yet have any good idea for what might be influencing the climate on timescales longer than a few decades, and aren’t likely to figure it out with only a handful of decades of reliable satellite era data plus a century or so more of indifferently accurate and increasingly sparse thermometric data any time soon. So it could be there there is an additional natural variation of 0.2 to 0.3 C on a century plus timescale and ECS is really partially cancelled by negative feedback from water vapor and circulation changes and is really only 0.7 C.

        But negative ECS? Dubious to the max.



      • RGB,

        If Hadley CRU is like GISS, then its UHI adjustment would make the “data” hotter, not colder.

        Would be incredible were we not dealing here with “climate science”, which bears about as much resemblance to real science as Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky does to sports coaching.

      • If Hadley CRU is like GISS, then its UHI adjustment would make the “data” hotter, not colder.

        Yeah, I’m aware of that, although they pay enough lip service that it doesn’t have much effect either way. As I noted in another thread, HadCRUT4 and GISS take two different routes to the same place. Hadley ignores it, effectively asserting that it is ignorable although they include every possible warming adjustment including some that contribute thin hundredths of a degree (but enough of them add up). GISS says “Look, we’ll correct for the Urban HEAT Island effect already, enough, go away.” and then proceed to make the HEAT island correction actually WARM THE PRESENT in just about half of the cases that the correction is applied so it still just goes away (according to a nice paper I read on the subject that was rather critical of this practice).

        I think 0.2 C total UHI effect between 1850 to the present is reasonable, although it could easily be larger. At some sites it is most definitely much larger. What I don’t get is how they can argue that ANY sites ANYWHERE experience negative UHI. Building a city somewhere leads to net cooling of the city or its environment? Excuse me?

        I’m guessing that they are trying to assert that aerosols cancel the rest of UHI and that they peak over a city too. But a) the top article suggests that aerosols have little effect on temperature, period; b) the direct observation of urban temperatures compared to surrounding rural temperatures disproves the notion of urban cooling!

        All one needs to do to observe the UHI in action is to visit the weather underground and look at the temperature distribution in their personal weather station maps around urban centers. UHI is an easy 1-2C in most cases. Aerosols and so on most definitely do not compensate for all of the concrete in place of trees. Similar considerations hold for airports (where many “official” weather stations are sited). Airports are almost never officially “cooler” than the surrounding countryside just five miles away, and depending on the siting of the stations relative to the runways and direction of the wind, may be considerably warmer.

        But hey, one works with HadCRUT4 because it is what there is to work with. The others are little better. Maybe in the retrospective on this entire era people will figure out what the best estimate for global past temperatures really is. Who knows, maybe it is BEST?


      • RGB,

        At least ignoring UHI effect isn’t as bad as turning it into another warming adjustment.

        UHI warming isn’t an assumption. It’s an observation. Outrageous that GISS stands it on its head, Tiljander style.

        But then, once you’ve just assumed hugely positive feedback from water vapor, contrary to all actual observation of physical reality, what can’t you get away with?

        Thanks, as usual! Hope you take all the effort you’ve expended on this blog and produce a book, or at least a chapter in an edited anthology on issues in climastrology.

      • Yes, comparing CO2 to satellite data, the trend match is even worse. We used to have sustainable cooling in the record from the 1940s to 1979. (.6 degrees in the NH.)

        That has been erased in the surface record. However US days above 90 degrees and record heat days, all support the older data sets; as does old records from the Arctic, from Australia, etc.

      • The satellite data is similar to STT’s. Though if you look at the two 65yr trend lines in the chart, the latter period does not warm at a significantly faster rate, so no correlation to rising CO2 levels.

      • markstoval
        March 20, 2015 at 9:54 am

        I am of the opinion that CO2 on net cools the atmosphere.

        In my opinion the effect of the CO2 on net can be considered only when all Earth system in a stasis, like in a “coma”, where all parameters in initial state are considered as constant and in the mean values, without ANY variation.
        For EXAMPLE, the Atmosphere mean temp at 14C as a constant, the CO2 concentration at a mean value of ~270 ppm as a constant, the earth system variation as a constant with no any other warming or cooling effect in climate and Atmosphere.

        Even then in a long time period the Atmosphere will resolve to cyclical variation of temp., in accordance with the value of what we call a CS.

        For example if CS considered as 1C per a doubling as CS defined today officially, then there will be a hypothetical swing of temps at about 0.5C value, meaning that the temp will swing between 13.8C TO 14.3C, AND TURN FROM A CONSTANT TO THE VARIATION.

        Hypothetically always..:)

      • rgbatduke

        In general I agree with your post, but would add one caveat.

