Has NOAA / NCDC’s Tom Karl repealed the Laws of Thermodynamics?

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Tom Karl’s paper (Karl et al. 2015) purporting to abolish the global-warming pause, recently published in Science, may be partly my fault. I first ran across the National Climatic Data Center’s (NCDC) accident-prone director in a Congressional hearing room in about 2009, when I was the witness for the Republicans, Karl for the Democrats.

I showed the energy and environment committee a graph showing the mean of the temperature anomalies from the three terrestrial and two satellite datasets. The graph showed that in the first eight years of the 21st century the Earth had cooled:


Representative Joe Barton of Texas, the formidable Republican ranking member of the House climate committee, feigned astonishment. He rounded on Karl and said: “You and other officials have made repeated appearances before this committee in recent months, telling us over and over again about “global warming”. Not one of you has ever told us that there has been global cooling throughout the past seven or eight years. Why not? Or is Lord Monckton lying to us?”

Tom Karl, who was sitting next to me, looked as though he wished the “warming” Earth would swallow him up. He shifted from one well-padded butt-cheek to the other. He harrumphed, “Er, ah, well, that is, we wouldn’t have quite – oof – um – done the calculations that way, aaahh… We wouldn’t have averaged the anomalies from – umf – multiple datasets with different fields of coverage, err – aaagh…”

Karl was Saved by the Bell (perhaps he saw himself in the role of Screech to my Zack Morris in the hit 90s teen TV series). A division was called and proceedings were suspended while Hon. Members shuffled out to vote.

While the committee members were doing their democratic duty, Tom Karl rounded on me and hissed, “How do you expect to be taken seriously?”

“I don’t,” I said. “I expect the data to be taken seriously.”

Karl also took issue with my having told the committee there had been no particular trend in landfalling U.S. hurricanes over the past 100 years. He was carrying a vast artist’s portfolio of charts about with him. He flipped it open and said, “You’re wrong.”

“No,” I said, “I’m right.”

He pointed to the graph. I was indeed wrong. Karl’s graph showed no trend in landfalling hurricanes not only for 100 years but for 150 years. His face fell, then brightened again: “Ah,” he said, “but just look at how tropical storms have increased in the past 30 years!”

“You know perfectly well,” I replied, “that that apparent increase is merely an artifact of the satellite coverage that began 30 years ago. Before then, you knew if a hurricane had hit you, but you would probably not be able to detect every tropical storm.”

The committee members murmured back into the hearing room and took their seats. Joe Barton snapped, “Both of you had better write to this committee informing it of how you reached your mutually incompatible conclusions about whether there has been cooling over the past seven or eight years.”

I was quick off the mark, sending the committee a letter that week pointing out that each of the datasets individually showed the cooling. I had particular pleasure in pointing out that Karl’s own NCDC dataset showed it:


Karl sent a rather testy reply to the committee saying that the mere data were not relevant. Eight years was too short a period to draw any conclusion, yada yada. What he could not quite bring himself to admit was that he had been wrong in suggesting there had been no global cooling from 2001-2008. His own dataset showed it.

Now, perhaps still smarting over his trouncing at the hands of a mere layman trumping predictions with data, Karl has done his best to abolish outright the Pause of 18 years 6 months that makes a standing mockery of the wildly exaggerated predictions of the error-prone models unjustifiably but profitably favored by the politico-scientific establishment of which he is a member.

Skeptical scientists including Bob Tisdale, Judith Curry, Ross McKitrick Dick Lindzen and our kind host, have all weighed in with commendable speed to point out how much is wrong with Karl’s overt data tampering.

There is one glorious point they have not mentioned. Karl’s paper appears to repeal the laws of thermodynamics.

Suppose, ad argumentum, that he is right. In that event, in the past 15 years global warming at the Earth’s surface has continued at the not particularly alarming rate of 0.116 K per decade. In 1990 the IPCC’s central business-as-usual prediction for the medium term was equivalent to 0.28 K per decade, so, on any view, Karl’s paper is an admission that the models have been exaggerating by well over double.

But let us look at what happened either side of the surface over the same period.

Beneath the surface heaves the vasty deep. The least ill-resolved source of data about the temperature of the top 1900 m of the ocean is the network of some 3600 automated ARGO bathythermograph buoys.

Unlike the assorted ship’s buckets and engine intake sensors and promenade-deck thermometers that preceded them, the bathythermographs were specifically designed to provide a consistent, calibrated, competent ocean temperature dataset.

They have their problems, not the least of which is that there are so few of them. Each buoy takes only 3 measurements a month in 200,000 cubic kilometres of ocean – a volume 200 miles square and a mile and a quarter deep. The bias uncertainty is of course less than it was in the bad old days of buckets and such, but the coverage uncertainty remains formidable.

Another problem is that ARGO only began producing proper data in 2004, and there seems to have been no update to its marine atlas since the end of 2014.

Nevertheless, ARGO is the least bad we have. And what the buoys show is that the rate of global ocean warming in those 11 full years of data is equivalent to less than a fortieth of a degree per decade – 0.023 degrees per decade, to be more precise:


The lower troposphere extends about as far above the surface as the ARGO-measured upper ocean extends below it. Its temperature is measured by the satellites from which the RSS and UAH datasets come. They have a highish bias uncertainty, but a low coverage uncertainty. Following the recent revision of the UAH dataset, they now tell much the same story. Here is the RSS graph for the 11 years 2004-2014:


These considerations raise an important question, which – once it has been raised – is obvious. But, as Dr Lyne, my wise tutor in Classics at Cambridge, used to remind us: “Do not be frightened to state the obvious. It is surprising how often the obvious goes unnoticed until someone points it out.”

Here is the obvious question. Where is Karl’s surface warming coming from?

It is not coming from above, for in the lower troposphere there was no warming over the 11-year period 2004-2014 (or, for that matter, over the 15-year period 2000-2014).

Four-fifths of it is not coming from below, for Karl’s paper says that from 2000-2014, the 15-year period that includes the 11 years for which we have ARGO data, the surface warming rate was equivalent to 0.116 degrees per decade – more or less exactly five times the measured ocean warming rate.

Not much is coming from the land, for Karl’s paper makes few adjustments to the rate of warming of the air above the land, which in any event accounts for only 29% of the Earth’s surface.

Where is the missing heat coming from? Spukhäfte Fernwirkung, perhaps? Have Mr Karl, and the peerless peer-reviewers of Science who ought surely to have spotted this huge error, inadvertently repealed the laws of thermodynamics? I think we should be told. For if I am right this is the simplest, clearest, most complete refutation of Karl’s paper.


353 thoughts on “Has NOAA / NCDC’s Tom Karl repealed the Laws of Thermodynamics?

  1. The only data that matters is radiosonde data and satellite data. Al

    As I have said AGW enthusiast will either ignore the data , say the data is wrong or manipulated it if it does not conform to their absurd theory.

    • If the claim is that the surface temperature of earth is increasing, then I don’t see how satellite data is the only data that matters. My understanding of CO2 GHE warming is that more of the sun’s energy is staying in the lower atmosphere longer, which causes higher surface temperatures. The oceans of course are going to heat up slower and is where a lot of the heat is “hiding”. I see nothing wrong with an argument that a 1 degree rise in surface air temperature would show up as 0.1 degree or less rise in ocean temperatures. The upper atmosphere (satellite data) may show a lower temperature increase or stay flat because the energy is staying at the surface and less is reaching space. I don’t see how any of this goes against the Laws of Thermodynamics.

      • If there is the same energy coming is, and less going out due to spring traps, cages, and CO2, then the temperature must necessarily increase. That increase will show in the blackbody curve and be analyzable via Wien’s Displacement Law.

        We could, if we like, posit that it’s regional rather than global in nature. Put aside that this would refute the idea of a global climate change in preference of regional climate change. But the regions of interest here are respectively 1/4 and 3/4 of the Earth’s surface. If this is the case, then it is still easily teased out by satellite measurement. That is, the new findings cannot disagree with the satellite data, but the satellite data may be improperly averaged.

        The only alternate notions require some manner of claiming that heat is playing peekaboo with Stefan-Boltzmann. And that the heating has occurred despite that it hasn’t. Which gives us two logical options. We can either pursue the antiquated notion that such a contradiction disproves the premises. Or the less antiquated notion that the premises may not only stand, but that every other possible notion is proven thereby. In which case the propositions that ‘Global Warming is false,’ ‘This paper is accounting fraud,’ and ‘Obama is our first bacterial colony to hold the office of president,’ are all undeniably true and proven.

        I leave to your taste which path you wish to follow for the conclusions.

      • Jquip – “then the temperature must necessarily increase” Sorry Jquip, this is simply not true. Not all energy is measured as temperature. There are all sorts of other energies. For example, when water changes to ice or water vapor, there is a large energy change but not necessarily a temperature change. The earth is not a perfect “black body” nor is it in equilibrium. I simple do not see how any of your comments are relevant.

      • Dan, you’re engaging in the fallacy of composition. That is, since we can speak of phase change and temperature with respect to water, that necessarily this includes the entirety of the earth and all the molecules it is composed of without exception. If you are stating that your argument is correct, then it is necessarily impossible that absorbing radiation will increase the temperature of anything. While you’re formulating your rebuttal, I’ll go take a nice, hot shower.

        And yes, of course, the Earth is neither a perfect Black Body nor is it in equilibrium. But then I did not claim either of these things. So we are here dealing immediately with Straw Mean. Expressly I referred to states of disequilibrium, so that claim is a novelty of your own production. And of course I did not state a ‘perfect’ Black Body, nor do I think it is hardly necessary to be at pains to note that the Earth — a real and existant object — is not made of unobtanium used in gedankens about Thermodynamics. Certainly, if we’re to state that this is necessary, I mind you that I only speak to Humans and you have not taken the pains to state that you are not a Unicorn.

        But it remains that the black body curve peaks are used with with grey bodies all the time. And indeed, this is a feature of every spectral based measure of temperature. For which, I apologize if I have taken up the common understanding of science on this point and as has been used with wild success for well over a century. But having taken it upon yourself to refute this notion you have taken it upon yourself to engage in pedagogy: To make the argument for why we cannot use these notions as engineers have so long done.

        With bated breath I await such a useful argument to the field of science.

      • Jquip June 5, 2015 at 10:55 am says
        “(SNIP) In which case the propositions that ‘Global Warming is false,’ ‘This paper is accounting fraud,’ and ‘Obama is our first bacterial colony to hold the office of president,’ are all undeniably true and proven.”

        With a population of over 300 Billion, you may be onto something regarding Pres. BO’s make-up

      • Around 6 lbs. for a 200 lb. person but, Cell for Cell, about 90% of all cells contained in the Human Body are non human

      • Jquip, “then it is necessarily impossible that absorbing radiation will increase the temperature of anything”. Now you are the one stating a straw man. I said that not ALL absorbing radiation necessarily shows up as temperature increase and that there are cases when radiation is absorbed and there is no temperature change. You cannot simply measure the difference in the blackbody curve of a changing grey body and determine temperature change accurately, especially at a particular place within the grey body such as the air temperature at the surface of the earth. The earth is a constantly changing grey body. You seem to be saying that you can analyze “the blackbody curve” of the earth and tell the surface air temperature of the earth within tenths of a degree. And you seem to be implying that it is more accurate than actual earth thermometers. I disagree. The discussion is about the surface air temperature in case you forgot. It is not about the theoretical temperature of all the molecules of the entire earth.

      • Now you are the one stating a straw man. I said that not ALL absorbing radiation necessarily shows up as temperature increase and that there are cases when radiation is absorbed and there is no temperature change

        If you are stating that ‘some’ radiation necessarily shows up as a temperature increase then the global average will have gone up. For your objection to carry water it is necessary that there are conditions in which there is NO absorbing radiation that shows up as a temperature increase. And I grant you, that if you intended to state that there are conditions — here on this blue marble — in which every quantity and kind of radiation increase causes, for some period of time, no increased radiation and no increased temperature change? Then indeed, I have misrepresented your position. Simply confirm that this is what you intended, and I shall grant you the demonstration of my error and correct the point.

        Otherwise, it is the position you presented.

        The discussion is about the surface air temperature in case you forgot. It is not about the theoretical temperature of all the molecules of the entire earth.

        The discussion as I see it is about global warming. And certainly if you did not accept this to be the case you would not have said ‘surface air temperature’ but ‘surface air temperature’ in Topeka. And if we are talking about such global conditions we are necessarily talking about all manner of samping. And this is a quandry. For you could be stating that more measurements are less accurate that less measurements. But this is so absurd that I wouldn’t dare accuse you of holding to such nonsense. The other is that you are, in fact, stating that as a point of global temperature trends that there are none.

        That, in fact, there is nothing at all wrong with the idea that increasing radiation does not lead to increased temperature. And that if did lead to increased temperature, the increasing temperature would cause a decreasing atmospheric temperature just so finely defined as to erase all and only just that increase in radiation that makes it appear as if it is warming. And that even if this is nonsense, we couldn’t detect global temperature trends from space because you personally disagree with Wien’s Displacement Law for unstated reasons.

        No, I’m an in error after all. It is vastly less absurd to understand your position as that of stating that more measurement is less accurate than less measurement.

      • Jquip: I am glad you agree with me. I am glad you admit you are in error. More does not equal better. More can be better, but not always – even when measuring or modelling.
        Even within satellite records trends are not the same. Check out the RSS satellite data website:
        “Globally averaged temperature anomaly time series for the Lower Tropospheric Temperature (TLT). The plot shows the WARMING of the troposphere over the last 3 decades which has been attributed to human-caused global warming.”
        “Globally averaged temperature anomaly time series for the Lower Tropospheric Stratosphere (TLS). The plot shows the COOLING of the lower stratosphere over the past 3 decades. This cooling is caused by a combination of ozone depletion and the increase of greenhouse gases.”

        How is this possible? Don’t all the layers of the atmosphere have to move in tandem? Does it go against the Laws of Thermodynamics? Is the earth warming or cooling? This article about “repealed the Laws of Thermodynamics” is just bad logic. The first post about only looking at satellite records is just bad logic.
        The bottom line is that no one knows with very much accuracy what the climate was like in the past or what it will be in the future. No one knows the total effect that humans are having on the climate.

      • More does not equal better. More can be better, but not always – even when measuring or modelling.

        If more measurement is less accurate — by your argument — then it behooves you to give an example relevant to what we are discussing as to how this can be. Otherwise this is just content-free nonsense.

        Even within satellite records trends are not the same.

        Your example here is just a trivial sophistry. That regional measurments by lattitude, longitude, and elevation can vary differently from one another is neither interesting nor novel; it is expected. That different regions can have different trends is also not interesting or novel; it is expected. And none of these conditions by themselves say anything about the global temperature trends.

        This article about “repealed the Laws of Thermodynamics” is just bad logic.

        Sure, you can say that. I can say that. Anyone can say that. But if it is bad logic, then it is on the onus of anyone that claims it to demonstrate it. There’s no free pass for just asserting ‘I hatez it, I hatez the dirty Baggins’ and then calling that good. But then, your original post did not do that. Specifically, it didn’t even address the point that Monckton made: That the trends used as input by Karl do not add up to the trends used as output by Karl. If you wish the focus to be on Mockton’s logic, then that’s the part you need to rebut.

        The first post about only looking at satellite records is just bad logic.

        I can only assume that you mean my first post, for I do not recall Monckton having stated such. But then, of course, I did not state such either. It might assist you to go back and review both.

        The bottom line is that no one knows with very much accuracy what the climate was like in the past or what it will be in the future. No one knows the total effect that humans are having on the climate.

        If Karl’s paper is valid and sound then we don’t know with very much accuracy what the climate is like now. And if we accept your argument that more measurement is less accuracy in this sphere, then you’re putting forth that we know less now — by consequence of better measurements — then we did a century ago. I suggest that’s not bad logic, it’s Not Even Wrong.

    • Years ago I pointed out that it made no sense to me that CO2 at 400 ppm and still increasing could suddenly stop warming the atmosphere and yet lower levels of CO2 between 1970-1998 were claimed to have warmed the atmosphere by the green house effect. What was happening? For 18 years CO2, a greenhouse gas, was not warming up the greenhouse, the atmosphere. Then the party line became that the oceans were sucking up all the heat and that is why atmospheric warming stopped. It seemed to cute that for 18 years suddenly the oceans sucked up just enough heat to keep global atmospheric temperature stable, on a flat line or even dropping slightly as Lord Monckton states. This was based on spotty ocean temperature measurement before Argus launched buoys. After all temperatures randomly made by ships on shipping lanes by slinging a metal or canvas bucked over the side hardly seemed a way to sample 70% of the area of the earth that consists of oceans, let alone these were all surface measurements which are affected by wind and storms that stir up the oceans and mix the warmer surface water with colder deeper water.

      Isn’t it clear surface warming is different that atmospheric warming by CO2 or other greenhouse gases?
      Greenhouse gases absorb sunlight at certain specral wave length and radiate the heat back into the atmosphere. Surface warming is caused by absorbton of the sun’s radiaation or its reflection back into the atmosphere. ice covered oceans reflect more sunlight than open water that absorbs more radiation and heats up accordingly.

      Why should surface measurents even be used? Just because our weather stations are enclosed in a box on the surface of land? If surface measurements of temperature are being used as an indicator of anthropogenic CO2 atmospheric warming, then how can we not be concerned about where the thermometer is placed ? Place a thermometer 6 inches above an asphalt pavement and you may get 180 degrees. SImilarly the thermometer above green grass will be different than above a patch of bare ry clay or on a sand white beach. The type of soil and vegetation around the surface thermometer will change the thermometer’s reading.

      I realize satellite data has some problems but as Lord Monckton says they have less variability from limited sites beng samples. There is no fudging, adjusting of data for thermometer location, filling in missing observations in unpopulated parts of the earth with assumed values, and other concerns about locations of heat sinks, the paint used on the weather station thermometer box,etc.

      Anyone like to comment to clarify this? i would be deeply appreciative.

  2. And this excerpt is the key to the entire debacle called AGW and the doctrines well funded warmist disciples;

    ” How do you expect me to be taken seriously?”
    “I don’t,” I said. “I expect the data to be taken seriously.”

  3. “Where is the missing heat coming from?”

    UHI must be worse than we thought.

  4. Isn’t this an admission that ARGO doesn’t work, has never worked and they wasted billions of dollars on it?

    The reason for the adjustment is to justify spending more money on a system they just ‘scientifically proved’ doesn’t work!

    • I think that the “idea” of Argo floats is kinda neat, but the implementation is woefully lacking. As someone here once pointed out, the resolution of the Argo system is akin to making 1 measurement per year at a random time in a volume of ocean equivalent to Lake Superior. The fact that the Climate Fearosphere tries to make a big deal out of such measurements should tell anyone capable of independent thought, all they need to know about the veracity of the CAGW proponents.

    • Not sure that ‘doesn’t work’ is an accurate description. In a different time, without the Politics, Argo would have been a good idea.

      Sadly, with those in control being hardcore ‘adjusters’, I can’t take the Argo network ‘adjustments’ any more seriously than GISS ‘adjustments’.

      Very sad IMHO that I now consider an apparently worthwhile expense like Argo to be just another COP meal ticket to every ‘all expenses paid’ vacation these wankers can think up.

      I don’t think that activist scientists have thought this (Karl et adjustments (hide the straight line)) nonsense through terribly well regarding its implications for the longer term . Fool me once … Fool me twice and your Argo (and other) funding gets pulled…

      Destroying science one ‘paper’ (ticket to Paris) at a time. A sad end to the automatic funding of ‘science’ in our time. Is that a tear or just another ‘scientists’ finger in my eye!

