Is Climate Science Settled? (Now Includes September Data)

Guest Post by Werner Brozek, Professor Robert Brown from Duke University and Just The Facts

Josh-knobs

Image Credit: Josh

In order for climate science to be settled, there are many requirements. I will list four for now, although I am sure you can think of many more. Then I will expand on those.

1. We must know all variables that can affect climate.

2. We must know how all variables are changing over time.

3. We must know how each changing variable affects climate.

4. We must know about all non-linear changes that take place as a result of changes to variables.

As for the variables affecting climate, Just The Facts has done a superb job compiling many of them on WUWT’s Potential Climatic Variables Reference Page.

If you have an hour, there is lots of good reading here. For now, I will just give the main topics, but note that all main topics have an array of sub topics.

1. Earth’s Rotational Energy

2. Orbital Energy, Orbital Period, Orbital Spiral, Elliptical Orbits (Eccentricity), Tilt (Obliquity), Wobble (Axial precession) and Polar Motion

3. Gravitation

4. Solar Energy

5. Geothermal Energy

6. Outer Space/Cosmic/Galactic Effects

7. Earth’s Magnetic Field

8. Atmospheric Composition

9. Albedo

10. Biology

11. Chemical

12. Physics

13. Known Unknowns

14. Unknown Unknowns

If you know some more that should be added, please let us know.

The above covers my point 1 above. As for points 2 and 3, for all of the items listed above, we need to know if the changes, if any, are linear, exponential, logarithmic, sinusoidal, random or some other pattern. For example, depending on who you talk to and the interval you are considering, our emissions of carbon dioxide could be exponential, but the increase in the atmosphere could be linear, but the effect could be logarithmic. Then there are asteroids which could be totally random. As for point 4 above, the easiest example would be to consider a ball with air at 30 C and a relative humidity of 90%. When this is cooled, the gas molecules do not simply slow down indefinitely. At a certain point, the water molecules move so slowly that the hydrogen bonds cause molecules to stick together after collisions to cause liquid water or ice to form. Further cooling causes the various gases to condense to their liquid states and then to freeze to their solid state.

Further to this last point, Professor Brown offered a very interesting response to a question on a previous post. His comment is reproduced below and ends with his initials rgb:

rgbatduke

October 2, 2015 at 10:36 am

t’s not a law of nature, but outside of Le Chatelier’s principle, a more modern version (in case anyone is still reading this thread) is Prigogene’s Self-Organization of dissipative systems.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-organization

Self-organization as a concept preceded Prigogene, but he quantified it and moved it from the realm of philosophy and psychology and cybernetics to the realm of physics and the behavior of nonlinear non-equilibrium systems.

To put it into a contextual nutshell, an open, non-equilibrium system (such as a gas being heated on one side and cooled on the other) will tend to self-organize into structures that increase the dissipation of the system, that is, facilitate energy transport through the system. The classic contextual example of this is the advent of convective rolls in a fluid in a symmetry breaking gravitational field. Convection moves heat from the hot side to the cold side much, much faster than conduction or radiation does, but initially the gas has no motion but microscopic motions of the molecules and (if we presume symmetry and smoothness in the heated surface and boundaries) experiences only balanced, if unstable, forces. However, those microscopic motions contain small volumes that are not symmetric, that move up or down. These small fluctuations nucleate convection, at first irregular and disorganized, that then “discovers” the favored modes of dissipation, adjacent counter rotating turbulent rolls that have a size characteristic of the geometry of the volume and the thermal imbalance.

The point is that open fluid dynamical differentially heated and cooled systems spontaneously develop these sorts of structures, and they have some degree of stability or at least persistence in time. They can persist a long time — see e.g. the great red spot on Jupiter. The reason that this is essentially a physical, or better yet a mathematical, principle is evident from the wikipedia page above — Prigogene won the Nobel Prize because he showed that this sort of behavior has a universal character and will arise in many, if not most open systems of sufficient complexity. There is a deep connection between this theory and chaos — essentially that an open chaotic system with “noise” is constantly being bounced around in its phase space, so that it wanders around through the broad stretches of uninteresting critical points until it enters the basin of attraction of an interesting one, a strange attractor. At that point the same noise drives it diffusively into a constantly shifting ensemble of comparatively tightly bound orbits. At that point the system is “stable” in that it has temporally persistent behavior with gross physical structures with their own “pseudoparticle” physics and sometimes even thermodynamics. This is one of the things I studied pretty extensively back when I did work in open quantum optical systems.

There is absolutely no question that our climate is precisely a self-organized system of this sort. We have long since named the observed, temporally persistent self-organized structures — ENSO, the Monsoon, the NAO, the PDO. We can also observe more transient structures that appear or disappear such as the “polar vortex” or “The Blob” (warm patch in the ocean off of the Pacific Northwest) or a “blocking high”. Lately, we had “Hurricane Joaquin”. Anybody can play — at this point you can visit various websites and watch a tiny patch of clouds organize into a thunderstorm, then a numbered “disturbance with the potential for tropical development”, then a tropical depression, and finally into a named storm with considerable if highly variable and transient structure.

All of these structures tend to dissipate a huge amount of energy that would otherwise have to escape to space much more slowly. They are born out of energy in flow, and “evolve” so that the ones that move energy most efficiently survive and grow.

Once again, one has to bemoan the lack of serious math that has been done on the climate. This in some sense is understandable, as the math is insanely difficult even when it is limited to toy systems — simple iterated maps, simple ODE or PDE systems with simple boundary conditions. However, there are some principles to guide us. One is that in the case of self-organization in chaotic systems, the dynamical map itself has a structure of critical points and attractors. Once the system “discovers” a favorable attractor and diffuses into an orbit, it actually becomes rather immune to simple changes in the driving. Once a set of turbulent rolls is established, as it were, there is a barrier to be overcome before one can make the number of rolls change or fundamentally change their character — moderate changes in the thermal gradient just make the existing rolls roll faster or slower to maintain heat transport. However, in a sufficiently complex system there are usually neighboring attractors with some sort of barrier in between them, but this barrier is there only in an average sense. In many, many cases, the orbits of the system in phase space have a fractal, folded character where orbits from neighboring attractors can interpenetrate and overlap. If there is noise, there is a probability of switching attractors when one nears a non-equilibrium critical regime, so that the system can suddenly and dramatically change its character. Next, the attractors themselves are not really fixed. As one alters (parametrically for example) the forcing of the system or the boundary conditions or the degree of noise or… one expects the critical points and attractors themselves to move, to appear and disappear, to get pushed together or moved apart, to have the barriers between them rise or fall. Finally (as if this isn’t enough) the climate is not in any usual sense an iterated map. It is usually treated as one from the point of view of solving PDEs (which is usually done via an iterated map where the output of one time step is the input into the next with a fixed dynamics). This makes the solution a Markov Process — one that “forgets” its past history and evolves locally in time and space as an iterated map (usually with a transition “rule” with some randomness in it).

But the climate is almost certainly not Markovian, certainly not in practical terms. What it does today depends on the state today, to be sure, but because there are vast reservoirs where past dynamical evolution is “hidden” in precisely Prigogene’s self-organized structures, structures whose temporal coherence and behavior can only be meaningfully understood on the basis of their own physical description and not microscopically, it is completely, utterly senseless to try to advance a Markovian solution and expect it to actually work!

Two examples, and then I must clean my house and do other work. One is clearly the named structures themselves in the climate. The multidecadal oscillations have spatiotemporal persistence and organization with major spectral components out as far as sixty or seventy years (and may well have longer periods still to be discovered — we have crappy data and not much of it that extends into the increasingly distant past). Current models treat things like ENSO and the PDO and so on more like noise, and we see people constantly “removing the influence of ENSO” from a temperature record to try to reductively discern some underlying ENSO-less trend. But they aren’t noise. They are major features of the dynamics! They move huge amounts of energy around, and are key components of the efficiency of the open system as it transports incident solar energy to infinity, keeping a reservoir of it trapped within along the way. It is practically speaking impossible to integrate the PDEs of the climate models and reproduce any of the multidecadal behavior. Even if multidecadal structures emerge, they have the wrong shape and the wrong spectrum because the chaotic models have a completely different critical structure and attractors as they are iterated maps at the wrong resolution and with parameters that almost certainly move them into completely distinct operational regimes and quite different quasiparticle structures. This is instantly evident if one looks at the actual dynamical futures produced by the climate models. They have the wrong spectrum on pretty much all scales, fluctuating far more wildly than the actual climate does, with the wrong short time autocorrelation and spectral behavior (let alone the longer multidecadal behavior that we observe).

The second is me. I’m precisely a self-organized chaotic system. Here’s a metaphor. Climate models are performing the moral equivalent of trying to predict my behavior by simulating the flow of neural activity in my brain on a coarse-grained basis that chops my cortex up into (say) centimeter square chunks one layer thick and coming up with some sort of crude Markovian model. Since the modelers have no idea what I’m actually thinking, and cannot possibly actually measure the state of my brain outside of some even more crudely averaged surface electrical activity, they just roll dice to generate an initial state “like” what they think my initial state might be, and then trust their dynamics to eventually “forget” that initial state and move the model brain into what they imagine is an “ensemble” of my possible brain states so that after a few years, my behavior will no longer depend on the ignored details (you know, things like memories of my childhood or what I’ve learned in school). They run their model forward twenty years and announce to the world that unless I undergo electroshock therapy right now their models prove that I’m almost certainly destined to become an axe murderer or exhibit some other “extreme” behavior. Only if I am kept in a dark room, not overstimulated, and am fed regular doses of drugs that essentially destroy the resolution of my real brain until it approximates that of their model can they be certain that I won’t either bring about World Peace in one extreme or cause a Nuclear War in the other.

The problem is that this whole idea is just silly! Human behavior cannot be predicted by a microscopic physical model of the neurons at the quantum chemistry level! Humans are open non-Markovian information systems. We are strongly regulated by our past experience, our memory, as well as our instantaneous input, all folded through a noisy, defect-ridden, and unbelievably complex multilayer neural network that is chemically modulated by a few dozen things (hormones, bioavailable energy, diurnal phase, temperature, circulatory state, oxygenation…)

As a good friend of mine who was a World’s Greatest Expert (literally!) on complex systems used to say: “More is different”. Emergent self-organized behavior results in a cascade of structures. Microscopic physics starts with quarks and leptons and interaction particles/rules. The quarks organize into nucleons. The nucleons organize into nuclei. The electrons bond to the nuclei to form atoms. The physics and behavior of the nuclei are not easily understood in terms of bare quark dynamics! The physics and behavior of the atoms are not easily understood in terms of the bare quark plus lepton dynamics! The atoms interact and form molecules, more molecules, increasingly complex molecules. The molecules have behavior that is not easily understood in terms of the “bare” behavior of the isolated atoms that make them up. Some classes of molecular chemistry produce liquids, solids, gases, plasmas. Again, the behavior of these things is increasingly disconnected from the behavior of the specific molecules that make them up — new classes of universal behavior emerge at all steps, so that all fluids are alike in certain ways independent of the particular molecules that make them up, even as they inherent certain parametric behavior from the base molecules. Some molecules in some fluids become organic biomolecules, and there is suddenly a huge disconnect both from simple chemistry and from the several layers of underlying physics.

If more is different, how much is enough? There is a whole lot of more in the coupled Earth-Ocean-Atmosphere-Solar system. There is a whole lot less, heavily oversimplified and with the deliberate omission of the ill-understood quasiparticle structures that we can see dominating the weather and the climate, in climate models.

Could they work? Sure. But one really shouldn’t expect them to work, one

should expect them to work no better than a simulated neural network “works” to simulate actual intelligence, which is to say, it can sometimes produce understandable behaviors “like” intelligence without ever properly resembling the intelligence of any intelligent thing and without the slightest ability to predict the behavior of an intelligent thing. The onus of proof is very much on the modelers that wish to assert that their models are useful for predicting long term climate, but this is a burden that so far they refuse to acknowledge, let alone accept! If they did, large numbers of climate models would have to be rejected because they do not work in the specific sense that they do not come particularly close to predicting the behavior of the actual climate from the instant they entered the regime where they were supposed to be predictive, instead of parametrically tuned and locked to match up well with a reference interval that just happened to be the one single stretch of 15-25 years where strong warming occurred in the last 85 years. There are so very, very many problems with this — training any model on a non-representative segment of the available data is obviously likely to lead to a poor model — but suffice it to say that so far, they aren’t working and nobody should be surprised.

rgb

In the sections below, as in previous posts, we will present you with the latest facts. The information will be presented in three sections and an appendix. The first section will show for how long there has been no warming on some data sets. At the moment, only the satellite data have flat periods of longer than a year. The second section will show for how long there has been no statistically significant warming on several data sets. The third section will show how 2015 so far compares with 2014 and the warmest years and months on record so far. For three of the data sets, 2014 also happens to be the warmest year. The appendix will illustrate sections 1 and 2 in a different way. Graphs and a table will be used to illustrate the data.

Section 1

This analysis uses the latest month for which data is available on WoodForTrees.com (WFT). All of the data on WFT is also available at the specific sources as outlined below. We start with the present date and go to the furthest month in the past where the slope is a least slightly negative on at least one calculation. So if the slope from September is 4 x 10^-4 but it is – 4 x 10^-4 from October, we give the time from October so no one can accuse us of being less than honest if we say the slope is flat from a certain month.

1. For GISS, the slope is not flat for any period that is worth mentioning.

2. For Hadcrut4, the slope is not flat for any period that is worth mentioning.

3. For Hadsst3, the slope is not flat for any period that is worth mentioning.

4. For UAH, the slope is flat since May 1997 or 18 years and 5 months. (goes to September using version 6.0)

5. For RSS, the slope is flat since February 1997 or 18 years and 8 months. (goes to September)

The next graph shows just the lines to illustrate the above. Think of it as a sideways bar graph where the lengths of the lines indicate the relative times where the slope is 0. In addition, the upward sloping blue line at the top indicates that CO2 has steadily increased over this period.

Note that the UAH5.6 from WFT needed a detrend to show the slope is zero for UAH6.0.

WoodForTrees.org – Paul Clark – Click the pic to view at­ source

When two things are plotted as I have done, the left only shows a temperature anomaly.

The actual numbers are meaningless since the two slopes are essentially zero. No numbers are given for CO2. Some have asked that the log of the concentration of CO2 be plotted. However WFT does not give this option. The upward sloping CO2 line only shows that while CO2 has been going up over the last 18 years, the temperatures have been flat for varying periods on the two sets.

Section 2

For this analysis, data was retrieved from Nick Stokes’ Trendviewer available on his website. This analysis indicates for how long there has not been statistically significant warming according to Nick’s criteria. Data go to their latest update for each set. In every case, note that the lower error bar is negative so a slope of 0 cannot be ruled out from the month indicated.

On several different data sets, there has been no statistically significant warming for between 11 and 22 years according to Nick’s criteria. Cl stands for the confidence limits at the 95% level.

The details for several sets are below.

For UAH6.0: Since December 1992: Cl from -0.009 to 1.688

This is 22 years and 10 months.

For RSS: Since March 1993: Cl from -0.014 to 1.597

This is 22 years and 7 months.

For Hadcrut4.4: Since January 2001: Cl from -0.048 to 1.334

This is 14 years and 9 months.

For Hadsst3: Since July 1995: Cl from -0.002 to 1.949

This is 20 years and 3 months.

For GISS: Since September 2004: Cl from -0.033 to 2.020

This is 11 years and 1 month.

Section 3

This section shows data about 2015 and other information in the form of a table. The table shows the five data sources along the top and other places so they should be visible at all times. The sources are UAH, RSS, Hadcrut4, Hadsst3, and GISS.

Down the column, are the following:

1. 14ra: This is the final ranking for 2014 on each data set.

2. 14a: Here I give the average anomaly for 2014.

3. year: This indicates the warmest year on record so far for that particular data set. Note that the satellite data sets have 1998 as the warmest year and the others have 2014 as the warmest year.

4. ano: This is the average of the monthly anomalies of the warmest year just above.

5. mon: This is the month where that particular data set showed the highest anomaly. The months are identified by the first three letters of the month and the last two numbers of the year.

6. ano: This is the anomaly of the month just above.

7. y/m: This is the longest period of time where the slope is not positive given in years/months. So 16/2 means that for 16 years and 2 months the slope is essentially 0. Periods of under a year are not counted and are shown as “0”.

8. sig: This the first month for which warming is not statistically significant according to Nick’s criteria. The first three letters of the month are followed by the last two numbers of the year.

9. sy/m: This is the years and months for row 8. Depending on when the update was last done, the months may be off by one month.

10. Jan: This is the January 2015 anomaly for that particular data set.

11. Feb: This is the February 2015 anomaly for that particular data set, etc.

19. ave: This is the average anomaly of all months to date taken by adding all numbers and dividing by the number of months.

20. rnk: This is the rank that each particular data set would have for 2015 without regards to error bars and assuming no changes. Think of it as an update 45 minutes into a game.

Source UAH RSS Had4 Sst3 GISS
1.14ra 5th 6th 1st 1st 1st
2.14a 0.188 0.255 0.564 0.479 0.75
3.year 1998 1998 2014 2014 2014
4.ano 0.482 0.55 0.564 0.479 0.75
5.mon Apr98 Apr98 Jan07 Aug14 Jan07
6.ano 0.742 0.857 0.832 0.644 0.97
7.y/m 18/5 18/8 0 0 0
8.sig Dec92 Mar93 Jan01 Jul95 Sep04
9.sy/m 22/10 22/7 14/9 20/3 11/1
Source UAH RSS Had4 Sst3 GISS
10.Jan 0.276 0.365 0.688 0.440 0.82
11.Feb 0.174 0.326 0.660 0.406 0.88
12.Mar 0.164 0.255 0.681 0.424 0.90
13.Apr 0.086 0.172 0.656 0.557 0.74
14.May 0.284 0.309 0.696 0.593 0.79
15.Jun 0.332 0.391 0.730 0.575 0.77
16.Jul 0.182 0.288 0.696 0.637 0.73
17.Aug 0.275 0.389 0.740 0.665 0.81
18.Sep 0.253 0.382 0.786 0.729 0.81
Source UAH RSS Had4 Sst3 GISS
19.ave 0.225 0.320 0.702 0.558 0.81
20.rnk 3rd 4th 1st 1st 1st

If you wish to verify all of the latest anomalies, go to the following:

For UAH, version 6.0beta3 was used. Note that WFT uses version 5.6. So to verify the length of the pause on version 6.0, you need to use Nick’s program.

http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0beta/tlt/tltglhmam_6.0beta3.txt

For RSS, see: ftp://ftp.ssmi.com/msu/monthly_time_series/rss_monthly_msu_amsu_channel_tlt_anomalies_land_and_ocean_v03_3.txt

For Hadcrut4, see: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcrut4/data/current/time_series/HadCRUT.4.4.0.0.monthly_ns_avg.txt

For Hadsst3, see: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/HadSST3-gl.dat

For GISS, see:

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

To see all points since January 2015 in the form of a graph, see the WFT graph below. Note that UAH version 5.6 is shown. WFT does not show version 6.0 yet. Also note that Hadcrut4.3 is shown and not Hadcrut4.4, which is why the last few months are missing for Hadcrut.

WoodForTrees.org – Paul Clark – Click the pic to view at source

As you can see, all lines have been offset so they all start at the same place in January 2015. This makes it easy to compare January 2015 with the latest anomaly.

Appendix

In this part, we are summarizing data for each set separately.

RSS

The slope is flat since February 1997 or 18 years, 8 months. (goes to September)

For RSS: There is no statistically significant warming since March 1993: Cl from -0.014 to 1.597.

The RSS average anomaly so far for 2015 is 0.320. This ties it as 4th place. 1998 was the warmest at 0.55. The highest ever monthly anomaly was in April of 1998 when it reached 0.857. The anomaly in 2014 was 0.255 and it was ranked 6th.

UAH6.0beta3

The slope is flat since May 1997 or 18 years and 5 months. (goes to September using version 6.0beta3)

For UAH: There is no statistically significant warming since December 1992: Cl from -0.009 to 1.688. (This is using version 6.0 according to Nick’s program.)

The UAH average anomaly so far for 2015 is 0.225. This would rank it as 3rd place. 1998 was the warmest at 0.483. The highest ever monthly anomaly was in April of 1998 when it reached 0.742. The anomaly in 2014 was 0.188 and it was ranked 5th.

Hadcrut4.4

The slope is not flat for any period that is worth mentioning.

For Hadcrut4: There is no statistically significant warming since January 2001: Cl from -0.048 to 1.334.

The Hadcrut4 average anomaly so far for 2015 is 0.702. This would set a new record if it stayed this way. The highest ever monthly anomaly was in January of 2007 when it reached 0.832. The anomaly in 2014 was 0.564 and this set a new record.

Hadsst3

For Hadsst3, the slope is not flat for any period that is worth mentioning. For Hadsst3: There is no statistically significant warming since July 1995: Cl from -0.002 to 1.949.

The Hadsst3 average anomaly so far for 2015 is 0.558. This would set a new record if it stayed this way. The highest ever monthly anomaly was in August of 2014 when it reached 0.644. This is prior to 2015. The anomaly in 2014 was 0.479 and this set a new record. The September 2015 anomaly of 0.729 also sets a new record.

GISS

The slope is not flat for any period that is worth mentioning.

For GISS: There is no statistically significant warming since September 2004: Cl from -0.033 to 2.020.

The GISS average anomaly so far for 2015 is 0.81. This would set a new record if it stayed this way. The highest ever monthly anomaly was in January of 2007 when it reached 0.97. The anomaly in 2014 was 0.75 and it set a new record.

Conclusion

After reading this article, do you think climate science is settled? If not, do you think it will be settled in your lifetime?

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Björn from sweden
November 6, 2015 6:08 am

“Water Vapour” on the big control knob on the climate apparatus should not be written horisontally but aligned vertically with the indocator arrow, for greater visual cue-effect.

ferd berple
Reply to  Björn from sweden
November 6, 2015 10:05 am

4. Solar Energy
=========
the sun emits both energy and particles.

emsnews
Reply to  ferd berple
November 6, 2015 11:29 am

I see people disregarding the huge, huge effect our local star has on our existence. It looks rather small in our blue sky, a little round ball.
It is immense compared to our earth and utterly dwarfs Jupiter, the biggest ball circling this star. This star spits out immense amounts of this thing we call ‘energy’ in the form of various degrees of light, etc. This, in turn, heats up the various little tiny balls we call ‘planets’.
This vortex of energy is very old and it seems to me that the last two million years, it is not very consistent with energy output. Small changes in energy translates into cold climates for all those tiny balls of various materials that are trapped in orbit of this particular yellow star.
Someday, it will cease to exist, most likely will explode. Nothing is forever. I was raised by grandparents and parents who were astronomers and we learned how to view the universe from them. You have to be strong willed to be optimistic knowing all this information that is frankly, scary for us creatures trapped on this little rock in outer space.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  ferd berple
November 6, 2015 1:32 pm

Or particles with energy?

