This is How Climate Works – Part 3

Guest essay by Mike Jonas

/Continued from Part 2

6. The Awful Process

6.1 Paradigm Shift

In Part 1, I referred to the truly awful process by which science currently operates.

Science is supposed to be self-correcting, and Karl Popper described the process by which this should be achieved: empirical falsification. Every hypothesis has to be falsifiable, and every hypothesis can and should be tested in every way possible.

The way that science actually works was later described by Thomas Kuhn: paradigm shift. Once a scientific pattern (paradigm) is generally accepted, it stays in place until a new paradigm replaces it.

Provided science is conducted honestly, it will progress reasonably smoothly, with all paradigms open to proper testing. Unfortunately, a culture of gate-keeping has prevailed within science for a long time, whereby a current paradigm is tenaciously defended in the face of contrary evidence until its defenders’ position becomes politically untenable. One of the techniques is to abuse the peer-review process in order to prevent contradictory papers from being published, hence the term ‘gate-keeper’. The gate-keepers are typically those who have staked their reputation on the paradigm that they are defending. Over time, it seems that gate-keepers have become more adept, but that may be illusory – back in the 1930s(?), Max Planck said “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” [Now paraphrased as “Science advances one funeral at a time“].

Climate science has suffered massively from gate-keeping, as revealed by Climategate. Physicist Harold Lewis, in his letter of resignation to the APS, wroteIt is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. [] I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion.”. Climategate was in 2009 and Harold Lewis’ resignation letter was written in 2010, yet the CAGW paradigm has continued to be successfully protected by the gate-keepers.

6.2 The Hot-Spot

As might be guessed from Harold Lewis’ letter, there has been a massive amount of unscientific behaviour within the climate science fraternity. Most here at WUWT will be familiar with much of it, but I will highlight one item only, because it illustrates several relevant features.

One of the persistent claims by those critical of mainstream climate science is that the lack of a Tropical Troposphere “Hot Spot” proves that the IPCC and the climate computer models are wrong. For those not familiar with the Hot Spot, it was identified in the fourth IPCC report as the principal place where man-made-CO2-driven warming originates, and from where it spreads to the rest of the globe.

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Figure 3.1. From IPCC AR4 Figure 9.1. Zonal mean atmospheric temperature change from 1890 to 1999 (°C per century) as simulated by the PCM model from [] (f) the sum of all forcings. Plot is from 1,000 hPa to 10 hPa (shown on left scale) and from 0 km to 30 km (shown on right).

The chart clearly shows that the tropical troposphere should warm more than the surface, and more than most of the rest of the troposphere except at the poles. In Karl Popper’s terms, that is a falsifiable prediction. If such a Hot Spot could not be found, then that should at the very least cause the whole man-made global warming hypothesis to be carefully re-evaluated, if not actually dismissed as falsified.

No-one ever found the Hot Spot. The mainstream climate scientists were understandably dismayed by the failure of the Hot Spot to appear, but instead of accepting that their hypothesis had been falsified, they carried on undeterred. And then this paper appeared – Sherwood et al (2008). After a quantity of very technical stuff, the paper contained this chart apparently showing the Hot Spot:

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Figure 3.2. Chart from Sherwood et al (2008). Top row are observed temperature trends, bottom row are model hindcasts.

To a casual observer, the Hot Spot has been found, even though it is not quite as strong as the models’ hindcast, and the argument has at last been settled. But as Alec Rawls pointed out in 2010, the whole thing is a sham. If you look at the temperature scale, you will see that zero warming is coloured red. There is no Hot Spot. Jo Nova described it thus: “Sherwood[] changed the colour of “zero” to red to make it match the color the models were supposed to find. (Since when was red the color of no-warming? Sure you can do it, but it is deceptive.) That effort still remains one of the most egregious peer reviewed distortions of science I have ever seen.“.

This episode illustrates the following relevant features:

· Scientists can go to severe lengths to protect the current paradigm, including highly unscientific behaviour.

· Papers that support the current paradigm can pass peer-review no matter how bad they are. It would be easy to think that this paper was not truly reviewed at all (they went through the formal process, but that’s about all).

· It can take a long time to take down an established paradigm, no matter how good the contrary evidence is, and no matter how badly its proponents are shown to have behaved.

7. The Least Worst System

 

7.1 Democracy, anyone?

As I have illustrated above, the peer-review process is heavily flawed and open to abuse. But it might not be a good idea to blindly throw it out. After all, there might not be a better system.

In 1947, Winston Churchill famously said: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.“. Peer-Review might be like democracy in that respect.

Open review is now possible on the internet, and I hope it proves to be valuable, but once people work out how to abuse it successfully, it may turn out to be no better.

A concerted effort is needed in the scientific community, to try to eliminate the confirmation bias in the peer-review process that protects current paradigms.

7.2 Always ask: How can that be tested?

Science needs to get back to a culture of carefully and dispassionately testing everything – and then testing it again. In other words, bringing Karl Popper’s philosophy actively back into the mainstream. For every hypothesis, for every significant statement in every paper, the question needs to be asked “How can that be tested?“.

It would be easy to think, looking at how climate science has been conducted over the last few decades, that that question has never been asked. The IPCC has taken control of climate science. Its reports are produced by an internal committee, and are not subjected to any form of independent review. Many “findings” reported in “peer-reviewed” climate papers are based on the output of computer models, so the errors in the system are self-perpetuating. It seems that the idea of impending doom from CO2 went instantly from being a hypothesis to being blindly believed.

Whenever there is any kind of dispute in science, the scientific community needs to enforce an unbiased testing regime on the issue. ie, if rigorous tests are applied to a new proposed paradigm, it needs to be ensured that the current paradigm is being subjected to equally rigorous tests. It might also be useful if anyone putting forward any new hypothesis could also present with it suggested ways of testing it.

7.3 Testing my Hypothesis

I have put forward a new hypothesis of How Climate Works. For now, and for the sake of having a name that can be used to refer to it, I’ll call it the “Sun-Cloud-Ocean” hypothesis(“SCO”). It has no more weight than any other hypotheses. As with all hypotheses, it must be tested in every way possible. But I do ask that for every test of SCO, an equally searching test should be conducted on CAGW.

Fortunately, that isn’t all that difficult to arrange: The only tests that are useful to resolve the dispute between the two hypotheses are tests that can distinguish between them. Any such test, if conducted dispassionately and honestly, effectively becomes a test of both hypotheses.

