Global warming fails the random natural variation contest

Example of eight random walks in one dimension starting at 0. The plot shows the current position on the line (vertical axis) versus the time steps (horizontal axis). Image: Wikimedia

Example of eight random walks in one dimension starting at 0. The plot shows the current position on the line (vertical axis) versus the time steps (horizontal axis). Image: Wikimedia

Previously on WUWT, I covered this contest. At that time, Doug J. Keenan stated:

There have been many claims of observational evidence for global-warming alarmism. I have argued that all such claims rely on invalid statistical analyses. Some people, though, have asserted that the analyses are valid. Those people assert, in particular, that they can determine, via statistical analysis, whether global temperatures are increasing more that would be reasonably expected by random natural variation. Those people do not present any counter to my argument, but they make their assertions anyway.

In response to that, I am sponsoring a contest: the prize is $100 000. In essence, the prize will be awarded to anyone who can demonstrate, via statistical analysis, that the increase in global temperatures is probably not due to random natural variation.

Doug J. Keenan writes today:

In November 2015, I launched a Contest, with a $100,000 prize: to spot trends in time series—series that were similar to the global temperature series. You blogged about it: “Spot the trend: $100,000 USD prize to show climate & temperature data is not random“.

The Contest has now ended. The Solution and some Remarks have been posted. Briefly, no one came close to winning. Some of the people who entered the Contest are well known researchers.

Many people have claimed that the increase in global temperatures (since 1880) can be shown, statistically, to be more than just random noise. Such claims are wrong, as the Contest has effectively demonstrated. From the perspective of statistics, the increase in temperatures might well be random natural variation.

From his blog: http://www.informath.org/Contest1000.htm

18 August 2016
A paper by Lovejoy et al. was published in Geophysical Research Letters. The paper is about the Contest.

The paper is based on the assertion that the Contest “used a stochastic model with some realism”; the paper then argues that the Contest model has inadequate realism. The paper provides no evidence that I have claimed that the Contest model has adequate realism; indeed, I do not make such a claim. Moreover, my critique of the IPCC statistical analyses (discussed above) argues that no one can choose a model with adequate realism. Thus, the basis for the paper is invalid. I pointed that out to lead author of the paper, Shaun Lovejoy, but Lovejoy published the paper anyway.

When doing statistical analysis, the first step is to choose a model of the process that generated the data. The IPCC did indeed choose a model. I have only claimed that the model used in the Contest is more realistic than the model chosen by the IPCC. Thus, if the Contest model is unrealistic (as it is), then the IPCC model is even more unrealistic. Hence, the IPCC model should not be used. Ergo, the statistical analyses in the IPCC Assessment Report are untenable, as the critique argues.

For an illustration, consider the following. Lovejoy et al. assert that the Contest model implies a typical temperature change of 4 °C every 6400 years—which is too large to be realistic. Yet the IPCC model implies a temperature change of about 41 °C every 6400 years. (To confirm this, see Section 8 of the critique and note that 0.85×6400/133 = 41.) Thus, the IPCC model is far more unrealistic than the Contest model, according to the test advocated by Lovejoy et al. Hence, if the test advocated by Lovejoy et al. were adopted, then the IPCC statistical analyses are untenable.

I expect to have more to say about this in the future.

01 December 2016
Regarding the 1000 series that were generated with the weak PRNG (prior to 22 November 2015), the ANSWER, the PROGRAM (Maple worksheet), and the function to produce the file Answers1000.txt (with the random seed being the seventh perfect number minus one) are now available.


Cowpertwait P.S.P., Metcalfe A.V. (2009), Introductory Time Series with R(Springer). [The analysis of Southern Hemisphere temperatures is in §7.4.6.]

Shumway R.H., Stoffer D.S. (2011), Time Series Analysis and Its Applications(Springer). [Example 2.5 considers the annual changes in global temperatures and argues that the average of those changes is not significantly different from zero; set Problem 5.3 elaborates on that.]

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346 thoughts on “Global warming fails the random natural variation contest

  1. Very well done Doug J Keenan. May this dramatic wager, and the results of it serve to improve statistical awareness on all sides of the CO2 discussions, from the panic-mongers to the calm reality-based ones. Much good could come from this.

    • If Trump were to bet $100 million against future alarming temperature & sea level rises, that would have quite an impact on public consciousness.

      • It would indeed. The Democrats would say that it shows his instability, unfitness, and desert of impeachment. Yes, that is what they say anyway. And the first two-thirds is true, the last will be true. But that’s all the effect it would have. It wouldn’t convince anyone of anything.

      • OTC, people are impressed when someone puts his money where his mouth is. And they are scornful when his opponents shrink from rising to his challenge to make a bet.

      • Lots of people have made such a bet, and in totality the sums are much greater than $100 million. Anyone buying, building, or owning land over much of our coasts have essentially made the bet you advocate.

        Prices for coastal property are certainly not going down, therefore we know not only that they have placed such a bet, but that they are winning it. And one of the people who made this bet is none other than Al Gore.

      • But warmists attribute buying coastal property to ignorance, short-term thinking, or relying on the government to bail them out. So such purchases pose no challenge to warmists’ attribution of climate dissenters’ motives to ignorance, bias, greediness, and/or malice.

        Only a large bet-challenge will impress the public by establishing, at a minimum, a dissenter’s good faith. Only a bet-challenge will make some members of the public think, “Hmm, maybe there are two sides to this issue. Do alarmists really believe what they’re saying, or are they just woofin’?”

    • Why would one label a walk as ” random ” when only one crosstrack velocity is allowed ??

      Surely a random walk would allow the walker to walk in any direction at any speed.

      Well a random walk in a real universe would permit that.

      G

      • Does he really have to specify in his graph that time remains constant? Does time move forward and backward in a random manner in george e. smith’s “real” universe?

      • I don’t see how your inferences arise. The purported ” one dimensional ” random walk appears to be aimed at competing with a horizontal straight line path in arbitrary incremental steps.
        But this walker ALWAYS drifts cross track, and only at one of two angles, either up or down.

        I didn’t introduce any negative time regime.

        Brownian Motion is a real three dimensional random walk phenomenon, with the discontinuities being caused by random collisions. The particles can go in any direction at any collision point. No time reversal is required.

        G

      • george e. smith December 8, 2016 at 2:40 pm

        I don’t see how your inferences arise.

        The article is talking about the evolution of temperatures. In that regard, time moves in only one direction.

        You, on the other hand, talk about Brownian motion. To me that refers to how molecules bounce around.

      • What other directions do you want temperature to move, other than up or down?

        Left and right perhaps?

        Random walks are common in stock market analysis and do the same thing, because a stock can only go up or down, it cannot go er…Smith or non-Smith , or whatever other dimension you think there is

      • Well Commie Bob, your grasp of English is very good.

        I described Brownian Motion as particles in collisions.

        And it seems that you understood what I said.

        That’s great !

        g

      • “””””….. Example of eight random walks in one dimension starting at 0. The plot shows the current position on the line (vertical axis) versus the time steps (horizontal axis). Image: Wikimedia …..”””””

        @ Tim Hammond; please see the above titled graph at the head of this thread. It seems to be the ONLY graph and is the specific subject of this thread.

        Notice that the ” walks ” in the graph only go UP or DOWN exactly as does your stock market usage of random walks.

        Now notice a peculiarity of the above titled graph; something which YOUR stock market does NOT emulate.

        That peculiarity is that this graph has walk steps that ONLY go up or down at ONE CONSTANT RATE, as evidenced by the equal up and down angles of the steps.

        That TIM is what I was referring to that WOULD NOT be the case for a random walk, and it certainly is NOT the case for your stock market rises and falls.

        In one aspect, your stock market random walks are exactly analogous to climatic Temperatures.

        Neither one of them ever goes below zero., but there is no real limit on the upside.

        G

      • “random walk” is a technical term in statistics/probability theory. Its origin is a letter from Karl Pearson in Nature, 1905: http://www.e-m-h.org/Pear05.pdf . In that letter, it refers to a walker who takes FIXED SIZE STEPS, turning at random angles. The particular series here fit squarely into the category of lattice random walks. In short, these really ARE random walks but they are not the ONLY KIND of random walk.

      • George,
        The random walk as usually defined makes sense to me. With a fixed walking step distance, random distance in the direction at right angles and with each new step starring at the location where the previous one ended. For example, with temperature each walking distance is one year (or one month or whatever). Making the time interval also random makes no sense to me.

    • the increase in global temperatures is probably not due to random natural variation.

      Willis meet Mock < the point of reason – this isn't the "point" it's all about logic.

      Willis,
      Take a step back and enjoy fishing – in the fun one discovers single cell organisms who feed the "fish".

  2. “The Contest has now ended. The Solution and some Remarks have been posted. Briefly, no one came close to winning. Some of the people who entered the Contest are well known researchers.”

    And just who was the judge of not being “close to winning?
    May I ask.

      • In the natural world, absolutely nothing ever happens twice. Every event that happens is unique, and will never be repeated. Something else will happen. And it never happened before it happened either.

        So in the natural world there is nothing to do a statistical analysis of.

        Statistics is pure numerical origami. Simply playing games with already exactly known numbers. The rules of those games are quite specifically defined, and the results obtained are a property of those rules. The exact same rules can be applied to ANY finite set of finite real numbers, regardless of the origin of that set of numbers, and independent of any connection of any kind between any member (a) of the set, and any other member (b) of the set.

        The numbers themselves are of no consequence. The result is due to the rules of the particular algorithm applied.

        If you don’t like any of the existing recognized algorithms, you are free to define your own new algorithm according to your own rules. If other persons like your new game, they may adopt it, and add it to their statistics text book.

        The folding rules of origami have evolved over thousands of years. The rules of statistics, perhaps not so long.

        The real universe is unaware of any statistics, and pays no heed to any of it.

        G

      • George e, ….

        A beautiful statement to say the least.

        The real universe is unaware of any statistics, and pays no heed to any of it.

      • George I love ya, but

        In the natural world, absolutely nothing ever happens twice. Every event that happens is unique, and will never be repeated. Something else will happen. And it never happened before it happened either.

        In an infinite Universe (which we can not rule out), everything happens more than once.

      • micro6500 December 8, 2016 at 11:35 am

        “In an infinite Universe (which we can not rule out), everything happens more than once.”

        This is one of those fun claims but it is false. We are just guessing about the size of the universe. When people claim the universe is “Infinite,” “Unimaginably Large,” or “Effectively Infinite,” I’m sure they mean it is really big. However, really big is not the same as infinite. Besides, in a theoretical infinite universe, infinite diversity is at least as likely as infinite duplication. If the universe is not actually infinite then diversity without duplication is would likely still be in play.

      • To butcher another George’s (Shaw) treatment of this notion of a statistics sensitive universe; a brilliant turkey could demonstrate there’s no reason to be afraid of the farmer who approaches the barn on November 23rd ; )

      • So just tell me one thing; not a whole encyclopedia of things; just one thing that has happened twice. And cite your evidence that it was exactly the same event that happened both times.

        G

      • George
        This

        Not exactly the same. Superfically, your comments have different numeric identifiers in the wordpress database, and use different bits, likely different sectors, on the disk. They’re also in different positions on the screen.

        Fail.

      • george e. smith
        “The real universe is unaware of any statistics, and pays no heed to any of it.”

        well, that’s seems SO XIXth century … Are you time-traveling from this old time ? (which isn’t physically impossible, you know… the impossibility would be the reverse, us to go back to XIX century)

        Thermodynamics and Quantum theory are all about statistics, you know, and they DO work when nothing else does. Einstein couldn’t believe that God played dice … but for every purpose, as far as we can see, he does. The real universe is either a random number generator, or so good an imitation that every attempt to show otherwise miserably failed ; in either case that makes no difference to us.

      • As the almost last word on the subject of the physics and biology of the real universe not caring one (1) hoot about statistics (except as reference data/info), ……. it would sure be nice iffen more people who offer their opinion(s) on matters of science would do likewise.

      • Jeff

        But as proof that both George and Samuel are wrong I will say that something does happen more than twice in this universe in fact it happen hundreds if not thousand of times, I give you Griff spewing nonsense.

        Sorry Samuel now you will have to post again to get the last word, I apologize.

      • George

        A more serious question is quantum entanglement one event or two? If its two it might pass your test for something that happens twice.

      • The comments about everything or nothing repeating brought to mind an aspect of musical form. At its simplest, let’s take an ABA form, in which the second A is an exact restatement of the first A. In such a form, the sections are all different:

        The first A is preceded by nothing and followed by B.
        The B section is preceded by A and followed by A.
        The second A is preceded by B and followed by nothing.

        If you were to tune in as one of the A sections was playing, you wouldn’t know which A section you were hearing until it ended, but then you would know for certain, assuming you knew the piece.

        It is also possible for the performer to introduce slight differences in the A sections: one could be played louder, faster, or with a different touch (e.g., staccato) than the other; but again, you could not tell which A section you were hearing until it ended and was followed by B or by nothing.

        More complicated forms would exhibit the same sort of properties. Also, exact restatements are less common in real music than are varied restatements. (I did not use the several verses of a hymn as example because the verses have different words, so they are not the same.)

      • “Sorry, Toneb–there’s no “Participation Trophy” awarded to any of the participants.”

        That wasn’t what Toneb asked. He asked what the criteria was for a winning entry.

      • No, I asked for a name.
        The name of the judge of “not even close”
        That name wouldn’t happen to be Doug J. Keenan. Would it?

      • So it was easy to presume who the judge of “not even close” was, and yet you have your panties all in a wad over not having the identity revealed?

      • ToneB: I have expertise in my particular field of engineering. I would be qualified to run a competition and judge it – given my level of expertise. I would take a guess that Mr Keenan is also suitably qualified to judge if an entrant to his contest was a winner or loser, and by what margin. As he understands statistics (perhaps he might be so bold as to admit to the worthlessness of statistics) then surely he is thus qualified to judge his OWN contest? Your point seems petulant.

      • “I would take a guess that Mr Keenan is also suitably qualified to judge if an entrant to his contest was a winner or loser, and by what margin. ”

        Err, so you’d take a bet with someone who was the sole judge of the outcome?

    • Toneb…..it’s a 100 thousand dollars
      Do you think if someone thought they had won…you wouldn’t hear about it?

      …God you’re lame

    • Toneb,

      A couple of articles ago (Trump’s EPA pick is causing green heads to explode) you said, “What I have is scientific knowledge and common-sense. Actually the latter is the most important. Demonstrated multiple times on every thread here.”

      In the comments section you explicitly implied that CO2 is the primary driver of the climate.

      Therefore, if you are what you say that you are, and you are so scientifically gifted, would you please tell me what the climate of the Earth would be like if there was no such thing as CO2?

      I’m not trolling you, this is an opportunity to show us all how brilliant you really are.

      If you “scientifically” know the degree to which CO2 effects the climate when it exists, you can surely tell me what the world would look like if it didn’t. It also means that you should be able to state with exact precision what the climate (i.e. Average Earth Temperature) would be at every increment of CO2 in the atmosphere. Can you do that? One mistake and you’re disqualified.

      I apologize in advance to all the contributors here at WWUT for the tone of my post, I assure you that my intentions are not so sinister.

      • Freedom:
        “In the comments section you explicitly implied that CO2 is the primary driver of the climate.”

        I said:
        That in the natural order of things the orbital characteristics of Earth are with feed-back from CO2/H2O following.
        In the case of AGW it IS CO2 that leads and T is following.
        That is the view of the consensus science as noted by the IPCC.
        It is not a surprise to me that that would be disputed here.

        “Therefore, if you are what you say that you are, and you are so scientifically gifted, would you please tell me what the climate of the Earth would be like if there was no such thing as CO2?”

        Oh heck.
        You make me blush! (sarc)
        I just happen to know the science.
        You know?
        Like maybe you do if in a scientific field.
        Or at least know your job …. better than I do for instance.

        Without CO2 and presuming no other NON-CONDENSING GHG’s

        Then the Earth would quite soon become an ice-ball with temps below it’s BB temp.
        (because of large albedo).
        It is only CO2 that can prevent that happening.
        The main GHG, water, condenses out when cooled.
        Land cools most rapidly.
        Land has least water penetrating into large masses (think Continents).
        In fact only around 10% of ocean evaporated water falls on land – 90% falls back into the oceans.
        So temps would fall away as H20 rain/snowed out in the NH winter (first due large land-mass area at high latitudes).
        Global temps would fall.
        Less WV evaporates.
        Less H2O GHE.
        Temps fall
        Less H2O GHE
        Feed-back loop.

        http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/la06400p.html

        “The climate system of the Earth is endowed with a moderately strong greenhouse effect that is characterized by non-condensing greenhouse gases (GHGs) that provide the core radiative forcing. Of these, the most important is atmospheric CO2. There is a strong feedback contribution to the greenhouse effect by water vapor and clouds that is unique in the solar system, exceeding the core radiative forcing due to the non-condensing GHGs by a factor of three. The significance of the non-condensing GHGs is that once they have been injected into the atmosphere, they remain there virtually indefinitely because they do not condense and precipitate from the atmosphere, their chemical removal time ranging from decades to millenia. Water vapor and clouds have only a short lifespan, with their distribution determined by the locally prevailing meteorological conditions, subject to Clausius-Clapeyron constraint. Although solar irradiance is the ultimate energy source that powers the terrestrial greenhouse effect, there has been no discernable long-term trend in solar irradiance since precide monitoring began in the late 1970s. This leaves atmospheric CO2 as the effective control knob driving the current global warming trend. Over geologic time scales, volcanoes are the principal source of atmospheric CO2, and the weathering of rocks is the principal sink, with the biosphere particpating as both a source and a sink. The problem at hand is that human indistrial activity is causing atmospheric CO2 to increase by 2 ppm/yr, whereas the interglacial rate has been 0.005 ppm/yr. This is a geologically unprecedented rate to turn the CO2 climate control knob. This is causing the global warming that threatens the global environment.”

        And from:
        http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2010/2010_Lacis_la09300d.pdf

        “Fig. 2. Time evolution of global surface temperature, top-of-atmosphere (TOA) net flux, column water vapor, planetary albedo, sea ice cover, and cloud cover, after zeroing out all the non-condensing greenhouse gases. The model used in the experiment is the GISS 2°´ 2.5° AR5 version of ModelE with the climatological (Q-flux) ocean energy transport and the 250 m mixed layer depth. The model initial conditions are for a pre-industrial atmosphere. Surface temperature and TOA net flux utilize the left-hand scale.”

      • Freedom Monger

        No need to apologize. All you’ve done is re-enforce what this blog is all about – people can state their opinions, but it’s fair for others to ask for documentation.

        Griff is a lovely snowflake that frequently wanders into the WUWT forest to argue, among other things, about Arctic sea ice. He even responds to challenges by posting inaccurate, misleading, or off-topic links. He NEVER addresses the fact that while Arctic ice may be misbehaving, global ice is not. Griff cannot deal with nature’s real numbers.

        ToneB is having the same issue in this thread.

      • Sorry it took so long to get back, I had to attend to other things.

        Okay….

        I am not a scientist, but I’m confident that I’m slightly above average with regard to my ability for scientific comprehension when compared to the general population.

        I am more of a “Jack of all trades, but Master of none” type of person.

        I do, however, have a degree of expertise in recognizing Religious Verbiage. Religious Verbosity consists of those statements which are based purely on Faith or Opinion.

        This statement from GISS is ABSOLUTE Religious Verbiage:

        “The problem at hand is that human indistrial activity is causing atmospheric CO2 to increase by 2 ppm/yr, whereas the interglacial rate has been 0.005 ppm/yr. This is a geologically unprecedented rate to turn the CO2 climate control knob. This is causing the global warming that threatens the global environment.”

        The statement that CO2 has been raising from 2 ppm/yr from 0.005 ppm/yr may be scientifically discernable, but the notion that a Warmer World is a Problem is purely a Religious Sentiment.

        Such a thing can only be said by one who possesses certain presuppositions and makes certain assumptions.

        1. It assumes that Pre-Industrial levels of CO2 are more desirable than they are now.
        2. It presumes that the activities of Mankind that effect the Environment are Unnatural, and therefore, Bad.

        I have to ask you, Toneb, is this YOUR Religion, YOUR Opinion, YOUR Presupposition, YOUR “Truth”?

        You do realize that is a Religious belief, don’t you?

        If this is your belief you’re not debating science, you’re debating religion.

      • Freedom: Just a nit, but you really need to learn the difference between “affect” and “effect”. Hint, they’re not the same.

      • Jeff Alberts,

        Thank you. I can see it, absolutely know the difference, sticks out to me like a sore thumb. Just a typo. At least I didn’t use “then” for “than”.

      • Freedom:
        “I have to ask you, Toneb, is this YOUR Religion, YOUR Opinion, YOUR Presupposition, YOUR “Truth”?

        You do realize that is a Religious belief, don’t you?”

        Err.
        Religion is is “belief” in something that has no proof, and what’s more that cannot be be proved.

        Science is the observation of things and the development of causality physics to explain those observations.
        If they don’t or someone comes along to explain it BETTER then the science moves on.
        Newton to Einstein FI.
        Science is competetive to boot and anyone finding said better explanation would damn well publish.

        But thanks for meeting my expectation of the usual here.
        And coming up with a considered response as you suggested to the science.