      • Not disagreeing just I do not comprehend the value of a measuring system that takes measurements by random location and time. Or more specifically how can random measurements be used to develop trends..

      • I agree. I saw how GISS “adjusted” their 1998 graph by lowering temperatures before 1970 or so and then when released again in 2009 the GISS curve showed 1998 the warmest year on record and not 1934 which was warmer than 1998 in the 1998 graph.Who was in charge at GISS during this time interval? Was it Dr. James Hansen? Wasn’t he involved in climategate and the hacked email messages from East Anglia Climate center? What is known about his integrity? Has the GISS data been independent audited after “adjustments” to determine ow the adjustments where made, why and by what magnitude?

  5. I wonder how long it will be before we get an admission that after all, ARGO doesn’t provide data with sufficient detail and accuracy to allow us to conclude what the trend has been within the now widened error bars, but that it must be so that the Ocean ate their homework. Jo Nova has given them an escape route by pointing up this earlier paper:


  6. Whether it is Monckton or Mann, for others to decide, this debate must be about facts, NOT personalties.
    However, at the trial before a jury of their peers, all intransigent liars must be exposed and prosecuted.

  7. The current administration has a disregard for law anyway, in the words of our former Secretary of State: “what difference does it make” if one more Federal employee disregards laws

    • L of M..the only classics major who is admired for his misleading of the research of hundreds of PhD Climate Scientists who, in 10s of thousands of research oapers, conclude AGW. What does that say about the standards of his admirers?

      • Um…OK, so…..what? Seriously? I can’t even. I would have LMofB over for dinner. My wife says I’m a decent person, so does my Mother. So, if thinking well of LMofB is the wrong thing to be doing…I have to shift a bunch of stuff around. I have to send out a pile of emails and change a bunch of things internally. Thanks for the heads up

      • warrenlb

        You are one of the Borg desperately afraid of having an individual thought — a part of the Climate Collective.
        Hmmmm….. might be a poem in that.

        Eugene WR Gallun

      • What does “conclude AGW” mean in Warrenlb’s post? And since when did the fallacies of head-count (argumentum ad populum) and of appeal to authority or reputation (argumentum ad verecundiam) become part of the scientific method?

        Science is done by checking. Has Warrenlb checked how many scientists support Karl’s dopey paper? He’ll get quite a surprise.

      • Ed Z,


        All of warrenlb’s comments are either ad hominem attacks like that, or filled with his endless appeal to authority logical fallacies. He’s lost the science argument so decisively that those are the only arguments he has left.

      • @sly

        Not an ‘appeal to authority’ but an appeal to experts in Science rather than amateurs. L of M is not a Scientist. The attitude of your post seems to be “we’re all amateurs, so let’s listen to another amateur and ridicule the experts”. Or, ‘ my child needs brain surgery, so I’m taking her to a barber, or maybe do it myself, since brain surgeons are all corrupt and incompetent, around the world”

      • warrenlb says:

        Not an ‘appeal to authority’ but an appeal to experts in Science…&blah, blah, etc.

        Wrong. The ultimate Authority is Planet Earth. When there is a glaring discrepancy between the pronouncements of self-appointed ‘authorities’ and real world observations, one of them has to be wrong.

        warrenlb is saying that Planet Earth is wrong; that observations and evidence are wrong, and that his ‘authorities’ are right. As usual, warrenlb has it upside down and backward.

        The ‘authorities’ that warrenlb refers to are six member boards that presume to speak for thousands of dues-paying members. Those boards have been corrupted. Strong evidence: they all say the same thing. None say “Wait and see,” or “What is the cost/benefit analysis?” There is no deviation in their propaganda message: “Dangerous man-made globhal warming is an urgent problem!” Anyone with common sense knows that among dozens of different organizations, they will not all have exactly the same message. And many of those organizations have little to do with the question of “dangerous man-made global warming”. But they chime in, too.

        Conclusion: some or all of those 6 board members in each organization were bought and paid for in some way. Their votes were obtained. None of them allow a fair vote of their memebrship on the question, and none of them allow members to contact each other through membership lists, which are kept highly confidential. It seems obvious to the most casual observer that this is a planned strategy. With $billions at stake annually, there is plenty of money to grease the wheels.

        warrenlb is naive and credulous. He might even believe his “authority” nonsense. But folks who give it some rational thought know that where there’s smoke there’s fire. It is no mere coincidence, or accident, that every professional board has endorsed the exact same message. Not one board has taken the position of the OISM Petition, which was co-signed by more than 30,000 American scientists and engineers including more than 9,000 PhD’s, stating that CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere. Based on the opinions of rank-and-file scientists and engineers, warrenlb’s appeal to those self-serving ‘authorities’ is just too much BS to accept.

      • warrenlb, I think it says that they don’t want to delegate their understanding of the matter to PhD’s and Climate Scientists that have a vested interest (i.e. funding, fame etc.) in propagating a theory that is easily proven either totally wrong or vastly overstated. Your continued ‘not a scientist’ diatribe doesn’t make the data any less true. What’s your degree in, anyway?

      • appealing to experts *is* an ‘appeal to authority’. rather than appealing to authority, why don’t you take a crack at the scienctific arguments the good Lord M of B is making because you see, in science it doesn’t matter who is making the arguement, what matters is the science and data behind what they are saying. As no less a scientist than Albert Einstein said it only takes 1 person who is correct to prove any science’s theory wrong.

      • It’s worth noting that there’s a modern fad to recase an Appeal to Authority to an Appeal to a False Authority. That it is not the mechanism that is fallacious itself, but only which authority is utilized. You’ll find this a common strain of argumentation these days. eg. The disregard to science that is not published in a peer reviewed journal. Such that, since the science wasn’t put forward by an authority that uses authorities to vet the soundness of the paper, that the science was produced by a false authority. But that all papers published via the approved authorities is authoritative even if unsound, invalid, or a string of random letters.

      • One of my favorite Feynman quotes seems apropos: “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts”. Virtually every advance in science has come about because someone was convinced some expert was wrong.

      • Warren, you are hot for Appeals to Authority (or “experts” as you put it). Here are some quotes from the very eminent Authority: Richard Feynman.

        – Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.

        – Science alone of all the subjects contains within itself the lesson of the danger of belief in the infallibility of the greatest teachers of the preceding generation.

        – We are not to tell nature what she’s gotta be. … She’s always got better imagination than we have.

        – Each piece, or part, of the whole of nature is always merely an approximation to the complete truth, or the complete truth so far as we know it. In fact, everything we know is only some kind of approximation, because we know that we do not know all the laws as yet. Therefore, things must be learned only to be unlearned again or, more likely, to be corrected. … The test of all knowledge is experiment. Experiment is the sole judge of scientific “truth”.

        – Since then I never pay attention to anything by “experts”. I calculate everything myself.

        – Doubting the great Descartes … was a reaction I learned from my father: Have no respect whatsoever for authority; forget who said it and instead look what he starts with, where he ends up, and ask yourself, “Is it reasonable?”

        – Looking back at the worst times, it always seems that they were times in which there were people who believed with absolute faith and absolute dogmatism in something. And they were so serious in this matter that they insisted that the rest of the world agree with them. And then they would do things that were directly inconsistent with their own beliefs in order to maintain that what they said was true.

        – I believe in limited government. I believe that government should be limited in many ways, and what I am going to emphasize is only an intellectual thing. I don’t want to talk about everything at the same time. Let’s take a small piece, an intellectual thing. No government has the right to decide on the truth of scientific principles, nor to prescribe in any way the character of the questions investigated.

        – We absolutely must leave room for doubt or there is no progress and no learning. There is no learning without having to pose a question. And a question requires doubt. People search for certainty. But there is no certainty. People are terrified — how can you live and not know? It is not odd at all. You only think you know, as a matter of fact.

        Richard Feynman became so exasperated [at the National Academy of Sciences] that he resigned his membership, saying that he saw no point in belonging to an organization that spent most of its time deciding who to let in.
        Gregory Benford, “A Scientist’s Notebook: Scientist Heroes” in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (April 1996)

      • @warenlb
        Your data, please. Since we are living in the coolest warm period of the past 10,000 years – when compared to Holocene Climatic Optimum, Minoan, Roman, and Medieval warm periods, as shown by Greenland ice core and a North Atlantic sediment core studies- and current warming is a natural rebound from the coldest period of the past 10,000 years – the Little Ice Age – what does its about he standards of the 10s of thousands of PhD Climate Professors? Many found reasons for the “pause”, and now many will have to lose those reasons, as “they” realize the pause never happened – and also find they must lose the satellite and radiosonde observations. Perhaps, warrenlb, you need to start admiring the data more than the professors, as we WUWT readers do.

      • Oh Great Warren of Pound, please produce evidence of these “10s of thousands of research oapers” that conclude AGW! Even Cooking with Lew et al 2013 wasn’t bold enough to declare such a thing….and their data proved fewer than 100 out of 12,000 could even be called close to concluding AGW.

        And how exactly did L of M “mislead the research of hundreds of PhD Climate Scientists”? Did he “seep” into their labs? Did they all take classes from him?

        You keep using words that don’t mean what you think they mean.

      • That is one of the funniest exagerations and deliberate mistatements I have ever seen. Congratulations, sir. And I suggest you never try to debate even the lowliest of us here, never mind Monckton — you’ll be eaten alive by facts and logic.

      • Warrenlb.

        Clinging desperately to a belief that has been thoroughly discredited by lord Monckton, who, clearly you despise because he he does what he does so well. Your argument on the other hand is … what exactly? Try leave your personal dislike out of it and deal specifically with the content of the post.


      • “Not an ‘appeal to authority’ but an appeal to experts in Science…”

        Sophistry at its finest.

      • You have totally missed the point again warrenlb. The Karl paper flys in the face of all those “climate scientists” who have admitted there is a pause/hiatus. For example the IPCC and all those who have come up with 70 excuses for the pause/hiatus. Nevertheless the Karl paper is fatally flawed trash specifically designed for the Paris gab fest.

      • Appeals to authority is not how to win an argument, If it were the case there would be no need for debate, arguments, or even research. Why do additional research when an authority has already settled it.

        Appeals to authority can viably be used in making an argument only if the premise based on the authority is reasonable in representing the conclusions of the authority and their expertise. The claim that figures of authority have concluded AGW is about the stupidest appeal to authority I have seen to date. Which makes me wonder if you are only acting this stupid to get people riled up. In other words an empty-headed attention seeking troll.

        However, if you have an argument then make it, or else save yourself some keyboard strokes reducing your CO2 footprint on the planet by using less energy thereby expelling less CO2. The Earth thanks you for your service in advance.

      • warrenlb

        You say

        L of M..the only classics major who is admired for his misleading of the research of hundreds of PhD Climate Scientists who, in 10s of thousands of research oapers, conclude AGW. What does that say about the standards of his admirers?

        Many have pointed out that you are presenting a logical fallacy, but repeated examples demonstrate that you are incapable of understanding your error.

        As a method to help you understand how wrong you are, I will accept that your error is correct.

        I take your authority of “hundreds of PhD Climate Scientists” and trump it with the authority of the most recent “scientific” Report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

        Box 9.2 on page 769 of Chapter 9 of IPCC the AR5 Working Group 1 (i.e. the most recent IPCC so-called science report) is here and says

        Figure 9.8 demonstrates that 15-year-long hiatus periods are common in both the observed and CMIP5 historical GMST time series (see also Section 2.4.3, Figure 2.20; Easterling and Wehner, 2009; Liebmann et al., 2010). However, an analysis of the full suite of CMIP5 historical simulations (augmented for the period 2006–2012 by RCP4.5 simulations, Section 9.3.2) reveals that 111 out of 114 realizations show a GMST trend over 1998–2012 that is higher than the entire HadCRUT4 trend ensemble (Box 9.2 Figure 1a; CMIP5 ensemble mean trend is 0.21ºC per decade). This difference between simulated and observed trends could be caused by some combination of (a) internal climate variability, (b) missing or incorrect radiative forcing and (c) model response error. These potential sources of the difference, which are not mutually exclusive, are assessed below, as is the cause of the observed GMST trend hiatus.

        GMST trend is global mean surface temperature trend.
        A “hiatus” is a stop.

        And this from the IPCC that is tasked to provide information supportive of the AGW hypothesis.

        So, according to your argument, the admirers of Lord Monckton are supporting what the IPCC says and the IPCC is a greater authority than your unstated “hundreds of PhD Climate Scientists”.


  8. I’ve a mixture of pity and admiration for Josh Willis; he may be one of the most conflicted men in climate science. His wonderful machine is not showing what the narrative expects, nay, demands.

    For Tom Karl? Well, I remember when Antnee went to tea.

  9. Why should the heat come from either the troposphere or the deep ocean? AFAIK, most of the warming entering the ocean comes from the sun directly. So this could happen just by reducing the cloudiness. It’s not like I support the paper, it is bullshit, but claiming that it breaks thermodynamics laws? C’mon…

      • I’m not saying that it is cloudiness. It is bad data, or to put it better, bad data adjustments. But it COULD have been cloudiness. You don’t need to violate any thermodinamics law to have the ocean’s surface heat faster than either the troposphere or the deep ocean. If troposphere, deep ocean and ocean surface were all the components of the system, then yes. But there is another important component called sun, playing some significant role.

      • Let us suppose that the ocean surface were warming at 0.116 K/decade, as Nylo imagines. In that event, the lower troposphere would warm at the same rate, for the ocean is denser than the air and the surface or mixed stratum is intimately connected with the lower troposphere by tropical afternoon convection in the tropics. But the lower troposphere is not warming, as it would have to do (by the laws of thermodynamics) if the surface layer were warming.

        Furthermore, if the Sun were warming the upper ocean at a rapid rate, then CO2 would not be the causative agent.

        However, as it happens the upper layer of the ocean is not warming at anything like 0.116 K/decade.

    • Yeah. The paper is suspect for statistical reasons, but there’s no thermodynamic problem. Let’s back away from this limb.

      • Let’s not back away until we’ve done our homework. The fluid media that are said to be warming – the ocean surface and the air immediately above it – are not in fact warming at the rate posited by Mr Karl. The measurements from above and from below confirm this. It is as simple as that.

      • Yes absolutely. No trouble with thermodynamics, on the contrary. Trouble is with bad data and their biased manipulation

      • MoB, what nylo is saying is that this is first a radiation problem, and second a convection problem. This argument works in favor of a lower climate sensitivity when you look at the entire atmospheric system (e.g convective thunder clouds bypassing the greenhouse effect), but it also means that the thermal energy is originating in the top ocean layer, which is absorbing shortwave IR. That layer is where the IR turns to molecular motion. That layer gets warmed directly from the sun. The heat does not have to get to it by conduction/convection. Then it has to get away from there through conduction, convention, and a small amount of radiation.

        As I said, this cuts both ways; this is also why the ‘greenhouse’ has holes.

      • The matter is simple. Mr Karl’s assumption that the locus of all points at which the lower troposphere meets the upper ocean can warm at a rate greater than either transparently offends against the laws as much of thermodynamics as of logic.

      • To me, the point that Monckton of Brenchley (June 5, 2015 at 3:34 pm) is sound, and it confirms that the Karl et al. 2015 paper is simply inappropriate data adjustment and nothing more than that.

        The two fundamental data sets (the slices of bread) show no warming. Of course, ARGO has its own issues (lack of spatial coverage, short duration, immediatedely adjusted to get rid of the buoys that showed the greatest cooling, no assessment of potential bias from the free floating nature of the buoys that get carried along on currents that are themselves temperature dependent etc), and whilst this is the best of a bad bunch, the truth is that we do not know very much about ocean temperatures over the course of this century still less as from the 1970s.

        It would appear that backradiation cannot effectively heat the oceans since very little energy penetrates more than a few MICRONS. If the oceans are warming it would appear that this is due to Solar and the most likely candidate for that is changes in cloudiness allowing more solar insolation to reach the surface, and possible aided by a reduction in airborne particulate matter since the 60s. However, the data sets (as Bob frequently posts in details) shows very little (if any) ocean warming and many ocean basins are cooling not warming.

    • from a relevant 2011 WUWT post, one of the comments

      Being no expert, it seems to me the question is what happens at night over the ocean? if there is more CO2 in the air, the ocean surface will cool slightly slower … but that would warm the air too.

      which puts me sort of half-agreeing. if the heat is retained by the surface of the ocean, then half would also have be retained in the air, and would end up in the RSS data over the oceans.

    • I think we have data on cloud cover, and the trends thereof during the stated time period.
      If you want to make a point about decreasing cloud cover, why not provide some information showing that there has been such a decrease, of the magnitude necessary to produce rapid warming of the sea surface?

  10. Very interesting piece, Lord Monckton. Congratulations. And don’t take offense, but this is the shortest piece I have ever seen you write, and you made your point clearly as well. Thank you for the time and energy you put into trying to save our civilization.

    • Some of my recent pieces have been long ones, because I have been answering people – Varley of the Met Office, Obama at the Coastguard commencement, a Greenpeace blog posting – who had indulged in Gish-gallops of falsehood after falsehood. It was necessary to answer all the falsehoods, so as to show just how little scientific credibility any of the three actually possesses.

      The present piece makes a single point that is, in my submission, devastating. The very thin surface layer that Mr Karl says is warming at five times the rate of the upper layer of the ocean is composed partly of ocean water and partly of lower-troposphere air. Since neither of these two fluid media are warming at anything like the rate claimed for the surface, the surface is not warming at that claimed rate either.

  11. They hear voices, don’t they? They climb the foothill and there is a burning bush or a burning old tire and a voice tells them their Carbon is poisoning the planet. When you have heard this voice all is certain and data must be adjusted…

  12. So, my simple mind wants to order the point as follows – Karl maintains a warming trend at the surface of the earth that could not be – because satellites measuring the atmosphere show a lower warming trend, and the Argo buoys measure a lower warming trend in the oceans to 1900 meters. Since thermal energy always flow from an area of higher heat to an area of lower heat, and everything tends towards a state of thermal equilibrium – it is physically impossible for such an area of higher heat to exist at the surface because the atmosphere, and therefore the surface, are heated by the oceans. Something cannot be heated by another thing that is colder than it

    Is this correct everyone?

    • Tomdesabla has summed it up nicely. Th surface is a sandwich filling a few feet thick with a mile and a half of lower troposphere above it and a mile and a quarter of upper ocean below it.

      Yet Karl would have us believe that the thin filling is warming faster than the bread. Oops.

      • The food in my tupperware is surrounded by plastic, and when I put it in the microwave, it will indeed heat faster than its surroundings. From where in the tupperware could the heat be comming from, if the tupperware is colder? Meeec… wrong question. Heat doesn’t come from the tupperware. Comes from further away, through an energy flux that goes through the tupperware without heating it. Hey! That looks a lot like what the solar radiation does when it reaches the Earth’s surface without heating the atmosphere in the middle, doesn’t it? Something to do with electromagnetic energy’s frequency band absorptions of different materials.

      • Amazing how the true-believers try to evade the main point. The surface layer of air where the temperature readings are taken is composed not of Tupperware but of air (just like the lower troposphere above it) and water (just like the upper ocean below it). There is no plausible mechanism by which CO2 could be causing that thin surface sandwich-filling to warm when the air above and the ocean below are not also warming.

      • Comes from further away, through an energy flux that goes through the tupperware without heating it.

        I often need mitts to take my stuff out of the microwave, but then I’m not pulsing for 30 seconds.