NB. I have called SCO “my” hypothesis, because I am not aware of anyone having already proposed it. I do know that many parts of it have been proposed by others, but I have not come across the whole. If this hypothesis has in fact already been proposed by someone else, then I apologise and the hypothesis is theirs not mine. But everything I have said about it, and about testing it, still stands.

7.4 How can SCO be tested?

Like other elements of climate, testing SCO poses serious problems. SCO involves a lot of factors that are unknown or unpredictable:

· We don’t know which measures of solar activity to use – sunspots, TSI, UV, GCRs, etc.

· We can’t predict solar activity.

· We can’t predict ocean oscillations.

· We don’t have long term cloud data, in fact we have little suitable reliable data about anything from before the satellite era.

· The climate system is non-linear.

· Many elements of climate operate over long timescales.

· Virtually all factors in climate interact with each other.

In fact, once we start thinking about how climate hypotheses can be tested, it becomes clear just how little we do know about climate and its drivers.

Tests might include:

· Do clouds tend to change long term trend before temperature. In SCO they do, in CAGW they don’t.

· More testing for a sun-cloud-ocean link [though it’s hard to be specific in a non-linear system where the effect is minor in the short term]. In SCO there is a link, in CAGW there isn’t.

· It might be possible to predict different heat patterns in ocean currents for SCO and CAGW respectively.

· I think that in decadal+ periods of ocean cooling (warming) in SCO the tropical troposphere would cool (warm) more slowly than the upper ocean, although it might not be by a measurable amount. In CAGW I think it would warm faster in both phases.That would be worth thinking through carefully, and could then be tested if the global temperature started a definite trend again.

· I’m sure others could think of suitable tests – there should be many possible places to look at.

8. One size fits all.

Even if SCO gets confirmed by rigorous testing, don’t fall into the ‘One size fits all’ trap of getting carried away with one solution and expecting it to apply to everything.

At present, it seems that climate scientists see everything on all time scales as caused by CO2. Don’t make the same mistake with SCO. Check every situation carefully in its own right. For example, Milankovitch cycles might not have a sun-cloud-ocean effect on climate.

– – – – –

I hope you enjoyed this series of articles. I think that everything I say is correct, but I acknowledge that reliable long term data is in scant supply, and hence it is very difficult to be sure of anything. It will be necessary to ask “How can that be tested?” of everything I say.


Mike Jonas (MA Maths Oxford UK) retired some years ago after nearly 40 years in I.T.

Abbreviations

AMO – Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation

APS – American Physical Society

AR4 – Fourth IPCC Report

AR5 – Fifth IPCC Report

C – Centigrade or Celsius

C-C – Clausius-Clapeyron relation

CAGW – Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming

CO2 – Carbon Dioxide

ENSO – El Niño Southern Oscillation

EUV – Extreme Ultra-Violet

GCR Galactic Cosmic Ray

GHG – Greenhouse gas

IPCC – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

IR – Infra-Red

ISCCP – International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project

ITO – Into The Ocean [Band of Wavelengths approx 200nm to 1000nm]

NCAR – (US) National Center for Atmospheric Research

nm – Nanometre

PDO – Pacific Decadal Oscillation

ppm – Parts Per Million

SCO – the Sun-Cloud-Ocean hypothesis

SW – Short Wave

THC – Thermohaline Circulation

TSI – Total Solar Irradiance

UAH – The University of Alabama in Huntsville

UV – Ultra-Violet

W/m2 or Wm-2 – Watts per Square Metre

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197 thoughts on “This is How Climate Works – Part 3

  1. Thank you Mike for quoting the APS resignation statement by Harold Lewis – it rings of integrity, which is a beautiful and rare quality in climate science:

    Physicist Harold Lewis, in his letter of resignation to the APS, wrote
    “It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion.”

    • Allan,
      Mike,
      Many thanks, for this.
      You are trying to ‘do’ science.

      What a pity others are not so trying.

      Auto

  2. The Earth’s crust is only 3 miles thick beneath the ocean ( a half hour jog! ).

    The temperature of the crust at the surface is the same as the the average temperature of the air or the ocean above it.

    That is to say 16 C. for land and say 4 C for the ocean.

    71% of the Earth is covered by ocean with a heat capacity 12,000 times that of the atmosphere.

    The temperature of the air and the ocean limit the cooling of the crust from the internal furnace at its core.

    The ocean never gets below freezing directly above the earths crust as below 4 C. water is less dense and rises to the surface.

    This limit to the cooling of the crust means that this 4 C. limit manifests itself as base temperature above freezing for most of the planet.

    This means that evaporation can occur to cool the surface (i.e. to move heat from) and progressively warm the atmosphere by on average 3.4C/km when progressively condensing with increased altitude.

    In reality the atmosphere is still cooler with increased altitude but less so than if the air were dry (by 3.4C/km). The actual lapse rate being 6.6C/km.

    When air is moved up and down without any loss or gain of energy the temperature lapse on the up or regain on the down is equal at 10C/km both ways.

    So when air is mixed by wind or turbulence that 3.4C/km potential extra energy is revealed by averaging out that extra latent heat.

    So assuming a tropopause at 10km and a surface temperature above freezing this results in a potential temperature increase of 34C (10 X 3.4).

    Averaged out by wind and turbulence to become an increase of 17C. at the surface.

    Interesting!

    Maybe the answer is blowing in the wind.

    • The ocean never gets below freezing directly above the earths crust as below 4 C. water is less dense and rises to the surface.

      Guess again.

      The cold water down there sinks near the poles, and it is salty and really cold. Colder than +4C.

      • My point is that given a base temp of anything above freezing, turbulence and wind have the ability to raise air temp. at the surface 17C. via mixing of the potential heat increase of 3.4C/km Heat storage in the ocean together with latent heat of water vapour could be the main reason for the globally averaged 16C air temp.

    • “…When air is moved up and down without any loss or gain of energy the temperature lapse on the up or regain on the down is equal at 10C/km both ways…”

      Energy loss or gain has nothing to do with this. Losing energy at the top, and reduced temperature as a result, still allows for 10 C/km on the path back to the surface. In fact, without energy gain at the surface and energy loss at the top, there is no engine to drive the vertical motion.