      • Toneb December 8, 2016 at 11:44 am
        you didn’t answer the question, Toneb
        It wasn’t about NO CO2 (meaning NO life in its current form, by the way …), it was about, say, 200 ppm CO2.
        Said otherwise : if you pretend to be able to predict your weight if you add a piece of sugar in your coffee, you surely can predict your weight without a piece of sugar, cannot you ?
        The fact is : it would be pretty hard for the effect of a piece of sugar on your weight (dieting would work far better and be far less controversial topic if we really knew), but it is utterly impossible about climate. “climatologists” are unable to predict natural climate, and moreover Lorenz was one of them, making climate things the archetypal chaos things, that is, unpredictable ! (*)
        To pretend that the effect of CO2 is known, is to pretend that the unpredictable can be predicted. And that’s nothing but being a science denier ; not just “climate science”, the deep mathematical core of Science.
        “I just happen to know the science.” No you don’t. You have no clue about it. (*)

        (*) actually weather, but you seem to make no difference between the two, so I use your word. Climate could be defined as strange attractor of weather, but this is not enough for a good prediction

      • Javert

        Both arctic and Antarctic sea ice are currently showing record lows…

        The Greenland ice cap continues its decline with its glaciers pushing ice to the sea at an accelerated rate for last 15 years

        world glaciers are in retreat at an accelerated rate

        the Antarctic is losing ice and the West Antarctic ice sheet is in an increasingly perilous state (and that’s not due to vulcanism)

        In short global ice is, as you put it, misbehaving.

        I concentrate on arctic sea ice because current changes are very unusual and worrying and a clear indicator of climate change having a observable physical effect and because current arctic events are largely completely ignored by the skeptic websites.

      • Toneb,

        You’re confused. I’m not talking about Science, I’m talking about your Religion.

        Let’s say for the sake of this discussion that I agree 100% with your science – you did not answer my question.

        I don’t care that the World is Warmer. I don’t give a damn, it’s NOT A PROBLEM.

        Your Religion is that a Warmer World is Evil.

        Your Faith is that a Warmer World is WRONG, BAD, NASTY, SINFUL.

        That’s what I’m talking about.

        PROBLEMS are SUBJECTIVE. There is no scientific criteria that says what is a problem to you is a problem to me.

        You need to understand that your VIEW that a Warmer World constitutes a problem for me or anyone else is merely your OPINION. The word “view” and the word “opinion” in this context are synonymous.

        Is that clear?

        Now back to my science question.

        Apparently my original question was too difficult, so I’ll simplify it.

        Since you claim to know exactly how much CO2 affects the climate, and exactly the role it has in the environment, you should be able to tell me what the Temperature (all other things being equal) would be for a given amount of CO2.

        You should be able to say, for example:

        At 200ppm CO2 the Temperature would be 22.321 degrees C
        At 205ppm CO2 the Temperature would be 22.548 degrees C
        At 400ppm CO2 the Temperature would be 25.896 degrees C

        If you cannot give me these amounts, it means your claim to know the effect of CO2 on the Climate is scientifically proven to be invalid.

        Can you show me a chart like this?

      • Griff said-
        “Both arctic and Antarctic sea ice are currently showing record lows.”

        You mean record lows for the satellite record…right? The 37 year record of sea ice. (1979-2016)

        Earths history is much longer than 37 years. Everything about Earth’s very, very long history indicates that it’s climate changes. Sometimes slowly, sometimes very quickly. In fact, in 2002, the National Research Council produced an extensive report proving that. I’m sure all of those changes had an “observable physical effect” on life on this planet, a fact that is largely ignored by the warmist websites. I’ve added a link. Bolded words mine.

        https://www.nap.edu/catalog/10136/abrupt-climate-change-inevitable-surprises

        Description:
        “The climate record for the past 100,000 years clearly indicates that the climate system has undergone periodic–and often extreme–shifts, sometimes in as little as a decade or less. The causes of abrupt climate changes have not been clearly established, but the triggering of events is likely to be the result of multiple natural processes.”

    • A salutary lesson to us all. Never enter a competition when the prize offered, is awarded by the sole judge running the competition.

      Seriously, what could we expect? That prize will never be claimed as no evidence will ever be good enough because the guy offering it is only intent on making the point that no one can win the prize.

      If I had a spare £100K I would offer him double or quits on him proving, empirically, that atmospheric CO2 causes global temperature rise.

      • HotScot-

        The point he was making was to everyone who constantly declares that it has been, or can be, proven by statistical analysis that the current warming can ONLY be man made, and is therefore CANNOT be due to natural variability.

        It doesn’t matter if there was a sole judge, or 200 judges, the point is that it has not been proven, nor can be proven, by statistical analysis. And he made that point by offering 100,000 to ANYONE who could prove him wrong.

        I think you SHOULD offer a contest in which you offer double or quits to anyone that can prove empirically that atmospheric CO2 is causing the current global temperature rise. You won’t actually NEED the “spare” money, because no one can win that prize either.

    • Toneb-

      The “judgement” criteria was stated in the contest announcement-which you’d have to actually do some clicking to locate.

      “A prize of $100 000 (one hundred thousand U.S. dollars) will be awarded to the first person, or group of people, who correctly identifies at least 900 series: i.e. which series were generated by a trendless process and which were generated by a trending process.”

      And from Keenan’s blog announcing the end of the contest-
      “Simply put, correctly identifying fewer than roughly 865 series can be reasonably done without using specialist techniques from the study of time series. Despite that, all entries to the Contest identified fewer than 865 series. Thus, none of the contestants demonstrated any skill with time series. That occurred even though some of the contestants have substantial professional experience analyzing time series. ”

      So, using logic, reason and available data, I conclude that identifying fewer than 865 series= “not even close to winning”.

  3. It would be nice if we could have a contest, or even a considered discussion between well informed people, as to the truth of Dr Patrick Moore’s statement, as follows

    “There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years. If there were such a proof it would be written down for all to see. No actual proof, as it is understood in science, exists.”

    Tony.

    • AR, here is a ‘proof’ of Moore’s statement. In the past 100 years, there have been two periods of warming. The ~1920-1945 period is statistically indistinguishable from ~1972-2000–an observation first made by Prof. lindzen of MIT. (It cooled in the intervening years and has not warmed since 2000 except for the now rapidly cooling 2015-16 El Nino blip.) IPCC AR4 WG1 SPM fig. 8.2 clearly says the former period was mostly natural; there simply was not sufficient change in CO2. It asserts that the latter period is mostly CO2. That is logically false, as natural variation did not cease in 1975. Therefore in the observational record there is NO evidence that CO2 is the dominant cause of warming, period.

      • Well, yes, I agree with you of course, and said as much at considerable length in a recent formal written (and verbal) presentation to a Select Committee of my local Provincial Legislature.

        They have just now reported that everything the IPCC says is gospel, so that means that the world is going to hell in a hand basket on Tuesday next, and who are you to be impudent enough to disagree?(!)

        The problem is that the assertion that man made Carbon Dioxide emissions are the sole and only cause of catastrophic global warming (which is certain to come Real Soon) is essentially evidence free. It’s faith, not discussible science.

        My particular Select Committee reported that

        “The science of climate change is clear. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s foremost authority on climate change, has projected that an increase in global temperatures of more than 2 degrees Celsius will result in irreversible and catastrophic impacts. The current level of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is expected to raise global temperatures by 3.5 ºC before the end of this century.”

        So now the Provincial Government is going to go “carbon neutral” in its own operations over the next decade or two, and the rest of us in the Province are going to have to be 90% carbon free with all possible speed, and bother the consequences. Somehow this is going to be net costless – perhaps we will learn to live on the export of fairy dust to our neighbours?

        Here is the address of the actual Report (PDF).

        http://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/env/pdf/Climate-Climatiques/TransitioningToALowCarbonEconomy.pdf

        Tony.

      • @ristvan: “That is logically false, as natural variation did not cease in 1975.”

        That is certainly true (and obvious). The part I have always had a problem with is this. The signal is the addition of manmade warming and natural variation. To really prove the manmade portion, you could simply determine what the natural variation would be without any manmade influence.

        This is never addressed. The natural variability is almost always expressed as the actual signal minus the “guessed” manmade portion. So there is no knowledge of natural variability used. It is “guessed” as well.

        Therefore, if you look at climate model projections from now well into the future, ask how they are handling the future natural variability. How do they know?

      • MPC, I agree the attribution problem is a difficult one. There are papers that address aspects of natural variation (Akasofu 2010 and Wyatt/Curry 2014 come to mind) but the pre sattellite data is sketchy and the post satellite era data insufficient even to determine what appears to be a ~60 year cycle in for example, the Arctic. It will be several decades more before that can be addressed with any rigor. Meanwhile, we have indications such as the one highlighted by my comment here. It does not conclusively prove anything except the climate models must be wrong because of the attribution problem baked into their unavoidable parameterization tuning.

      • there is NO evidence that CO2 is the dominant cause of warming
        ===============
        the conclusion to be drawn is even stronger:

        Absence of correlation necessarily implies absence of causation. Game over, logically speaking.

        Briggs and Monckton explain
        http://wmbriggs.com/post/10601/

      • “there is NO evidence that CO2 is the dominant cause of warming”

        I you say so Fred.

        Monckton?
        Really?
        Now I know he is verboten on here
        But…
        Have you ever looked into what our irascible Lord has said.
        In public?
        and
        Shown to be…
        Err, not *quite correct*.
        There are some excellent vids out there.
        By a man who is probably my age (62) and does some exploration of caves as a hobby.
        Do give em a lookie.

      • Firstly, you missed the word “dominant”. What that means is that it dominates all other effects.

        Secondly: “It cooled in the intervening years and has not warmed since 2000 except for the now rapidly cooling 2015-16 El Nino blip.”

        What you see here the evidence that CO2 is not dominant. It was clearly not sufficient to counter the other effects (“intervening years” and El Nino) despite the fact that CO2 levels have been monotonically increasing every year.

      • Toneb
        “But…
        Have you ever looked into what our irascible Lord has said.
        In public?
        and
        Shown to be…
        Err, not *quite correct*.
        There are some excellent vids out there.
        By a man who is probably my age (62) and does some exploration of caves as a hobby.
        Do give em a lookie.”

        Logical fallacies all you got today? That “our irascible Lord” may or may not have said hundreds of things that are “err, not quite correct” has zero bearing on whether or not what he said in the article Ferd linked to is true or not. Nor does his age or his hobbies.

        But buck up, it bodes well for you, considering some of the irascible things you have said. In public. That have been shown to be…Err, not *quite correct*.

      • Hive:
        Firstly, you missed the word “dominant”. What that means is that it dominates all other effects.
        It does.

        “Secondly: “It cooled in the intervening years and has not warmed since 2000 except for the now rapidly cooling 2015-16 El Nino blip.””
        Nope.
        We have had the 15 of warmest years on record during this century my friend.
        I don’t believe all those were EN years.
        And sorry, but the tropospheric sat temp record has been multiply *adjusted* and has not agreed with radiosonde data since 1998. Running too cold and not a surface measurement anyway.

        “What you see here the evidence that CO2 is not dominant. It was clearly not sufficient to counter the other effects (“intervening years” and El Nino) despite the fact that CO2 levels have been monotonically increasing every year.”

        It IS dominant in terms of the LONG-TERM TREND.

        The -ve/+ve PDO/ENSO years *should* cancel out.
        They don’t.
        Over a period that sees that the case then CO2 forcing dominates.

        Why would you expect the GMST’s to increase exactly in line with ppm CO2?

        Of course there is the *wiggle* of natural variation superimposed on the Anthro signal.
        No one is saying it isn’t. And on top of the ~7% of TSI that gets put into the atmosphere.
        93% of it gets put into he oceans.
        The OHC climbing.
        This all while the Sun has overall steadily weakened this last 50 years.

      • toneb how was the link between CO2 and temperature conclusively established as the control knob. Your explanations lack that detail and I have never seen that addressed.

      • “MPC, I agree the attribution problem is a difficult one.”

        Mainly because they keep averaging temperatures.

    • A. Ratliffe – You mean no cost like the fiasco in Ontario. Of course you can add BC, Alberta and a few others to the mix – polysci grads don’t do Science. That is clear.

      Unlike people who have suggested that the CAGW crowd could cause people to have to choose between food and heat/electricity — it has already happened in Ontario.

      http://globalnews.ca/news/3108792/hydro-one-review-1400-electricity-disconnections/

      Putting another log on the fire at 30C below this evening here in Sunny Alberta. Our Carbon Tax starts in January (hidden sales tax to regift to those who will re-elect this crowd).

  4. How would anyone ever know?
    Based on the temperature record that’s been so adjusted it no longer represents reality.

    • The warming in the surface record may be the result of a statistical artifact. The GHCN data base as I analyzed it around 2010, consists of more than thirteen thousand stations with data over several centuries. The majority is concentrated on NH but in the course of time the coverage became better.
      Station drop-out became considerable at the end of the twentieth century. At the end of 1969 station number was 9644. In the next thirty years 2918 new stations were included and 9434 were dropped, making the number 3128 at the end of 1999. End 2010 the total number was 1603.

      What is the most important characteristic determining the drop-out risk of a station during the great dying of the thermometers? The lower the correlation of its temperature time series with the time series of stations in the same latitude region, the higher the risk. This can be established at 25-sigma level making the effect pretty impressive. The most important consequence is a large reduction of the variance in the data base.

      If you want to estimate a global mean, its standard error depends on sample size and population variance. If you reduce sample size, you get a bigger standard error for the mean. If you could reduce the variance, the standard error may not increase very much. The temperature variance can be split into two sources (1) measurement error variance and (2) natural variance. With primitive thermometers and sloppy personnel you get more measurement error variance. However, this source dwarfs with respect to natural variance. In the same latitude region we have cities versus country-side, the east and west-side of a mountain range, places at the shores versus inlands, etc. We cannot reduce natural variance on earth. If we would do this in the sample, it cannot be representative anymore. The trick also occurs in the related case of significance testing. If you want to make an effect significant at alpha percent level, you have to drop some outliers, making the variance less. This has become a malpractice in our literature.

      What is a consequence of the trick? We may think that mean and variance are independent but they only are in symmetrical distributions like the Gaussian. Let the mean temperature on earth be 15 degrees Celsius. On some places like the Antarctic and Siberia we encounter values like minus 70. That is 85 points below the mean. In a symmetrical distribution we should have as many places with 85 above the mean, or 100 Celsius, which is not the case. Therefore, the spatial distribution is skewed with dependent variance and mean: if you manipulate the variance you also manipulate the mean. With a long left tail, decreasing variance implies an increasing mean (compare the binomial with mean np and variance np(1-p) and p exceeding .5).

      In the latter part of the twentieth century the surface record became more and more artificial with decreasing variance. In the same time the mean increased. The best explanation is an artifact caused by variance reduction in a skewed distribution.

      • “However, this source dwarfs with respect to natural variance. In the same latitude region we have cities versus country-side, the east and west-side of a mountain range, places at the shores versus inlands, etc. We cannot reduce natural variance on earth.”

        Those things are variance in absolute temperature, which is why no sensible person tries to average that. They are not variance in anomaly. The point is that the variation you describe is present in the local climatology, and we can, and must, subtract it out.

      • Those things are variance in absolute temperature, which is why no sensible person tries to average that. They are not variance in anomaly.
        ================
        The anomaly is an artificial construct. No sensible person actually lives in that world.

        Statistically, there is a case to be made that calculating the variance from the anomaly will tend to understate the actual variability. The Pause coupled with record CO2 production was strong evidence that the IPCC conclusion that natural variability was low, as calculated from the anomaly, was in fact a statistical mistake.

      • ” we can, and must, subtract it out.” Do you mean a simple algebraic manipulation as we have in the model of variance analysis? In that model we utilize deviation scores that may be the anomalies you are talking about. I was talking about dropping of thousands of outlier-stations.

      • “I was talking about dropping of thousands of outlier-stations.”
        The point is that taking anomaly largely restores the homogeneity of the population, and makes sampling much less critical. The dropped stations are not much different in anomaly to the others kept as representative. And yes, it is similar to what is done in ANOVA and many statistical analyses.

      • “Taking anomaly largely restores the homogeneity of the population”. The population is not homogeneous and therefore there is nothing to be restored. The sample is made homogeneous by removing outliers. Therefore, the sample does not represent the population any more.

        “The dropped stations are not much different in anomaly to the others kept as representative”. No, they are, as I have explained. If the time series of a station correlates low with the time series of regional means, it is (pattern of ups and downs) because a correlation is insensitive to absolute or deviation scores.

        By dropping outliers, we reduce natural variance. Because temperature distributions over space are skewed, the variance reduction makes the global mean to increase. Even statisticians may have missed this simple point, not realizing what happens in skewed distributions. The surface station record is IMO a sample with fake variance and fake means. This easily explains the divergence from the satellite record in the last episode of the twentieth century as well as tree ring proxies.

        If you want a demonstration, take the big surface record till 1970. Compute global means with an ANOVA method. Next, compute for each station the correlation of its time series with its regional time series. The lower this correlation, the more the station is an (regional) outlier. Drop for the period 1950-1955 twenty percent of the most extreme outliers and repeat this for 1955-1960, 1960-1965, 1965-1970. Do you think the global means in the manipulated record over 1955-1970 will be the same as the original? If it does, I will withdraw my comment.

      • “Compute global means with an ANOVA method. Next, compute for each station the correlation of its time series with its regional time series.”
        I do compute global means by least squares fitting of a model which includes global variation. And I draw maps of the rdsiduals (anomalies) for each month here. You can see that there is a lot of spatial correlation. There are also outliers – these often do correspond to something going wrong, usually for a brief time. Sustained aberratioin is rarer, and probably should result in suspending the station. GHCN does flag major deviations.

      • Temperature is an Intensive Property of that particular location. Averaging that with temp readings from other points is a no-no. It’s physically meaningless.

      • Temperature is an Intensive Property of that particular location. Averaging that with temp readings from other points is a no-no. It’s physically meaningless.

        Ah, perfect.

        What about if you convert the temp into a flux first? then do the averaging, and then convert it back?

    • I don’t, and I don’t think much of his opinion, where he, and only he, can be right.

      He’s also irrational, saying once that I should “go die in a fire” for expressing an opinion he didn’t like.

      I’m sure he’ll show up here again trying to tell us how right he is about everything, including his opinion about my demise and why he chose to publish my email, even though I gave him explicit directions that he did not have my permission.

      If somebody else who isn’t Brandon, and who isn’t on one side or the other of the AGW issue, i.e. a neutral party can demonstrate that “fraud” was committed by Keenan, I’ll listen. Otherwise I just consider Brandon a noisy self important persona non-grata.

      • Tarran:

        “Hey, I understand how frustrating Brandon can be, especially when he uses his intelligence to generate some pretty infuriating and crazy justifications to some of his more emotionally arrived at judgments”

        Brandon doesn’t have judgments for or against anything he just plays games with the facts and try’s to twist you in knots, I have had arguments with him here where I just play around with him and get him to advocate for both sides of the argument which he does with equal easy never realizing he is doing it. Don’t be fooled by his “intelligence” he is a astute manipulator that is about all.

      • Tarran, the “hole” is that the contest really could be won, if the entrant could convincingly separate a “natural” signal from an “anthropegenic” one. You can do that with isotope compositions and argue that we really have altered the Carbon isotope balances, but when you look at estimates of global temperature changes, you must among other things show that the changes before about 1950 and those afterward are structurally different to argue a convincing causal attribution to a new agent. No studies to date have been able to do this. The AGW argument is that there is a correlation between the two changes – isotope and temperature. But correlation is not the same as causality and simply pointing to a laboratory result (CO2 really does absorb LWIR) and saying “there’s” the cause is falsified by geological data and the “law” of uniformity. In essence, if CO2 does something now, it must have done it in the past under similar conditions. Since in the past CO2 has reached levels of something like 26 times the present, then any prediction made about the future based on a predicted future state of CO2, must have happened previously under similar conditions. CAGW for example is thus demonstrably wrong. In the milder case of limited AGW with no “C”, since no one has been able to separate the temperature signal properties into pre- and post-AGW based on objective attributes, it would seem that such attributes do not exist, Ergo, the hole through which one can drive a Mack truck is quite real.

      • “…show that the changes before about 1950 and those afterward are structurally different…”

        I agree with the thrust of this statement, but would argue that the year 1950 is much too late. Humans started to put significant amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere around 1900 and that makes a much better year to use as a baseline. Before then it is essentially zero; after, it increases exponentially. Therefore if CO2 is the dominant factor in temperature, it ought to be quite easy to show an exponential increase in temperature after 1900.

        Oh, and using real data, not the “homogenised” crap the BOM and NOAA shovel at us.

      • , and using real data, not the “homogenised” crap the BOM and NOAA shovel at us.

        Depends on the criteria.
        Global is about the same, but this is US, all stations 1980-2015 365 samples per year, and 360 samples per station/per Adds about 15 million records.


        Since 1950

        No homogenization, no infilling.
        And I have a solution for averaging temps, but these do not yet employ the method.

      • Tarran, I had to fo back to Keenan’s original challenge, the revised PRNG data sets, and BS’s part one (I sid not bother with part 2. BS complains in part about three things: how to enter the contest (claiming it is a fraud), the stronger PRNG generator (which Keenan clearly explained), and N=135. In reverse order, n was plainly set to years, BS whinged about months. Immaterial; the challenge was to separate PRNG strings from those strings with a +1 or -1 trend added (over n=135, so less than delta 0.01 per ‘year’). It is true that PRNG are truly pseudo and some methods are better than others. So he redid the challenge early on to remove the possibility of exploiting PRNG quirks in the first one. I recall learning the applied math of PRNGs in college as part of a graduate level econometrics course; the concern is perfectly reasonable and not part of perpetuating a ‘fraud’. BS graphing the differences simply shows IMO that the first PRNG was indead weaker than the second. Finally, BS complained about the original announcement, which omitted the submission adress information and was quickly corrected. Just off base.