      • Perhaps I mis-remember, but I believe that the “0” measurement by the ARGO floats is actually taken at 5m below the sea surface. IIRC, Karl ’15 is calculating temperatures right at the surface. I don’t know what the extinction coefficient for incident solar radiation in the open sea is, but perhaps this is a potential source of disconnect regarding the temperature records.

      • D.J. Hawkins June 5, 2015 at 9:51 am

        It would surprise me if the “0” reading taken by ARGO is at 5 metres. Ship’s data when taken by inlet manufold water temperature is taken at depth. Ship’s data is not surface temperature data but is the temperature drawn typically at about 4 to 10 metres depth.

        At night time, there is little difference between the ocean temperature between 5mm and 5m, but in daytime there is a significant difference even from 1mm downwards. In all cases the very top of the ocean is cooler than the 1mm layer.See for example:

        In the plot (a) is the temperature profile at night, and (b) the temperature profile for the daylight hours.

      • Lord Monckton wrote:

        Amazing how the true-believers try to evade the main point.

        It is not the first time I am misunderstood as a warmist, but I had never been called a true believer before :D

        There is no plausible mechanism by which CO2 could be causing that thin surface sandwich-filling to warm when the air above and the ocean below are not also warming.

        It is you sir who evades the point because I have never said nor implied that CO2 did it, we are just discussing whether it is thermodynamically possible to have the upper layer of the ocean warming faster than the troposphere or the deep ocean. And it is possible, no law broken. But if you want to change topic and talk now about causes, first, I think that the apparent warming in this paper is the result of bad adjustments and not real, and second, if it was real, it would more likely have been produced by changes in albedo and more solar energy entering the ocean than by CO2. The only thing I am arguing against is whether you would need to break thermodynamics laws or not to get the “result” that the authors of this shitty paper get. Which, I believe, was the center point of your guest post, at least judging it by the title. So I don’t really understand why you say that I am evading the main point. The main point is exactly what I am discussing.

      • Karl’s paper is bad; but not for the reason given in this post. Solar radiation could easily heat the ocean surface to a greater or lesser degree than the air above it. One needn’t be a scientist to understand that.

        This post should be withdrawn, or, better yet, marked by its author as disproved, to serve as an example to Alarmists (and everyone, for that matter) that those who adhere to scientific principles have no qualms about accepting facts and admitting error.

      • It is very difficult to explain elementary scientific concepts to those who are unwilling to take a rational approach.

        Mr Karl’s thesis is that the rate of change of temperature over time at the Earth’s surface is greater than the rate of change of temperature over time directly above and directly below the surface, and that this rate of change at the surface is driven by Man’s sins of emission.

        What he proposes offends against the laws of thermodynamics.

        By time he does not mean a day. He means a decade and more.

        Mr Verney shows that the ocean has different temperatures at different depths at different times of day. So what? The air above behaves in much the same way.

        The question raised in the head posting remains: whence comes the heat to warm the upper few meters of the ocean and the lower few meters of the lower troposphere over as long as 11 years at a rate far in excess of the rate at which the upper ocean and the lower troposphere are warming?

        Nylo has had to admit the alleged surface warming cannot be caused by CO2. It cannot be caused by the Sun, because the near-full solar cycle over the 11 years was not exceptionally active.

        Like it or not, the laws of thermodynamics do not permit the heat to come from nowhere.

        What, the, is the anthropogenic source that causes Karl’s surface warming? And why does that surface warming, over as long as a decade, not communicate itself detectably to either the lower troposphere or the upper ocean?

        Karl’s extra heat not only has to come from somewhere: it has to go somewhere. Since the two fluid media of which the surface is composed are the upper ocean and the lower troposphere, what is the nature of the barrier that prevents the imagined higher rate of surface warming from communicating itself to either the upper ocean or the lower troposphere?

        Recall that the two fluid media are well intermingled, not least by tropical afternoon convection. How, then, does this thermodynamic barrier operate to prevent heat transfer from the faster-warming surface stratum to the strata above and below it?

  13. A few years back the ARGO data showed global oceans to be cooling so I presume this is the adjusted data you are using. Josh Willis is now adjusting the ARGO temperature data because he says; the TOA radiation shows energy coming in as greater than that going out therefore it must be going into the ocean. (ignores the systemic error that is present) then he says the satellite sea level analysis shows sea level rising faster than can be accounted for by global ice melt which must be due to thermal expansion so therefore the ARGO buoy temperatures must be wrong and on that basis he has adjusted them from a cooling trend to a warming trend.
    Ignoring of course the GIA adjustments, which are used in several sea level metrics, are based on computer modelling that requires major assumptions. That the satellite sea level is itself an adjusted metric. That the measurement of ice melt is also based on highly questionable assumptions.
    So we take one of the seven basic measurements of science, one that we can do with considerable accuracy, ie temperature, and adjust it on the basis of other derived metrics that involve many assumptions unsupported by actual data. Great stuff. see http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OceanCooling/page1.php
    Love to see someone better skilled than I take the ARGO adjustments apart.

    • I think this is a very good argument. Even I can understand this. Would appear that Karl is a good writer of fiction.

    • Thanks for this article, Peter Foster. I just read all 12 pages (pdf) of it. Amazing: Adjusting the data to conform to the models because he was getting flak from others around him. My question is how did he know some of the ARGO buoys were running cool? Did he physically go there? Did he use data on the movement and temp of currents?

      And you have to read 3/4 through the article (which is only revealed if you scroll to the bottom and wait for the rest to appear) to read Levitus’ cogent point, which should have followed the lede.

      He [Sydney Levitus, the director of NOAA’s Ocean Climate Laboratory in Silver Spring, Maryland] argues that before anyone assumes that the observations must be wrong, they should remember that the amount of variability they are talking about is probably less than the amount of heat gained and lost during the intense El Niño in 1997-98. “Climate models don’t reproduce El Niño events very well either,” he says, but no one doubts they are real.
      “My point is just that we need to remain open-minded because it may be that it is possible for the ocean to gain heat and lose it more rapidly than we think. There may be other phenomena [similar to El Niño] operating on different time scales that can explain interdecadal increases and decreases,” says Levitus. Even if these ups and downs don’t change the long-term destination of global warming, they could reveal more detail about what kind of ride we can expect.

      But Dr. Willis put that possibility to rest, didn’t he. He changed the data.

    • Good to see this.

      I have pointed this out many many times over the years. Indeed, in a comment I posted above (made before I saw yours) I pointed out this adjustment.

      ARGO is the best of a bad bunch, but one needs to approach it with a certain amount of caution.

  14. Did the Greens or Nature Do It? Global Brightening by Clean Air Acts or lower Clouds?
    Rethinking solar resource assessments in the context of global dimming and brightening

    However, solar radiation at the Earth’s surface is not stable over time but undergoes significant long-term variations often referred to as “global dimming and brightening”. This study analyzes the effect of these long-term trends on solar resource assessments. Based on long-term measurement records in Germany, it is found that the additional uncertainty of solar resource assessments caused by long-term trends in solar radiation is about 3% on the horizontal plane and even higher for tilted or tracked planes. These additional uncertainties are not included in most uncertainty calculations for solar resource assessments up to now. Furthermore, for the measurement stations analyzed, the current irradiance level is about 5% above the long-term average of the years 1951–2010

    This may explain part of the ocean warming seen by Argo.

    • That was merely a misunderstanding, JK. What Al Gore meant was that his earthy interior was millions of degrees.

  15. Today’s usually pro-alarmist BBC radio series “Science in Action” did report remarkably cautiously about the claims of Karl et al. :


    Maybe, thanks to the critical analysis of the paper here in wuwt, they realized how fishy the data adjustments of Karl et al. are.

    • I think a quick email to the BBC every time they trifle with logic or data helps move things towards making them adhere to some sort of impartiality . Like the ABC in Australia it seems difficult for governments of whatever stripe to make them conform with their charters. But constantly reminding them they are making fools of themselves will have an effect when in time the truth of the matter becomes plain. I listened to the broadcast and for the first time in a long time on this publication they took a bob each way.
      The good Lord, (Monkton took a delicious swipe at them recently about the licence fee. They need constant reminders that they are making idiots of themselves

  16. Thanks once more to Lord Monckton for his able, precise and joyously entertaining use of language in setting out a part of the counter-argument. Add this to very competent and comprehensive comments from Messrs McKittrick here at WUWT, Pat Michaels, and Judith Curry elsewhere, and I profess myself convinced that this paper is a destructive spoiler designed from the outset to provide the demanded conclusions.

    Although a definite sceptic of CAGW I have been very reluctant to believe that so many decent folk in science could have been seduced and corrupted by this one idea, and I invariably try to give them the benefit of the doubt, at first at least. Maybe there is no central co-ordination of the conspiracy, but the pull of the common cause is enough to rope-in so many, and the polarisation of the debate means that many bridges have been burnt. Very sad for science, and for the world.

  17. I doubt the above graph for 2001-2008 was exactly what was shown in a congressional hearing room in 2009. The graph as shown here says that one of the datasets that it is a combination of is UAHv6, which was first noted as being in existence earlier this year. Another is HadCRUT4, which I think came into existence later than 2009.

    • The actual graph, which is not to hand because I am traveling, used the data available at the time and would, therefore, have shown rather more cooling than the present graph, based on data nearly all of which have been adjusted to make the rate of recent warming seem steeper. Either way, the point is made: the graph showed cooling; Karl tried to mimble around the point; Joe Barton called him out; and I wrote showing that even NCDC’s own dataset demonstrated cooling.

  18. It’s quite permissible to abolish the Laws of Thermodynamics if you have already abandoned the scientific method. You now nothing either way.

    Which it is quite clear that Karl has done and now knows.
    He must be worried about his job if the paper gets retracted.

      • Small puddles have been known to freeze on clear nights where the air temperature says above freezing. In fact, in India, they used to make ice that way:

        “In India before the invention of artificial refrigeration technology, ice making by nocturnal cooling was common. The apparatus consisted of a shallow ceramic tray with a thin layer of water, placed outdoors with a clear exposure to the night sky. The bottom and sides were insulated with a thick layer of hay. On a clear night the water would lose heat by radiation upwards. Provided the air was calm and not too far above freezing, heat gain from the surrounding air by convection would be low enough to allow the water to freeze by dawn.[1]”


    • Repealing the laws of thermodynamics could happen if observations were found that contradicted the law. I don’t believe actual observations of that sort exist at present, but it is possible. Of course any theory that proposes to replace the laws of thermodynamics must explain the phenomena that the laws currently explain at least as well or they are also trash.

      After all, general relativity repealed the law of gravity; both describe daily observed occurrences equally well to our ability to measure, but the law of gravity fails when attempting to describe the motion of a body in a large gravity well like the Mercury/Sun system. Of course I have not seen any conundrums like the Mercury orbit problem in the thermodynamics field

      • This is in reply to Harold (no hyperlink button above). It seems to me (without doing the math) that what Wikipedia claims to explain (your cite) — the formation of ice when air temperatures are above freezing) may be do to evaporative cooling — not radiative.

  19. If the world’s oceans are warming at the rate of 0.23C/century isn’t that cause for some concern? After all that represents an enormous amount of heat energy that is being absorbed. Is the heating evenly disbursed or is it concentrated in certain areas? Am I missing something? I have trouble accepting that the CO2 increase is showing up in the oceans alone, but if the data is correct then something is happening and the heat is coming from somewhere…
    The weight of the atmosphere is 5.15 X 10 to the 18th kilo, whereas the oceans weigh in at 1.4 X 10 to the 24th kilograms or about 2.2 X 10 to the 7th difference – large numbers, but if the oceans are heating at 0.23C/century doesn’t that represent an rather large influx of heat?
    Why are the oceans alone heating up? Where is this heat coming from? Is it uniform around the globe or concentrated in areas such as deep ocean thermal vents?
    I’m sure that I am making some sort of mistake here in my figuring, but I haven’t the time to explore it further for now…just tossing it out in the hopes that someone can easily tell me where I went wrong!

    • You went wrong in assuming the oceans in their vastness were heating with any confidence. I’ll refer you to the coverage issue ARGO has to deal with. Its like sticking a thermometer into a hole in your sock once every few months, registering that measurement and then extrapolating the mean core temp of your friends heart per annum.

    • Most likely it is tied to the PDO. Note the decreasing trend just prior to the PDO flip in 2005-2007. The PDO is closely related to ENSO (Bob Tisdale claims it is an after effect I believe). Since ocean heat is recharged during La Nina events one should expect an increasing heat content if there are more La Nina events over time. By the same token the heat that was driving increased global temperature during the +PDO (1975-2006) came out of the oceans during the more prevalent El Nino events which is why the ocean heat was decreasing in the first couple of years.

      The data prior to 2003 is so sparse and so adjusted it is basically worthless.

    • John Robertson: The numbers you show do appear to be impressive and enormous compared to the heat quantities we as humans are normally exposed to everyday. This creates a certain amount of awe and dread that some people are more than willing to exploit to their own ends. Think of the first people trying to get a grips on how big the sun really was when they first started measuring it. They probably all assumed that it was no bigger than a large tree or mountain. One Greek philosopher opined that the sun could be as big as Peloponnesus, (a peninsula in Greece) resulting in derision by his peers for suggesting something so big. Part of the beauty of science is putting away our pre-conceptions and letting nature do the talking.

      Assuming that the measurement itself is correct, no, it is not an alarming amount of heat. In 100 years, the temperature rise would still be barely measurable on a thermometer. Think of what will be different 100 years from now. The face of the Earth will be completely different. Microscopic warming in the oceans will be the least of our concerns.

    • A very large percentage of the ocean is very cold. Near freezing. Even in the tropical latitudes, the deep water is very cold.
      There may even be large amounts of supercooled water in the polar regions and deep ocean.
      Given that supercooled water is given to sudden freezing, I would prefer to see warming oceans than cooling oceans.
      But that is just me.
      What with my concern that a sudden and sharp cooling of the Earth would likely cause starvation on a scale that the world has never seen. And my guess is, should food start running out and starving people by the millions, they would not die quietly and it would/will be very bad.
      For everyone.
      Besides for all of that…I love to swim. Except in cold water. Then it sucks (the heat out of my body).

  20. Regarding “The lower troposphere extends about as far above the surface as the ARGO-measured upper ocean extends below it.”: You said the ARGO floats measure the ocean down to 1900 meters. The RSS TLT weighting curve is shown in http://images.remss.com/msu/msu_time_series.html, and indicates that altitudes from the surface to 5 km up are heavily considered. The TLT weighting curve seems to give some significant weighting to altitudes up to 8 or 9 km up.

      • The 500 millibar level, where the pressure is usually slightly under half the sea level pressure and the density is usually slightly over half the sea level density, averages a little over 5.5 km above sea level. The RSS weighting curve gives about half its peak weighting that far up, and peak weighting about 2 km up, where the density is about 80% of sea level density. A slight majority of the mass of the lower troposphere, as weighted by the RSS TLT weighting curve, seems to be more than 2 km above sea level.

  21. While out driving yesterday, I had NPR tuned in on the car radio.
    My head almost exploded when I listened to the NPR story on ARGO, and listened to Ternbreth(sp?) explain that they discovered that the BOUYS were reporting incorrect data, based on a comparison between bouy data and PASSING SHIPS. The ships, you see, always seem to report a higher temp nearby than the bouy does, so obviously, the bouy data …wait for it…MUST BE ADJUSTED UPWARDS.
    At this point I really have to pull over to the side of the road.
    He goes on to explain that after making this much-needed correction, not only has there been NO pause, but it is, in fact, warming EVEN FASTER than previously thought.
    The NPR “reporter” never once asked “Why do you assume the ship’s measurements are the ones that are correct?”
    The whole thing was once again presented as “settled science”.

      • “One of the problems with this study was the newness of the ARGO array at the time, which had 2,000 buoys in 2005, and didn’t reach the full complement of 3,000 until 2007. So the sampled error will be smaller now than it was then.”

        Got more recent data?

      • j jackson says:

        Got more recent data?

        Sure, up to 2013. We see that in most depths, oceans are cooling:

        Here is a map from 0 – 2,000 meters:

        Again, we see ocean temp is flat to cooling.

    • The ships, you see, always seem to report a higher temp nearby than the bouy does, so obviously, the bouy data …wait for it…MUST BE ADJUSTED UPWARDS.

      Does it make a difference if you adjust ship data downwards?

      Just asking.

      • Well, do an experiment with some dummy data. You will find that it has no effect on the trend if you increase all buoys 0.12 C going forward or decrease all ships 0.12 C going backwards. In fact, folks here often criticize NOAA for cooling the past with adjustments, as their usual practice with land records is to assume that current readings are correct and adjust everything backwards to remove breakpoints and other localized inhomogeneities.

      • Yes, it does make a difference. The pause Karl partly erased by adjusting buoy data upward begins to reappear if you adjust ship data downward. Can’t have that.

      • “Zeke Hausfather June 5, 2015 at 10:53 am

        Well, do an experiment with some dummy data…”

        That happens to be exactly what the Karl paper does. They turn decent if rough data into dummy data by adding numbers derived from a less trustworthy source.

        Climate science where the supposed scientists change data to match their bias.

        In any other discipline, people who modify historical data get fired. Data is no longer data when it is fudged!
        And yes, I worked in Finance where people who changed historical data looked at prison terms. Adjustments for every datum must be recorded separately with detailed documentation for why there are adjustments for that datum.

        Also in Climate science there is absolute apathy for error calculations and error bars.

        “…In the present study, we regard this difference as a bias in the ERI measurements, and no biases in drifting buoy observations are assumed. The mean ERI bias of +0.13 °C is obtained and is within the range for the global region listed in Table 5 of

        Kennedy et al. (2011).

        (quote from Hirahari et al. 2014 p. 61)

        That quote refers to a paper by Kennedy et al. (2011 Table 5)[5] which reports a mean bias of +0.12 °C. However, Kennedy et al. also note that the estimate is very uncertain: it is 0.12±1.7°C! …”

        ± 1.7°C makes 0.12°C well within error. That is before truly identifying error ranges for every instance of temperature measurement. Averaging thousands of temperature recording instances does not reduce error!

        Note: I tried using the <sup> and </sup> coding. apologies if it didn’t work.

      • Zeke, if I understand correctly what others have said, they adjusted the bouy data upwards, and then weighted the bouy data more than the ship data. If so, it’s not a matter of just adding to one or subtracting to the other. If you adjust the ships data downward, but still weight the bouys data more, it will make a difference.

      • “Yes, it does make a difference. The pause Karl partly erased by adjusting buoy data upward begins to reappear if you adjust ship data downward. Can’t have that.”

        It doesn’t make a difference.

        You have a scale. you weigh yourself every morning. every morning
        you weigh 200 lbs.
        you buy a second scale. It measures 202. for the next 3months you measure with both scales. One says 200 the other says 202.

        Now I ask you: Please estimate your change in weight over the last year

        Your data looks like this

        Scale1 : 200,200,200, 200,200,200,200,200,200,NA,NA,NA,
        Scale 2 NA NA NA NA NA NA ,202,202,202,202,202,202,

        Do you
        1. Average the two?
        2. Adjust 200 to 202
        3. Adjust 202 to 200.

        Note that option 1 gives the wrong answer
        note that the trend doesnt care whether you use #2 or #3

      • Mosh your analogy is fatally flawed. You are taking two measurements of the exact same thing using the exact same methodology in your analogy, the only thing changed is the static calibration of the scale. In the ocean, the methodologies are different and the water being testing is not exactly the same (taken from different depths and different times and different places) in otherwords all the variables are different not just one as in your analogy. It’s apples and oranges and you should know better than that.

      • Mosher says:
        “It doesn’t make a difference.