Evan Jones
Editor
Reply to  ferd berple
November 6, 2015 4:17 pm

Bear in mind that while the sun produces virtually all the heat, it is only changes in the sun (not just TSI, of course) that are (or may be) relevant.

george e. smith
Reply to  Björn from sweden
November 6, 2015 12:32 pm

Well so it is settled from your list of four ” must haves ” for climate science to be settled.
It is clear that you cannot satisfy, any one of those four requirements, ergo climate science is not settled.
George

Reply to  Björn from sweden
November 7, 2015 1:00 am

One should add the following to the list in the head posting:
Thermodynamics. The atmosphere where excitation/de-excitation collisions occur is bounded by two heat sinks, both substantial, one near-infinite. Global mean surface temperature has varied by no more than 3.5 degrees either side of the long-run median for 810,000 years – about the same tolerance as a home thermostat. We cannot much perturb that formidable thermostasis.
Quantum mechanics. Models use Lorentzian or Voigt equations to determine the line-shapes of the far wings of the principal absorption spectra of CO2, where most of the forcing occurs, but both equations, which were derived for proposes other than global warming research, assume for convenience that collisions are instantaneous. However, they occupy a few picoseconds, and that is enough to require a reduction of 40% in the current central estimate of the CO2 forcing, and hence of climate sensitivity to a CO2 doubling. This one is right up Professor Brown’s street.
Electronics. Two-thirds of climate sensitivity, according to the Party Line, comes from net-positive or amplifying temperature feedbacks, not one of which can be directly quantified by measurement. The Bode open-loop or system-gain equation that models the mutual amplification of feedbacks is, however, taken from electronics, where it works quite well, but is inapplicable in the climate, particularly where the IPCC’s strongly net-positive feedbacks are assumed. The equation mandates that, at a closed-loop gain >1, feedbacks should drive the output down rather than up. Sure enough, in an electronic circuit the output voltage reverses its sign at a loop gain >1, but in the climate the output temperature does not reverse its direction, not least because, unlike the output voltage in a circuit, the output temperature in the climate is the instrument of the climate system’s self-equilibration following the perturbation caused by a forcing. The Bode equation is thus incapable of modelling dynamical systems such as the climate, especially at high loop gains.
Cybernetics. The architecture of the general-circulation models exhibits a number of defects propagated throughout the models by intercomparison. Not the least of these, as Dr David Evans has pointed out in his fascinating series at Jo Nova’s site, is the models’ inbuilt but actually erroneous assumption that the feedbacks to a greenhouse-gas forcing will be identical to those from a solar or other exogenous forcing, when in reality most feedbacks to a solar forcing will not respond to endogenous perturbations such as greenhouse-gas forcings. Another such defect is the misuse of the Bode equation. Another is the failure to model synoptic variability.
Chaos. In the absence of highly-resolved data on initial conditions and of high understanding of the evolutionary processes of the climate object, reliable prediction for more than a week ahead is not available by any method.bso much for “settled science”.
Logic. The fundamental postulate of logic is that, since objective truth exists, a proposition and its converse cannot simultaneously obtain. Two important corollaries: first, any true proposition is consistent with every true proposition and inconsistent with every false proposition; secondly, if the converse of a proposition be demonstrated to be false, the original proposition is necessarily true. Most of the claims of the believers may be definitively disposed of either through demonstration by contradiction, which can often overcome the difficulties inherent in demonstrating that a hypothesis is true, or by applying the dozen fundamental fallacies first described by Aristotle in the Sophistical Refutations 2350 years ago.
Economics. It is surprisingly easy to demonstrate definitively that mitigation today is orders of magnitude costlier than adaptation the day after tomorrow, even if, per impossibile, the wild exaggerations of the IPCC are accepted as true ad argumentum.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
November 7, 2015 5:54 am

Thank you very much! Since it may be missed with the new format at WUWT, I may make this part of my next post.

Dahlquist
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
November 7, 2015 9:20 am

Werner
You list #8 Atmospheric Composition. What about the Atmosphere itself. It has mass, layers (strata), etc. and I did not see much about these mentioned, although it was skimmed. It would be good to have the Atmosphere by itself given a number in this list. Also, Under #8 Atmospheric Composition I did not see any references to strata, mass, temperature decrease with elevation, boiling points at various pressures, etc.
Perhaps I am off target here, but thought I’d throw in my 2 cents.
Thanks

James Hein
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
November 8, 2015 3:55 pm

On “Electronics” more recent information strongly indicates the net feedback is under 1.

george e. smith
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
November 9, 2015 12:14 pm

Plus Lord Monckton, in an electronic feedback amplifier, the feedback (sample of the output) is fed back to the INPUT terminal not to some other node in the output.
Since TOA TSI is the input terminal, and an attenuated version of this is what gets stored in the big ocean heat storage depot, any feedbacks should address the changes in attenuation of TSI before it gets to the surface as solar spectrum radiant energy.
Losses in the atmosphere to Raleigh and Mie scattering plus absorption by atmospheric gases including GHGs, such as H2O and O3 (CO2 as well), convert Solar Spectrum beam energy to isotropic LWIR radiant energy or isotropic heat energy, which preferentially conducts or convects upwards; rather than downwards. (That messy second law thing).
So clouds is where the action is.
g

Editor
November 6, 2015 6:15 am

I think the use of the word “knobs” is a reference to both the controls on the machine and the “scientists” using them. In the UK, “What a knob” is a derogatory term, likening someone (usually male), to a part of the male anatomy!
Another good one Josh!!

Reply to  andrewmharding
November 6, 2015 7:07 am

“control knob” is a reference to the now famous paper by Andrew Lacis

Reply to  Chaam Jamal
November 6, 2015 7:17 am

I thought it was:
Richard Alley: “The Biggest Control Knob: Carbon Dioxide in Earth’s Climate History”

Reply to  Chaam Jamal
November 6, 2015 9:21 am

Chaam and Werner. It might have been a Freudian slip on my part. If Josh could clarify this point, I am sure we will be grateful!

November 6, 2015 6:16 am

Can’t see it being settled for many years yet as the political juggernaut will take a lot of turning around. A new RSS/UAH high from an El Nino will just drive that further away, even if 18 months later the temperature crashes back down again as it did in 1999.
Eventually the politicos will have other fish to fry, and all this will be forgotten as we panic about the next threat to all humanity.

Matt G
Reply to  millennia97
November 6, 2015 6:41 am

Beating RSS or UAH yearly record by for example 0.1 c every 15+ years only falsifies CAGW. For a temperature rate to be regarded matching the warmest agenda, yearly records need to be broken every few years (3-4) to be any where near close. If breaking yearly records by 0.1 c to 0.2 c every 3-4 years would result in century warming between 3 c and 6 c. Clearly this has not been happening at all, so the CAGW has already been falsified.

Reply to  Matt G
November 6, 2015 6:45 am

Good scientific arguments of no use when fighting political protectionism. Remember they actually change the data to suit their theories!

Evan Jones
Editor
Reply to  Matt G
November 6, 2015 4:28 pm

But even their changed data does not indicate catastrophe or even alarm, even using the Karl pausebuster metrics. And, anyway, certain data with known biases (TOBs, moves, equipment, what have you) requires changes or must be dropped, entirely.
With the data/metadata-rich USHCN, we can drop then and still maintain adequate coverage. But the GHCN, not so much. (That is the issue Mosh has to contend with. It’s where he went awry, I think, but it’s not his fault. We just happen to have a better dataset.)
My beef is not that these dudes do changes, but that the changes are wrong. We’ll be suggesting a few of our own, down the line, I think.

michael hart
November 6, 2015 6:32 am

Well, yes. With a good climate model, you can jerk around with the control knobs to get the desired result.

Harry Passfield
November 6, 2015 6:44 am

We must know all variables that can affect climate.

Ahh, the known knowns and the unknown knowns. And then, we mustn’t overlook the unknown knowns and the known unknowns, not to mention the unknown unknowns. (h/t Donald Rumsfeld – who coulda been a climate scientist)

rogerknights
Reply to  Harry Passfield
November 6, 2015 2:42 pm

And the not-seen knowns, aka Pink Flamingos.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  rogerknights
November 6, 2015 7:36 pm

And the impossible unknowns, aka Black Swans.

Kermit
November 6, 2015 6:49 am

THANK YOU for taking the time and expending the effort to write this. My background is physics & math – a long time ago now – but I have been using computer models for the last 25 years or so to quantify things that affect selected commodity markets. I have found that even among scientists, there is very little knowledge about using computer models to understand or make predictions in complex systems. There is very little understanding of the limitations of these models, even among scientists.
Again, I thank you for writing this. It is something that I look forward to reading several times.

rgbatduke
Reply to  Kermit
November 6, 2015 8:59 am

Yeah, I’ve done two companies (sadly, both failed at this point) doing predictive modeling using e.g. advanced neural networks that I wrote using a bunch of tricks stolen from physics/stat mech. The nets actually worked phenomenally well, but it turns out that founding a business and succeeding is really difficult (something that is reflected in the 10% success rate). One difficulty is that in business, the people you are selling to almost never understand statistics beyond the one course they might have taken and gotten a C in 30 years earlier in college. To them predictive modeling is black magic, and they manage to both doubt that it will work and expect it to do the impossible if it does. It requires a superhuman sales force to be able to explain both the marginal advantages and the limitations.
I advise students who are going on to careers in science and medicine, and know pretty accurately what statistics course(s) (if any) they are likely to end up having taken even at an elite institution like Duke. Sadly, for the most part this is that very same one course, which isn’t even a course at the “serious math” level, it is “practical statistics” and goes over the usual stuff about sampling, the central limit theorem, the error function, and stuff like t. The real goal of the class is to teach students to be able to critically assess statistical claims in papers. As is covered in Statistics Done Wrong: A Woefully Complete Guide:
http://www.statisticsdonewrong.com/
this minimal training fails on both sides of the fence — it does serve to make e.g. physicians a lot more skeptical of marginal results presented in medical journals, but equally obviously, not skeptical enough. But the bigger failure is in the lack of adequate understanding of statistics on the research side. Even the gold standard, a double blind placebo controlled test of some hypothesis, is often plagued by the simplest of problems, such as the fact that the population being studied is itself far from a random selection from the actual population, the fact that the sample size is typically pitifully small OR it is huge but many things are being studied simultaneously (and without Bonferroni correction) in a huge multivariate data dredge that concludes things like “Green Jelly Beans cause Acne”:
https://xkcd.com/882/
Occasionally I see a paper in climate science that does decent statistics, in particular one that openly acknowledges the enormous errors that are more typically minimized and/or openly misrepresented, especially in any material intended for “public” consumption. To be blunt, climate science in general makes claims of “confidence” across the board that cannot possibly be justified using axiomatic statistics. The worst instances of this abuse of terminology with a precise meaning in actual statistics in a context where the reader is deliberately invited to believe that that is the sense being used are in (for example) the summary for policy makers (SPM) of the various ARs from the IPCC, where the abuses are so egregious they have inspired a number of climate scientists to withdraw altogether from the process.
It is, for example, amusing to examine the changes and differences in the temperature anomalies version to version and between two different products that are supposedly measuring the same thing. Consider this plot:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2010/to:2015/plot/gistemp/from:2010/to:2015
This is gistemp and hadcrut4, both global temperature anomalies with a supposedly common base, plotted side by side over just the last five years. As you can see, GISS considers the anomaly to be 0.2C higher than the CRU. If one downloads the HadCRUT4 data and tallies all sources of acknowledged error, the error year to year is claimed to be 0.1 C. This error cannot be a standard deviation, as it sums three or four distinct estimated contributions to a total error, so we have to assume that it is supposed to be a confidence interval, that it is 95% certain that the actual anomaly is within 0.1 C either way of the number they publish. However, let’s be generous and assume that it really is supposed to be a standard deviation or normal equivalent.
Either way it is amusing to note that a very simple way to interpret this graph is that it is 95% or better certain that GISStemp LOTI is wrong according to the CRU! If one plots BEST it is a lot more than 95% certain that BEST is wrong — the two differ by as much as a degree C. If one plots the BEST 95% confidence bound (which actually is available on WFT, amazingly) it is 99.99% certain that HadCRUT4 is badly, badly wrong, as is GISStemp LOTI. HadCRUT3 isn’t quite 95% certain to be wrong according to HadCRUT4, but it is close. One wonders what the error claims for HadCRUT3 were?
To paraphrase Wesley in The Princess Bride, “I do not think this `confidence interval’ means what you think it means…”
As I spend some tiny fraction of my tiny amount of free time (time when I’m not teaching, advising, or working on something else) on learning nonlinear dynamics and some of the “universal” properties of chaotic systems, it is becoming increasingly clear with working numerical examples that I’ve built on top of e.g. octave that the arithmetical average of the one-dimensional projection of a strange attractor is not a good predictor for the state of a chaotic system. Nor is the distribution of the projection of the specific timestep values anything vaguely resembling normal, not for most of the “interesting” systems that are still far less complex than any possible representation of the climate. Furthermore, in direct contradiction to the assertions of Nick Stokes that the climate models are probably as reliable as ordinary CFD codes 30 to 100 years out, the demonstration that chaos depends sensitively on things like integration stepsize and granularity is a textbook example in Sprott’s lovely book, one that I implemented (just for grins) in octave. To put it bluntly, even stable non-chaotic sets of ODEs can become chaotic if integrated with the right (wrong) stepsize, and changing the stepsize can “suddenly” shift the entire character of the solution to patterns that bear absolutely no resemblance to the “correct” solution obtained with a small and ideally adaptive stepsize. This is true for really boring sets of 2-3 coupled ODEs — forget about solutions to nonlinear coupled Navier-Stokes equations solved in an irregularly driven non-inertial reference frame with a highly complex surface structure on an integration granularity 30 orders of magnitude larger than the Kolmogorov scale for the problem.
I can only reiterate my conclusion quoted by Werner above. Could climate models work? Sure. They do work — for about a week out from a good initialization, where we call them weather models. But one really shouldn’t expect them to work out to 30+ years. We shouldn’t really expect them to work out to ten-plus years. Or five. Or even just one. After all, just one year out the climate depends strongly on things like just what is happening in a small patch of the Pacific Ocean where the named dissipation pattern called “ENSO” holds sway, and our ability to predict that one lousy year out just plain sucks. Will the current ENSO condition persist six more months? Maybe. Or maybe it will just blow apart. Or maybe it will get even stronger. Or perhaps it will remain about the same. We would be lucky to make a prediction that was right a bit over half of the time, given nothing but the conditions right now, and none of the decent predictions would be based on microdynamical simulations, they would be based on things like comparing what we see right now to what we’ve seen at similar points in ENSO episodes past, a completely different kind of modeling and prediction.
Then there is the enormously sketchy process of running a climate model (say) 200 times with small perturbations of initial conditions and parameters to get 200 enormously different possible future climate trajectories, some of which cool the planet, some of which warm the planet, all of them suffering from the stepsize problem indicated above and the fact that they cannot even resolve most of the short-time dissipative structures in the atmosphere or maintain detailed balance as they integrate. These trajectories are then averaged, and the average is claimed to be “the prediction” of the model, with the width of the distribution of trajectories used as an utterly (theoretically) unjustifiable estimate of its probable error. Then the ensemble of these average trajectories across all the different, but not independent, climate models is itself averaged, and its spread is used as an even less justifiable assertion of “confidence bounds”.
Nobody rational should expect this to work at all. The average of trajectories produced by a single climate model is going to be just as wrong as the climate model is wrong, and the usual order of science is to first propose a model, and then to test its predictive powers to see if the climate model is wrong. That is, any good model should be subjected to a hypothesis test as far as its ability to predict actual future climates is concerned, and to the extent that it does poorly, it should be at the very least viewed skeptically as a poor predictor.
But how, precisely, are we supposed to interpret the average of many average trajectories produced by many untested climate models, especially when that average is protected from rejection by actual comparison of its predictions to the real climate? The average of many broken models, especially broken models with an obvious bias relative to reality, is a broken model with an obvious bias relative to reality.
Or not, of course. There is a chance that the null hypothesis of the hypothesis test that isn’t being performed, “This is a perfect climate model” is correct, and that the climate we are experiencing in reality is merely unlikely given the inputs, and over time any given model will end up being correct as the system regresses to its true/more probable behavior. However, I repeat: the onus of proof is very much on the modelers that wish to assert that their models are useful for predicting long term climate, but this is a burden that so far they refuse to acknowledge, let alone accept.
I mean this literally. It’s almost a quote from Chapter 9 in AR5. They do, and present, these averages knowing that they haven’t been subjected to a hypothesis test, knowing that the multimodel mean most often presented as the claimed prediction of CMIP5 “warming” contains the results of many models that would be summarily rejected if they were subjected to a hypothesis test, and that aren’t remotely independent and identically distributed samples drawn from some sort of distribution of models.
Bad science, bad statistics. It makes me sad.
rgb

Reply to  rgbatduke
November 6, 2015 9:39 am

This is gistemp and hadcrut4, both global temperature anomalies with a supposedly common base

Thank you for this reply! However the base periods are actually different. GISS uses 1951 to 1980 and Hadcrut4 uses 1961 to 1990. So GISS would always read higher. Nevertheless, they can hugely vary month by month as the top graphic on this earlier post clearly shows:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/12/22/hadcrut4-is-from-venus-giss-is-from-mars-now-includes-november-data/
So as you say, something seems to be very wrong with their error bars.

CC Reader
Reply to  rgbatduke
November 6, 2015 10:34 am

Dr. David Evans at science speak blog has a new model and concludes the following:
New Science 18: Finally climate sensitivity calculated at just one tenth of official estimates. Hence we conclude that:
The ECS might be almost zero, is likely less than 0.25 °C, and most likely less than 0.5 °C.
The fraction of global warming caused by CO2, μ,is likely less than 20%.
The CO2 sensitivity, λC, is likely less than 0.15 °C W−1 m2.
Given a descending WVEL, it is difficult to construct a scenario consistent with the observed data in which the influence of CO2 is greater than this.
DEFINITION: The equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) is the surface warming ΔTS when the CO2 concentration doubles and the other drivers are unchanged. Note that the effect of CO2 is logarithmic, so each doubling or fraction thereof has the same effect on surface warming.

emsnews
Reply to  rgbatduke
November 6, 2015 11:45 am

And then there is the issue, why did the most recent Little Ice Age happen? Not to mention, the real nasty Ice Ages.

Reply to  rgbatduke
November 6, 2015 12:14 pm

Dr. Brown,
Indeed – among the scientific and statistical mistakes you note above, there is also the mistake where massive computational systems are assumed to have skill.
I personally suspect this is a holdover from the hand calculator. Hand calculators are always right, therefore a really, really, really big hand calculator (i.e. a super computer) must be right even more!

Reply to  rgbatduke
November 6, 2015 1:14 pm

Robert Brown writes: “To paraphrase Wesley in The Princess Bride…” I hate to be one to cast doubt on an otherwise brilliant criticism of climate modeling, but feel obligated to point out that you’ve in fact paraphrased Inigo Montoya with this attribution rather than Wesley.
You know, criticizing climate modelers, especially those participating in the “Grand Average of Nonsense” party the IPCC is promoting with their Three Letter Acronym-5 program is a lot like shooting ducks in a barrel. It’s not as if any one of the models has every been remotely close to predictive, still the IPCC seems to think tossing them all in a bag and shaking them up will magically cause truth to appear.
It reminds me very much of the folks who have no idea at all about whatever “system” they’re trying to model, so they go out and collect whatever raw data might be available cheap, toss it all in a bin and shove the lot of it through a stepwise regression with the hope they’ll get lucky. It’s really pitiful.
That aside, you comment on the test of a hypothesis rests in the performance of the models based on it isn’t lost on me, I’ve used it so many times even I’m getting tired of hearing it, but it just doesn’t work. You’d think something that patently obvious and so broadly accepted within scientific communities of every discipline would be cause enough to show these people the door, but it’s not. Year after year they receive research funds that could be spent on projects that may not have immediate social value, but that at least haven’t been proven to be complete junk beyond any shadow of doubt for nearly half a century!
Personally, I despair. I’m sorry to admit to people who ask that I was once a scientist who worked for NASA and NOAA. That my specialty was statistics and design of experiments. I used to be proud of what I did, but what these people have done has destroyed the reputation of thousands of legitimate scientists. I have no idea what to do about it other than tell people I’m retired and now I restore cars for fun. I just don’t discuss my past anymore.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  rgbatduke
November 6, 2015 1:29 pm

emsnews
November 6, 2015 at 11:45 am
The Little Ice Age was the latest in a series of periodic, centennial-scale, cold spells, alternating with warmer cycles of similar intervals, characteristic of the Holocene and other interglacials.
The long-term trend for at least the past 3000 years, since the Minoan Warm Period, has been colder. That is, the peaks of warm periods are getting cooler and the depths of cool periods colder. The trend might date back to the end of the Holocene Climatic Optimum, c. 5000 years ago.
Peak heat of the Minoan Warm Period was higher than of the Roman WP, which was in turn toastier than the Medieval WP, which so far remains balmier than the current Modern WP. The intervening cold periods also appear to have been progressively chillier, ie the Greek Dark Ages CP less frosty than the Dark Ages, which in turn was probably less icy than the LIA.
They’re natural Bond cycles within interglacials, similar to but of less magnitude than D/O cycles within glacial phases. The onset of these real, big ice ages seems linked to earth’s orbital and rotational cycles.

george e. smith
Reply to  rgbatduke
November 6, 2015 3:20 pm

“””””…..
Reader
November 6, 2015 at 10:34 am
Dr. David Evans at science speak blog has a new model and concludes the following: …..””””
When you say ECS is:
“”.. DEFINITION: The equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) is the surface warming ΔTS when the CO2 concentration doubles and the other drivers are unchanged. Note that the effect of CO2 is logarithmic, so each doubling or fraction thereof has the same effect on surface warming. ..””
So this is true for CO2 going from 400 ppmm to 800 ppmm, or from 280 ppmm to 560 ppmm, or from 1 ppmm to 2 ppmm ; since that is exactly what logarithmic means.
So far since 1957/58 IGY, when Mauna Loa Data started up, we have gone from 315 ppmm to 400 ppmm or thereabouts, which is about 2^0.34, or about 1/3rd of a doubling.
So far the corresponding Temperature increase is not distinguishable from what a linear trend would imply.
I dare say a Taylor series can model the relationship from 315 to 400 ppm at least as well as the assumption of logarithmeticity, for which there is no foundation either in experiment (science) or theory (maths).
I dare say the experimental data can be fitted to the form:
y = exp(-1/x^2) just as well; and with x,y being CO2 and Temperature IN EITHER ORDER.
Just repeating that the relationship is logarithmic doesn’t make it so. A logarithm is a very specific mathematical function; not just some arbitrary non linearity.
g

Reply to  rgbatduke
November 6, 2015 3:26 pm

Just repeating that the relationship is logarithmic doesn’t make it so.