        I note in passing that many commenters here criticized the random walk (the post illustration). Legitimate critique about the wrong thing, since that is not what Keenan did. PRNG return a deliberately constrained number between zero and one (because P(x) must lie on that interval). His random strings were just a sequence of n=1-135 of these. A random walk adds the next one to the previous sum and can obviously become unconstrained. His strings with trend simply either added or substracted 1/135*nth to the nth PRNG, then normalized back to the interval 0-1. (Had to, else going above/below 0-1 is a dead giveaway to those series with trend added. Very clean, simple, and constrained. And nobody coild accurately sort 900 out of 1000 of these. That I find credible. The challenge task is really hard when n is ‘only’ 135. Most Monte Carlo simulations use N at least 1000 for similar reasons. Heck, we used to mistrust our ‘old’ PRNGs so much we would use n= 10000 sometimes. Led to some longish nights at the University computing center on the IBM 360s of the day. Not so fond memories.

        The only problem with the challenge I had was that most time series have some degree of autocorrelation, including climate records. Next years annual temperature anomaly will probably be more like this year than not. This causes a lot of headache statistically if not carefully considered. I think half of econometrics deals with two simple things: autocorrelation and heteroskedasticity. All of Keenan’s series are not autocorrelated by definition, so the challenge is not fully realistic to sorting AGW from random natural variation in GW. No matter, as cannot be done yet anyway for physical rather than statistical reasons posted in my reply to AR upthread.
        Sorry if this got a bit long and technical.

      • Anthony, no mea culpa necessary. You have much more important things to do than find an exact illustration for your Keenan’s challenge post. My point in that comment paragraph was simply that the negative RW commenters did not revisit what Keenan actually did before commenting–they just assumed stuff. I learned in law school, in decades of high level consulting, and then decades of venture investing (by the third career the lesson sinks in sort of) that you have to verify everything, or if you do not have the expertise, get some you trust to do so. Here, I had the personal expertise and it only took an extra hour total. Highest regards to an indefatiguable skeptic who has made a huge difference. I am almost retired and still could not do what you do.

      • Ristvan, the issue isn’t over changes of PRNG, but that Keenan changed the ARIMA model used to generate the sequences, making the contest more difficult. Brandon claims he could have won under the original contest(no details given), but not the changed version, and this had nothing to do with hacking the random number generator.

      • MN, we are deep in the weeds, and I expressly said did not pay attention to BS post 2. Did however say that BS post one plots showed rather conclusively that PRNG 1 was weaker ( less pseudorandom) than PRSG 2. So Keenan correcting a defective $100 k personal challenge is in my opinion admirable. It was his money. And the solution to the first set involved a defective PRNG, not his stats challenge. BS can whinge all he wants. He never posted a winning solution (or any solution) to the original defective challenge series, only assertions that he could have. He posts a solution to the firstset, I might reconsider some of what has just been said about him. I seriously doubt that will ever be necessary. And, for the record here, I invited BS to guest author one post over at CE. I had my reasons, and he accepted. Was done. Look it up there

    • You should have entered and won the $100,000, tarran–but only if you could provide convincing proof yourself.

      • You should have entered and won the $100,000, tarran–but only if you could provide convincing proof yourself.

        You’ve framed this wrong. There’s no way to provide a convincing proof to an absurd question.

        Keenan used a unphysical, overly-loose model for natural climate change, one that says that the Earth could be 0K or 500K in a few millennia… and with that as his completely absurd standard for “natural climate change”, it’s no surprise that no one could show that the recent change wasn’t natural. His definition for “natural climate change” is ridiculous.

        If his model were right, the Earth’s oceans would have boiled off long ago. Or maybe it’d be below absolute zero.

      • The argument is that this could have been done under the old contest, but not the new version, because of other changes not identified by Keenan that were unrelated to the random number generator.

      • Windchasers: wrong, that’s not what he demonstrated! This contest was purely an exercise in statistical analysis, demonstrating that “climate scientists” who claim to use statistical analysis are, in fact, unable to demonstrate what they say they are. The exercise itself only superficially bore any resemblance to climate.

      • Windchasers: wrong, that’s not what he demonstrated! This contest was purely an exercise in statistical analysis, demonstrating that “climate scientists” who claim to use statistical analysis are, in fact, unable to demonstrate what they say they are.

        If you want to distinguish between what’s natural vs manmade warming using statistics, you need a model for what natural variation looks like. Then, if the warming doesn’t fall within the range of natural variation under that model, you can say it’s manmade.

        Keenan used a very, very permissive model for natural variation, one that sets an unreasonably high bar for telling whether it’s manmade. And inherent in that unrealistic model is unrealistic physics, like saying that the Earth could warm or cool by amounts that are actually physically impossible.

        This is why Keenan’s test is nonsense. Why would scientists want to compare the real world to a model that they already know is wrong?

      • Windchaser-

        “Why would scientists want to compare the real world to a model that they already know is wrong?”

        Oh the irony that you said that without even realizing… I suspect that you just stated perfectly exactly what Keenan was going for! I propose you ask those “scientists” why they do indeed keep comparing the real world to models we already know are wrong!

      • “Why would scientists want to compare the real world to a model that they already know is wrong?”

        Because – right or wrong – that’s what they’re paid to do, of course.

        Even climate “scientists” have to earn a crust.

    • I do not understand, if Brandon thought he had a winning method, why did he not enter?
      I note that although the competition was open for a year, it stated that the first person to win would be announced immediately. I entered, and was told I failed by return email!
      Why did Brandon not enter the updated competition? Was the randomness too tough for him?
      Until we understand what controls the earth’s temperature, we must assume it’s randomness is equally tough to crack.

      • Well, statistically it would be possible to flip a coin one thousand times and have it come up heads every time. The odds of a thousand consecutive heads are astronomically remote, but it is within the realm of statistical possibility, thus, the contest to prove that the current measured warming trend is beyond any statistical possibility is a bet that is sure to never be paid.
        So in a similar vein, it would be statistically possible for the earth’s atmosphere to increase in temperature every year by pure random chance, it would be equally possible for it to decrease in temperature every year for the same period of time, assuming that the earth has an inherently stable system, but both become more and more unlikely as the length of time increases, unless there was some driving force pushing it one way or another.

        A bet that I would take is that according to the major national atmospheric and weather service agencies (i.e. US, Britain, France, China, Russia, Australia, Brazil), that next month will be warmer than the 1900-2000 average, and the next, and the next, and the next. I’d be willing to go even money with someone on that every month for the next twenty years.

      • Russel: not true. The Earth’s climate is not, in fact, random but chaotic and constrained by physical processes. Like an amplifier amplifying a signal with superimposed noise, we can safely say that 1) tomorrow’s temperature will be fairly close to today’s- since inertia guarantees a limit on dT/dt and 2) there are upper and lower limits beyond which it cannot go due to the “power rails”, in this case the maximum and minimum possible temperatures of a blackbody in the Solar System given the best and worst emissivity and insulation possible for the atmosphere.

      • Russell, Earth does have a pretty stable system — and it is currently in an abnormally cold state, for reasons unknown (but highly speculated on, of course). For most of the past 4 billion years, Earth has been too warm for permanent, year-round ice even at the poles. Statistically, like your 1000 coins, it could stay this cold. But it’s much more likely to revert to normal. I suspect interglacial periods represent times when the abnormality(ies) causing cold is(are) weakening vis-a-vis normalcy.

        (5 years — it’s still weather, not climate. 30 years is still weather. In terms of Earth’s span of existence, 100,000 years is still weather. Someone might sell me on 1,000,000 years qualifying as “climate”.)

  5. I have repeatedly posted on this blog my “model” which proves that there has never been any warming due to CO2, but that man made global warmIng IS occurring, because of the reduction of dimming global anthropogenic SO2 aerosol emissions due to EPA-driven Clean Air efforts.

    No statistics needed, just a straight forward examination of the facts.

    Increases in average Jan-Dec land-ocean global temperatures are NOT due to random natural variations.

    This model needs to be thoroughly examined, and not simply ignored.. It is falsifiable and permits extremely accurate projections/predictions, 1975 – 2011 (later data on SO2 emissions not currently available). .

  6. You get this from time to time. Someone comes up with a random walk type model and says that o that model, the drift (trend, sort of) is uncertain, and hard to deduce from the observations. We knew that.

    But a physical quantity like temperature can’t be a random walk. RW is unbounded. Over some time in the recent past, seas would have boiled. Temperatures would have gone below 0K. So we know it’s a wrong model. They didn’t.

    Why the model is wrong, apart from that contradiction, is that it pays no attention to the physical heat balance requirements. There is a mean temperature, set by the source and the thermal resistance to the through flux. That balance may change, from physical causes, and there can be random fluctuations about the balance, since there are temporary and varying heat sinks. But a random walk is just not a physical model.

    • Nick you have been over this before….

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/31/the-met-office-responds-to-doug-keenans-statistical-significance-issue/

      And here is the UKMO’s response ….

      From: https://blog.metoffice.gov.uk/2013/05/31/a-response-on-statistical-models-and-global-temperature/

      “The study of climate variability and change is broader than the domain of statistics, most notably due to the importance of the underpinning science of the climate system. Our judgment that changes in temperature since 1850 are driven by human activity is based on information not just from the global temperature trend, or statistics, but also our knowledge of the way that the climate system works, how it responds to global fossil fuel emissions and observations of a wide range of other indicators, such as sea ice, glacier mass, sea level rise, etc.

      Using statistical tests in the absence of this other information is inappropriate, particularly when it is not possible to know, definitively, which is the most appropriate statistical model to use. In particular, a key test of an appropriate statistical model is that it agrees with everything we know about the system. Neither of the models discussed by Mr Keenan is adequate in this regard. On that basis, this conversation on statistical modelling is of little scientific merit…..

      Because the Met Office does not make an assessment of global warming solely on statistics – let alone the statistical models referred to in Mr Keenan’s article, this exercise is of very little, if any, scientific use.”

      Mr Keenan may say that climate scientists cannot do statistics.
      It’s not, but if that were true, it would equally be true that statisticians cannot do climate science.

      • tonedeaf

        “Because the Met Office does not make an assessment of global warming solely on statistics – let alone the statistical models referred to in Mr Keenan’s article, this exercise is of very little, if any, scientific use.”

        Mr Keenan may say that climate scientists cannot do statistics.
        It’s not, but if that were true, it would equally be true that statisticians cannot do climate science.”

        Yet they have no problem saying that something that isn’t statistically significant is clear statistical proof of a failed theory.

      • “Yet they have no problem saying that something that isn’t statistically significant is clear statistical proof”
        Who said that? Not Tony, nor the Met Office, in what he quoted. Quite the opposite.

      • Toneb December 8, 2016 at 9:58 am

        The met office response only makes sense if they do not fall back on ‘and this rate of change is unprecedented’ appeal to statistics. Otherwise it sounds like they use statistics only for the gullible who do not understand them -and when they are called on it by statisticians claim that they are not using statistics but forecasting presumably hoping that a statistician will be wary of querying a meteorological specialist.

        And yes I have given many squadron briefings where the forecaster used wording that appeared to forecast every possible wx variant – just in case

      • The met office response only makes sense if they do not fall back on ‘and this rate of change is unprecedented’ appeal to statistics. Otherwise it sounds like they use statistics only for the gullible who do not understand them -and when they are called on it by statisticians claim that they are not using statistics but forecasting presumably hoping that a statistician will be wary of querying a meteorological specialist.

        They do not do that.
        Read Nick Stokes responses

        “And yes I have given many squadron briefings where the forecaster used wording that appeared to forecast every possible wx variant – just in case”

        Well, standards vary my friend.
        Look at some people posting lead articles on here for instance.
        All Earth sciences are reflexively presumed wrong if they in the slightest way point a finger at humans causing GW.

        “just in case”
        And so the Forecaster should have.
        You have pilots lives and £50m jets on the line.

        If I had been so dogmatic in briefing a squadron of the days weather (not just sunny spells/showers – technical numbers are involved for Low flying training) – then I wouldn’t have been thanked.
        They needed to know of doubts/eventualities.

      • Sophistry. Climate science cannot do its science without statistics anymore than it can do it without physics (which is what you mean I assume since climate science includes the use of statistics).

        So if the statisticians show that the use of statistics in climate science is wrong, the the statistical piece is wrong.

        You can’t fall back on the non-statistical stuff being right to claim that the whole is right. Statisticians don;t need to show the physics is wrong to show that the statistics is wrong. And if the statistical piece is wrong, how can you claim the whole is still right?

    • Nick

      “There is a mean temperature, set by the source and the thermal resistance to the through flux. That balance may change, from physical causes, and there can be random fluctuations about the balance, since there are temporary and varying heat sinks. But a random walk is just not a physical model”

      Also a good explanation for the failings of the C in CAGW theory.

      Or to paraphrase Dr Brown if CAGW models are correct and there is a catastrophic tipping point then why didn’t it already happen?

      • “Or to paraphrase Dr Brown if CAGW models are correct and there is a catastrophic tipping point then why didn’t it already happen?”

        Wrong analogy. AGW is new. The climate has been going on for many millions of years, but no-one has ever dug up and burnt an amount of carbon which is likely to double the concentration of an important atmospheric gas. So you can’t use absence of tippings in that pre-AGW period to say AGW couldn’t do it.

      • Nick

        “Wrong analogy. AGW is new. The climate has been going on for many millions of years, but no-one has ever dug up and burnt an amount of carbon which is likely to double the concentration of an important atmospheric gas. So you can’t use absence of tippings in that pre-AGW period to say AGW couldn’t do it.’

        Yet we have had CO2 levels in the thousands of part per million and no run away warming. We had natural disasters that dwarf any affect man has had on the environment and no run away warming. AGW maybe new but GW is not nor is massive influx of CO2 to the atmosphere, volcanic activity in the past has decimated large portions of this planet and dumped huge amounts of all kinds of gases into the atmosphere but no running away warming. We had high levels of O2 in the atmosphere to the point where lightning strikes would cause huge forest burns that would wipe out whole ecosystems and dump huge amounts of CO2 and other gas into the atmosphere but no run away warming. Your argument is ridiculous on its face, mans affect on the environment is nothing compared to the awesome natural disasters such as asteroids hitting the planet and wiping out 90% of all life. Many of these events happen in minutes shattering the ecology and atmospheric composition yet here we are living in the same bonded temperature range that has been for Billions of years either at the low end of a glacier period or at the high end warming periods. I have read your BS for a long time Nick but you are no fool I don’t believe that you think for a second that there is a C in AGW, what I can’t figure out is why you don’t just say it? Well actually I think I do know why, same reason as the rest of your ilk.

      • Nick,

        The last time that CO2 doubled rapidly, in the middle of the Jurassic Period, nothing bad happened. Indeed, shortly thereafter, in geological time, the coldest interval of the Mesozoic occurred, in the Late Jurassic and into the Early Cretaceous.

        Life thrived on land, in the sea and air during the time after the Jurassic doubling. It was a golden age for dinosaurs, for instance, and the ancestors of placental mammals evolved. In fact, mammals evolved explosively in the Middle Jurassic, ten times faster than at the end of the period:

        http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/burst-innovation-found-jurassic-mammals/

      • Chimp:
        “The last time that CO2 doubled rapidly, in the middle of the Jurassic Period, nothing bad happened. Indeed, shortly thereafter, in geological time, the coldest interval of the Mesozoic occurred, in the Late Jurassic and into the Early Cretaceous.”

        A very different Earth.

        What was the albedo of the planet 500 Mya?
        What was the land/ocean configuration (Re heat transport via ocean currents)?
        What was the strength of the Sun?

        From: http://droyer.web.wesleyan.edu/PhanCO2(GCA).pdf

        “Although the strength of CO2-temperature coupling
        cannot be presently tested for this event, it is worthwhile
        to examine what the CO2 threshold for initiating a glaciation
        at this time may be. Global climate models calibrated
        to mid-Cenozoic conditions suggest a threshold of 560–
        1120 ppm (DeConto and Pollard, 2003; Pollard and DeConto,
        2005), however during the Late Ordovician surface
        conditions were different, most notably in having an 4%
        lower solar constant. A consequence of this decreased
        luminosity is that if all other thermal forcings were held
        constant, the CO2 threshold for initiating a glaciation
        would be higher. A simple analysis of radiative forcing
        (see Fig. 2) suggests that if the CO2-ice threshold for the
        present-day Earth is 500 ppm, the equivalent threshold
        during the Late Ordovician would be 3000 ppm. Importantly,
        global climate models and energy balance models
        calibrated to Late Ordovician conditions also predict a
        CO2-ice threshold of between 2240 and 3920 ppm (Crowley
        and Baum, 1991, 1995; Gibbs et al., 1997, 2000; Kump
        et al., 1999; Poussart et al., 1999; Herrmann et al., 2003,
        2004). This prediction awaits confirmation from the proxy
        record.”

        “nothing bad happened”

        But now we have lots of ice on the planet.

        Which when melted would threaten life due swamping of coastal zones. Where billions live.

      • Toneb,

        Solar power gets about one percent weaker for each 110 million years you go back. So in the mid-Jurassic (c. 165 Ma), it was ~1.5% less powerful than now. But CO2 was five times as high.

        In the Cambrian Period, solar radiance would have been some five percent less potent than now, but CO2 was around 17.5 times higher. In the following Ordovician Period, a bitter ice age occurred with CO2 about 4500 ppm (over 11 times present level), but solar power only 4% lower than now.

        By historical standards, present CO2 is still dangerously low in our frigid epoch. The world is delighted to gobble up as much plant food as it can, while it still can. Our planet is a lot greener now than before CO2 took off after WWII.

      • Stokes,
        While the source of the presumed carbon dioxide is still in dispute, the fact that the PETM had temperatures about twice as high as is predicted for CAGW is not! ( https://www.britannica.com/science/Paleocene-Eocene-Thermal-Maximum ) So, the claim about a “tipping point” is improbable precisely because it hasn’t happened, despite at least one rather short-term event that lacked anthropogenic carbon dioxide. Incidentally, the climate has been going on for billions of years, not just mere “millions” as you stated.

      • Tobeb-
        “Which when melted would threaten life due swamping of coastal zones. Where billions live.”

        Ah….so there’s the problem. Billions are now living in places where nature has repeatedly put large amounts of water. Go figure. And now that scientists know this, instead of teaching those billions of people the truth, and figuring out how to move them all, and making plans to ADAPT to the NATURAL changes that occur on this planet, some scientists are engaging in a useless propaganda war against “oil companies” or some other human (and thus conquerable) demon in a misguided, hilariously egotistical attempt to PREVENT, or at least SLOW DOWN, what the planet WILL naturally do for the benefit of human beings who are either too stupid to know better, or too stubborn to act preemptively in their own best interests.

        But hey, if one can don a cape of “climate hero” and at least LOOK like some kind of human savior in the mean time, I’m sure that is an attractive stance for a lot of people with self image and inferiority issues. It’s a win-win no matter what happens! If NOTHING happens, you live and die a persistent warrior for the planet and its people…you just miscalculated our demise. If the predicted re-glaciation begins and you live and die claiming that your heroic efforts STOPPED man-made warming from burning us all into ash. If global warming continues unabated, you live and die a martyr to the evil corporate entities that were too stupid to realize that their own greed was going to kill all their customers. (yeah….)

        But again, the only REAL heroes are those that are truly interested in what the Earth has done, can do, and most likely will do NATURALLY and are teaching others the truth so that hopefully, the human race can rise above its own stupidity, and made plans to ADAPT now….to its future state.

      • Joke is Aphan, those caped ‘climate heroes’ like Stokes, who appear hell-bent on maintaining the present climate in its current state indefinitely because apparently they believe it is some sort of optimal state that must be preserved at all costs refer to the likes of us as “climate change den!ers” because we consider it preferable to adapt to the ever-changing climate.

        Go figure…

      • Which is the most insidious thing about them. I’ve never met someone who denies the climate. Or who denies that the climate changes. But its not their accuracy they are known for now is it?

      • That should have been Toneb, not Stokes.

        Although that’s pretty much a distinction without a difference…

    • But a physical quantity like temperature can’t be a random walk. RW is unbounded.
      ===================
      look at a drunk walking down a hallway. This is a very good fit with paleo temperatures, with bounds around 10C and 22C. Physically the walls and floor are likely the 3 states of water, and the large amount of energy associated with the phase change. ice and gas form the bounds, and liquid water forms the floor.

      what is the forcing that causes the drunk to suddenly veer from one wall to the other? The amount of alcohol in the bloodstream has changed very little, yet there are huge changes in the drunk’s path.

      • “But a physical quantity like temperature can’t be a random walk. RW is unbounded.”

        It also can’t be averaged with other temp readings (well, it can, but it’s meaningless.

  7. Natural variations are chaotic, not random. Measurement of those variations has error which may be random. Using time and space averages as indicators of variations makes it difficult to separate chaotic from random. Global averages are a rather meaningless measure of the rate of energy lost to space via radiation.

  8. There is NO evidence anywhere, at any time scale that CO2 has warmed the planet. There is only the correlation between temperature and CO2 from 1976 to ~2000 for TLT, and a somewhat longer general correlation with surface temperature.

    The interesting question to me is why not?

    We know CO2 is an incredibly powerful absorber around WN 667, smack dab in the middle of the earth’s LW spectrum. It should be pitifully easy to find evidence of it causing warming. It really SHOULD be warming the atmosphere. It really should have led the planet out of the ice. It really should have controlled temperature before the Pleistocene.

    But it did not do any of these things according to the best evidence we have. Clearly we are missing a piece to this puzzle.