        Your graph showing CO2 and temp, does not show cause only correlation. As scientists people must admit that the causation could go at least in part, the other way. Rising temps increasing CO2 is not a novel concept, it is well established. It would not require any warming from CO2 to create that correlation, even if they are explicitly tied together, simply because warming could cause increase in CO2. Although I tend to agree with your analysis, it is important not to use a graph such as that as proof of CO2 caused warming. Since it clearly does not prove causation for CO2 warming on it’s own. Indeed CO2 could cause a slight cooling, and be overwhelmed by natural warming. But there are much better reasons to think CO2 has a warming influence other than correlation to temps.

  3. While it looks like uncertainty regarding aeresol forcing was noted in AR5, this contradicts the 95% confidence level that humans are responsible for most of the warming. If ECS drops to 1.2c, then natural variation will need to be deemed the dominant factor in 20th century warming. Or am I commiting a logical flaw here?

  4. Apache no longer dance rain dance, much better, dance big CO2 dance.
    Corn Mother love CO2.

    • Well, the Rodeo–Chediski Fire certainly released quite a bit of sequestered carbon as CO2, and kept me on OT at Cibeque for a few weeks. Please ask Ma Corn not to do that again… ‘Iłk’id́ą, k ǫǫ yá’édįná’a.

  5. Bjorn Stevens has a very impressive CV.

    It’s surprising that he didn’t follow through from the aerosols to the impact on the balancing CO2 in the models.

    If someone was cynical one would guess that he did and then decided that it wasn’t expedient to publish.

    • Even timid was too much for Nature Magazine. Intriguing, though, whether or not he thought to pursue it, once thought, whether he did, and if did, what then.

  6. And it is not possible to put out sensors on the ground as part of the temp network and picking up an optical signal from a sattelite, or the other way around to estimate occluding aerosols? They seem important enough to make the expense.

  7. In this CAGW debate, it’s important to acknowledge that CO2, like H2O, is a “greenhouse” gas. The physics and the atomic absorbsion spectroscopy data clearly shows CO2 does absorb a tiny portion of LWIR at around the frequency of 15 microns. This has been known since around 1848 based on Tyndall’s research.

    The debate is, and always will be: 1) HOW MUCH CO2 induced warming per doubling (ECS) is probable by 2100 and 2) is the probable level of ECS a serious problem?

    Regarding the 2nd question, almost all scientists agree that any ECS below 2C isn’t a serious a problem.

    This paper puts ECS at around 1.64C, which certainly is NOT a problem…

    The UN’s brilliant plan is for governments around the world to waste $72 TRILLION over the next 35 years on failed CO2 sequestion measures to keep GW below 2C by 2100…. Hmmmm.

    According to this new paper, world governments can spend $0.00000 and enjoy around 1.64C of GW by 2100, and get around a 50% increase in crop yields and forest growth from the higher CO2 levels…

    Let’s see… I think opting for door #2 makes a little more sense…

    What say you?

  8. According to IPCC AR5 Figure SPM.5 the incremental RF due to anthropogenic causes between year 1750 and year 2011 (261 years, 26.1 decades) is: CO2, 1.68 W/m^2; GHGs, 2.29 W/m^2. Linear progression decadal equivalent: 0.129 W/m^2; 0.175 W/m^2. A paper posted earlier on WUWT concluded that CO2 RF is 0.20 W/m^2 decadal.

    I searched through IPCC AR5 trying to find a comparable RF for natural atmospheric water vapor. Figure SPM.5 lists an RF for water vapor from anthropogenic methane, seems that would apply to atmospheric H2O as well. (lb H2O/m^2 * W/lb = W/m^2) As we all know, atmospheric water vapor isn’t considered in IPCC because: 1) it’s not anthropogenic and 2) it can’t be blamed on coal fired power plants. So I looked around. Ok, so it’s Wiki.

    Clouds increase the global reflection of solar radiation from 15% to 30%, reducing the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the Earth by about 44 W/m². This cooling is offset somewhat by the greenhouse effect of clouds which reduces the outgoing longwave radiation by about 31 W/m². Thus the net cloud forcing of the radiation budget is a loss of about 13 W/m².[1] If the clouds were removed with all else remaining the same, the Earth would gain this last amount in net radiation and begin to warm up.

    Per Wiki the net cloud RF is 13 W/m^2. The time frame is not listed, however after comparison to a couple of popular annual global heat balances, from the magnitude I take it to be annual or 130 W/m^2 decadal.

    0.129/130 = 0.099; 0.0877/130 = 0.135%; 0.20/130 = .154%

    So the net water vapor cycle could fluctuate +/- .1% and the RF of all the GHGs would simply vanish.

    So what’s the problem again?

    All too often I see W/m^2 referred to as energy.
    That is incorrect.
    A watt is a power unit: Btu per English hour or kJ per metric hour.
    A generating station operating at a POWER level of 500 MW for one HOUR generates 500 MWH of ENERGY. In fact (500,000 kWh*3,412 Btu/kWh) = 1,706 E6 Btu.
    A watt without a specified time frame is useless.