This is very true! As a matter of fact, for the last 18 years and 9 months on RSS, the effect seems to be zero.

Auto
Reply to  rgbatduke
November 6, 2015 3:54 pm

rgb
Thanks – and plus some hundreds.
I have always believed that – since my time as weather forecaster for Mrs Elam’s class in – probably – 1962, when Upstill Nancekevill, Dixon and me more-or-less said ‘Tomorrow will be the same as today’.
And we edged the Met Office (then).
Today – living in the bit of the UK south of London, I feel 24 hour forecasts are pretty good – better than ours were in ’62, for sure.
[Hah – school kids with a chalk board. Ha!]
48/72 hours – take with a pinch of salt.
Five days – well, b*’^^ing optimistic.
Weeks/months/beyond – I trust they’re entered for Nobel Prizes for Literature [Fiction]!
Did the Mann get one of these?
Only asking.
Honest.
Ten years ahead – sorry – don’t make me >0m1T.
Sixty Years – Yeah Right. F+’^I>g aye Right.
Can’t get a fortnight right better than one in three . . . . . . .
Auto

rgbatduke
Reply to  rgbatduke
November 10, 2015 1:19 pm

First, yes, it was Inigo Montoya. Second, Werner, if you look over the length and breadth of the two on WFT, you will find that over a substantial fraction of the two plots they are offset by less than 0.1 C. For example, for much of the first half of the 20th century, they are almost on top of one another with GISS rarely coming up with a patch 0.1 C or so higher. They almost precisely match in a substantial part of their overlapping reference periods. They only start to substantially split in the 1970 to 1990 range (which contains much of the latter 20th century warming). By the 21st century this split has grown to around 0.2 C, and is remarkably consistent. Let’s examine this in some detail:
We can start with very simple graph that shows the divergence over the last century:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1915/to:2015/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1915/to:2015/trend
The two graphs have a widening divergence in the temperatures they obtain. If the two measures were in mutual agreement, one would expect the linear trends to be in good agreement — the anomaly of the anomaly, as it were. They should, after all, be offset by only the difference in mean temperatures in their reference periods, which should be a constant offset if they are both measuring the correct anomalies from the same mean temperatures.
Obviously, they do not. There is a growing rift between the two and, as I noted, they are split by more than the 95% confidence that HadCRUT4, at least, claims even relative to an imagined split in means over their reference periods. There are, very likely, nonlinear terms in the models used to compute the anomalies that are growing and will continue to systematically diverge, simply because they very likely have different algorithms for infilling and kriging and so on, in spite of them very probably having substantial overlap in their input data.
In contrast, BEST and GISS do indeed have similar linear trends in the way expected, with a nearly constant offset. One presumes that this means that they use very similar methods to compute their anomalies (again, from data sets that very likely overlap substantially as well). The two of them look like they want to vote HadCRUT4 off of the island, 2 to 1:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1915/to:2005/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1915/to:2005/trend/plot/best/from:1915/to:2005/trend
Until, of course, one adds the trends of UAH and RSS:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1979/to:2015/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1979/to:2015/trend/plot/best/from:1979/to:2005/trend/plot/rss/from:1979/to:2015/trend/plot/uah/from:1979/to:2015/trend
All of a sudden consistency emerges, with some surprises. GISS, HadCRUT4 and UAH suddenly show almost exactly the same linear trend across the satellite era, with a constant offset of around 0.5 C. RSS is substantially lower. BEST cannot honestly be compared, as it only runs to 2005ish.
One is then very, very tempted to make anomalies out of our anomalies, and project them backwards in time to see how well they agree on hindcasts of past data. Let’s use the reference period show and subtract around 0.5 C from GISS and 0.3 C from HadCRUT4 to try to get them to line up with UAH in 2015 (why not, good as any):
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1979/to:2015/offset:-0.32/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1979/to:2015/offset:-0.465/trend/plot/uah/from:1979/to:2015/trend
We check to see if these offsets do make the anomalies match over the last 36 most accurate years (within reason):
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1979/to:2015/offset:-0.32/plot/gistemp/from:1979/to:2015/offset:-0.465/plot/uah/from:1979/to:2015
and see that they do. NOW we can compare the anomalies as they project into the indefinite past. Obviously UAH does have a slightly slower linear trend over this “re-reference period” and it doesn’t GO any further back, so we’ll drop it, and go back to 1880 to see how the two remaining anomalies on a common base look:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1880/to:2015/offset:-0.32/plot/gistemp/from:1880/to:2015/offset:-0.465
We now might be surprised to note that HadCRUT4 is well above GISS LOTI across most of its range. Back in the 19th century splits aren’t very important because they both have error bars back there that can forgive any difference, but there is a substantial difference across the entire stretch from 1920 to 1960:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1920/to:1960/offset:-0.32/plot/gistemp/from:1920/to:1960/offset:-0.465/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1920/to:1960/offset:-0.32/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1920/to:1960/offset:-0.465/trend
This reveals a robust and asymmetric split between HadCRUT4 and GISS LOTI that cannot be written off to any difference in offsets, as I renormalized the offsets to match them across what has to be presumed to be the most precise and accurately known part of their mutual ranges, a stretch of 36 years where in fact their linear trends are almost precisely the same so that the two anomalies differ only BY an offset of 0.145 C with more or less random deviations relative to one another.
We find that except for a short patch right in the middle of World War II, HadCRUT4 is consistently 0.1 to 0.2 C higher than GISStemp. This split cannot be repaired — if one matches it up across the interval from 1920 to 1960 (pushing GISStemp roughly 0.145 HIGHER than HadCRUT4 in the middle of WW II) then one splits it well outside of the 95% confidence interval in the present.
Unfortunately, while it is quite all right to have an occasional point higher or lower between them — as long as the “occasions” are randomly and reasonably symmetrically split — this is not an occasional point. It is a clearly resolved, asymmetric offset in matching linear trends. To make life even more interesting, the linear trends do (again) have a more or less matching slope, across the range 1920 to 1960 just like they do across 1979 through 2015 but with completely different offsets. The entire offset difference was accumulated from 1960 to 1979.
Just for grins, one last plot:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1880/to:1920/offset:-0.365/plot/gistemp/from:1880/to:1920/offset:-0.465/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1880/to:1920/offset:-0.365/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1880/to:1920/offset:-0.465/trend
Now we have a second, extremely interesting problem. Note that the offset between the linear trends here has shrunk to around half of what it was across the bulk of the early 20th century with HadCRUT4 still warmer, but now only warmer by maybe 0.045 C. This is in a region where the acknowledged 95% confidence range is order of 0.2 to 0.3. When I subtract appropriate offsets to make the linear trends almost precisely match in the middle, we get excellent agreement between the two anomalies.
Too excellent. By far. All of the data is within the mutual 95% confidence interval! This is, believe it or not, a really, really bad thing if one is testing a null hypothesis such as “the statistics we are publishing with our data have some meaning”.
We now have a bit of a paradox. Sure, the two data sets that these anomalies are built from very likely have substantial overlap, so the two anomalies themselves cannot properly be viewed as random samples drawn from a box filled with independent and identically distributed but correctly computed anomalies. But their super-agreement across the range from 1880 to 1920 and 1920 to 1960 (with a different offset) and across the range from 1979 to 2015 (but with yet another offset) means serious trouble for the underlying methods. This is absolutely conclusive evidence, in my opinion, that “According to HadCRUT4, it is well over 99% certain GISStemp is an incorrect computation of the anomaly” and vice versa. Furthermore, the differences between the two can not be explained by the fact that they draw on partially independent data sources — if this were the case, the strong coincidences between the two across piecewise blocking of the data are too strong — obviously the independent data is not sufficient to generate a symmetric and believable distribution of mutual excursions with errors that are anywhere near as large as they have to be, given that both HadCRUT4 and GISStemp if anything underestimate probable errors in the 19th century.
Where is the problem? Well, as I noted, a lot of it happens right here:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1960/to:1979/offset:-0.32/plot/gistemp/from:1960/to:1979/offset:-0.465/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1960/to:1979/offset:-0.32/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1960/to:1979/offset:-0.465/trend
The two anomalies match up almost perfectly from the right hand edge to the present. They do not match up well from 1920 to 1960, except for a brief stretch of four years or so in early World War II, but for most of this interval they maintain a fairly constant, and identical, slope to their (offset) linear trend! They match up better (too well!) — with again a very similar linear trend but yet another offset across the range from 1880 to 1920. But across the range from 1960 to 1979, Ouch! That’s gotta hurt. Across 20 years, HadCRUT4 cools Earth by around 0.08 C, while GISS warms it by around around 0.07C.
So what’s going on? This is a stretch in the modern era, after all. Thermometers are at this point pretty accurate. World History seems to agree with HadCRUT4, since in the early 70’s there was all sorts of sound and fury about possible ice ages and global cooling, not global warming. One would expect both anomalies to be drawing on very similar data sets with similar precision and with similar global coverage. Yet in this stretch of the modern era with modern instrumentation and (one has to believe) very similar coverage, the two major anomalies don’t even agree in the sign of the linear trend slope and more or less symmetrically split as one goes back to 1960 ,a split that actually goes all the way back to 1943, then splits again all the way back to 1920, then slowly “heals” as one goes back to 1880.
As I said, there is simply no chance that HadCRUT4 and GISS are both correct outside of the satellite era. Within the satellite era their agreement is very good, but they split badly over the 20 years preceding it in spite of the data overlap and quality of instrumentation. This split persists over pretty much the rest of the mutual range of the two anomalies except for a very short period of agreement in mid-WWII, where one might have been forgiven for a maximum disagreement given the chaotic nature of the world at war. One must conclude, based on either one, that it is 99% certain that the other one is incorrect.
Or, of course, that they are both incorrect. Further, one has to wonder about the nature of the errors that result in a split that is so clearly resolved once one puts them on an equal footing across the stretch where one can best believe that they are accurate. Clearly it is an error that is a smooth function of time, not an error that is in any sense due to accuracy of coverage of the (obviously strongly overlapping) data.
This result just makes me itch to get my hands on the data sets and code involved. For example, suppose that one feeds the same data into the two algorithms. What does one get then? Suppose one keeps only the set of sites that are present in 1880 when the two have mutually overlapping application (or better, from 1850 to the present) and runs the algorithm on them. How much do the results split from a) each other; and b) the result obtained from using all of the available sites in the present? One would expect the latter, in particular, to be a much better estimator of the probable method error in the remote past — if one uses only those sites to determine the current anomaly and it differs by (say) 0.5 C from what one gets using all sites, that would be a very interesting thing in and of itself.
Finally, there is the ongoing problem with using anomalies in the first place rather than computing global average temperatures. Somewhere in there, one has to perform a subtraction. The number you subtract is in some sense arbitrary, but any particular number you subtract comes with an error estimate of its own. And here is the rub:
The place where the two global anomalies develop their irreducible split is square inside the mutually overlapping part of their reference periods!
That is, the one place they most need to be in agreement, at least in the sense that they reproduce the same linear trends, that is, the same anomalies is the very place where they most greatly differ. Indeed, their agreement is suspiciously good — as far as linear trend is concerned – everywhere else, in particular in the most recent present where one has to presume that the anomaly is most accurately being computed and the most remote past where one expects to get very different linear trends but instead get almost identical ones!
I doubt that anybody is still reading this thread to see this — but they should.
Finally, to George E. Smith:

So far the corresponding Temperature increase is not distinguishable from what a linear trend would imply.

(along with more about how it is not obviously logarithmic). I’ve posted the figure where one can fit HadCRUT4 with a log function from 1850 to the present with rather excellent agreement, within an apparent oscillatory correction of around 0.1 C plus some noise many times in the past at this point, and I know you have seen it, so you are simply pretending you haven’t in your reply. Over the last 30 years, sure, it isn’t distinguishable from a linear trend given natural variability and probable climate sensitivity. Over the last 165 years, it fits pretty well with very reasonable numbers for both. Over the last 2000 years, it probably doesn’t fit too well. Or rather, (as the discussion above makes clear) we cannot say how well it does or does not fit, because one thing that is clear is that the two global anomaly computations examined in some detail in this very reply are mutually inconsistent in a way that makes them very dubious in their extension back into the early 20th and 19th centuries and utterly inexplicable across the overlapping part of their anomaly reference periods. One has to conclude that the error in the anomaly reference temperatures themselves is at least 0.2 C, and is quite probably several times that given only two samples. IMO the probable error scaling across the reference overlap into the past, allowing from data overlap, makes the probable mutual method error in the 19th and early 20th century closer to 0.5 to 0.6 C than 0.3 C, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it were a full 1 C.
If it anywhere near this, then we literally have no idea how much the Earth has warmed from the mid-19th century to the present. It could be anywhere from 1.5 C to 0.2 C. In this case we have no idea what a “good fit” to the anomaly might look like, and the apparent logarithmic fit to CO2 concentration could end up being either an accident or being adequately well fit with a TCS as small as 0.5 C per doubling. And the sad thing is that there is no point in even trying to fit TCS across an interval outside of the satellite era where UAH, HadCRUT4 and GISS have linear trends in close agreement with each other, where all three produce a linear trend of roughly 0.5 C over 36 years, or around 0.14 C/decade. Across this interval, it is pointless to even try a log fit, and it is quite impossible to resolve the effects of natural things like ENSO from some underlying CO2-driven fraction of the trend since we don’t know how to compute or predict either one and the interval is far too short, and noisy, to have any hope of success if we did.
rgb

Reply to  rgbatduke
November 10, 2015 1:28 pm
Reply to  dbstealey
November 10, 2015 1:38 pm

dbstealey, that’s not quite correct. That is my graph of USClimate Reference Network data, which while not hidden, is not used in public press releases. They prefer the old messed up network that requires adjustments to make their public pronouncements.

Reply to  Anthony Watts
November 10, 2015 7:08 pm

My misteak, then. I got that chart and the info from another site, which it seems was copied from here. I’ll check to see if they gave WUWT credit for the chart.

Reply to  dbstealey
November 10, 2015 7:11 pm

In checking, the chart (which I missed the first time around) was on a site (FLM) that got it from another blog: Poor Richard’s News, which in turn got it from the Powerline blog.
WUWT is getting widely read!

Reply to  rgbatduke
November 10, 2015 5:05 pm

I doubt that anybody is still reading this thread to see this — but they should.

Perhaps I can do something about this.☺
Thank you very much!

Latitude
November 6, 2015 6:55 am

Oceans…..they can’t just create heat…..at least not the amount claimed
….just move it around….
So where does the cold go…when the claim all this heat from an El Nino?

gymnosperm
Reply to  Latitude
November 6, 2015 7:53 am

The nino takes warm water that has been stacked to some depth by mechanical action of wind and spreads it out over the ocean surface so it transfers enthalpy more efficiently to the atmosphere. That’s easy. More difficult is to explain why ninos are associated with a rise in global mean sea level.
That warm water stacked to depth before the nino and frittering away its time in an inefficient surface area to volume conduction to surrounding sea water is displacing colder water. The colder water returns when the warm water resumes its rightful place on the surface of the ocean.
Give or take a seemingly small effect of pressure at depth on thermal displacement (compared with the volume of the oceans) why should ninos cause GMSL to rise?

Latitude
Reply to  gymnosperm
November 6, 2015 11:15 am

That warm water ………. is displacing colder water.
Exactly my question….neither warm or cold water is invented…..they are both there, just moved around.
…excellent point on GMSL too

Matt G
Reply to  Latitude
November 6, 2015 3:23 pm

Oceans…..they can’t just create heat…..at least not the amount claimed
….just move it around….
So where does the cold go…when the claim all this heat from an El Nino?

The oceans don’t create heat they only transfer energy between the atmosphere and the liquid water. The energy created is from solar energy and the change in the trade winds decides whether this excess solar energy is distributed within the upper ocean or accumulated across the ocean surface. When it is distributed in the upper ocean caused by upwelling, it is this colder water from lower depths that reaches the ocean surface.
When across the ocean surface it quickly affects global atmospheric temperatures and is released to space eventually much quicker. When stored in upper ocean it remains and is not released to space or at least only very slowly to the atmosphere. It moves in the ocean current away from the Topics around the world eventually via the AMOC. Hence, it eventually is transferred between the Pacific ocean and the Atlantic ocean. One observed warmer ocean current part of the AMOC in the Arctic depths only lost 0.5 c over 7 years. That’s when the warmer ocean current was in it’s possible coldest place on the planet too.

That warm water ………. is displacing colder water.
Exactly my question….neither warm or cold water is invented…..they are both there, just moved around.
…excellent point on GMSL too

Cold upwelling water in the Tropics is warmed by solar energy and moved too quickly via strong trade winds to warm at the surface. How much they move around determines how much they are actually warmed by solar energy. The more water in the Tropics is warmed it expands and this depends on the amount of cloud cover. The changes in the trades winds are the reason why they cause sea levels to rise.

Jon
November 6, 2015 7:02 am

I think if you just defund the scientists that are beeing funded to “prove” the political based UNFCCC scientifically. I think the problem then will just go away?

November 6, 2015 7:03 am

October Updates:
RSS: It has a 10 month average of 0.33, tying it for third with 2005. There is no way it will get above third place in 2015. As for 2016? Who knows? October 2015, with an anomaly of 0.440, was the second warmest October behind October 1998 which had an anomaly of 0.461. Its pause extends by one month to 18 years and 9 months from February 1997 to October 2015.
UAH6.0beta3: It had the warmest October ever in 2015. It ranks third at present and as with RSS, there is no way that it will finish higher than third.
Hadsst3: It also had its warmest October ever. It is guaranteed to set a new record this year.

AndyG55
Reply to  Werner Brozek
November 6, 2015 8:11 am

Hadxxxx was guaranteed to set new records , right from the beginning of the year. 😉
Just like GISS..
A directive !

Reply to  AndyG55
November 6, 2015 8:34 am

So far, GISS is “only” 0.06 above its 2014 record, but Hadcrut4 is 0.14 above its 2014 record! So if we assume an error bar of 0.10, then Hadcrut4 can even say they are 97% certain that 2015 is a new record.

AndyG55
Reply to  Werner Brozek
November 6, 2015 8:20 am

I must have slightly different RSS numbers to you as well.
Here is what I get on a “Year to end of October” basis.
1998 0.609
2010 0.511
2005 0.349
2015 0.332
2002 0.331
2003 0.304
2007 0.287
2014 0.254
2001 0.235
2013 0.232
Looks like I’m going to have to check for any minor changes since whenever I last grabbed RSS.
I’ve just been adding the new value each month.

Reply to  AndyG55
November 6, 2015 8:43 am

I must have slightly different RSS numbers to you as well.
Here is what I get on a “Year to end of October” basis.

We are talking about two different things. I am comparing the present average of 0.33 after 10 months to the 12 month average of all other years. So while it may have been 0.609 to the end of October in 1998, it was 0.55 when counting all 12 months.
1 {1998, 0.550},
2 {2010, 0.472},
3 {2005, 0.33},
4 {2003, 0.32},
5 {2002, 0.315},
6 2014: 0.255

AndyG55
Reply to  AndyG55
November 6, 2015 9:09 am

“I am comparing the present average of 0.33 after 10 months to the 12 month average of all other years”
hmmm. not sure that is a valid comparison.. but , ok. ! 🙂

Reply to  AndyG55
November 6, 2015 9:58 am

not sure that is a valid comparison

In my opinion, there are different valid ways to present data. The reason I do it my way is that it is easiest for me and the last line of the table always gives the rank if the average anomaly given in the row above stays that way for the rest of the year.

Simon
Reply to  AndyG55
November 6, 2015 10:22 am
Simon
Reply to  AndyG55
November 6, 2015 10:25 am

Actually when you think about it they are all pretty similar looking.
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/global/glob/201501-201509.gif

Stephen Richards
Reply to  AndyG55
November 6, 2015 1:40 pm

NCEP real time figures put 2015 at 0.23 Octobre 0.495.
Thanks to WeatherBell and Ryan Maue.

AndyG55
Reply to  AndyG55
November 7, 2015 1:54 am

Slimon.. do you have a coherent comment to make ?

Simon
Reply to  AndyG55
November 7, 2015 10:39 am

AndyG55
Do you have a coherent point to make, simple simon?
Assuming you can read graphs… yes I do. It’s getting warmer and all the land based datasets show it clearly. I could put a few more up if you want. Hell, even Roy’s UAH just recorded the hottest October ever. But you probably believe they are all manipulated to ensure the left wing evil plan of robbing money from the rich can go ahead. Dang clever fraud if they get away with it. Particularly with all the sharp eyed bloggers here watching.

Simon
Reply to  Werner Brozek
November 6, 2015 10:20 am

Just look at the graph, it’s easier.
http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/HadCRUT4.png

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Simon
November 6, 2015 1:51 pm

HadCRUT is a work of anti-science fiction, but even with its cooked to a crisp books, the slope and duration of the late 20th century warming still resembles those of the early 20th century warming, separated by the mid-century cooling interval, in the process of being air-brushed out of existence, as in photos of Soviet leaders.
The early 18th century warming, rebounding from the Maunder Minimum depths of the LIA, was even more pronounced than the two cycles of the 20th century.
Thus the null hypothesis can’t be rejected and there is no human GHG “footprint”.

Mark T
Reply to  Simon
November 6, 2015 7:01 pm

Nice references. Did you draw that last one with your new crayon set? Why don’t you go to Dr.Curry’s blog for a lesson on the differences in all the pretty colored graphs, hmmm? Or better yet go home to your uneducated ilk at Hot Wopper.

AndyG55
Reply to  Simon
November 7, 2015 1:55 am

Do you have a coherent point to make, simple simon?

Reply to  Werner Brozek
November 6, 2015 4:43 pm

Werner Brozek writes: “We are talking about two different things. I am comparing the present average of 0.33 after 10 months to the 12 month average of all other years. So while it may have been 0.609 to the end of October in 1998, it was 0.55 when counting all 12 months.”
Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t this demonstrate that the science is not settled?
I won’t even ask which RSS data set you’re using, though I would like to know that and also why you’ve chosen that set. I can say there seems to be some debate over which RSS data set is the corect one to use, and even more debate about whether the RSS data shoud be used at all.
I was recently confronted by an alarmist who cited quotes of a Dr. Carl Mears, a VP of RSS, who apparently believes the data provided by RSS is pure junk unsuitable for use as fish wrap. I was a little surprised by this until fining he was still working on his High School Diploma while I was doing medium altitude atmosphere research for NOAA in 1979.
He seems dedicated to the idea that ground based thermometer data is superior to satellite data, in the face of all the criticisms of GISS & etc. that justified RSS in the first place. He wasn’t an original member of the teams who flew the MSU/AMSU instruments, but seems to have made a career of undermining them since joining RSS in 1998. I don’t understand his motives or why RSS keep him on the pay role? Is his job to justify continued funding by trying to demonstrate the most expensive, most accurate atmospheric monitoring system ever invented in the history of the human race just isn’t good enough? What is this guy’s problem?