        You have a scale. you weigh yourself every morning. every morning
        you weigh 200 lbs.
        you buy a second scale. It measures 202”

        A more apt analogy would be:

        You weigh yourself using 4 different scales every day
        None of your scales are particularly accurate
        None of them give the same result as any of the other scales
        Sometimes you weigh yourself on an even floor – sometimes on an uneven floor
        Sometimes you weigh yourself in your boxers (sorry if you are eating folks)
        Sometimes you weigh yourself in your outdoor gear
        Sometimes you have a rucksack on your back
        Sometimes you only put one foot on some of the scales
        Sometimes you lean against the sink to get a lower reading
        Sometimes you cant be bothered using some of the 4 scales so you fill in the gaps

        Then you buy a state-of-the-art set of accurate scales and you weigh yourself under consistent conditions

        Do you now:

        a) Acknowledge how useless the old readings are and ditch them

        b) Adjust the accurate readings to be “consistent” with the old innacurate readings and write a scientific paper that shows how your weight has gone up since you bought the new scales

      • So, Zeke, what you are saying is “What difference does it make if…?”
        Now, where have I heard that before?
        Oh, I know…must have been some hack politician.
        Because, to some people, it is what is true that really matters. People like, oh… I don’t know…scientists!
        Hell, even hack scientists are not usually given to publicly stating that “It don’t matter” regarding the particular subject of scientific inquiry that they have spent a lifetime engaging in.

        Seems a rather peculiar an argument to make…even if it were true.

      • The money line from Trenberth was at the end of the aricle: And the warming trend may be accelerating even more. The calendar year 2014 was the warmest on record, and Trenberth says the past 12 months – mid-year to mid-year — have been even warmer than that.

        Once again, it’s even worse than we thought.

        Why and how do these asshats keep getting airtime?

    • Trenberth? You mean the-missing-heat-is-in-the-deep- oceans-it’s- a- travesty Trenberth?
      That Trenberth?

    • I love Paris for the cocktails.
      I love Paris, go to shows.
      I love Paris, son et lumiere dressed up models,
      So ever froth seeks fame.

  22. He shifted from one well-padded butt-cheek to the other.

    You shouldn’t be so hard on Comrade Karl. He’s been losing a lot of weight. The problem was in the data. He used two different scales. Although neither showed any decreasing trend, a simple adjustment of the data to weight one scale (that showed a lower weight) higher than the other scale over time has now shown a decreasing trend. In a couple of years he should look fit as a fiddle.

    • or he could have put the left foot on one scale, the right foot on the other scale and averaged the readings he observed in the result of each scale, thus achieving incredible shrinkage

      • Good one Rhee, reminds me of the saying “if you put one hand in a bucket of ice and the other in a bucket of boiling water, on the average you’ll be quite comfortable” :)

      • I really enjoy your writing, Viscount, but I’m from Lower Saxony and these days we speak High German, so it’s “spukhafte”; I do not know of old Lower Saxon dialects that write it as “spukhäfte” – but, there was no Lower Saxony before 1945 anyway as it is an artificial construct; formed from the lands of Hannover and Braunschweig and some more. That being said, in past centuries orthography was not in any way regulated so before say 1870 you find all kinds of variants. So maybe Leibniz, who lived in Hannover, wrote it that way, but I wouldn’t take that as normative.

  23. Some of Lord M’s thermodynamic arguments here are rather weak. The sea surface could warm if less heat gets lost to the deep ocean via mixing (e.g. if wind speeds drop), and you’d have to deal with energy rather than temperature, so I’d say there is no obvious inconsistency between the surface and deep ocean data.

    The air temperatures are much more of a problem for Karl, since air heat comes mainly from the surface, a warming surface must cause a warming (and more humid) atmosphere.

    • The matter is quite simple. If neither the ocean immediately below the thin surface layer nor the lower troposphere above the thin surface layer is warming at even a fifth of the rate claimed for the surface layer, then elementary thermodynamics requires an explanation of where the heat is coming from and why it is not affecting either the surface layer of the ocean or the lower troposphere. No such explanation consistent with known climatic phenomena is likely to comply with the laws of thermodynamics.

      • You can’t compare temperature rates of things with different heat capacities. A tiny temperature change of the deep ocean involves much more heat than a “large” temperature change of the sea surface.

        Water vapour changes would be worth looking at, to see if there has been a significant change in the last 15 years.

      • Specific heat capacity has nothing to do with it. It is only temperature differences that matter. Suppose you had a ham sandwich where the top layer of bread was at 15 C and the ham was at 15 C and the bottom layer of bread was at 15 C. But then, the bottom layer of bread was replaced with a whole ocean at 16 C. It does not matter if the whole ocean had 1000 times the specific heat capacity of the top layer of bread, the ham should not warm to more than 16 C.

      • The lower 1900 meters of ocean is a heat sink that takes a lot of time to catch up with surface warming. The lower troposphere, as measured by the satellites used by UAH and RSS, have a slight majority of the air mass being sampled (even with factoring for density) above 2 km above sea level. A radiosonde trend posted by Dr. Roy Spencer, Figure 7 in indicates the surface-adjacent part of the lower troposphere having a lower warming trend than the lower troposphere as a whole. I attribute this to surface albedo feedback in high northern latitudes, not only to sea ice, but also to reduction of springtime (more-sun-irradiated) snow cover which mostly exists in the northern hemisphere. Snow-covered land often has low lapse rate in the lowest kilometer or two above it, and removal of the snow tends to increase the lapse rate in the lower half of the lower troposphere there. There has been a trend of decrease of northern hemisphere snow coverage facing the sun due to NH snow coverage decreasing in springtime.

      • I noticed a typo that I did: I incorrectly said that the surface-adjacent lower troposphere has had a lesser warming trend than the lower troposphere as a whole, with attribution to a graphic by Dr. Roy Spencer. What I intended to say is that the surface-adjacent lower troposphere has had a greater warming trend than the lower troposphere as a whole, according to the Spencer graphic.

    • Over the short-term, it’s possible. Over longer timespans, however, Brenchley is undoubtedly correct.

  24. Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!

    Eventually their lies founder on some kind of inconsistency. As they go on in this manner, they run the danger of being found in contempt of Congress.

  25. The Argo floats operate down to ~1,900m below surface, which is less than half the average depth of all oceans, the deepest point being ~10,900m below surface. Are there any Argo floats in the Arctic Ocean?

    Drawing conclusions from incomplete data is unscientific; widely disseminating such ill-conceived conclusions is fraudulent, at best.

    • Drawing conclusions from incomplete data is unscientific; widely disseminating such ill-conceived conclusions is fraudulent, at best.

      If that’s true then purporting to predict the climate 100 years hence based on unvalidated computer models must be a capital crime.

      • It certainly should be a crime. If you said you had a computer model which could predict the future stockmarket, horse racing results, football games, etc. most sensible people would laugh at you and the gullible would complain bitterly after they lost, and have you chucked into prison. In climate science, you get rewarded with billions in government grants. Go figure!

  26. And where is the past SIX MONTHS of OCO 2 data? After only one report spanning two ( or one and a half?) months in 2014, there has not been another report from this supposedly highly accurate, state of the art CO2 satellite. WHY? Is NASA inept and it doesn’t work? Does the data coming back prove something they don’t want anyone to see before they “adjust” it? Where is the data?

  27. Well, it’s nice that the riddle is finally solved. That missing heat Trenberth’s been looking for, and that they tried to tickle out of the deep ocean, has finally, finally been found. It’s in Tom Karl’s brain.

  28. I got hold of the paper in question at the University today, and, though I dread spending my time on these mind-numbing description of data torture, I have now read the darned thing and here are a few of my thoughts. I apologize in advance if I am just repeating what others have said in earlier threads–I have been avoiding this issue in favor of other pursuits.

    I am suspect of the statistics of the temperature measurements in the first place. I have some experience with making precision temperature measurements and calibration and it is darned difficult to make measurements to a precision of 0.05C. Most people will greatly over-estimate precision and thus greatly under-estimate uncertainty. Moreover, almost no one does a reasonable effort at quantifying sources of bias and the magnitude of bias.One of my perennial complaints about the statistics derived from these exercises is that the calculations themselves are predicated upon identically distributed and independent measurements, but no one ever demonstrates that these requirements hold true. In general I think the error bars meant to illustrate uncertainty in these data sets do no such thing. Nevertheless, let’s assume that the box plots from figure 1 accurately represent the statistics of these measurements. What do we note?

    First, the “new” and improved measurements and adjustments during the period identified as “hiatus”, shown by the little square and its 90% confidence interval (CI), still include the 0.0 value, just as the original data did (the little circle and its CI). This is true for the global total data, the oceanic data, and the land data. The way that the authors express the changes the new adjustment wrought make the results seem spectacular, but the actual illustrations of data, considering the CI, do not.

    Second, we are treated once again to adjustments that just happen to go in the direction needed to get observations to agree with theoretical expectations. They don’t actually meet theoretical expectations of course, but who knows what new adjustments these fellows will think of next. It is more than a little suspicious to have adjustments so accommodating. Some time ago I analyzed USHCN adjustments, many designed by Karl and his co-workers and found they overwhelmingly increase warming and warming rates, and I swear some of the adjustments are made out of order and will have the effect of biasing data in the direction needed. Thus, the closer I look at the adjustment process the less confidence I have that it reduces bias and makes uncertainty smaller than it behaves the other way around.

    Third, I am not much impressed by classical inferential statistics and the associated “p” values and confidence intervals. It leads to fallacious argumentation at times. I think we could come up with likelihood arguments and measures that would do a far better job of describing the evidentiary value of this data and its adjustments, and would not be subject to the logical fallacies I worry lurk in this exercise.

  29. What is horribly hard to watch is the way the media pick this crap up. You know from the first time you read it you will hear it parroted as gospel on NPR within the week. They need to just cut to the chase and come up with an “Emperor of All known Climate Science” position in the gov’t.
    Wanted: “Grand Czar Climate Science and Settled Science Grand Puba”
    Must be able to roll eyes expressively when actual climate data is presented.
    Must look like Einstein and wear robe and mortar board at all times. Owl on shoulder a plus.
    Send application to NOAA. Salary commensurate with ability to BS public.

    • Well not so much in the Weekend Australian newspaper this Saturday June 6 2015. The article is by Graham Lloyd on page 18 Inquirer section. The headline:

      “There could be a cool change ahead, but let’s pretend the pause in warming isn’t real.”

      The article quotes various scientists. Notably David Whitehouse of the Global Warming Policy Foundation: He ends with “ the authors have produced adjustments that are at odds with all other surface temperature datasets, as well as those compiled via satellite” “They do not include any data from the Argo array that is the world’s best coherent dataset on oceanic temperatures.”

      Tim Osborn professor of climate science at the University of East Anglia says he would caution against dismissing the slowdown in surface warming. “ There are other datasets that still support a slowdown over recent period of time ….and patterns of cooling in large parts of the Pacific Ocean…”

      John Christy-University of Alabama: “Its impossible, as a scientist, to look at this graph [graph presented to the US House of Representatives committee on natural resources] and not rage at the destruction of science that is being wreaked by the inability of climatologists to look us in the eye and say perhaps the three most important words in life: we were wrong”.

      Of course our dear friend Mr Matthew England from the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence [that word again] for Climate System Science has waded in with “There is nothing new in this paper and nothing surprises me”. “ The bottom line is that multiple datasets and multiple lines of evidence have shown that global warming hasn’t stalled at all”. How many backflips is this character capable of executing?

  30. You know, fortunately, I learned how to read a thermometer correctly in a grade school. Since then it is growing increasingly obvious to me that many so-called “scientists” have either flunked that lesson, and need a refresher course, or, worse yet, given away their temperature data responsibility to others who have purposely mislead them.

  31. Let’s please not take up dragon slayer arguments! The temperature of a gas is a measure of translational motion only and is a woefully incomplete measure of internal energy of a gas (w/ GHG’s).

  32. The Second Law Rules

    The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations — then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation — well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.

    —Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927) p74
    The Second Law: An Introduction to Classical and Statistical Thermodynamics Henry Bent Oxford University Press, 1965

  33. Thanks for the perspective, among other things. Part of me thinks this paper just might get quietly retracted, probably some time after Paris.

  34. Temperature ¬= Heat

    … for starters… Plus the EMR discussions above… And more… Trust me, thermodynamics is quite safe, Monckton of Brenchley’s ravings notwithstanding…

    What a howler of a post! Complete scientifically-illiterate nonsense.

    Monckton sneaks a Sky Dragon guest post past a credulous Watts.

    Bravo. Slow clap, clap, clap.

    • To understand the relationship between ocean temperature and ocean heat content, read Willis Eschenbach’s characteristically excellent posts on the subject.

      The head posting depends for its force solely Om comparing the slow or non-existent warming rates of the lower troposphere and the upper ocean with the many times larger surface warming rate posited by Tom Karl. It is Mr Karl who does not understand thermodynamics.

      And what has any of this to do with the mad notions of those who do not recognise the existence of the greenhouse effect when it has been measured?

      • Which article.

        if it was his article on radiating the oceans, then I consider that to be amongst the worst he has posted. He uses circular reasoning to support his argument; he uses the gross energy flow and then argues that the oceans must be receiving and being warmed by DWLWIR since if that is taken away from one side of the equation, the oceans would freeze. If he were to use the net energy flow, the oceans are in energy balance and would not freeze because gross DWLWIR forms no part of the equation.

        He arges that land and oceans are the same, notwithstanding that the oceans are very different since they are free to evaporate. He completely fails to address the problems that arise if the oceans are absorbing DWLWIR and that that energy is sensible energy having the capacity to perform real work in the environment in which it finds itself.

        The problem is that some 60% of DWLWIR is abssorbed in about 3 MICRONS, and if the K & T energy budget cartoon is correct, DWLWIR is almost double the energy of Solar. This presents a fundamental problem since 60% of DWLWIR possess about the same energy as Solar and yet it is absorbed in a volume of just 3 MICRONS depth whereas Solar is absorbed over a volume extending over many metres, ie., million times greater.

        It is fortunate for us that Solar is absorbed over a substantial volume, some penetrates to about 100 metres but the bulk is absorbed in the top few metres. This allows the oceans to absorb this energy and gently warm. If the absorption characteristics of Solar was the same as LWIR, the oceans would have boiled off (from the top down) long agao and would be in the atmosphere.

        However, the bulk of DWLWIR is all concentrated in just a few MICRONS, and unless that energy can be sequestered to depth (thereby being diluted by volume) at a rate faster than the rate that that energy would drive evaporation, all that DWLWIR can do is power evaporation.

        I have not yet seen anyone put forward a mechanism by which DWLWIR can be sequester to depth at speed.
        Ocean over turning apperas to be a diurnal phenomena and is a slow mechanical process.
        Mixing by way of wind and waves is a slow mechanical process, and what about weather conditions of say BF3 and less when there is little in the way of wind and waves? These conditions are encountered much of the time since the average wind conditions over the oceans has been assessed as being just over BF4, so it follows that conditions of say BF2 must be commonplace.
        It cannot be by conduction since the very surface (top few MICRONS) is cooler than the bulk ocean say frm 1mm and below such that the energy flux is upward and conduction cannot work/swim against the direction of energy flux (in a comment above, I have posted a plot of the ocean temperature profile).

        In the parper on radiating the oceans, none of these issues are explored. The position of DWLWIR over land and oceans is fundamentally different since the oceans are a selective surface largely opaque to LWIR and in any event they are free to evaporate if energised, and of course do evaporate 9this is why the very surface is at a lower temperature than the bulk of 1mm and below).

        I do not know what DWLWIR does, but certainly there are fundamental issues raised when considering the inter action with the oceans,

  35. I think they would argue that the warming doesn’t have to come from below or above, since it could be carried by radiation that passed through the latter and did not reach the former.

    Of course this behavior contradicts all their models but they seem not to care about that.

    • But then the layers above and below should subsequently heat up through simple convection.

      • Not necessarily, if the temperature is higher because the lapse rate has changed. Consider some volume, now erect a greenhouse around it. It gets hotter, but with the new equilibrium the areas above and below it may actually get colder.

        Again, this is not consistent with the models.

  36. They’ve never allowed physics to get in their way in the past so why start now? The paper is so bad that even Rick Grimes is in a tizzy.

  37. A comparison of solar heating of the oceans and troposphere must consider total energy, not the thermodynamics property of temperature. The oceans have a much greater mass and heat capacity, which must be considered.

    • The ineluctable consequence of the ocean heat capacity’s being 2-3 orders of magnitude greater than that of the lower troposphere is that the latter must be the same temperature as the former. And so, within the measurement, coverage and bias uncertainties, it is. And that is precisely why Karl’s warming rate is a thermodynamic impossibility.

      • I read this bit…

        Have Mr Karl, and the peerless peer-reviewers of Science who ought surely to have spotted this huge error, inadvertently repealed the laws of thermodynamics?

        ….and after a bit of looking found this which he might find helpful.

        James Bull

  38. One point of clarification if you could please LMoB. “If the heat isn’t coming from above or below, where is it coming from” is a valid question. Would there be any possible “lag time” that could keep the laws of thermodynamics happy?


    • No, a lag would not help. The surface comprises the meeting point of the upper ocean and the lower troposphere. It’s temperature cannot be very substantially higher than either,and certainly not for a decade and more.

      • Thanks. I wasn’t sure about transit time for heat from when it leaves the ocean and how long it would take to make it to the lower troposphere so I thought I’d ask.

  39. Great post Lord Monckton of Brenchley!

    Some additional points to consider:
    Willis Eschenbach did a quick review of the “Argo And Ocean Heat Content” back in 2014 and a follow up review this past January 2015, “Learning From The Argonauts”.

    Willis observed;

    “…We hear a lot about how the heat is “hiding” in the ocean. But what I didn’t know was that according to the Argo floats, every bit of the warming is happening in the southern extratropical ocean, while the oceans of both the tropics and the northern hemisphere are actually cooling …”

    Willis also compares the Argo data against the CERES data.

    A simple summation is that only a certain part and depth of the oceans is warming; the rest of the oceans are cooling.

    Anthony also has a post about ocean heat from October 2014, <a href=https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/10/06/the-heat-went-to-the-oceans-excuse-and-trenberths-missing-heat-is-awol-deep-ocean-has-not-warmed-since-2005/"The “heat went to the oceans” excuse and Trenberth’s missing heat is AWOL – deep ocean has not warmed since 2005"

  40. Lord Monckton – you are very adept at poking holes in the Global Warming/Climate Change articles.
    Here is another line of attack for you – confidence limits. In order to apply confidence limits you need a statistical distribution. In order to do, this you need to make certain assumptions, which in these case do not apply for a variety of reasons.I could go into detail.
    However, there is a simpler line of attack. When they revise their data, look and see what the confidence limits were claimed to be in the original data. Every time they revise the data, the new data is outside these confidence limits. So their methodology is flawed.

    • They have been adjusting the historical temperature records to values outside of their own error bars for years.
      Tony Heller has all the dirt on this particular brand of shenanigan.

  41. The ‘missing heat’ is ‘hidden’ in the engine rooms of ships and polluting the temperature readings of engine cooling water intakes.

    According to Wikipedia:-
    “The first automated technique for determining SST was accomplished by measuring the temperature of water in the intake port of large ships, which was underway by 1963. These observations have a warm bias of around 0.6 °C (1 °F) due to the heat of the engine room.”

    It is likely this bias has changed over time as there have been massive changes in ships since that time generally in the size of many tankers, bulk carriers and container vessels which means a longer passage through the engine room from the sea intake at the hull shell as well as being deeper below the surface. In addition there has been a trend from engine intake sensors to those fitted at ships side/sea intake generating another progressive bias. How do you actually quantify that? Is there a bias in that trend between vessels in warmer vs cooler waters? Is that reflected in the data?