    • Might want to see data from the Big Bear Solar Observatory, Earthshine Project.

      •The albedo decrease implies a climate forcing of ~7 W/m2
      •This is “equivalent” to a ~2% increase in the solar irradiance over just two decades.
      •Satellite data: Solar irradiance variations from maxima to minima are about 0.1% Factor 20!!
      •Global warming since 1900 due to GHG is estimated to be around ~2.4 W/m2.

      I believe they have reported that the difference in output between the North & South Hemispheres is within 0.2%

  9. One of the sub-headings above says that “climate sensitivity takes another tumble.” For a momewnt I thought that someone has seen the light but I was wrong – they still allow it to be as high as 1.8 degrees. As I have been pointing out, the existence of the hiatus guarantees that sensitivity cannot be any more than zero. And you don’t need to calculatecwhat pollution or any other irrelevant factors to understand this. First, everyone here probably knows that there has been no warming for 18 years while atmpospheric carbon dioxide kept increasing. Second, I am almost certain that nobody has heard that the eighties and the nineties were anorther 18 year hiatus period that lasted from 1979 to 1997. I proved this when I was weiting my book and even showed that its existence was hidden by fake warming iin official temperature curves. In 1910 I knew about the involvement of HadCRUT3 in this coverup and even put a warming about it into the preface of my book “What Warming?” Nothing happened. Since then I have determined that this coverup involves not just one but three global temperature sources. They are HadCRUT, GISS, and NCDC. They collaborated by having their data aligned by computer processing but unbeknownst to them the computer left traces of its opersation in all three publicly available temperature curves. The fake warming they created became the so-called “late twentieth century warming.” In the case of both hiatuses yjere was no warming but atmospheric carbon dioxide kept increasing. According to the Arrhenius greenhouse theory of 1896, still in use by the IPCC, addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will warm the air by its greenhouse effect. There has been no warming. It follows that the Arrhenius theory, having made false predictions, is invalid as a scientific theory and belongs in the waste basket of history. The correct greenhouse theory to use is the Miskolczi greenhouse theory, NGT. It came out in 2007 but was immediately blacklisted because of its predictions. MGT tells it like it is: addition of carbon dioxide to air does not warm the air. Even if you double the amount of carbon dioxide you will not get any warming. Since doubling defines sensitivity it is clear that warming senstivity is zero, period. Looking for fractional percentage change is a waste of time because any fraction of zero is still zero. Since thanks to suppression of MGT by the global warming movement hardly anyone knows how itworks. I will outline its basics below. Unlike the Arrhenius theory it can handle more than one GH gas at a time. Arrhenius can handle only one, carbon dioxide. The additional claim that water vapor in the atmosphere will triple the greenhouse effect has to be introduced separately and has no scientific justification whatsoever. Not so with Miskolczi. According to MGT, carbon dioxide and water vapor form a joint optimal absorption window in the infrared. Its optical thickness is 1.87, determined by Miskolczi from first principles. If you now add carbon dioxide to air it will start to absrb, just as the Arrhenius theorybsays. But this will increase the optical thickness. But just as soon as it starts, water vapor will begin to diminish, rain out, and the original optical thickness is restored. The added carbon dioxide will of course keep absorbing but the reduction of water vapor will keep the total absorption constant and no warming is possible. his has consequences. First, it stops the greenhouse warming in its tracks and makes AGW impossible.The true nature of AGW now stands exposed as pseudo-scientific fantasy invented to make the IPCC possible. That was back in 1988 when Hansen told the senate that that he had observed the greenhouse effect himself. His proof was a hundred year long warming he said had only one percent probability of happening by chance. On inspection, half of those 100 years had no connection with the greenhouse effect. But nobody checked it and his word on greenhouse warming was accepted at face value when IPCC was officially established.

    • Arno Arrak,

      They collaborated by having their data aligned by computer processing but unbeknownst to them the computer left traces of its opersation in all three publicly available temperature curves.

      But they just couldn’t get it together to fake the temperature records to match CMIP5. Or fake CMIP5 to match temperatures. Or a little of both. And they publish the code which does the adjustments to the data. And they publish the raw as well as the adjusted data.

      Sure sounds like a nefarious plot to me.

      • Brandon,

        “They” tried to keep their “data” and algorithms secret for as long as possible, fighting tooth and nail against FOIA requests. Finally “they”, in the form of the Hadley Centre, were forced to admit that they had lost the data upon which their temperature series were based.