Reply to  Bartleby
November 6, 2015 7:30 pm

Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t this demonstrate that the science is not settled?
I won’t even ask which RSS data set you’re using, though I would like to know that and also why you’ve chosen that set. I was recently confronted by an alarmist who cited quotes of a Dr. Carl Mears, a VP of RSS, who apparently believes the data provided by RSS is pure junk unsuitable for use as fish wrap.

As for my method of comparing the year to date rank, there are different ways of looking at it and either way is OK in my opinion. After 12 months, they have to agree anyway so I do not see an issue here.
As far as I know, there is only one RSS data set and I give it in the report. Here it is again:
ftp://ftp.ssmi.com/msu/monthly_time_series/rss_monthly_msu_amsu_channel_tlt_anomalies_land_and_ocean_v03_3.txt
As for Dr. Mears reaction, I believe he wants to believe in CAGW is is embarrassed that his own data set does not support that view. He should be respected for not trying to fudge things so RSS agrees with his view. But regardless what he thinks, UAH6.0beta3 agree with him so it seems as if both are right. They also agree very well with the old Hadcrut3 which is now obsolete.

TRM
November 6, 2015 7:06 am

“If you are still reading this” – ha ha. Made me laugh. I will still be reading this come Monday morning. I’m sure this will take several reads to start to understand. But hey the weather outside isn’t conducive to hiking or cycling where I live so thanks for a good weekend read.

Reply to  TRM
November 6, 2015 10:02 am

If you are still reading this

☺ Keep in mind this is a reprint of a comment he made later on in an earlier post.

NZ Willy
Reply to  Werner Brozek
November 6, 2015 5:23 pm

Well, RGB’s comment in this post is another worth re-reading and preserving. His point (which he wrote in boldface) that the climate models have never been demonstrated to have predictive value is a major point.

November 6, 2015 7:26 am

It’s not that complicated.
1. Mankind’s contribution to the earth’s CO2 balance is trivial.
2. CO2’s contribution to earth’s heat balance is trivial.
3. GCM’s don’t work.

MCourtney
November 6, 2015 7:34 am

WUWT is back!
•A cartoon that illustrates the failings of the climate models.
•A good discussion of the chaotic nature of the climate
•Some actual real world data.
•And a thought provoking question.
Best post for ages.
I’ve often made the point that the human brain can’t be modelled so why should the climate be more simple (so many different parts). But the control knob answer is always used… that CO2 will dominate all others.
There’s just no evidence for that though.

Michael C. Roberts
Reply to  MCourtney
November 6, 2015 9:50 am

MCourtney – Agreed, and Seconded!
Dr. Brown – Reading your re-posted dissertation (that I sadly missed the first time – somehow) I am struck by your ability to provide a complex set of thoughts and processes in a manner that any student (such as most readers here really are) may begin to understand. I fell I am still in the classroom, with you up there providing the lecture! Thought-provoking, in-depth, and educational experience on this end. This is the type of discourse I crave as I come to WUWT again and again. It never ceases to amaze me that any thoughtful and intelligent person continues to believe that CO2 is the ‘control knob’, the be all and end all of all changes in our climate let alone transient weather patterns. Let’s not even mention the hijacking of climate science by do-gooders such as the UN, and the infiltration (resurrection?) of the socialist movements in the same.
Science Uber Alles!
MCR

Reply to  Michael C. Roberts
November 6, 2015 10:11 am

Reading your re-posted dissertation (that I sadly missed the first time – somehow)

I certainly identify with this comment. When I leave a post temporarily, I copy and paste the last URL and continue from there at a later time. So unless I am really interested in a topic, I will not go back through over 300 comments to see if there was a new reply to someone upthread. For what it is worth, I liked the old system better.

MCourtney
Reply to  Michael C. Roberts
November 6, 2015 11:58 am

The old system was better.
I’ve taken to doing a CTRL+F on the recent dates to pick out the recent comments (e.g. November 5 for a 2nd November post).

Reply to  Michael C. Roberts
November 6, 2015 12:36 pm

I’ve taken to doing a CTRL+F

That works well for many cases. For people not familiar with it, if I press ctrl and F, and type in “brozek”, I could get 20 cases and I could scroll through them one by one. However if I go for lunch and then want to see what came between 1:00 PM and 1:59 PM and if I punch in “november 6, 2015 at 1”, I could get 80 responses covering everything from november 6 from 10:00AM to 1:59 PM and only 7 might be from between 1 and 2.

Marcus
Reply to  Michael C. Roberts
November 6, 2015 3:10 pm

To W. Brozek below.. I find it is easiest for me to just open each article in a new tab, so I usually have 10 tabs open at the same time with various other pages and just check back and forth as I get time !! Simple, but then, so am I !! LOL

November 6, 2015 7:34 am

To point 5, Geothermal Energy, please add: exchange of gases into/out solution for subsurface flows of water. The amount of water flow that is part of the hydrothermal vent system must be enormous and given their temperature the amount of gas exchange must be monumental. This hydrology seems to be unstudied.

Neil Jordan
November 6, 2015 7:35 am

Good one. This climate model water vapor control knob goes to 11.
https://youtu.be/KOO5S4vxi0o

gymnosperm
November 6, 2015 7:36 am

” They are born out of energy in flow, and “evolve” so that the ones that move energy most efficiently survive and grow.”
Why? What selection “pressure” favors thermodynamic efficiency? What cares about efficiency?
Great post.

Steve Case
November 6, 2015 7:36 am

After reading this article, do you think climate science is settled? If not, do you think it will be settled in your lifetime?
There was a period after “Climategate” in 2009 maybe I should say era, where there was a lot of navel gazing and questioning in the media from climate change promoters asking why their message wasn’t getting out. In the last several months, or maybe a year or so, that seems to have disappeared. It’s as if word came down from on high to, “Stop that, get with the program.” and oh by the way start a scorched earth policy with regard to those who aren’t on board. So the whining has stopped, Exxon is being investigated, Philippe Verdier fired, Williy Soon villified, a letter with 20 signatures requesting a RICO investigation of probably even me, and so on.
So I was optimistic after 2009 that the whole thing would collapse of its own weight. Now I am much more pessimistic. The phrase “Too big to fail” seems to apply. The Climate Change Business Journal which seems to be a legitimate organization reports that Climate Change has a $1.5 Trillion dollar economic foot print. These people aren’t going to go quietly into the night ever.
An absolute explosion needs to occur. Climate scientists lying under oath, and the public knows it, might have an effect. I doubt that the actual climate not cooperating will do anything, it hasn’t so far. A real war courtesy of the Islamic Crazies, and “Climate Change” will be forgotten, but I’m not wishing for that.
I think we are headed for a long period of draconian environmentalism, a “You haven’t seen nuthin’ yet” sort of thing. Sorry to be so pessimistic.
So RBG, thanks for asking the question allowing me to vent a bit.

Marcus
Reply to  Steve Case
November 6, 2015 3:16 pm

If another liberal gets into the White House in 2017, America is doomed !!!

jacob
Reply to  Marcus
November 7, 2015 9:47 pm

Unfortunately, I think ONLY liberals are running for office, on both sides of the ticket.

GoatGuy
November 6, 2015 7:40 am

The list of variables doesn’t have a specific bullet for The Moon … our nearest neighbor and clearly one of the more influential gravitational modulators. Tides… anyone? While one might dismiss tides as having influence over climate, if you look inward, aren’t the tidal influences at least as numerically significant as say “Earth’s ephemeris parameters” (ellipticity, precession, nutation, and so forth…)
You asked for extra bullets, so there you be. The Moon.
Let’s see another one. Aerosols … they’re a sufficiently ‘compact group’ that taken as a whole subject, they probably warrant a bullet. Hugely influential on the genesis of clouds (nucleation), and themselves having both provenance and persistence that is influenced heavily by insolation, temperature, local air pressure, and time … well, they’re important. All by themselves.
Unfortunately, (10) thru (13) cover “almost everything” if you want to take them at face value. Aerosols, The Moon, and most of the prior part of the list too. A little too big to be useful (if (1) thru (9) are there!)
GoatGuy

Reply to  GoatGuy
November 6, 2015 8:14 am

You asked for extra bullets, so there you be. The Moon. Let’s see another one. Aerosols

I really did not mean extra bullets, but things that affect climate that were not covered. And the moon and aerosols are certainly there, for example:
2. Orbital Energy, Orbital Period, Orbital Spiral, Elliptical Orbits (Eccentricity), Tilt (Obliquity), Wobble (Axial precession) and Polar Motion;
This Tidal Force is influenced by variations in Lunar Orbit;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbit_of_the_Moon
as seen in the Lunar Phases;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_phase
Lunar Precession;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_precession
Lunar Node;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_node
8. Atmospheric Composition
Aerosols;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerosol
that “act as cloud condensation nuclei, they alter albedo (both directly and indirectly via clouds) and hence Earth’s radiation budget, and they serve as catalysts of or sites for atmospheric chemistry reactions.”
“Aerosols play a critical role in the formation of clouds;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clouds

GoatGuy
Reply to  Werner Brozek
November 6, 2015 10:03 am

Sorry old bean… I was just reading the bullet list from the top of this blog post. I didn’t have “the hour” or two to invest in the whole article. My apologies.
GoatGuy

Reply to  Werner Brozek
November 6, 2015 10:18 am

I didn’t have “the hour” or two to invest in the whole article.

I know this is a very heavy post, especially if you are a new reader and did not see that post the first time. I was actually wondering if I should have asked Just The Facts to reprint his post again a week before mine.

Paul Westhaver
November 6, 2015 7:45 am

Werner Brozek and Robert Brown,
This column is a little dense. So it is going to take me a little longer than usual to read and understand it all. I do like your proposition of items 13 &14 as variables, and I think, since the computer models are so daft, the known unknowns, and the unknown unknowns may have more impact…. sun… water…
now I have to continue the reading….

David L. Hagen
November 6, 2015 7:50 am

Add Hurst Kolmogorov dynamics (aka climate persistence) where real systems show standard deviations about twice that found by assuming random stochastic processes.

rgbatduke
Reply to  David L. Hagen
November 6, 2015 9:05 am

Yup. Again, climate statistics is a lot more difficult than many of the papers addressing the subject allow for. This isn’t always true – there are some good papers out there. But there isn’t an elephant in this particular room — there is a herd of the damn things, all being ignored in order to maintain the assertions of high confidence that support the trillion dollar hysteria.
Climate science isn’t about science or statistics. It is about money. All about money.
rgb

Stephen Richards
Reply to  rgbatduke
November 6, 2015 1:42 pm

Dr B I love your work. Your clarity must come from many years of teaching and being challenged by students.
Many thanks

Rob Morrow
November 6, 2015 7:56 am

Call me a cynic, but I don’t believe climate science will be “settled” in my lifetime. Western citizens are too happy and distracted, fat and wealthy, and willfully ignorant to overcome the decades of green-brainwashing. People with no basis in the physical sciences have Faith that climate scientists are telling it straight, and these people represent the vast majority. “Climate change” has replaced original sin. Ignorant well-meaning citizens will continue to vote for politicians who push the green agenda because they Believe it is the moral thing to do. Most of these citizens are also totally ignorant of economics and they swallow every spoonful of green energy tripe.
Recently elected King Trudeau II changed the name of Canada’s ministry of environment to the ministry of environment and CLIMATE CHANGE. The public’s reaction? PRAISE! Ontario electricity prices have tripled in the last decade, now the Liberals can roll out green BS across the country! Huzzah!!!
If Obama isn’t able to destroy the U.S. economy, future Queen Hillary will continue his legacy.
Many commenters on this site believe the tide of public perception is turning in favour of reason and skepticism. I think that is wishful thinking which hasn’t been confirmed by observation.

Edmonton Al
Reply to  Rob Morrow
November 6, 2015 10:10 am

AND.. The socialist/Marxists have been voted in in Alberta recently.
The ministers have ultra left wing Chiefs-of-staff.
All anti-oil and anti-pipeline anti everything re fossil fuels.

Edmonton Al
Reply to  Edmonton Al
November 6, 2015 10:11 am

Oh I forgot; Not anti carbon tax or not anti CCS

Reply to  Edmonton Al
November 6, 2015 10:24 am

and anti-pipeline

While the Alberta premier is against Keystone, Trudeau is for it. And ironically, they may get it sooner than the conservatives because the new provincial NDP and the new federal liberals are so green.

Rob Morrow
Reply to  Edmonton Al
November 6, 2015 12:16 pm

I doubt “social license” would be the true basis for Obama’s Keystone decision. It’s about money and power. The U.S. has built 12,000 miles of new pipeline in the last 5 years while elevating Keystone to pariah status. Obama’s rejection of Keystone (today) is a political move, whereby he has license to add a feather to his climate cap for preventing further spread of the dirty evil tar-sands.

Rob Morrow
Reply to  Edmonton Al
November 6, 2015 10:33 pm

@Werner
P.S. Thank you for your article, and thank you for being so active in the comments! This is the sort of practical integrity that is so rarely seen (from non-skeptics).

Reply to  Edmonton Al
November 7, 2015 5:42 am

thank you for being so active in the comments!

You are welcome! If possible, I believe all writers should be available to answer all questions and be available to correct errors if they are pointed out.

NZ Willy
Reply to  Rob Morrow
November 6, 2015 5:30 pm

Agreed, the hysteria is uncontested in the NZ media. The skeptical viewpoint isn’t even mentioned any more, except in readers’ comments.

Rob Morrow
Reply to  NZ Willy
November 6, 2015 11:09 pm

@ NZ Willy
I observe the same thing in most Canadian press.
As far as (most) politicians are concerned, CAGW skeptics are a bigoted special interest group because they don’t tow the “progressive” line. Whether it be politicians becoming more pragmatic or the dim electorate gaining the power of objective thought, I will not be holding my breath for society to see “climate change” for what it is – an unsolved, highly politicized question. The question of climate change has become politicized to the point where objective falsifiable scientific data is irrelevant, because the scientifically illiterate democratic majority has already been greenly convinced, and they will continue to vote for their green champions until a real pragmatic leader/statesman emerges who is able to convince them otherwise. I doubt such a leader could gain or maintain popularity for very long, E.g. Aussie PM ousted. Public belief in CAGW is rampant. We need the next Martin Luther to help these lost “souls”. I hope such a champion will emerge.
Winston Churchill is credited with the quote that “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others”. History suggests this is true in politics and totally backwards for science. Consensus based science = backward thinking.

Reply to  Rob Morrow
November 7, 2015 7:05 am

“While the Alberta premier is against Keystone, Trudeau is for it.”
Is that actually true, or just what Trudeau says because he needs to say such things to get elected? There is a huge difference. If he really wants it gone, but it’s not politically possible for him to do so, day one could be a call with Obama saying “I’d have no objections if you kill this thing once and for all.”

Reply to  kcrucible
November 7, 2015 7:52 am

“While the Alberta premier is against Keystone, Trudeau is for it.”
Is that actually true

As far as I know, this is true. Even now, he expresses disappointment in Obama’s decision although Trudeau respects Obama’s right to make that decision. But as for the new Alberta premier, the day after the election she said she will work with Trudeau on pipelines so it does not look as if she wants to get in his way. But she will not go to Washington to push it, unlike the previous conservative premier.

Science or Fiction
November 6, 2015 7:59 am

If the science is settled? I am not even sure it is settled that it is a valid scientific theory! Which falsifiable predictions has been made? Which observations would falsify the theory?
Everything seems to be allowed by this theory: more rain and less rain, more wind and less wind, more ice and less ice and the oceans are rising anyhow. A theory which allows everything explains nothing. Rising temperature, non rising temperature, I guess they could even make an ad hoc excuse for falling temperatures:
“Ocean warming dominates the total energy change inventory, accounting for roughly 93% on average from 1971 to 2010. The upper ocean (0-700 m) accounts for about 64% of the total energy change inventory. Melting ice (including Arctic sea ice, ice sheets and glaciers) accounts for 3% of the total, and warming of the continents 3%. Warming of the atmosphere makes up the remaining 1%.”
(Ref: Contribution from Working group I; On the scientific basis; to the fifth assessment report by IPCC)
The heat capacity of the oceans is about 1000 times the heat capacity of the atmosphere. This means that an amount of energy, which would be sufficient to warm the atmosphere by 1 K, would only be sufficient to warm the oceans by 0.001 K.
This further means that any lack of warming of the atmosphere can be excused by claiming a minuscule change in the temperature of the oceans. A change so miniscule that it cannot be measured. If we add to it that there does not exists a reliable historical temperature record of the oceans, it becomes clear that the Global Warming theory put forward by United Nations isn´t falsifiable.
It is then time to turn to Karl Popper for a take on scientific theories. Karl Popper was the mastermind behind the modern scientific method – Popper´s empirical method. Quotes are from his book “The logic of Scientific Discovery”
http://strangebeautiful.com/other-texts/popper-logic-scientific-discovery.pdf
(First 26 pages should do, easy reading, and soothing – from a master mind)
“But I shall certainly admit a system as empirical or scientific only if it is capable of being tested by experience. These considerations suggest that not the verifiability but the falsifiability of a system is to be taken as a criterion of demarcation. In other words: I shall not require of a scientific system that it shall be capable of being singled out, once and for all, in a positive sense; but I shall require that its logical form shall be such that it can be singled out, by means of empirical tests, in a negative sense: it must be possible for an empirical scientific system to be refuted by experience.»
In short – if it isn´t falsifiable, if no testable and falsifiable predictions are made, it isn´t scientific.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Science or Fiction
November 6, 2015 5:43 pm

The hypothesis of man-made GHG, catastrophic global warming does make predictions, which have repeatedly been shown false.
The air has not warmed more and before the surface, as the hypothesis requires.
No tropical tropospheric hot spot, as per models.
No global warming for the first 32 years after WWII, despite prediction of warming from rapidly rising CO2 levels.
No global warming since the ’90s, despite even more rapidly rising CO2 levels.
For starters.
Massive fail. Falsified. Big time.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
November 6, 2015 5:44 pm

PS:
Major parts of the globe cooling, such as Antarctica, despite supposedly well-mixed CO2.

Science or Fiction
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
November 7, 2015 12:49 am

I think the main problem is the failure by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to search for and acknowledge falsifying experiences:
Again some words from Karl Popper – The master mind behind the Modern Scientific method – The hypotetico – deductive method (Popper called it the empirical method):
“… it is always possible to find some way of evading falsification, for example by introducing ad hoc an auxiliary hypothesis, or by changing ad hoc a definition. It is even possible without logical inconsistency to adopt the position of simply refusing to acknowledge any falsifying experience whatsoever. Admittedly, scientists do not usually proceed in this way, but logically such procedure is possible”
“the empirical method shall be characterized as a method that excludes precisely those ways of evading falsification which … are logically possible. According to my proposal, what characterizes the empirical method is its manner of exposing to falsification, in every conceivable way, the system to be tested. Its aim is not to save the lives of untenable systems but … exposing them all to the fiercest struggle for survival.”
Has United Nations – IPCC added hypothesis – in ad hoc manners?
Oh yes:
Kevin Trenberth introduced the ad hoc hypothesis that the expected warming of the atmosphere went into the oceans:
“Well, I have my own article on where the heck is global warming?…The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”
– Kevin E. Trenberth
(Dr. Kevin Trenberth was a lead author of the IPCC’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th Assessment Reports.)
In his paper, Trenberth and collaborators argue that the ‘missing’ heat is sequestered in the ocean, below 700 m. His paper was called: “Distinctive climate signals in reanalysis of global ocean heat content” (Geophysical research letters – first published 10 May 2013)
I think the phrase “scientists do not usually proceed in this way” is key to understand the misconduct by IPCC. United Nations did not create a scientific body – United Nations created a biased beast – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. On which United Nations enforced:
– a mission
– the unscientific principle of consensus
– an approval process and organization principle which, by it´s nature, diminish dissenting views.
Ref: http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/ipcc-principles/ipcc-principles.pdf
We are not dealing with scientist – we are dealing with justificationists and inductivists.
Justificationists and inductivists will not look for falsifying experiences – and if a falsifying experience is presented to them they will start looking for ad hoc excuses.
We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
– Albert Einstein

Science or Fiction
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
November 7, 2015 2:15 am

Correction: The paper I refer to was not the original paper where the ad hoc excuse was introduced. But section 1. introduction gives a good overview of how the issue was approached:
http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/website-archive/trenberth.papers-moved/Balmaseda_Trenberth_Kallen_grl_13.pdf
“increasing greenhouse gases should have led to increasing warming. However, sea surface temperature increases stalled in the 2000s and this is also reflected in upper ocean heat content for the top 700 m in several analyses. Although the energy imbalance from 1993 to 2003 could be accounted for, it was not possible to explain the energy imbalance from 2004–2008. This led to the concept of “missing energy”.” (References and acronyms are removed for clarity)
Clearly – the falsifying experience lead to a search for excuses and ad hoc hypothesis.
So by United Nations theory, energy is supposed to be:
– be trapped by CO2 in the atmosphere – but fails to warm it
– pass the upper 700 meter of the oceans – without warming it
– hide in the deep oceans below 700 meters
( where we don´t have proper data and where it cannot be measured )
“Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
– Alice in Wonderland.

T-Braun
November 6, 2015 8:06 am

“More is different”
Also,
“Less is more” (Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe (1886-1969))
Therefore,
“Less is different” (more or less)

AndyG55
November 6, 2015 8:08 am

Werner, you say….
“The UAH average anomaly so far for 2015 is 0.225. This would rank it as 3rd place. 1998 was the warmest at 0.483. The highest ever monthly anomaly was in April of 1998 when it reached 0.742. The anomaly in 2014 was 0.188 and it was ranked 5th.”
I have 0.245 for UAH 2015 to date (end of October) 3rd place
On a “year to end of October” basis, which is the only comparison one should really make..
I get 1998 anomaly as 0.543, and 2014 as 0.180 in 7th place.
Just wondering why our values differ?
Here’s what I get on a “Year to end October” basis from UAH global
1998 0.543
2010 0.386
2015 0.245
2002 0.223
2005 0.214
2007 0.195
2014 0.180
2003 0.169
2013 0.150
2006 0.115

Reply to  AndyG55
November 6, 2015 9:06 am

The UAH average anomaly so far for 2015 is 0.225.

This was to the end of September.

I have 0.245 for UAH 2015 to date (end of October) 3rd place

I agree. (Hadcrut4 is very slow! That is why RSS is out of date.)
As for my other numbers, they are all 12 month averages:
UAH6.0beta3
1st 1998 0.482
2nd 2010 0.344
3rd 2002 0.213
4th 2005 0.200
5th 2014 0.188
6th 2003 0.184
7th 2007 0.162
8th 2013 0.140
9th 2006 0.115
10th 2001 0.115
11th 2009 0.102

AndyG55
Reply to  Werner Brozek
November 6, 2015 9:18 am

Ok, our UAH V6b3 whole year numbers match reasonably well. 🙂
1998 0.483
2010 0.343
2002 0.213
2005 0.201
2014 0.187
2003 0.184
2007 0.161
2013 0.139
2001 0.116
2006 0.116
2009 0.100

emsnews
Reply to  Werner Brozek
November 6, 2015 11:54 am

And what a TINY sample this is! Which makes the entire thing rather silly.