      • An explanation for the proposition that wind and turbulence can warm the surface by 17.5C. simply by mixing air that has been warmed by the latent heat of condensation.
        When DRY air is moved up or down by wind or convection without energy loss or input at the gravitational adiabatic lapse rate of 9.8C/km up 9.8C/km down it means that air is returned to the surface with no change of temperature to the one at which it started. In dry air there is no Potential Temperature INCREASE with altitude because the PT on the up is the same as the down (equal PT with altitude).The only ‘engine’ needed for vertical motion in a dry air is a heated surface which makes the air in contact with it warmer and therefore less dense.
        In moist air there is a lapse rate on average of 6.5C on the up (due to latent heat of vaporisation having been stolen from the surface via evapotranspiration) to be returned to air as the latent heat of condensation to slow down the rate of cooling by 3.3C./km. This means that in a stable atmosphere the air at the 10km. tropopause is 33C warmer than it should be. Air descending from this height can only do so at the dry lapse rate of 9.8C/km because condensation does not happen in a warming descent.
        Turbulence and planetary winds mix the potentially warmer air above and the cooler below to become the average potential increase of 17.5C. throughout. This is how a theoretical rise of 17.5C. at the surface on a planetary scale could be achieved by wind, turbulence and latent heat alone. No “greenhouse gas’ theory involved, just recycling some stolen heat from a place with surplus solar energy that would otherwise have been radiated out to space through the atmospheric window.
        Another thing to ponder is what the effect would be of a replacement of that latent heat with just sensible heat on a dry Earth with the same atmospheric mass and no ocean. A much hotter tropical zone and a much cooler polar zone perhaps? And would Earth’s effective temperature of minus 18C still be at 5 km high as it is today? If it was, then -18+50 = 32C. at the surface instead of 14.5C.

    • 71% of the Earth is covered by ocean with a heat capacity 12,000 times that of the atmosphere.

      Pablo, that comment is masterful. Do you have a source for the above quoted comment about the oceans having 12x the heat capacity of the atmosphere? I keep finding different estimates. Also, do you have sources for some of your other statement regarding the ocean floor and others? I was hoping to expand upon some of the articles I’ve written.

      Exhibit H: Atmospheric Temperatures follow ocean temperatures, not atmospheric CO2.
      https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/climate-science-on-trial-the-forensic-files-exhibit-h/

      Exhibit G: Antarctica isn’t warming, but the Oceans are warming
      https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/climate-science-on-trial-the-forensic-files-exhibit-g/

    • Pablo. Very interstings. The greenhouse effect is often given as the only reason for the surface being hotter than the brightness temperature of the earth as viewed from space. But even if the atmosphere were composed only of oxygen and nitrogen (which are not greenhouse gases) wouldn’t there still be a lapse rate? I think there would be because the surface is heated by radiation from the sun and any atmospheric molecules in contact with the surface are heated by conduction, which causes convection, and since pressure decreases with altitude, adiabatic cooling would establish a lapse rate.

      • There would indeed be a lapse rate in a dry atmosphere of 10C/km which is equal to the adiabatic rate so there would be no potential increase per km. and convection only circulating that energy in a loop returning to the surface at exactly the same temperature. The point being that a moist lapse of say 6.6C/km is a result of PT increase of 3.4C/km. i.e. a progressive heating via the latent heat of condensation. So a mixing of the air results in the average throughout and thus a raising of surface temp. to that average. Surplus solar energy either results in sensible heat (no PT increase with height) or in moist environments a cooling of the surface by evaporation and movement of that stolen latent heat into the air at rate 3.3C/km. as the vapour progressively condenses.

      • The lapse rate in the troposphere, as derived from first principals, is a function of the pressure gradient and the heat capacity of the atmosphere and has nothing to do with the LWIR absorption properties of so called greenhouse gases. Such has been observed on all planets in the solar system with thick atmospheres and constitutes a convective greenhouse effect. IT is the radiant greenhouse effect that has not been observed in a real greenhouse, in the Earth’s atmosphere, or anywhere else in the solar system. On Earth the convective greenhouse effect accounts for all 33 degrees C that the Earth’s surface is warmer because of the atmosphere. There is no additional warmth caused by a radiant greenhouse effect.

      • There could be no lapse rate in the equilibrated (steady) state if the atmosphere somehow weren’t radiatively active (able to absorb and emit electromagnetic radiation). This condition would eventually disconnect the atmosphere thermodynamically from the rest of the universe, including the planetary surface underneath.

        But this is a purely theoretical situation and is most likely something that could never happen in the real world.

      • “There could be no lapse rate in the equilibrated (steady) state if the atmosphere somehow weren’t radiatively active”

        No. There will definitely be a gravitationally induced lapse rate even it the atmosphere had no clouds or GHG’s. For the case of the Earth, all else being equal, the surface temperature would be about 255K and the lapse rate would be about the same as it is now where the kinetic temperature of the atmosphere decreases with altitude. The kinetic temperature of the atmosphere has nothing to do with whether or not the atmosphere is radiatively active. The energy transported by photons and the energy transported by matter only intersect in atmospheric water, but this intersection has no influence on what the radiative balance must be, only how it is spectrally distributed.

      • co2isnotevil said, January 30, 2017 at 9:17 pm:

        There will definitely be a gravitationally induced lapse rate even it the atmosphere had no clouds or GHG’s.

        Sorry, but like I said, no. There would be no lapse rate (that is, a vertical (or horizontal, for that matter) temperature gradient) if the atmosphere were radiatively inert (that is, could not absorb or emit any electromagnetic radiation. In the steady state. Up until the point where this state was ultimately achieved, there definitely could and would be a convectively induced lapse rate of some sort, but in the end, after final equilibration, no. Isothermal conditions. At this point, heat could no longer enter or exit the atmosphere (and so there would be no heat flow through it either). Which means that it would then effectively be thermodynamically isolated from the rest of the universe. The surface would, in this state, no longer perceive its thermal presence.

      • Kristian,

        “There would be no lapse rate”

        The lapse rate is just that, a rate of change, and is a strict function of gravity acting on the PVT profile of the atmosphere which has absolutely nothing to do with the radiative greenhouse effect or any radiative effect for that matter. A lapse rate would not be present only if a planet has no atmosphere to be compressed by gravity.

        Consider an Earth like planet with no GHG’s and close enough to its Sun that it’s surface temperature was about 288K. Are you saying that mountain tops will still have an average temperature of 288K?

      • co2isnotevil said, January 31, 2017 at 8:57 am:

        The lapse rate is just that, a rate of change, and is a strict function of gravity acting on the PVT profile of the atmosphere which has absolutely nothing to do with the radiative greenhouse effect or any radiative effect for that matter. A lapse rate would not be present only if a planet has no atmosphere to be compressed by gravity.