      • Brandon: CMIP5 is worthless. It is totally unable to reproduce the temperature history of this century. Not to mention imaginary volcanic cooling dips built into the code. For years I have been pointing out the fakery of the eighties and nineties and have been ignored until you finally surfaced. You say that “…they publish the code which does the adjustments to the data. And they publish the raw as well as the adjusted data.” Where have they been hiding all this up to now? It should be made public so we know what you guys have been doing to the data we use. Michael Crichton spoke about it at length to the Senate and was appalled by what he saw. He was ignored. Would you mind putting that data on a web site for us coolies to peruse? If this is legitimate you should have no reason to hold it back. If these people felt I was unjust all they had to do was to explain what they did but five years have passed and there has been nothing but silence. I think you understand that it is not annatural to conclude that they had something to hide. Like for example, the fact that the “late twentirth centiry warming” was manufactured, not real. Now who would be interested in all those skeletons in the closet that are now ancient history? I will tell you who. Scientists who should know where their data comes from and how much to trust it. Apparently you are continuing to change the temperature according to the code you say they published. It has gotten so bad now that in the temperature curves you publish the 2010 El Nino stands higher than the 1998 super El Nino. That is an absurdity but it got your 2014 nominated for warmest ever year. You obviously have some inside information and you are also one who has been silent until now. If you think it was a legitimate operation tell your buddies to let them come out and explain it. Make public any additional documents that can explain it. If they do not explain what they did I demand that they withdraw the “adjustments” and make public the original data that was changed. Fortunately independent temperature measurements from satellites exist that tell us what the real temperature was in the eighties and nineties. Take a look at my Figure 15 that shows it. Observe that locations of global mean temperatures that are marked can be fitted to a horizontal straight line, indicating no warming for the period. The probability of a straight line for 18 years coming into existence by pure chance alone is as close to zero as the probability that addition of carbon dioxide to air will warm it.

      • Arno Arrak,

        CMIP5 is worthless. It is totally unable to reproduce the temperature history of this century.

        Like I said: pretty lousy coverup job. It should be a piece of cake to get “the models” to match the output of faked data.

        Not to mention imaginary volcanic cooling dips built into the code.

        I’m sorry, are you saying Pinatubo didn’t erupt in 1991?

        Krakatau 1883, Novarupta 1912, Agung 1963, El Chichon 1982 and the aforementioned Pinatubo eruption … all show up quite clearly in that plot of aerosol optical depth. The cooling effects of stratospheric sulfate aerosols has been well-known since at least the 1815 eruption of Tambora, which caused global temps to dip 0.4–0.7 °C. 1816 was known as the year without a summer in the NH.

        You say that “…they publish the code which does the adjustments to the data. And they publish the raw as well as the adjusted data.” Where have they been hiding all this up to now? It should be made public so we know what you guys have been doing to the data we use.

        It IS public:

        Raw station data, adjusted data, and the source code for doing the adjustments.

        It has gotten so bad now that in the temperature curves you publish the 2010 El Nino stands higher than the 1998 super El Nino.

        I don’t publish temperatures, but I do look at the data. The 2010 El Nino does NOT stand higher than the 1998 event:

        The probability of a straight line for 18 years coming into existence by pure chance alone is as close to zero as the probability that addition of carbon dioxide to air will warm it.

        Well make up your mind … do you trust the data or not?

        Trendlines show two previous cooling periods of about 40 years each. AMO explains much of those cycles:

      • Sturgis Hooper,

        Finally “they”, in the form of the Hadley Centre, were forced to admit that they had lost the data upon which their temperature series were based.

        HADCRUT4 is generated with 100% publicly available datasets. The starting point for getting at them is here:

    • I have made many similar comments over the years.

      If the satellite data is correct (and like all the data sets it has some issues) there is no measurable CO2 induced warming. From inception (1979) up to the onset of the Super El Nino of 1998 temperatures were flat, and post the 1998 Supe El Nino, again they have remained flat.

      The only measured warming in the satellite data is that occuring in and around the 1998 Super El Nino, ie., a one off isolated natural event which event was not driven bu CO2.

      The most likely explanation for the divergence between the land based thermometer record and the satellite data is homogenisation and artefacts from station drop outs and pollution by UHI.

      Even the tree ring data post the 1960s is consistent with the view that the 1970s land based thermometer warming is arteficial and not real; just an artefact of dubious homogenisation/adjustments.

      I find the entire concept of CO2 sensitivity to be farcical. It is something that can only be determined by real world response, ie., real world measurements. AND until such time as we know absolutely everything there is to know about natural variation, what it comprises and the upper and lower bounds of each and every constituent forcing, it is impossible to say whether any real and true observed warming is that brought about by natural variation, or that brought about by CO2.

      We are a long way from being able to say whether there is such a thing as CO2 climate sensitivity, let alone to put a figure on CO2 sensitivity, but the observational evidence to date suggests that it is so low that it cannot be measured by our current best measurement devices ie., the signal, if any at all, is drowned by a combination of noise from natural variation and measurement error bounds.