November 6, 2015 8:12 am

I think a good example of Self-organization in chaos is the Hilsch vortex tube and I have always wondered if something similar was going on in the earths climate.
“The hilsch vortex tube, cools and heats air at the SAME time with no moving parts, and NO electricity. cool huh? it’s quite simple, and only a matter of getting the dimensions right! Not to mention the ability to produce EXTREME temperatures! all that’s needed is compressed air!”
http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Hilsch-vortex-tube/

knr
November 6, 2015 8:12 am

I would add another one. we must be able to measure accurately that which are making judgement upon.
You simply cannot understand the nature of any change if you cannot measure that change in a manner that has scientific validity , you can only ‘guess it ‘
Science 101 , no matter how fancy your model or theory are , it gets down to your ability to see and know things .

November 6, 2015 8:21 am

Note that these influences …
“6. Outer Space/Cosmic/Galactic Effects”
… challenge the very notion of self-organizing weather or climate structures. In fact, a review of the anomalies associated with lightning …
1. The failure to identify a “seed” of sufficient power to cause it;
2. Its association with the solar wind;
3. The recent observations of a connection with space (sprites, etc);
4. And its still-unexplained emissions;
5. It’s association with the Van Allen radiation belts
… plainly suggest that these electrons might very well come from space, and are merely guided through the thunderclouds because the clouds offer the path of least resistance.
It’s something that everybody should be keeping in mind — as most of our theories for space originated at a time when it was thought that space was an empty vacuum. We learned that was not true in 1959 with the first rocket, of course. Space is a plasma; it’s not empty.

emsnews
Reply to  Chris Reeve
November 6, 2015 11:56 am

Then there is the issue of where our little star and its captive planets are in relation to that giant monster nearby which is mostly concealed by thick layers of cosmic dust: the Milky Way which is actually this devouring entity that is eating all the things trapped in its gravitational pool and our little star has been captured by this giant and for the last several billion years has been steadily drawn inwards, bit by bit.
Sometimes, we are surrounded by lots of cosmic debris and other times, clean sailing with nothing to disturb our solar system. Certainly, nothing is stationary.

Gary Pearse
November 6, 2015 8:23 am

From the way they got out of the embarrassing pause, there is no doubt in my mind what ‘control knobs’ are in climate science. The IPCC actually made it their job description.

Gary Pearse
November 6, 2015 8:28 am

PS, this rgb is an international treasure (I’m not American). Like his other contributions, I’m going to have to read this carefully and frequently. I’d hate to have to sit a 3 hr exam in one of his classes unless somehow I could get a week’s head start!

November 6, 2015 8:29 am

Since people are self-organized chaotic systems whose behavior cannot be predicted by measuring their physical parts we’ve developed soft sciences like psychology and sociology in which the parts studied are situations and behaviors which can be observed to conform to rules that exist at the level at which we exist. Since climate is also a self organized chaotic system why don’t we do the same for it? For instance meteorology is anchored at our level of existence by the need to make sufficiently accurate predictions or be discarded as worthless. Why not expand the scope of meteorology to include observations of past meteorological events and trends to inform the future. Call it paleo-meteorology or geo-meteorology or whatever. I know they already do that with correlating say sunspot activity and weather . . . and get laughed at for doing so. And true, psychology and sociology aren’t exactly great predictors of what people will do and so geo-meteorology probably wouldn’t be a great predictor of what climate will do either but It would still probably be better than what we’re currently doing and it wouldn’t have the undeserved patina of hard irrevocable deterministic science that’s being used to persuade people now.

November 6, 2015 8:45 am

This fixation on analyzing the minor fluctuations in the temperature of the atmosphere, whether at the surface boundary layer, or higher up where the satellites are recording temps seems completely misplaced to me. Thank you RGB for your cogent points about chaotic processes and energy/heat transfer.
The recent NOAA response to the Congressional inquiry made the point that the satellite data are irrelevant because humans live on the surface and that’s where we “live, work and grow our food…” Good grief. Could there be a more ignorant point of view? Maybe we should also simply drop out all the sea surface data, since most of us don’t live there–of course then the hiatus is preserved and we can’t have that.
Careful scientists are forced to conclude that this climate science arena is populated by poorly trained, second rate practitioners (good evidence supports this) with little appreciation for the scale of the problem that is “settled” in their view. The alternative, more disheartening notion is that there are decent scientists studying the climate who have been corrupted by the cause and the gravy train. Either way, it’s extremely damaging to the scientific enterprise.
I remain fascinated by this very thorny problem of energy absorption and release in the Earth’s climate system. As RGB points out, these periodic, quasi-predictable events such as the ENSO are ignored by modelers when they should instead be studied in detail to understand their development and dissipation. The heat content represented by an ENSO event is stunningly large. From where does it arise? It seems clear that this energy eventually finds its way off the planet. It seems that this would be a net cooling event with profound implications for the energy of the system.
Measuring total heat content of the planet and its variation seems to me to be the more appropriate goal. The vast heat sinks of the deep oceans and polar ice are where the action is. Arguing about the accuracy of averaging readings from a handful of thermometers measuring the air at airports near large cities or whether sparse buoys or water intakes are the better measure of sea surface temperatures are distractions from the real and very difficult problem of understanding the system.

Reply to  genesdoc
November 6, 2015 9:48 am

There are lots of global/climate heat balances available as Bing images.
IPCC AR5 attributes 2 W/m^2 of unbalancing RF due to the increased CO2 concentration between 1750 and 2011. In the overall global heat balance 2 W (watt is power, not energy) is lost in the magnitude and uncertainty of: ToA, 340 +/- 10, fluctuating albedo of clouds, snow and ice, and the absorption and release of heat from evaporation and condensation of the ocean and water vapor cycle. (IPCC AR5 Ch 8, FAQ 8.1)

November 6, 2015 8:57 am

If you know some more that should be added, please let us know.
You could add land/ocean arrangements and mean land elevation.
Lunar possible influences.
The rogue extra terrestrial impact which must have happened from time to time.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Salvatore Del Prete
November 6, 2015 10:35 am

Agree plate tectonics should be on the list. Arguably the effects of that process are subsumed under other factors listed, but IMO it’s so important in the formation of ice house and hot house periods that it merits its own bullet point or equivalent.

November 6, 2015 9:10 am

“In order for climate science to be settled, there are many requirements. I will list four for now, although I am sure you can think of many more. Then I will expand on those.
1. We must know all variables that can affect climate.
2. We must know how all variables are changing over time.
3. We must know how each changing variable affects climate.
4. We must know about all non-linear changes that take place as a result of changes to variables.
###############
Wrong.
1. Epistemically no science is ever “settled”. no science ever meets
your 1-4.
2. When people refer to climate “science” being settled they mean
the following
“no working scientists find your PARTICULAR objections interesting”
For example: if you say c02 is not a GHG… sorry that question is settled.
It has been settled for a long long time. That is NOBODY who does science
for a living will waste their time challenging it.
if you say increasing C02 will not warm the planet… sorry… nobody will waste their time listening to you.
if you say… humans are not responsible for the rise in c02… working scientists will just ignore you.. or have you removed from the faculty. tough love.

Edmonton Al
Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 6, 2015 10:14 am

Not many on WUWT listen to you Steve,

Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 6, 2015 10:17 am

1. We must know all variables that can affect climate.
2. We must know how all variables are changing over time.
3. We must know how each changing variable affects climate.
4. We must know about all non-linear changes that take place as a result of changes to variables
Exactly 100% correct and this is why the climate models can not replicate past climate, can not forecast the present climate and will fail even more miserably going forward as the climate cools rather then warms as called for by the models.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 6, 2015 10:18 am

But increasing CO2 has already repeatedly been shown not to warm the planet. That hypothesis has been falsified, ergo so-called climate science is anti-science. That is settled.
Now it may be that more CO2 does warm the planet, but the effect is not measureable, is subject to negative feedback a or is swamped by more powerful factors. Or some combination thereof. But the observed, scientific fact is that rising CO2 does not necessarily warm the planet over decades of observation.
That the settled consensus ignores and tries to change this fact just shows how corrupt the endeavor is.
Consider the past 70 years. CO2 rose rapidly from 1945 to 1977, ie almost half the study period, yet earth cooled so dramatically that scientists were concerned that a new ice age was approaching. Callendar considered his 1938 CO2 hypothesis falsified by the frigid early ’60s. Rightly so.
Climate Lysenkoists have tried rewrite, i.e. “adjust”, the history of the first three post-war decades, but NCAR’s own temperature data series from the ’70s show how cold was that period.
Then from the late ’70s to some point in the ’90s, temperature recovered slightly, thus accidentally coinciding with rising CO2. The PDO flip of ’77 is implicated.
Since the ’90s, GASTA has been flat to down in satellite observations, despite continued monotonous rise in CO2 levels. Thus the supposedly settled science is falsified.
Just because you think more GHG should cause the world to warm doesn’t mean Mother Nature has to get on board your gravy train.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 6, 2015 10:33 am

I agree with all three points with respect to CO2. However what is not settled by a long shot is how much the temperature will change with a doubling of CO2. Is it between 1.5 C and 4.5 C or could it be as low as 0.5 C?

Reply to  Werner Brozek
November 6, 2015 10:36 am

I think it is more like .2c Werner. That assumes the climate does not control the GHG effect.

trafamadore
Reply to  Werner Brozek
November 6, 2015 3:00 pm

Most of the estimates are between 2 and 3 C; there is this nice summary of various results a few days old at Laden’s place: http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/11/03/evidence-of-high-climate-sensitivity/
He makes the interesting point that higher values (in the fat tail) have not yet been eliminated as possible. If the value turns out to be over 4, we are screwed.

Reply to  Werner Brozek
November 6, 2015 7:50 pm

traffy sez:
If the value turns out to be over 4, we are screwed.
Based on what? Your irrational fear?
Global T has been much higher than +4ºC from here, without any adverse effects. In fact, the biosphere did exceptionally well when the planet was warmer.

AndyG55
Reply to  Werner Brozek
November 7, 2015 2:09 am

really traf?
Quoting greg laden????
.. gees next you will be citing SkS or some other brain-dead site !!!
So funny ! 🙂

Reply to  Werner Brozek
November 7, 2015 9:53 am

dbstealey November 7, 2015 at 2:51 am
More projection. Everyone else disagrees with you.
You’re out of step with reality.
James McGinn:
Myself and Feynman disagree with you.
Feynman:
“Now I’m going to discuss how we would look for a new law. In general, we look for a new law by the following process. First, we guess it (audience laughter), no, don’t laugh, that’s the truth. Then we compute the consequences of the guess, to see what, if this is right, if this law we guess is right, to see what it would imply and then we compare the computation results to nature or we say compare to experiment or experience, compare it directly with observations to see if it works.
If it disagrees with experiment, it’s WRONG. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is… If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”

Reply to  James McGinn
November 7, 2015 11:40 am

McGinn,
You stated before that Prof Feynman is wrong, so it’s interesting that you would use him to try and support your weird beliefs (that water vapor does not exist in the atmosphere, among others).
You have the onus of supporting your beliefs with convincing evidence and experiments. But all you do is assert. You refuse to do real world experiments, and you provide no convincing evidence of your assertion that H2O does not exist as a gas in the atmosphere.
That is an astonishing claim, which requires exceptional evidence. But all you do is insist that it’s true. That isn’t nearly good enough.
Mainstream physics says that water vapor is a component of the atmosphere. You claim it isn’t. But you have no supporting experiments or evidence, and you try to turn the Scientific Method on its head by insisting that skeptics of your conjecture have the onus of proving you wrong.
That’s backward. You have the onus of supporting your ‘no water vapor’ conjecture, not skeptics. But so far, you have failed to produce any convincing evidence.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Werner Brozek
November 7, 2015 12:05 pm

DB,
Well said. Every actual experiment shows James’ baseless assertion false.
Here’s one using GPS satellites:
http://www.csr.utexas.edu/texas_pwv/midterm/gabor/gpsspace.html
James, please state how do you explain dew. Where do you imagine it comes from if not out of the air as it cools during the night. Fairies?
Thanks.

Reply to  Werner Brozek
November 7, 2015 5:14 pm

dbstealey:
Mainstream physics says that water vapor is a component of the atmosphere.
James McGinn:
So do I.
dbstealey:
You claim it isn’t.
James McGinn:
Stop putting words in my mouth. Quote me directly.
dbstealey:
But you have no supporting experiments or evidence, and you try to turn the Scientific Method on its head by insisting that skeptics of your conjecture have the onus of proving you wrong.
James McGinn:
If you were to claim to have seen bigfoot I wouldn’t be able to disprove that either.
dbstealey:
That’s backward. You have the onus of supporting your ‘no water vapor’ conjecture, not skeptics. But so far, you have failed to produce any convincing evidence.
James McGinn:
It’s not possible for me to dispute the existence of what has never been detected. It’s not necessary either.
You sound like an AGW advocate telling us we have to disprove the greenhouse effect.

Reply to  James McGinn
November 8, 2015 8:27 am

McGinn says:
If you were to claim to have seen bigfoot I wouldn’t be able to disprove that either.
And your claim, which is contradicted by everyone who understands physics, is that water vapor does not exist in the air.
The onus is on you to support that claim. But all we get are your constant and baseless assertions. They are not supported by any verifiable, real world experiments, and modern physics experiments thoroughly refute what you claim.
Once again for the slow learners here: the onus is on you to support your claim.

Reply to  Werner Brozek
November 8, 2015 2:35 pm

dbstealey November 8, 2015 at 1:59 pm
DB:
The one thing every Conjecture, Hypothesis, Theory and Law has in common is their ability to make correct predictions, repeatedly. If they don’t, their conjecture (that’s all it is if they can’t make correct predictions) has been falsified.
JM:
We could say the same of the convection model of storm theory. How, for example, can it be said to predict/explain the jet streams? It doesn’t. It fails.
The energy of storms comes from the jet steams (not convection). My theory explains the jet streams explicitly. And from there it goes on to explain all the phenomena that has been mistakenly attributed to convection.
A river that has no banks is not a river, it is a flood:
http://t.co/kxqpWcbCeN

Reply to  James McGinn
November 8, 2015 2:56 pm

You’re hiding out from all the evidence posted supporting the fact that H2O(g) is found throughout the atmosphere, from the poles to the tropics.
So now you’re deflecting onto convection and jet streams.
Got it.
And hey, congrats on your tough election fight! What were the vote totals again?

Javier
Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 6, 2015 10:49 am

Steven,

For example: if you say c02 is not a GHG… sorry that question is settled.
It has been settled for a long long time. That is NOBODY who does science for a living will waste their time challenging it.
if you say increasing C02 will not warm the planet… sorry… nobody will waste their time listening to you.
if you say… humans are not responsible for the rise in c02… working scientists will just ignore you.. or have you removed from the faculty. tough love.

Correct, but if you say that humans are responsible for all the warming since 1950 or that natural contribution to global warming has been negligible, you will find that those matters are not settled at all, and they are crucial to understand how much warming we are producing. If let’s say we are producing just 30% of observed warming, we could just sit down, relax and enjoy the weather.

richardscourtney
Reply to  Javier
November 6, 2015 10:59 am

Javier:
Not content with getting a mugging for posting unsubstantiated assertions on two other threads, you now say

if you say that humans are responsible for all the warming since 1950 or that natural contribution to global warming has been negligible, you will find that those matters are not settled at all, and they are crucial to understand how much warming we are producing. If let’s say we are producing just 30% of observed warming, we could just sit down, relax and enjoy the weather.

As I have repeatedly explained to you, there is no evidence that we are producing any of the observed warming.
I stress again, there is no evidence for anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW); none zilch, nada.
If were producing as much as “30% of observed warming” then it would be discernible.
Richard

Javier
Reply to  Javier
November 6, 2015 1:10 pm

Not content with getting a mugging for posting unsubstantiated assertions on two other threads

Hahahah, good joke.

If were producing as much as “30% of observed warming” then it would be discernible.

How? How do you distinguish man-made from natural warming? (talking about unsubstantiated assertions).

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 3:28 am

Javier says:
How do you distinguish man-made from natural warming?
Good question. MMGW has never been quantified, so no one knows the fraction of AGW out of natural warming.
But the fact that AGW has never been measured indicates that it is too tiny to worrry about.

richardscourtney
Reply to  Javier
November 6, 2015 1:28 pm

Javier:
You ask me

How? How do you distinguish man-made from natural warming? (talking about unsubstantiated assertions).

Well, you would know one of the ways if you had payed attention to the information given to you in the thread where you were thrashed for making silly and unfounded assertions.
I there told you

There is no evidence for man-made global warming; none, zilch, nada.
Three decades of research conducted world wide at a cost of over $5 billion per year has failed to find any such evidence. In the 1990s Ben Santer claimed to have found some such evidence but that was soon seen to be an artifact of his having chosen a part of a data set (the late John Daly provided this excellent summary of the affair).
If you think you have found some evidence for anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW) then publish it because your finding would certainly result in you being awarded at least one Nobel Prize.

If you had used that link to John Daly’s excellent summary then you would have known the method used by Santer which showed there was no discernible AGW although his method would have shown AGW if it existed.
You have made many unsubstantiated and demonstrably untrue assertions but have refused to consider evidence that reveals your errors. Your question I have answered here is but one example.
Richard

trafamadore
Reply to  Javier
November 6, 2015 1:34 pm

“As I have repeatedly explained to you, there is no evidence that we are producing any of the observed warming.”
Like Mosh said, is any working scientist listening to you?

Reply to  trafamadore
November 6, 2015 1:55 pm

traffy,
I keep asking for you or anyone else to produce a measurement quantifying your “observed” man-made global warming (also called ‘dangerous AGW’; DAGW for short).
But no one has ever produced an empirical, testable, verifiable measurement quantifying the percentage of DAGW, out of global warming from all causes including the natural rebound from the LIA. There isn’t any such measurement.
Therefore, DAGW is merely a conjecture; an opinion.
Get it? No one can point to a verified measurement and say, “There it is! That’s the fraction of AGW that we’ve been telling you about!”
So what have you got, besides some indirect (model-based) evidence, and lots of (mostly bought and paid for) opinions?

RACookPE1978
Editor
Reply to  trafamadore
November 6, 2015 3:08 pm

trafamadore

“As I have repeatedly explained to you, there is no evidence that we are producing any of the observed warming.”

Like Mosh said, is any working scientist listening to you?

97% of government-paid scientists believe that their next government-paycheck, their next year’s budget, their next research paper publication, and their tenture application relies SOLELY on whether or not they “believe” in CAGW.

richardscourtney
Reply to  Javier
November 6, 2015 2:05 pm

trafamadore:
All scientists accept what the available data indicates.
Anybody who does not accept what the available data indicates is not a scientist.
There is no evidence for man-made global warming; none, zilch, nada.
If you think you have found some evidence for anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW) then publish it because your finding would be the first such evidence and would certainly result in you being awarded at least one Nobel Prize.
Richard

Reply to  Javier
November 6, 2015 5:43 pm

dbstealey:
I keep asking for you or anyone else to produce a measurement quantifying your “observed” man-made global warming (also called ‘dangerous AGW’; DAGW for short).
James McGinn:
I keep asking for a measurement quantifying the notion that moist air is lighter than dry air, in the context of meterology’s storm theory.
dbstealey:
But no one has ever produced an empirical, testable, verifiable measurement quantifying the percentage of DAGW, out of global warming from all causes including the natural rebound from the LIA. There isn’t any such measurement.
James McGinn:
But no one has ever produced an empirical, testable, verifiable measurement quantifying that dry air is heavier than moist air.
dbstealey:
Therefore, DAGW is merely a conjecture; an opinion.
James McGinn:
Therefore, meteorology’s notion that moist air is lighter than dry air is merely a conjecture; an opinion.
dbstealey:
Get it? No one can point to a verified measurement and say, “There it is! That’s the fraction of AGW that we’ve been telling you about!”
James McGinn:
Get it? No one can point to a verified measurement and say, “There it is! That’s the the reason we assume moist air convects up through dry air!
dbstealey:
So what have you got, besides some indirect (model-based) evidence, and lots of (mostly bought and paid for) opinions?
James McGinn:
So what have you got, besides some indirect (model-based) evidence, and lots of (mostly bought and paid for) opinions?
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/11/03/el-nino-events-and-drought-linked/

Reply to  Javier
November 6, 2015 5:47 pm

dbstealey:
So, if I post an experiment that was published in a peer reviewed journal demonstrating direct evidence of gaseous H2O in the atmosphere, will you concede the argument?
James McGinn:
Sure. Knock yourself out. But make sure it controls for all other factors and make sure they are specifically testing for that. Don’t be fooled by that mass spectrometer stuffs. Some of that is worse that voodoo when applied to the H2O molecule.
The simplest experiment would directly measure the weight of moist to dry air. It easy to control the variables and its very simple. And doesn’t require actually looking at the molecules, which is very difficult, maybe impossible (Heisenberg).
When you fail will you retract your claim about “millions” of experiments?
Also, before you post, if you experiment does involve spectrography I suggest you go to Roger Tall Bloke’s site (it’s a bunch of kooky engineers) and look for an article entitled: Unsettled science: Uncertainty around the continuum absorption of water vapour. Read all the comments.