      • CO2 theory predicts that warming effect should be higher the less water content the atmosphere has, since their absorption spectra overlaps significantly. The driest air is the coldest air. Glaciers appear to be specially sensitive to CO2 due to the effect of dry air above them and even small changes can be easily measured. Glacier dynamics is very complex as they depend on both temperature and precipitations, seasonality and other factors. However many glaciers have retreated to a point last seen at the Mid-Holocene Transition (MHT) about 5200 years ago. This is inconsistent because although with significant advances and retreats, glaciers have sustained a growing trend since MHT, so within present global warming they have retreated too much to be consistent with Holocene climate variability.

        Relevant bibliography

        1. J. Oerlemans. Holocene glacier fluctuations: is the current rate of retreat exceptional? Annals of Glaciology, Volume 31, Number 1, January 2000, pp. 39-44(6)
        http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/igsoc/agl/2000/00000031/00000001/art00008
        “Integrations for a 10 000 year period, driven by random forcing of a realistic strength, show that the current retreat cannot be explained from natural variability in glacier length and must be due to external forcing.

        2. Johannes Koch, John J Clague and Gerald Osborn: Alpine glaciers and permanent ice and snow patches in western Canada approach their smallest sizes since the mid-Holocene, consistent with global trends. The Holocene 2014 24: 1639
        http://kochj.brandonu.ca/ho_2014.pdf
        “Glacier retreat in western Canada and other regions is exposing subfossil tree stumps, soils and plant detritus that, until recently, were beneath tens to hundreds of metres of ice. In addition, human artefacts and caribou dung are emerging from permanent snow patches many thousands of years after they were entombed. Dating of these materials indicates that many of these glaciers and snow patches are smaller today than at any time in the past several thousand years.”

        “The global scope and magnitude of glacier retreat likely exceed the natural variability of the climate system and cannot be explained by natural forcing alone. This departure is best explained by the ascendancy of another forcing factor – the increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”

        3. Goehring, B. M. et al. 2012. Holocene dynamics of the Rhone Glacier, Switzerland, deduced from ice flow models and cosmogenic nuclides. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 351–352, 27–35.
        http://academiccommons.columbia.edu/download/fedora_content/download/ac:152773/CONTENT/j.epsl.2012.07.027.pdf

        “After 5 ka, the Rhone Glacier was larger than today, but smaller than its LIA maximum extent. The present extent of the Rhone Glacier therefore likely represents its smallest since the middle Holocene and potential climate warming will lead to further rapid retreat of the Rhone Glacier.”

        4. B. K. Reichert, L. Bengtsson and J. Oerlemans: Recent Glacier Retreat Exceeds Internal Variability. Journal of Climate 15 (2002) 3069.
        http://www.meteo.psu.edu/holocene/public_html/Mann/courses/EVAT795/Reichertal-JClim02.pdf

        “Preindustrial fluctuations of the glaciers as far as observed or reconstructed, including their advance during the Little Ice Age, can be explained by internal variability in the climate system as represented by a GCM. However, fluctuations comparable to the present-day glacier retreat exceed any variation simulated by the GCM control experiments and must be caused by external forcing, with anthropogenic forcing being a likely candidate.”

        5. O. Solomina, W. Haeberli, C. Kull, G. Wiles Historical and Holocene glacier–climate variations: General concepts and overview. Global and Planetary Change 60 (2008) 1–9

        “The finding of the Oetztal ice man in the uppermost part of a small glacier in the Austrian Alps clearly illustrates that Alpine glacier volumes (not lengths!) have become smaller now than during at least the past about 5000 years.”

        6. Bakke, J., Lie, Ø., Dahl, S.O., Nesje, A., Bjune, A.E., 2008. Strength and spatial patterns of the Holocene wintertime westerlies in the NE Atlantic region. Global and Planetary Change 60, 28–41
        http://folk.uio.no/joh/GEO4011/Bakke_07GPC.pdf

        “The retreat of maritime glaciers along western Scandinavia over the last century is unprecedented in the entire Neoglacial period spanning the last 5200 yrs.”

        A) Koch & Clague 2006 meta-study of global glacier extent showing that current retreat exceeds the global range and minimum extent trend since mid-Holocene (Trend lines added). Notice how it shows glaciers now shorter than Medieval Warm Period and Roman Warm Period.
        http://kochj.brandonu.ca/pages_2006.pdf

        Koch, J., & Clague, J.J. 2006. Are insolation and sunspot activity the primary drivers of Holocene glacier fluctuations? PAGES News, Vol. 14 No 3 pp 20-21.

        B) Thompson et al., 1995 study of the Huascarán glacier. Ice-core of the glacier with the temperature proxy showing that current glacier temperature is unprecedented for thousands of years and anomalous within trend.
        http://research.bpcrc.osu.edu/Icecore/publications/Thompson%20et%20al%20Science%201995.pdf

        Thompson, L.G. et al. 1995. Late Glacial Stage and Holocene Tropical Ice Core Records from Huascaran, Peru. Science vol. 269, 46-50.

        Organic remains entombed in ice at mid-Holocene and freed by present global warming.

        The evidence is there for all to see. The only reasonable explanation for glaciers reversing the entire Neoglacial growth is that to the natural post-LIA warming the increase in atmospheric CO2 has had a warming effect. It is a question of looking at the most sensitive test, and glaciers and small permanent ice patches provide it. Cryologists are almost unanimous on this.

      • Javier

        “The evidence is there for all to see. The only reasonable explanation for glaciers reversing the entire Neoglacial growth is that to the natural post-LIA warming the increase in atmospheric CO2 has had a warming effect. It is a question of looking at the most sensitive test, and glaciers and small permanent ice patches provide it. Cryologists are almost unanimous on this.”

        Or that prolonged cooling periods are actually periods when the system is storing energy and the longer and deeper the storage period the longer and larger the release period will be and its corresponding warming.

      • Or that prolonged cooling periods are actually periods when the system is storing energy and the longer and deeper the storage period the longer and larger the release period will be and its corresponding warming.

        You just gotta love WUWT when people start rebating evidence-based arguments with whatever comes to their head at that moment. Any evidence for what you say?

      • The by far largest storehouse of fresh water on the planet, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, quit retreating about 3000 years ago, as shown by radionuclides in the soil at its edges. Its mass is increasing. I don’t know if precipitation over it has increased in the past 70 years or not. Good records might not go back that far.

        Of course it has a lot of thermal intertia, but the unadjusted temperature record over it doesn’t show much if any warming. Not that one degree would make much difference, anyway, in such a cold region.

      • Hubbard Glacier’s steady advance since 1895:

        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=85900

        Elsewhere, glacial retreat began before the postwar increase in CO2. It hasn’t accelerated, hence no reason to assume retreat since 1945 is anything but a continuation of the trend since the end of LIA. Plus other factors such as land use. Deforestation down mountain is why the snows of Kilimanjaro have lessened.

        In the pass that recently opened up in the Swiss Alps, artifacts have been found from each warm period since the Holocene Optimum, ie the Egyptian, Minoan, Roman and Medieval. Whether the glacier there is now as small as during the Optimum, I don’t know.

      • PS: The Thompsons don’t archive their data, so there’s no way to check on their conclusions. Some Andean glaciers are advancing, for example in Patagonia. The Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina and Pio XI Glacier in Chile, largest in South America, are growing, for instance.

        https://richedwardsimagery.wordpress.com/2016/02/24/pio-xi-glacier-bernardo-ohiggins-national-park-patagonia-chile/

        I also note that your most recent citation is over ten years old.

      • “CO2 theory predicts that warming effect should be higher the less water content the atmosphere has,”

        No, the increased CO2 effect would be the same regardless the water, unless you want to turn your argument upside down (as many do) and argue that CO2 increases water vapor.

        Please explain why Antarctica is gaining ice mass.

      • The by far largest storehouse of fresh water on the planet, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, quit retreating about 3000 years ago, as shown by radionuclides in the soil at its edges. Its mass is increasing. I don’t know if precipitation over it has increased in the past 70 years or not. Good records might not go back that far.

        Of course it has a lot of thermal intertia, but the unadjusted temperature record over it doesn’t show much if any warming. Not that one degree would make much difference, anyway, in such a cold region.

        Antarctica climate does not behave as the rest of the planet. It is isolated by the Circumpolar Current and there’s almost no troposphere there as it is 3 km high and the stratosphere is much lower there. We know that Antarctica cooled when the rest of the planet warmed during the Early Holocene, and Antarctica has warmed during the Neoglacial when the rest of the planet cooled. It is therefore an argument that cannot affect mine.

      • As I said, there’s evidence. But a lot of people won’t accept it, so they can claim that there is no evidence.

      • I look at the pictures. Evidence that glaciers have been less in the past, cos there’s human remains and trees and dead animals underneath them.

        Then I look at the words.

        “This is inconsistent because although with significant advances and retreats, glaciers have sustained a growing trend since MHT, so within present global warming they have retreated too much to be consistent with Holocene climate variability.”

        And right away, like a big pizza pie, it smacks me in the eye.

        Here is a man who believes in ‘the balance of nature’ and ‘linear trends’ and can’t accept that the chaotic climate makes the phrase ‘consistent with Holocene climate variability utterly meaningless.

        And therein lies the actual dogma that defines the warmist climate denier: the insistence that they already know how climate ought to behave in the absence of CO2 input from anthropogenic sources…

        And yet the palaeological record shows millennia of stability, interspersed with periods of rapid change. Unfortunately the ‘graininess’ of the deep paleological record doesn’t show us rapid temperature variations in the sort of century timescales, because we cant resolve that clearly from the proxies we have. So the claim is that today’s modest warming over 50 years is ‘unprecedented’ . But there is no evidence to support that. We simply don’t know how the temperature changed over sub century timescales even a thousand years ago.

        Once you start with a false assumption, no matter how well constructed your logic is, and how well peer reviewed it is, the answer will be a load of unadulterated wombat turds.

        And in this case the primary false assumption is that today’s and the last half centuries warming are inconsistent with the null hypothesis. I,e. that something inexplicable is going on. I refute that utterly.

        And the second assumption, that since you cant think of anything else, it must be man made CO2, is even more suspect, and when that doesn’t generate enough warming, the totally refuted assumption that there is positive feedback going on, is required to claim with a straight face that AGW is actually a ‘good model’ of the climate.

        It would be laughable if it were a first year student saying it. With grown men backed by massive propaganda saying it, its very scary indeed, and speaks volumes for the lack of education and common sense of those who pass themselves off as representatives of humanity these days.

        A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. The one thing that characterises the warmist deniers of reality, is that they think they are smarter than the average bear, and see their function as informing the lesser mortal of the pearls they have gleaned from greater mortals. Sadly, they seem to have been conned.

        No one is easier to make a fool of than a man who thinks they are smarter than they in fact are.

      • There’s evidence. But a lot of people won’t accept it, so they can claim that there is no evidence.
        =================
        On the contrary, there is so much evidence that one can prove ANYTHING simply by choosing what evidence to present and what evidence to ignore. This is the very heart of pseudoscience.

      • Leo Smith,

        Here is a man who believes in ‘the balance of nature’ and ‘linear trends’ and can’t accept that the chaotic climate makes the phrase ‘consistent with Holocene climate variability utterly meaningless.

        You are ridiculous in thinking that you know what is inside other person’s head.

        And yet the palaeological record shows millennia of stability, interspersed with periods of rapid change.

        And an ignorant of paleoclimatology. Climate is always changing at every time scale from decadal to multi-millennial.

        So the claim is that today’s modest warming over 50 years is ‘unprecedented’

        Whose claim? Not mine. You are thoroughly constructing a strawman argument and then demolishing it and thinking that your fallacious argumentation takes you somewhere.

      • Javier December 8, 2016 at 10:52 am

        I see lots of evidence in your papers for glaciers being at different levels for whatever reason – it may not be warmth it could be lack of precipitation at their source. However, there is no evidence in those papers that it is CO2 that is causing the melting. Holocene Optimum, Minoan, Roman and Medieval warm periods were all warmer than now – we are at the cold end of the Holocene, without anthropogenic CO2. So there are many references but no indication that CO2 caused it.

        So to repeat – there is only conjecture that atmospheric CO2 warms the Earth usually based on a static radiative only atmosphere. Once convection and the hydrologic cycle are included the feedback cooling is more than any hypothesised warming from CO2.

      • So to repeat – there is only conjecture that atmospheric CO2 warms the Earth usually based on a static radiative only atmosphere.

        And I made this view obsolete on my birthday last week.
        Evidence of active temperature regulation of night time min temperature by Air temp nearing dew points, and reducing outgoing radiation.
        I’m working on a graph with a time scale, but each temperature cycle is a day.

      • Javier: I didn’t introduce the claim that recent temperature rises were inconsistent with the holocene trend, you did.

        It’s not a straw man I aim to demolish, it is your insistence that there is any such trend. Or that indeed that that term actually has meaning.

        I can claim equally that current temperatures are inconsistent with the theory of unicorns. But then have to demonstrate that the theory of unicorns has validity.

        So once again, I ask you to justify the meaning of the phrases ; “The only reasonable explanation for glaciers reversing the entire Neoglacial growth is that to the natural post-LIA warming the increase in atmospheric CO2 has had a warming effect”

        and

        “This is inconsistent because although with significant advances and retreats, glaciers have sustained a growing trend since MHT, so within present global warming they have retreated too much to be consistent with Holocene climate variability.”

        In terms of how you actually know what “the natural post-LIA warming” and “Holocene climate variability” are and ought to be?

        Like many others, you say ‘oooh look, something is different, you cant explain it, and so my explanation must be correct’

        My explanation is that climate is most likely subject to far more fluctuation, and chaotic fluctuation, than you seem to imagine is possible, and that explanation actually fits all the facts you raise better than yours does

        If we are waving willies that is.

        Te trouble with people who don’t understand chaos maths, is they see something and say ‘something must be causing it’

        Chaos mathematicians know that it’s causing itself. That’s just the way things happen with chaotic systems. Yesterdays El Nino is today’s la Nina. Yesterdays ice age is today’s interglacial. If an ice age is a strange attractor, we might slip back into one tomorrow. Or not for a thousand more years. Or a million. Have you any Brazilian butterflies?

        Chaos maths means we cant predict the climate with today’s maths. That there is probably no point in any climate models, and there is nothing we can do to prevent cimate change of any sort, because we dont have the power. Oh dear.

        That was a big waste of time wasn’t it?

      • Javier @ 12:13,

        Glacial retreat or advance isn’t evidence of global warming via CO2, the concentration of which is about the same over Antarctica as everywhere else.

        It can’t be shown that CO2 is responsible for whatever actual net retreat has occurred, since glaciers have been shrinking naturally from the 18th and 19th centuries, depending upon location.

        Since the date of your last reference, glaciers have been growing in many locales, as others were even before it:

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/11/27/glaciers-in-norway-alaska-growing-again/

      • it may not be warmth it could be lack of precipitation at their source.

        Not for glaciers all over the world.

        Minoan, Roman and Medieval warm periods were all warmer than now

        We don’t know that. Show me a good global temperature reconstruction that says so.

        there is no evidence in those papers that it is CO2 that is causing the melting.

        It is what is expected from theory and it is way beyond natural variability for 5000 years. It is evidence that supports the hypothesis. Such melting should not be taking place at this time of the Holocene. Demanding impossible standards of proof does not constitute scientific argument.

      • Leo Smith,

        Javier: I didn’t introduce the claim that recent temperature rises were inconsistent with the holocene trend, you did.

        Bullshit. Show me with my own words where did I claim that recent temperature rises were inconsistent with the holocene trend.

        Since you start inventing things I won’t even read the rest of your comment.

      • Javier
        December 8, 2016 at 1:36 pm

        Why should glaciers not be melting now, to the extent that they are, which is far from uniform? We’re coming out of the LIA into another warm period.

        Evidence for the Minoan, Roman and Medieval Warm Periods is abundant, indeed overwhelming, from around the globe. As noted above, artifacts in the Swiss pass recently opened up again come from just those intervals, and the Holocene Optimum.

        No one knows how long the Holocene might last, but it still has a long way to go just to equal the Eemian, warmer than the Holocene and far from the longest interglacial. So far the Modern Warm Period looks a lot like the prior warm periods, except to date not as warm. The Minoan was warmer than the Roman, which was balmier than the Medieval, which so far the Modern has failed to equal. Sea level is just one measure supporting this observation.

      • Chimp,

        Glacial retreat or advance isn’t evidence of global warming via CO2.

        The experts seem to think otherwise, and I agree with them.

        It can’t be shown that CO2 is responsible for whatever actual net retreat has occurred, since glaciers have been shrinking naturally from the 18th and 19th centuries, depending upon location.

        The total retreat since the bottom of the LIA is way beyond Late Holocene trends. Natural causes alone cannot explain it. Nobody thinks it is due to only one cause.

        Since the date of your last reference, glaciers have been growing in many locales, as others were even before it:

        The date of my last reference is 2014, and you get the picture when you take into account all glaciers studied globally, not just the ones that you pick. There are a couple of meta studies among the references.

      • Javier,

        Sorry. I missed the 2014 reference.

        IMO there is no way to attribute whatever is happening with glaciers to CO2, regardless of what experts might argue, perhaps out of with career motives and in Thompson’s case, as I noted, unscientific claims, since not checkable.

        My own experience of glaciers is that nothing has changed from prewar retreat that doesn’t have local explanations, to include weather, which has affected glaciers in the Cascade range. Pacific NW winters have been relatively snowless recently, but we’re off to a good start this year.

        As noted, the other glaciers with which I’m most familiar, in Patagonia and Alaska, don’t show the pattern which you’re convinced is global and man-made. Given supposedly more moisture in the air as a feedback of AGW, it’s not even clear that glaciers should necessarily shrink under increased GHG influence.

        I doubt that earth on average actually has warmed a degree C since 1850, but even if it has, that’s well within normal bounds during recovery from a multi-centennial-scale cold period, so there’s no reason to imagine a human GHG effect. IMO clearer air is a more important human effect on temperature than CO2, but still not major.

      • Chimp,

        Why should glaciers not be melting now, to the extent that they are, which is far from uniform? We’re coming out of the LIA into another warm period.

        We are (or should be) in the Neoglacial period. It is called Neoglacial because there is a consistent growth of glaciers all over the world despite temporal retreats. Those retreats did not have the magnitude of the present one.

        Evidence for the Minoan, Roman and Medieval Warm Periods is abundant, indeed overwhelming, from around the globe.

        I asked for evidence that they were warmer than present. It doesn’t exist. I know because I have studied every temperature reconstruction. We do not know if they were warmer or cooler.

        Since the date of your last reference, glaciers have been growing in many locales, as others were even before it:

        The date of my last reference is 2014, and you get the picture when you take into account all glaciers studied globally, not just the ones that you pick. There are a couple of meta studies among the references.

        No one knows how long the Holocene might last, but it still has a long way to go

        It is an average interglacial, unlikely to last more than 2000 years from now.

        The Minoan was warmer than the Roman, which was balmier than the Medieval, which so far the Modern has failed to equal.

        You don’t know that.

        Sea level is just one measure supporting this observation.

        You don’t know what sea levels were then.

      • Chimp,

        My own experience of glaciers is that nothing has changed from prewar retreat that doesn’t have local explanations, to include weather

        Nice, but you cannot waive experts findings and the unburied remains from thousands of years ago from all over the world with your personal experience.

        I doubt that earth on average actually has warmed a degree C since 1850, but even if it has, that’s well within normal bounds during recovery from a multi-centennial-scale cold period, so there’s no reason to imagine a human GHG effect. IMO clearer air is a more important human effect on temperature than CO2, but still not major.

        None of that is relevant to the issue of evidence that CO2 has produced warming.

      • Javier,

        I don’t know about reconstructions, but I know what the paleoclimatic evidence shows.

        Regarding sea level:

        https://judithcurry.com/2011/07/12/historic-variations-in-sea-levels-part-1-from-the-holocene-to-romans/

        Elsewhere on this blog recently the many formerly coastal fortifications in Britain from the Medieval and Roman WPs, now high and dry, have been discussed. All the more remarkable due to the sinking of south Britain as Scotland rebounds from the loss of its ice mass.

        Regarding cyclic warm periods balmier than now, glacial retreat (no less) shows that the Medieval and Roman Warm Periods existed, based upon tree stumps.

        http://joannenova.com.au/tag/roman-warm-period/

        Both on land and sea, the Holocene Optimum, Medieval and other warm periods were toastier than today:

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/31/new-paper-shows-medieval-warm-period-was-global-in-scope/

        As you may know, NZ cave mineral deposits also display 500 to 1500 year cycles in temperature, based upon oxygen isotope excursions.

        The Sui-Tang warm interval was a counter-cyclic trend during the Dark Ages Cold Period, between the Roman and Medieval WPs. This study compares it with the onset of the Medieval WP in China, the Song-Yuan warm period:

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014JD022941/abstract

        Oetzi the Iceman doesn’t show that the 1990s were as warm as the Holocene Optimum, since the ice containing him had moved downhill, and other factors besides temperature influence ice waxing and waning.

      • Chimp,

        Regarding sea level:
        https://judithcurry.com/2011/07/12/historic-variations-in-sea-levels-part-1-from-the-holocene-to-romans/

        The evidence is not there. We are talking about changes of less than one meter that depend on isostatic and subsidence models. We are not even sure what the sea level is today with satellites because tide gauges don’t agree with them or with each other. As Dr. Simon Holgate says in your link:

        “So maybe it was higher than today, or maybe it wasn’t. We have no observations and we just don’t know. For me, there is far too much uncertainty in the ‘reconstructions’ of sea level for them to be very useful…Overall I would say that the evidence from the (Roman) fish tanks etc suggests that there has been no real change in the average height of sea level over the last c. 2000 years prior to the mid to late 1800s.”

        All we have is anecdotical evidence one way or the other.

