Long -Term Climate Change: What Is A Reasonable Sample Size?

Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

Recent discussion about record weather events, such as the warmest year on record, is a totally misleading and scientifically useless exercise. This is especially true when restricted to the instrumental record that covers about 25% of the globe for at most 120 years. The age of the Earth is approximately 4.54 billion years, so the sample size is 0.000002643172%. Discussing the significance of anything in a 120-year record plays directly into the hands of those trying to say that the last 120-years climate is abnormal and all due to human activity. It is done purely for political propaganda, to narrow people’s attention and to generate fear.

The misdirection is based on the false assumption that only a few variables and mechanisms are important in climate change, and they remain constant over the 4.54 billion years. It began with the assumption of the solar constant from the Sun that astronomers define as a medium-sized variable star. The AGW proponents successfully got the world focused on CO2, which is just 0.04% of the total atmospheric gases and varies considerably spatially and temporally. I used to argue that it is like determining the character, structure, and behavior of a human by measuring one wart on the left arm. In fact, they are only looking at one cell of that wart for their determination.

The degree that promoters of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) anthropogenic global warming (AGW) hypothesis will go to distract and deceive was emphasized again in the article by Quang M. Nguyen. Almost the entire activities of the promoters involve proving that everything in the period of instrumental record is record breaking. This includes changing the paleo record, as they did with the ‘hockey stick’ and adjusting the slope of the gradient in the instrumental record. Considering the 120-year period of instrumental record as representative of anything is ludicrous. In the infamous 2001 IPCC Report, we learned from Phil Jones that the temperature increase for the instrumental record, that became the blade of the ‘hockey stick’ was 0.6°C with an error factor of ±0.2°C or ±33%. But that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Two major themes of the AGW claims are that temperature change is greater and more rapid than at any time in the past. This is false, as a cursory look at any longer record demonstrates. If it wasn’t, the actions taken to change the record are unnecessary. The Antarctic and Greenland ice core records both illustrate the extent of temperature change in short time periods. Figure 1 shows a modified Antarctic ice core record.

clip_image002

Figure 1 (Original Source SPPI.org no longer available)

The total temperature range is approximately 12°C (-9°C to +3°C). The variability is dramatic even though a 70–year smoothing average was applied. The diagram compares the peak temperatures in the current interglacial with those of the four previous interglacials. The horizontal scale on the x-axis is too small to identify even the length of the instrumental record.

Steve Goreham shows how small a portion it is in this diagram of the last 10,000 years (Figure 2).

clip_image004

Figure 2

Another graph shows the same period, the Holocene Optimum, in a different form (Figure 3).

clip_image006

Figure 3

The temperature range in this period is approximately 3.75°C (28.75 to 32.5°C) but is above the current annual average global temperature for most of the 10,000 years. Just put the approximately 120-years of instrumental record in any segment of the graph and you see how it is cooler than most of the period and well within natural variability.

The IPCC claim Radiative Forcing (RF) remained relatively stable before 1750. Since then they claim a steady rise due to primarily to the human addition of CO2 (Figure 4). As NOAA explains

Since 1750, human-caused climate drivers have been increasing, and their effect dominates all natural climate drivers.

clip_image008

Figure 4

So the claim is that a 2.29 W m-2 increase in RF explains almost all temperature change since 1750. Compare this increase with the variation in RF from a few natural climate drivers not included in the IPCC models. How reliable is this data? What are the error ranges? We know that climate sensitivity, that is the RF impact on temperature has decreased significantly (Figure 5). Notice that the IPCC is an outlier in this range of climate sensitivity estimates. These estimates are within or very close to the error of the estimate. One definition of RF says,

Radiative forcing by a climate variable is a change in Earth’s energy balance between incoming solar radiation energy and outgoing thermal IR emission energy when the variable is changed while all other factors are held constant.

clip_image010

Figure 5

The phrase “all other factors are held constant” is traditionally covered by the Latin term ceteris paribus. Unfortunately, that is never the case in reality and to apply it in the dynamic system that is climate change renders meaningless results. It is like the phrase that something is ‘purely academic,’ which means it has no relevance to the real world. The slope in Figure 5 shows a trend that supports those who argue that CO2 has no climate sensitivity. Regardless, the amount of sensitivity is too small to be significant.

The trouble is the estimates of just one side of that balance, the “incoming solar radiation” (insolation) varies considerably. Figure 6 shows the variation in values of insolation estimates from several computer models. In a 2005 paper titled How well do we compute the insolation at TOA in radiation climatologies and in GCMs?

Ehrhard Raschke wrote,

“The solar forcing used in 20 models participating in the Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP-2) was compared with the same quantity computed for ISCCP. Models and climatology should agree at least in this quantity, however, the figure at the bottom of page 1 (Figure 6 in this article) shows a large disagreement.

It can be speculated that such different meridional profiles of the solar radiative forcing at TOA should also have impact on the computed atmospheric circulation pattern, in particular when simulations over periods of several decades to several centuries are performed. Therefore, related projects within the World Climate Research Program should take appropriate steps to avoid systematic discrepancies as shown above and to estimate their possible impact on the resulting climate and circulation changes.”

clip_image011

Figure 6

The average variation is low near the equator but considerable in higher latitudes. It is reasonable to assume an error overall of at least 5 Wm-2 which more than covers the IPCC claimed CO2 sensitivity.

A larger question is what climate forcing variables are ignored, especially in the IPCC models. The answer is a great many. With most the variability and the error of the estimates totally swamp the claimed human RF.

The Milankovitch Effect is not included in the IPCC computer models because it is argued the changes are too slow and too small for the 120-year instrumental record.

Figure 7 shows the variation in RF at 40°N over a one-million-year period.

clip_image013

Figure 7

Willis Eschenbach examined the relationship between the insolation curve and the 100,000-year Milankovitch cycle and found no connection with the EPICA Antarctic ice core temperature anomaly. That is not my concern here, rather it is the swing of insolation of 100 W m-2 compared to the IPCC claim of 2.29 W m-2.

Eschenbach compared Milankovitch against glacial/interglacial swings during the Pleistocene. Many people don’t know that there are at least four glaciations before the Pleistocene with speculations about the cause but with no agreement. The most common speculation involves orbit of the Sun around the Milky Way and interactions with galactic dust in that voyage. How does that affect RF?

The list of variables and mechanisms that cause variation in the RF over short and long periods well beyond the 2.29 W m-2 claimed for human produced CO2 is extensive. Lamb included a diagram in Volume 2 of Climate Present, Past and Future (Figure 8).

 

clip_image015

Figure 8

Then there is the question of water vapor. Everyone agrees it is the most important greenhouse gas by far, they just don’t agree on how much. Water vapor is 95% and CO2 4% by volume, so AGW proponents claimed CO2 was “more effective” in its ability to block outgoing thermal radiation. The wide range of estimates of the effect is proof that nobody knows. Worse, there is a contradiction between NASA’s claim in a study trying to prove the positive feedback of water vapor is real and consequential, and the IPCC.

“This study confirms that what was predicted by the models is really happening in the atmosphere,” said Eric Fetzer, an atmospheric scientist who works with AIRS data at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “Water vapor is the big player in the atmosphere as far as climate is concerned.”

 

So, the increase in atmospheric CO2 from humans determines the amount of atmospheric water vapor. In the 2007 IPCC Report, we learned,

“Water vapour is the most abundant and important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. However, human activities have only a small direct influence on the amount of atmospheric water vapour.”

There is little doubt that the variation in atmospheric water vapor and the error in the estimates alone exceeds the 2.29 W m-2 attributed to human CO2. It is also true for most variables, especially those omitted by the IPCC.

It is the misuse of science to create the deception that is the AGW claim that makes distraction, exaggeration and selective truths necessary. However, as Aldous Huxley said, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

142 thoughts on “Long -Term Climate Change: What Is A Reasonable Sample Size?

  1. When you pit Science against Politics, Politics wins in the short term. However, eventually Reality comes to the rescue of Science and Politics fails to survive. Reality is underway.

  2. What is a reasonable sample size? 500 years. Warmists are very generous to us when they only predict – pardon me, project – for 100 years. Try to counter a projection of climate (all over the Earth) in 2516.

    • There really is no “reasonable sample size.” When you look at climate at any time scale beyond a few days to a few weeks it shows no strong tendency toward any steady state. The farther you move from a given base period forward or backward, the farther the prediction is likely to “hunt”. Geologically, the overall trend for CO2 is downward. Carbon-fixing processes out perform geological carbon sources, but even that generalization is subject to temporary exceptions. In the early Phanerozoic, CO2 was about 25 times present levels, declining through the Paleozoic to current levels. This is ended with the Permian extinction and a recovery of available CO2 during the first half of the Mesozoic to very roughly half the early Phanerozoic starting value. Since then the trend has been downward with no real interuptions. We are once more at Permian levels. Less CO2 is ultimately a very bad thing. Less CO2 leads to decreased biological productivity. Lower productivity leads to famines and ultimately mass migration and warfare.

  3. a slight increase in CO2…would cause an increase in water vapor….wash rinse repeat

    It was run away global humidity…

    At least that’s what they originally said

  4. Another great essay Dr. Ball.

    “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

    This is true, but we deal with the weird world of politics where the myth becomes the people’s reality regardless of the facts. The IPCC has been successful in ignoring many, many facts and fooling the people of the world. For how long they can continue to fool them I do not know. Mother Nature can be a formidable opponent and she does not seem to like the alarmists. (especially the Gore)

      • We should look back 541 million years to cover the current geologic eon (Phanerozoic) in the geologic time scale. The following has always told me more than all the hot air coming from the likes of Stokes and other alarmists.

    • You are usually not short of an opinion, so how about put up an offer first…. Before trashing anyone else’s.

    • You have evidence above that 1000 years is needed to debunk the claim of worst eva. A 13 000 y record is need to take the claim seriously and 1 000 000 to be 97% certain that it is exceptionally warmer than pre-anthropocene (very happy to see it still underlined with a squiggly red line).

    • Nick, I think Merriam-Webster can help you out:

      Word by Word Definitions

      rhetorical

      : of, relating to, or concerned with rhetoric

      : employed for rhetorical effect

      : asked merely for effect with no answer expected

      Try the third one

    • Scottish Skeptic answers your question pretty well, down-thread. He says 10x the period being examined for trend. What no-one seems to discuss here is the terribly sloppy nature of the thermometer record, where any close look cannot justify error bars smaller than 0.5 degrees C, and even that is subject to debate.

      • “Scottish Skeptic answers your question pretty well”
        It’s not my question. It’s the heading of this article. SS is asking a somewhat different question – how much history do you need. If deviations were random, there is a statistical answer (much less than he says). He’s really answering – how long to you need to exclude the possibility of other non-random patterns, and that is limited only by your imagination.

        But it’s also directed at a different situation – how long would you need to establish that a rise proved something irregular (hard to pin down without a stat model). But in fact, we know that we are pumping CO2 into the air, and that CO2 is a GHG and likely to cause warming. So the first question is, do we see warming? Then, can it be related to the GHGs? We aren’t looking at warming that came out of the blue.

      • “We aren’t looking at warming that came out of the blue.” No one has established that. CO2 at the TOA retains OGLWIR, but no one has established just how much. The physics of that process are, shall we say, non-trivial.

        It took me a while to realize that the lapse rate is actually from the top down, not the bottom up, but still, just exactly what would the temperature be with zero CO2? Nobody knows…

      • Subject to completely wrong. Climate ‘scientists’ see nothing wrong with n=1, non-random, non-replicated. The actual variance is infinity or undefined or can not be calculated given the long accepted statistical assumptions and methods.

        Since each day’s population of temperatures is not the same as any other day’s population of temperatures, grouping days as replicates breaks the requirement that samples be drawn from the same population. And so on.