Reply to  Javier
November 6, 2015 5:49 pm

dbstealey:
Next: what if the heads of M.I.T.’s, and Harvard’s, and Stanford’s, and Berkeley’s Physics and Chemistry departments all told you unequivocally that gaseous H2O (steam) is a component of the atmosphere?
James McGinn:
Sure. I would accept this. I will make it easier on you. You only have to get one of the above and I will accept that. Or you could even get any recognized meteorologists, including Anthony Watts. I will accept that. But they have to be willing to stake their reputation on it. Fair enough?
When you are unable to get any of them to address the issue (and let me assure you, they won’t) will you make a retraction of your claim that there have been millions of experiments that confirm the existence of gaseous H2O (steam) is a component of the atmosphere?
Is that not reasonable?
James McGinn

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Javier
November 6, 2015 6:03 pm

James,
I haven’t followed the whole thread, but it appears that you doubt the existence of water vapor in earth’s atmosphere. Or is it steam, ie gaseous H2O at higher temperature? I can assure you that steam does in fact exist in air, although it tends to cool quickly. I’ve put it there myself and observed it around volcanic vents. I saw steam waterfalls around Mt. St. Helens in 1980.
Cooler water vapor indubitably exists in earth’s air. Its concentration ranges from more than 400 parts per 10,000 dry air molecules in the moist tropics to just a few ppm in dry, cold polar regions, ie comparable to CO2 levels.
Every means of measuring H2O in the air shows this to be the case.
https://books.google.com/books?id=pNg6f_4-_xsC&pg=PA2&lpg=PA2&dq=detecting+water+vapor+atmosphere&source=bl&ots=EDKli-uh3B&sig=JIJeSO_dVxflHCjekTkkRJVTATo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CF0Q6AEwCWoVChMInuWo05r9yAIVCfVjCh3ZmgyC#v=onepage&q=detecting%20water%20vapor%20atmosphere&f=false

Reply to  Javier
November 6, 2015 6:43 pm

Gloateus Maximus:
I haven’t followed the whole thread,
James McGinn:
That is apparent.
Gloateus Maximus:
but it appears that you doubt the existence of water vapor in earth’s atmosphere. Or is it steam, ie gaseous H2O at higher temperature?
James McGinn:
I deny the existence of steam at temperatures below the boiling/pressure point.
Gloateus Maximus:
I can assure you that steam does in fact exist in air, although it tends to cool quickly. I’ve put it there myself and observed it around volcanic vents. I saw steam waterfalls around Mt. St. Helens in 1980.
Cooler water vapor indubitably exists in earth’s air. Its concentration ranges from more than 400 parts per 10,000 dry air molecules in the moist tropics to just a few ppm in dry, cold polar regions, ie comparable to CO2 levels.
Every means of measuring H2O in the air shows this to be the case.
James McGinn:
I don’t deny any of this.
You really should read the threads (see link above) before you respond. Sorry to be so obstinate.

Reply to  Javier
November 6, 2015 6:51 pm

dbstealey:
Get it? No one can point to a verified measurement and say, “There it is! That’s the fraction of AGW that we’ve been telling you about!”
James McGinn:
Get it? No one can point to a verified measurement and say, “There it is! That’s the the reason we assume moist air convects up through dry air!
Facts are irrelevant to consensus sciences.
You know you will never receive resolution on this, right?
As do I.
Now do you get it?
James McGinn

Reply to  James McGinn
November 6, 2015 7:27 pm

McGinn, I get this much: you are the only one who denies that convection matters.

Reply to  Javier
November 6, 2015 7:53 pm

I keep asking for a measurement quantifying the notion that moist air is lighter than dry air, in the context of meterology’s storm theory.

Due to the concentrations of nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere, and due to the fact that the molar mass of diatomic nitrogen is 28 and that of diatomic oxygen is 32, we get an average molar mass of 29. This covers 99% of all gases so let us ignore everything else for the moment. So 1000 air molecules have an average mass of 29. But if we have 4% water vapour, then 1000 “air” molecules consist of 960 with an average mass of 29 and 40 with an average mass of 18 for water vapour. Of course this assumes the most abundant isotopes of hydrogen (1) and oxygen (16). So equal numbers of molecules of moist air are lighter than equal numbers of molecules of dry air providing the water molecules in the moist air are in the gas phase and not the liquid phase.

Reply to  Javier
November 6, 2015 8:03 pm

When you are unable to get any of them to address the issue (and let me assure you, they won’t) will you make a retraction of your claim that there have been millions of experiments that confirm the existence of gaseous H2O (steam) is a component of the atmosphere?

As far as I know, even deserts and Antarctica have relative humidities of at least 5%, so all air has water in the gas phase. And if the temperature of the Antarctic air is -50 C, then the water vapour molecules are also at -50 C. However the word “steam” seems misplaced in this case. At least I associate “steam” with water molecules coming out of a hot kettle.

Reply to  Javier
November 6, 2015 11:02 pm

Werner Brozek: November 6, 2015 at 7:53 pm
James McGinn:
I keep asking for a measurement quantifying the notion that moist air is lighter than dry air, in the context of meterology’s storm theory.
Werner Brozek:
So equal numbers of molecules of moist air are lighter than equal numbers of molecules of dry air providing the water molecules in the moist air are in the gas phase and not the liquid phase.
James McGinn:
And in the liquid phase moist air is heavier, always. Right? And since water’s gaseous phase is strictly determined by temperatures over 212 F (100 C) and since temperature of the atmosphere is always lower, moist air is heavier (not lighter) than dry air. Thus meteorology’s notion of moist air convection is resoundingly refuted.
Do you disagree with any of this, Werner?

Reply to  Javier
November 6, 2015 11:11 pm

Werner Brozek: November 6, 2015 at 8:03 pm
James McGinn:
When you are unable to get any of them to address the issue (and let me assure you, they won’t) will you make a retraction of your claim that there have been millions of experiments that confirm the existence of gaseous H2O (steam) is a component of the atmosphere?
Werner Brozek:
As far as I know, even deserts and Antarctica have relative humidities of at least 5%, so all air has water in the gas phase.
James McGinn:
Steam (gaseous H2O) only occurs above 212 F (100 C). So there is no steam in earth’s atmosphere. Thus meteorology’s notion of moist air convection is resoundingly refuted.
Werner Brozek:
And if the temperature of the Antarctic air is -50 C, then the water vapour molecules are also at -50 C. However the word “steam” seems misplaced in this case. At least I associate “steam” with water molecules coming out of a hot kettle.
James McGinn:
It’s misplaced at any ambient temperature. Moist air is heavier than dry air. The convection model of meterology’s storm theory is resoundingly refuted.
If you respond to this I would appreciate it if you made a concerted effort to remain dispassionate.

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 2:06 am

dbstealey: November 6, 2015 at 7:27 pm
dbstealey:
I get this much: you are the only one who denies that convection matters.
James McGinn:
Consensus is for suckers.

Reply to  James McGinn
November 7, 2015 2:51 am

More projection. Everyone else disagrees with you.
You’re out of step with reality.

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 3:33 am

Javier says:
If let’s say we are producing just 30% of observed warming…
“If”.

That is no more than baseless speculation.

Javier
Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 4:39 am

Richard,

If you had used that link to John Daly’s excellent summary then you would have known the method used by Santer which showed there was no discernible AGW although his method would have shown AGW if it existed.

I see. So you don’t know how to distinguish man-made from natural warming or you would be able to explain it with simple words. That’s what I thought.

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 5:29 am

And in the liquid phase moist air is heavier, always. Right? And since water’s gaseous phase is strictly determined by temperatures over 212 F (100 C) and since temperature of the atmosphere is always lower, moist air is heavier (not lighter) than dry air.

Things get complicated really fast. Liquid water is way denser than the individual unattached water molecules. That is why lakes and oceans are at the bottom and air on top. However if liquid or solid water is small enough, such as with fog or hail or snow, they can easily be suspended in air until the particles of rain or hail get too large to remain suspended and fall. That is why clouds are in the sky. Normal laws of buoyancy do not apply to fine mist for example, nor do they apply to chlorofluorocarbons which is why they can end up extremely high. So density is sort of a meaningless concept if particles like fog or even solid dust are fine enough.
But as for the 100 C, that is not correct. If the Antarctic is at -50 C, then the few individual gaseous water molecules are also extremely cold. But we must be careful here! Temperature is a macroscopic property and not a microscopic property. So individual molecules cannot have a temperature, but a group of molecules can. However the speeds of individual molecules at -50 C is way lower than at 100 C. So gaseous water molecules can indeed move extremely slowly when all other molecules around them are cold.

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 10:21 am

Werner Brozek:
And in the liquid phase moist air is heavier, always. Right? And since water’s gaseous phase is strictly determined by temperatures over 212 F (100 C) and since temperature of the atmosphere is always lower, moist air is heavier (not lighter) than dry air.
Things get complicated really fast. Liquid water is way denser than the individual unattached water molecules. That is why lakes and oceans are at the bottom and air on top.
James McGinn:
Wait, wait, wait! Stop here. What you said so far is true. But it is not comprehensive. Gravity is one of many forces that play a role in our atmosphere. There is also electromagnetic forces. These are instrumental in helping heavier objects/particles stay suspended in our atmosphere. And there are winds. And there is the collective effect of these two together. Many people want us to believe that gravity is the only force that plays a role and that, therefore, all movement in the atmosphere must be described in context of (or strictly as the ultimate result of) convection/buoyancy. And it just ain’t so.
In my estimation, convection/bouyancy plays a much smaller role than most everybody else is assuming.
Werner Brozek:
However if liquid or solid water is small enough, such as with fog or hail or snow, they can easily be suspended in air until the particles of rain or hail get too large to remain suspended and fall. That is why clouds are in the sky. Normal laws of buoyancy do not apply to fine mist for example, nor do they apply to chlorofluorocarbons which is why they can end up extremely high. So density is sort of a meaningless concept if particles like fog or even solid dust are fine enough.
James McGinn:
Well stated! (What I wrote above I wrote before reading this last paragraph.)
Werner Brozek:
But as for the 100 C, that is not correct.
James McGinn:
At 1 ATM it is correct. The boiling temperature/pressure of H2O is/are immutable laws.
Werner Brozek:
If the Antarctic is at -50 C, then the few individual gaseous water molecules are also extremely cold.
James McGinn:
What you are suggesting is impossible. I repeat, the boiling temperature/pressure of H2O is/are immutable laws.
Werner Brozek:
But we must be careful here! Temperature is a macroscopic property and not a microscopic property. So individual molecules cannot have a temperature, but a group of molecules can.
James McGinn:
Sorry to be a contrarian, but you are wrong, Kinetic energy is kinetic energy. It can be speed, vibration, or spin, but it is just kinetic energy. (BTW, spin is greatly overlooked.)
Werner Brozek:
However the speeds of individual molecules at -50 C is way lower than at 100 C. So gaseous water molecules can indeed move extremely slowly when all other molecules around them are cold.
James McGinn:
Except for situations that involve spin (which is beyond the scope of our discussion) there is exactly zero gaseous H2O in earth’s atmosphere. See what I stated above about it being an immutable law.
Your understanding is much better than that of most people I encounter.
This whole subject has been discussed at length at the links below, follow the discussion threads to the end if you are interested.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/10/22/missing-component-found-in-the-evaporation-process-making-water-vapors-role-even-more-uncertain-in-climate-models/
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/11/03/el-nino-events-and-drought-linked/

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 10:34 am

James,
It appears that you don’t understand evaporation, but confuse it with boiling. I refer you to Boyle’s Law, regarding temperature and pressure.
When liquid water is in contact with dry air, it is not in equilibrium; water molecules evaporate off the surface until the amount of water in the air creates enough vapor pressure to achieve equilibrium. When water is heated to a temperature of 100 degrees C, the vapor pressure equals that of sea-level air pressure.
An H2O molecule is less massive than other molecules in the air, ie N2, O2, Ar, CO2, O3, etc.
I hope this helps.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 10:36 am

PS:
Cooler air holds less water vapor than warmer air.
Consider the dew.

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 11:50 am

Werner Brozek:
If the Antarctic is at -50 C, then the few individual gaseous water molecules are also extremely cold.
James McGinn:
What you are suggesting is impossible. I repeat, the boiling temperature/pressure of H2O is/are immutable laws.

I am sure you have sweated and then that sweat evaporated and your skin was dry again. Your body temperature is 37 C and not 100 C. However water molecules even evaporate when only at 1 C, although very little evaporation takes place then.
It is basic thermodynamics that if a very hot solid or liquid or gas is immersed into a cold environment, the hot object and the cold object will reach a common temperature after a while. H = mct and the total heat before equals the total heat after in a closed system.
The laws of thermodynamics are immutable laws. A boiling temperature is not a law.

Kinetic energy is kinetic energy. It can be speed, vibration, or spin, but it is just kinetic energy. (BTW, spin is greatly overlooked.)

See:
http://chemwiki.ucdavis.edu/Physical_Chemistry/Physical_Properties_of_Matter/Phases_of_Matter/Gases/Kinetic_Theory_of_Gases/Kinetic_Theory_of_Gases
“Thermal Energy
Keep in mind that the temperature of a gas is actually a measure of its average kinetic energy, and kinetic energy of a particle is related to its velocity according to the following equation:
KE=12mv2
where KE represents kinetic energy of a particle, m equals mass, and v2 is the square of its velocity. As velocity increases so does kinetic energy. Of course the inverse is also true, that as kinetic energy increases so does velocity. You can see from this relationship how a molecule with a higher temperature will be moving faster. The temperature of the system is the average kinetic energy of its particles. Thermal energy is the total kinetic energy of all the particles in a system. Temperature, thermal energy, and the speed of a molecule are all directly related. “
So kinetic energy only depends on speed.
Also see:
http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/gretchen.legler/public.www/antarcticawebsite/sci5.htm
“Antarctica is also incredibly dry-in fact it is the driest place on the planet. The average humidity is around 5-9 percent”
If the relative humidity is above 0 percent, then there are some H2O(g) in the air. It is as simple as that.

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 2:41 pm

Gloateus Maximus November 7, 2015 at 10:34 am
Gloateus Maximus:
It appears that you don’t understand evaporation, but confuse it with boiling.
James McGinn:
I understand them perfectly. You appear incapable of distinguishing between them.
Gloateus Maximus:
I refer you to Boyle’s Law, regarding temperature and pressure.
When liquid water is in contact with dry air, it is not in equilibrium; water molecules evaporate off the surface until the amount of water in the air creates enough vapor pressure to achieve equilibrium. When water is heated to a temperature of 100 degrees C, the vapor pressure equals that of sea-level air pressure.
An H2O molecule is less massive than other molecules in the air, ie N2, O2, Ar, CO2, O3, etc.
James McGinn:
You appear to not have a point.
Gloateus Maximus:
I hope this helps.
James McGinn:
If you can’t even figure out what your point is that should be a clue that there is something you don’t understand.

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 4:36 pm

Werner Brozek:
If the Antarctic is at -50 C, then the FEW INDIVIDUAL GASEOUS WATER MOLECULES are also extremely cold. (Emphasis mine.)
James McGinn:
What you are suggesting is impossible. The boiling temperature/pressure of H2O is/are immutable laws.
Werner Brozek:
I am sure you have sweated and then that sweat evaporated and your skin was dry again.
James McGinn:
I don’t understand how this anecdotal evidence of evaporation (which is also a thermodynamic process–false distinction) addresses my point that the existence of gaseous water in the atmosphere is impossible given that it requires temperatures over 100 C to maintain steam (gaseous H2O) and our atmosphere is never that hot.
If you are not yet aware, allow me to hereby assert to you (and anybody reading this) that nobody has yet produced any empirical evidence for the existence of gaseous H2O (Steam) in earths atmosphere (at ambient temperatures). There is widespread belief in such, but it is just that, belief. It is not verifiable science.
Werner Brozek:
A boiling temperature is not a law.
James McGinn:
It hardly matters what semantics we use. My point is that a belief in “cold steam” is but a belief unless it has been tested/verified empirically, regardless of whether it is or is not a law.
Thanks for the response. If you are inclined to continue to insist on the existence of what has never been detected empirically I can only suggest that you view the more comprehensive discussion that has already taken place at the links previously provided.
Kindest Regards,
James McGinn
Solving Tornadoes

Reply to  James McGinn
November 7, 2015 4:48 pm

Werner B,
So that “self-taught” person has moved up from:
THERE IS NO STEAM (GASEOUS H2O) IN EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE.
To this:
If the Antarctic is at -50 C, then the FEW INDIVIDUAL GASEOUS WATER MOLECULES are also extremely cold.
An improvement, I suppose.
Still nonsense. Water vapor is found everywhere in the atmosphere.

Reply to  dbstealey
November 7, 2015 5:03 pm

Werner B,
Apologies for my mistake! I thought the newbie was saying there are a few molecules of H2O in the air. My bad.
But you had set him straight:
(Even if) “…the relative humidity is above 0 percent, then there are some H2O(g) in the air. It is as simple as that.”
Water vapor is a component of the atmosphere. Just because some self-‘educated’ person says, “Is not!” means nothing.
He just fails to understand the basics.

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 4:56 pm

WB:
So kinetic energy only depends on speed.
JM:
Vibration may be negligible, but I don’t think we should dismiss spin, but I don’t want to belabor the point.
WB:
If the relative humidity is above 0 percent, then there are some H2O(g) in the air. It is as simple as that.
JM:
Okay, but why assume it is gaseous? How do you know it is not, actually, H2O(L) (Or ice or superchilled H2O)? Do you see my point?
(Don’t just assume what the consensus assumes. The consensus hardly ever knows why it believes what it believes.)

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 5:02 pm

dbstealey November 7, 2015 at 4:48 pm
Werner B,
So that “self-taught” person has moved up from:
THERE IS NO STEAM (GASEOUS H2O) IN EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE.
To this:
If the Antarctic is at -50 C, then the FEW INDIVIDUAL GASEOUS WATER MOLECULES are also extremely cold.
James McGinn:
Those are Werner’s words, not mine.
And I’m not completely “self-taught”. I’m just not an automaton.

Reply to  James McGinn
November 7, 2015 5:27 pm

Yes, Werner’s words. If you notice the time stamps, I was acknowledging that at the same time you posted. I guess when you find a ‘gotcha’ you use it. Because you certainly don’t have a physics or chemistry argument.
And I should have known that your mind is closed to any possibility that gaseous H2O exists in the air. If you admitted that, your entire belief system would fall apart,
Werner:
Good point about sweat evaporating. McGinn believes that all water in the air is in its liquid state. He explains that by saying water molecules “clump” when they’re evaporated. But that is so trivially easy to debunk that I won’t even waste time on it.

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 5:25 pm

JM:
Okay, but why assume it is gaseous? How do you know it is not, actually, H2O(L) (Or ice or superchilled H2O)? Do you see my point?

We need to get two definitions straight before going any further. They are the meaning of “relative humidity” and “water vapour”.
For “relative humidity”, it is:
“Relative humidity (abbreviated RH) is the ratio of the partial pressure of water vapor to the equilibrium vapor pressure of water at the same temperature.”
See:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relative_humidity
For “water vapor” it is:
“water vapor
n.
Water in a gaseous state, especially when diffused as a vapor in the atmosphere and at a temperature below boiling point.”
See: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/water+vapor
So you cannot escape the fact that if the relative humidity is even 1%, you have H2O(g) mixed in with the other air molecules. If what you say is true, then everything that has ever been written about relative humidity is a bunch of garbage. As well, clouds can never form higher up where it is cooler so it can never rain nor snow nor hail.

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 5:40 pm

Werner:
Good point about sweat evaporating.

I thought I was a pretty good high school physics and chemistry teacher before I retired. Am I losing my touch?

Reply to  Werner Brozek
November 7, 2015 5:43 pm

Am I losing my touch?
Not at all, Werner. But some folks are incapable of learning.

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 6:27 pm

Werner Brozek: November 7, 2015 at 5:25 pm
JM:
Why assume it is gaseous? How do you know it is not, actually, H2O(L) (Or ice or superchilled H2O)? Do you see my point?
WB:
We need to get two definitions straight . . .
For “relative humidity”, it is: “Relative humidity (abbreviated RH) is . . .
For “water vapor” it is: “water vapor n. Water in a gaseous state, . . .
JM:
Definitions can be very seductive. They can lead your mind by the nose. Definitions can conceal false assumptions. If I define my bicycle as a Ferrari it isn’t going to go 100 miles an hour.
GB:
So you cannot escape the fact that if the relative humidity is even 1%, you have H2O(g) mixed in with the other air molecules.
JM:
Since gaseous H2O was just assumed in the definitions (not empirically determined) there is nothing to escape from. The first RH gives you no reason whatsoever to assume Gaseous H2O. The second WV simply assumes it to be gaseous. So, as it regards the issue at hand, these definitions are useless, possibly misleading. (And, as per my assertion, blatantly erroneous.)
GB:
If what you say is true, then everything that has ever been written about relative humidity is a bunch of garbage.
JM:
For the question at hand, yes, they are, “a bunch of garbage.” (However, if you are trying to predict when the moisture in moist air will collect into big enough drops to fall out of the sky, then they are very useful.)
GB:
As well, clouds can never form higher up where it is cooler so it can never rain nor snow nor hail.
JM:
This is a much more complicated issue/question. Actually, given your earlier comments I am kind of surprised you are saying this. It’s almost as if you are suggesting that the only process in the atmosphere that causes moisture to go up is convection. See my previous comments in this regard. (Also, don’t close your mind to the fact that there may be another process that you have not discovered yet that can explain how heavier moisture gets all the way up to the top of the troposphere–and sometimes even up into the lower stratosphere.
James McGinn
Solving Tornadoes

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 6:40 pm

dbstealey:
And I should have known that your mind is closed to any possibility that gaseous H2O exists in the air. If you admitted that, your entire belief system would fall apart,
James McGinn:
I admit that admitting it would be very painful, because it would essentially refute my whole hypothesis on tornadogenesis, which took me four years to develop. But if it could be demonstrated empirically I would have no choice but to accept that. So, it is no small matter for me.

Reply to  James McGinn
November 7, 2015 6:57 pm

So you still haven’t figured out why your belief that water only “clumps” is nonsense?
The explantion is trivial. But I guess I’m not surprised that you haven’t figured it out…

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 7:14 pm

dbstealey:
DB: Good point about sweat evaporating.
JM: Well, I think Werner’s point was that evaporation is a thermodynamic process and, therefore, involved the creation of steam. The implication being that only the creation of steam can be thermodynamic. Or, at least, that is how I interpreted the following:
WB: I am sure you have sweated and then that sweat evaporated and your skin was dry again. Your body temperature is 37 C and not 100 C. However water molecules even evaporate when only at 1 C, although very little evaporation takes place then. It is basic thermodynamics . . .
JM: I countered along the lines that that simply isn’t the case, the evaporation of micro droplets would also be thermodynamic. (Hydrogen bonds are still being broken, but they are the weaker bonds associated with evaporation, as explained on my webpage entitled: Why Water is Wierd.) So Werner is making a false distinction.
DB: McGinn believes that all water in the air is in its liquid state. He explains that by saying water molecules “clump” when they’re evaporated.
JM: Right. DB is correct. I believe that all water in the air is in its liquid state (and ice at lower temps). But there is exactly zero steam (except at volcano vents and such).
DB: But that is so trivially easy to debunk that I won’t even waste time on it.
JM: You insult the intelligence of our readers: who, after reading this thread, is going to be dumb enough to not realize that if you could debunk it you wouldn’t do it in a heartbeat? Also, if you could debunk it you would destroy my whole hypothesis, and I would have to make all kinds of retractions, and the retraction you owe me would be forgiven. You need to think before you make these kinds of statements.

Reply to  James McGinn
November 8, 2015 6:44 am

… if you could debunk it you wouldn’t do it in a heartbeat?
Naw, I like to watch a know-it-all who can’t figure out the simple answer. ☺

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 7:19 pm

dbstealey November 7, 2015 at 6:57 pm
So you still haven’t figured out why your belief that water only “clumps” is nonsense?
The explantion is trivial. But I guess I’m not surprised that you haven’t figured it out…
James McGinn:
Okay, I’m calling your bluff. Present your “trivial” explanation. Go ahead. Make my day. LOL.