    • We gotta get somebody to teach Arno the value of organizing thoughts into paragraphs as opposed to a 676-word core dump.

      • Victor Hugo did that in one sentence in the judges sentencing of Jean Valjean in the book “Les Miserbles.”

  10. My objection to the GHE analogy is that only half of it is used, the SWIR/LWIR trapped heat. What about the water vapor? Without water vapor it’s not a greenhouse, it’s an oven!

    My objection to the blanket analogy is similar. If the heat flow isn’t modulated the CO2 “blanket” will raise the temperature. If, if, if, ands & buts.
    Wrap a blanket around your house (more insulation) and keep feeding the same NG and the house will get very hot. But wait, what’s that on the wall? The thermostat which cuts back the heat input to maintain the set point temp.
    A winter’s day, a deep and dark December, out chopping wood and your body’s furnace is on high. How do you know? Your body’s thermostat kicks in and you sweat, i.e. evaporate water to cool off.

    So CO2 heats up the atmosphere, but where does that heat go? The earth’s thermostat, the water vapor cycle, adjusts by soaking up that heat through latent evaporation and at constant temp.

  11. Many of us have been skeptical — not so much about global warming, per se, but — of the “one knob” climate models that attribute all detectable decadal average anomalies in the meteorological record to carbon dioxide and ONLY carbon dioxide. “If only some wise power would control our carbon dioxide emissions, then the world would be saved and the weather would ever after be mild and stable”, or so seems to be the claim. To whatever extent this IS the claim, I doubt it.

    I primarily doubt the existence of such a “wise power”; but an important secondary doubt is the “one knob” hypothesis. This post, substantiating the power of a SECOND knob in the climate models, is a major step forward. I approve. I look forward to the science that identifies still other knobs further refining the models. But each step leaves me with the same skepticism, or fear, of those scientists who believe, not in the climatology, but in the “wise power” theory of government.

    For now we are now considering some sort of tool, or model, or system of forecasting, that would give an agency, or a board, or a council, two different, and opposite, powers over industries and economies. “We need more soot to cool this region,” goes the cry from the oracles at the model. “Let China send forth smoke, ash, and particulates from their coal burners,” then says the council of wizards. “We have too MUCH carbon dioxide in the skies over this OTHER region,” comes another cry from the seers. “Shut down, then, the autos, the air conditioners, and the aircraft of North America” says, then, the council. “More here of THIS, less THERE of that, these must suffer, but those are, for now, favored. As it is modeled, so it is proclaimed, thus let it be done — upon penalty of tax, or embargo, or war…”

    This, even assuming the models of the seers and the edicts of the wizards are honestly, competently issued and implemented. Were even a tiny bit of favoritism, or corruption, or honest error, to afflict the seers and wizards, what then?

  12. Thank you very kindly, rgb. I will check out your references; then I will know if I am competent to follow them. :)

    Yet as to your reply to markstoval, and CO2 and a net cooling effect — you cite a mere 100-150 year period. Yes, CO2 went up then, as the temperature warmed. There is correlation in the (very, very) short run. But also, CO2 reduced from 4400 ppm 460mya to 1300 ppm 100 mya, and the temperature increased back to Earth-normal (no ice caps) — with a dip into another ice age ~300mya. I see no correlation between temperature and CO2 at all in the long haul. Having correlation does not give us causation, of course — but I don’t see how to get causation without any correlation.

    There might be an analogy in gravitation. So, CO2 visibly (via spectrographs) causes some warming, but Earth’s overall history doesn’t track with it. Gravity, of course, pulls even on helium atoms — but in a decently-thick atmosphere, helium rises instead of falls. And yet this is still gravity at work. Something like that?

  13. What has always confused Warmists is their misunderstanding of Water Vapour.
    Anyone studying the satellite images of the recent giant tropical cyclone Pam, would have got a great view of how water vapour pushes heat out of the atmosphere.
    Water Vapour acts as a ‘heat trapping gas’ and a ‘coolant gas’.
    Until they figure this out they will never be able to model the earth’s climate.

    • Hold on one red-hot minute. Mosh can be abrasive. Arrogant, too, but when he is, he is justified — he owns it. Respect that.

      Mosh is not a CAGW advocate. He is maybe a little bit more of a lukewarmer-on-the-warm-side than I am. We have both been burned by claims by skeptics that have not panned out under scrutiny. So we scrutinize. He is maybe a little more gruff about it that I am, but the more I am immersed in the data, the more I start to sound like Mosh.

      • evan, in a recent post you noted that the rural stations tend to be adjusted to the urban stations. Have you followed up with this?
        BTW, you are more then polite, you are responsive, and not arrogant in your assertions S.M. is both non-responsive and arrogant quite often. Many times Anthony has had to admonish his drive by cryptic comments, which broad swipe all skeptic arguments into one condescending container, and he then ignores cogent rebuttals about the divergence from the satellites post 1998, the clear adjustments to the data, the lack of proper UHI adjustment, the dropping of stations problem, etc…

      • Really Evan ? He thinks the models are “great” therefore he must go along with their predictions so how does that stack up against that he is “not a CAGW advocate”. ?? Mosh wears a set of rose coloured glasses when it comes to CAGW.