        So, all current surface station and satellite data is anecdotal and may not be employed in much of the BS stats currently used. Further, the variance on all of it is larger than the signal by orders of magnitude.

        In short, garbage in, garbage out, as it has always been.

    • Is this an attempt to deflect attention away from the obvious fact that there is a (sample size) problem here? As the various graphs show – since they certainly bring into question claims about current climate conditions being unusual.

      • “Is this an attempt to deflect attention away”
        No, it’s an attempt to focus on the headline problem “what is a resonable sample size?” which otherwise wasn’t getting much attention. But the graphs don’t actually tell anything about global climate or modern times. They are from a single location, and have no data more recent than 1855.

    • Well, it certainly is not n=1 , non-random, non-replicated as has nearly universally been used in temperature data.

  5. Perhaps in about 50-years the attempts by NOAA, NASA, MetOf and IPCC to maintain the “record” of temperature “increase” with the “record” of CO2 “increase” as much the same as the early Catholic Church’s attempts to reconcile the observable seasons with the slippage of their infallible calendar prior to Copernicus, though Copernicus may not have had a great deal to do with it after all.

    Ha ha

    https://thonyc.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/copernicus-and-the-calendar/

  6. any “sample size” is downright moronic. Either you take the whole and figure out what drives it or you’re only dealing with anecdotal information. You can’t do science by saying “this segment predicts the whole” when it clearly doesn’t.

    • Highly reminiscent of the blind men describing an elephant, one held the trunk, another the tusk, another a leg and the last held the tail…..you know the rest.

  7. “Recent discussion about record weather events, such as the warmest year on record, is a totally misleading and scientifically useless exercise.”
    Yes the sample period shows us almost nothing about the overall pattern, BUT ALSO, let us always remember that a cooling trend during that same period would also have also resulted in the creation of anthropogenic climate change alarmism.
    In other words – it did not matter what overall trend had been discovered since 1850 – alarmism is not dependent on discovering a slight warming trend. A slight cooling would have generated the same alarmism and accusations of a dominant human role.
    Since we have a clear example of the emergence of precisely such alarm during the 1970’s.
    There are seemingly no possible real-world conditions that would have prevented the emergence of climate alarmism in the late 20th century.
    So all results would have lead us to the same panicked conclusion.
    Especially since the majority of victims (i.e. the public) have almost no sense of the context in which today’s trivial climate trends should be framed. Relative to the previous 20,000 years of change, the 20th century was totally unremarkable. And the satellite records suggest that we may live during a period of quite unusual stability. At least such a conclusion can not be ruled out.
    But in the mad rush for the exits, all such sensible measured consideration has been trampled underfoot.

    • Excellent – but depressing that what is so in your face logical is beyond the ken of many politicians and joe public.

    • “Since we have a clear example of the emergence of precisely such alarm during the 1970’s.”

      “We report here on the first results of a calculation in which separate estimates were made of the effects on global temperature of large increases in the amount of CO2 and dust in the atmosphere. It is found that even an increase by a factor of 8 in the amount of CO2, which is highly unlikely in the next several thousand years, will produce an increase in the surface temperature of less than 2 deg. K.

      However, the effect on surface temperature of an increase in the aerosol content of the atmosphere is found to be quite significant. An increase by a factor of 4 in the equilibrium dust concentration in the global atmosphere, which cannot be ruled out as a possibility within the next century, could decrease the mean surface temperature by as much as 3.5 deg. K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease could be sufficient to trigger an ice age!”

      Schneider S. & Rasool S., “Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols – Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate”, Science, vol.173, 9 July 1971, p.138-141

    • Yes the sample period shows us almost nothing about the overall pattern, BUT ALSO, let us always remember that a cooling trend during that same period would also have also resulted in the creation of anthropogenic climate change alarmism.

      I think you forgot an “also”, too, as well. ;)

      • Also, let me apologize for the surplus “also”, also.
        The result of clumsily editing two sentences into one. Or was that three?!!! :)

    • BruceC, thanks for the PDF link. Looks like an excellent study. Most alarmists don’t seem to realize how lucky we are to live in a relatively brief interglacial warm period, within an ice age that began about 3 million years ago (as shown in Fig 5 from the PDF). Based on our best climate reconstructions, odds appear to be high that it will not continue much longer and could end quickly within a few hundreds of years or at most thousands of years. Here’s a simple persistence forecast based on the previous four interglacial periods lined up with our current interglacial period:

      I agree with Dr Ball that most conventional climate scientists are way too confident and claim laughably small uncertainties in much of their work. I also agree that ignoring natural variations is an “academic exercise” only and is pretty much meaningless. All the alarmism over supposed human-induced global climate changes that are hardly consequential is wasting huge amounts of money that could be much better spent. If the alarmism continues unabated, it will lead to economic disasters for some countries trying to make expensive and even harmful changes that will have little to no effect on the climate.

  8. A good essay Dr. Ball. I would say that in one thing, the warmists have a meagre point and that is, as far as sample size is concerned, the measured record is what it is. Because of definition problems, we can’t compare paleo with the temperature record in any real sense. We have only a few choices: one, to sit quiet for half a millennium until we have an acceptable sample to begin to start an evaluation, two, to go with and refine to our best the paleo record while keeping as good an instrument record of the variables as we can, and three, devising more ingenious experiments to see if we can learn with reasonable confidence if and how the variables do interact with each other.

    In the latter, this is not the simple picture as precised in the Guardian or NYT or even delivered by your climate science lecturer. There may well be a solid relationship between CO2 abundance and warming and with the lab experiments that are often bugled about, I’m convinced that the effect at some magnitude is there. But, this is no guarantee there will be sustainable warming from it. The Le Chatelier Principle that is well demonstrated to act across virtually all phenomena (one could have anticipated Newton’s laws of motion, back EMF in motors, and a host of phenomena with the Le Chatelier Principle – even the laws of supply and demand in economics) states (I’ll let Wikipedia state it so our progressive readers will be at ease):

    “Any change in status quo prompts an opposing reaction in the responding system.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Chatelier's_principle

    Even Le Chatelier thought it was narrowly applicable to chemistry, but it turns out to be a powerful eclectic principle that we should integrate into our thinking about all problems and systems. This means that if you want to speculate on how a given agent will change things, your first approximation MUST BE that the change will be resisted and be short of what you may believe will happen from a ceteris paribus (all other factors held constant) situation, or that you may need a bit more agent than you thought – the world isn’t made up of ceteris paribus variables. Willis Eschenbach’s tropical sea surface temperature “governor” is a perfect example of the type of thing that the principle would advise you before you started investigating. You may not recognize the ‘the governor’ but you will be disappointed in the warming that manifests itslef from that tropical sunshine.

    This devilish and “mulishly stubborn” factor is what is plaguing shallow linear thinking catastrophists. Le Chat. should be the opening chapter of any science textbook or lecture and anyone calling himself a scientist is under-educated and handicapped somewhat if unaware of this principle. Things like to stay the way they are and do all kinds of things to try to hang on to what they have (very much like Newton’s 3rd law – for every action there is an equal an opposite reaction). When you try to boil water, the water resists through expansion, then convection and radiation and finally evaporation. In the folk idiom, “A watched kettle will never boil” and melting a pail of snow for tea is a thing for patient folks to do. Le Chatelier advises us when we calculate a climate sensitivity for example, we will make it too large if we don’t recognize the master.

    • Very well said. In reality the only really positive thing of any value to come out of this scrap is an incentive to LEARN MORE. This starts with an honest acknowledgement that we know so little. Forcings and feedback systems are what matter most. Without negative feedback systems we would have frizzled or frozen millennium ago

    • Le Chetalier’s principle is clearly not one we should apply by default to every system. Often there are negative feedbacks, often not. It is not sensible to assume only negative ones. Pushing a book a small distance along a table, for example. The movement of the book, far from being resisted, will suddenly accelerate as it drops off the edge. Add a small flame to a pile of gunpowder. LCP suggests that having to warm up an extra mass will cause the flame to diminish. In practice the flame will not be resisted or dimished, but rather the opposite.

      No, we must actually study the effects before we know whether negative or positive feedbacks will dominate.

      • Seaice1, When you push the book, (I won’t reiterate Newton’s third law as it also applies) but it also resists because of friction. LCP is not a final decision maker, it, at least, retards the change in circumstances. If you are pushing against a stone wall, the wall pushes you back exactly to the degree you are pushing it. Now if you continue to push harder and harder, you may overwhelm the resistance eventually but note, you are also compressing the buttressing soil on the far side of the wall and levering against the weight of the soil on the near side . I would recommend you bring more pushing power than you think you may need.

        Now, this seems almost silly and I can see you smile because we already know most of the factors we are dealing with and we would bring a bulldozer to be sure. But, what if you didn’t know about, for example, friction in the case of the book. You would discover it! Even feedback is, until you discover it, something you may have overlooked without asking yourself what LCP might have in store for you in dealing with the problem. Climate science is the best example I can think of where we don’t know all the factors.

        What we do know is net feedbacks on earth have been net negative for 4.5 Billion years. I can recognize in most cases a volcanic flow that is 3.5B years old because, although it might be folded by tectonic forces and been recrystallized by heat and pressure from deep burial and subsequent folding and erosion to expose it at surface, many of its features have been often remarkably preserved – runaway extremes of anything would have destroyed this. Here is a way out example of even microbe fossils in what was originally volcanic glass dated at 3.35B years before the present:

        https://www.deepdyve.com/lp/elsevier/direct-dating-of-archean-microfossils-preserved-in-pillow-basalts-from-KqL6mCAhel

        There is a very logical reason why LCP should be the first default position in your thinking about the nature of a physical problem (I would say so even if it were a psychological problem but that might be a bridge too far for you at this stage). Think about it. I’ll answer it for you if you can’t figure it out.

  9. Ever wonder what percent of the general population has no idea how sparse the temperature record really is? Do they understand that paleo temperature estimates are (1) based on methods that cannot possibly measure temperatures to the degree of accuracy being represented and (2) don’t come anywhere near the kind of coverage that one would need to make the kind of worldwide predictions that are being made and (3) cannot be verified through independent means? How many of them understand that our satellite record only goes back 35 or so years and the surface temp only 120-130? How many understand that 120 years is a VERY short time?

    I think Dr. Ball is right. It is time to go after the basis for all of this stuff. If you win the argument that we can’t measure the temperature of the Earth to any degree of accuracy for any length of time that is meaningful. Stop arguing on the periphery and go after the jugular.

    • Proud Skeptic, This is such an important point. And not only is the period of measured temperature record short, but the measuring technology has evolved. How much of the observed increase is due to changes in method of measurement and analyses required to characterize the whole planet with a single yearly value?

  10. To appropriately measure global temperature you need a constellation of satellites that continuously look at the entire earth. They need to measure surface temperature, temperature vs altitude, albedo, water vapor vs altitude, CO2 vs altitude, the entire radiation spectra coming from the earth and coming at the earth. We have been experiencing climate cycles with periods as long as 60 years, 1,000 years, and 115,000 years. The Nyquist Sampling Theorem tells us that we need at least two samples per period to measure a particular frequency. We also need more than two samples to measure a particular frequency so we can average our noise. So if we are just concerned about the 60 year cooling and warming cycles then 400 years might be adequate. If we care about the effects of the ice ages then we can possible get away with taking measurements for only about 660,000 years. So once the sensor system is in place we only have to take measurements for 660,000 years before we get the desired results in terms of the amount of required data but we still may not isolate the cause of the observed climate change. We have to be very careful about keeping the entire sensor array appropriately calibrated during the entire 660,000 years of operation. So once the sensor system is in place, made operational and we have verified the correctness of the observations then all we have to do sit down and wait for 660,000 years or more to acquire enough data for an appropriate analysis.