Reply to  James McGinn
November 8, 2015 6:42 am

It’s not a bluff, you just can’t see it.
Here’s a clue, since you’re all out: where do you draw the line?

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 7:27 pm

dbstealey:
Mainstream physics says that water vapor is a component of the atmosphere.
James McGinn:
So do I.
dbstealey:
You claim it isn’t.
James McGinn:
Stop putting words in my mouth. Quote me directly.

Going to bat for dbstealey, below is your direct quote. Do you agree?

James McGinn:
Except for situations that involve spin (which is beyond the scope of our discussion) there is exactly zero gaseous H2O in earth’s atmosphere.

So we will ignore spin as you suggest, not that it makes any difference anyway, you say “there is exactly zero gaseous H2O in earth’s atmosphere”. So dbstealey did not put words into your mouth.

Definitions can be very seductive. They can lead your mind by the nose.

THAT is your problem! You say “water vapor is a component of the atmosphere”, but unlike dbstealey, you do not use the standard definition of water vapor, but your own concept of water vapor is, whereas dbstealey knows the true definition of water vapor.

It hardly matters what semantics we use.

It greatly matters! If we do not agree that water vapor is H2O(g), then any further discussion is totally pointless.

It’s almost as if you are suggesting that the only process in the atmosphere that causes moisture to go up is convection.

Not at all. Water evaporates from lakes or oceans and H2O(g) can naturally diffuse up into the higher atmosphere, just like any gas can diffuse in any other gas. Of course convection can happen as well.

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 7:33 pm

Werner Brozek:
However if liquid or solid water is small enough, such as with fog or hail or snow, they can easily be suspended in air until the particles of rain or hail get too large to remain suspended and fall. That is why clouds are in the sky. Normal laws of buoyancy do not apply to fine mist for example, nor do they apply to chlorofluorocarbons which is why they can end up extremely high. So density is sort of a meaningless concept if particles like fog or even solid dust are fine enough.
James McGinn:
I’m not trying be contrarian here, but is there really a law of convection. Or is this just something that people arrived at by a process of elimination before they had all the facts. Moreover, if there are the exceptions that you mention (you are very perceptive, by the way, [that is unusual]) might these actually be the exceptions that refute the law.
Something to think about. (Personally, I think convection is nonsense. It plays almost no role whatsoever in our atmosphere, in my opinion.)

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 7:41 pm

the evaporation of micro droplets would also be thermodynamic

I have never heard of clumps of water evaporating. Of course a strong wind on a lake can create this effect, but that is not evaporation. If you have a reference for clumps of water evaporating, please let me know. The site below just talks about individual molecules evaporating:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23574252
“In the observed minimum free energy process, the water molecule diffuses to the surface, and tends to rotate so that its dipole and one O-H bond are oriented outward as it crosses the Gibbs dividing surface.”

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 7:43 pm

Werner Brozek
November 7, 2015 at 7:27 pm
IMO the moderators of this blog bend over backwards to allow raving lunatics to spew errant nonsense ad infinitum, but if those whose name dare not be mentioned for advocating a scientifically defensible position (to which I don’t subscribe) contrary to the consensus on radiative forcing and the GHE, then surely this totally unsupportable drivel should be banned.
Does every monomaniacal, uneducated ignoramus get his say here forever, or is there a limit? How divorced from objective reality are commenters allowed to remain for how long?
That water vapor, ie gaseous molecular H2O, is a vital component of earth’s atmosphere is a fact. All the evidence in the world supports this observation, with none against it. The hydrological cycle could not exist without it. The marvelous human cooling system wouldn’t work without evaporative cooling. Meteorology would be a nonsense without relative humidity.
James still refuses to state whence the loon imagine dew originates.
Time to shut James’ running off at, if not indeed foaming at, the mouth off for good, IMHO. The spigot of spew should be turned off. The self-appointed El Presidente has already gotten far more free publicity for his crazed site than the fool deserves.

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 7:55 pm

(Personally, I think convection is nonsense. It plays almost no role whatsoever in our atmosphere, in my opinion.)

Do you have a definition of convection that is different from everyone else? Have you never seen a campfire where the hot air rises right above the fire? And if hot air rises, other air has to take its place from the sides and wind is created. This happens on a global scale as well. Convection is what causes sea breezes and land breezes.

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 9:26 pm

Werner Brozek November 7, 2015 at 7:27 pm
WB:
It greatly matters!
JM:
It’s simple. Don’t fret over this:
Gas (mono-molecular H2O): gaseous H2O, steam, H2O (g)
Everything thing else is liquid:
Liquid (multi-molecular H2O): evaporate, water vapor, vapor, moist air, condensate, H2O (L)
BTW, there is no standard. You have to be explicit and consisent. And you have to ignore the peanut gallery that refuses to be explicit and consistent.
Unfortunately, in the larger world there is no convention, there is no standard. All of these words are used interchangeably/ambiguously. (This is the source of much of the confusion.)
But I think what confuses people the most is the fact that H2O (L) (water vapor, vapor, moist air and evaporate) can and often are perfectly invisible. People tend to assume that only steam can be invisible, and it just ain’t so. The moist air (H2O(L)) that is in the room that you are in at this very moment is invisible.
BTW, gaseous H2O (H2O (g)) and steam are always invisible. People talk about seeing steam, what they are actually seeing is water vapor, vapor, moist air, condensate, or evaporate.
There are many ways to be confused on this subject. Unfortunately there are a lot of people that just refuse to be explicit and consistent (dbstealey).
WB:
Water evaporates from lakes or oceans and H2O(g) can naturally diffuse up into the higher atmosphere, just like any gas can diffuse in any other gas.
JM:
I agree. (Except with the assumption that it is a gas.) And the same is true of H2O (L) (water vapor, vapor, moist air, condensate, and evaporate). It too can diffuse and it too can be suspended. So, diffusion is not evidence that confirms the existence of H2O(g) since the same processes apply to H2O(L).
WB:
Of course convection can happen as well.
JM:
I mostly disagree. In my opinion convection is a very weak, slow, benign process. (It’s has never been measured or tested. And there is no quantitative analysis/assessment of it that does not involve a lot of unsubstantiated assumptions [convection is to meteorology what CO2 Forcing is to climatology]). Another problem with convection is that it is hard to come to any kind of agreement as to what it is or how to define it, thus it is hard to quantify. And what can’t be quantified can’t be tested. So, it persists mostly because it is so vague nobody can test it.
Wind happens also. And the strongest winds are located in the jet streams. And when a jet steam entrance is pointing downward (the most explicit example of which being tornadoes) it can cause updrafts. When the exit of a jet stream is pointed down it can cause downdrafts.

Reply to  James McGinn
November 8, 2015 9:37 am

McGinn says:
You have to be explicit and consisent. And you have to ignore the peanut gallery that refuses to be explicit and consistent.
But McGinn refuses, or is unable to provide any verifiable, testable, real world experiments that show water vapor does not exist in the atmosphere. As other readers have shown in their links, numerous experiments over many decades explicitly demonstrate that water in its gas state exists everywhere in the air.
How does McGinn get around that inconvenient fact? He does it by refusing to admit the results of experiments done using the necessary instruments!
Once again McGinn violates the Scientific Method, by saying in effect that measuring the quantity of H2O(g) cannot be done by using instruments (mass spectroscopes and related instruments) to measure it! As usual, the onus is on McGinn to falsify the results of those instruments.
Next, McGinn says:
Quote me directly.
OK, I will. McGinn says:
It’s not possible for me to dispute the existence of what has never been detected.
But it is possible. And the onus is on you to show convincingly that H2O(g) does not exist in the air; the onus is not on those skeptical of your conjecture because skeptics have nothing to prove. You do. But your only support is via endless assertions: you have no other empirical, testable verification of your claims.
Next: you insult the intelligence of our readers:
Good science involves prevarication.
Translation: ‘Good science requires lying.’ I do not agree. I think that was asserted to cover up McGinn’s own prevarication.
Next, from McGinn:
I’m just a scientist who happened upon a notion…
Wrong, and wrong. When McGinn cannot support his strange beliefs (“water vapor (steam) does not exist in the atmosphere”, and: “Personally, I think convection is nonsense”), he typically asserts that everyone else is wrong:
Yourself, Phil, and Micro6500 failed to provide any empirical support for your opinions.
…ignoring the posted links to experiments showing that water vapor does in fact exist in the air.
And followed by more of McGinn’s baseless assertions:
You lost the argument… Deal with it (You never had a chance.)… You believed something that isn’t true. Don’t waste time griping about it. …you lost the argument. & etc.
And after several of us supported Prof Richard Feynman, McGinn stated that Feynman was also wrong, then said:
…your hero, Feynman, knew nothing
I suspect that other readers here would disagree with McGinn.
McGinn is blind to the links posted by other readers. He said:
…you provided all the anecdotal observations, imaginary experiments (complete with claims of data that nobody can find) and consensus claims that are typical of pathological sciences. …it is incredibly strange how irrational people are when it comes to the atmosphere.
The talent I brought to the subject.

As I’ve pointed out repeatedly: McGinn is inflicted with psychological projection. He routinely takes the comments of other readers, and turns those comments back on them. That’s McGinn’s tactic, but all it shows is his projection.
And McGinn quotes the same Dr. Feynman…
“If it disagrees with experiment, it’s WRONG…”
…but after McGinn was repeatedly asked for experiments verifying his conjecture that H2O(g) does not exist in the atmosphere, he never produced any verifiable, testable, empirical experiments to support that belief.
McGinn says:
The time has come for you to make some retractions, as we agreed. Get on with it.
And once again I ask: where did we ever agree to that?? It appears that McGinn just makes up things as he goes along.
Finally, Richard Courtney has asked McGinn this question repeatedly:
I yet again ask you, who elected you President of the strangely named Solving Tornadoes, and when?
I would also ask McGinn: when are the next nominations for President held? What are the requirements for nomination and election. And finally I ask McGinn: isn’t it true that you fabricated being ‘elected’ as President, and that there was never any official nomination/election process?
If I’m wrong I will apologize. Just provide verifiable evidence that the process was done; when, where, and where were nominations and the election results published?
Or is that just like everything else; completely fabricated nonsense?

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 10:41 pm

People tend to assume that only steam can be invisible, and it just ain’t so. The moist air (H2O(L)) that is in the room that you are in at this very moment is invisible.

There is no moist air in my room. The relative humidity is probably 30% so all water is the form of individual gas molecules of H2O(g). And H2O(g) is perfectly transparent. If the air outside is at 30% humidity, you can see for miles and the moon and stars are perfectly clearly visible. But when you have clouds or fog due to small liquid droplets, then the moon cannot be seen clearly.
H2O(l) always blocks light, but H2O(g) never blocks light. If I am in a wet sauna, then I can see the fog and I know there are clusters of H2O(l) suspended in the air. If there is no fog in my room, there is no H2O(l) in my room. Why should properties of H2O(l) change in my room versus everywhere else?

Reply to  Werner Brozek
November 8, 2015 8:03 am

Werner Borzek:
Your claim that “H2O(g) never blocks light” is falsified by the evidence ( http://www1.lsbu.ac.uk/water/water_vibrational_spectrum.html ).

richardscourtney
Reply to  Javier
November 8, 2015 1:11 am

Javier:
I have just now noticed your daft post that says to me in total

Richard,

If you had used that link to John Daly’s excellent summary then you would have known the method used by Santer which showed there was no discernible AGW although his method would have shown AGW if it existed.

I see. So you don’t know how to distinguish man-made from natural warming or you would be able to explain it with simple words. That’s what I thought.

NO!
Your reply that I have quoted here demonstrates that you cannot read and don’t understand plain English. That’s what I already new.
For the benefit of you and anyone else who cannot read, the method considers the pattern of warming in the troposphere.
Model emulations of greenhouse gas (GHG) warming indicate between 2 and 3 times as much warming at altitude as at the surface. If there is not enhanced warming at altitude (and there is not) then any warming is not of the kind that climate models emulate for GHG warming.
Please desist from your childish behaviour: it is boorish.
Richard

Javier
Reply to  Javier
November 8, 2015 4:33 am

Richard,

Model emulations of greenhouse gas (GHG) warming indicate between 2 and 3 times as much warming at altitude as at the surface. If there is not enhanced warming at altitude (and there is not) then any warming is not of the kind that climate models emulate for GHG warming.

You are reaching the wrong conclusion from that experiment. There are many alternative explanations for a model not agreeing with real data being the most obvious that the model does not represent reality. We have had so much experience with models failing to reproduce reality that I am surprised that you can extract conclusions other than the model is not working.
It is only a hypothesis that there should be 2-3 times as much warming at altitude as at the surface, we don’t really know how much extra warming we should expect at altitude and if that depends on water vapor local concentrations or not. This could be really variable as local water vapor concentrations are very variable.
I agree that since GHG theory predicts more warming at altitude (the amount depends on suppositions), that speaks against GHGs being responsible for all the warming, but since we do not know based on theory how much warming should be produced as that depends on GHG transient sensitivity and after 25 years we have not been able to determine it, we have no idea of how much warming to expect at altitude and thus this test does not measure the fraction of natural vs. man-made warming. To pretend that it does is to take your hypothesis and suppositions to the category of facts.
You have not told me how to distinguish natural warming from man-made warming, you have just told me a hypothetic way of doing it that has failed.

richardscourtney
Reply to  Javier
November 8, 2015 6:40 am

Javier:
I drew no conclusions and I made no mention of any “experiment”. I reported the data analysis method used by Ben Santer to detect anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW).
If you want to argue with that then take it up with Santer and not me. You also need to take it up with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) because they say the same.
You make another of your daft and unsubstantiated assertions when you write

You have not told me how to distinguish natural warming from man-made warming, you have just told me a hypothetic way of doing it that has failed.

NO!
I have reported the ‘fingerprint’ of AGW is absent from the balloon data obtained since 1958. This absence demonstrates there is no discernible contribution of AGW to global warming since 1958.
You are claiming AGW exists but does not exhibit the ‘fingerprint’ Santer and the IPCC say it has: so take up your unsubstantiated claim with them, not me.

Furthermore, the AGW ‘fingerprint’ is a warming rate at altitude of between 2 and 3 times the warming rate at sea level. Hence, if there were faster warming at altitude then the difference between the two rates would indicate the range of possible percentages of the warming which is AGW.
As is your usual practice you demonstrate complete inability to accept any information which contradicts your superstitious belief in AGW.
Richard

Reply to  Javier
November 8, 2015 8:14 am

Werner Borzek:
Your claim that “H2O(g) never blocks light” is falsified by the evidence (http://www1.lsbu.ac.uk/water/water_vibrational_spectrum.html ).

Thank you! Would it be totally correct to say that H2O(g) is totally transparent to visible light? Granted, there might be an odd wavelength that is absorbed here and there, but not that anyone would notice without special equipment.

Reply to  Javier
November 8, 2015 9:15 am

Werner Brozek November 7, 2015 at 10:41 pm
(BTW, I am really enjoying the clarity of your presentation–its refreshing.)
JM: People tend to assume that only steam can be invisible, and it just ain’t so. The moist air (H2O(L)) that is in the room that you are in at this very moment is invisible.
WB: There is no moist air in my room. The relative humidity is probably 30% . . .
JM: That *is* moist air.
WB: . . . so all water is the form of individual gas molecules of H2O(g). And H2O(g) is perfectly transparent.
JM: It’s not H2O(g), in my estimation. It’s H2O(L). (if it was H2O(g) it would be over 212 F. The reason it is transparent is because the microdroplets are smaller than the wavelength of a photon. (Which is the same reason H2O(g) is transpaent.)
WB: If the air outside is at 30% humidity, you can see for miles and the moon and stars are perfectly clearly visible. But when you have clouds or fog due to small liquid droplets, then the moon cannot be seen clearly. H2O(l) always blocks light, but H2O(g) never blocks light.
JM: H2O(l) does not always blocks light. Only if its diameter is larger than a photon will it block (refract) light. Thus the clarity of air is not evidence of H2O(g). That the clarity of air is evidence of H2O(g) is kind of a scientific version of an urban myth.
WB: If I am in a wet sauna, then I can see the fog and I know there are clusters of H2O(l) suspended in the air. If there is no fog in my room, there is no H2O(l) in my room. Why should properties of H2O(l) change in my room versus everywhere else?
JM: It’s simply a function of the diameter of the microdroplet. If it is larger than a photon it will refract light. High humidity allows drops to be bigger. When a lot of them are bigger than a photon they become visible as fog.
It is interesting to note that the argument that you presented was based on absence of evidence to the contrary. And the evidence you presented was anecdotal. What if I didn’t have knowledge of photons and droplet diameter, would you have thought you presented a slam dunk dispute of my assertion? A year ago I had the same discussion with somebody except that I didn’t yet have this explanation regarding photon length. Afterwards they seemed to think that they had proven their point. Actually they hadn’t proven anything. All they did was present me with some anecdotal evidence and they then went on to form a conclusion based on absence of evidence to the contrary. This is very common. Us humans tend to be most easily convinced into believing something that coincides with our existing beliefs. New discoveries have an uphill battle to be established in the human mind.

Reply to  Javier
November 8, 2015 9:33 am

Terry Oldberg November 8, 2015 at 8:03 am
Werner Borzek:
Your claim that “H2O(g) never blocks light” is falsified by the evidence ( http://www1.lsbu.ac.uk/water/water_vibrational_spectrum.html ).
Excellent website! Thank you for this. Wow. The more I learn about water the more confusing it appears. (In that regard, I have some contributions from my own website which I will soon post in this thread. It deals with the non-Newtonian aspect of H2O.)
Along those lines here is another contribution to the confusion:
https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/unsettled-science-uncertainty-around-the-continuum-absorption-of-water-vapour/
If you read the comments you will see that just about everybody has their own unique interpretation of the meaning of the information in this paper. I too am a contributor: Solving Tornadoes

Reply to  Javier
November 8, 2015 10:19 am

Werner Brozek November 7, 2015 at 7:55 pm
(Personally, I think convection is nonsense. It plays almost no role whatsoever in our atmosphere, in my opinion.)
WB: Do you have a definition of convection that is different from everyone else? Have you never seen a campfire where the hot air rises right above the fire?
Hot air balloon, dirigibles, these are the examples everybody uses. But these are not definitions, these are descriptions. And you don’t see much discussion of the exceptions that you mentioned above.
On the site Quora I asked whether it had ever been tested and that caused somewhat of an uproar from the thought police:
https://www.quora.com/Has-the-buoyancy-that-supposedly-underlies-storms-ever-been-measured
WB: And if hot air rises, other air has to take its place from the sides and wind is created. This happens on a global scale as well. Convection is what causes sea breezes and land breezes.
Does it? How do we know?
Johannes:
However, there is no support for the claim that unsaturated moist air is heavier than dry air
Jim McGinn:
I believe there is support for the claim, albeit indirect. For more on this follow this link: http://wp.me/p4JijN-3X Start reading where it mentions, “history of the steam engine.” I argue that this is hard evidence that demonstrates H2Os tendency to clump up at ambient temperatures. In the context of Avogadro’s Law this would prove it must be heavier. Beyond that I also would mention that there is no dispute for the claim that unsaturated moist air is heavier than dry air.
Johannes:
. . . this effect is well accounted for in quantitative descriptions of convective storms.
Jim McGinn:
Not much of anything is well accounted for in “quantitative descriptions of convective storms,” in my estimation. It’s about as vague as vague can be. And most of the math is there to create the illusion of sophistication and conciseness when in reality none of it is measurable, testable.
Is convection just the refrigerator door upon which we attach the postcard of what we want storms to be?
http://t.co/cpQIoREmtp

Reply to  James McGinn
November 8, 2015 11:49 am

McGinn asks:
So what have you got, besides some indirect (model-based) evidence, and lots of (mostly bought and paid for) opinions?says that hot air balloons don’t count when it comes to bouyancy. That’s because that example is very inconvenient.
Not true, hot air balloons are an empirical demonstration of bouyancy. Hot air balloons have very high water vapor content. That is part of the reason they are bouyant. Burning hydrocarbons produces a lot of H2O.
**********
So, when are the next nominations for President of your tornado organization, Mr President? Same month as last time?

Reply to  Javier
November 8, 2015 11:56 am

The reason it is transparent is because the microdroplets are smaller than the wavelength of a photon.

Photons can interact with just electrons in an atom as can be seen with the photoelectric effect and the Compton effect. If wavelength was important, this should not happen.

Reply to  Werner Brozek
November 8, 2015 1:59 pm

Anyone who believes there is no water vapor in the air cannot accept the lapse rate, either.
Sooner or later people who comeup with new ‘theories’ will either be proven to be correct, or their ‘theory’ will get tangled up in many other aspects of physics. Like the lapse rate. That’s what I see happening with McGinn and Javier.
But McGinn can easily prove he’s right, in the one way that is not arguable: produce a series of consistent, accurate predictions based on his conjecture that there is “no water vapor (steam) in the atmosphere”.
The one thing every Conjecture, Hypothesis, Theory and Law has in common is their ability to make correct predictions, repeatedly. If they don’t, their conjecture (that’s all it is if they can’t make correct predictions) has been falsified.
We read a lot of McGinn’s conjecture here. But he never posts a replicable, verifiable, empirical experiment he has done to support his beliefs. So, his conjecture remains a conjecture.

Reply to  Javier
November 8, 2015 12:45 pm

Werner Brozdek November 8, 2015 at 11:56 am
The reason it is transparent is because the microdroplets are smaller than the wavelength of a photon.
Photons can interact with just electrons in an atom as can be seen with the photoelectric effect and the Compton effect. If wavelength was important, this should not happen.
James McGinn:
Individual H2O molecules, H2O(g), also have electrons, so . . .

Reply to  Javier
November 8, 2015 12:58 pm

dbstealey:
dbstealey:
Not true, hot air balloons are an empirical demonstration of bouyancy.
James McGinn:
Yes, hot air balloons are an empirical demonstration of the bouyancy of . . . hot air balloons.
dbstealey:
Hot air balloons have very high water vapor content. That is part of the reason they are bouyant. Burning hydrocarbons produces a lot of H2O.
James McGinn:
I wonder why they don’t spray mist into the flames? Hmm.
(LIkewise, I wonder why nobody has built a car that runs off the power of evaporation? Hmm.)