    In the case of the bulk carriers and tankers the depth of the sea intake from the surface may vary by 5 to 10 metres depending on whether they are loaded or in a light / ballasted condition. Is there a bias in where such data is gathered? Is that reflected in the data?

    Since we are chasing tenths of a degree per decade or less I fail to see how this was a robust data set for the purposes now being put to by the CAGW mob. To then leverage that data for the ‘adjustment’ of other data is just plain nuts.

    Mob science it seems to me, i.e. in the same sense as ‘mob rule’.

    • PS

      There is a very informative paper by J. B. R. Matthews of
      School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada

      ‘Comparing historical and modern methods of sea surface
      temperature measurement – Part 1: Review of methods,
      field comparisons and dataset adjustments’

      Working your way through the minutae of the accuracy issues, ranging from parallax reading errors to bias due to heating from the engine room is seems to me that this data is so corrupted that it should only be published with the implicit wide error bands. Use it as a ‘benchmark’ in any way to ‘adjust’ other data is quite lunatic IMO.

    • I have often commented on ship’s data since I have reviewed many hundreds of thousands, if not millions of entries in ship’s logs.

      I would not give the time of day to data set out in these logs.

      One point that the climate scientis have failed to play sufficient regard that water tmeperature when assessed by recording water intake manifold temperature is assessing the temperature of water drwan at depth, not surface temperature.

      Depending upon the design, configuration and trim of the vessel, the water may be drawn between some 3m to 20m depth, but typically 5 to 10metres. This water is significantly cooler than surface temperatures!

      It is correct that the engine room is a hot environment, but the water is not stored in the engine room for any lengthy. It is being pumped and at a rate depending upon the speed and requirements of the engine. Becauase of this, there is little time for the cooling water to be heated up by the warmth of the engine room.

      But even if the water is being heated up by some marginal extent because of the heat of the engine room, such heating is not sufficient to off-set the fact that the ship is drawing water from depth which water is cooler than surface temperatures.

      IF CORRECTION is reuired, it is that ship’s data is UNDER RECORDING (not over recording temperatures) because it is sampling water drawn at a depth of typically 5 to 10 metres below the surface and water at this depth is significantly cooler (especially during the day time) than surface temperature.

      Of course you are right that the design of ship’s has altered over the years, but perhaps more material than that is the fact that the laden trim of a vessel also alters as the voyage progresses; sometimes the vessel may be in ballast, sometime partially laden, sometimes fully laden, the amounts of consumables and stores changes, the manner in which a vessel is trimmed to the stern may be altered. All of this means that the depth at which water is drawn to be sampled, is constantly changing and evolving. One is never comparing like with like.

      If the data is coming from commercial vessels there are commercial reasons why the data may not be correctly recorded. There are good reasons why the ship may wish to claim that the sea temperature is lower than it truly is (if the vessel is carrying a cargo that needs to be heated), or if there are engine problems, it may wish to record that the sea temperature is warmer than really is because this may conceal and explain engine over heating problems. Or perhaps because of bottom fouling which is usually exacerbated in warm tropical waters. I would not wish to base hard science on data comingfrom commercial vessels

      The upshot is that prior to ARGo there is no data on ocean temperature worth its salt (and as has been noted above, there are issues with ARGO data).

  42. Am I missing something? How can you use seawater temperature to determine the temperature of the air above it? It’s like inserting a thermometer into the ground or placing it in a cave.

    • One of the starting points for thermodynamics is just defining properties. Two masses in direct contact will have the same temperature, or will reach thermal equilibrium with each other if energy is added or removed.
      One mass has one temperature and one amount of thermal energy.
      For example. The atmosphere at the surface to one meter height with area of one square meter has a volume of one cubic meter. That volume contains about 1.2 kilograms of gas. The kinetic thermal energy in that mass is known. In this case the absolute amount does not matter, only the change from initial conditions.
      At say 273 kelvin (zero celsius) it takes about 1 kilojoule of energy to increase the temperature of one cubic meter of air by one degree.
      The one cubic meter of ocean below that atmosphere contains 800 times the mass of the cubic meter of air above. The seawater also has a specific heat capacity 4 times the air above. That means it would take 3200 kilojoules (800×4) of thermal energy to increase the seawater by one degree.
      For the two cubic meters at the surface, the amount of energy needed would be 3201 kilojoules.

      • I think you miss my point. The air two meters above the surface of the sea (Stevenson Screen Level) will have a much warmer temperature than the sea water a meter or two below. If you have ever gone swimming in an ocean or beach, you would realize this.

      • Mr Nelson is not including the time factor. At night or in winter, for instance, the water may well be warmer than the air. Over a decade or more, however,nether absolute temperatures and trends should be the same. Even Karl has admitted this.

        Ad DB Stealwy has shown upthread, the upper 3 m of the oceans has not warmed. The lower troposphere has not warmed either. So how can the surface have warmed? It can’t.

    • The air temperature above oceans (away from land masses), at least in modest wind conditions, is very similar to the ocean temperature. This is because it it the ocean that heats the air (primarily by conduction and convection), and of course, the ocean has (in relative terms) almost limitless heat capacity with which to heat the air above it.

      If one is in the tropical ocean, the air temperature at night does not drop much, since it is constantly being reheated by the vast storage reservoir below which does not cool quickly (given the volume and heat capacity) even though the sun has set.

    • Historically the mean SST has been warmer then the land measurements only. The oceans are a 3 D SW absorbent surface, with far greater heat capacity.

  43. For so long as the liars, thieves, and morons have you looking at, and pontificating on, graphs that purportedly depict a temperature history of any element of the natural history to something that amounts to a small fraction of a degree C – and you take it as information/data worth discussion – you are part of the problem.




    No one has ever measured a non-isothermic [non isolated and stabilized] fluid to that granularit.

    No one ever will.

    Presenting data in this format [small fractions of a single degree] for a fluid in a natural state is bullshit.


    You would fail a high school physics lab assignment if you claimed the ability to accomplish a temperature measurement task to that granularity even if using a brand new $100k freshly calibrated temperature probe and data gathering rig dipped into a beaker of water.

    Its anti-science.

    Why are you anti-science?

    Do you hate children?

      • What matters is what Einstein said. And being from Ulm in Baden-Württemberg he would not have used the dialect you claim to be so expert in, so you just fall flat.

      • The elephant is irrelevant when it comes to demonstrating your silly and childish reference to a dialect that Einstein didn’t even use. So, as I said, I did not miss the Monkey.

      • Mr Svalgaard, as usual, is unwilling to discuss the main point, and is unwilling to debate at all in a civilised or adult fashion. The surface cannot be warming as Karl says it is, unless a closely similar rate of warming were also toe observed immediately above and below the surface.

      • This is not a debate. I am just pointing out that your credibility suffers by wrong reference. Intended to impress, perhaps, but falling short. And ‘spukhäfte’ is not even niedersächsisch.

      • Leaving Elephants and Monkeys for others to decide but

        “Spuckhäfte” is definitively not the dialect of Niedersachsen…

      • ““Spuckhäfte” is definitively not the dialect of Niedersachsen…”

        Well, “Spuck” is “spit” (imperative), “Spuk” is “spook”.
        I looked around but I don’t find any historic sources using “spukhäfte” so; maybe it’s just one Heavy Metal Umlaut too much…
        (and yes, it is not known to me as a Lower Saxon. The only dialects we had before they mostly died out were variants of Platt and those are a different thing entirely.)

      • More to the point since Einstein wrote the phrase in a letter to Max Born in 1947 and the letter is archived we know that he didn’t use the umlaut!

      • [blockquote] lsvalgaard
        June 6, 2015 at 6:54 am

        This is not a debate. I am just pointing out that your credibility suffers by wrong reference[/blockquote]

        And your credibility suffers when you attack everything except the topic at hand. If you have a problem with the topic of Lord M of B’s article then that is what you should be addressing, not irrelevant nits.

      • Others have adequately pointed out that Mr M’s article is junk and that it should be withdrawn. My comment goes to the misguided and fumbled attempt to impress and not being man enough to admit it. Being dishonest in small things is often a harbinger of dishonesty in large things.

      • lsvalgaard
        June 6, 2015 at 7:16 am
        “Others have adequately pointed out that Mr M’s article is junk and that it should be withdrawn. My comment goes to the misguided and fumbled attempt to impress and not being man enough to admit it. Being dishonest in small things is often a harbinger of dishonesty in large things.”

        Leif, it is too bad that you don’t explain how the surface layer of the oceans can persistenly maintain a higher warming trend than the layers above and below it. I found no likely explanation in the other comments, to which you defer, as well.

        It is obvious that the surface layer can have a different temperature than layers above and below, but what Karl posits is that this difference is growing. I will refer to this as the Karl Phenomenon.

        But this has never been conjectured by the CO2AGW originators. And nobody gives a possible mechanism for this GROWTH in temperature difference. I guess we all have to accept “The CO2 dunn it” as catch all. Ah, that wouldn’t be scientific enough. “The backradiation dunn it”. Now that’s better.

        So, when the best numerical expression of the CO2AGW theory are the climate models, and said climate models have NEVER shown the Karl Phenomenon, then, has Karl “discovered” an entirely novel mechanism? CO2 Orgone energy.

      • It is too bad that you don’t explain how the surface layer of the oceans can persistently maintain a higher warming trend than the layers above and below it.
        That is a question of what the data actually shows, and that is not clear. I guess with time we’ll get to know,but people don’t like to wait, so will jump on their favorite bandwagon as they see fit in support of whatever agenda they are pushing. It is difficult to argue with agenda-driven people of either persuasions.

      • (please excuse the caps because I’m not sure how to bold)

        To state what should be obvious:


        There are more than two choices here. Really.

      • lsvalgaard
        June 6, 2015 at 8:32 am
        “That is a question of what the data actually shows, and that is not clear.”

        So no plausible mechanism is proposed to explain the Karl Phenomenon. Thanks.

  44. [Argo] have their problems, not the least of which is that there are so few of them.

    Wouldn’t matter how many there were. You still can’t average all of them together and come up with a meaningful result.

  45. “Beneath the surface heaves the vasty deep.”

    From which Karl can summon spirits of Global Warming.

    Well, so can I, and so can any man, but will they come when we do call upon them?

  46. Somewhere I read an account of a well the Russians dug on land around 35,000 feet, when they had to stop because of the heat. Do deep wells in the sea have the same effect as those on land?

  47. Karl reminds me of Darth Vader…

    I am altering the data
    Pray that I do not alter it any further.

  48. @ Steven Mosher June 5, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    You say two “scales” but you don’t say anything about their accuracy, the quality, the precision, etc. Scale != Scale.

    Therefore more averaging is appropriate, IMHO. They are both independent measurements which have to be taken as such. How that relates to decision-making, is another issue, e.g. does the +2 lb “measurement” by the second scale warrante an emergency new weight-loss regime?

    • Averaging gets you the wrong answer. The accuracy, the quality, the precision do not matter. Read the example again and try to understand why.

      • A case could be made for rms’s averaging argument.

        In Mosher’s example, he steps from scale A to scale B and back again. Therefore, it is reasonable to infer that Mosher’s true weight (temperature) has not actually changed, and that there is instead a calibration difference between the scales.

        For the ocean temperature data the case is not nearly so clear. We will always be comparing data taken at different times, and places, using different methodologies. For that situation it is much harder to exclude the possibility that the temperatures (weights) being measured actually ARE truly different.

        That being so, Karl’s claim that observed differences are due to calibration errors becomes a good deal more dubious, and a case can be made that since all the data is crappy anyway, a simple average may be the least bad choice.

  49. Right or wrong, and it certainly is wrong, Karl has achieved his objective. He made headlines in our newspapers and further cemented in the minds of a gullible public and media that “we’re gonna fry!!!”

    Mission accomplished!

  50. Karl’s paper is bad; but not for the reason given in this post. Solar radiation could easily heat the ocean surface to a greater or lesser degree than the air above it. One doesn’t even need to be a scientist to understand that.

    Container in a microwave. Skin in air on a sunny day. Roof in air on a sunny day. Many other examples. We should not give in to the temptation to overcomplicate and twist good sense in an attempt to have every one of our arguments be right…

    This post should be withdrawn, or, better yet, marked by its author as disproved, to serve as an example to Alarmists (and everyone, for that matter) that those who adhere to scientific principles have no qualms about accepting facts and admitting error.

    • Take back the green is repeating a comment made earlier – a troll technique.

      The Earth’s surface is where the lower troposphere and the upper ocean meet. None of the examples in tbtg’s comment ate analogous to that.

      The surface cannot warm over as long as a decade at a rate at least five times faster than the air and water of which it is composed.

      The heat has to come from somewhere and it has to go somewhere. Otherwise the laws of thermodynamics are breached.

      • Monckton: You use the exact same tactics that are rightfully denounced when used by Alarmists. Attack the messenger. “Troll techniques?” Uncalled for and unbecoming. Elsewhere I’ve expressed admiration for your efforts against CAGW nonsense. To clarify, and for what it’s worth, my admiration is directly proportional to the thinness of your skin.

        Perhaps if you did what we rightfully encourage alarmists to do (step back, take a breath, and keep an open mind), you would see that if many people make the same argument, perhaps you should freshly consider it. Why attack those who are on your “side” but who disagree with you? Must we really be a circular firing squad?

        As to the reasoning in your post, maybe an overview will help you understand the problem. Like the Alarmists, you are considering a vast and chaotic portion of a vast and chaotic system, and falsely assuming it can be 1) understood beyond a rudimentary level and 2) be treated as a simple lab experiment with two or three discrete variables that will plug into known equations and behave accordingly. Those assumptions are false.

        You’ve asserted several times that the layers MUST be in sync because a system wants to find equilibrium, and that heat must come from somewhere and it can’t be the sun.

        Well, you are artificially (just like Karl) eliminating or ignoring variables. (How much time would it take for this particular system to reach equilibrium if it were isolated? Unknowable. If there are thousands of other influences on this system, how much less knowable is this single question?) Like Alarmists everywhere, you also casually dismiss the Sun, THE source of heat for our little corner of the universe. Active or not, it would require more than a statement from your lordship to eliminate it as a source.

        And remember, all of this is done in order to argue against a paper that has already been convincingly shown to be false, and which attempts to support a delusion (GAGW).

        Of course CO2 doesn’t cause the effect Karl’s paper discusses. The effect may or may not even exist. But it is over-reaching to declare in a few paragraphs that it is IMPOSSIBLE for the effect to exist because you understand the totality of the system and can confidently assert that the effect would violate the laws of thermodynamics.

        I have nothing more to add to this thread, but I’m sure I’ll continue to learn from the discussion. It would feel more like a classroom and less like a bar fight if you (again, I feel like I’m talking to an alarmist here…) take a step back, discuss with civility, don’t attack those who disagree, keep in mind that you can be mistaken, keep pride and passion out of it.


      • How long would it take to reach near-equilibrium?

        Well, a massive tropical storm crosses the Atlantic in two+ weeks, leaving clearly “visible” heat trails across the surface where the oceans are measureably cold – compared to the nearby (no hurricane) regions. Then, 5 days after the hurricane has crossed, the surface is back to normal for that region and that time of year.

        So, to reach near-equilibrium? Very short time.

        Compare to the AMO and PDO. Both are 60 year cycles, un-regulated (uncontrolled) by man. Both cycles exhibit behavior that “exceeds” equilibrium BOTH WAYS: The ocean region gets “too hot”, releases “too much heat,” crosses the nominal temperature and wind conditions, BUT KEEPS COOLING at an ever-decreasing rate as the temperature decreases, then cools off “too much”. In the next 30 year heating interval, the heat losses are exceeded by the heat gains, and temperature/pressure/humidity go back up again – from a “too cold” condition, through equilibrium, and back up towards the future “too hot” conditions.

        So the time to return THROUGH normal – by observation – is about 30 years.

        See, the earth’s systems never stop “at zero”.

        They are NEVER “in balance” but are ALWAYS either heating up (too little cooling) or cooling too much (too little heating.) Because BOTH the heating forcings and the cooling forcings never “stop.” They just are not ever in synch with each other. And never will be.

      • Lord Monckton of Brenchley, with all due respect and my eternal admiration of your courage to oppose this CAGW nonsense from the start; ‘take back the green’ is indeed correct, there is no thermodynamic laws violation to the surface warming at a faster rate than the lower troposphere and the deeper ocean.

        As the atmosphere is transparent to many wavelengths of sunlight the surface is heated without heating the air above it. (Heated directly from the sun.)

        The surface cools by radiating IR, convection, conduction, and evaporation.

        Radiated IR from the surface could be absorbed by a GHG in a vibration node which does not affect the temperature of the gas directly. Equipartition of energy may result in some increase in translational motion and therefore temperature but those molecules are likely to merely emit IR increasing the downwelling IR which in turn reduces the NET IR flow to the atmosphere in effect somewhat insulating the surface from radiant heat loss (slowing the cooling).

        Heat loss from convection, conduction, and evaporation does indeed increase the internal energy of the bodies in which the energy is flowing. The deep ocean’s vast heat capacity ensures that anything less than monumental heat gain could only cause an unmeasurably tiny temperature increase. The atmosphere’s fluidity, extreme temperature variation (with altitude and latitude), and ability to convert translational motion to IR (GHG’s) similarly guarantees that only a truly immense heat uptake could be measured.

        On a much smaller scale but much greater temperature gradient a stovetop heats up incredibly fast but the air above and the oven below do not. The air just above the stovetop warms rises and mixes with the rest of the air in the room such that the rate of temperature gain is nowhere near the rate of temperature gain the stovetop underwent. The oven below has a lot of mass/heat capacity and thus absorbs the heat gained from above without increasing in temperature anywhere near the rate of temperature gain the stovetop underwent.

        The rate of temperature increase of a surface heated directly (like the ocean surface in sunlight or a stovetop) can be dramatically different than the rate of temperature increase of the heat sinks it is in thermal contact with.

      • Takebackthegreen should stop whining. It has breached the usual conventions by repeating the essence of a petulant posting made a long way upthread. It must not expect to be treated gently if it behaves thus. It has remarkably little understanding of the scientific point being made.

        Mr West weighs in with remarks about a stove-top heating more quickly than the air above and below it. Well, yes, but the stove-top is made of steel and the air isn’t. However, the Earth’s surface is composed of lower-troposphere air and upper-ocean water, intimately mixed by both radiative and non-radiative transports. It is made of the same stuff of which the media above and below it are made.

        The surface, therefore, must warm over periods as long as a decade at a rate similar to the rates of warming of the two fluid media of which it is composed. It cannot go on warming at five times the ocean rate and infinitely faster than the lower-troposphere warming rate.

        If the surface were to warm at so very great a relative rate, where is the heat coming from, and where does it go? Or why does it not go? Why does it stay, for a decade, despite the mixing caused by, say, tropical afternoon convection?

      • Since you are fixated on my accidental double post: I made the mistake of thinking my reply had not appeared because it appeared where I didn’t intend. WordPress makes no provision for deletion. I can’t apologize enough for this terrible breach of etiquette.

        I’m an adult who is capable of civil conversation, and who understands very well the point you tried to make in your post. So your “gentleness” is irrelevant. Your tone and manner of engagement reflect on your character, not the content of your argument, which is what I’m interested in.