  11. 2.29 W/m^2 is 0.17% of the mean “solar constant” at 1 AU. I very seriously doubt if we have the means to measure the mean solar constant to that accuracy. We do know that the variation in the solar constant is 6.9% every 182.5 days, that is, the difference between perihelion and aphelion insolation. During that time, the albedo can vary between 30 and an 35% in a matter of hours (that’s 16.67% increase or decrease in the reflectance of incoming energy over the entire globe). The latter is at least unpredictable with the current state of knowledge, though likely not random. We don’t know what controls clouds, though evidence is strong that it is extraterrestrial, or even extrasolar. In any event, there is no model which can describe it within our current scope of knowledge.

    With an annual variation 40.6 times the “forcing” of 2.29 W/m^2, and an hourly forcing of 98 times 2.29 W/m^2, how can anyone claim to be picking out the influence of any type of human influence? The KNOWN natural variable swamp anything attributable to humans.

    • As far as I understand the net anthropogenic radiative forcing 2.29 W m-2 isn´t the net value. One has to take into account an increase in outgoing radiation inferred from changes in the global mean surface temperature. (See: UN IPCC; WGI; AR5; TFE.4, Figure 1; Page 67.) I believe that the net effect is around 0.5 to 1 W m-2.
      See my comment here for more details: Science or Fiction February 8, 2016 at 11:03 am . That should strengthen your argument significantly.

  12. To the statisticians here: If all recorded temperatures where rounded to the nearest degree C would the result over time be any less accurate then what we have now? Fighting with split straws grown over a few years looks ludicrous to me. The very basics on which these elaborate calculations and predictions are made do not appear to be robust

      • Chris Hanley,
        It’s referred to in the linked post. It is TempLS, using GHCN V3, and ERSST v3b; it dates from Feb 2015, so stops at 2014. But the details of the data or methods don’t matter much here – it is just showing how averaging damps the noise.

      • “… adds noise amplitude 1°C to local monthly averages. makes essentially no difference to the global average.”
        Of course it makes no difference to the annual global average temperature signal at frequencies significantly lower than the lower cutoff frequency of the noise signal.

      • “Of course it makes no difference to the annual global average temperature signal… “
        Well, it is the annual average that people follow. But the main damping of the noise happens in the spatial averaging. The monthly values are virtually unchanged; the further effect of annual smoothing is small.

      • “… the main damping of the noise happens in the spatial averaging”.
        Suggests that the random variables at those spatial strata may have widely differing variances.
        The linked post is preoccupied with a particular noise source related to instrument reading error. There are many other sources of noise in the measurement of global temperature anomalies. In particular there are notional noise sources with very different spectral density distributions and amplitudes.

      • Nick – thanks. I just had the gut feeling that with the range of temp being measured, and the number of sources and locations, that rounding out to 1C on all raw data would end up with a similar result to what is published. I can’t prove it mathematically but such a study could emphasise just how blind many people have become… Its a classic case of not seeing wood for trees. Scientists are particularly susceptible. See my later post

        Wouldn’t such an exercise using marine data be very interesting :-)

        After all, what is important? Changes in calculated mean global temp (that we cannot measure accurately) of less than, say, 2C?

  13. The climate models on which the entire Catastrophic Global Warming delusion rests are built without regard to the natural 60 and more importantly 1000 year cycles so obvious in the temperature record. The modelers approach is simply a scientific disaster and lacks even average commonsense .It is exactly like taking the temperature trend from say Feb – July and projecting it ahead linearly for 20 years or so. They back tune their models for less than 100 years when the relevant time scale is millennial. This is scientific malfeasance on a grand scale.

    The temperature projections of the IPCC – UK Met office models and all the impact studies which derive from them have no solid foundation in empirical science being derived from inherently useless and specifically structurally flawed models. They provide no basis for the discussion of future climate trends and represent an enormous waste of time and money. As a foundation for Governmental climate and energy policy their forecasts are already seen to be grossly in error and are therefore worse than useless.
    For a simple explanation see http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-epistemology-of-climate-forecasting.html
    Forecasts of future temperatures which fail to include the natural millennial temperature cycle are simply irrelevant.

    • Dr Ball,
      You provide a very complete portfolio of long term climate change data and you make a compelling argument about the futility of short term models and impact studies.
      Unfortunately nobody is listening. They are wrapped up in their own fantasy warmist science world.

      • Ed, I am really amazed at the ability of the science community at large, including even most of the skeptics who post here, to ignore the obvious millennial cycle which peaked about 2003.Far from being a “wicked ” problem, if you use simple common sense forecasting the timing and likely amplitude of the longer wave trends is reasonably simple.

  14. If we used normal graphs rather than anomaly graphs we would highlight that world temperature has risen just 0.8 degrees C since 1880.

    Most land based measurements have been tampered with or relocated to warmer climes and the only reliable temperature measure has been the satellite records since 1979 which agree with balloon measurements. The past 18 years 8 months show no rise despite humans emitting 25% of all CO2 emissions.

    Where is the problem?

    • But the word anomaly is scary to the ignorant commoners we are trying to scare, so it works much better than ordinary concepts like temperature.

    • “Where is the problem?”
      The problem is that the consequences of warming happen to us down here. The fact that plane travellers may be unaffected is small consolation.

      • What an argument from somebody as intelligent and informed as Nick Stokes. He must live in or around Australia with the fantastic record of predicting endless drought (caused by CO2), filling up the reservoirs in anticipation of that drought and then suffering flooding because the reservoirs were too full. They now have billions of $ worth of salt water distilling plants standing idle. I am sure that Carl 2015 will shortly bring back the drought to Australia or not? Best chance of CAGW continuing will be for Sanders or Clinton winning in November otherwise we might find cooling setting in with the next La Nina caused by a Republican President. Karl might then even be looking for new job opportunities.

      • Nick, how many winters can this planet go without having?
        How many summers can this planet go without having?

        Just a simple answer………no hand waiving. No BS. Just a single word for each sentence.

      • Nick S.:

        You say

        “Where is the problem?”
        The problem is that the consequences of warming happen to us down here. The fact that plane travellers may be unaffected is small consolation.

        Absolute nonsense!
        You are pretending to not know the difference between temperature and temperature anomaly.

        Temperature anomaly is a statistical construct with no physical reality of any kind. Nobody would notice anything anywhere if global temperature anomaly alone were to change by the ‘feared’ 2°C rise.

        Global temperature rises by 3.8°C (i.e. nearly double 2°C rise) from January to June each year and nobody notices.
        Also,
        Global temperature falls by 3.8°C (i.e. nearly double 2°C) from June to January each year and nobody notices.

        If you want to know how and why read this.
        Simply, water is a better heat-sink than land and there is a greater proportion lof water in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) than the Northern Hemisphere (NH). Therefore, SH winters are warmer than NH winters and SH summers are cooler than NH summers. But it is summer in the SH when it is winter in the NH and vice versa. Global temperature is the average of SH and NH temperatures.

        Richard

      • “Global temperature rises by 3.8°C (i.e. nearly double 2°C rise) from January to June each year and nobody notices.”
        I actually didn’t say anything about anomaly. But this just says why you need it. Yes, global average absolute temperature does that. That is one reason why it is a poor measure. Of course we all experience seasonal variation, and part of it seeps through into that number. It is the same, year to year. Nothing new.

        Average anomaly tells you about the likelihood of experiencing a change in climate. And a change of 3.8°C would be very significant. A drop of 5-6°C in global anomaly average means an ice age. People would notice that.

      • Nick S.:

        YOU claimed

        “Where is the problem?”
        The problem is that the consequences of warming happen to us down here. The fact that plane travellers may be unaffected is small consolation.

        I pointed out – and explained – that your claim of a potential “problem” is absolutely untrue saying

        Global temperature rises by 3.8°C (i.e. nearly double 2°C rise) from January to June each year and nobody notices.
        Also,
        Global temperature falls by 3.8°C (i.e. nearly double 2°C) from June to January each year and nobody notices.

        And I know you “didn’t say anything about anomaly”: I said that!

        No amount of your usual wriggling and sophistry can distract from the facts that your claim is nonsense, you know it is nonsense, and I explained it is nonsense..

        Richard

    • The problem is that the warmers have no interest in ever discussing any science
      Because they know they have NO. Scientific case….and they know that one is not required!!
      They know that the Main stream press will continue pushing catastrophe because that SELLS!
      And the politicians will keep pumping the tax payers money into the CAGW industry because
      That will get them reelected for wanting to save the world….and all the tens of thousands of
      Climate researchers paid for by the politicians will never come up with any result which will
      Do away with their jobs which are to keep telling them what they want to hear.

  15. If your trend can be overturned – in either direction – then your sample size is too small.

    I.E. if the inclusion on an El Nino type event materially alters your resultant trend then the number of years in your sample is too low.

  16. we all know earth IS warming (natural cause)
    a little detail in the sampling of temperature: we actually are still coming out of the little ice age, which recorded in 1875 it’s coldest peak in the last 10000 years. (LIA is considdered as a “Bond event” and the properties of it are still in synch with what we observe.

    only the 8.2 kyear event did got a bit colder then the LIA.

    so the last 120 years of temperature record recorded the natural outcome of a very cold minima towards a new optimum. Science says that the LIa ended in 1850 but the real worldwide rise only started in 1900

    this means that now we are “half way” towards the values of the medieval warm period (a bit over half way if we take the adjusted versions but yet still half way and less then half if we compare it to the holocene maximum, roman warm period and Minoan warm period)

    it’s what i say in all these debates with the question: “would we panic the same way if we had 400.000 years of reliable temperature records?” I don’t think so…

  17. According to Greenland and other Ice Core data our Holocene Interglacial is now in decline.

    The current, warm Holocene interglacial has been the enabler of mankind’s civilisation for the last 10,000+ years. It’s congenial climate spans from mankind’s earliest farming to the scientific and technological advances of the last 100 years.

    When considering the scale of temperature changes that climate alarmists anticipate because of Man-made Global Warming and their view of the disastrous effects of additional Man-made Carbon Dioxide emissions, it is useful to look at climate change from a longer term, century by century or on a millennial timescale.

    But to support Dr Ball’s scientific presentation here is a layman’s interpretation of that data:
    • the last millennium 1000AD – 2000AD encompassing the Medieval warm Period has been the coldest millennium of the Holocene interglacial.
    • each of the notable high points in the Holocene temperature record, (the early Holocene Climate Optimum – Minoan – Roman – Medieval – Modern), have been progressively colder than the previous high point.
    • for its first 7-8000 years the early Holocene, including its high point “Climate Optimum”, had virtually flat temperatures.
    • but the more recent Holocene, since a “tipping point” at ~1000BC, has seen a temperature diminution at more than 20 times that earlier rate.
    • the Holocene interglacial is already 10 – 11,000 years old and judging from the length of previous interglacials the Holocene epoch should be drawing to its close: in this century, the next century or this millennium.
    • the beneficial warming at the end of the 20th century to the Modern high point has been falsely transmuted into being “the Great Man-made Global Warming Scare”.
    • eventually this late 20th century temperature blip will come to be seen as just noise in the system in the longer term progress of comparatively rapid cooling over the last 3000+ years.

    The much vaunted and much feared “fatal” tipping point of +2°C would only bring Global temperatures close to the level of the very congenial climate of “the Roman warm period”.

    Were possible to reach the “horrendous” level of +4°C postulated by Warmists, that extreme level of warming would still only bring temperatures to about the level of the previous Eemian maximum, a warm and abundant epoch, when hippopotami thrived in the Rhine delta.