        You apparently do not understand what I am trying to tell you. By an atmospheric “lapse rate” we normally refer to a temperature lapse rate. Well, the varying temperature lapse rate of our atmosphere is absolutely NOT “a strict function of gravity”. The atmospheric pressure and density gradients are, indeed, but NOT the temperature gradient. An atmospheric temperature lapse rate is strictly a result of HEAT TRANSFERS into, through and out of the atmosphere. Without such fluxes moving at equilibrium (in the steady state), there will be no atmospheric temperature lapse rate.

      • Kristian,

        The atmospheric lapse rate is dictated by the kinetic theory of gases and the PVT profile of a compressed gas. This is orthogonal to a radiative lapse rate which just happens to follow the same basic profile, at least through the troposphere. Since the starting temperature affected by the lapse rate is the surface temperature (actually the temperature of whatever surface is in DIRECT equilibrium with the Sun), GHG’s and clouds only effect the starting temperature at the surface, but not the rate at which the temperature decreases as you get further away from the ‘virtual’ surface in DIRECT equilibrium with the Sun. Note that on Venus, the lapse rate starts from the temperature of the cloud tops that are in DIRECT equilibrium with the Sun and gets warmer as you descend into the atmosphere.

        It gets trickier above the troposphere owing to ionization from the solar wind, but the atmosphere is so rarefied, it’s kinetic temperature is hardly relevant any more.

      • co2isnotevil said, January 31, 2017 at 9:40 am:

        The atmospheric lapse rate is dictated by the kinetic theory of gases and the PVT profile of a compressed gas.

        Nope. You obviously do not understand how the tropospheric temperature gradient (the environmental lapse rate) is created and maintained. It is NOT an inherent property of an air column subjected to gravity. The adiabatic lapse rate (-dT/dz = g/c_p) relates ONLY to bulk air actually moving up or down in a gravity field. IOW, no air movement, no adiabatic lapse rate. By definition.

        If you don’t get these basic level distinctions, there is not much use discussing this matter any further, I’m afraid.

    • Pablo
      Thanks.
      I always use
      not “When air is moved up and down without any loss or gain of energy the temperature lapse on the up or regain on the down is equal at 10C/km both ways.”
      but 9C/1000 metres and
      5F/1000 feet – but as purely practical, and ‘rememberable’, rules of thumb.

      I am a seaman, and use Rules of Thumb for a lot of things.
      If a wind over over Beaufort7 [‘Near Gale’] is predicted, and at anchor, prepare to go to sea, unless the anchorage is very well-protected.

      Round the UK a Low sure of 980 mb -> Gales
      960 mb-> Storm force winds [Beaufort Force 10]
      And 940 – broadly – Hurricane force winds – Beaufort 12 – ‘That which no canvas can withstand’.

      Rules of thumb are good practical guides – for practical folk who WILL vary their response to the situation.

      Auto

    • The ocean’s heat capacity is close to 1200 times the atmosphere’s, not 12,000. Unlike pure water, salt water, at oceanic levels of saltiness, continues to get denser right down to the freezing point. Luckily, both sea ice and pure water ice float, or else the oceans would freeze from the bottom up.

      The lower atmosphere cools at 5-10 C per km, but at higher altitudes, two things (at least) change the cooling rate: 1) ultraviolet absorption from the ozone layer, which heats the stratosphere, and 2) if the atmosphere kept cooling at a constant rate of 6.6 C per km, at about 44 km it would hit absolute zero (288 K / (6.6 K / km). The theoretical lapse rate (absent UV heating) can be calculated by statistical means, even at low altitudes.

      • Minus 85C. at 80km mesopause if google got it right, but at 200km -300km altitude temps. range from 500C. to 2000C. being 200C. hotter in the daytime than at night and 500C. hotter when the the sun is active. But temps at these altitudes are not what they seem as there are so few molecules around. In the vacuum of space there is practically no temperature at all as I understand it.
        But back to the main climate driver that is surplus solar energy at low latitudes within the tropopause. That surplus energy in contact with the surface results in the creation of sensible heat or latent heat. If there is moisture in the soil and greenery around then it will be of proportionally more latent heat with a corresponding cooling of the surface.Over the oceans much more of that surplus is stored. In its liquid and vapour forms water is the great equaliser. The faster that stored heat in the oceans and latent in the moist winds can be moved to the poles the more equable the global climate. However with a 2.5km high continent sitting on top of the south pole it’s more likely to be an ice age, which is where we have been for the past 2.5 million years. Luckily for us northern folks for the last 10 thousand years it has been an interglacial warm period. Unfortunately this one is nearly over!

  3. Regarding the “tropical hotspot”: It should be the result of warming due to any source. The claim that it’s the result of ghg driven warming (” it was identified in the fourth IPCC report as the principal place where man-made-CO2-driven warming originates”) is wrong.

    • Au contraire. Figure 9.1(c) of AR4 shows the modeled effect of GHGs alone. The other forcings depicted in figures 9.1(a), (b), (d) and (e) do not show any Hot Spot. 9.1(f) shown in the post, is for all forcings. It’s obvious that the Hot Spot is from GHGs in this figure, and in the IPCC analysis. Further, the text describing Figure 9.1 states ““The major features shown in Figure 9.1 are robust to using different climate models.” IPCC AR4 WG1 § 9.2.2. (http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9s9-2-2.html).” Also, it says
      “Greenhouse gas forcing is expected to produce warming in the troposphere, … .”

      • Your misunderstanding of that figure is common, Quinn. The only reason the panel showing CO2’s effect has a stronger hotspot is that CO2’s warming effect is the strongest of the particular forcings that are shown in that figure. The hot spot is a consequence of warming from any cause; in no way is it a fingerprint of CO2. In contrast, stratospheric cooling is a fingerprint of CO2.

      • Tom: Stratospheric cooling is also a finger print of a lack of major volcanos. Probably other things too.

      • That is not a responsive argument. Both theory and models predict a Hot Spot from GHG forcing. As AR4 says in the text accompanying Figure 9.1, “Greenhouse gas forcing is expected to produce warming in the troposphere, … .” But no such pattern of warming is observed in nature, based on more than 50 years of balloon data and 37 years of satellite data. It is no answer to that to say that warming from any cause would also cause a hot spot. How does this help you argument when, regardless of cause, there is no Hot Spot? For the theory to survive, there must be a Hot Spot. If there were a Hot Spot, we could argue about whether it was caused by GHGs or warming from other causes. But that’s not where we are. There is no Hot Spot even though the CO2 concentration is the highest is blah, blah, blah years. The salient point is that observations falsify a key prediction of the theory of AGW.