Reply to  Javier
November 8, 2015 3:20 pm

Werner Brozek November 7, 2015 at 7:41 pm
the evaporation of micro droplets would also be thermodynamic
I have never heard of clumps of water evaporating. Of course a strong wind on a lake can create this effect, but that is not evaporation. If you have a reference for clumps of water evaporating, please let me know. The site below just talks about individual molecules evaporating:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23574252
JM: That seems to be the conventional assumption. Why, nobody knows. However, judging from some of the comments I’ve gotten on other threads recently this assumption might stem from a talk that Richard Feynman did over 60 years ago on evaporation. That is strange because if you see the talk (available on youtube and other site) you will see that he was bending over backward to express that his talk was not definitive and was only address the brownian motion implications of evaporation.
There is no accounting for what people think they see. The human imagination tends to fill in details, like children with fairy tails. And they are more attached to their created detals than they are to what was actually presented.
“In the observed minimum free energy process, the water molecule diffuses to the surface, and tends to rotate so that its dipole and one O-H bond are oriented outward as it crosses the Gibbs dividing surface.”
I took a different approach to theorizing H2O polarity, hydrogen bonding, and implications thereof. I decided that I would develop an understanding that explained all of the outlier phenomena, one of which is non-Newtonian fluids:
Solution to the molecular mechanism underlying non-Newtonian fluids?
http://t.co/Uftino7mHm
What is the molecular mechanism underlying non-Newtonian fluids?
http://t.co/o8ZWxviFEX

Reply to  Javier
November 8, 2015 4:01 pm

Consequently when a water molecule has two bonds on its negative oxygen molecule the polarity is neutralized and the resulting force of the bond disappears (2∂ – 2∂ = 0∂). So, when there are two hydrogen bonds completed the positively charged hydrogen atoms just kind of float.  The only thing holding them is that if they move away the charge returns pulling them back.

You lost me here. The oxygen end of water is always negative and the hydrogen end is always positive. This is because of the large electronegativity difference between oxygen and hydrogen. There are strong polar covalent bonds between each oxygen and hydrogen of each individual water molecule in a liquid. Furthermore, there are always attractions between the positive hydrogen end of one water molecule and the negative oxygen end of the adjacent water molecule. This is the hydrogen bond and it is never neutralized since you simply cannot reduce the partial charges to zero, regardless how wish to rearrange the water molecules relative to each other. So partially positive hydrogen atoms never “just kind of float”. They are always attracted to this or that oxygen atom nearby. And hydrogen bonds are broken when a liquid water molecule evaporates or when a solid water molecule sublimates.
When a solid water molecule sublimates, the hydrogen bond is broken, but the escaping molecule does not magically reach a temperature of 100 C. The most basic laws of thermodynamics would not allow that. However should it happen that a water molecule reaches 100 C due to the bell shaped distribution of energies, that escaped water molecule would rapidly lose its energy to the nearby gas molecules.

Reply to  Javier
November 9, 2015 12:41 am

Werner Brozek November 8, 2015 at 4:01 pm
You lost me here. The oxygen end of water . . .
Werner, this thread is becoming too long so I started a new one at the end of this comment section. See my response there.

Reply to  Javier
November 11, 2015 10:14 am

James McGinn November 7, 2015 at 6:40 pm
dbstealey:
And I should have known that your mind is closed to any possibility that gaseous H2O exists in the air. If you admitted that, your entire belief system would fall apart,
James McGinn:
I admit that admitting it would be very painful, because it would essentially refute my whole hypothesis on tornadogenesis, which took me four years to develop. But if it could be demonstrated empirically I would have no choice but to accept that. So, it is no small matter for me.

Consider it refuted, apart from your complete misunderstanding of the phase diagram which leads to this error there is a basic experiment which shows that you are wrong.
Take an evacuated vessel at 30ºC, ~2.2 L volume, add to it ~0.09 gm H2O, all the water will evaporate giving a pressure of ~5.5kPa. If your hypothesis of the water only being in clusters of ~10 molecules were correct the pressure would be at least ten times less.
A simple benchtop experiment to measure the vapor pressure of water is described here:
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/ed059p337
See also:
http://www.fizica.unibuc.ro/Fizica/Studenti/Cursuri/doc/VFilip/IntThPh/Lucrari_practice/Vapour_pressure_of_water_at_high_temperature.pdf

Retired Engineer Jim
Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 6, 2015 10:52 am

Actually, I read Mr Mosher’s posts with interest. All positions are welcome on this site, I thought (other than those that violate the site’s rules, which Mosher obviously doesn’t.)
And he is right – there is no science that is “settled”. None. If you think there is, please tell us which one. Otherwise, admit that our knowledge is limited, and there is more to discover.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Retired Engineer Jim
November 6, 2015 11:12 am

I hope that Steve will tell his comrade in arms Mann that the science isn’t settled:
http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/08/11/global-warming-is-settled-science-michael-mann-on-bill-maher/
Also the academic unions Mann says claim that catastrophic man-made global warming is “settled science”.

Dawtgtomis
Reply to  Retired Engineer Jim
November 7, 2015 8:54 am

I too look for Steve’s comments because they tend to add some missing perspective and alternative thought. Even if I don’t agree, I still am stimulated to broaden my considerations.
As a stationary engr. who managed the facility for a dental research institution, I gained the meager scientific knowledge I possess by ‘osmosis’ (if you will) from the generosity of the staff I worked in support of. I am always willing to consider the writings of those who are educated and/or more experienced in my chosen topics of study.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 6, 2015 10:55 am

Steven, you have to add the killer caveat to your key “settled science #2”: ceteris paribus. Certainly the almost 2 decade pause with continuing rise in CO2 (I’m sure you don’t seriously buy into the pause buster paper) must be because something else is going on that is at least a partial match for CO2 – i.e. CO2’s effect is not as large as advertized. The possibility also exists that a healthy feedback is negative, directly arising from the resistance to the ceteris paribus warming. This is not a trivial critique. The blatant broad daylight crime of the ‘pause buster’ by those whose theory is under question is strong evidence that it has been a worry. I would say enough of a worry to have made a number of warming proponent climate scientists psychologically ill.

AndyG55
Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 6, 2015 12:11 pm

Actually Steven, CO2 is just another conduit for atmospheric cooling and regulation.
It does not and can not “trap” heat in the atmosphere.
Your brain is stuck in a LIE !!!

AndyG55
Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 6, 2015 12:18 pm

And let’s not forget that the ONLY warming in the whole satellite era was the 0.26C step from the Large El Nino and associated events.. certainly nothing to do with CO2.
That means that there is absolutely no CO2 warming signature in the whole 37 years of reliable global temperature measurements.
Yet this is where CO2 has been rising the quickest.
This is something you cannot get around.

richard verney
Reply to  AndyG55
November 6, 2015 2:45 pm

+1

Stephen Richards
Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 6, 2015 1:46 pm

For christs’ sake read the missive. My believe is that as an English teacher the science has past beyond your ability to understand. If that is the case it is best that you do not comment and prove it conclusively.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  Stephen Richards
November 6, 2015 1:47 pm

This is meant for Mosher !!

emsnews
Reply to  Stephen Richards
November 6, 2015 2:48 pm

You should not teach English, so many mistakes in just 3 short sentences.

Reply to  Stephen Richards
November 6, 2015 4:45 pm

emsnews,
I was gonna say something similar, until he made it clear which side he was on.
I don’t generally critcize any skeptics. The alarmist contingent does that enough. After all, it’s their job.

Joseph Murphy
Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 6, 2015 10:46 pm

I will agree with you on the first part, Steven. RGB makes the point himself IMO that complex systems have emergent phenomena that can potentialy be understood, modeled, predicted without knowing the details of the underlying physics. The layers, in large part, can speak for themselves. That is not to say that the climate can be successfully predicted long term, but rather, that the 1-4 may not be a very good guide to achieving that prediction. In fact, I see 1-4 as more of a brute force/doomed for failure approach. After that Steven, your post drifts political more than scientific.
Anyways, thank you RGB for the post. As usual it has sent my mind in many enjoyable directions, the least of which is climate.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 6, 2015 11:40 pm

In answer to Mr Mosher, very nearly all sceptics (apart from a tiny fringe most of whom seem to be paid by believing activist groups to discredit true sceptics) accept that the greenhouse effect has been experimentally demonstrated, that (all other things being equal) CO2 will cause some warming, and that Man has caused some fraction of the increase in CO2.
It is, however, legitimate to question the magnitude of our influence on climate, particularly in view of the empirical evidence that the world is not warming anything like as fast as the models had predicted. To accept the empirical evidence that CO2 is a greenhouse gas but to deny the evidence that it is not warming the Earth as predicted is to be inconsistent.

richardscourtney
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
November 6, 2015 11:55 pm

Monckton of Brenchley:
You say

To accept the empirical evidence that CO2 is a greenhouse gas but to deny the evidence that it is not warming the Earth as predicted is to be inconsistent.

YES!
For the benefit of any newbies who don’t understand this matter I again post the following explanation.
The Null Hypothesis says it must be assumed a system has not experienced a change unless there is evidence of a change.
The Null Hypothesis is a fundamental scientific principle and forms the basis of all scientific understanding, investigation and interpretation. Indeed, it is the basic principle of experimental procedure where an input to a system is altered to discern a change: if the system is not observed to respond to the alteration then it has to be assumed the system did not respond to the alteration.
In the case of climate science there is a hypothesis that increased greenhouse gases (GHGs, notably CO2) in the air will increase global temperature. There are good reasons to suppose this hypothesis may be true, but the Null Hypothesis says it must be assumed the GHG changes have no effect unless and until increased GHGs are observed to increase global temperature. That is what the scientific method decrees. It does not matter how certain some people may be that the hypothesis is right because observation of reality (i.e. empiricism) trumps all opinions.
Please note that the Null Hypothesis is a hypothesis which exists to be refuted by empirical observation. It is a rejection of the scientific method to assert that one can “choose” any subjective Null Hypothesis one likes. There is only one Null Hypothesis: i.e. it has to be assumed a system has not changed unless it is observed that the system has changed.
However, deciding a method which would discern a change may require a detailed statistical specification.
In the case of global climate in the Holocene, no recent climate behaviours are observed to be unprecedented so the Null Hypothesis decrees that the climate system has not changed.
Importantly, an effect may be real but not overcome the Null Hypothesis because it is too trivial for the effect to be observable. Human activities have some effect on global temperature for several reasons. An example of an anthropogenic effect on global temperature is the urban heat island (UHI). Cities are warmer than the land around them, so cities cause some warming. But the temperature rise from cities is too small to be detected when averaged over the entire surface of the planet, although this global warming from cities can be estimated by measuring the warming of all cities and their areas.
Clearly, the Null Hypothesis decrees that UHI is not affecting global temperature discernibly (but may be altering global temperature estimates) although there are good reasons to think UHI has some effect on global temperature. Similarly, it is very probable that AGW from GHG emissions are too trivial to have observable effects.
The feedbacks in the climate system are negative and, therefore, any effect of increased CO2 will be probably too small to discern because natural climate variability is much, much larger. This concurs with the empirically determined values of low climate sensitivity.
Empirical – n.b. not model-derived – determinations indicate climate sensitivity is less than 1.0°C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 equivalent. This is indicated by the studies of
Idso from surface measurements
http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/Idso_CR_1998.pdf
and Lindzen & Choi from ERBE satellite data
http://www.drroyspencer.com/Lindzen-and-Choi-GRL-2009.pdf
and Gregory from balloon radiosonde data
http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/OLR&NGF_June2011.pdf
Indeed, because climate sensitivity is less than 1.0°C for a doubling of CO2 equivalent, it is physically impossible for the man-made global warming to be large enough to be detected (just as the global warming from UHI is too small to be detected). If something exists but is too small to be detected then it only has an abstract existence; it does not have a discernible existence that has effects (observation of the effects would be its detection).
To date there are no discernible effects of AGW. Hence, the Null Hypothesis decrees that AGW does not affect global climate to a discernible degree. That is the ONLY scientific conclusion possible at present.
Richard

Javier
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
November 7, 2015 2:50 am

Richard,

In the case of global climate in the Holocene, no recent climate behaviours are observed to be unprecedented so the Null Hypothesis decrees that the climate system has not changed.

The global melting of glaciers is 5000 years unprecedented in magnitude. The null hypothesis is falsified. Glaciers are specially sensitive to GHGs so they constitute a good place to test the null hypothesis.
http://i1039.photobucket.com/albums/a475/Knownuthing/Glacier%20fluctuations_zpslp2fbufk.png
http://kochj.brandonu.ca/pages_2006.pdf
Ötzi doesn’t lie.

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 3:17 am

Javier says:
The global melting of glaciers is 5000 years unprecedented in magnitude.
Javier, that is a baseless assertion, and flat wrong. It shows you are not familiar with the Holocene:
http://i.snag.gy/BztF1.jpg
Looking back 5000 years we see that the planet was much warmer than it is now, so ipso facto there were more retreating glaciers then.
Furthermore, the planet is still recovering from the LIA, so naturally there will be retreating glaciers. It’s all natural, and as Dr. Roy Spencer points out: the climate Null hypothesis has never been falsified.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
November 7, 2015 3:35 am

“In answer to Mr Mosher, very nearly all sceptics (apart from a tiny fringe most of whom seem to be paid by believing activist groups to discredit true sceptics) accept that the greenhouse effect has been experimentally demonstrated, that (all other things being equal) CO2 will cause some warming, and that Man has caused some fraction of the increase in CO2.” ~ Monckton
So, the real skeptics who don’t think CO2 does what “Dr.” James E. Hansen says about CO2 warming the surface by 33 degrees are all paid by “big oil” or “big green” or “big socialism” or something else sinister? Wow. That is what the alarmists are always saying about all of us who don’t buy the “97%” consensus. Where may I send my invoice for services rendered?
Over time I have collected a lot of posts from all over the place that question the very idea that CO2 does what Hansen claimed. I grew up during the space race and remember the development of the “US standard atmosphere” in which thousands (or more I guess) of our best scientists worked to develop a theory of how the atmosphere worked to aid our space efforts and the developing aviation industry. I just can’t persuade myself they were all in the pay of some dark and sinister group seeking to discredit the luke-warmers.
http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/search?q=1976+US+Standard+Atmosphere
I will not link to those “evil” people who site policy says we can not mention. But the following two short posts give a different view from the normal luke-warm stuff that is now supposed to be the “skeptic’s consensus” according to Monckton.
http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2015/11/even-lukewarmer-position-on-global.html
https://okulaer.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/why-atmospheric-mass-not-radiation-p2/
The Scottish Sceptic who posts here often once did a very nice post on the most evil group according to many here that he called “[self snipped banned word]: good physics – appalling PR.” I would link to that short post by that would send the whole post to the automated purgatory.
The take away from this post is that there are a lot of skeptics who don’t buy that the atmosphere operates like Hansen preaches. We are right and after this CO2 delusion is over (perhaps centuries from now) we will be proven correct. No one pays us Monckton.

Javier
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
November 7, 2015 4:07 am

dbstealey,

Looking back 5000 years we see that the planet was much warmer than it is now, so ipso facto there were more retreating glaciers then.

Precisely the point. The planet has been cooling on average for the last 5200 years so it is not normal that glaciers have retreated to a point last seen 5200 years ago. In these last 5000 years the glaciers have not retreated so much or Ötzi could not have been found. And Ötzi is not alone. We are uncovering things buried in ice 5200 years ago all over the planet’s glaciers.

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 8:11 am

Javier says:
And Ötzi is not alone. We are uncovering things buried in ice 5200 years ago all over the planet’s glaciers.
You really can’t see the point??
If things that were frozen are now thawing out, that can mean only one thing: at one time, they were warmer than now. Then they froze.
This is seen in villages in Greenland, which are now thawing out for the first time in a ≈thousand years; when they first froze over, it was as warm as now. Before that, it was warmer.
So rather than your argument supporting your belief, it debunks what you believe; it shows that the MWP was warmer than today — and before the MWP, there were even warmer periods. Did you not even look at the charts I posted?
http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/graphs/lappi/gisp-last-10000-new.png
Sorry about your belief system. It just cannot withstand reality.

Javier
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
November 7, 2015 8:56 am

dbstealey,

You really can’t see the point??
If things that were frozen are now thawing out, that can mean only one thing: at one time, they were warmer than now. Then they froze.
This is seen in villages in Greenland, which are now thawing out for the first time in a ≈thousand years; when they first froze over, it was as warm as now. Before that, it was warmer.

You are the one not seeing the point because:
I am talking glaciers’ length and you are jumping to global temperatures and showing pictures of Greenland ice-core temperature proxies.
Now, the argument that there is AGW is incontrovertible. Let’s see it:
1. 5,200 yr BP glaciers advanced globally as a result of an abrupt cooling event and lots of organisms got buried in ice all over the world, between them:
– Ötzi, the ice-man from the Alps
– The Quelccaya plant (Peru). Thompson, L.G. et al. 2006. Abrupt tropical climate change: Past and present. PNAS 103, 10536–10543.
– A tree-trunk uncovered by Mark Meier in the South Cascade Glacier (Washington State; same citation).
So climate was warmer immediately before 5,200 yr BP than at any time afterwards until present.
2. Present warming has unburied those remains.
This demonstrates that glaciers are now shorter than during Medieval Warm Period, Roman Warm Period and Minoan Warm Period. I am not saying climate is warmer, just that glaciers are shorter. Why?
You have put an ice-core delta 18-O temperature proxy. I will show you another one that has been taken from Huascarán Glacier in Peru, that agrees with the fact that glaciers are now shorter than in any period in the last 5,000 years.
http://i1039.photobucket.com/albums/a475/Knownuthing/Huascaran%20glacier_zpseki9rkkg.png
Global reconstructions of glacier length say the same: Glaciers are now shorter than in any period of the last 5000 years. You can face the evidence or ignore it, but you cannot say that the evidence doesn’t exist or that it doesn’t say what it says.

Reply to  Javier
November 7, 2015 9:23 am

Javier,
You’re hanging your hat on a single, very unusual anomaly: the 5200 year cooling event. When you have to pick such an unusual event, your premise is very shaky. You say:
You are the one not seeing the point…
Oh, I see your point all right: you are a climate alarmist, trying to argue that the current natural global warming is unusual and unprecedented. It’s not, as I’ve shown in the posted charts.
Next, you say:
So climate was warmer immediately before 5,200 yr BP than at any time afterwards until present.
Yes, the planet was warmer many times both before and after that than it is now. Each warming episode was entirely natural, just like the current natural warming. There is nothing observed now that cannot be completely explained by natural variability.
Next, you assert:
The null hypothesis is falsified.
A baseless assertion, and 100% wrong. I’ve pointed out that a well known Climatologist, Dr. Roy Spencer, stated years ago that the climate Null Hypothesis has never been falsified. You assert otherwise, but who are you? You’re just someone who claims that:
Glaciers are specially sensitive to GHGs.
Nonsense. By ‘GHG’ everyone knows you mean CO2. That tiny trace gas has risen from 3 parts in 10,000, to only 4 parts in 10,000 over more than a century. You claim that is causing glaciers to recede! That is ridiculous.
Next, you say that global warming…
…demonstrates that glaciers are now shorter than during Medieval Warm Period, Roman Warm Period and Minoan Warm Period.
Well, DUH. Currently, the planet is still emerging from one of the coldest episodes of the entire Holocene. Naturally, glaciers have started retreating. And you ignore all the evidence showing that Greenland was much warmer than now during the MWP — and warmer still before that. Just like now, the planet’s temperature fluctuates naturally, and you have no convincing evidence showing that human CO2 emissions affect glaciers at all. That is just a baseless assertion on your part.
Your belief in the magical qualities of CO2 is silly. It must be your religion, because science does not support the belief that a small change in a tiny trace gas is making the planet’s 160,000 glaciers retreat. All you are doing is cherry-picking those that are retreating, and ignoring all advancing glaciers. That’s called confirmation bias, and you have it bad. If well-mixed CO2 caused glaciers to retreat, they would all be retreating. But they aren’t. Just like your Arctic ice scare, that isn’t happening.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
November 7, 2015 8:56 am

Monckton of Brenchley:
You err in claiming that the models “predict.” Instead they “project.”
A prediction is a kind of proposition. That it is a proposition ties a model that makes predictions to logic. A projection is not a proposition. That it is not a proposition frees a model that makes projections from logic.
Predictions are falsifiable but projections are not. Predictions convey information to a policy maker about the outcomes from his/her policy decisions but projections do not. In making policy a policy maker needs information about the outcomes from his/her policy decisions hence he/she needs predictions. Climatologists have given him/her only projections. Thus there is not currently a logical basis for making policy. When “prediction” and “projection” are treated as synonyms it can sound as though this basis exists when it does not.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
November 7, 2015 9:06 am

Javier
November 7, 2015 at 8:56 am
What makes you think that whatever warming has occurred since the end of the LIA is man-made?
It is not just remains from the Holocene Optimum 5000 years ago that have been uncovered, but also from intervening warm periods, such as the Minoan, Roman and Medieval Warm Periods. Passes in the Swiss Alps now opening up again for the first time since the Medieval WP have revealed items not just from Oetzi’s time, but from about 3000, 2000 and 1000 years ago.
The warmer and cooler cycles are naturally-occurring phases in all interglacials. There is no evidence of man-made global warming.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
November 7, 2015 9:08 am

Terry Oldberg
November 7, 2015 at 8:56 am
Yet IPCC relies on model “projections” to recommend policy actions for political leaders.

Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
November 7, 2015 10:05 am

Gloateus Maximus:
Yes, though projections do not support policy actions IPCC represents to political leaders that they do. It does so by drawing false or unproved conclusions from arguments.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
November 7, 2015 9:38 am

dbstealey
November 7, 2015 at 9:23 am
The largest by far and most important mass of ice on the planet is growing, as are the glaciers which flow from it. The East Antarctic Ice Sheet contains most of the fresh water on earth. With the much smaller West AIS, Antarctica is covered by 90% of all the world’s ice and 70% of its surface fresh water.
Antarctica has not warmed, as the falsified hypothesis of AGW predicts it should, and both sea ice and land ice there is growing. Javier’s faith in AGW is thus shown false.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
November 7, 2015 10:18 am

Mark,
Does the Maxwell mass/gravity/pressure model correctly predict the temperatures of the surface and atmospheres of Venus and Mars?

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
November 7, 2015 10:22 am

Mark,
I found this, claiming that the model works for Venus but not Mars, due to thinness of its atmosphere:
http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2014/11/derivation-of-entire-33c-greenhouse.html

Javier
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
November 7, 2015 11:37 am

dbstealey,

You’re hanging your hat on a single, very unusual anomaly: the 5200 year cooling event.

Nope. I am hanging my hat on all evidence showing global glaciers not being so short since 5200 years ago… until present. This is undeniable.

I see your point all right: you are a climate alarmist, trying to argue that the current natural global warming is unusual and unprecedented.

You are as wrong on this as you are on everything else. I’ve been accused of being a right-wing science d*n**r in other fora for defending that most of the warming is natural, as if I could care less for petty US politics.

science does not support the belief that a small change in a tiny trace gas is making the planet’s 160,000 glaciers retreat.

Science conclusively demonstrates that world glaciers are now shorter on average than at any time in the past 5000 years. You pick your favourite explanation for this anomaly. A lot of glacierologists think that this is because the planet is now warmer than in the past 5000 years. I don’t. I believe glacier dynamics have been affected by a small change in a tiny trace gas that science defends is capable of such localized warming.
Until you come up with a convincing explanation on why global glaciers average is now shorter than pas