    Global warming protagonists should accept that our interglacial has been in long-term decline for the last 3000 years or so and that any action taken by man-kind will make no difference whatsoever. And it’s implausible that any action by Man-kind could reverse the inexorable in the short period of the coming century.

    Were the actions by Man-kind able to avert warming they would eventually reinforce the catastrophic cooling that is bound to return relatively soon.

    for illustrated details see

    https://edmhdotme.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/the-holocene-context-for-anthropogenic-global-warming-2/

  18. Pretty distorted, Dr. Ball. Apply a little skepticism to your posts before criticizing the consensus.

    1) “The AGW proponents successfully got the world focused on CO2, which is just 0.04% of the total atmospheric gases and varies considerably spatially and temporally.”

    CO2 is a well-mixed GHG that only varies trivially (in forcing) in the atmosphere. Water vapor, which averages 1%, does varies a lot spatially and temporally. These two of these gas emit essentially all of the photons that escape to space, except for the 10% that originate at the surface. Since water vapor does vary spetially, that leaves CO2 as the major source of photons leaving many regions of the atmosphere for space and the major absorber of photons that otherwise would reach space. Everyone in their right mind knows that CO2 plays an important role in the energy balance of our planet. That role is summarized by term “climate sensitivity”, a subject that is quantitatively – but not qualitatively – controversial.

    2) “Two major themes of the AGW claims are that temperature change is greater and more rapid than at any time in the past…. (Figure 1)”

    The latest 400,000 years (Figure 1) or 4 million years or 40 million years of climate change is fairly irrelevant to human civilization. The factors that drove climate change over these long periods (such as orbital mechanics, plate tectonics, etc) are not expected to influence climate change over the next few decades to centuries – the only period relevant to today’s policymakers. The climate change – natural variability (forced or unforced) – relevant to our civilization can be see in Figure 2: The last 3,000 years when climate remained within less than a 2 degC range. (The earlier Holocene Climate Optimum is irrelevant because it can be attributed to orbital mechanics.) Today we are near the top of this 2 degC range, though no graphs in this post illustrate this. Even the lowest estimates of climate sensitivity suggest that rising CO2 will take us outside this 2 degC range. Even another LIA won’t keep us within this range if climate sensitivity is greater than about 2 degC.

    The temperature change in Greenland (from ice cores, Figure 3) is totally misleading because warming in polar regions is amplified compared with change where most humans live. If I understand correctly (I may be wrong), the graph also begins about 1900, when GMST was about 1 degC cooler than today. With Arctic amplification, today’s temperature is similar to the MWP or perhaps the RWP. That is certainly not off the top of chart, but another 0.5-1.0 degC of global warming – after amplification in Greenland – will put us off the chart.

    3) “We know that climate sensitivity, that is the RF impact on temperature has decreased significantly (Figure 5).”

    That is a joke. Published estimates of climate sensitivity have dropped recently, partly because estimates of cooling from aerosols have dropped. If estimates of sensitivity to aerosols continue to drop, so with estimates of climate sensitivity, but such a change can’t be predicted ahead of time. Climate sensitivity itself doesn’t change with time. Recent estimates of climate sensitivity (for example Otto (2013) and Lewis and Curry (2014) have best estimates for ECS of 1.5-2.0 degC, with confidence intervals 1 degC or more on the high side. The former looked at the last 40 years (when measured aerosol forcing showed little change except transiently for two volcanos) and the latter covered the last 65 and 130 years (one and two cycles of the AMO).

    Furthermore, your graph isn’t meaningful because it does not show confidence intervals – which are quite wide – only the central estimates. Within experimental error, most of these estimates are mutually consistent with each other!

    4) “The slope in Figure 5 shows a trend that supports those who argue that CO2 has no climate sensitivity.”

    Laughably wrong. There has been warming and an increase in forcing over the past half century. Climate sensitivity is merely the ratio of these quantities. This ratio won’t go to zero unless temperature falls to earlier levels. If GMST falls 0.6 degC to 1970 level by 2035, then Lewis and Curry’s methodology will produce a climate sensitivity of zero. I’ll bet against that happening.

    5) “Raschke shows that climate models disagree substantially with each other and with observations.”

    A great subject to write about.

    6) “Figure 7 shows the variation in RF at 40°N over a one-million-year period … the swing of insolation of 100 W m-2 compared to the IPCC claim of 2.29 W m-2.”

    The variation in SUMMER forcing at 40 degN (65 degN?) during Milankovitch cycles won’t change appreciably over the next few decades to centuries, the only period relevant to policymakers. (Even if it did, annual GLOBAL forcing shows almost no change with time during a Milankovitch cycle. The theory is that reduced summer radiation prevents seasonal snow from melting in Arctic regions, increasing the albedo of the planet as a whole.)

    7) “The list of variables and mechanisms that cause variation in the RF over short and long periods well beyond the 2.29 W m-2 claimed for human produced CO2 is extensive.”

    Today’s 2.3 W/m2 forcing for CO2 (and 3.2 W/m2 for all aGHGs) is larger than any natural or anthropogenic forcing operating in recent centuries. Pinatubo was -3 W/m2 at peak and averaged about half this for about 3 years. The largest published change in solar forcing for the Maunder minimum is about -1 W/m2 (globally, not TSI). FWIW, the IPCC’s worst case scenario envisions 8.5 W/m2 of anthropogenic forcing. (Even Milankovitch cycles involve almost no global forcing.)

    • Your response to the article is interesting and no doubt has many good points. The weakness of it, however lies in your insistence that a big picture look at how our current temperature trends and patterns is irrelevant to the debate. The idea that what we are currently going through is just another cycle in what we have gone through before is very important in this discussion. What might have happened 10,000 ago might be irrelevant to what might be appropriate to do in terms of policy during the cycle of warming (natural or manmade) we might currently be experiencing but it is not irrelevant to whether or not the belief that what we are experiencing today is unprecedented.

      These are two separate things which may or may not be related.

      Oh…and “consensus” be damned. That is not an argument and it never was. It is an insult to the debate and irrelevant as a scientific point.

      • Proud Skeptic: I’m a proud skeptic too, so I don’t want to let this misleading information be passed off as responsible skepticism. Science is about competing hypotheses, not an artificially imposed consensus. I’d love to learn about a natural forcing that competes with aCO2 or unforced variability that could negate aGHG-mediated warming. The best hope I can find is modestly low climate sensitivity (ECS around 1.5-2.0 K) and the failure of AOGCMs.

        Your are correct about misuse of the word “unprecedented”. Being pragmatic, “unprecedented” means to me “unprecedented in the period of the past relevant to policymaking today” – which I called 3000 years above.

      • Frank says:

        I’d love to learn about a natural forcing that competes with aCO2 or unforced variability that could negate aGHG-mediated warming.

        Cloud fraction. Clouds are poorly understood and very poorly modeled. Cloud fraction is usually ignored in temperature reconstructions and projections. There is very little historical data on cloud fraction. I am not aware of any proxies for cloud fraction. The relation between humidity or water vapor content and cloud fraction is not well defined or understood. I am not aware of any consistent theoretical claim of what relationship, if any, there is between CO2 and cloud fraction.

        CO2 is a trace gas. The world’s climate is NOT a univariate system (i.e. dependent on one small variable).

      • More on cloud fraction. Diurnal clouds tend to reflect sunlight and reduce heat gain. Nocturnal clouds tend to reduce heat loss. Therefore, an increase in cloud fraction would be expected to cause cooling during the day but warming at night. Consequently, it is necessary to distinguish between a change in diurnal cloud fraction and a change in nocturnal cloud fraction to estimate whether a net cooling or warming, respectfully, would be expected. This is not trivial and is poorly understood and modeled. There is also limited historical data and no proxies that I am aware of and certainly no proxies that could distinguish between changes in diurnal cloud fraction vs. nocturnal cloud fraction.

        I also am not aware of any cloud fraction “anomaly” data to correspond to “temperature” anomaly data.

      • Phil: You are completely correct about the importance of cloud fraction. However, cloud fraction is traditionally – and I think correctly – treated as a feedback rather than a forcing. Some AOGCMs produce a very high climate sensitivity because the cloud fraction (albedo) drops with rising temperature in these models. When CO2 is instantly quadrupled model runs, warming in the first few years quickly restores outgoing LWR. By then, however, there is a large increase in incoming SWR that causes the radiative imbalance to increase that feedbacks upon itself, driving warming for many more decades. From this point of view, changing cloud fraction is part of climate sensitivity – the response to forcing – and not a forcing by itself.

    • Frank, re Figure 3, the data actually ends in 1855, 95 years before 1950- which is the standard year for ‘present’ in ice-core studies. It’s been deliberately mislabeled by someone as Present (2000).
      This is a well known fake graph.

      • Ceist8: Thanks. GMST didn’t change much between 1905 and 1855. The graph itself isn’t fake, it is just mislabeled in a way that isn’t fundamentally wrong. However, it is grossly misleading. It took be quite awhile to figure out what was wrong. The reader needs a datapoint or an annotation on the right hand axis showing the current temperature at this site, perhaps the mean temperature for the last 30 years. I made an estimate. Do you know where to find such information? I don’t understand how the authors converted proxy data to a local absolute temperature on a particular date.

    • Other’s here have said it “Keep your eye on the pea” You sir have tried to completely change the focus of this post and have us look away from the pea under the shell thereby ignoring the elephant in the room.

      The most important point that I take away from Dr. Ball has essentially been “Even if everything the IPCC has said in terms of warming were to take place and even if CO2 were the cause there is NO catastrophic component to be seen as the past 1 million years has seen temperatures easily exceed the scariest ranges of the current warming scare and we are still here alive and well.” No catastrophic component means no need to hand the till over to a bunch of self appointed do-gooders.
      The entire CAGW is a straw man argument.
      Better we follow the current recipe that has brought us the ability to address the current real environmental issues including population control.
      From my point of view, affluence appears to be the best population control there is. Affluence affords discretionary money for addressing real issues facing man kind. We don’t need to follow those whom construct straw men to get in our pockets. We have the tools to ferret them out.

      • Pierre DM – you think the message is “Even if everything the IPCC has said in terms of warming were to take place and even if CO2 were the cause there is NO catastrophic component to be seen as the past 1 million years has seen temperatures easily exceed the scariest ranges of the current warming scare and we are still here alive and well.”

        Well, we aren’t -still here- from a million years ago. Civilization is a new thing. The hundreds of thousands of hominids back in the day didn’t have big cities built right up to the waters edge. Everyone was a hunter-gatherer until the Holocene – no expensive sewer systems, energy production, manufacturing, transportation networks, ports, etc.

        That’s why recent changes and recent trends matter. “Catastrophe” wasn’t possible when the affected people just picked up their stone tools and moved uphill. It becomes possible as we try to feed billions of humans – most of them heavily dependent on regular crops and efficient transportation networks.

        Ball’s message seems to be a version of telling someone buying beachfront property “Don’t worry about storm trends over the last 50 years, it’s been much worse over the past hundreds of thousands of years.”

        Better yet, try telling a property insurer that recent trends don’t matter.

      • Pierre DM wrote: “You sir have tried to completely change the focus of this post and have us look away from the pea under the shell thereby ignoring the elephant in the room. The most important point that I take away from Dr. Ball has essentially been “Even if everything the IPCC has said in terms of warming were to take place and even if CO2 were the cause there is NO catastrophic component to be seen as the past 1 million years has seen temperatures easily exceed the scariest ranges of the current warming scare and we are still here alive and well.”

        Frank replies: Your attention may have been misdirected by Dr. Ball. Let’s explore your summary of the key message from this post: There have been no examples of catastrophic climate change in the past 1 million years.