      • I don’t care if he does think models are great. So do I — if they are the right model, properly constructed (someday, maybe). I am a historical game designer. I live and breathe modeling.

        Mosh is a lukewarmer — like me. He is also a skeptic who examines questions from both sides. He can be gruff and can rub some people the wrong way. And I certainly do not agree with him on all issues. But he goes about what he does as a scientist.

      • But there is one significant difference between the Mosh and, say, a MM — he makes me think.

        evan, in a recent post you noted that the rural stations tend to be adjusted to the urban stations. Have you followed up with this?

        The utter failure of homogenization is, in fact, the red-meat part of the surfacestations paper.

        Not so much urban and rural (some difference appears, esp. in the gridded stuff, but the data is sparse. If anything, homogenization works as intended on urban sites because the error is not systematic — only ~9% of USHCN is classified as urban.

        Look to miscrosite. Microsite is the new UHI. ~80% of stations have poor microsite, so homogenization adjusts the 20% minority to match the 80% majority, resulting in a 60% exaggeration of land surface trend. (It is warming, so the effect overestimates warming, but when it cools, that is increased as well. Bad microsite magnifies any trend, be it warming or cooling.)

  14. Well, I’ve heard said that aerosols were used as a fudge factor in the models (Dr. Lindzen has pointed this out). Time someone held those so-called simulation designers’ toes to the fire. Heck, they don’t even have to consider the “fun factor” or “playability” that we games designers are so inestimably burdened with. All they gotta do is “get it right”. And not by cheesy game-designer tricks that any pro worth his salt can see through.

    The models should have started simple and gotten complicated. But they went about it ass-backward, like an enthusiastic, arrogant, still-wet designer . . . If they can’t buy a clue I can rent one for them real cheap.

  15. Water vapour is also an “aerosol”. It is in liquid form in clouds at all altitudes and thus absorbs light and UV and converts it into heat same as it does when in the Ocean.
    Because of this the studies on pollutants affecting temperature are just as unconvincing as the studies of CO2.
    If fact the whole premise that the Earth’s surface warms the atmosphere I find to be idiotic and simplistic. If light and UV is absorbed and converted by liquids and solids at the surface into IR, why can’t this happen in a gas too? Surely the “surface” of Earth begins at the top of the atmosphere and the Earth is warmed at every level directly by the sun until it’s rays can no longer penetrate. In solids this happens at very thin depths, in liquids over many meters and in a gas over hundreds of kilometres, but it should still happen in every state. Otherwise how does the sun warm the gas giants such as Jupiter and Saturn?
    What is more, temperature Conduction should also move inwards. Heating the Earth from outside in. Increasing pressure causing a rising temperature gradient through to the Earth’s core, even though each individual molecule gets less and less energetic. Radiant energy being the only mechanism for releasing Earths heat and always from the night side.

  16. Can we just stop saying “forcing?” Nothing seems to be being forced.

    Why such a powerful word when nothing much is happening?

    • Agreed–the ordinary word is “driver,” not “forcing.” I suspect this loaded term was taken up from the gray literature, originally, for the purposes of alarming people.
      (By carrying the connotation of “an irresistible force.”)

  17. rgbatduke

    How do you square your contention that CO2 causes temperature increase, even small, with the geologic record which does not show any such causation? The Vostok ice core record confirms the long term geologic lack of causation correlation and shows clearly that for the past 1/2 million years CO2 follows temperature by 800-1000 years. Could one not argue just as logically that current rising CO2 is due to the Medieval Warm Period and is unrelated to current temperatures and the picayune amounts of CO2 human activities are adding to the total?

    • Exactly the same thought occurred to me. I’m quite sure the basic physics is correct, and that CO2 will cause warming in the laboratory. But we’re talking about the climate system, where everything is a function of everything else.

      Fortunately for us, Nature has been performing its own laboratory experiments for millions of years and recording the results in the ice cores. As far as I’m aware, there is absolutely no evidence of CO2 changes causing corresponding temperature changes according to AGW. If Nature’s laboratory experiment shows no AGW effect then it’s not happening. Unless anyone can show contrary evidence, then the ice core data shows that the sensitivity is well under one degree C and probably close to zero.

    • There is evidence of CO2 as a forcing. It is confirmed by repeatable lab experiments and the recent Nature paper actually observed the effect in the field. It works, in simplistic terms, because light goes right through CO2, but a little bit of the upwelling heat wave is absorbed and reflected in a random direction, some of it across and down.