  4. It’s a simple misunderstanding of the gas laws. It’s not possible to have a ‘hot spot’. The atmosphere expands due to heat thereby increasing the volume – the net result being zero. The atmosphere is not in a closed container. Some people should get over it.

    • So why do we get warm air masses? Why for example did the warm water ‘blob’ off the US west coast in 2014-2016 warm the adjacent land mass so well? Wouldn’t the air around the blob been a temporary hot spot?

      • There are always regional/seasonal effects. High pressure and lower pressure areas that are constantly moving. ‘The hotspot ‘ is a misnomer on their part, it’s theoretically a slice of the atmosphere where you ‘see’ a spot. They would see it as a ‘ring of fire’ that is a permanent feature of the atmosphere.

    • Alex

      Specifically, the prediction is that the ‘hotspot’ region is going to heat three times faster than the surface below it. IT is not ‘hotter’ it is quite cold, but it is supposedly going to rise in temperature because of all the additional ‘captured’ IR from the surface that can’t radiate directly into space.

      So you are correct there couldn’t be a hot spot but that isn’t the claim. GHG’s are supposed to capture and re-radiate IR energy some of which will be called ‘back-radiation’. The effect is supposed to be most pronounced near the equator. Obviously it isn’t there, as an effect. Quite why is not clear because they physics are right, the implication being the physics are incomplete.

      • I ascribe it to convection. If a hot spot emerged, it would rise until it reached an equilibrium height. Cooler air would come in to replace it. If it didn’t reach equilibrium height, it would go to the top of the atmosphere, at which point it would radiate to space.

        The net result is that, even if the mid-troposphere were warming, the extra heat would quickly dissipate and not be detectable.

      • Hivemind, there’s this amazing heat source you may not have heard about, called the sun. It keeps warming the earth and the atmosphere, such that even as heat dissipates into space, more heat replaces it. That’s why even as the predicted “hot spot” radiates its heat past the top of the atmosphere, it’s also supposed to remain in place, reaching a heat balance with incoming solar radiation. Who’d have thought?

  5. The ocean never gets below freezing directly above the earths crust as below 4 C. water is less dense and rises to the surface.

    That’s true for fresh water. Unfortunately there is no fresh water in the ocean, and at typical marine salinity density of water is highest just above freezing (at -1.9°C).

  6. The mention of democracy is quite ironic:
    In 1947, Winston Churchill famously said: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.“.

    Because in ancient Greece democracy meant a jury of ordinary people running each gov department. That is what they meant by “demos” (probably literally “yokel”) power. It had a very similar meaning to “delorocracy” (government by the deplorables). Now, I may be wrong, but not one government has tried what the Greeks meant by democracy in modern times.

    Instead, what has happened is that “democracy” has had its meaning changed in order to suggest that what we have is democracy.

    • Because in ancient Greece democracy meant a jury of ordinary people running each gov department.

      They were overseers of the managers, not the actual managers themselves. They were there primarily to guard against abuses, not to set and execute policy. They were lot-chosen members of a 150-person (or 50-person?) group called the boulé.

      What the ancient Greeks called “democracy” was their “direct democracy” as embodied in their Assembly, open to all male citizens above a certain age. An indirect democracy consisting of a ruling body chosen by lot was called a “demarchy.” I don’t know if one ever actually existed, but it’s too bad there weren’t more of them.

      • PS:

        It is accepted as democratic when public offices are allocated by lot; and as oligarchic when they are filled by election.
        —Aristotle, Politics, 4.1294b

      • You have to remember that the criteria for citizenship was extremely tight. Only about 5,000 people qualified for the vote. That is completely impractical in modern countries, which is why we use representative democracy instead of having a full vote by the citizenry on every single issue.

      • @Roger Knights

        January 30, 2017 at 7:51 am: After reading classical Greek writings, it seemed to me that there were major underclasses who did not count, or vote. Like England until the truly earth-shaking improvements of the Victorian era, starting with the Chartists, especially after they gave up violence. And took up schooling. But I might have misread the classics……

    • @ Hivemind & Brett Keane:
      I was aware of how few Athenians were “citizens,” but didn’t bother to mention it, as it was a bit of a tangent, and I assumed the fact was generally known. I guess many people aren’t aware of it, so your comments are helpful.

      Hivemend says: That [direct democracy] is completely impractical in modern countries, which is why we use representative democracy instead of having a full vote by the citizenry on every single issue.

      A better alternative IMO would be a beefed-up boulé, with a dozen or dozens of lot-chosen citizens doing an ongoing job of overseeing legislative committees and department heads, and electing them.

  7. I didn’t really understand the “hot spot” argument until I came across this clarifying link:

    http://www.elic.ucl.ac.be/textbook/chapter4_node7.html

    Since the outgoing radiation to space has to remain constant without a change in input from the sun,
    I think the model red hypothetical lapse rates in the diagrams should be adjusted from straight lines to curving lines, all nearly meeting the original blue line at the tropopause.

    With negative feedback from clouds and surface convection, I suspect that the true model would be something line the “negatave lapse rate feedback” diagram, but with the red line curving to nearly meet the original blue line at the tropopause.

  8. I am sorry but this has been one of the worst examples of technical writing I have read. It has not followed standard form for such an endeavor, and is entirely missing substance. If the writer proposes so many unknowns yet to be studied as necessary parts of his proposed mechanism (see the author’s list in this last post) then the entire tome should have been rejected for submission as being nothing more than a wild ass guess.

    • Actually it is just a simplified version of the Standard Meteorology 101 that people used to learn about 50 years ago.

      Surface Evaporation is the key climate driver.

    • Pamela Grey sez:
      “If the writer proposes so many unknowns yet to be studied as necessary parts of his proposed mechanism (see the author’s list in this last post) then the entire tome should have been rejected for submission as being nothing more than a wild ass guess.”

      My comment:
      I bet you’d have loved the article if it had enough footnotes!

      Much of what passes for “science”, concerning the climate, is nothing more than one wild ass guess (opinion) after another, often combined with predictions of the future climate, that will be wrong, because the ‘predictors’ do not have a good understanding of what causes climate change!

      Personal opinions + wild guesses + educated guesses = climate models = wrong predictions of the future climate = a great hobby for computer gamers (modelers), the subset of climate science that gets to play computer games for a good living … providing absolutely no value to the taxpayers!