        An ice age represent a decrease in GMST of about 5 degC. (Dr. Ball’s Figure 1 is a graph of polar temperature from an ice core – where climate change is roughly twice the change in GMST.) Do you believe that a re-occurrence of the Ice Ages of the past 1,000,000 years would represent a catastrophe? I do. The ice cap was roughly 1 km thick over present-day Chicago and Boston. The colder planet received much less precipitation. I would be difficult for today’s population to simply feed itself during an ice age.

        The IPCC is warning of the possibility of roughly a 5 degC warming caused by aGHG’s – the same magnitude of change in the opposite direction. Dr. Ball never discusses the IPCC’s projections for future warming in this post. Dr. Ball presented NO information about 5 degC of WARMING, because that requires going more than ten million years into the past. There were no polar ice caps at this time and alligators lived in the warm high Arctic (Ellesmere Island and Northern Alaska). Would you consider that much warming (half taking place within one century) a “catastrophe”? Dr. Ball doesn’t say.

        We both note that the lowest “best estimates” for climate sensitivity are about 1.5 degC per doubling of CO2 (with a upper confidence interval of at least 2.5 degC) – about half that projected by the IPCC’s models. Dr. Ball doesn’t discuss whether a change this large would be catastrophic or if a change half this large would be catastrophic. Instead he absurdly suggests there is evidence suggesting that climate sensitivity is trending to zero.

        Humans hadn’t evolved when the temperature was 5 degC warmer. Modern agricultural society evolved during the stable climate of the Holocene – the last 10,000 years. About halfway through this period, changes in the monsoon in response to orbital changes caused the grasslands and large lakes in the present-day Sahara to disappear. Would you call desertification on this scale catastrophic climate change? (Incidentally, the IPCCs models can’t reproduce this change.) The period relevant to modern human agricultural is roughly the last 3,000 years, when temperature remained within roughly a 2 degC range. Today, we are currently in the upper half of that range.

        Finally, Dr. Ball suggests our recent climate has survived forcing far greater from aCO2 or aGHGs. That simply isn’t true. He is confusing the transient SUMMER forcing at a single latitude (which is offset by negative forcing during the winter) with continuous global forcing.

    • “The factors that drove climate change over these long periods (such as orbital mechanics, plate tectonics, etc) are not expected to influence climate change over the next few decades to centuries – the only period relevant to today’s policymakers”

      The only period that is relevant to today’s policymakers is the election cycle – a cycle that begins when they are elected and is aimed at getting them re-elected.

      • Good point, CaligulaJones. However, we do spend money on the schools, roads, and military we expect to need over the one to three decades. Essentially all governments have large unfunded liabilities for longer-range programs like Social Security and Medicare. Can you picture what the result would be if our government had [taxed] us in 1900 or 1950 with the intent of making the world a better place a half-century or a century later? How would they have “invested” that money? (The word “hubris” was created to describe this situation.)

      • “Can you picture what the result would be if our government had [taxed] us in 1900 or 1950 with the intent of making the world a better place a half-century or a century later?”

        Well, here in Canada the federal government brought in income tax to pay for WW I…but I see your point.

  19. The fact that rainforest regions are cooler than desert regions at the same lattitude disproves the AGW theory.

    • Yes well said and easily confirmed with any statistically significant study of temperature and precipitation data. Ironically, the IPCC contention is that WV does most of 33 degrees of warming, which is at least 20 degrees for each 1% in the atmosphere. So rain forests which can have 4% WV above them should (by IPCC claims) be at least 50 degrees hotter than similar but dry regions.

  20. Imagine I wanted to measure the average temperature of my car to 1/100th degree C. How would I go about doing it. Once I calculated the number, what would I do with it?

  21. Regarding the theory that Milankovitch cycles are linked to the insolation has also always seemed to me to be less than compelling. There isn’t any really obvious fit to explain the very rapid temperature increases at the end of each glaciation. There was a recent wild idea about how the lowering and raising of sea level affects the amount of decompressive partial mantle melting along the mid ocean ridges that seemed rather elegant. In summary the lower sea level during glaciations causes reduced pressure (13 bar) which allows partial melting to occur resulting in a high activity extrusion period that rapidly warms the ocean hence the rapid rise in temperatures. The higher ocean level supresses the magmatic activity and hence the slow cooling back to a period of glaciation and lower sea levels allows more melting and approx 80,000 years later out it comes again,

    Interesting.

    • The heat source that is #1 is the sun. And if it changes its output of heat suddenly and stars certainly can do this, then there is less heat here on the nearby planet. Ditto in double for warming.

  22. To answer the question: Long -Term Climate Change: What Is A Reasonable Sample Size? the answer is fairly simple. For a reasonable degree of certainty (90%?) One needs around 10x the length of time of data of the length of time in which we are taking a trend – and all the data must be from one homogeneous source. So, e.g. in order to assess whether the last century was abnormal, we need around a millennium of data. In order to assess whether the 1970-2000 warming was abnormal, we must compare the 1970-2000 trend in CET with the last 300-350 years in CET. And the longest period in the raw instrumental dataset that can be assessed would be around 16years.

    However, if all falls apart if we start comparing apples with cheese: tree rings for 1000 years with bogus fraudulent surface data for 30 years.

    However, to compromise with the need for quicker indications, I would suggest that we can get a “more likely than not” indication for 3x the period. So, e.g. with 160 years of data, we can start saying with a modest certainty that if the last 50 years showed warming that had not been seen before in the last 160 years, then something was odd. But even using the bogus upjusted data, the 1970-2000 period shows the same warming as 1910-1940. So, there is no indication of any abnormality with the global temperature (despite the known upjusting – which tells us just how normal the present period is – that even fraudulent changes can’t change it enough to make it abnormal).

    • Scottish Sceptic, I’m not a statistician, but I seem to recall that ideally at least about 30 samples are needed to draw high confidence statistical conclusions. That would mean to properly understand an apparent trend over a 30 year period (one trend sample), a period of 30 x 30 years, or 900 years would be needed to have high statistical confidence whether or not the trend might be unusual. In other words, if the trend is higher than for any other 30-year trend over the last 900 years, then we might have high confidence that it is very unusual, and indeed “unprecedented” within the scale of 900 years.

      I also agree that for high confidence, we need to be comparing apples to apples over the entire period of concern. Unfortunately, we don’t have that luxury. Our best modern measurements related to estimating global temperature anomalies are arguably only since the satellite era beginning around 1979 because of spatial coverage problems and changing measurement methodologies over time prior to the satellite era. So at best, our period of highest confidence is at most about 37 years now, which means trying to evaluate whether a recent 30-year trend is unusual is near impossible with any reasonable degree of confidence.

      Thus, we are left trying to compare apples and oranges or perhaps tree rings versus ice cores versus ocean sediments, etc. All of these proxies have much larger uncertainties than our methodologies available to evaluate global climate within the last 37 years, which makes comparisons even more challenging. Most efforts these days seem to either ignore the uncertainties or to greatly under-estimate them to make political conclusions that are in reality not supported by the evidence with its inherent uncertainties. Playing on human fears seems to be a common theme in politics and finding “scientists” willing to corrupt their “science” to meet political expectations is easy to accomplish with politically directed funding and pressure to be politically correct (which can include confirmation bias).

  23. In order to be considered current participants in science, who want at all costs to prove that the nature of acting as their models and mathematics give results?
    I think that in most of them their CO2 entered the brain and darkened their gyrus of the brain, so that they only see CO2 as the cause of climate change. Can scientists to accompany accompany climate change on other planets? Since there are no people should be nothing new there are not happening, and it is for people of CO2, causing these changes.
    It really is a miracle that has not been not revealed as the true cause of climate change. These “wars”, conducted among millions of participants, about the causes of climate change, have to cil only material benefit to fraud and false theories which deceives mankind and thus performs the contamination of our consciousness.
    All previous “evidence” and the price on the causes of these changes, is nothing more than usual “junk science” who has reached our consciousness, as the container is full of waste, but many are not aware of it.
    The menu is a miracle, that no one wants to think about some powerful factors that govern with all the features and planets to us on those planets.
    Be oriented in the right direction for the unraveling of the enigma, here’s a question that will help to sober up and begin to think normally.
    Why is our planet Earth has cooled for the past more than 4 billion years old?
    Is there something that she is not allowed to cool as the moon? Here is the basic cause !!!!
    I know i own this evidence, if there is an interest.
    I’m tired of reading and listening to the many illogical and misleading price on the causes of climate change.
    Let me start how God commands !!

    • The ice caps on Mars grow and retreat the same as earth poles. When my grandfather studied Mars back 120 years ago, it had a much larger ice cap than today thanks to Martian global warming. :)

  24. Dr Tim ball:

    “The AGW proponents successfully got the world focused on CO2, which is just 0.04% of the total atmospheric gases and varies considerably spatially and temporally.”

    Not according to satellite data.
    You do like sat data?

    Seems pretty well-mixed to me. (varies by barely 15ppm globally)
    So well-mixed indeed that you can even see the NH seasonal changes to atmospheric CO2 concentration reflected in a trace from the South Pole.

    “I used to argue that it is like determining the character, structure, and behavior of a human by measuring one wart on the left arm. In fact, they are only looking at one cell of that wart for their determination.”

    Nope – the best analogy is drinking 0.04% solution of cyanide in water.

    In other words the absolute proportion of anything is irrelevant – what is relevant is the power of that substance to change it’s environment.

    • Toneb:

      Thankyou for providing that OCO-2 plot which shows emissions of CO2 from human activities are insignificant with industrial regions having lowest CO2 concentrations.

      The plot you provide is for only one month, but similar indication is provided by annual OCO-2 data.

      More clear evidence refuting the anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW) hypothesis is hard to imagine. Thankyou for presenting it.

      Richard

      • richardscourtney:”

        “Toneb:
        Thankyou for providing that OCO-2 plot which shows emissions of CO2 from human activities are insignificant with industrial regions having lowest CO2 concentrations.
        The plot you provide is for only one month, but similar indication is provided by annual OCO-2 data.
        More clear evidence refuting the anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW) hypothesis is hard to imagine. Thankyou for presenting it.”

        No, please – don’t mention it – but you appear to have misinterpreted the meaning of my post.
        What I showed was a clear refutation of Dr Ball’s “varies considerably spatially and temporally.”.
        Unless of course you want to argue that 15 out of 400 or 3.75% merits the adverb “considerably” to be added to the verb “vary”.

        Oh, and did you note that the variation due to NH seasons is also visible at the SP?

      • Toneb:

        I don’t doubt the intention of your post but I wrote to point out its meaning; i.e, the OCO-2 data which you presented is clear evidence refuting the AGW hypothesis.

        Richard

      • The plots show nothing about emissions. They simply show that CO2 concentrations vary throughout the year, within a fairly narrow range, as they no doubt always have. It is well known that large amounts of CO2 move around within the atmosphere, as oceans seasonally warm and cool, and vegetation seasonally absorbs CO2, with reduction products that are then respired.

      • Nick S.:

        The plots show atmospheric CO2 concentrations are NOT highest near or over major regions of anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

        An excuse for WHY major regions of anthropogenic CO2 emissions do NOT show highest conentrations of atmospheric CO2 is needed by those who claim the anthropogenic CO2 emissions are causing the observed – and continuing – rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

        Risible assertions that “The plots show nothing about emissions” are not a credible excuse.

        Richard

      • richardscourtney;

        “Toneb:
        I don’t doubt the intention of your post but I wrote to point out its meaning; i.e, the OCO-2 data which you presented is clear evidence refuting the AGW hypothesis.”.
        Could you please say why?

      • richardscourtney:

        “The plots show atmospheric CO2 concentrations are NOT highest near or over major regions of anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

        An excuse for WHY major regions of anthropogenic CO2 emissions do NOT show highest conentrations of atmospheric CO2 is needed by those who claim the anthropogenic CO2 emissions are causing the observed – and continuing – rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

        Risible assertions that “The plots show nothing about emissions” are not a credible excuse.”