        I would leave it there. (It’s frustrating to be drawn into the kind of distraction I try my damnedest to avoid, and which is clearly not fixable by me.) But I think it matters to say it plainly at least once:

        Your character does impact your effectiveness as a somewhat high-profile opponent of CAGW. It doesn’t matter when preaching to the choir. But when I’m discussing/debating the issue with friends who are educated, serious and thoughtful, how useful are you as a recommended reference?

        “petulant.” “whining.” “little understanding of the scientific point being made.”

        Not very useful. And that’s a shame.


      • Consider the evidence. Takebackthegreen posted its original demand that this posting be retracted at 1.04 am June 6. Then, 24 minutes later, it made the same demand again. Two of the three paragraphs of its second such demand had wording identical to that of its first such demand. Inferentially, they were cut and pasted. What is more, in the second demand, a third paragraph has been inserted between the two original paragraphs, ruling out the possibility that a button had been pressed twice by mistake and the Internet had taken its time about delivering the second comment.

        It is legitimate to conclude that takebackthegreen, in now attempting to state that its malicious repetition of its earlier comment was inadvertent, cannot be telling the truth. Outright falsehood is another troll technique, as is the cloying pretense that “I’m on your side really, and I do wish you’d be nice when, on no evidence, I demand that you retract a perfectly sensible posting.”

      • I blame myself for this sad and distracting diversion. With each reply you demonstrate more clearly that you will never have the confidence to question your own thinking. And yet I keep trying to convince you to do that very thing. Not the best use of my time. So… I’ll keep doing it.

        A) To repeat: this should not be personal. It is a scientific matter.

        B) Your name calling and cattiness reminds me almost exactly of that Connolly person.

        C) By the way, I love your use of the neuter pronoun. It makes me feel like a corporation.

        D) You’ve stubbornly personalized this interaction. I guess I have no choice but to temporarily abandon principle and do likewise. So, thanks for that.

        E) Let’s be clear: You’re having a tantrum because I dared to say I think your proposition in this post is wrong, and you had the opportunity to demonstrate that admitting one’s error shouldn’t be a problem.

        Clearly I’m wrong about that last part. I may very well be wrong about the first part, too. Incorrect. Mistaken. Wrong. See how that works? It’s survivable!

        I don’t (yet) think I am wrong, though. Here’s an additional thought about why: Does it strike you as strange that you were the first person to propose this idea? That no professional—or better, or smarter—scientist saw such a fundamental error? Struck me as strange as soon as you enthusiastically pointed it out.

        F) If Freeman Dyson (or an equivalent combination of lesser mortals) agrees with your proposition, I’m sold. In an ideal world, you’d be compelled to sit across from him while he reads your charming commentary in this thread and others. If that doesn’t elicit shame, you have none.

        G) You don’t seem to be aware that evidence isn’t always required to falsify a hypothesis. Pointing out formal and/or logical errors can also tank an idea.

        H) I’m tired of this “discussion” for a reason I mentioned earlier. Karl’s paper has already been convincingly debunked. Your proposition doesn’t matter enough for anyone to become unhinged by the mere debate of it.

        Lastly… You’ve become inexplicably fixated on my double post, to the point of imagining a storyline that allegedly proves I’m a troll. This is stupid. Read anything else I’ve posted. Also, what exactly is a troll? Nevermind. I don’t care.

        However, since you aren’t just wrong, but also determined to insult my integrity, I guess I have to engage on this pointless, asinine non-issue. It’s pretty simple:

        1 – When my reply is going to be more than a few sentences, I usually type it in MS Word first, so that I can edit it and check it before posting.

        2 – When it’s ready, I copy it from Word and paste it into the Reply box.

        3 – Because WordPress has well-documented issues with making clear where one’s reply will appear, the first time I posted my reply, it didn’t go where I thought it would. (Since every boring detail seems to be of paramount importance: I believe it occurred because I typed into the bottom reply box on a page that had originally opened for a reply to another commenter which I canceled. Whew. Riveting.)

        4 – After it didn’t appear where I was expecting, I figured it hadn’t gone through.

        5 – I saw some web babble at the end of the page’s address. So I re-navigated to this page from scratch and clicked in the Reply box.

        6 – I went back to Word to recopy my reply.

        7 – While there, I re-read it and thought of additional edits I wanted to make, including the addition of a paragraph.

        8 – I made those edits and copied the now 3 paragraph reply.

        9 – Back at this page, I pasted the revised reply into the box and hit the button.

        10 – Later I was informed that the earlier version had indeed landed elsewhere, thus becoming undeletable and sealing my doom.

        11 – I never said I accidentally “hit the button twice.” It doesn’t even work that way. Why would you disconnect from reality over such a small thing? My degree is in Biomedical Engineering, not Psychology, but I sense inner turmoil.

        12 – Can you accept that you are wrong here? The way you imagined it happened, then loudly proclaimed that it happened, is false. Your characterization of me is false. I would seriously like to know if you can concede even such a tiny, meaningless point when confronted with the facts. I should get some bit of data about human nature for all this wasted time.

        13 – I’d like the apologies you owe me, and a promise to raise the level your discourse in future. (KIDDING! I’m not delusional.)

        I still bear you no ill will.

        I hope one day your great passion for this scientific issue is matched by the ability to follow commonly accepted standards of scientific debate

        I also hope one day They let you sit and vote. I believe it will make you a lot less cranky.

      • ”If the surface were to warm at so very great a relative rate, where is the heat coming from, and where does it go?

        The energy comes from the sun and into the heat sinks of the ocean, atmosphere, and space.

        ”Or why does it not go?”

        It does go but all of these paths of energy transfer are not measurable with a thermometer.

        ”Why does it stay, for a decade, despite the mixing caused by, say, tropical afternoon convection?”
        It doesn’t stay for a decade; you’re confusing temperature (an incomplete measure of internal energy) with heat (the transfer of energy).

        Just completely made up numbers: A surface with a small heat capacity is warmed from say 24 degrees to say 25 degrees that is in contact with heat sinks that were at 23 degrees and 20 degrees @ varying heat capacities and their own heat sinks. The new temperature of the surface might raise the heat sinks temperature to 23.00002 degrees and 20.00001 degrees (depending on heat capacities of the bodies in thermal contact and their ability to transfer enegy to their heat sinks). An unmeasurable change. Just to make it even more difficult let’s say one of the heat sinks is a gas mixture that contains GHG’s such that it can have internal energy that doesn’t affect temperature in vibration nodes and then transfer that internal energy to the infinitely immense heat capacity heat sink of space.

        The bottom line is that temperature doesn’t tell the whole story of energy into, within, or out from a system. Statements such as “ The surface, therefore, must warm over periods as long as a decade at a rate similar to the rates of warming of the two fluid media of which it is composed” simply aren’t true.

    • takebackthegreen
      June 6, 2015 at 1:28 am
      “Container in a microwave. Skin in air on a sunny day. Roof in air on a sunny day. Many other examples”

      Wait, you mean that the warmunist Karl, while trying to prove his beloved Global Warming, has found a hitherto unknown and unobserved effect, a sunlight-induced warming of surface waters, completely unrelated to the theory of CO2AGW which posits a faster warming of the troposphere than the surface?

      But, in that case, has he not completely destroyed his own CO2AGW cult beliefs?

      Also, has it not been known since the day Homo Sapiens learned to swim -well some of them anyway-, that the surface layer of water bodies is much warmer than the water a few meters down? According to Karl, this temperature difference is now vastly increasing day after day! He has created a thermodynamic monster, a Maxwell’s demon!

      • Hmmm… I’m not sure how to respond other than: Karl’s paper is ludicrous, as is CAGW. At the same time, I believe that this post is illogical. (It is also tonally smug with a dash of snide, rather than dispassionately scientific. IMHO, that tone debases the discussion no matter who uses it. But what do I know about strategy or tactics?)

      • Clarification: “the post” to which I referred is the original post, not Dirk’s reply.

  51. Tom Karl is now 64.

    He should be retired. Not because of his age, but the fact that he has been leading the most important climate data collecting agency in the world and he has never been an objective enough person to do this job.

    From his first papers in the mid-1980s, he has been adjusting the data to meet global warming prediction rates and undermining any other explanations.

    I mean 30 years of adjusting climate data.

    Given he has led the NCDC for so long, he will have imprinted his own philosophy on the whole organization and removed people who have been more objective. To fix this organization will require wholesale changes at all levels of executive and supervision. Always a tough slog to make changes to an organization which has been doing things a certain way for a long time.

    But it has to happen because this is where all the data is stored.

    • When I first read about this scientific garbage, it seemed to me to read as “F-you Inhofe. I’m in control of the phony data along with the Science reviewer collaborators and editor”. I don’t know the exact reporting relationship, but I’m hoping that it allows for a tangible response.

  52. sea surface and land surface readings cannot be combined to reach a “global temperature average” they are measuring 2 different things … the land readings are AIR temperatures ABOVE the ground … sea surface readings are of the water not the air above the water … apples and oranges … if the land reading were made of the soil then they would be comparable … but they aren’t …

  53. Sir Monckton, I think you are on the right track with your arguments in this thread. As you apparently understand well, the sequence is Sun Heats Surface (land/ocean), Surface Heats LT air, etc. As you pointed out, the difference in heat capacity means that the atmosphere is the thermodynamic slave of the surface. On average, the LT air cannot rise above the surface for long and if the surface increases in temperature, the air is sure to follow. Therefore, what you’re saying seems plausible.

    However, I’ve got four statements of caution:

    1) While only delta T matters for which direction Heat is flowing, Climanrecon is correct when he says “You can’t compare temperature rates of things with different heat capacities”. The key part is bolded. We can compare the temperatures themselves, but the rates of temperature change will depend on the relative heat capacities. Place your hand on a large marble pillar, and your hand will cool quickly, while the pillar warms very slowly.

    2) The OHC data is presented as an energy anomaly, which is a delta from some unknown average. (I’d love to find the real underlying data). Therefore, just because the deeper water has increased in energy more than the surface LT does not mean that it is warmer. Cool (relative to LT) water could be warming considerably, but still be below the LT in temperature, therefore, a warming trend in the ocean will not be reflected in LT.

    3) While the warming trend in the oceans represents a considerable amount of energy compared to atmospheric energy, the tremendous heat capacity of the oceans means that it’s on the order of .025 deg C. Our surface temperature measurements are not precise enough to pick this up.

    4) The OHC data naturally represents the oceans, while the surface temperature data represents land as well. Therefore, it’s logically possible that the land has cooled to a similar extent as the oceans have warmed. The air would be the average of the two, and therefore may not show a significant change.

    [To confirm, are you using LT as Lower Troposphere (Air) temperature? .mod]

      • Viking explorer should understand that the surface air and surface water have the same heat capacities as the air above and the water below. That deals with his point 1.

        The head posting concerned changes in temperature, not in heat content. That deals with his point 2.

        The Argo floats measure not surface temperature but temperature from the surface to 1900 m depth. They claim to detect warming at a rate equivalent to 0.23 K per century. Yet Mr Karl says, on no evidence, that the ocean surface is warming five times faster than that. That deals with his point 3.

        The measured change in temperatures over land is greater than the change in ocean temperature. That deals with his point 4.

      • Here’s one last attempt. Maybe you will recognize its significance.

        Monckton, what would it take to change your mind? What would falsify your proposition?

      • Sir Monckton,

        1) What you say is true, but I don’t see how that effects point 1.

        2) Good point, but the important part is that Twater can be compared to Tair, but dTwater/dt can’t be compared to dTAir/dt in the way you’re doing. For example, the graph in the head post appears to conveniently show the actual temperature. If we assumed that the air temperature is 15C, a water temp of ~6.45 C cannot heat air at 15C. A positive dTwater/dt does not imply a positive dTair/dt, and the lack of a positive dTair/dt does not preclude a positive dTwater/dt. Only if Twater >= Tair would a rising water temp cause a rising air temp.

        3) Sorry, I was sloppy about which temperature I was referring to. I meant to say “Our surface air temperature measurements are not precise enough to pick this up.”

        4) Sorry, I was again vague about what temperature I was referring to. I should have said “Therefore, it’s logically possible that the actual land (not the air over the land) has cooled to a similar extent that the oceans have warmed. We have no temperature readings of it, yet the lithosphere is a major and dominant part of this thermodynamic system. I’m not saying that this is the case, I’m just pointing out a logical possibility.

    • >> To confirm, are you using LT as Lower Troposphere (Air) temperature

      Yes, sorry to have been vague.

  54. My question above generated no response, in a follow up, does the heat from the earth’s center have any affect on the temperature found at the bottom of the sea?

    • WilliMc,

      Yes, the ocean bottom is in thermal equilibrium with the ocean crust. Any heating of the water causes that water to rise, with the result being that the thermocline is maintained. Any change in crust temperature, for example, a Deep Ocean Volcano, will result in Heat flow to the water. Therefore, OHC energy increases could very well be from below. The situation is thermodynamically complicated, and so the present conflict between Karl and skeptics is more about political manipulation than it is about science.

      If it can be shown that expelling CO2 would cause our deaths, then we should make that activity illegal. Otherwise, I would assert that life, property and liberty are inalienable rights, and therefore are not dependent on scientific theories, measurement adjustments, or boat exhaust.

      IOW, this whole thing is a silly waste of time.

  55. I’m not sure what global warming is. Is it the heating of the atmosphere due to increased atmospheric CO2 mopping up all the available IR emitted by the globe’s surface. Followed by an increase in surface temperatures by conduction, convection and radiation effects to maintain the equilibrium outflow of heat to space. If so which of the datasets would best show this without contravening the second law of thermodynamics or contradicting the other datasets?

  56. “Specific heat capacity has nothing to do with it. It is only temperature differences that matter. Suppose you had a ham sandwich where the top layer of bread was at 15 C and the ham was at 15 C and the bottom layer of bread was at 15 C. But then, the bottom layer of bread was replaced with a whole ocean at 16 C. It does not matter if the whole ocean had 1000 times the specific heat capacity of the top layer of bread, the ham should not warm to more than 16 C.”

    Well, yes … and no.
    There is a difference between heat capacity of a substance and the temperature it achieves when absorbing that heat. FI water requires ~4x the amont of heat to warm by a specific temperature than does air. When considering the total volume of the oceans they contain ~1000x more mass than the atmosphere … so that plus the specific heat capacity makes the oceans able to hold 4000x more heat than the atmosphere BEFORE they exhibit the same temp.
    Now Mr Monckton’s 0.023 deg C/decade, because of the above equates to ….

    Ocean depth of 1900m is ~1/2 of their total volume.
    So 0.023 x 500 x 4 = 46C.
    The top half of the oceans (72% of the planetary surface) stores ~1/2 of ~97% of all the energy in the climate system and is heating at ~the equivalent of 46C/decade (if that heat went *ONLY* into the atmosphere.
    Never-the-less you cannot equate temperatures taken in water over such a massive volume with temperatures in the atmosphere. Apples and pears BECAUSE of specific heat, and the energy (solar) that was absorbed to raise the oceans by that temperature. The Oceans are a storage radiator system for the planet. Just as a storage radiator consumes (say 10KWh) of electricty to heat up to 25C in your house it will warm it up to something below that for some time becasue air needs much less energy to warm to 25C.

    • An ocean whose surface “might” warm by 1/4 of one degree in 100 years “might” be able to – at maximum! – heat the atmosphere above that warmed water by 1/5 of one degree in 100 years.

      Regardless of how many quadrillions of heat heat energy (billions of Hiroshima’s, remember the propaganda?) have gone into the ocean, the ocean can never heat the atmosphere above it by more than the ocean itself has heated.

      • “The surface cannot be warming at five times the ocean.”

        That’s not quite right. Remember, the ARGO estimate is a volume average temperature. The actual surface is but one tiny sliver of that volume, its outer face exchanging heat with its surroundings. There is no rule against internal processes of the ocean/atmosphere system distributing the total energy content in such a way that some parts become vastly warmer than the average over some period of time. This happens all the time. One particular interesting case in point is what has taken place in the Northeast Pacific over the last couple of years, a decidedly regional phenomenon that has effectively managed to raise global SSTs high above the average of the last 15 years. It looks like ‘global warming’, if you look at a global plot. If, however, you know where to look, you quickly realise it’s anything but.

        The surface at large of the NE sector of the Pacific Ocean (65-10N, 100-180W) has warmed by about 1.2 K (!!) since 2012/13. During that same time, the corresponding regional 0-100m ocean volume warmed by ~0.8 K, the 0-700m volume by ~0.15 K, and the 0-2000m volume by ~0.1 K (data from NODC and Climate Explorer).

        There’s nothing weird about this. It’s quite natural. Internal movement of absorbed energy.

      • Would Kristian please explain how, if the ocean surface were warming over the relevant period at the rate mentioned by Karl (and not confirmed by the ARGo data), the air immediately above it is not warming at a similar rate – or, indeed, at all?

      • >> please explain how, if the ocean surface were warming over the relevant period at the rate mentioned by Karl (and not confirmed by the ARGo data), the air immediately above it is not warming at a similar rate

        Sir Monckton, Climanrecon, myself and Kristian have all tried to explain why, although your conclusions may be correct, your reasoning is not valid. I gave you 4 points to consider, which all still stand. Kristian gave you a 5th reason.

        However, short of writing out the differential equations for you, I need to figure out an explanation that can be understood without a detailed knowledge of thermodynamics.

        Let’s focus on my point 3. Take a look at your AGO graph (“The ocean is barely warming”) and the figure just below it (“RSS global “).

        A tic mark on the top graph represents .01 C. Let’s imagine taking that data and super imposing it on the RSS graph. A tic mark on the RSS graph is .1 C. The scale in the upper graph is 10 times smaller than the lower graph, so it would be a tiny wiggle. The graph shows temperature in the upper graph only growing by .023 from 2005 to 2015. It’s unreasonable to expect that a small change/variation in water temperatures would show up in air temperature, which has a lot more variability. This signal is lost in the noise.

      • Viking explorer presumes to lecture me on differential equations, but the instance he cites has nothing to do with the fact that the surface is said to be warming at five times the 0.023 K/decade he mentions, and yet the air above shiws no warming at all, and the ocean below only warms at one-fifth the alleged surface rate.

      • Sir Monckton,

        Presume: to suppose that something is the case on the basis of probability

        In my BSEE degree, I learned about differential equations in no fewer than 4 courses. I later analyzed a thermodynamic system with approximately 20 equations in 20 unknowns.

        Your educational background appears to be: MA in classics, 1974; diploma in journalism studies.

        According to the definition, on the basis of probability, you are unlikely to have a strong background in differential equations.

        nothing to do with the fact that the surface is said to be warming at five times the 0.023 K/decade he mentions, and yet the air above shiws no warming at all, and the ocean below only warms at one-fifth the alleged surface rate

        As has been explained to you, it’s your focus on rates that is simply invalid. What you’re describing as thermodynamically impossible is actually normal.

        When two objects have a delta T, the temperature of each moves toward a middle ground. The slope of the warmer component would be negative and the colder component dT/dt would be positive. If the two components have equal thermodynamic mass, they will meet in the middle. If one (e.g. the extremely large volume of “ocean below”) has a much larger thermodynamic mass than the other (e.g. the small volume surface water), then the colder component will rise slowly, and the warmer component will drop quickly. The rates are not comparable, yet you are doing just that.

        If the surface water is being Heated, it will rise quickly, and the “ocean below” with the much larger thermodynamic mass will rise much slower. It’s simply irresponsible to claim that the surface warming can’t be happening because the “ocean below” is warming slower. That’s exactly what one should expect.

        As for the “air above”, it’s already been explained to you (and not refuted) that the atmosphere is unlikely to show these small changes, because of the signal to noise ratio.