        Medieval and other warm periods were toastier than today:
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/31/new-paper-shows-medieval-warm-period-was-global-in-scope/

        Your link does not provide evidence for that.

        This study compares it with the onset of the Medieval WP in China, the Song-Yuan warm period:
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014JD022941/abstract

        The title says simulated.

        As I said, the evidence for what you say doesn’t exist. You should stop saying it.

        Oetzi the Iceman doesn’t show that the 1990s were as warm as the Holocene Optimum

        Nor did I say that. Ötzi is 5100 years old and has remained buried in ice since. According to Solomina,
        [It] “clearly illustrates that Alpine glacier volumes have become smaller now than during at least the past about 5000 years.”

      • Javier

        You have no problem with unprecedented cooling in the last 5000 years, the LIA , yet some how a warming that you feel is unprecedented is has to be caused by AGW induced CO2. Even when the warming started first. Answer me this what caused the LIA?

      • Bob boder,

        yet some how a warming that you feel is unprecedented is has to be caused by AGW induced CO2.

        Did I say the warming was unprecedented? No. I said the glacier melting was unprecedented and that constitutes evidence that CO2 causes warming. You continue reading what you want to read and jumping to unwarranted conclusions.

        Answer me this what caused the LIA?

        Here you have my opinion about that:
        https://judithcurry.com/2016/09/20/impact-of-the-2400-yr-solar-cycle-on-climate-and-human-societies/

      • Javier

        Read it when you first posted it, interesting but unconvincing. Not unlike your claims here.

      • Bob boder,

        interesting but unconvincing.

        It is what the evidence supports. Obviously not absolute proof or we wouldn’t be discussing. But if the evidence supported otherwise I would defend otherwise, because I don’t care one way or another. I have no skin in this game, just my interest in getting right a difficult problem. If new evidence comes that strongly supports the opposite position, I will change my view to the opposite position. But I doubt it. There is a lot of evidence and things seem pretty clear to me.

      • The last time it was about this hot, in the 1930’s, the glaciers were melting, too. I haven’t seen that mentioned in this thread. The 1930’s heat and melting was not caused by human-caused CO2 increases.

        First I did not say that the melting was due only to the increase in CO2. Second we are talking about world glaciers, not Greenland glaciers. And third Ötzi appeared in 1990, not 1930. Globally glaciers are more reduced now that they were in the 1930’s according to the experts measurements. If in the 30’s it was this hot (and drier) glaciers should not be more reduced without the increase in CO2.

      • Javier: “I asked for evidence that they were warmer than present. It doesn’t exist. I know because I have studied every temperature reconstruction. We do not know if they were warmer or cooler.”

        Then how can you POSSIBLY say that what is happening now isn’t what SHOULD be happening. You’ve contradicted yourself a few times here.

      • Javier: “And third Ötzi appeared in 1990, not 1930.”

        He was discovered in 1990. No one knows when he was exposed, yet still frozen.

      • Then how can you POSSIBLY say that what is happening now isn’t what SHOULD be happening. You’ve contradicted yourself a few times here.

        Again you mistake temperatures with glacier melting. It is a very common mistake to try to reduce every climate issue to temperatures, yet we know very little about past temperatures.

        I don’t know if it is warmer now than during the MWP or the Minoan optimum, nor do you. What we do know is that there is a lot more CO2 in the atmosphere and that glaciers are shorter and with less volume than then.

        He was discovered in 1990. No one knows when he was exposed, yet still frozen.

        I am not going to discuss what happened to Ötzi before he was discovered, because we don’t know. What we know is when it became exposed and was discovered. All the rest is idle speculation.

      • PS: Which also just goes to show how pathetically inadequate archiving is in general in so-called “climate science”. The Hadley Center at UEA has lost the “data” on which its science fantasy writers allegedly base their temperature reconstructions, for instance.

      • Archiving defective to say the least, with whole expeditions unarchived and those with some data wholly inadequate.

        Public archiving of data is a very new thing in science and in climatology it was mainly due to collaborative efforts to produce ice cores data of interest to a lot of researchers. In biology, outside of DNA, RNA, and protein sequences there is no public archiving, and nobody in ecology is archiving any data from their studies. In general there is no requirement that a scientist has to publicly archive his data. The requirement is that he has to make it accessible to other researchers if it has been used in a publication. And if they refuse other researchers can protest to the journal that originally published the research. This citizen science audit is a very new phenomenon, and obviously not that many scientists agree with it.

        My opinion is that data obtained with public funds should be made available to anybody upon request. That is the law anyway. Public archiving should not be a requirement since 99% of scientific data is of little interest to 99.999999% of people. Something that climate warriors don’t even consider.

        I don’t think you can denigrate Lonnie Thompson for not archiving his data. Ask him the data and if he refuses then you can complain.

      • Javier,

        Naturally I couldn’t agree more about requiring archiving of data from publicly-funded research.

        If Lonnie actually does provide data when asked, that distinguishes him from Phil Jones, who famously doesn’t provide data because someone might try to punch holes in it. We should just take his word for it. And of course he can’t provide the data for the HadCRU science fantasy temperature series.

      • “but the dismal prior record remains.”
        That isn’t a prior record. That is an opinion from a blogger, and isn’t true. As I pointed out, there was an extensive archive in 2013, and it wasn’t new. Yet at near end 2016, you say: “The Thompsons don’t archive their data”

        In fact, even the 2012 article lists a lot of Thompson archives. He finds some fault with them and writes as if they didn’t exist.

      • Nick,

        Any disinterested party, if such there be, reading Steve’s posts in 2011 to 2013 would conclude that the Thompsons’ archiving history was abysmal to dismal.

        I invite any and all to read the Climate Audit posts and come to his or her own conclusion as to their veracity.

      • “come to his or her own conclusion as to their veracity”

        Yes, you can. But watch the pea. In response to my post at WUWT listing 16 Thompson archives, far exceeding anyone else, he said
        “Nick Stokes at WUWT claimed that my posts were refuted by his being able to locate Thompson data at NOAA. Unfortunately, this is the sort of misdirection that is all too prevalent in the field.”
        Misdirection! Don’t believe your lyin’ eyes! So then he says he was really criticising just Mrs T. But of course, this is still echoed here as “The Thompsons don’t archive their data”

      • Nick,

        Is it the verb tense to which you object, ie “don’t” as opposed to “didn’t”?

        For Javier’s 1995 link, my statement was correct. And for decades before 2013, as well. The Thompsons archived little to no data before 2013.

        Sorry if the truth hurts, but there it is.

        “Climate science” is utterly corrupt.

      • “For Javier’s 1995 link, my statement was correct. And for decades before 2013, as well.”
        Your statement is just wrong. And shows you have been uncritically parroting McIntyre’s diatribes.

        There were no internet archives in 1995. In fact, the NOAA ice core archive was established in 2010. First contributions in March. Thompson made a stack of contributions in early 2013. Perhaps he could have been earlier but that doesn’t excuse your blanket claim that “The Thompsons don’t archive their data”.

      • Javier-

        This isn’t evidence of anything except “if it’s not humans, we don’t know what it is”. No one is debating that something IS happening. But you have to rule out EVERY OTHER POSSIBILITY before you get to state there’s only ONE possibility remaining. None of the studies you cite shows the elimination of every other possibility.

        “CO2 theory predicts that warming effect should be higher the less water content the atmosphere has, since their absorption spectra overlaps significantly. The driest air is the coldest air.”

        What is “CO2 theory”? And where can I find it’s absolute description and predictions in writing??

        Water vapor and CO2 SHARE part of the same absorption spectra…but not all of it.

        And I thought that climate scientists believe that water vapor feedback roughly doubles the amount of warming caused by CO2…so why would the warming effect be “higher the less water content the atmosphere has”???

    • Experimental data on CO2’s power to increase atmospheric temperature:

      http://intelctweekly.blogspot.com/2015/01/mother-natures-experiment-with-co2.html

      “Mother Nature helpfully implemented the experimental design:

      “On August 21, 1986, possibly as the result of a landslide, Lake Nyos suddenly emitted a large cloud of CO2, which suffocated 1,700 people and 3,500 livestock in nearby towns and villages…

      “Carbon dioxide, being about 1.5 times as dense as air, caused the cloud to “hug” the ground and descend down the valleys, where various villages were located. The mass was about 50 metres (160 ft) thick and it travelled downward at a rate of 20–50 kilometres per hour (12–31 mph). For roughly 23 kilometres (14 mi) the cloud remained condensed and dangerous, suffocating many of the people sleeping in Nyos, Kam, Cha, and Subum.[4] About 4,000 inhabitants fled the area, and many of these developed respiratory problems, lesions, and paralysis as a result of the gases…”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Nyos

      All the pseudo-scientific babble about “climate sensitivity” has no physical experimental data. The Mt Nyos CO2 mass was Mother Nature’s experiment. What was the sensitivity?

      • kentclizbe,

        You clearly do not have the foggiest (sorry…pun intended) idea about what scientists are talking about when they use the term “climate sensitivity” to CO2.

        The residents near Lake Nyos did not die from a sudden exposure to HEAT. The CO2 in the Lake Nyos event caused the people and animals to SUFFOCATE…which means they died from a LACK OF OXYGEN caused by the displacement of the normal oxygen at the surface with CO2. If you suck all the air out of a room, the people in that room will die but that just proves that humans have a sensitivity to a lack of oxygen.

        But thanks for pointing out that Mother Nature can suddenly and inexplicably release a LOT of CO2 without the least help from human beings.

      • Aphan,

        I’m sorry that I didn’t explain the concept well enough for you to understand.

        This is about the effects of an enormous increase in CO2 concentration on temperature–not about dead people. The Lake Nyos CO2 incident is the perfect real-world laboratory experiment to prove, or disprove, the CO2 is a “Greenhouse Gas” Theory, and the “CO2 Sensitivity” assumption.

        Here, I’ll spell it out for you: “CO2 Sensitivity Theory,” which is the basis of the entire man-made-global-warming-freak-out, is based on two assumptions:

        1. CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere “traps heat,” and therefore increasing CO2 concentrations in the Earth’s atmosphere will increase the amount of “trapped heat,” raising Earth’s “average temperature.”
        2. Doubling the concentration of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere must increase the Earth’s temperature by a knowable amount.

        With me so far?

        So, the scientific questions for the above assumptions is: Do you have any real-world observations of this? Where is your data?

        The answers are: That’s impossible. We could never have a situation where CO2 could be added to the Earth’s atmosphere, in a controlled way, to double the concentration. So, we’ll just go with our government-funded models, and hand-waving sophistry of climate con-men.

        The Lake Nyos incident blows that argument out of the water. In a real-world laboratory–the area around the lake, CO2 concentration doubled, and doubled, and doubled, and doubled, several thousand times–from 0.04% to more than 50% concentration of CO2 in the local atmosphere.

        Are you still with me? (I’m typing slowly, hope that helps…)

        So, the Lake Nyos “experiment” gave us real-world data to measure the effects of actual doubling (exponentially) of CO2.

        The incident happened during the day. Sunlight was streaming down, through the CO2 bubble, providing heat to the Earth. That heat, according to the CO2 “Greenhouse Effect” theory is now trapped, by the thousand times doubled CO2 concentration.

        So, we now have an actual real-world laboratory experiment (for which, as you pointed out, many people gave their lives). Where’s the data? Where’s the evidence that the thousand times doubling of CO2 “trapped” one degree of measured heat? According the the “Greenhouse Effect” theory, such a huge concentration of CO2 should have created runaway warming. The village huts should have been incinerated.

        We don’t have the temperature data yet. A real scientist just needs to find and analysize the temperature data for that area on that day. That data will provide you with real-world measurements of “CO2 Sensitivity.”

        Hope that helped.

      • kentclizbe,

        I’d thought about actually taking the time to explain to you, the differences between a super saturated cloud of gases that included hydrogen and sulfur that hugged the ground in a specific and limited location was so dense that sunlight most likely didn’t penetrate it at all (which it would have to in order to hit the ground, be absorbed and turned into the long wave radiation that can be absorbed and re-emitted by CO2 molecules) and CO2 concentrations in the actual atmosphere of a GLOBE, but I couldn’t possibly type slowly enough for you to understand without wasting 60 or so years of my life.

        I actually do not believe that CO2 in our atmosphere is going to cause runaway warming of any kind, so you and I most likely fall on the same side of this discussion. But your condescension and lack of actual logical rigor and reasoning skills is so embarrassing, it took all I had to even admit that much of a similarity to you.

      • Aphan,

        Maybe you should focus less on typing slowly, and a bit more on reading comprehension. You appear to be confusing the Lake Nyos CO2 eruption with a “volcanic eruption.”

        I provided the link that explains what a Limnic Eruption is. Try reading it, and doing less typing. Here, I’ll make it easy for you:

        “A limnic eruption, also referred to as a lake overturn, is a rare type of natural disaster in which dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) suddenly erupts from deep lake waters, forming a [CO2] cloud…”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limnic_eruption

        The Nyos gas cloud from the Limnic Eruption in 1986 appears to have been nearly PURE CO2.

        “However, on August 21, 1986, a limnic eruption occurred at Lake Nyos, triggering the sudden release of about 100,000–300,000 tons[11] (some sources state as much as 1.6 million tons)[12] of CO2. This gas cloud rose at nearly 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph) and[5] spilled over the northern lip of the lake into a valley running roughly east-west from Cha to Subum. It then rushed down two valleys branching off to the north, displacing all of the air…”

        So, once one understands what happened at Lake Nyos–a cloud of pure CO2 displaced the Earth’s atmosphere for miles–one can easily understand that significance of this event as a real-world lab test of “CO2 as a Greenhouse Gas” theory. The question is: why are no “climate scientists” racing to gather the objective evidence that will prove (or disprove) their theory. It’s there, waiting to be gathered.

        More scientific data on the pure CO2 gas release at Lake Nyos: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~gwk/research/nyos.html

      • Aphan,

        “But your condescension and lack of actual logical rigor and reasoning skills is so embarrassing…”

        Not to put to fine a point on it, buddy, but before you make accusations such as the above, you would do well to make an effort at honing your own “logical rigor” and “reasoning skills.”

        You either failed to read the sources provided, or failed to understand what you read. You made huge assumptions regarding your own faulty knowledge, understanding, and reasoning ability.

        Happy to discuss the Lake Nyos incident and its unique real-world data for testing the GHGE with you–AFTER you’ve read up and understand the incident.

        As for tone and condescension. Dude, the first line of your first response drips with ignorance and hubristic arrogance: “…you haven’t the foggiest idea…”

        So stop whining about a condescending tone that you inserted into the conversation, stop ignoring reality, and let’s get back to the actual task at hand: recognize the Lake Nyos incident as the only real-world experiment to test the GGE theory–null hypothesis: doubling CO2 concentration in Earth’s atmosphere will NOT increase atmospheric temperature.

        In fact it is nearly a perfect lab experiment. Besides the pure CO2 cloud and the temperature data from the areas covered by it, the experiment provided control areas–nearby villages that were not covered by the cloud. Were the GHGE real, the temperature in the CO2-engulfed villages will be higher than the temperature in the control group.

        Thanks.

      • Kentclizbe

        First, the reason I spoke of other gases is not because I think the eruption was volcanic. It’s simple logic to conclude a gas cloud erupting from a former volcanic lake bed will contain ALL of the chemicals present in the sediment of that lake. From one of the wiki links on the Lake Nyos disaster-

        “Following the eruption, many survivors were treated at the main hospital in Yaoundé, the country’s capital. It was believed that many of the victims had been poisoned by a mixture of gases that included hydrogen and sulfur. Poisoning by these gases would lead to burning pains in the eyes and nose, coughing and signs of asphyxiation similar to being strangled.[9]”

        Tsk tsk to both of us assuming wikipedia houses all truth.

        1. “So, the Lake Nyos “experiment” gave us real-world data to measure the effects of actual doubling (exponentially) of CO2. ”

        Um no Kent, it really didn’t. For so many reasons I cannot even begin to list them all, but the most obvious one (at least to everyone but you) is that it is illogical and stupid to attempt to compare a localized event that doesn’t even begin to represent all of the characteristics of our atmosphere…with our actual atmosphere and then declare it to be real-world proof of anything.

        2. Kentclizbe said: “The incident happened during the day. Sunlight was streaming down, through the CO2 bubble, providing heat to the Earth.”

        FALSE- It happened at NIGHT.
        “Around 9 p.m., Che, a subsistence farmer with four children, heard a rumbling that sounded like a rockslide. Then a strange white mist rose from the lake. He told his children that it looked as if rain were on the way and went to bed, feeling ill.”
        Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/defusing-africas-killer-lakes-88765263/#AwvAKDJjm1oC8dIB.99
        Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
        Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

        3. Anyone who has ever used a pressurized can of air, or an air conditioner, or even a paintball gun can tell you that CO2, when compressed and then released to a lower pressure atmosphere at a high rate will be cold. VERY COLD. Tell me using scientific calculations how long it would take that much pressurized CO2 to even reach ambient temperatures on the ground that NIGHT in the mountains of Cameroon (no Sun) IF you could actually hold/keep/corral all of it in one place, much less grow HOT…and then tell me what happens to your calculations when that cloud is moving across the ground at 45 miles per hour. I’ll wait.

        IOW- The “fog” rolling over those poor sleeping people was COLD because it had been compressed and then released to a lower pressure atmosphere at a high rate. It remained cold because there was no energy source to warm it other than the ambient air temperature at 9:00 PM, on a mountain top. It hugged the ground both because it was heavier than regular air AND because it was COLD…hint gases rise when they get warm…and the SUN’s shortwave radiative energy is kind of required to be absorbed by the ground and then re-radiated in order to produce the long wave radiation that can be absorbed by CO2 in the atmosphere..and then warm it. Cold CO2 with nothing to warm it does absolutely NOTHING to destroy the AGW CO2 argument. Get it?

        MOST “warmists” know that there is more to our atmosphere’s temperatures than the concentration of CO2 in it, even if you don’t. Thus, an explosion of CO2 at night, in a remote African village, no matter how highly concentrated, has absolutely no relation to the complicated, interactive system that composes our climate over days, years, decades. Declaring the Lake Nyos event as even remotely similar, let alone conclusive proof of something, simply because a lot of CO2 was involved, makes you look like a fool, to everyone on every side of the debate. And skeptics like me would naturally want to point that out, rather than remain silent and appear to agree with you.

      • Aphan,

        Great, you’re finally talking sense, engaged with the actual subject. Thanks.

        There is much, much information on the incident besides Wikipedia. I use Bing. There are many sources, including an academic clearinghouse for data and information. Wikipedia also provides sources in the bibliography that are a good jumping off place.

        The final analysis is that all the injuries or deaths were caused by CO2–NO other gases. The gas bubble from the lake resulted from CO2 being forced out of solution from the lake–see “Limnic eruption” for details. The burns and injuries were all explained by CO2. There were essentially NO injuries not traced to CO2 death or incapacitation–ie, victims passed out from CO2 exposure and fell into fires, causing 3rd degree burns.

        I had not paid attention to the time of the incident–good catch, thanks.

        Regardless of the time of day, the Nyos incident is a real-world lab experiment of the effects of doubling, and doubling, and doubling again the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

        Instead of mathematical models and hypothetical imaginings of the effects of doubling CO2, Nyos is a demonstration of the effects of massive concentrations of CO2 in the real world. Was there any heat in the area covered by the CO2? Did the CO2 “reflect” the heat, as GHE theory posits? Or was there any effect at all on temperature? What would GHE theory predict if the CO2 concentration doubled WITHOUT sunlight heating the ground?

        Nyos is a deep source of data, waiting to be mined, on CO2 concentrations in Earth’s atmosphere.

      • “Regardless of the time of day, the Nyos incident is a real-world lab experiment of the effects of doubling, and doubling, and doubling again the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. ”

        Again, Kent, it’s NOT a good experiment. You can double, double, double CO2 in a jar, in a lab, and put it in the Sun and its NOT a good representation. The Earth isn’t inside a jar. The area of Lake Nyos does NOT simulate the entire planet, nor it’s atmosphere, on any given day….much less on a wacked out, CO2 filled moment. That’s why your argument falls apart from the very get-go.

        Our atmosphere does not cycle, turn over, blend, etc within a 24 hour period. Or even three days. Doubling the CO2 in our atmosphere doesn’t just involve tossing more CO2 into it. Doubling CO2 means lessening of other gases, expansion of some, removal of some, filtering through the oceans, through plants, through humans. You cannot compare an orb with an atmosphere that has developed over eons of time to an air pocket over a small rural location with specific geography, air flow, altitude, and a very limited time frame and say “well this didn’t happen HERE, so it won’t happen THERE.” It’s not that simple.

        All the Nyos event proves is the effects of doubling, and doubling, and doubling again of the CO2 concentration in the GROUND LEVEL AIR (not the atmosphere….you cannot say that) at Nyos at 9:00 pm on that specific night.

        I do not believe that CO2 in the atmosphere of this planet causes warming. I think it only slightly delays the return of long wave radiation to space. Period. You don’t have to convince me of anything. But this argument that the Nyos event was even remotely indicative of how CO2 in our atmosphere works on a planetary level is so outlandish that no one with any scientific ability is ever going to take it seriously. Much less use it to persuade anyone else of something.

      • Aphan,

        Slow down, take a breath, switch to decaf. Read what I’m saying, not what you think I’m saying.

        Nyos is a perfect lab test of the CO2 GREENHOUSE GAS EFFECT THEORY.

        CO2 GGE theory is based on the hypothesis that:

        1. CO2 TRAPS HEAT. CO2, CO2, CO2.
        2. Doubling CO2 predictably TRAPS MORE HEAT.

        Note that there’s no need for the CO2 to be spread all over the world. The theory is that CO2 TRAPS HEAT–wherever it is, and whenever it is.