      I’m sure you are THRILLED Trump is the new US president !

      • Don’t know about Pamela, Richard, but compared to Hillary, yes, I AM thrilled that Trump is the new US President.

  9. Kuhn and Popper are not incompatible.

    Scientific progress is not smooth or linear. Popper describes the criteria of good science: Kuhn describes the nature of (necessary) scientific conservatism, and how change is ultimately achieved.

    You should not think of science as in teh business of discovering truth.

    All science is models. Popper says that a model should at least be disprovable by reference to the facts, and useful, and if it is those things but hasn’t been disproved, it’s a good model. Kuhn suggests that those facts are malleable, and that is almost metaphysics: models of a different class replace those of yesterday’s science. E.g. in the 20th Centrury the paradigms of space time matter energy and causality were shaken up badly by relativity, and almost completely destroyed by quantum physics. These were indeed paradigm shifts.

    The world we look at through the equations of quantum physics bears almost no relation to the ordinary world of our senses and conceptions: William of Occam would have rejected it as containing far too many entities – quarks and mesons and gluons indeed! Only adherence to the necessity to model extremely recondite phenomena justifies its existence.

    But Poppers rules still apply. If the model doesn’t predict what the data show happens, the model is not useful, and is bad science.

    Remember all science is, is a collection of more or less successful models for predicting the future.

    All Climate science is, these days is a collection of unsuccessful models…Its protagonists may still claim its a paradigm shift, but eny fule kno that. The trick it to make paradigm shifts able to produce better, not worse, models.

    • Historically, the great advances in science were much more holistic(?) or broad brush in terms of “models” (there were more yet unexamined areas for measurement and thought then). Einstein’s relativity was perceived in gros from some simple thought experiments and quantum physics really started only with electrons and their energy levels.. The “quarks and mesons and gluons indeed” came afterwards. All the details weren’t part of the theory at its inception but were found to have to not violate the durable original stuff when they came along. W. of Occam would have been satisfied with the inception.

      I do have one thing to say about the use of the term “models” for the classical stuff. Yes, we in hindsight, can legitimately talk about “models” of Newton and Einstein – its a favorite stance of Stephen Mosher and post normal scientists to look upon such classic models as part of the family of models as they are seen today. Somehow the terminology should be changed to acknowledge the difference between classical science and the fantasy, computer stuff where you can engineer your data for your theory and get excellent “support” even though real data has to be subsequently changed to support the fantasy. Classically, the term was “theory”. I don’t believe real scientists of the day every used the term “model”. Lets let the post normals have this term. I hate to think of what they do being legitimized by enfolding them into the great stuff that went before. They don’t even seem to understand the difference between enthalpy and temperature. Models have become the data these days. In any paper you choose, you will find the statement we ran the models and we FOUND that the earth WILL warm by 3C under these conditions..”

      A young person informed me not long ago that there are more scientists alive today than existed throughout history.” To me that is just a measure of the market for labcoats and horn-rimmed glasses (they’ve dropped the smoking pipes). I’ve been trying to guard against my cynicism rising but it is a struggle.

      • The idea that anyone can put forth a single theory that explains the earth’s climate is lunacy. In reality it is a fantastically complex mix of cause and effect. For scientific purposes the many, many processes involved and their interrelationships should be broken down and examined as individual pieces. After a hundred years or so of study on all the pieces we might be at the point where we can start to study the interconnections. In about 150-200 years from now we might be ready to draw some conclusions and perhaps modify any causative human inputs to the system.
        What we are doing now with the pathetic level of understanding we have is a bad, bad joke. I have a hard time believing that anybody involved in main stream climate science today is legitimate, because it is so transparently deceitful and contrived and political.

      • @Gary Pearse

        January 30, 2017 at 8:47 am: Excellent post, Gary. Models were never meant to perform eg model planes made of plastic. Computer models only deceive non-scientists and those who want to be so. The act of making them is more a literary achievement, with numbers thrown in maybe. Others must do the science…..

  10. Mike – there is a problem with ‘either-or’ thinking……..there is little question the globe has warmed since, say, 1900. The IPCC itself and their suite of models say that prior to 1950, no CAGW effect is expected, and then that ‘most’ of the warming that followed is CAGW (meaning 51-99%).

    The post-1950 warming period did not begin until 1975/1980 and occurred in what appear to be two steps, whilst also subject to the peaking of several multidecadal ocean oscillations – ie the release of heat into the atmosphere in quasi-cyclic episodes (eg PDO, AMO, AO) upon which ENSO was riding, with several ‘super-Ninos’ at roughly 10 year intervals. The amplitude of these oscillations is known, as is the background warming rate of the long ‘Bond’ cycle as it rises from the Little Ice Age.

    One does not need an hypothesis on mechanisms until sufficient observational data can be used – some of which does exist but is not compiled. It is a relatively simple back-of-the-envelope calculation to add up the long-term LIA recovery rate (0.05/decade) and the peaking amplitude of the shorter term oscillations when they are in-phase.

    Let us assume that the current annual average is 1 C above the 1900 baseline. Half of that occurred before 1950. From 1950-1975 ocean oscillations were negative (note: the hypothesis that this cool period was due to anthropogenic sulphur is not supported by evidence, nor that subsequent clean-air act programmes brightened the atmosphere and let more sunshine it – low-level releases of sulphur fall-out quickly and are local in effect – brightening occurred in unpolluted areas, and sulphur emissions worldwide did not decline by much).

    During the 1983-2000 period, satellite data showed a steady 4% decline in low-level reflective cloud, meaning more sunlight reached the ocean and more energy was stored for future release (or taken deeper by downwelling). In 2001, cloud cover recovered by 2% and maintained that level to 2010 – the last data I saw. Surface insolation data measured in watts/square metre show two decades of 4 watts net anomaly – with a calculated 1 watt of extra infra-red from CO2.

    Recent data have shown that IR radiation from CO2 contributes 0.2 watts/sq.m for about 20 mmpv increase of CO2. Between 1950-2000, CO2 concentration increased by about 100 ppmv – thus confirming the 1 watt figure.

    On this simple basis, CO2 could have contributed at most 25% of the observed warming to 2000.

    All that is needed to confirm this is a decent unbiased analysis of the surface insolation data and calculations of the expected oceanic heat input set against the observed rise in ocean heat content.

    In 2008, Takmen Wong at NASA, stated that the issue was whether the reduced cloud cover could be a feedback from CO2 – ie whether it caused the warming, or whether it was a consequence. The fact that cloud cover stabilised when CO2 levels continued to rise supports the view that cloud cover is not a feedback to CO2.