        I believe the biggest threat to our rights is bad/invalid arguments from the anti AGW side. It’s especially bad tactics to react to ineffective arguments on their side with bad science from our side. It’s a tactic with no advantage and significant disadvantage. No upside and all downside.

      • I suspect journalists ask the same question over and over, hoping to trip up the politician. However, I’m not a politician. I don’t think you’re actually reading my answers, so this is getting silly.

        Obviously, in this case, the fiddled with the adjustments. However, excluding that, the situation can’t be ruled out thermodynamically. You ask ” So how is the surface warming” [and not the LT air]. Well, it depends on the actual temperature of the water and air. If the air is 1 degree warmer than the surface water, then a rising trend in the water of about .1 C will not affect the air. It’s still got .9 C to go before it starts heating the air.

      • “Viking explorer” now at last concedes that, since the lower troposphere is not warming and the upper 3 m of the ocean is not warming, the only way to make the lowest 3 m of the lower troposphere and the topmost 3 m of the upper ocean warm is to “fiddle with the adjustments”. Thank you. The laws of thermodynamics do not allow for any other possibility.

        I was not and am not concerned with whether a differential warming might occur in theory. I was and am concerned with whether it has or, given the facts, could have, occurred in practice. I was and am concerned with the fact that the lowest 3 m of lower troposphere has not warmed for a decade and more; the topmost 3 m of the upper ocean has not warmed for a decade and more; and that, therefore, it is not thermodynamically possible to make out that those 6 m or so have warmed for a decade and more.

        That they may in future warm has not at any point been disputed.

        “Viking explorer” now also at last concedes that a warming of those 6 m “depends on the actual temperature of the water and air”. My point all along. The temperature of neither has risen in more than ten years. There has been no “rising trend” either in the air or in the water.

      • Viking explorer” now at last concedes that, since the lower troposphere is not warming and the upper 3 m of the ocean is not warming, the only way

        Ok, you’re outright lying? I’m not quite sure, because the other possibility is that you are really dense, can’t imagine being wrong, incapable of learning, etc. Everyone can read both what I wrote, and can see that you have clearly misstated my view.

        Obviously, I actually said the opposite. There are many ways for this situation to have occurred, and it’s not the slightest bit impossible thermodynamically. In fact, this situation is to be expected: Sun warms the surface. The deeper water would rise slower than the surface, and if the water is colder than the air, the air would not be driven up. If the rise was only .1, it wouldn’t show up anyways, in all the noise.

        >> on the actual temperature of the water and air

        Yes, that statement means Tair and Twater, but then you interpreted that as dTair and dTwater.

        Q) To determine which horse won the Triple Crown, should we examine the position or the speed of the horses at the moment one of the horses crosses the finish line?

        do while( NotYetExhausted )
        VE) The position

        M of B) The speed.

        VE) but sir M, the race is won by who crosses the finish line first

        M of B) That’s right, that’s why whichever horse is going faster when one of them crosses the line is the winner

        The inability to distinguish a parameter from it’s derivative can also be confusing to policemen:

        Po Po) m’Lord, you were going way over the speed limit of 65 mph.
        M of B) But I’m not yet 65 miles from home!
        Po Po) Have you been drinking? Why don’t you step out of the car.

      • Viking: You are wasting your words on someone who has no integrity or ability to engage in civil discourse. He is unfixable.

        The fact he’s given a pulpit on this blog is baffling.

  57. Neither love, politics, religion or climate science is required to follow the law of thermodynamics.

  58. The earth’s atmosphere is an open system that can expand and contract. The ONLY accurate reading of the current heat content at a given moment is the density of gas in a fixed measurement volume. Gravity will force the pressure to stay the same at sea level whether the atmosphere has expanded to drag down the space station or contracted so that we could retire the shuttles. Because gravity controls the pressure it controls the temperature as well. At NO TIME have I seen anything that indicates that any climate scientist is actually aware that the earth’s atmosphere is an open system that can expand and contract in response to energy input.

    The constant arguments about temperature and heat are ignorant drivel. We live in a gravity driven open system, WHAT’S THE DENSITY AT SEA LEVEL?

    • prjindigo,

      You are confusing gravity and a gravity collapse. A gravity collapse increases temperature because kinetic energy is transformed into heat. However, gravity doesn’t maintain a lapse rate, since this would violate the 2nd law. It’s well explained here. The lapse rate is caused by being heated from below and cooled from above.

      You can tell by looking at PV = nRT. Gravity may set P, but we can still increase or decrease T, and V will change accordingly. If it wasn’t for being heated from below and cooled from above, it would be the same temperature from bottom to top. As altitude increases, P decreases, but this would be matched by decreasing n, the amount of gas molecules.

  59. Monckton of Brenchley June 6, 2015 at 2:03 am
    … The surface cannot be warming as Karl says it is, unless a closely similar rate of warming were also toe observed immediately above and below the surface.

    Sometimes you need to highlight for posterity teh crazy stuff that Monckton says. Completely inane as far as this “repealing” any laws of thermodynamics. Something that as has been repeatedly pointed out throughout this thread.

    Note, I am just highlighting, bookmarking this. The original is sure to be saved for posterity in any event, since it already snuck through under an equally inane top post by Monckton that also snuck through at WUWT. And I am confident that WUWT follows strict principles both *against* revisionism and *for* sharing the data.

    • Does Mr Morrison have any evidence that the Earth’s surface is warming at a rate greater than the two fluid masses that comprise it? If so, where is the heat coming from, and why are neither the lower troposphere or the upper ocean warming at a similar rate?

      Tom Karl was interviewed a couple of years ago. He referred to the Argo and satellite measurements and said they should show about the same rates of warming. And so they do. A fortiori, the interface between them should show something like the same rate of warming.

      None of this is difficult. Show me how, in compliance with the laws of thermodynamics, the surface can warm persistently at a rate so much greater than the rates of the lower troposphere and upper ocean. And not with hand-waving. With evidence.

  60. I can answer Lord Monckton’s question easily – the answer is “no”.

    The best explanation is the global warming is coming from an increase in down-welling infrared radiation.

    The ARGO warming rate of 0.023 degrees per decade may well be significant (it IS a lot of heat energy), it is hard to say from only 11 years of data that excludes the poles. The heating averaged over 1900 metres of water does not really tell you much about the sea surface temperature – it is the sea surface that couples with the air above it.

    • And what evidence does harrytwinotter offer that the surface air and ocean surface combined are warming at least five times faster than either the upper ocean or the lower troposphere?

      • Lord Monckton.

        Why are you trying to compare the surface air temperature and sea surface temperature with the upper ocean and the lower troposphere?

        It might be possible to do this, if someone works out how to do the conversion.

        So my answer to your question is still “no”.

    • harrytwinotter says, June 6, 2015 at 5:53 pm:

      “The best explanation is the global warming is coming from an increase in down-welling infrared radiation.”

      Yeah, I know. In theory. Well, the theory doesn’t hold up. The data from the real world shows why:

      Do you see much of an increase in positive DWLWIR input to the global surface in this plot?

      Here’s how the global surface has managed to shed its heat via radiation since 2000:

      Its ability to cool by radiation has apparently STRENGTHENED over the past 15 years by ~1.5 W/m^2. (Remember, the more negative, the greater the loss rate.)

      How does all this make the surface/ocean system retain more energy from radiation?

      It should’ve cooled, Harry. Not warmed. If radiation were all there is …

      • The subject of the head posting, as harrytwinotter would know if he had read it, is the assertion in Karl et al. 2015, that the surface is warming at five times the rate of the upper ocean, and infinitely faster than the lower troposphere. I take it that he has no evidence to support Karl et al.’s ridiculous assertion.

        And I am grateful to Kristian for providing evidence from CERES that makes rather a mess not only of the official theory but also of harrytwinotter’s theory.

      • Do you see much of an increase in positive DWLWIR input to the global surface in this plot?

        In that period there’s been ~7% increase in CO2 and with forcing depending on log(CO2) so you wouldn’t expect to see much of an increase.

        Its ability to cool by radiation has apparently STRENGTHENED over the past 15 years by ~1.5 W/m^2. (Remember, the more negative, the greater the loss rate.)

        So the surface has warmed up?

      • Phil. says, June 7, 2015 at 7:47 pm:

        “In that period there’s been ~7% increase in CO2 and with forcing depending on log(CO2) so you wouldn’t expect to see much of an increase.”

        Actually, it went up by 8.4%. To make matters worse, both global tropospheric WV (SSM/I) and cloud cover (MODIS)/total cloud water content (SSM/I) went up significantly as well over that same period (2000-2014/15).

        So it isn’t really about not expecting to see “much of an increase” in DWLWIR. It’s about not seeing an increase at all. It’s about rather seeing a decrease in global DWLWIR to the surface, in spite of flat tropospheric temps and rising total tropospheric concentration of pretty much all IR-active substances present in our atmosphere.

        Don’t you find this even a little bit curious, Phil.?

        “So the surface has warmed up?”

        The ‘net LW’ from the surface is not what determines whether the surface has warmed or not, Phil. That’s UWLWIR. The ‘net LW’ is the radiant heat. The surface’s radiant heat loss. DWLWIR minus UWLWIR.

        But yes, UWLWIR has indeed increased too, mostly during the last couple of years, with the surface temps. Before that, pretty much flat.

        The point here is, from these data it is easy to tell that, if the surface has indeed warmed, it is NOT from an increase in DWLWIR, since this has instead been reduced over the period in question.

        So the ‘net LW’ from the surface (its radiant heat loss) has increased as the combined result of a decrease in atmospheric DWLWIR and a concurrent increase in surface UWLWIR.

        Funny, right?

      • Kristian,

        link to the source of the CERES data? I need to see a description of their data to understand what those graphs mean.

      • Kristian,

        your second graph appears to show evidence for global warming – the net longwave flux is decreasing because the net upward longwave flux is increasing due to the global average temperature increasing.

        I admit I do not understand the data exactly – the CERES website says the value are computed not observations. To compute them they must use a model of some sort. But thanks for bringing the data to my attention, it is interesting.

      • Kristian,

        You are only showing half of the radiation – you show the longwave but you leave out the shortwave.

        The negative values do not mean what you say they do. You are charting the anomalies, not the actual values so a “negative” value just means value is below the average baseline.

      • harrytwinotter,

        “link to the source of the CERES data? I need to see a description of their data to understand what those graphs mean.”

        Happy to oblige.
        Data: http://ceres-tool.larc.nasa.gov/ord-tool/jsp/EBAFSFCSelection.jsp
        Description: http://ceres.larc.nasa.gov/documents/DQ_summaries/CERES_EBAF-Surface_Ed2.8_DQS.pdf
        See also: https://www.arm.gov/publications/proceedings/conf11/extended_abs/rutan_da.pdf

        “your second graph appears to show evidence for global warming – the net longwave flux is decreasing because the net upward longwave flux is increasing due to the global average temperature increasing.”

        The net LW is not decreasing. It is increasing. When the surface loses heat via radiation more efficiently than before, that means its net LW is growing more negative. A ‘loss’ is by definition a negative value in any budget. The larger the loss, the more negative its value becomes.

        As I explained to Phil. above: The ‘net LW’ from the surface is not what determines whether the surface has warmed or not. That’s the UWLWIR. The ‘net LW’ is the radiant heat. The radiant heat loss of the surface. DWLWIR minus UWLWIR.

        But yes, UWLWIR has indeed increased too, mostly during the last couple of years, with the surface temps. Before that, pretty much flat.

        The point here is, from these data it is easy to deduce the fact that, if the surface has indeed warmed, it is NOT from an increase in DWLWIR, since this has instead gone down over the period in question. DWLWIR is meant to be a positive input to the surface, so if this slopes down the scale, it actually does mean its growing smaller, less intense.

        To conclude: The ‘net LW’ from the surface (its radiant heat loss) has increased in strength as the combined result of a decrease in atmospheric DWLWIR and a concurrent increase in surface UWLWIR.

        “I admit I do not understand the data exactly – the CERES website says the value are computed not observations. To compute them they must use a model of some sort.”

        Of course. A model is always used. Did you really think satellites in space are able to directly measure DWLWIR from the atmosphere to the surface?

        The point, if you read the links I provided above, is that the radiation estimates are made based on other measurements of relevant atmospheric variables, such as cloud cover, type and thickness, and air column humidity and temperature profiles. These data are then processed by the model in question, a straightforward model working on the very principle that you used when you proclaimed earlier: “The best explanation is the global warming is coming from an increase in down-welling infrared radiation.”

        The idea is that atmospheric DWLWIR is determined simply from tropospheric temperature and humidity profiles plus clouds (and CO2 concentration, of course). So if you believe that all of these (or at least, the net effect of them) have gone up over some period, then you would also believe DWLWIR to have increased. The CERES model does not stray from the regular ‘modern climate science’ way of seeing these things.

        So the funny thing about these data, then, is that global DWLWIR to the surface hasn’t gone up. It has gone slightly down instead. In spite of flat tropospheric temps and a substantial increase in total tropospheric content of both WV, clouds and CO2 (2000-2014/15).

        The question is: How can this be? The model does what it’s been told to do, based on its data inputs. Global DWLWIR definitely should’ve gone up. Theoretically.

        But it hasn’t. It’s gone down.

        What’s the controlling factor here? Why isn’t Mother Nature doing what theory expects from her?

        The controlling factor are the clouds. Even though, on a global average, clouds cover a larger fraction of Earth’s surface today than in 2000 (MODIS), and more total water is held within them (SSM/I), their global distribution, both vertically and zonally/regionally has changed in such a manner that the expected radiative effects from their average increase (both LW and SW effects) are more than offset. As you can see from the global data, it’s not just that the DWLWIR doesn’t increase. It actually decreases.

        Where is CO2 in all this? Nowhere to be found, I fear. These things operate on a completely different scale, totally ignorant of and indifferent to what CO2 might come up with. It’s like a fly on the back of an elephant. The fly might imagine to himself that he controls the elephant and is able to direct it where to go. The elephant, on the other hand, has a mind of its own, ploughing through the woods, completely oblivious to the tiny creature on its back.

        “You are only showing half of the radiation – you show the longwave but you leave out the shortwave.”

        Yes. And? The SW is the input, the LW the output. Cause and effect. I prefer to separate the two. The rGHE is supposed to limit the LW, not the SW, the “enhanced rGHE” (AGW) is supposed to reduce the LW, not the SW. In other words, the LW should be our natural focus.

        “The negative values do not mean what you say they do. You are charting the anomalies, not the actual values so a “negative” value just means value is below the average baseline.”

        I’ve given you the link to the data. Go check for yourself. Have a look at the absolute values. Net LW from the global surface increased from -52.5 W/m^2 in 2000 to -54 W/m^2 in 2014. That’s a strengthening (not a weakening) in heat loss efficiency by radiation for the global surface of 1.5 W/m^2 in ~15 years. The direct opposite of what the rGHE-postulated atmospheric mechanism for ‘extra’ surface warming prognosticates.

      • Kristian,

        Your response too long and confusing for me to respond to. Perhaps you need to write an article.

        CERES is not actually measuring downwelling longwave radiation at the ground, it is estimating it by making some assumptions about other factors. Good enough to work out what is going on at different parts of the globe, but not good enough data for the average global warming effects I was talking about.

        I think CERES strength is estimating the net flux (LW and SW) at the TOA. The doco says this is a nominal altitude of 20km.

        Considering the CERES data only goes back to 2000, and the radiation inbalance due to the greenhouse gas increase (or whatever) at the TOA is estimated at 0.6 W/m2 +/- 0.4 W/m2, it would take luck to find any sort of trend in that noise.

        So I am calling the CERES data ambiguous.

      • “Your response too long and confusing for me to respond to. Perhaps you need to write an article.”

        *Shaking head in disbelief.*

        “CERES is not actually measuring downwelling longwave radiation at the ground, it is estimating it by making some assumptions about other factors. Good enough to work out what is going on at different parts of the globe, but not good enough data for the average global warming effects I was talking about.”

        In fact, such estimates work better when they’re averaged globally than for each separate region. Why would you think otherwise? The assumptions made (by the model used) are the same that you make when you claim that DWLWIR is increasing globally and that this causes GW, Harry. So why are you and the entire ‘Climate Mainstream’ allowed to, but not the people at CERES?

        “I think CERES strength is estimating the net flux (LW and SW) at the TOA. The doco says this is a nominal altitude of 20km.”

        This we agree on. That doesn’t make their surface data inherently useless, wrong and/or biased. Those data are very thoroughly derived from real measurements of several relevant variables in the Earth systems.

        “Considering the CERES data only goes back to 2000, and the radiation inbalance due to the greenhouse gas increase (or whatever) at the TOA is estimated at 0.6 W/m2 +/- 0.4 W/m2, it would take luck to find any sort of trend in that noise.

        So I am calling the CERES data ambiguous.”

        We don’t have comprehensive global radiation data similar to what I’ve drawn your attention to here from any other source or from earlier times than 2000. It’s not just the best we’ve got available. It’s all we’ve got, Harry. It’s not necessarily the final truth revealed, no one’s claiming that. But it’s what we’ve got for now. Why not show some interest?

        – – – – – –


        Your gratuitous dismissal of the only real global data we have from the Earth system of climatologically important radiative parameters like these seems to fit into a well-known behaviour pattern, quite symptomatic of any warmist havng his deeply ingrained faith in the AGW dogma somehow challenged by real-world information.

        It’s called “dissonance reduction”:

        “In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.”

        “Cognitive dissonance theory is founded on the assumption that individuals seek consistency between their expectations and their reality. Because of this, people engage in a process called dissonance reduction to bring their cognitions and actions in line with one another. This creation of uniformity allows for a lessening of psychological tension and distress. According to Festinger, dissonance reduction can be achieved in four ways. In an example case where a person has adopted the attitude that they will no longer eat high fat food, but eats a high-fat doughnut, the four methods of reduction are:

        1. Change behavior or cognition (“I will not eat any more of this doughnut”)
        2. Justify behavior or cognition by changing the conflicting cognition (“I’m allowed to cheat every once in a while”)
        3. Justify behavior or cognition by adding new cognitions (“I’ll spend 30 extra minutes at the gym to work this off”)
        4. Ignore or deny any information that conflicts with existing beliefs (“This doughnut is not high in fat”)”

        Guess which method you’re employing.

        Basically, if you dismiss these data offhand, you also dismiss the theory on which your rather cocksure proclamation earlier that GW is most likely the result of increasing global DWLWIR to the surface rests.

        You have NO data to back up your claim. You just assert it and assume it to be correct. I present you with actual data, from NASA CERES, mind you, that clearly indicates you’re dead wrong, that the opposite of what you assume is going on is actually occurring. What do you do? You dismiss it, try to explain it away as being not useful (ambiguous of all things! if anything, it’s most assuredly not ambiguous, it shows exactly what it shows), and – I guess – go back to believing (and proclaiming) your original claim to be the truth, still without any kind of empirical backup, of course.

        Ah, life as a warmist must be so simple … Claim something, anything, as long as it’s rooted in dogma. Then lalalalalala. Move on. Same claim repeated, same place or somewhere else. Another round of lalalalalala. Moving on. And so on and so forth …

      • Kristian,

        Those are some interesting and informative comments. It would be very good if the alarmist contingent here would read and comprehend them, especially the last one. But they won’t. They will completely disregard it, or they will come up with weak, cherry-picked factoids as if those would support their belief. But factoids only support their confirmation bias.

        Unfortunately, the alarmist cult has made their decision: “carbon”, Ba-a-ad… CO2 emissions: Ba-a-ad… 2º Global warming: Ba-a-ad…

        Windmills: Gooo-ood… More polar bears: Gooo-oo-d… Moonbeam’s Bullet Train: Gooo-oo-d… & etc.