        Nyos provides us with direct real-world evidence of doubling CO2 in the atmosphere.

        The concentration at Nyos was 50-100%. If CO2 is a magic, heat-trapping gas, it would trap heat across the several miles of land which the cloud of CO2 covered in the Nyos incident.

        Is there any other real-world data available of a CO2 doubling incident in real time? Is there another chance to prove/disprove the CO2 GGE?

        None that I know of. But I’m still looking.

      • kent

        “CO2 GGE theory is based on the hypothesis that:

        1. CO2 TRAPS HEAT. CO2, CO2, CO2.
        2. Doubling CO2 predictably TRAPS MORE HEAT.”

        I have no idea where you are getting your statements regarding “CO2 GGE theory”, or how exactly you are defining it, so you’ll have to provide evidence that outlines exactly what you claim someone else is claiming.

        On your blog you state-
        “Remember the GHG proponents say that CO2, in normal proportions in the atmosphere, 0.004% is so powerful as to “boil the oceans.”

        So I’d ALSO like a link to an actual quote where a “GHG proponent claims that CO2, in normal proportions in the atmosphere, 0.004%, is powerful enough to boil the oceans.”

        Because at 400 ppm right now, CO2 constitutes 0.04% of our atmosphere. 0.004% is much, much lower…and could not possibly boil anything, even if it did trap heat. (It seems that you did not take notice of the actual proportions vs your mistaken ones, just like you did not notice that the Sun was NOT”shining down on the CO2 bubble” at 9:00 pm the night of the Lake Nyos event)

        “Note that there’s no need for the CO2 to be spread all over the world. The theory is that CO2 TRAPS HEAT–wherever it is, and whenever it is.”

        Pretty much, no. If you are (which I doubt) accurately repeating what someone else thinks, the above statement can easily be proven wrong simply by putting CO2 near a heat source that is not emitting the specific infrared spectra absorbed by CO2. If CO2 traps HEAT-wherever it is, and whenever it is, then CO2 would trap the incoming heat energy from the Sun…and it doesn’t.

        So my point is that you appear to have manipulated/imagined a very simple “theory” of some kind, attributed it to be a belief of someone else, and are attempting to convince me that the Lake Nyos event somehow demolishes that belief. In logic it’s called creating a Strawman-making up and argument that can easily be defeated, defeating it, and pretending to have defeated some very strong argument. I’m pointing out that the very structure of the argument you are building on is so rudimentary it falls apart at the slightest nudge, and that even the “GHG proponents” you speak of could not be that stupid.

        I look forward to seeing the links that back up your statements of attribution to other people.

      • Kent-

        “We don’t have the temperature data yet. A real scientist just needs to find and analysize the temperature data for that area on that day. That data will provide you with real-world measurements of “CO2 Sensitivity.”

        Not a day….a night. And just where exactly do you suppose a real scientist would find “the temperature data for that area on that day”? What kind of temperature data do you think exists? From a remote hillside in Africa in 1986…with no climate stations, thermometers, airports, and the odds of a satellite passing directly over head at exactly the right moment being extremely small…

      • Kentclizbe-
        “In fact it is nearly a perfect lab experiment. Besides the pure CO2 cloud and the temperature data from the areas covered by it, the experiment provided control areas–nearby villages that were not covered by the cloud. Were the GHGE real, the temperature in the CO2-engulfed villages will be higher than the temperature in the control group. ”

        First sentence establishes that you have NO IDEA what would constitute a “nearly perfect” lab experiment because this certainly is not one. Unless every single village in that area lies at the exact same altitude, has the exact same terrain, the exact same composition of land, rocks, water, trees, people, grass etc-they cannot be used as “control areas”. The more confounding variables there are between objects/areas, the less reliable your results will be. For example, the temperature on my back porch might register 30F right now, but the one on my neighbor’s back porch 50 yards up the street might register 32F, or 29 F. Villages in the valley would be expected to have different “normal, every day” temps than the ones on the hilltops. Temperatures under trees will differ from temperatures in open spaces.

        Pure CO2 under pressure, in the dark, would make the CO2 engulfed villages COLDER than the villages not engulfed due to the chemical fact that compressed, highly saturated CO2 is COLD. Basic chemistry.

        These are remote villages without electricity, or plumbing…much less luxuries like thermometers that could have captured the temperature data.

        Unless you can prove that the “climate” and/or “atmosphere” in that specific area, on that specific night, constituted a perfect match with our PLANET’S average climate, you cannot scientifically, or logically, extrapolate anything that occurred there that night as even remotely, logically applicable to how the planet’s climate functions…much less declare it a nearly perfect experiment!

        Oh….and it happened at NIGHT. No Sun.

      • Aphan,

        Is there another real-world example of CO2 doubling in the atmosphere, besides the Nyos incident?

        Has the CO2 Greenhouse Gas Effect theory ever been tested, in the real world?

        Right now the only “evidence” for the CO2 GGE is mathematical formulas and hypothetical what-iffings.

        At Nyos CO2 actually doubled in the actual atmosphere. What were the results? What were the effects of that doubling? Did the GGE predictions of the effects of “climate sensitivity” actually occur?

        If not, why not? If it was because the CO2 was “too cold,” then what happened to the “heat trapping” power of CO2? CO2 is posited by the GGE hypothesis to be a deadly powerful source of runaway heating at a concentration of 0.04% in Earth’s atmosphere. Why would it lose this deadly heating power at a concentration of 50-100% of the atmosphere? If it cools the atmosphere, then what concentration begins the cooling?

        Real-world data is nothing to be scared of. In fact, Nyos should be a landmark of real-world data collection to prove the GGE. Sure the “experiment” was not perfect, but it’s surely better than the imaginary thought-experiments that have been done to date.

        By the way, you really should stop with ad hominem attacks. Stick to the issue. Thanks.

      • Kent-“The concentration at Nyos was 50-100%. If CO2 is a magic, heat-trapping gas, it would trap heat across the several miles of land which the cloud of CO2 covered in the Nyos incident.”

        Kent, Carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation (IR) in three narrow bands of wavelengths, which are 2.7, 4.3 and 15 micrometers (µM).

        So this entire argument is SO much easier than you are making it. The only question you have to answer is how much outgoing, long wave, infrared radiation in those three wavelengths WAS ACTUALLY AVAILABLE to be absorbed/trapped by 9:00 pm that night?

        Because if it was just a LOT….then a MAGICAL, HEAT TRAPPING GAS should have fried everything in it’s path! But here’s the rub….if it was only a little, with CO2 logarithmic absorption qualities, then even a magical, heat trapping gas could only absorb ALL of that very LITTLE amount of heat and still not leave any evidence of a significant temperature change at all.

        And that’s where the “warmists” will hit ya. And win. Oh yeah…they’ll also probably also accuse you with being a liar about them believing that CO2 is a “magic, heat-trapping gas” that should have fried everything in site that night. Since most of them probably don’t believe what you are saying that they do.

    • The reality is that CO2 has already done all the absorbing its gonna do at remarkably low levels of CO2. Adding more wont actually make things markedly different, any more than a second blackout curtain actually makes the room perceptibly darker.

      • Leo:
        Doesn’t seem to have stopped on Venus.
        Despite it having an albedo of 0.76 and only 2.6% of the solar flux incident at the top of the atmosphere reaches the surface in the global average.
        It’s 96% Co2 atmosphere has a surface temp of ~460C

        http://lasp.colorado.edu/~espoclass/ASTR_5835_2015_Readings_Notes/Titov_Et_Al-EVTP.pdf

        Look up the Beer-Lambert law.
        The clue lies in the path-length and the height at which more LWIR exits to space than is returned.
        That height increases as concentrations increase.
        Making the emission temp progressively colder, and therefore weaker.

        Cue “it’s the pressure” comments

      • No photon of LWIR light has ever made it from the surface to the tropopause since the industrial revolution in the fundamental bend of CO2 or the rotational bands that follow from the main bend.

        The spectral properties of CO2 are such that every subsequent transition is also entirely dependent on the fundamental bend.

        The second order vibrations at 618, and 720.8 are very nearly but not quite saturated at 400 ppm, so these can contribute to warming until they saturate. Yet the intensity of these secondary bends is two orders of magnitude less than the fundamental at 667.4.

        The third order transitions are in turn dependent on and much weaker than the second order.

        Bottom line is that there is some small residual of absorption by CO2 that is seemingly capable of warming, yet even it doesn’t work according to the current and proxy data.

        My current notion is that stratospheric radiative cooling by CO2 counteracts the small surface warming.

        The stratosphere is part of the planet too.

    • gymnosperm, one thing that comes to my mind is the fact that the atmosphere is not bounded at the top by a rigid barrier. Warmed gases expand and, expanding, cool again. The atmosphere, however it may be warmed, is free to expand, and thereby let the temperature fall back down.

      Afaik, the only thing that *can* shift the equilibrium point is a change in the energy *received*. If energy emitted is delayed, the air warms until the excess energy is used “fluffing up” the volume.

      • I agree. I would go further and argue that the mass/pressure of the atmospheric columns in rising (warm core) and sinking (cold core) regimes dominate the control of surface temperature.
        Take a desert region with clear skies under low atmospheric pressure. This happens a lot because the main reason for deserts is that they don’t get clouds or rain during low pressure episodes. It will get very cold at night from unimpeded radiation to space. A week later high pressure moves in. It is still clear, but it is 10 degrees warmer at night with the same amount of unimpeded radiation.

      • A week later high pressure moves in. It is still clear, but it is 10 degrees warmer at night with the same amount of unimpeded radiation.

        Except, it isn’t unimpeded, the dew point went up by 10 degrees, and at night it just cools back down to the warmer dew point.
        That is what this shows, the active regulation of the outgoing radiation level based on air temperature nearing dew point.https://micro6500blog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/1997-daily-cooling-sample-zoom-with-inset1.png

        Is “The Crow” effect, to pretentious?

  9. whether global temperatures are increasing more that would be reasonably expected by random natural variation.

    What a silly proposition. Temperatures on Earth are narrowly constrained, not random driven. Random variation therefore will almost always be much higher than measured variation. That bet cannot be won even if AGW was the dominant factor (I don’t think it is). The question is how did he get people to participate in a rigged contest? You have a better chance buying a lottery ticket.

    • Javier

      “What a silly proposition. Temperatures on Earth are narrowly constrained, not random driven. Random variation therefore will almost always be much higher than measured variation. That bet cannot be won even if AGW was the dominant factor (I don’t think it is). The question is how did he get people to participate in a rigged contest? You have a better chance buying a lottery ticket”

      Seems to me that would make his contest easier to win not harder.

      • No, because the measured variation will almost always be smaller than random variation, and therefore it is impossible to statistically demonstrate that it cannot be explained by random.

      • Javier

        “No, because the measured variation will almost always be smaller than random variation, and therefore it is impossible to statistically demonstrate that it cannot be explained by random.”

        You know that and I know that but that is not what CAGW theory says, they claim that there is a tipping point at which warming becomes Catastrophic hence the C and something that would be outside natural variation and be essentially linear in nature with out random Variation.

        That is the whole point.

    • Temperatures on Earth are narrowly constrained, not random driven.
      ==============
      stick a thermometer outside your window. There is a huge random variation day to day, even if all readings are taken at the same time of day. what is the forcing that has changed from one day to the next?

  10. with the random seed being the seventh perfect number minus one
    Donald Knuth once quibbed:
    “A random number generator should not be chosen at random…”
    :-)

  11. Using a physically unrealistic random walk model is like starting a physics problem by presupposing unicorns and magic. Meaning, you start by assuming something absurd, and then it turns out you can “prove” almost anything as a result. But your results are useless.

    So there’s a reason scientists reject Keenan’s model; it’s physically implausible. Why should scientists have to beat a statistical test that we already know is wrong to compare against?

    This is really the low-hanging fruit for skeptics; some of the most asinine arguments against anthropogenic climate change. And it’s a great example of why most people with PhDs reject climate change “skepticism”, when such skepticism based on arguments that we know are incorrect, but the skeptics just keep repeating them anyway.

    • What is it in the criteria for getting a PhD degree (in anything) that bestows upon one the ability to reject skepticism about something that may be totally alien to the field of one’s PhD expertise; well for ” most people with PhDs. ” ??

      G

      And how would you explain why most people with PhDs in Physics (from USA Universities (all of those universities)), NEVER get a full time paying job in their field of special expertise, as evidenced by the issuance of that PhD degree. ??

      For the purposes of that statement; ” most people ” equates to 65% of them. As evidenced by a study conducted by the AIP.

      30% of ” them ” DO get a full time paying job in their field of special expertise. The remaining 5% may get a part time gig, that eventually forces them to change their job search field.

      G

      • What is it in the criteria for getting a PhD degree (in anything) that bestows upon one the ability to reject skepticism about something that may be totally alien to the field of one’s PhD expertise; well for ” most people with PhDs. ” ??

        Enh, basic statistics should not be “totally alien” to most science PhDs.

        So much of climate change “skepticism” relies on rejecting junior-level statistics and numerical methods, mathematics that are well over a century old… so it’s not really a surprise that people who regularly use such math reject the faux skepticism.

        What’s more, WUWT, the most prominent climate change “skepticism” blog, regularly reblogs this nonsense, such that innumeracy is part of the public face of skepticism to people who can grok the math.

    • See above. Your basic problem is that Keenan did not pose a true random walk model. And you failed to verify the problem he did pose. Bad form.

    • Windchasers: I could just as easily say using a climate model is like starting a physics problem by presupposing unicorns and magic.

      Also, skeptical scientists reject climate models, so why should they have to address a model that is already known to be wrong?

      There’s a lot of “knowing” in there, but most of it just seems to blustering and bluffing, you know?

  12. To put it another way:

    If you use the random walk model, you are saying that there is no self-restoring mechanism for the Earth’s climate. You’re saying that the temperatures could realistically, actually be below 0K within a few millennia, or hot enough to boil off the oceans, just from natural internal variation.

    This is patently absurd – if the Earth’s temperatures fluctuated by this much, all life would have been destroyed a million times over.

  13. Climate is not random natural variation. It is a set of variables with specific relationships, working on many spatial and time scales, and with varying types of interactions (some linear, some logarithmic, etc), of such complexity peppered with small amount of randomness, that we cannot model it. That is, it is low correlation systems, not no correlation systems. Essentially, an interaction of probabilistic systems, not deterministic systems defeats prediction. Since interaction of probabilistic systems does not produce certain outcomes, only probabilistic outcomes, numerical equation models cannot work, and are waste, fraud, and abuse of public funds to build and maintain.

  14. Essentially, what this contest shows is that Doug Keenan doesn’t understand the difference between descriptive statistics and inferential statistics (and that he doesn’t understand physics, either). The Met Office model he refers to is not really a model in the sense of being predictive. It is simply a method for analysing a dataset. It only applies to the data that you have and does not apply to periods for which you do not have data. In the case of what Doug Keenan refers to as the Met Office model, all they’re doing is determining the linear trend and the uncertainty in that trend; it is simply being used to describe the dataset. There is no suggestion that this “model” (which isn’t really a model in the sense that a physicist would mean) really tells you anything about how the system evolved into the state in which we now observe it, or how it will evolve in the future – that would require some kind of model of the actual system being observed. Doug Keenan can, of course, choose to analyse the same data using a different statistical technique, but he has yet to explain what fitting some kind of random walk tells us about this data; as Nick Stokes has already pointed out the surface temperatures can’t simply be a random walk as that would violate the laws of physics – they go up when the energy increases and go down when it decreases. To understand what is causing the energy to change requires a lot more than simply some kind of statistical model.

  15. Put simply, when the data suited the IPCC — and the UKMO — man-made global warming was ‘proved’ by computer modelling AND statistics. Since the data no longer suits the UKMO it’s conveniently decided to drop the need for statistical proof.

    Absolutely unbelievable.

      • I love the total effrontery with which you display your utter ignorance of the science of CO2 and radiation, to utter a completely false statement.

        It is in fact that over 150 years of empirical science that actually disproves AGW.

        AGW cannot account for the levels of 20th century warming by the physics of CO2 alone.

        The science does NOT support the models, nor explain the warming.

        Unless you add something else.

        The warmist climate deniers decided to add a multiplier. To add amplification. They could have added an independent variable, but that would have made AGW pathetically second order and useless for the purposes of making money out of, so they added a multiplier with no evidence whatsoever that that was the right thing to do.

        And that multiplier, has certain qualities that predicted – for example – tropospheric hotspots, that simply don’t exist.

        Empirical science once again totally falsifies AGW.

        That anyone can still claim that AGW is supported by the science is clear evidence that they dont understand AGW theories or the science behind them.

        It doesn’t stop the ‘useful idiots’ – the wannabees who drank the kool-aid and believe in Mann – from saying it though.

      • ToneB,
        You are conveniently ignoring all the confounding factors that interact in the form of feedback loops. Burning coal without controls on sulfate aerosols negates any impact from CO2. Also, there is the diminishing returns effect of CO2 absorption being logarithmic. So, Tyndall’s lab experiments are only part of the story. That is another example of cherry picking.

      • There is no proof of global warming by CO2 in that collection. Only that CO2 can absorb then either immediately re-emit a photon or pass on the energy gained to one of the other gases by collision (sensible heat).
        (1) If the re-radiation is to the surface and it reaches water (75% probability), then the effect will be to increase the evaporation from the surface and reduce its heat content due to the latent heat of evaporation. The water vapor will convect upward and release the heat at height when it changes state back to liquid or ice. If it hits something dry and raises its temperature then according to Stefan Boltzmann the rate of radiation from that surface will increase as the 4th power.
        (2) If sensible heat transfer has occurred due to collision the extra energy will result in expansion of the gas volume and it will convect upward carrying water vapor with it that will condense and release heat photons that will mostly escape to space those that dont have the effect in (1) above.

        You persist in measuring atmospheric temperature as a metric for heat content, which is scientifically incorrect. Heat content is measured in Joules. In this case you should be providing heat content in kilojoules per kilogram. You will find that the enthalpy of dry air is far lower. (A volume of 100% humid misty air in a bayou in Louisiana at 75F has twice the kilojoules per kilogram as a similar volume of dry close to zero humidity air in Arizona at 100F. (I have an innate mistrust of people that use the wrong metrics when trying to ‘sell’ a hypothesis.) A small drop in atmospheric humidity would account for all the temperature change at 2 meters claimed by the AGW hypothesis. Atmospheric humidity is meant to be rising rapidly according to the positive feedback claimed by IPCC and others. There does not appear to be any evidence of this jump in humidity – perhaps it has gone the way of the tropospheric ‘hot spot’.

        So – show the scientific empirical evidence of CO2 raising atmospheric heat content. . Use the right units and do not use reasoning equivalent to ‘I cannot think of anything else it could be so it must be X” nor use correlation over a short period that does not match correlation over a similar period. You have all the evidence already I am sure so it should be really simple to do.

      • “Also, there is the diminishing returns effect of CO2 absorption being logarithmic. ”

        That hasn’t stopped taking Venus to where it is.

        And considering that the GMST difference between glacial and interglacial is only of the order of 6C it is plain that “diminishing returns” will be of no help.

      • “It is in fact that over 150 years of empirical science that actually disproves AGW.”

        If you say so Leo.

        “It is in fact that over 150 years of empirical science that actually disproves AGW.”

        How so.
        You do know what “empirical” means??
        As in we know how CO2 back-radiates LWIR and it can be calculated and has been directly observed …

        http://phys.org/news/2015-02-carbon-dioxide-greenhouse-effect.html

        “The science does NOT support the models, nor explain the warming.”

        It does.
        That’s why the experts say so.
        But if you are more of an expert, then…
        If you say so.

        “And that multiplier, has certain qualities that predicted – for example – tropospheric hotspots, that simply don’t exist.”

        It does.

        http://phys.org/news/2015-05-climate-scientists-elusive-tropospheric-hot.html

        And it would occur with ANY causation of warming.
        It is due to latent heat release aloft of the Tropics.
        The driver of it is irrelevant.
        What IS only possible under GHG warming is stratospheric cooling.
        That’s happening as well.

        “http://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2013/09/vertical-human-fingerprint-found-in-stratospheric-cooling-tropospheric-warming/

        “Empirical science once again totally falsifies AGW.”

        Again, I bow to your hand-waving “certainty”.
        When’s the Nobel-winning paper out?

        “That anyone can still claim that AGW is supported by the science is clear evidence that they dont understand AGW theories or the science behind them.”

        And your expertise in climate science that trumps ALL others … comes from again?
        It wouldn’t happen to be Contrarian blogs would it?

      • Oh and Leo:

        “I love the total effrontery with which you display your utter ignorance of the science of CO2 and radiation, to utter a completely false statement.”

        Thanks for living up to my expectations.
        Keep reading the “post-truth” that is the usual here and everything will be fine.

      • When you guys stop arguing can one of you do something about the cold here in oz , really please I’m freezing and it’s summer where is this warming you keep promising ?

  16. A truly appreciative Thank You to Anthony for posting about this.

    @ Toneb at 8:55 am
    The answer to your question is in the Remarks, which are linked in Anthony’s post. Briefly, no contestant did better than chance.

    @ tarran at 9:10 am
    The main issue raised by Brandon Shollenberger is implicitly addressed in the Notes on the Contest web page. Please read that, and look at documentation in the computer program (posted on my website). I believe you will agree that everything is fine. As for Shollenberger, he seems to be delusional. Bob Boder at 10:36 am puts it well.

    Regarding physical realism, there is a statistical aphorism “all models are wrong”. In other words, when we consider any statistical model, we will find something wrong with the model. Thus, when considering a model, the question is not whether the model is wrong—because the model is certain to be wrong. Rather, the question is whether the model is useful, for a particular application.