    Another element, seldom discussed, is that the team that finally measured spectrally resolved CO2 derived wattage at the surface, at 0.2 watts/20ppmv over a ten year period, also reported a 10x greater rate of increase of water vapour derived Infra-red….at 2 watts over ten years. There is little discussion of this data – perhaps because even the most excessive CAGW model uses only a 3x feedback to amplify the CO2 effect. So that extra wattage is largely natural and most likely linked to the ocean oscillations. Cloud and water vapour responses to whatever drives the oscillations are the penultimate causal factors.

    As for the amplitudinal effects: from 1950-2000, we have 5x 0.05 which gives us 0.25 expected from background natural warming due to the ‘Bond’ cycle. Leaving 0.25 to be accounted for by the mix of CO2 and the in-phase combination of the AMO/PDO/AO. I would say that 0.2 C globally was a reasonable figure for these combined effects. That does not leave much for CO2! Even if we assume that the effects of these oscillations has diminished, there is no hard evidence that ‘most’ of the observed warming is down to CAGW.

    It would not be so easy to construct an hypothesis to delineate the respective contributions until such time as more accurate data is available – specifically, time-series for cloud cover, wattages on the ground, and their relation to observed indices of the PDO/AMO/ENSO. I am sure that data exists in some form but the right people are not working on it!

    • Thanks for your detailed comment. It’s fine to look at the ocean cycles and see that CO2 couldn’t have done much – plus all the other things you cover – but the simple fact is that we don’t know how each ocean cycle would compare to other ocean cycles. [Hope I’ve interpreted your comment correctly]. OTOH, as I have hopefully explained (earlier), the contribution from CO2 to ocean warming over the last several decades has been approximately nil. Regardless of what the ocean cycls have been doing. CO2 warms the atmosphere, not the ocean, except over much longer time scales.

  11. The tropical hotspot is certainly not missing. It can be found in all radiosonde datasets, more or less pronounced, if one looks over a period with global warming. The observed hotspots are less protruding than the model average hotspot, and lower in altitude. Here is a tiny one in Ratpac A, the last twenty years, nino to nino peak. Red curves for the tropics:

    Satellite data/datasets have poor vertical resolution, and have historically not been able to demonstrate any hotspots. However, that may be different nowadays with the AMSU instruments scanning four or five different layers of the troposphere.
    Actually, the new UAH v6 dataset shows a mighty hotspot in the upper troposphere in the AMSU-era, and this only by combining the classical three channels (and not the new AMSU-channels in between):

    • The hotspot is not just some warming. It’s a much stronger warming (several K: you don’t need special instrumentation to see it) of high altitude than at surface. Which is exactly what you show missing in your first fig : high altitude just just warmed as much as surface, if we trust this.

      Your second fig is puzzling, because if 1979-2016 shows no hotspot and moderate warming, while 2000-2016 (the “pause” periode!) show a stronger warming and a hotspot (too weak, but apparently there), then 1979-1999 (the strong warming periode) must have had a COOLSPOT and close to no warming (and even some cooling at 10km). So it’s a puzzle, but anyway the AGW theory cannot account for that.

      • Yes, you are right, there is coolspot in the MSU-only era. Of course, there is an alternative explanation for the UAH AMSU-era hotspot, ie TMT may have a cool bias and TTS a warm bias.

        The AMSU hotspot is not there in RSS data, but it is in NOAA/STAR data. If we average the three satellite channels across all three satellite data suppliers, there would still be an Amsu hotspot but not as protruding (higher TLT-trend but lower TUT- trend compared to UAH-only)

      • Sorry, TTS should be TTP above, to be consistent with the UAH acronyms.
        There is an acronym confusion between the suppliers. The MSU3/AMSU7-channel is called TTP by UAH, TTS by RSS, and TUT by NOAA STAR. The latter is easily confused with UAH that use the TUT acronym (temperature upper tropophere) for their TTP channel with the stratospheric cooling subtracted. TUT= 1.4*TTP-0.4*TLS
        I hope I made things clearer…:-)

      • In any case the postulated hotspot was not supposed to be a minute protrusion that only state-of-art microscope (so to speak) could see. It was to be several K, strong enough to easily be spoted.
        What you saw is a eluding mouse, it is not the elephant announced.
        Bottom line : no hotspot.

    • So how is it then that John Christy, who studies all of this, and who uses radiosonde data in addition to satellite data, says there is no hot spot?

      And in your lower graph, are you not starting well after the strong el nino of 1998 and ending at the peak of the el nino of 2015-2016?

      • The AMSU data was introduced in autumn 1998 right after the el Nino peak. Thus, the cool la Nina years 1999-2000 make the trends to 2016 relatively higher, but it doesn’t change the hotspot relations. The TUT-trend is about 2.3 times larger than that of TLT, irrespectively of chosen AMSU era start year. UAH has a MSU/AMSU overlap between 1998 and 2001, so I could choose either of those years, or more conveniently 2000 right in the middle..

    • O R

      I challenge your assertion that the hotspot can be found in the radiosonde data. You have two sources to access in order to reply to this challenge: the raw data from the balloons and the IPCC’s version of that data after homogenisation.

      The raw data shows there is not hotspot. It implies a positive change in temperature in the 8-16 km elevation that is three times the warming rate at the surface. The ‘mark’ is not there. You have claimed that the models show it. Well, they do. But it is not there in real life.

      The IPCC, facing this rather powerful evidence of absence when preparing their last report (more than 2 millions readings) proceeded to ‘homogenise’ the data and then examine it for such a trend. The ‘homogenisation’ done in such a way that the resolution was messed up and the signal (of no hotspot) was smeared out of existence. The authors then concluded in the report that ‘the data was not of sufficient quality’ to be able to detect the signal but ‘it is probably there’.

      If there was a clear signal they would have trumpeted it in the report – read that section and see for yourself what they wrote about the data quality.

      This level of malfeasance is extraordinary and shows how desperate they are to hide the absence of the key prediction of how the GHG effect works. .

      Your charts prove nothing. The first shows nothing real. The second one appears to show a change in the trend but you have said yourself the technology can’t do that. The CO2 increase in the time shown is not large enough to produce such a trend from GHG interception.

      The use of RCP8.5 is nonsense in the first place. No one believes that is the appropriate number. It is only kept around for PR purposes and leaves a permanent stain on Canada whose government supports the climate model in Victoria producing a figure >6 degrees.