        No cost/benefit analysis is necessary. No cost/benefit analysis is even tolerated. No cost/benefit analysis! Never! People might debate. They might decide that the cost is far too high. People might think! Can’t have that.

        To expand on your last comment, I give you Dr. Leon Festinger, who explains the actions of the climate alarmist cult:

        A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.

        We have all experienced the futility of trying to change a strong conviction, especially if the convinced person has some investment in his belief. We are familiar with the variety of ingenious defenses with which people protect their convictions, managing to keep them unscathed through the most devastating attacks.

        But man’s resourcefulness goes beyond simply protecting a belief. Suppose an individual believes something with his whole heart; suppose further that he has a commitment to this belief, that he has taken irrevocable actions because of it; finally, suppose that he is presented with evidence, unequivocal and undeniable evidence, that his belief is wrong. What will happen?

        The individual will frequently emerge, not only unshaken, but even more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than ever before. Indeed, he may even show a new fervor about convincing and converting other people to his view.

        That explains the ‘Seekers’ that Dr. Festinger studied, and more recently, Harold Camping’s followers, and Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Climate Alarmists. Human nature is strange indeed. The more contrary facts that skeptics produce, the more the alarmist cultists dig in their heels. Data that falsifies their belief doesn’t make them think. It makes their belief stronger!

        That’s what we’re dealing with. The more the facts are against them, the more they Believe. For scientific skeptics of the “dangerous man-made global warming” hoax, it’s a tough row to hoe.

  61. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Excellent read.

    Tom Karl rounded on me and hissed, “How do you expect to be taken seriously?”

    “I don’t,” I said. “I expect the data to be taken seriously.”

    Spot-on Lord Monckton! And the data is not being taken seriously by the likes of global warming activist agencies; NOAA, NCDC … and NASA who are butchering and torturing aka ‘homogenising’ data to fit the ‘global warming’ narrative.

    Meanwhile unadjusted, un-homogenised raw satellite data (RSS, UAH), that criss-cross every inch of the globe 24/7, show NO WARMING in over 18 years, and slight cooling this century…

    Who really are the real (data) ‘deniers’ ? ….

  62. In case he missed the question, and isn’t just ignoring it, I’ll ask it again:

    Monckton, what would it take to change your mind? What would falsify your proposition?

    • takebackthegreen says:

      …what would it take to change your mind? What would falsify your proposition?

      That is the exact question I have been asking for the last couple of years. But I never get an answer. Really, it’s the alarmist crowd that ignores the question.

      So let me ask it again, this time directly to ‘takebackthegreen’:

      What would it take for you to admit that your original ‘dangerous man-made global warming’ conjecture was wrong?

      Would a full twenty years of no global warming convince you? (It’s been 18 ½ years already.)

      Would a complete recovery of Arctic ice, to its 30-year average convince you?

      Would it even convince you if the planet entered another ‘Snowball Earth’ phase of rapid global cooling?

      I suspect that nothing could convince you. See my comment to Kristian above. Even entering a new Ice Age would probably trigger Dr. Festinger’s reaction:

      The individual will frequently emerge, not only unshaken, but even more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than ever before. Indeed, he may even show a new fervor about convincing and converting other people to his view.

      Otherwise… what, exactly, would convince you that your original premise was wrong?

      • dbstealey:

        The question I’M more interested in: Where did you get the impression that I’m a believer in CAGW? I absolutely 100% do not believe any portion of the CAGW position. If you came to that impression because of Monckton’s replies to my comments, then welcome to my nightmare…

        You’d have to read from the beginning to see how clearly I stated that Karl’s data-jitsu is inexcusable, and has been correctly and thoroughly discredited elsewhere. Apparently, my sin was to say that I think Monckton’s idea that Karl’s adjustments violate the second law of thermodynamics is most likely false. I then mused that it would be a great example of how scientific progress is supposed to occur, if the post were marked “disproven” or some such and left up, because being wrong is part of the process, and not a negative thing.

        Well… Monckton’s reaction was… unhinged? Wagnerian? Beyond rational understanding? You tell me.

        So I can’t really answer your question, since it doesn’t apply. Interestingly, a few times in this thread, and elsewhere on WUWT, the issue of people changing a fundamental opinion/belief has been raised. I am very interested in that topic because I went through the “revelation” a couple years ago, changing from a lackadaisical vague CAGW believer to a more informed, and therefore more focused “skeptic.” As briefly as possible: I have the (delusional?) idea that a smart psychologist could pick out details from my “conversion” and the experience of others who’ve done it, and find some useful rhetorical tactic or strategy that might be used to spark the switch in others. Because my experience is that very few people change quickly or easily, especially on their own. (Not saying I’m special, just outlying data.)

        Anyway, thanks for the civility of your question and comment.

      • And since you engaged in a thoughtful way, dbstealey: If you accept my (pretty obvious) premise that one can disagree with Monckton’s proposition about why Karl’s paper is wrong, and STILL THINK THE PAPER IS WRONG (which I do), what do you think would falsify Monckton’s idea?

        There are several astute replies in this thread that I think convincingly show Monckton’s error in reasoning. And then there’s Monckton’s utterly bizarre and embarrassing tirades… I’d given up on this proposition ever being “settled.” (HA!)

      • tbtg,

        You asked my opinion on this:

        …Monckton’s reaction was… unhinged? Wagnerian? Beyond rational understanding?…

        I don’t agree with those characterizations. Christopher Monckton is very rational, and I think I understand him. No one is perfect, but he is very knowledgeable, and he presents a good case for the skeptics’ side.

        But I was wrong in my characterization of you. Sometimes I’m too quick with my trigger finger. My apologies. After reading your posts, I really don’t see very much that I disagree with. I’m sorry that I put you in the class of people who buy into the CAGW narrative. I was wrong.

      • Wow. Thank you. Apology accepted. Considering the confusing nature of comment threads here and everywhere, I figured it was not intentional. Which makes it even classier of you to take the time to check back through the trail and acknowledge it.

        I won’t belabor the Monckton issue, other than to say that on this comment thread I acknowledged the general points you made about his contribution to the skeptical side. I don’t know how closely you read the comment exchange, but it was so bizarrely personal and emotional and unscientific I thought it was a joke at first. But if that behavior meets the prevailing standards here, I just have to recalibrate my expectations. And be more aware of who is and isn’t capable of civil discourse before I put my two cents in a comment.

        Thanks again.

  63. Asked and answered. The top 2.9 or 12.5 or 100 m of the ocean has not warmed. That accounts for 71% of the measurements of surface temperature. Karl’s data show that it is the ocean temperatures he has tampered with most, so the 29% of measurements on land are not the cause of the surface warming. The lower troposphere is not warming either. And besides, Karl himself has admitted that the upper ocean and the surface air must have about the same temperature.

    So, before you demand a third time that the head posting be retracted, where is the heat for the putative but unmeasured surface warming coming from? It is not coming from the air above. It is not coming from the ocean below. It is not coming from the Sun, or the top few meters of the ocean would be warming, and the Argo data show that they are not. It is not coming from CO2, or the lower troposphere would be warming, and the satellite data show it is not. It is not coming from an increase in downwelling radiation, because the CERES data shows no increase. It is not coming from volcanism below, for the top few meters of the ocean are not warming.

    So answer the question that is staring you in the face in the head posting, and has been staring you in the face all along. Where is the heat coming from?

    And, since the surface comprises the lower few meters of the lower troposphere, which are not warming, and the upper few meters of the ocean, which are not warming, how is the meeting of the two fluid media holding the heat? What is the barrier that allows this magic stratum to retain a heat that the actual measurements of these two media do not show? For we know that the Sun warms the upper ocean during the day compared with the strata below, but that in the night the heat goes from that layer, some to the air above and some to the ocean deep. Why, then, does this magic layer that loses heat in a night somehow retain enough of it in a decade to show a rate of warming that is not actually measured?

    And why, if Mr Karl is right that the two fluid media should have about the same temperature, is it not also right that the air a little above the surface stratum and the ocean a little below it should also have about the same temperature? If they must, then what barrier is there that prevents the strata either side of the surface stratum from warming at about the same rate as Mr Karl – on no evidence – imagines the surface stratum is warming?

    Finally, contrive a thermodynamic scenario consistent with the real-world lower-troposphere and ocean measurements that allows Mr Karl’s imagined surface warming when neither the air surface measurements nor the ocean surface measurements show anything like the warming rate he imagines.

    • 1) Again, you did not answer the questions.

      You restated portions of your proposition, then asked a long series of questions, then issued a command. Questions aren’t answers. (Odd sentence to have to write…) And I don’t work for you.

      This is a fundamental issue that must be addressed. You know what it means if your proposition isn’t falsifiable. Not to forget that it can also just be wrong for any of the reasons others have given, a couple of the best being ones you’ve ignored.

      2) I have “demanded” that the post be retracted ZERO times. Do you value truthfulness? Accuracy? I’m new to this excellent blog. Is there some reason that people don’t call you on this kind of thing?

      • The proposition that the surface cannot warm if the top of the ocean and the bottom of the lower troposphere are not warming may be falsified by answering my questions. Earlier comments by takebackthegreen make it clear that it had not realized the upper few meters of the ocean are not warming. One suspects that its error arose from the assumption that the upper few meters are warming, when they are not. The point being made in the head posting is a simple one. The questions I have asked are simple ones. Takebackthegreen is of course entitled not to answer them, for I have long learned not to expect answers to the unanswerable, and I shall take its whine to the effect that it does not work for me as an admission that it is quite unable to answer.

        I am delighted that “takebackthegreen”, faced with the evidence that the upper few meters of the ocean are not in fact warming, has retracted its its twice-stated demand/recommendation/whine that the post be retracted.

      • “The proposition… may be falsified by answering my questions.” Got it. You don’t understand the concept of falsifiability. How is that possible?

        Maybe a fictional conversation will help:

        F: “Hello, U. I propose that the Earth orbits the Sun.”

        U: “Interesting idea, F. What would falsify that proposition?”

        F: “What does the Earth orbit, if not the Sun? Contrive a scenario where the Earth doesn’t orbit the Sun.”

        U: “Those questions don’t answer the question I asked, F. A proper answer might take this form: ‘If the Earth were observed orbiting Jupiter, the hypothesis that the Earth orbits the Sun would be proved false.’ So again, what would falsify your proposition?”

        F: “Answering my questions would falsify my proposition.”

        U: “My head hurts.”


        As for takebackthegreen, it repeats what it said earlier: It took less than a minute to find what it considers to be flawed thinking. Your idea shares a fatal conceptual problem with CAGW. You consider a vast, complex and chaotic system, and hubristically imagine you’ve figured it out well enough to treat like a small collection of variables that can be shoehorned into simple equations.

        CO2 isn’t the Earth’s thermostat. And I don’t believe the laws of thermodynamics can be properly used to broadly assess an entire system we only vaguely comprehend. Further, it isn’t the responsibility of critics to answer their own objections.

        If you care to search for them above, I put a +1 under two comments that persuasively argue against your idea from the perspectives of people more educated about the subject than myself.


        Regarding the irrelevant portions of your reply:

        Do you know what the word “demand” means? You’ve misused it twice now. Also, when you overuse a word such as “whine” it loses its effectiveness. May I help you insult me by suggesting you consult a thesaurus? “Recommendation” is close enough; although it was a single instance, not two or any other number; and was part of a rhetorical construct you clearly don’t understand.

        If I write “The paper should be withdrawn. Better yet, it should be marked as falsified” it is meant to acknowledge a progression of thought from initial bad idea to more useful suggestion. “Better yet” implies one is rejecting what came before in favor of what comes after. Do you follow?

        I apologize for assuming that my phrasing would be understandable to an average english-speaking reader. If that assumption was responsible for your nasty mood, I hope my explanation provides relief.

  64. takebackthegreen is, as I suspected, unable to answer the question in the head posting about where the heat to warm the magic surface layer can possibly have come from. Wriggling and whining won’t help. Nor will appealing to the authority of others who have also made the unwise mistake of assuming that the surface layer of the ocean is warming when it isn’t.

  65. I first ran across the National Climatic Data Center’s (NCDC) accident-prone director in a Congressional hearing room in about 2009, when I was the witness for the Republicans, Karl for the Democrats.

    Since this event wasn’t referenced I originally thought it was this one:
    I quickly realized it was not as I watched monckton squirm as he got schooled during the hearing.
    Most embarrassing is his complete misrepresentation of Pinker’s paper, he repeated his earlier mistake despite having being corrected by Pinker herself in the interim ( he at least got her gender right but not her name), not only that he mistakenly applied a ‘correction’ for ERBE data for orbital decay. Unfortunately for monckton the data presented by Pinker was not from ERBE but from ISCCP so the ‘correction’ is inappropriate. He also he did what he frequently does here, that is give insufficient citations in this case to data purporting to come from Lindzen.

    It appears that the meeting he is referring to was in fact in 2010.
    However he appears to have made the same errors regarding Pinker in that meeting, perhaps that’s why he was asked “How do you expect to be taken seriously?”. Of course like monckton’s other editorializing we only have his word that any of it took place.

      • They have most certainly warmed the past 100 years. But wörds are cheap. And BTW, you cannot store ‘heat’ [which is not a state variable], so you have a problem with vocabulary too, although many people also not versed in thermodynamics carry that misconception.

      • Mr Svalgaard, who continues to have difficulty with the most elementary scientific concepts, has not perhaps appreciated that 2000-2014 was the period to which Mr Karl’s error related, not “the past 100 years”. And I have not discussed “storing” heat: I have asked – and Mr Svalgaard is certainly not competent to answer – where the heat came from to cause Mr Karl’s alleged warming of the surface, given that over the relevant period neither the lower troposphere nor the upper ocean has warmed.

      • If the surface were to warm at so very great a relative rate, where is the heat coming from, and where does it go? Or why does it not go? Why does it stay, for a decade, despite the mixing caused by, say, tropical afternoon convection?

        You most definitely imply that the heat sits [stays] somewhere, so you are being mendacious again. But I guess that you have to be to save a little face after the thorough debunking of your article by several people here. But, then we don’t expect anything less, do we?

      • Chris and Lief,

        Actually, there has not been much warming over the past 100 years, and very little to essentially none for the past 80 years, since the toasty 1930s. I refer to the real world, not the cooked to a crisp books of HadCRU, GISS and NOAA.

        Much of the warming since the end of the LIA occurred during intervals in the period 1850 to 1914, ie more than 100 years ago.

      • Not sure Sturgis Hooper is right about temperature. The HadCRUT4 record shows a cooling of about an eighth of a degree Celsius from Jan 1850 to Dec 1914. Within that period, there was warming from 1860-1880, probably coincident with the positive phase of the PDO (we weren’t watching for it, so we don’t know for sure). There was warming from 1910-1945, broadly coincident with the warming phase of the PDO, and from 1976-2001 (PDO again).

        However, the terrestrial records have been much tampered with: Mr Hooper is right about that. And no small fraction of the 0.8-degree warming over the past 100 years came from almost 0.3 degrees of tampered temperature increase, plus another 0.2 degrees in uncorrected-for urban heat island effect (McKitrick & Michaels, 2007), plus at least another 0.2 degrees in natural warming. Not a lot of room for CO2-driven warming once all these factors are allowed for.

        Thanks to the satellites, which have made it harder to move the terrestrial-temperature goalposts undetected, we know that the lower troposphere and the upper ocean did not warm at all during the 11 years 2004-2014. So the lowest 3 m of the lower troposphere and the uppermost 3 m of the upper ocean, taken together – a.k.a. “the surface” – cannot have warmed over that period either.

      • Mr Svalgaard, who too often allows spite to interfere with thought, has wilfully misunderstood the passage by me that he cites above. The point I was making was that the heat could not stay in the surface stratum (assuming it was there in the first place). It had to go somewhere. Mr Svalgaard knows perfectly well that since the lower troposphere is not warming and the top 3 m of the ocean (or 12.5 m, or 100 m) is not warming, there is no way the surface could have warmed at a significant rate for more than a decade. He knows perfectly well that there is nothing wrong with the head posting.

      • Since heat is not a state variable it cannot be stored and therefore not ‘stay’ anywhere. I do not agree with Karl’s assessment, but only point out that your treatment of it is muddled and lettered with misunderstood concepts that are ‘not even wrong’. This has been shown repeatedly in this thread, so take it as a man and slink away.

      • What a joke, monckton as usual peppers his original post with ad hominem attacks and personal remarks and many unverifiable editorial remarks. All geared to show him as the star of the show, he doesn’t like his egregious errors in his testimony being pointed out, in fact he pretends that they didn’t happen. He refers to the rebuttal of his testimony as “a rather testy reply”, here it is:
        Nothing ‘testy’ about it at all, just points out monckton’s numerous errors, such as this one:
        “The Monckton-Lindzen figure is clearly in error, an error which has been corrected in the scientific peer reviewed literature by the scientists who produced the ERBS Nonscanner data.”
        Perhaps he should address his errors rather than make snide remarks such as “He shifted from one well-padded butt-cheek to the other”, he would be outraged if someone made such snide remarks about his appearance.

      • None of the whining of the usual trolls alters the fact that Mr Karl has not the least understanding of thermodynamics, or he would not have tried to maintain that an impossible warming of the Earth’s surface has taken place during a period when neither the lower troposphere nor the upper few meters of the ocean was warming at all.

      • Chris, I’m sure that Mr. Karl’s understanding of thermodynamics is about the same as your understanding of HIV infection and any possible therapy for it.

  66. Lord Monckton,

    When you factor in the effect of clearer skies since the 1980s, thanks to emission controls in the developed world, there is essentially no room left over for warming from CO2. IMO it’s likely that net feedbacks from the small GHE of increased CO2 are negative, so that no measurable effect would be expected to result from the gain of 120 ppm to 400 up from 280.

    You could well be right, but HadCRU and its twisted sisters have so altered the past, a la their ideological kin in the late, unlamented CPSU, that its “data” cannot be relied upon. Just as the gatekeepers try to heat up the present, they have cooled the past, a trick made easier because the satellites weren’t watching then.

    Thermometer record highs in Colorado, Utah and Oregon were set in the 1880s and ’90s and Alaska, California, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine in the 1910s. Even more state highs date from the 1920s and ’30s. NOAA is trying to get rid of the old highs, however.

    I look to proxy data, as for instance the retreat of glaciers, as more reliable indicators of temperature in the recent past.

    • I have some sympathy for what Sturgis Hooper says. The tampering with the GISS record, in particular, to suppress the higher temperatures of the 1920s and 1930s in the United States does not seem justifiable. The sad truth is that, if the director of a leading climate agency can maintain that the Earth’s surface has been warming over the past 15 years when neither the lower troposphere nor the upper ocean have been warming, and if even here a number of commenters are taken in, the tamperers and fiddlers will continue to get away with their tampering and fiddling.

      • IMO HadCRU is just as bad as GISS, even adding a few wrinkles of its own. Both are worse than worthless.

        The less dishonest among the Carbonari will admit that North America was warmer c. 1917-46 than 1977 to 2006, and that 1947-76 was cooler than the preceding warm interval, despite higher CO2.

  67. Pause stands at 18 years and 6 months? My son is about to leave school following his A-levels. He is one of the oldest in his school, at 18 years 8 months. Got me thinking. From September, assuming the “Pause” continues, not a single pupil at the school, indeed ANY school in the UK (apart from possible re-takers?) will have experienced a statistically significant rise in the Earth’s temperature. Should make geography/environmental science lessons interesting.

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