  18. So much of the CAGW hype is caused by the 18-yr warming spurt which occurred between 1980 and 1998.

    During this short 18-year window, the following natural phenomenon took place:

    1) A 30-yr warm PDO cycle started in 1978.
    2) A 30-yr warm AMO cycle stared in 1994.
    3) The 2nd and 3rd strongest back-to-back solar cycles in thousands of years occurred between 1976~1996.
    4) These last two strong solar cycles marked the end of the strongest 63-yr string (1933~1996) of solar cycles in 11,400 years (Solanki et al 2003).
    5) There were a stream of SIX El Nino events between 1983~1998, including the Super El Nino event of 97/98.

    Even with all these natural warm phenomenon occurring, the CAGW Warmunists still claim CO2 was the primary driver of the 1980~1998 warming spurt, which isn’t logical.

    Since 1998, the complete opposite is occurring with these natural phenomenon:

    1) A 30-yr cool PDO cycle started in 2008.
    2) The 30-yr AMO warm cycle peaked in 2007 and will enter a 30-yr AMO cool cycle around 2024.
    3) Solar cycles have been crashing since 1996, and the current solar cycle is the weakest since 1906.
    4) Since the Umbral Magnetic Field is crashing (the force that holds sunspots together) there is a chance an 80-yr Grand Solar Minimum could start from the next solar cycle beginning around 2022.
    5) There have only been TWO El Nino events since 1998, plus the weak 2014 El Nada event.

    Despite 30% of ALL manmade CO2 emissions since 1750 being emitted over the last 19 years, there hasn’t been a global warming trend for 19 years:

    The longer this flat/falling global temp continues, the lower the probability that CO2 is a major contributor to global warming, and the lower ECS projections will become.

    In about 5~7 years, the discrepancies between CAGW model projections vs. reality will exceed 3+ standard deviations, which should be sufficient discrepancy and duration (almost 25 years) to toss the CAGW hypothesis in the trash bin of history.

    Every year from now, more and more peer-reviewed papers like this one are likely to be released with lower and lower ECS estimates. There is no way the CAGW hypothesis can survive the overwhelming empirical evidence that show CO2 forcing is a very weak forcing effect that could be as much as 10 TIMES LESS than CAGW projections.

    • Well said, but may pick a nit? Surely it’s La Nada. El Niño, La Niña, La Nada, which is a feminine noun meaning “nothingness” or “the void”, but can mean “nowhere” in some cases, as in “That car came out of nowhere!” (¡Eso auto vino de la nada!)

      The Italian equivalents, “niente” and “nulla” are masculine, as are Portuguese “nada” and French “rien”. That’s right, it’s “o nada” in Portugal but “la nada” in Castile (but not everywhere in Spain, since Galician, the ancestor of Portuguese, also says “o nada”; Catalan is complicated; I won’t go there, Catalonia, yes, the grammar, no). The Latin word “nihil” is genderless. Latin has three genders, but no articles.

  19. This article is an excellent example of the comment sections of this site where reasoning and evidence is a primary component with a bit of hyperbole thrown in. In the public discussion of climate, reasoning and evidence is not considered necessary because:

    A.) The science is settled
    B.) The deniers are a tiny faction of nutters.

    It is hard to argue a point in the public arena when those two suppositions are the starting point. As a matter of fact you are not allowed to make an argument since A and B above precludes your ability to do so. As a political matter before progress can be made in public affairs we have to add:

    C.) There is no credible or reasonable evidence for A and B above

    Until C gains more traction we will have agencies like the EPA declaring CO2 a pollutant and attempting to gut coal energy, which has the unfortunate effect of increasing the price of energy and consequentially the cost of living and producing.

    • Dr. S,

      Yes, that seems to be the closest number to the observed temperature changes. I’m happy to go with ⅔ of a degree C of global warming per doubling of CO2.

      First, there probably isn’t enough usable fossil fuel to double CO2 from current levels, and second, even if CO2 did double, 0.67º more warming would be entirely beneficial.

  20. Looks like the ‘pause’ is well and truly over, not that there was one really!

    Arctic sea ice extent hits record low for winter

    ‘Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has fallen to the lowest recorded level for the winter season, according to US scientists. The maximum this year was 14.5 million sq km, said the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
    This is the lowest since 1979, when satellite records began. A recent study found that Arctic sea ice had thinned by 65% between 1975 and 2012.’

    • blackadder says:

      Looks like the ‘pause’ is well and truly over…

      Where’s your data?

      Dr. Spencer’s latest global temperature data (UAH) shows no such thing.