        I must rebut your “rebutal”.

        It is no surprise that “atmospheric CO2 concentrations are NOT highest near or over major regions of anthropogenic CO2 emissions.”
        However please observe China (world’s largest producer of anthro CO2) marked out in orange/red.

        Because the vast majority of atmos CO2 comes from natural sources.
        Nowhere will you find a scientist state that that is not the case.
        It is simply that the EXTRA than man emits is tipping the balance beyond what the Earth’s natural sinks can absorb.
        The Tropics produce most.

        http://whatsyourimpact.org/greenhouse-gases/carbon-dioxide-sources

      • Toneb:

        You assert

        Because the vast majority of atmos CO2 comes from natural sources.
        Nowhere will you find a scientist state that that is not the case.
        It is simply that the EXTRA than man emits is tipping the balance beyond what the Earth’s natural sinks can absorb.
        The Tropics produce most.

        NO! The OCO-2 data indicates that emissions of CO2 by humans are NOT “tipping the balance beyond what the Earth’s natural sinks can absorb”. And the fact that one region of high CO2 emission from human activity does coincide with high atmospheric CO2 concentration does not alter that indication unless you want to claim China alone is responsible for the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

        The AGW hypothesis says anthropogenic (i.e. from human activity) emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs, mostly CO2) will accumulate in the atmosphere to raise the atmospheric concentrations of GHGs which will induce global warming.

        For that hypothesis to be true it is necessary for anthropogenic CO2 emissions to be in excess of what nature (i.e. the CO2 ‘sinks) can sequester. Otherwise there would be no accumulation of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere.

        The OCO-2 data shows the anthropogenic CO2 emissions are NOT in excess of what nature can sequester.

        If the anthropogenic CO2 emissions were in excess of what nature can sequester then the excess CO2 would be seen as high CO2 concentration over the regions where the major anthropogenic CO2 emissions are added to the atmosphere. And that excess would spread from those regions to other parts of the atmosphere.
        What is seen is that the anthropogenic CO2 emissions are low over almost all regions of major anthropogenic CO2 emission. This indicates that the anthropogenic CO2 emissions are NOT in excess of what nature can sequester: it is sequestered in ‘sinks’ near its emission sources.

        This is not surprising because anthropogenic CO2 emission is less than 3% of total CO2 emission. Such a small variation is a trivial variation.

        However, there is an important point to note.
        The OCO-2 data does NOT disprove the possibility that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are causing the observed and continuing rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.
        although
        The OCO-2 data does disprove the claim that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are overloading the ‘sinks’ for CO2.

        One of our 2005 papers
        (ref. Rorsch A, Courtney RS & Thoenes D, ‘The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle’ E&E v16no2 (2005) )
        provided 6 models of the carbon cycle system with 3 of the models assuming a significant anthropogenic contribution to the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration and the other 3 models assuming the rise is purely natural.

        Each of the models in that paper matches the available empirical data without use of any ‘fiddle-factor’ such as the ‘5-year smoothing’ the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) uses to get its model (i.e. the Bern Model) to agree with the empirical data.

        So, if one of the six models of our paper is adopted then there is a 5:1 probability that the choice is wrong. And other models are probably also possible. And the six models each give a different indication of future atmospheric CO2 concentration for the same future anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide.

        The superior performance of each of our models over the IPCC’s Bern Model results from our modelling assumption. The Bern Model uses the assumption of anthropogenic CO2 emissions being in excess of what nature can sequester (which is now refuted by the OCO-2 data). Our models assume something has altered the equilibrium state of the carbon cycle system.

        Some processes of the carbon cycle system are very slow with rate constants of years and decades. Hence, the system takes decades to fully adjust to a new equilibrium. The observed rise in atmospheric CO2 is easily modeled as being continuing slow adjustment towards an altered equilibrium.

        This raises the question as to what may have altered the equilbrium.

        One possibility is the anthropogenic CO2 emission. In our models the short term sequestration processes can easily adapt to sequester the anthropogenic emission in a year (which is now confirmed by the OCO-2 data). But, according to our models, the total emission of that year affects the equilibrium state of the entire system with resulting rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration as is observed. This possibility is real but unlikely.

        Natural factors are more likely to have caused the alteration to the equilibrium of the carbon cycle system. Of these, the most likely cause is the centuries-long rise in global temperature which is recovery from the Little Ice Age.

        I hope the matter is now clear.

        Richard

      • richardscourtney;

        “If the anthropogenic CO2 emissions were in excess of what nature can sequester then the excess CO2 would be seen as high CO2 concentration over the regions where the major anthropogenic CO2 emissions are added to the atmosphere.”

        No they wouldn’t – the atmosphere in the NH influenced by the PJS is powerfully turbulent/mixing, such that a local CO2 source would soon have dispersed – that is why we see the response we do at the even at the SP with a (6 month lag). That is what is meant by well-mixed. It is like adding a drop of dye to a cup of water and stirring it briefly. It is almost that efficient. You must consider the dynamics of the atmosphere. The tropics (30deg N to 30deg S) carries it’s surface air powerfully aloft via convection but does not have a jet-stream above to mix it so quickly horizontally – so that is an addition factor in seeing greater concentration far more easily. Meteorology.

        “What is seen is that the anthropogenic CO2 emissions are low over almost all regions of major anthropogenic CO2 emission. This indicates that the anthropogenic CO2 emissions are NOT in excess of what nature can sequester: it is sequestered in ‘sinks’ near its emission sources.”

        You must also consider the specific dynamics (winds) that pertained at the time (1 Oct to 11 Nov ) for the CO2 concentration to be accounted for on that sat image. Autumn in the NH – stonger surface/jet-stream winds. Not so over China.
        Also anthro CO2 vs natural is ~29 vs 750 Gt (say 3%).
        Would you (really) expect to distinguish that on an image of that resolution?

        You yourself say in fact:

        “This is not surprising because anthropogenic CO2 emission is less than 3% of total CO2 emission. Such a small variation is a trivial variation.”

        So why try at eye-ball pick it out on that image – the natural co2 return swamps it ….. apart from the large source that is China over what is probably a slack wind regime period.

        Again: the 3% is not trivial because it is in excess of what natural sinks can take up (around half of it only is absorbed).
        This should be no surprise because the Earth’s bio-system naturally evolves to be in balance and it adjusts itself between source/sink/temp determined by orbital forcing.

        “The OCO-2 data does disprove the claim that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are overloading the ‘sinks’ for CO2.”

        I disagree as observation (not models?) shows:
        Atmospheric CO2 concentration is rising – so by logic we b(or something) is overloading the Earth’s sinks.
        And we know that the ~40% rise of 280 > 400ppm is anthro via 12C v 13C ratio.

        Here shows the heavier isotope’s concentration declining…..

        I assume you know the significance?
        But for others…
        “CO2 produced from burning fossil fuels or burning forests has quite a different isotopic composition from CO2 in the atmosphere. This is because plants have a preference for the lighter isotopes (12C vs. 13C); thus they have lower 13C/12C ratios. Since fossil fuels are ultimately derived from ancient plants, plants and fossil fuels all have roughly the same 13C/12C ratio – about 2% lower than that of the atmosphere. As CO2 from these materials is released into, and mixes with, the atmosphere, the average 13C/12C ratio of the atmosphere decreases.”

        I hope the matter is now clear.

      • Toneb:

        I took the trouble to explain the matter for you and you have replied with nonsense.

        The OCO-2 data shows the anthropogenic CO2 emissions are NOT in excess of what nature can sequester.
        If the anthropogenic CO2 emissions were in excess of what nature can sequester then the excess CO2 would be seen as high CO2 concentration over the regions where the major anthropogenic CO2 emissions are added to the atmosphere. And that excess would spread from those regions to other parts of the atmosphere.
        What is seen is that the anthropogenic CO2 emissions are low over almost all regions of major anthropogenic CO2 emission. This indicates that the anthropogenic CO2 emissions are NOT in excess of what nature can sequester: it is sequestered in ‘sinks’ near its emission sources.

        Your reply says

        No they wouldn’t – the atmosphere in the NH influenced by the PJS is powerfully turbulent/mixing, such that a local CO2 source would soon have dispersed – that is why we see the response we do at the even at the SP with a (6 month lag). That is what is meant by well-mixed. It is like adding a drop of dye to a cup of water and stirring it briefly. It is almost that efficient. You must consider the dynamics of the atmosphere. The tropics (30deg N to 30deg S) carries it’s surface air powerfully aloft via convection but does not have a jet-stream above to mix it so quickly horizontally – so that is an addition factor in seeing greater concentration far more easily. Meteorology.

        That illogical straw is not sufficient to stop you sinking.

        If the anthropogenic emissions were being removed from their emission sites that quick then so would the natural emissions. “Meteorology” does not know which CO2 molecules were emitted by human activities. The ‘high’ levels of CO2 are over regions of natural emission and – with one exception – are not over sites of anthropogenic emission.

        And your only justification is this irrational belief

        Atmospheric CO2 concentration is rising – so by logic we b(or something) is overloading the Earth’s sinks.

        NO! That is not “logic”: it is an assumption.
        And I explained to you that we have demonstrated a different assumption provides much better agreement with the data.

        And you demonstrate that you know you are spouting twaddle by changing the subject to the isotope data; i.e. the change in the ratio of C12 to C13 isotopes in the atmosphere.

        The C12:C13 ratio change is in the direction expected by accumulation of anthropogenic CO2 but its magnitude is wrong by a factor of 3. Thus the direct indication of the isotope change is that the rise of atmospheric CO2 concentration is mostly or all natural (n.b. NOT anthropogenic).
        Indeed, in the graph of Mauna Loa data you present, the magnitude of the ‘seasonal variation’ in the C13 is only explicable by it being mostly from natural sources because there is insufficient emission from human sources.

        However, these direct indications of the isotope ratio changes may be misleading because the indications may have been affected by ‘dilution’. Therefore, the most that can be said of the isotope ratio data is that it is not sufficient to disprove an anthropogenic cause of the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

        Richard

      • richardmcourtney;

        “I took the trouble to explain the matter for you and you have replied with nonsense.”

        On the contrary my friend:
        I took the trouble to explain the matter for you and you have replied with nonsense.

        I replied with science with links.
        You did not. Merely hand-waving.

        “If the anthropogenic emissions were being removed from their emission sites that quick then so would the natural emissions. “Meteorology” does not know which CO2 molecules were emitted by human activities. The ‘high’ levels of CO2 are over regions of natural emission and – with one exception – are not over sites of anthropogenic emission.”

        “That illogical straw is not sufficient to stop you sinking.”

        My friend – it would only be illogical if i were sinking, and I’m not.
        Why? because I have shown the science with links (this “conversation” started with my refutation of Dr Balls’ ” CO2 varies considerably spatially and temporally” – which I note you accepted).

        You? Just hand hand-waving and borderline arrogance.

        Try understanding what I said:

        I differentiated the MAJOR SOURCE of natural CO2 as being from the Tropics which disperse more slowly and that the major industrial zones in the NH more quickly. But not China. Basic meteorology.
        Obviously winds don’t discriminate, but the sources are in different climatic zones to a large part. Though we still see the major polluter, China, sticking out.
        That is irrelevant anyway as atmos CO2 is increasing and we know it comes from fossil (link provided).
        It is also patently obvious that the *3%* anthro CO2 present in that sat image cannot possibly be differentiated by eye for the most part from natural and so your assertion that “which shows emissions of CO2 from human activities are insignificant with industrial regions having lowest CO2 concentrations” is beyond my comprehension.