    As an illustration, consider a straight line (with noise) as a model of global temperatures. Such a line will become arbitrarily high, over long enough time: e.g. higher than the temperature at the center of the sun. Global temperatures, however, will not become arbitrarily high. Hence, the model is wrong. In fact, a straight line is commonly used for temperatures, because everyone understands that it is to be used only over a finite time (e.g. a few centuries). Over a finite time, the line cannot become arbitrarily high. Hence using a straight line is reasonable, as well as useful.

    The main statistical model used in the Contest was more realistic than the statistical model relied upon by the IPCC (for details, see the Contest web page). Hence, if the Contest model is rejected for being unrealistic, then the IPCC model must also be rejected, because it is even more unrealistic. If the IPCC model is rejected, though, then all the IPCC statistical analysis must also be rejected.

    • I’ve asked you this before. The Met Office model (which isn’t really a model, but a data analysis technique) tells us the linear trend and the uncertainty in that trend – given the data. What does your model tell us about the data?

    • “Rather, the question is whether the model is useful, for a particular application.”
      A basic requirement for usefulness is that the model could explain the data. That provides a link. If there is no way that it could, there is no link.

      A random walk model is also not useful because it makes it hard to identify drift or trend. It is chosen to be as useless as possible.

  17. I think this could be the beginning of the end for AGW theory.

    First of all CO2 has zero effects upon the climate, because I believe the GHG effect is a result of the climate/environment. Evidence for this is due to the fact CO2 always follows the temperature. I do however admit more CO2 all other items being equal would raise the temperature.

    The test is on right now as we have pretty low solar conditions which should weaken further along with a declining geo magnetic field versus CO2 increasing.

    Let’s see which way the temperature trend goes. Thus far since early summer it has been down and I agree much of that was due to the recent El Nino ending.

    So we have to see where the temperatures go from here and how the cooling if it comes evolves.

    If the cooling comes as a result of increasing albedo values due to various terrestrial items moving in the direction I have suggested then my case is going to be strong.

    TERRESTRIAL ITEMS

    MERIDIONAL ATMOSPHERIC CIRCULATION EVOLVING MORE

    MAJOR VOLCANIC ACTVITY – INCREASING

    SNOW COVERAGE/CLOUD COVERAGE INCREASING.

    SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES COOLING/SEA ICE INCREASING

    As far as the temperature rise post 1880 it is nothing unique at all when viewed against the historical climatic record. I would say not even close to being unique if anything the climate from 1880-present has been very stable.

  18. Ken Rice: you say Doug used an incorrect model for his pseudo temperature series, does it matter if it is or is not a random walk, semi random walk or from any other stable? Some people profess the ability to analyse data to determine an unknown trend.
    Even when told the trend in advance, they still can not find one. Talking of incorrect random streams or use of the ‘wrong type of rnd num generator’s misses the point.
    We do not know all of the physics driving temperature change in the atmosphere, so we do not know how to analyse temperature time series.

    • Steve,
      That’s not quite what I said. I said that what Doug refers to as the Met Office Model isn’t really a model in the sense of being something that can be used to predict surface temperatures. It is simply a method for analysing the observational dataset. It allows us to determine a linear trend and the uncertainty in that trend. Of course, Doug can use a different analysis method if he wants to, but he still hasn’t explained what finding some random walk that happens to fit the data, tells us about the data. It can’t simply be a random walk, because that would violate the basic laws of physics. That’s why to actually understand what is causing changes in the surface temperatures requires models of the actual system, not simply statistical models.

      • I only half agree with you.

        The random walk is a system that will always diverge from its initial point. There is ample evidence (that fact of our existence is good) that temperature is and has been bounded by some negative feedback, so it is at most random within limits.

        But there are other random models, Take pure broadband noise. That tends to have a mean, that it sticks to.

        Climate is not inconsistent with that. Of course neither are the complete works of Shakespeare. So in an infinite world we are still stuck with no proof that indeed our most predictable and cherished laws of nature are not in fact purely coincidental…

        Randomness is not as simple as it appears, and things that appear to be random, may not be. I still think that the graphs of global temperature with time show far far more shape that is consistent with chaotic negative feedback regulated systems than anything else, and that’s not inconsistent with the models that probably DO really govern the climate (as opposed to those espoused by warmistas). The test then becomes whether or not a chaotic system can simulate the sort of climate variability we have seen.

        I suspect it can, easily.

        However this is way beyond simple statistics: We are now in the sort of cutting edge maths the quantum boys use: looking for classes of equations that have a similar order of characteristics as the phenomena we wish to model. Unfortunately people who understand climate physics are one thing, people who understand chaos maths are another, and so called climate scientists are nether fish nor fowl nor fresh red herring.

        Its a special case of the general problem with modern society. No single person has a sufficient grasp of all the issues to be able to make a balanced judgement. Nor even the capacity to judge whether others offering pieces of the puzzle, to be assembled, have in fact found a genuine piece, or just knocked up an interesting shape in the hope of getting a grant, or selling some copy.

        We will get there in the end, but we are way off target now, and a little more humility wouldn’t go amiss in the warmist camp.

  19. It’s fairly easy to write some random formulas in Excel and more or less duplicate the random walk WIKI chart at the top. With a little bit of tuning so that the size of the random steps are in line with the empirical record you will find that charts that nearly look like HADCRUT or whatever time series you choose drop out quite often. If you cheat and add a constant to reflect the warm-up over the last 166 years it’s really quite astonishing how often a near twin to the observed record is generated

  20. Give the man props. He put it out there with real money attached. That is guts ball. Nobody took the prize, so he is THE MAN.

  21. I think that before we can discuss the intricacies of statistics surrounding the data, we first have to establish that the data itself is trustworthy. Lately, as I have read various articles on this topic, my very trust in the data has faltered, and so intricate discussions about possible crap data merely give us intricate crappy discussions.

    QUESTIONS that linger in my mind (and these aim at the basic foundation blocks of the science):

    (1) the very validity of “global average temperature” as a legitimate measure,
    (2) even more, the very validity of any numerical average as a legitimate measure of planetary well being,
    (3) the truth value of temperature-station data, given historical variations in world-wide station density,
    (4) the accuracy of satellite projections of atmospheric temperatures from radiance measures, which seem to be plagued by continual “adjustments” due to one limitation or another of instrumentation or methodology, and the truth behind said needs for said “adjustments”,
    (5) uncertainty (in MY mind) about what it is that ARGO actually measures, given that the ocean (I thought) has currents that might vary in temperature, via separation layers, and how does one know if it is a current or an ambient mass that is being sampled (my ignorance, perhaps).

    If I had assurance that the global average were really legitimate, that the global average were really a legitimate measure of planetary well being, that temperature stations were well distributed and tightly controlled with unfailing consistency in data gathering, that satellite measures were more straightforward with fewer necessary “adjustments”, that ARGO was really measuring what we might call (CAN we?) any one fluid mass temperature, … then maybe I could start to embrace intricate statistical discussions about the data.

    As is, I’m too preoccupied with … garbage in/garbage out.

    • (1) the very validity of “global average temperature” as a legitimate measure,
      (2) even more, the very validity of any numerical average as a legitimate measure of planetary well being,

      Since temperature is an intensive property of the spot being measured, it cannot be averaged with a temperature measurement from a totally different spot and result in something physically meaningful. It’s that simple.

  22. Was Doug Keenan ever able to draw any conclusions from the tree ring data that he spent years trying to get hold of from Queen’s University of Belfast?

    • Professor Mike Baillie, the man who collected most of that data, called the ruling a “staggering injustice”. He explains his opinion below.

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/may/11/climate-science-tree-ring-data

      In part:
      “To put the record straight, I am neither a climatologist nor a dendro-climatologist. I have no academic stance on human-caused global warming except that, as a scientist reviewing the issue from an evolutionary perspective”

      and

      “Finally, regarding intellectual property and the release of data under FOI, when a dendrochronologist measures the widths of the growth rings in a sample, he or she has to make multiple decisions with respect to the starts and ends of the rings, problem rings, and so on. Repeated measurement of the same sample, will not give exactly the same measurements. The number of rings must be the same, but the actual measured widths will not be. This means that the ring pattern of a tree-ring sample carries the “intellectual fingerprint” of the dendrochronologist who measured it, every bit as much as this text carries my intellectual fingerprint. In my opinion, tree-ring patterns are therefore intellectual property and should not be handed out as if they are instrumental climate data.”

      • “In my opinion, tree-ring patterns are therefore intellectual property and should not be handed out.”

        Fine then shove them up the place where the sun don’t shine. They are of no more interest to me than the work of the 7th grade poetry slam.

      • I don’t believe I was responding to you my friend.
        But thanks anyway for your erudite comment.
        Most illuminating

      • Oh wow. Did Mike Baillie really SAY those things???

        “when a dendrochronologist measures the widths of the growth rings in a sample, he or she has to make multiple decisions with respect to the starts and ends of the rings, problem rings, and so on. ”

        IOW-
        Measuring the growth of tree rings is not an exact science, and thus the data collected from them is subject to bias and should be used sparingly and with error margins plainly posted and considered.

        “Repeated measurement of the same sample, will not give exactly the same measurements. The number of rings must be the same, but the actual measured widths will not be.”

        IOW-
        Even the same scientist measuring the same sample over and over again cannot reproduce his own work with accuracy.

        “This means that the ring pattern of a tree-ring sample carries the “intellectual fingerprint” of the dendrochronologist who measured it, every bit as much as this text carries my intellectual fingerprint. In my opinion, tree-ring patterns are therefore intellectual property and should not be handed out as if they are instrumental climate data.”

        Definition:
        “Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.”

        IOW-
        Tree ring sample patterns are creations of the mind, inventions, and have NO PLACE BEING USED AS IF THEY ARE INSTRUMENTAL CLIMATE DATA!!!!!

      • “In my opinion, tree-ring patterns are therefore intellectual property and should not be handed out as if they are instrumental climate data.”

        Did Baillie pay for the collection and study of those tree rings out of his own pocket? Was he paid to perform those studies by the taxpayers? If no to the former and yes to the latter, he has ZERO IP rights.

  23. The simplest test of all is to take a page from the police lineup.

    Take a temperature time series from a random time period, and mix it in with a 9 random walks. Ask climate scientists to pick out the real time series. The human eye is very good at picking out patterns, so if temperature is not random, an expert eye should spot the difference.

    Repeat this over and over, and see what percentage of right answers the climate scientists achieve. If they get roughly 10% correct, then that is a fairly strong argument that temperature is a random walk.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_states_of_randomness

  24. If the new theory of solar activity being a product of two solar dynamos variously cancelling and reinforcing each other at the sun’s surface is correct then it seems that Mr. Keenan will have to award his prize money. Definitely not random (because predictable) and solar accumulation analyses fit well with the temperature record. (Accumulation accounts for hysteresis. If looking at solar activity levels ahistorically the correlation is not to global temperature but to the rate of change of temperature.)

  25. Great discussion thus far. I agree with Rud Istvan that if 1920-40 canot be told from 1975-2000, but the advocates are claiming a different cause, the global CO2 caused warming advocates have a terminally lame argument. Pure random noise is a simplfying case, and easier to play with than what is probably the true standard as noted by Ristvan in this thread and lsvalgaard and Eschenbach in the threads on solar and climate cycles is autocorrelated “noise”, a record with no signal to find.

    • The warming 1920-1940 can be explained almost entirely by natural variation.
      We had a +ve PDO regime …

      We had a warm AMO….

      We did not have any strength in GHG forcing until around 1970, when it broke free of the -ve forcing caused by aerosols….

      In short, the warming since around 1970 has been overwhelmingly Anthro.
      Prior not.

      The 1920-1940 warming cannot be equated with present in terms of causality.

      • In short, the warming since around 1970 has been overwhelmingly Anthro.
        Prior not.

        An absolute wrong statement.

        All of the warming from 1970 -98 is due to natural variations which were influenced by strong solar activity overall during this time period. This started to change in 2005 when solar entered a period of weak activity which is going to be showing up now and this will then clarify that all of the warming up to the end of the last century as natural.

      • “In short, the warming since around 1970 has been overwhelmingly Anthro.”

        Absoutely correct.

        But not because of the accumulation of greenhouise gasses.

        Since 1970, SO2 emissions into the troposphere have been reduced by more than 30 Megatonnes. The resultant cleaner air will naturally cause temperatures to rise (just as the cooling from large a volcanic eruption ends when its aerosols settle out of the atmosphere).

      • ““In short, the warming since around 1970 has been overwhelmingly Anthro.”

        “No it’s not”
        “Rubbish.”

        If yoy say so Micro/Cat.

      • No, actually measurements prove it. You do remember science involves looking at measurements and then making sense out of them, right? Measurements Trumps models, measurements trump theory.
        Measurements that prove you are wrong, that all you warmists are wrong.

        But I don’t expect you to understand this, it’s complicated, and maybe you’re just not knowledgeable enough on active systems.

      • Toneb December 8, 2016 at 2:14 pm
        Interesting.
        THAT is supposed to prove that “In short, the warming since around 1970 has been overwhelmingly Anthro.” ?
        This only prove that you pretend Nature is made of only two phenomenons, PDO and AMO, than you use a false dichotomy (“since this is not AMO+PDO, then the only possibility left is man-made GHG”). then you add a graph that beg the question from a notorious activist more than scientist (Hansen), and, voilà. You pretend to have proven the thing.

        The very fact that you have to rely on so weak rhetorical tricks to make your point, proves you wrong.

    • TH, I ‘stand on the shoulders of giants.’ It was Richard Lindzen of MIT that first made this observational argument. All I did was verify it statistically, then cite it in the SPM to AR4. I did have the honor of visiting him in his MIT office weeks before his retirement, to receive his personal critique of the climate chapter of The Arts of Truth. To my amazement, he critiqued the entire book, not just the limate chapter. His critique was deservedly severe. The Svalbard footnote to Wegener’s Continental Drift example is just one of the direct results of his gracious and very biting inputs. For the record, I bought him our lunch at the MIT faculty cafeteria. A great honor.

      • Interesting! Freely given scientific insight! Not minor league tree ring intuitions from a single rock in the East Atlantic. squirrelled away from view and comparative analysis. Come to think of it I don’t recall Einstein keeping his findings to himself either. I guess not all scientists are alike.

  26. I believe that Mankind’s burnng up the Earth’s finite resources of fossil fuels as quickly as possible is not such a good idea and I would like to use AGW as another reason to conserve but the AGW conjecture is just too full of holes to defend. From the data I have seen we are in an interglacial period that is gradually ending but the descent into the next ice age may be many thousands of years off. So far the current intergalcail period has not been as warm as the previous one which exhibited more ice cap melting and higher sea levels yet CO2 levels were lower than today. In the current intergalcail period we are still warming up from the Little Ice Age much as we warmed up from the Dark Ages Cooling Period. On a shorter time scale we have come to the end of of the late 20th century warming cycle and will most likely enter a cooling cycle like which occoured during the middle of the 20th century. On an even shorter time scale we are feeling the effect of ocean caused weather cycles and beyond that it is all random variations most likey caused by weather.. There is correlation with natrual phenomena but not Man’s adding CO2 to the atmosphere. From the work that has been done with modeling, our current climate change is caused by the sun and the oceans. There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate. There is no such evidence in the paleoclimate record and plenty of scientific rational to support the idea that the climate sensivity of CO2 is areally zero.

    Man’s adding of CO2 to the atmosphere because of the burning of fossil fuels in unpresidented and if more CO2 really caused global warming then according to Ithe IPCC’ plethora of models it should be significantly warmer then it actually is. The IPCC model’s inability to predict today’s global temperatures in an indicator that there is something wrong with the AGW conjecture. I believe that CO2 caused global warming is harded coded into the simulations but not the real nature of climate change.

    A most important task for the IPCC is to make a very accurate determination as to the climate sensivity of CO2. In their first report the IPCC published a wide range of what they considered possible values for the climate sensivity of CO2. In their last report they published the exact same range for their guess as to what the climate sensivity of CO2 really is. So after more than two decades of study the IPCC has found nothing that would allow them to narrow their range of guesses one iota. If the IPCC found any real evidence that CO2 affected climate then they should have been able to make a more accurate estimate as the the climate sensivity of CO2 but such has not happened. I can only conlcude that the IPCC has found no real evidence that CO2 affects climate.

    The AGW conjecture claims that the reason the Earth’s surface is on average 33 degrees C warmer than it would otherwise be without the atmosphere is because of the heat trapping action of gasses with LWIR absorption bands, But these gasses do not really trap heat because of their LWIR absorption bands becaue good absorbers are also good radiators. In the troposphere, in terms of heat energy transport, conduction, convection, and phase change transport dominate over LWIR absorption band radiation so any radiation effect CO2 might have must be rather trivial. From first principals one can derive that the Earth’s surface is 33 degrees C warmer because of the heat capacity of the armosphere and the pressure gradient and has nothing what so ever to do with the LWIR absorption properties of trace gasses. It is gravity that limits cooling by convection that provides a convective greenhouse effect that acocunts for all 33 degrees C. There is no evidence of an additional greenhosue effect caused by so called greenhouse gasses. Without the radiant greenhouse effect, the AGW conjecture falls apart. Actually the better heat trapping gasses would be those without LWIR radiation bands because they take on heat related energy via conduction, convection, and phase change but they are relatively inefficient in radiating out any energy in the LWIR.

    It has been shown that the initial calcualtions of the climate sensivity of CO2 are too great by more that a factor of 20 because waht was neglected in the colculations is that a doubling of CO2 will slightly lower the dry lapse rate in the troposphere which is a cooling effect which would counteract most ot the radiamatric effect that CO2 might have. That is typical of the AGW conjecture, it is based on only partial science. If CO2 really affected climate then one would expect that the increase in CO2 over the past 30 years would have caused at least a measureable increase in the dry lapse rate but such has not happened.

    Another issure is H2O climate realated feedback to changes in CO2. The AGW conjectuer recognizes that H2O is the primary greenhouse gas and takes note that warmer temperatures will cause more H2O to enter the atmosphere which should cause more warming because H2O is a greenhouse gas with LWIR absorption bands. But what the AGW conjecture neglects is that fact that H2O is a major coolant in the Earth’ atmosphere moving heat energy from the Earth’s surfact to where clouds form via the heat of vaporization, Acocrding to energy balance models, H2O moves more heat energy then by both convection and LWIR absorption combined. Then there is the issue of clouds. The cooling effect of H2O is further evidenced by the fact that the wet lapse rate is significantly less than the dry lapse rate which indicates that H2O must have a cooling effect.

  27. @ Walter Sobchak
    December 8, 2016 at 11:51 am: Indeed he has and he is, Walter. Unlike the flower children and their suppliers.
    Tyndall actually showed experimentally the wrongness of CAGW, beforehand, when he made sure his IR receiver was cooled in his superb practical demonstrations. Prof Woods and Konrad Hartmann are among those who did the job too, in other ways.
    JC Maxwell and others realised that the Poisson relationship on the Gas Laws, as well as the nature of equipartitional competition for atmospheric energy transfer, means the density-choke on radiation is bypassed. That is why NASA etc, data over the solar system prove the effect is gravito-thermal, not ‘greenhouse’. And Standard Atmospheres have no need to bother with CO2 for reasons such as these. Planes cannot rely on belief systems either…..

  28. ristvan at 12:10 pm
    Regarding your first paragraph, your detailing of this is correct and kindly appreciated.
    Regarding your last paragraph, this claims that “Keenan’s series are not autocorrelated”; in fact, the series are strongly autocorrelated. (Three submodels were used to generate the series: ARIMA(3,1,2), fractional Brownian motion, a nonlinear variant of ARMA(0,2).)

    logicalchemist at 1:16 pm
    Definitely.

    Regarding statistical models generally, such models are always used when drawing inferences in statistics. For example, when the IPCC inferred, via statistics, that temperatures are increasing more than could be reasonably attributed to random natural variation, that required a model. The IPCC acknowledges this in its most-recent Assessment Report. For a detailed discussion of all that, see my critique of the IPCC Report. For something brief and very general, see the Wikipedia article “Statistical assumption“.

    • Well, you should have said so in your challenge. I really dislike defending the indefensible. Your website challenge NEVER said it used three different ARiMA models to generate the 1000 series. That is, on your part, confounding the terms of your language challenge. Makes your bet statistically infeasible, period. Cheat. Worse, your challenge was not what you yourself represented. Worse than just bad form. Very glad yourn WUWT comment highlighted. Less glad I got dupped into taking up your kudgles. Very glad you came clean and I can now rescind. Oh my, dupped again despite all my cautions.
      Thanks for your technical reply. I repeal everything previously said in your stats favor. Cheating in my book is not allowed. To all denizens, sorry I previously defended the now indefensible of using three different random number permutations in what was explicitly (I thought had checked) represented as one set of PRND series. So the challenge was impossible from the beginning. BS was right for the wrong reasons.

      • Strange, someone creates a random dataset time 1000 then insert a random number of FIXED 1 degree per century trend and asks people to state 90 percent of the dataset, random or random plus trend.

        You now say you need the randomness to be created in a certain way! Why?

        The competition was to find someone who could detect a trend within random data, are you now saying only certain subsets of random data are allowed?

        Are you suggesting that if the data had been less random, more people would have have a better chance of finding the trending records? Of course you are.

        Do we ask the global temperature record to be of a certain subset of randomness?

        Global temperature datasets are what they are, maybe edited beyond fixing but thats what we got.

        The competition was to find someone who could ‘see’ into apparent random datasets, from unknown origin and declare a trend. Even when the trend has been communicated to you in advance.

        It is now clearly apparent that it is not possible to determine a defined trend in random data.