    • According to AGW theory, C02 can not create heat despite a cooling turn, rather it traps heat present in the system. So it is argued that, do to the solar cycle, we aught to see more cooling, which is offset slightly via C02 forcing. This is logic.
      I can’t argue the logic, and because the variables are unknown I can’t support the initial AGW assertions

    • Well, let’s try this; oceans are large bodies of water with many massive layers each subject to fluidics, geographical features and so on. We have observed that the oceans are not constant in their flow and general behavior. The heat draw and output also changes…like the water in your bathtub is you had a fluctuating heat source in play. Now imagine that while we have observed the oceans change drastically over time, we have no credible survey mechanisms in place to say exactly why the oceans change…or osculate. We do know that they trap heat, they release heat…we can generally predict where this happens. so to say that a melting body of ice has anything at all to do with the global climate really misses the point. Local temps and affects vary greatly regionally, I thought we wer me all aware of this?

  21. CO2 absorbes lwir to it’s capacity to do so. lwir is then emmited wth a lapse rate of what. A pico second? How is this secondary effect thermalized? Where is this heat? A thermometer tells me the temp but not where it came from.

  22. So far I have not seen any critiques of this paper from the usual warmist suspects. Has anyone seen any mention of it on the pro side of the blogosphere? I would be interested to read the critiques.

  23. have a listen from the 21 minute mark about ‘consensus. interesting its all about the $$$$

    • Good video. An important point about consensus was, if you are with the consensus and you are wrong then you are forgiven. If you are not with the consensus and you are wrong you are fired. So it’s best to be with the consensus.

  24. Brandon, you intrigue me. You say you do not actually do science yourself and yet you bring up detailed observations of climate science and huge caches of potentially valuable data. Clearly you have science-connected friends in the global warming camp or else you are independently wealthy and have employed them to bolster your views. I have to thank you for producing the data but unfortunately getting some use out of it is an extremely laborious process. Could you influence (or order) those science guys of yours to write it up in English? A step forward would be to take those maps showing locations of corrections and attaching the correction value to each location. But be that as it may be, I don’t like your response to my remark about volcanic cooling built into the CMIP3 code. Neither CMIP3 nor any of its friends has never been able to reproduce the actual global temperatures and should be shut down. You are also going all out with a “show and tell” response which is not what it is about. I knew it was just a short remark that you would not have understood without reading my book,But nevertheless you took me up on it. So let me give you the background now. First, volcanic cooling does not exist and any coolng built into the code is is simply wrong. But what particularly annoyed me about CMIP5 was that in addition to Pinatubo “cooling,” which is observable, they also included an imaginary El Chichon cooling that does not exist in the real world. They are both in CMIP5 output. The story with volcanic cooling is that every volcanic “cooling” in global temperature curves is nothing more than a misidentified La Nina valley. For reasons unknown people do mot know that the sawtooth pattern in global temperature curves is a concatenation of densely packed El Nino peaks with La Nina valleys separating them. It was created by the ENSO oscillation. ENSO has been at it ever since the Panamanian seaway closed. Volcanic eruptions are not synchronized with ENSO phases and an eruption can coincide with any ENSO phase. If it coincides with an El Nino peak it will be followed by a La Nina valley that is quickly acquired by the “experts” as a volcanic cooling. But when it coincides with a La Nina valley it will be followed by an El Nino warm peak and the experts are left scratching their heads about where the cooling went. Pinatubo is of the first type and is followed by a “volcanic” cooling that is nothing but a La Nina valley. El Chichon is the second type and it simply lacks its very own cooling, thanks to an El Nino looking down at it. Despite being ignorant of all this the “experts” like to stretch it. Take Pinatubo – it erupted in 1991 but they want to make it responsible for flooding in 1993 as well as for the Sahel drought. Let me put it this way: stupidity annoys me, especially if all they had to do to understand it was to read my book. I guess climate scientists are simply not the literary type. By the way, your trend lines are another stupidity that just sullies the waters. If you want to outline a trend, use a broad semi-transparent, colored marker as I did in my figure 15. Some explanation is found at the beginning of my book and if you practice you will begin to recognize what the real trend is actually doing. Once you get to that point, mark the locations of global mean temperature and then connect the dots. As to the relative heights of the super El Nino of 1998 and the El Nino of 2010, they are both in my figure 15. And when you say, justifiably, that “… I don’t publish temperatures, but I do look at the data. The 2010 El Nino does NOT stand higher than the 1998 event:?” I whole-heartedly agree. But the temperature chart you show is not the same one that shows the effect. It was a HadCRUT4 as I recall and in it 2010 and 2014 were both higher than 1998. 2014 was also a shade higher than 2010 and got that “warmest ever” prize. Talk of stuffing the ballot box of global warming wannabees. It is this kind of stuff that makes them deny the lack of warming (80s-90s) on the one hand and then fabricating a non-existent warming for the next century (2014) that makes these warmists so objectionable. If I were you I would change my attitude and take a more positive view of WUWT who are almost the only people fighting it. Remember that our national climate policy depends on making these data accurate.

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