        “And you demonstrate that you know you are spouting twaddle by changing the subject to the isotope data; i.e. the change in the ratio of C12 to C13 isotopes in the atmosphere.”

        it was not a “change of subject” at all – it was evidence of the the increasing 13v12 of C isotopes that relates crucially to rising CO2 concentration.
        Do you dispute it is rising?
        If not from mankind then from where?
        You do realise the necessity that the biosphere be in harmony (else the world would be too chaotic to sustain prolonged species).

        Also, please do not use phrases such as “And your only justification is this irrational belief” and “spouting twaddle”
        FYI: that paragraph was far from “my only”.
        And I am not spouting “twaddle”.
        At least it is not “my” twaddle. Yours appears to be.

        You would not accept me saying such to you, I suspect, and I do not of you.

        Tony

      • Toneb:

        From behind a screen of anonymity you spout soundbites picked up from climate porn sites and get ruffled when someone who has studied the subject for decades tells you about his published research.

        I don’t have to assist in removing your ignorance: I am doing you a favour. And your attempts to ‘tell grandmother how to suck eggs’ do not encourage me to continue helping you. My annoyance is increased by your writing this to me

        Also, please do not use phrases such as “And your only justification is this irrational belief” and “spouting twaddle”
        FYI: that paragraph was far from “my only”.
        And I am not spouting “twaddle”.
        At least it is not “my” twaddle. Yours appears to be.

        You cannot learn until you understand that the twaddle you are copying from climate porn sites is ludicrous nonsense.

        Try thinking for yourself unless, of course, you are being employed to promote nonsense.

        Having got that out of the way: READ WHAT I WROTE FOR YOU. AND TRY TO LEARN.

        Richard

      • richardscourtney;

        “From behind a screen of anonymity you spout soundbites picked up from climate porn sites and get ruffled when someone who has studied the subject for decades tells you about his published research.”

        No. I simply point out arrogance and borderline hostility. I don’t get “ruffled”. I simply point out scientific evidence.

        If you have indeed “studied the subject for decades tells you about his published research”
        I would be grateful if you would point it out to me in a reputable peer-reviewed journal.

        “You cannot learn until you understand that the twaddle you are copying from climate porn sites is ludicrous nonsense.”

        Again you use condescending language that is always the clear sign of someone who is rather *taken* with himself. OK, you think you are superior. I buy that – it comes across – but only in the attitude you display.

        I do not copy from “climate porn” sites – I link to peer-reviewed science.
        AND I am still waiting for yours.

        “Try thinking for yourself unless, of course, you are being employed to promote nonsense.”

        Richard – you have not the slightest idea of my background and expertise in the subject. Instead you fall back on the usual get-out-of-jail-free meme on here. I’m anonymous. Yes, like the vast majority here.
        I have forgotten more about meteorology, my friend, than you have shown to be knowledgeable of with you hand-waving “twaddle” comment.
        No, I am employing myself to deny ignorance my friend, that is all.
        Stop being ignorant, and may I say arrogant.
        You can at least remedy the first but the second *may* be beyond you.

        “Having got that out of the way: READ WHAT I WROTE FOR YOU. AND TRY TO LEARN.”.

        Yes, I think you should:
        Go and find a basic meteorology text book and read it for starters.
        You do not earn the right to be superior by asserting things on here. It takes a body of your peers (assuming you have a scientific qualification and any peer-reviewed work) in order for that honour to be earned.

        You have neither done so with your *science”, nor with your attitude.

        Here – more science….
        http://global.jaxa.jp/press/2014/12/20141205_ibuki.html

        Now you learn … from science.
        And not from the standpoint of your confirmation bias.

        Tony

      • Toneb:

        Among your additional collection of falsehoods you assert

        No. I simply point out arrogance and borderline hostility. I don’t get “ruffled”. I simply point out scientific evidence.

        I have contempt for you and not “arrogance and borderline hostility”.

        You have earned my contempt by pretending to “point out scientific evidence” by copying stuff you don’t understand from climate porn sites, and by resorting to abuse when your errors are pointed out.

        YOU presented OCO-2 data for one month. That data indicates anthropogenic CO2 emissions are NOT overloading the CO2 sinks as you claim (I also linked to annual OCO-2 data which provides a less-clear indication because in science we don’t ‘cherry pick’ for evidence most supportive of a case). Your response to that was two-fold.

        Firstly, you made the superstitious assertion that “meteorology” disperses ‘anthropogenic’ CO2 emissions differently from ‘natural’ CO2 emissions. Hence, you implied the OCO-2 data YOU provided is misleading .

        Secondly, you claimed carbon isotope ratio changes in the atmosphere indicate that anthropogenic emissions of CO2 are overloading the CO2 sinks to provide the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. I pointed out that the direct indication of the isotope changes is that the anthropogenic emissions are NOT the cause of most or all of the atmospheric CO2 increase, the possibility of ‘dilution’ makes this direct indication uncertain. And I pointed out that the seasonal variation in the MLO C13 data YOU presented cannot be caused by anthropogenic emissions. Your only response was to claim the facts I provided are “arm waving”.

        YOU claimed that

        Atmospheric CO2 concentration is rising – so by logic we b(or something) is overloading the Earth’s sinks.

        although I had already explained the purported “overloading” is an assumption – n.b. not “logic” – and that some of our published research demonstrates an alternative assumption provides much better agreement with the empirical data. Your response to that was to assert without any reason argument or evidence that our research I referenced is “confirmation bias” which you implied is not “published in a reputable peer reviewed journal”.

        There was no such “bias” which is why you state none. And our paper in question is as I referenced
        Rorsch A, Courtney RS & Thoenes D, ‘The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle’ E&E v16no2 (2005)
        that was published in the very reputable peer reviewed journal ‘Energy & Environment’ which is indexed in the ISI and is cited 28 times in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports .

        Anyway, if you knew anything about science then you would know the value of work is not indicated by where it is published. For example, the worth of the seminal work on avionics by the Wright brothers is demonstrated by the existence of the aviation industry and not by the fact that it was published in a magazine about bee-keeping.

        I could continue pointing out your errors and misdemeanours, but you and your pot-shots from behind the coward’s screen of anonymity are not worth the bother.

        Your arrogance, your ignorance and your abusiveness have earned my contempt, and my only regret is that I lack sufficient language to express the degree of my contempt for you and your behaviour.

        Richard

      • richardscourtney;

        “You have earned my contempt by pretending to “point out scientific evidence” by copying stuff you don’t understand from climate porn sites, and by resorting to abuse when your errors are pointed out.”

        And you have earned my contempt by responding to requests for science-based evidence with said arrogance and condescension. That is not an adequate response my friend.
        Climate “porn sites” – Mmm, by that I assume you mean those pages accessible via Google scholar? You do you mean pages that are not from the likes of WUWT, CE, Roy Spencer et al.
        No, I don’t think so. They are called “Peer-reviewed” papers. – if you were to look at all you would find that they include and link said “peer-reviewed” papers. You may not like it (that is your problem and I care not a jot) but that is the way science proceeds). Experts in their field researching stuff – because they want to discover things about the world and NOT merely to confirm their world-view – writing a paper and then other similarly EXPERT people critiquing it.
        Doing your own paper (and effectively self-publishing) does not constitute science – particularly so if you approach it from a biased position – which self-evidently you do, judging by the “porn” comment.

        “Firstly, you made the superstitious assertion that “meteorology” disperses ‘anthropogenic’ CO2 emissions differently from ‘natural’ CO2 emissions. Hence, you implied the OCO-2 data YOU provided is misleading .”

        No – I provided the image as it showed that CO2 emission could be clearly seen from space and in no way intended it to show as you say. And study some basic meteorology will you – I should have thought it rather important in the role of anthro CO2 dispersal.
        Richard – please don’t confound your position.
        It’s simple – anthro CO2 is overloading the biosphere. It cannot be easily picked out at a global resolution as it is just 3% of the total – but zoom in (provided) and you can. Further isotopic analysis shows that fossil produced carbon is increasing ALONG with the total.

        “And I pointed out that the seasonal variation in the MLO C13 data YOU presented cannot be caused by anthropogenic emissions. Your only response was to claim the facts I provided are “arm waving”.”

        I did indeed – and I do so again in light of discovering the nature of your “journal”. It is not a peer-reviewed and therefore not a reputable one my friend…

        http://www.desmogblog.com/energy-and-environment

        “According to the journal’s mission statement, “E&E has consistently striven to publish many ‘voices’ and to challenge conventional wisdoms. Perhaps more so than other European energy journal, the editor has made E&E a forum for more sceptical analyses of ‘climate change’ and the advocated solutions. We look for contributions that make energy technology a contributor to improving social and environmental conditions where this is most needed.”

        “Many voices” is code for not peer-reviewed.
        So therefor you do indeed have a “bias” as would have been in one.
        Science is NOT just a platform for your views – we can all go to Doug Cotton’s “papers” at PSI to see his views but they are potty beyond belief and publishing there does not substantiate them.

        So it boils down to you saying I am to take you on authority? Really?

        “work on avionics by the Wright brothers is demonstrated by the existence of the aviation industry and not by the fact that it was published in a magazine about bee-keeping.”

        Richard, that may well be true – however the world has moved on a tad in the more than 100 years since.
        We have armies of experts in climate and other earth sciences and expensive technological aids to make it impossible that that happen now – not to mention the ~150 years of empirical (as in not found wanting despite rigourous and repeated testing) science.

        “…. continue pointing out your errors and misdemeanours, but you and your pot-shots from behind the coward’s screen of anonymity are not worth the bother.”

        My thoughts of you Richard – and my anonymity is my own prerogative not yours or WUWT’s.

        “Your arrogance, your ignorance and your abusiveness have earned my contempt, and my only regret is that I lack sufficient language to express the degree of my contempt for you and your behaviour.”

        Just one thing there Richard:
        I was following your lead my friend. You rebut the science and therefor do not properly investigate what it is saying – that is bias confirmation. I always know that it is futile talking to denizens on here but, well you know – it’s sometimes “revealing”. And one day it may be possible for them to realise that by merely sticking politely to science that one is not being abusive – and then get the above in as a 360 twist in things.

        No, the NEUTRALS (where are the attack-dogs?) on here will plainly see on reading our thread that it is you that have bristled and been contemptuous of me and I have merely called you out for it.
        It is the response of someone who has his perceived authority challenged.

        Oh, and by the way – I have been studying climate science for ~45 years, since I before I joined the UKMO.
        And as I said up-thread. I’ve forgotten more than you know.
        That was MEANT to be insulting BTW.

        TA tA and see you on another thread.

        Tony

      • Toneb:

        You provide another set of rambling excuses for your arrogant nonsense based on your copying to here soundbites you don’t understand. I am not surprised that you end it saying

        TA tA and see you on another thread.

        Anybody would run after the trouncing you have been given mostly by yourself.

        For example, you write to me

        Oh, and by the way – I have been studying climate science for ~45 years, since I before I joined the UKMO.
        And as I said up-thread. I’ve forgotten more than you know.
        That was MEANT to be insulting BTW.

        Well, that makes some sort of sense; i.e. you are claiming the reason you have misunderstood everything you have copied to here is that you have forgotten everything you once knew about climate.

        And I don’t think ~45 years sweeping floors at Bracknell and Exeter means much.
        That was MEANT to be flattering BTW.

        And having claimed you once did know something about climate you display unwillingness to now learn when you write

        It’s simple – anthro CO2 is overloading the biosphere. It cannot be easily picked out at a global resolution as it is just 3% of the total – but zoom in (provided) and you can. Further isotopic analysis shows that fossil produced carbon is increasing ALONG with the total.