        To say you have been given the wrong type of random data is sour grapes.

        I now understand more clearly why Keenan updated his test data when he found that his chosen method of randomness was not random enough.

        To sit there and push the dataset though all of the available statistical functions within R does not deserve winning any prize at all in my view.

        If you can find a fixed 1 degree trend inserted into truly random data, I and the rest of the world will be impressed.

  29. Nick Stokes December 8, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    “in the middle of the Jurassic Period, nothing bad happened.”

    Haven’t you seen the movie?

    Thanks, Nick. I was kinda moving slow, reading this’n’that, looking out at the rain, and a good belly laugh was exactly what I needed to jump-start my higher unconsciousness … well done. Changed the arc of my day.

    w.

  30. There have been several comments about the series of numbers used in the challenge not being representative, etc. I recall the climate guy Lew (avoiding moderation there hopefully—I do know his full name) gave a bunch of economists a test using temperature data and “The experts were told that the data referred to agricultural output and were asked questions about whether the agricultural output had “stopped”.” The economists rejected the “pause” theory and that proves the pause is not real. Seems to me if Lew can go that far afield in determining whether statistical analyses are “real” or not, there should have been no problem with the methods Keenan used.

    • Would have be interesting to have ask pollution experts, after presenting them the data as a city pollution monitoring.
      I guess they would have stated that pollution output had “stopped”.

      Why the difference ?
      Agricultural experts know of underlining mechanisms, that keep pushing output up ; the data do not invalidate their view, so they keep it. Up it keeps going, despite of natural variations.
      Pollution experts on the other hand would certainly view the data as a hint than some curbing pollution steps had been done, with some efficiency.

  31. Global warming fails the random natural variation contest

    It failed “a” random natural variation contest. I didn’t think it was possible, on the information given, to be 90% correct in 1000 decisions. It was a seat of the pants guess based on experience in ROC analysis in signal detection and medical diagnosis As to possible global warming, I don’t think it is possible on present evidence to estimate the hypothesized (and I think likely) real CO2 effect The data are so well known (despite the history of adjustments), and the underlying processes so inaccurately estimated, that you can easily (and will be able to for a long time), generate sample paths from a random process against which any reasonable CO2 signal can’t be reliably determined.

    I have often written that if you know the signal you can estimate the noise, and if you know the noise you can estimate the signal; when when you know neither you are stuck in a swamp of competing models that all fit equally well, and with inadequate information to know which pair of noise/signal models is most accurate for the future.

    I think you have shown pretty well what I only guessed at.

    If the “noise” or CO2-independent process really has a period of about 950 years, then on present evidence the CO2 signal might be close to 0.

  32. Global warming fails the random natural variation contest

    “Our motto is, we take you everywhere, but we get you nowhere”.

    — A Chorus Line.

  33. This whole thing looks a bit silly to me (but it’s generated a lot of comments).

    Warmists say that post-1970 warming is due to human CO2 emissions.

    Sceptics/skeptics (mostly) say that periods of warming and cooling in the post-1880 instrumental record are mostly due to natural cyclic variation, possibly with a modest contribution from CO2 post-1970.

    Along comes wonder-boy and says – it’s only random variation.

    Well, if you look at paleothermometry, of which there’s a shed-load been generated in the last few decades, the cycles are obvious and randomness hasn’t a hope of explaining anything.

    In the 135 years of data that Mr. Keenan agonizes over, you can see a ±60-year cycle emerging that (quite probably) correlates with and could be caused by the AMO. Once you start looking at the bigger picture, the ±1,000-year cycle is obvious, and then there’s the glacial-interglacial “cycles”, each of which may actually comprise 2 or 3 of the 41,000-year Milankovich cycles.

    Sorry Mr. K, the only randomness is the spiky data over time frames of 1 or 2 years.

    Reading the comments has been fun though – warmists and sceptics making the same points. Never thought I’d see that!!!

    • All random sets show some … random cycles. Without any thing cycling to run the system.
      You have to pinpoint a precise process to be sure this is not random.
      We know for sure that weather has daily and yearly cycle because we know why, that’s because of variation in exposure to the sun.
      We cannot be sure that there any ±60-year ±1,000-year or ±41000-year climate cycles just because we “saw” them in quite short data (and only two run is quite short, they could be only group wave interference), we have to assign them a proper mechanism that explain their influence.
      AMO ? remember that the “O” stand for “oscillation”, which is NOT synonymous of “cycle”. Their are oscillations everywhere, dry – rainy, cold – hot, but much of them are still randomly timed, you know that rain will come some day after dry , but you cannot know if this will be in a day or a week.

      • So now we have some warming with no proven cause. The anti-CO2 crowd posits a cause and says the cause is proven because the temperature has risen. Then they say the temperature must rise because the cause is proven! Any reasonable look at the historical record shows this circular argument is simplistic to the point of being obtuse. It is religion and politics. The science is struggling to breathe!

  34. It seems CO2 is the focus without much evidence that concentration levels have statistical defined effect on global warming. But we need a villain! The computer models have been useless. I have not been impressed with how much influence 0.4% (CO2) of the atmosphere has on temperature. Perhaps low volcanic activity is a factor. I am convinced that something else is affecting climate much more than poor little CO2!

    • “I am convinced that something else is affecting the climate much more than poor little CO2”

      Your intuition is correct.

      The control knob fork climate change is simply the amount of .of sulfur dioxide aerosol emissions in the troposphere.

      Google: “It’s SO2, not CO2”

  35. I just didn’t understand what Doug J. Keenan intended to prove.
    Of course his challenge was impossible … so what ?
    Everybody knows (or should) that a trendy data-set do not prove that a dice is crooked, or that a non trendy data-set do not prove the dice to be honest. It just gives you a clue, a hint.
    You have to look at the dice, not his output.
    But, still, the data is a hint. Climate dice “Could” be fair. But it is fair to suspect it may be not, and to wonder what’s load it (if something).

  36. Aphan, December 8 at 2:43 pm
    Exactly.

    MikeN, December 8 at 3:23 pm and at 3:42 pm
    If Shollenberger claims that he could have won the Contest with the weak PRNG, then why does he not back that up with specifics? In particular, what method could he have used to win? I do not know of any method to win (other than cracking the encryption). Shollenberger cannot present any method, because there is no method. His false claim is another example of him spreading disinformation.

    Reality check, December 8 at 4:02 pm
    There was no objective measure of whether those economists were right. Rather, the economists were using their subjective judgment. Some econometricians did enter the Contest: none of them did better than chance. Thus, the claim that econometricians can determine whether a line is random/trending is counter-evidenced, by the Contest. Interestingly, though, it appears that the econometricians themselves believed that they could make such a determination: else they would not have entered the Contest. In other words, the econometricians appear to be honest, and are making an honest error.

    Smart Rock, December 8 at 7:41 pm
    This comment claims that “the cycles are obvious and randomness hasn’t a hope of explaining anything”. The claim is false: illusory cycles commonly appear in autocorrelated time series. This is an important topic that is taught in courses on time series. Illustrating this is one of the purposes of the Contest. As a physical example, consider the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, which many geoscientists claimed had an “obvious” cycle: Roe [Annu.Rev.EarthPlanet.Sci, 2009] discusses the PDO, fits a simple time-series model to the data, and notes “By these statistical measures, the PDO should be characterized neither as decadal nor as an oscillation”. Simply put, the PDO is essentially a random, autocorrelated, series.

    Ristvan, December 8 at 7:55 pm
    First, before you publically accuse someone of dishonor, you should be sure of your facts. You have not done so.
    Second, the 1000 generated series were time series, and the defining characteristic of time series is autocorrelation. Thus, any reasonable person familiar with time series would realize that the series were autocorrelated: as indeed most people did. Moreover, if there were no autocorrelation in the 1000 series, then the Contest would be obviously unwinnable. Additionally, the Contest web page states that the Contest model has greater likelihood than the IPCC model, which is autocorrelated.

    Regarding the accuracy/quality of the global temperature record, I certainly agree that the record is severely problematic. The Contest demonstrates that even if the record were good, though, proper statistical analysis would still conclude that a plausible explanation for the increase in temperatures is random natural variation.

    • The Contest demonstrates that even if the record were good, though, proper statistical analysis would still conclude that a plausible explanation for the increase in temperatures is random natural variation.

      No, it really wouldn’t. It mostly illustrates that you have set up a contest to demonstrate something concerning a topic about which you know very little (of course, I’m discounting – at the moment – that you do know something, but are doing this to intentionally mislead). A statistical test alone cannot tell you that the increase in temperatures is random natural variation, even if you do find a random walk that happens to match the observations. Determining the cause of the warming requires models that take the underlying physics into account and they largely rule out that this can simply be due to random natural variation.

      • Determining the cause of the warming requires models that take the underlying physics into account and they largely rule out that this can simply be due to random natural variation.

        Bs, you should understand this graph of measurements, and you should know that it means co2 doesn’t not control cooling at all.

    • This comment claims that “the cycles are obvious and randomness
      hasn’t a hope of explaining anything”. The claim is false: illusory cycles
      commonly appear in autocorrelated time series.

      While autocorrelation, per se, need not imply any true oscillations, it’s
      the behavior of the acf that is indicative. If, in the stationary case,
      the acf declines monotonically (aside from sampling uncertainty), then
      there are various noise processes (white, pink, red) with monotononically
      decaying power densities that may be responsible for the data variations.
      If, on the other hand, there are significant oscillations in the acf, then
      we have spectral peaks and the presence of true, albeit random, oscillations of limited
      predictability.

      Compared to Keenan’s purely theoretical approach to the question of
      detecting secular trends in ARIMA-modeled time series, the physical problem
      is even more challenging. As shown in the link below, the power density of
      del-18O isotope variation from the GISP2 ice-core shows several significant
      spectral peaks of various bandwidths emerging from a background of red
      noise:

  37. “I just didn’t understand what Doug J. Keenan intended to prove.” The contest stated the terms this way: “First, 1000 random series were obtained (for more details, see below). Then, some of those series were randomly selected and had a trend added to them. Each added trend was either 1°C/century or −1°C/century. For comparison, a trend of 1°C/century is greater than the trend that is claimed for global temperatures.

    A prize of $100 000 (one hundred thousand U.S. dollars) will be awarded to the first person who submits an entry that correctly identifies at least 900 series: which series were generated without a trend and which were generated with a trend.”

    So basically it was a test of statistical skill at determining which elements in those series had a trend superimposed and which were just random walks. His assertion seems to be that no one who claims to see this sort of trend in global average temps actually has the skill to separate random from known trending series. Whether this experimental design actually proved that is another question [above my skill set to assess, mainly because I’m not quite sure how the criteria for ‘success’ of 900 out of 1000 right was determined, probably some sort of sigma calculation(*)], but I think that was the goal of the contest.

    (*) Keenan had this comment in his remarks; “That is, the analysis effectively shows what can be done by a person who has studied some statistics, but who has no training in time series. The analysis concludes that such a person should expect to correctly identify 854 ± 10 of the 1000 series. (Note that identifying 900 series is required to win the Contest.)”

    I’m just uncertain about how the 900 threshold calculation was done. Also I haven’t been able to determine how many of the 1000 elements of the series were just random vs how many had a rising or falling trend superimposed. I only heard about this yesterday so the fault there is probably mine.

  38. Ian W December 8, 2016 at 3:26 pm asks:

    “So – show the scientific empirical evidence of CO2 raising atmospheric heat content…”

    I have long been concerned about this issue, as mere temperature does not tell the whole story. Surely humidity measurements are part of the meteorological record, and could be brought into play to answer Ian W’s question. And given that kinetic energy is a function of windspeed, and barometric pressure is a measure of potential energy, surely all these measurements could be harnessed to show whether or not the energy content of the atmosphere has actually changed?

    • Surely humidity measurements are part of the meteorological record, and could be brought into play to answer Ian W’s question. And given that kinetic energy is a function of windspeed, and barometric pressure is a measure of potential energy, surely all these measurements could be harnessed to show whether or not the energy content of the atmosphere has actually changed?

      I have averages and daily differences, enthalpy dry, and a separate just water, clear sky calculated solar both perpendicular to the sun, and flat on earth for each station with data, oh, and averages based on doing the averaging while the temp is expressed as a radiant flux, and after converted back to a temp.
      For the various large areas on the planet, stations with =>360 daily samples per year, and 365 samples per year. It’s in these two zip files. All csv files.
      https://sourceforge.net/projects/gsod-rpts/files/Reports/Ver%203%20beta/

  39. Nick Stokes December 9, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    “For Javier’s 1995 link, my statement was correct. And for decades before 2013, as well.”

    Your statement is just wrong. And shows you have been uncritically parroting McIntyre’s diatribes.

    There were no internet archives in 1995. In fact, the NOAA ice core archive was established in 2010. First contributions in March. Thompson made a stack of contributions in early 2013. Perhaps he could have been earlier but that doesn’t excuse your blanket claim that “The Thompsons don’t archive their data”.

    More of your lawyerlike obfuscation. The issue is not whether there were or weren’t “internet archives” in 1995, that’s just your red herring.

    The issue is that Lonnie and his wife REFUSED TO SHOW THEIR TAXPAYER-FUNDED DATA TO ANYONE BUT THEIR FRIENDS until the chorus of objections got too loud … and even then they did the minimum. Your claim is that they posted “a stack of contributions” after being hounded for for years to do it, which is true … but I note that always the lawyer, you didn’t claim that they archived everything … cute. Real cute.

    Nice try, Nick, but pretending that the Mosely-Thompsons are honest scientists just makes people point at you and laugh. You are tarring yourself with their brush … seems foolish to me, defending unethical scientists, but hey, it’s your choice …

    w.

    • Willis,
      “The issue is that Lonnie and his wife”
      The issue, as so often, is that people here resist getting simple facts right. It is just not true that “The Thompsons don’t archive their data”. Lonnie Thompson is (or was in 2013) by far the largest contributor to the archive.

      You have a whole lot of gripes about data access in the past. None of that makes it true that “The Thompsons don’t archive their data”.

  40. Forgot the citation


    When doing statistical analysis, the first step is to choose a model of the process that generated the data. The IPCC did indeed choose a model. I have only claimed that the model used in the Contest is more realistic than the model chosen by the IPCC. Thus, if the Contest model is unrealistic (as it is), then the IPCC model is even more unrealistic. Hence, the IPCC model should not be used. Ergo, the statistical analyses in the IPCC Assessment Report are untenable, as the critique argues.”

    Thanks v’

  41. Someone help me out here. Is there any way a retired lawyer with no training in statistics can make any sense out of this post? Other than taking a course in statistics of course.

    I have much interest in the agw debate but get lost in the technical threads.

    The subject here is very important – is there a global warming signal in the various temperature series. Who does one believe if one lacks the tools to form one’s own opinion?

    Both sides are passionately argued, and at the end, there’s no common ground. Or have I missed it?

    • Sorry, I’ve tried a couple of times to leave a summary here, but it keeps disappearing down the bit-bucket.

    • scraft1,

      This entire thread is about a contest designed for one purpose only….to silence people who claim that according to statistical analysis, there is no way that the warming occurring since 1950 (I think that’s the date the contest centered in…not sure….but insert whatever date it was based on) could be JUST natural variation. That according to statistical analysis, it HAD to be something OTHER than natural….ie…human caused. (Of course this means one has to assume that scientists have figured out absolutely everything there is to know about this planet and it’s climate, quantified every single one of those things to a precise and easily acknowledged degree of accuracy, and eliminated every single one of those factors EXCEPT human influence. Which has not happened.)

      Nothing more, nothing less. It wasn’t based on physics, or experiments or evidence or anything else people are trying to insert into it. The contest was solely about statistical analysis of the data.

      And, Keenan designed a test that showed, that even the most sophisticated, expert analyst could NOT determine exactly that using statistical analysis. It’s not possible. Not with the data we currently have. He proved that people who say such things are idiots/liars/uninformed.

      Now, is there a global warming signature in the various temperature series? That is a whole different argument/topic. And I’ll leave that for those who want to discuss that with you. But here’s the point….again….if there IS a signal in the temperature series….we have ZERO way to determine WHAT is causing that signal. Could be CO2. Could be the Sun. Could be vulcanism. Could be bad data. Could be bad equipment. Could be manipulation. Could be the Sun and volcanoes AND plate shifting AND bad data AND…….or…if correlation is causation (to some nutjobs) then it could very well be the amount of polyester that has been produced since 1950!!

      • ” The contest was solely about statistical analysis of the data. “
        It wasn’t about analysis of the data. No climate data was in the contest. Doug made up some synthetic datasets using models of his own, which had a natural tendency to generate trends (but could not possibly have generated the real data, being unphysical). Then he invited people to discriminate the components of trend which belonged to the models he made up, and which to an artificial addition that he made. A mug’s game, and nothing whatever to do with climate.

      • Can someone find a source for this

        people who claim that according to statistical analysis, there is no way that the warming occurring since 1950 (I think that’s the date the contest centered in…not sure….but insert whatever date it was based on) could be JUST natural variation.

        i.e., who is claiming, using statistical analysis, that there is no way that the warming since 1950 could be just natural variation?

      • I think it is a garbled version of something from D3 of the AR5 SPM:
        “It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period. {10.3”

        You could interpret that to mean no way the warming was natural. But it isn’t based on statistical analysis.

      • Nick, there are a set of cover-your-ass statements in the IPCC documents, concerning possible chaotic climate and natural effects, which the IPCC ignores in practice. It is anthropogenic all the way down in their policy prescriptions, which is what you are trying to deflect.

  42. “For an illustration, consider the following. Lovejoy et al. assert that the Contest model implies a typical temperature change of 4 °C every 6400 years—which is too large to be realistic. ”

    I hear that as “That would be too large an effect to expect us to detect.”

    • Ron,
      I think it means, “that would be so large that it couldn’t possibly be real”. As in “not only would and could we detect it, but it would appear as large as a billboard, no one could miss it, and it would be so out of proportion to our expectations that it simply could not be based on current physics.”

      But then one must ask….if the “experts” competing in the Contest could not find a definitive, conclusive, undeniable signal in a model designed to generate a temperature change of 4C every 6400 years, then how on Earth could any scientist possibly attempt to get people to believe that they can, and have, found one in ANY models that assume a LESSER temperature change??????????

  43. What a bunch of jumbo jumbo! Before I even think about MAN made global warming as even a slight possibility, tell me how the glaciers that covered North America melted long before there were any planes, trains, automobiles or cow flatulance!

  44. Moderation? For this? tell me how the glaciers that covered North America melted long before there were any planes, trains, automobiles or cow flatulance!

  45. tell me how the glaciers that covered North America melted long before there were any planes, trains, automobiles or power plants….

  46. Some serious people seem to have taken this challenge seriously. But to me it seems to exchange hypothesis testing of whether temperatures differ significantly from ‘natural variation’ for a considerably more difficult problem of multiple (binary) classification. Even a ‘good test’ capable of picking a 1C trend with small p-value would convert to a relatively small probability of correctly identifying >900 out of 1000 time series correctly. It is not surprising no one was successful.

  47. Andy: Doug’s contest is meaningless. Random walk statistical models may indeed appear superior to AR(1) models for fitting 20th-century temperature. However, anyone with half a brain should be able to recognize that a random walk model is inappropriate for the Earth, even if it appears reasonable for the 20th century. In a random walk model, the most likely change grows with the square root of the number of steps (or time steps): A likely change of 1 K in 10^2 years (the 20th century) implies a change of 10 K in 10^4 years, 100 K in 10^6 years, and 1000 K in 10^8 years. Absurd! The fact that global temperature has remained within about +/-10 K for the last 100 million years tell us that the physics of climate should never be analyzed using a random walk model EVEN when it performs well for a single century.

    Furthermore, science never advances by selecting the best statistical model for analyzing data. Let’s imagine we drop spherical objects with different densities from an airplane and measure how altitude changes with time. What statistical model should we use to analyze the data? Is there any chance we would discovered the correct physics by statistical analysis. Of course not. Our knowledge of physics, however, tells us that the downward force will be mg and that the force that resists motion (air-resistance) varies with the square of the derivative of altitude vs time (Velocity). Doug’s statistical models would never uncover the right equation. We’ve learned these lessons from simpler experiments under carefully controlled conditions. All of these experiments all began with a HYPOTHESIS about the physical law that governed these phenomena – they didn’t begin with data and a search for a statistical model.

    Climate science is about physical models, not statistical models. Like it or not, AOGCMs try to build on simpler physics – hypothesis that have survived all attempts to invalidate them and become accepted theories. It is these models that tell us the planet is warming and what statistical model to use to analyze that warming. There are certainly significant problems with GCM’s, but if we relied on only statistics – we would still be stuck in the dark ages.

  48. It seems people are telling us that they don’t need statistical analysis because they know the answer. But they don’t know the answer. What they know is a body of speculation about the future based on theories that might not be right. The whole enterprise of CAGW is built on the ability of models to predict future climate. In order to make good policy officials need to have predictions that they can count on to be accurate. But the accuracy of none of the models has been shown to be even half way acceptable. And by accuracy I’m referring to skill at predicting real world data in the future, not the ability to match other models. Estimates of uncertainty in model inputs and outputs is all about statistical analysis. Climate scientists have ignored the very large errors that can develop in model outputs resulting from systemic error. It’s the same thing that keeps meteorologists from being able to develop models that can predict the weather accurately out past 5 or 10 days.

    In any case, in order to prove a given factor has a significant effect on the climate first we must eliminate the possibility that the changes we see in the data are due to random variation. Doing time series analysis on the HADCRUT4 global data from 1850 to now one finds no trend significantly different from zero. There is therefore no correlation to make with any factors except perhaps in the short term.

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