        Yes, your untrue assertions are “simple”.
        1.
        The hypothesis that “anthro CO2 is overloading the biosphere” may be correct but – as I have explained to you – there are other hypotheses which better match observations.
        2.
        I – not you – first said in this thread that natural emission is ~97% of total when I wrote

        This is not surprising because anthropogenic CO2 emission is less than 3% of total CO2 emission. Such a small variation is a trivial variation.

        3.
        Contrary to your unsubstantiated and untrue assertion, the anthropogenic CO2 emission cannot be discerned in the OCO-2 data as anybody can see with a glance at the OCO-2 plots. Indeed, you agreed it could not to emsnews when he pointed it out it could not be discerned. Indeed, this is not surprising when anthropogenic CO2 emission is a trivially small alteration to the total.
        4.
        Your assertion that “isotopic analysis shows that fossil produced carbon is increasing ALONG with the total” is weasel words. Yes, both are increasing but not in agreement with an assertion that this is evidence for the anthropogenic CO2 emission causing the rise in atmospheric CO2. Only your refusal to learn what you claim to have forgotten would have enabled your weasel words when I had pointed out to you

        The C12:C13 ratio change is in the direction expected by accumulation of anthropogenic CO2 but its magnitude is wrong by a factor of 3. Thus the direct indication of the isotope change is that the rise of atmospheric CO2 concentration is mostly or all natural (n.b. NOT anthropogenic).
        Indeed, in the graph of Mauna Loa data you present, the magnitude of the ‘seasonal variation’ in the C13 is only explicable by it being mostly from natural sources because there is insufficient emission from human sources.

        However, these direct indications of the isotope ratio changes may be misleading because the indications may have been affected by ‘dilution’. Therefore, the most that can be said of the isotope ratio data is that it is not sufficient to disprove an anthropogenic cause of the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

        That paragraph of yours does not contain all your falsehoods because your diatribe is riddled with them. Indeed, you seem to enjoy spouting deliberate falsehoods. For example, E&E is both a peer reviewed journal and is highly respectable: is your problem that E&E rejected something you submitted for publication perhaps because you had forgotten something important?

        I could go on but there is no point. You have done more than enough to discredit yourself, and I have written enough to show that you are a contemptible, anonymous popup who posts ridiculous nonsense that he/she/they/it lacks enough knowledge to understand.

        Richard

    • Wow. Those factories and huge cities in the Amazon Jungle and on game reserves in Africa are pumping out lots of CO2! :)

      • emsnews:

        I understand and agree the point you are making.

        However, for benefit of newcomers to the information I think it right to point out that you are commenting on data from one month and your point is more validly made by consideration of the annual OCO-2 data.

        Richard

      • “Wow. Those factories and huge cities in the Amazon Jungle and on game reserves in Africa are pumping out lots of CO2! :)”

        Yes they do – and it’s a well known fact that ~97% of CO2 entering/leaving the atmosphere is natural.
        If you do – why would you think otherwise?

      • Toneb:

        Yes “it’s a well known fact that ~97% of CO2 entering/leaving the atmosphere is natural”. But, as is every “well known fact”which you collect from climate porn sites, that is not relevant.

        The scientific observation from the OCO-2 plot is that anthropogenic emissions of CO2 are NOT overloading the sinks for CO2.

        This is also indicated by other scientific evidence. Indeed, you posted one of these additional pieces of evidence that anthropogenic emissions of CO2 are NOT overloading the sinks for CO2 when you plotted MLO data for seasonal variation and annual declines of C13 ratio.

        I explained to you that the direct indication of the isotope data you posted is that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is mostly or entirely natural, but the possibility of ‘dilution’ meant the direct indication is not certain: you replied by blathering that I was “arm waving” (i.e. you replied with yet another indication that you don’t understand the stuff you gather from climate porn sites).

        Richard

      • Toneb:

        Yes “it’s a well known fact that ~97% of CO2 entering/leaving the atmosphere is natural”. But, as is every “well known fact” which you collect from climate porn sites, that is not relevant.

        The scientific observation from the OCO-2 plot is that anthropogenic emissions of CO2 are NOT overloading the sinks for CO2.

        I explained this to you but you replied by waffling nonsense about “meteorology” dispersing anthropogenic but not natural CO2.

        This indication of OCO-2 is also indicated by other scientific evidence. Indeed, you posted one of these additional pieces of evidence that anthropogenic emissions of CO2 are NOT overloading the sinks for CO2 when you plotted MLO data for seasonal variation and annual declines of C13 ratio.

        I explained to you that the direct indication of the isotope data you posted is that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is mostly or entirely natural, but the possibility of ‘dilution’ meant the direct indication is not certain: you replied by blathering that I was “arm waving” (i.e. you replied with yet another indication that you don’t understand the stuff you gather from climate porn sites).

        Richard

  25. I remember a trick we used to play at parties. a number of matches were placed on a table in changing configurations. Onlookers were told that each combination represented a number and that “all the evidence was on the table”. The studious intellectual types would pour over it determined to crack the problem. The first to crack it was inevitably the girlfriend hanging on a shoulder or a Mum washing the dishes. Change the pile and ‘bang’ they had the answer immediately. Meantime the scientists would get increasingly frustrated and even angry. The truth was that the convener was placing x number of fingers on the table that equaled the answer and even hammering them down repeating ” the answer is on the table!”.

    So many scientists get besotted with their own field and never stand back to define the big picture. Start with the big picture and define what is important. I struck it at university when interpreting seismic profiles in relation to sequence stratigraphy. Too many students had their nose on the map whilst the important patterns could only be seen by standing back to allow the dominating profiles to emerge. All the rest was just noise and useless

  26. “There is little doubt that the variation in atmospheric water vapor and the error in the estimates alone exceeds the 2.29 W m-2 attributed to human CO2. It is also true for most variables, especially those omitted by the IPCC.”

    As far as I understand the net anthropogenic radiative forcing 2.29 W m-2 isn´t the net value. One has to take into account an increase in outgoing radiation inferred from changes in the global mean surface temperature. (See: UN IPCC; WGI; AR5; TFE.4, Figure 1; Page 67.)

    I believe that the net effect is in the neighborhood of 0.5 to 1 W m-2. Based on the reported warming of the oceans from 0 – 2000 m from 2005 to 2015 I estimated the outgoing radiation to be 1.7 W m-2 and the net effect from anthropogenic forcing to be 0.6 W m-2. (IPCC seems to have all bets covered.) Full post here:

    IPCC would be spot on for any ocean warming!

    A current net effect from anthropogenic forcing around 0.6 W m-2 opens up for many alternative hypothesis.

    One amazing thing I discovered is that the net effect I found (0.6 W m-2) is exactly the same size as the cloud feed-back parameter. (IPCC reports that the surface temperature is 0.85 DegC above preindustrial times – hence the cloud feedback parameter in this figure will have to be multiplied with 0.85 DegC to find the current cloud feedback parameter.)

    Figure 7.10 | Cloud feedback parameters as predicted by GCMs for responses to CO2 increase including rapid adjustments. Total feedback shown at left, with centre light- shaded section showing components attributable to clouds in specific height ranges (see Section 7.2.1.1), and right dark-shaded panel those attributable to specific cloud property changes where available. The net feedback parameters are broken down in their longwave (LW) and shortwave (SW) components. Type attribution reported for CMIP3 does not conform exactly to the definition used in the Cloud Feedback Model Intercomparison Project (CFMIP) but is shown for comparison, with their ‘mixed’ category assigned to middle cloud.

    Ref: UN IPCC; AR5; WGI; Page 588.

    • It turns out that my estimate ( 0.63 W/m² to be precise) is corroborated by an estimate I just found in Wikipedia. (Not bad for an amateur):
      Earth’s energy budget

      Earth’s energy imbalance
      If the incoming energy flux is not equal to the outgoing thermal radiation, the result is an energy imbalance, resulting in net heat added to or lost by the planet (if the incoming flux is larger or smaller than the outgoing). Earth’s energy imbalance measurements provided by Argo floats detected accumulation of ocean heat content (OHC). The estimated imbalance was measured during a deep solar minimum of 2005-2010 at 0.58 ± 0.15 W/m².[11] Later research estimated the surface energy imbalance to be 0.60 ± 0.17 W/m².[12] ”

      This seems to support that the “energy imbalance” is currently around 0.6 W/m² and not 2.29 W/m².
      (There might still be correlated errors).

  27. Also Dr Ball:

    “The temperature range in this period is approximately 3.75°C (28.75 to 32.5°C) but is above the current annual average global temperature for most of the 10,000 years. Just put the approximately 120-years of instrumental record in any segment of the graph and you see how it is cooler than most of the period and well within natural variability.”

    This refers to Fig 3

    That graph ends in 1855 (before modern warming).

    Easterbooks graph (which this is – from Richard Allen) has the present wrongly labeled as 2000 – it is actually 1950 and “Years before present” ends at -95. This when the first usable layer of that core sample starts at.
    The top layers (after 1855) are not usable because there has not been enough time for the snow to become ice.
    1950 is the convention for present as after then nuclear bomb carbon corrupts data.

    For confirmation of the above and further explanation see this post by Richard C (NZ) January 26, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    At:
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/24/easterbrook-on-the-magnitude-of-greenland-gisp2-ice-core-data/

    Further this specific incorrectly labeled/interpreted graph is the subject of this article:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/13/crowdsourcing-the-wuwt-paleoclimate-reference-page-disputed-graphs-alley-2000/

    • On the contrary, we know that the polar ice on Mars has changed over time, growing bigger and smaller depending on solar energy output melting or not melting the ice there. This is why it is so frustrating watching people debate this or that while claiming the sun isn’t the major driver of all climate.

  28. The climate system is nonlinear. Use of the term and concept “forcing” assumes linearity. Any discussion of climate centred around “forcing” has failed before it even starts.

    What signature in a time-inclusive phase space do chaotic systems leave? Yes – a fractal pattern. A fractal pattern is the same on all time scales. So the sampling period is not so important. If it looks different, tweak the gain or amplitude and it will look the same.

  29. Dr Ball, ( or anyone for that matter that can help me out), this maybe of topic. You think that this sample in your article is a wart on a skin. I am just wondering how they can find proof with this following kind of nonsense:
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-35499520.

    Personally I have always been under the impression that tectonic plate movement over the past 3-5 million years and a cooling event even 14 million years ago prior to that would have wiped out anything in Australia by now? Am I wrong ? If so I need to be pointed in the right direction, Thanks.( and btw the paragraph towards the end in the article said this) :

    “Some people have assumed it was a steady shift toward the ice ages, but the early Pliocene represents a mysterious reversal in this global movement. All of a sudden there was a moment when it was brilliant. The trees blossomed and spread, the possums smiled, and it was a wonderful time.

    For a second I thought they were going to say “unicorns”.instead of possums.

  30. The instrument record covers 25% of the globe, but less than 1/4th of that is covered anywhere close to adequately.

  31. Earth’s surface is 197 million square miles.

    For surface measurements of the “accuracy” claimed by NOAA (+/-0.1 degrees C.), I believe you would need at least 1.97 million sensors, each one more accurate than sensors in use today.

  32. Good question! Currently the sample size (the count of the sampling units underlying the modern theory of global warming) is nil. For a non-nil sample size climatologists and policy makers must make decisions that they have not yet made. Currently climatologists are unaware of the need for a non-nil sample size if global warming outcomes are to be predicted thus they feel under no pressure to make these decisions.

    Experience with construction of mid- to long-range weather forecasting models suggests that the minimum sample size for statistically significant predictions would be about 150. That the sample size is nil is not a problem for present day climate models as they do not make predictions. That they do not make them has the consequence that the climate system cannot be controlled. Being unaware of this important fact, politicians persist in attempts at control.

Comments are closed.