      Show us a chart like your second one with the radiosonde data. Show the same chart with the IPCC homogenised data. See what homogenisation looks like! They are running scared.

      • Challenge taken. Ratpac B data is unadjusted since 1997. For the full unadjusted period it has a tiny tropical hotspot, like Ratpac A but about 0.5 C/dec lower at most levels in the troposphere.
        A real hotspot, high up in the troposphere, appear if we choose a period with strong global warming, eg 2008-2016.
        2012-2014 would be off the chart, with trends peaking 1.5 C/dec at 200 mbar height

        Why is rcp8.5 nonsense? It is the reality in 2016. The observed atmospheric CO2 content is almost spot on the rcp8.5 value. Differs by 0.1 ppm, I believe

      • Crispin, here is another chart. I will stick to unadjusted Ratpac B since you obviously like datasets with known cool biases..

        It demonstrates that the being of hot or cool spots is very dependent on the change in ENSO over the measured period. The nature of the “spots” correlates very well with change in the Nino 3.4 index. With significant change in the Nino 3.4 index, the observed hotspot gets the right protrusion at the right height..

        I took a quick look at the CMIP5 multimodel mean Nino 3.4 trend in the satelltite era (1979-2016).
        It is 0.19 C/decade, being higher than the global SST trend of models.
        As a contrast the Nino 3.4-trend in ERSST is virtually flat (0.002 C/dec) in the satellite era, much lower than the global SST trend.

        Thus, the models expect a transition to more el Nino-like conditions, but the real world doesn’t follow.
        If real world is more la Nina-like than the models, it doesn’t mean that AGW is absent.
        It means stronger trade winds, more overturning, and that the accumulated heat goes to deeper ocean layers, and poleward..

      • O R

        Thanks for all the work. I have been reading the sets of problems discussed in the FAR and discussions with one of the expert reviewers of the most recent assessment on the problems created by homogenisation.

        ” For the full unadjusted period it has a tiny tropical hotspot, like Ratpac A but about 0.5 C/dec lower at most levels in the troposphere.”

        You can’t show a trend without showing the reference. What is your baseline for the claim of a trend? Does it use data from before 1997? If so how was it corrected?

        Your 2008-2016 contains an enormous El Nino and the earlier one starts and ends on an El Nino.

        Stop insulting your audience.

        “Crispin, here is another chart. I will stick to unadjusted Ratpac B since you obviously like datasets with known cool biases.”

        I expressed no such bias. The hotspot is a claimed for a physical effect that does not have to be reported over time to be observed. If GHG back radiation creates a hot spot in what is now a classical prediction it has to appear any time the sun shines.

        Here is a reasonable plot of temperatures at different levels of the atmosphere:

        https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-4-1-2.html

        See Fig 3.17

        Nothing has changed since. There is no trend at the 8-16 km altitude that is three times the rate at the surface. There might be if the fiddling with the recent data sets were to cease (bringing back the pause) but they continue, wiping out any possibility of detecting what is claimed for the hot spot – a clear GHG signal of back-radiation.

        It is not there.

      • Crispin, You have to read more carefully. I wrote that Ratpac B is unadjusted from 1997, which of course means that the full unadjusted period is 1997-2016.

        Before 1996 Ratpac A and B are based on the manually adjusted LKS dataset. Three experts scrutinised the station data independently, whereafter they met and came to consensus about breakpoints and adjustments.
        After 1996 Ratpac B is unadjusted, whereas Ratpac A applies a simple straightforward first difference procedure that doesnt adjust station data per se. The station series are cut at metadata breakpoints, e g change of radiosondes, and the regional trend is carried by neighbor stations over that breakpoint.
        Since older radiosondes have a warm bias vs newer ones, the older beeing more sensitive to spurious solar heating, especially at higher levels, it is quite natural that the adjustments rise the trends.

        Your assertion that models have a three timers larger trend at altitude, compared to near surface, where do you get that from? Look at my first chart above with CMIP5 data. The trend at 300-200 mbar is not more than two times larger than at the lowest level.
        Are you refering to older model generations?

        Hotspots are not specific for increased greenhouse effect. They are caused by all kinds of warming, increased solar, reduced albedo, disappearing volcanic dust, increased surface temps due to ENSO, etc..

        An absent or different hotspot in real world does not falsify AGW. The real world doesn’t need those excessive hotspots to warm. The warming in the lower troposphere, surface, and oceans follow the model average quite well.
        The paramount measure of AGW is the accumulation of heat in the earth system. We can follow that quite well nowadays by use of ARGO floats, that measure ocean layers 0-2000 m accumulating about 80% of the total heat. The temperature rise in the troposphere is only one percent of the warming, and the missing hotspot above 300 mbar is virtually nothing..

    • Strange graphs. Usually the independent quantity is shown on the horizontal axis and the dependent quantity on the vertical axis. Since when is pressure or height dependent on temperature trend?

    • ” The observed hotspots are less protruding than the model average hotspot”
      – which is a polite way to say the models are wrong…

      “, and lower in altitude.”
      – which is another polite way to say the models are wrong.

  12. “NB. I have called SCO “my” hypothesis, because I am not aware of anyone having already proposed it. I do know that many parts of it have been proposed by others, but I have not come across the whole. If this hypothesis has in fact already been proposed by someone else, then I apologise and the hypothesis is theirs not mine.”

    See here:

    http://www.newclimatemodel.com/new-climate-model/

    “The SUN causes latitudinal climate zone shifting with changes in the degree of jetstream zonality / meridionality by altering the ozone creation / destruction balance differentially at different height above the tropopause. The net result is a change in the gradient of tropopause height between equator (relatively high) and poles (relatively low).

    The cause appears not to be raw solar power output (TSI) which varies too little but instead, the precise mix of particles and wavelengths from the sun which varies more greatly and affects ozone amounts above the tropopause.

    That allows latitudinal sliding of the jets and climate zones below the tropopause leading to changes in global CLOUDINESS and albedo which alters the amount of energy getting into the OCEANS.”

    Various versions exist from around 2010 onwards.

    • Meh.
      His usage of the term ‘work’ is perfectly in accord with Mirriam-Webster.
      I appreciate you’re making the correct point that climate is both chaotic and stochastic, rather than deterministic, but your comment looks like a ‘gotcha’, and one that’s not quite right.

  13. The problem here is that even when a hypothesis is falsified, its followers keep believing in it.
    Your SCO has been falsified, yet you still cling to it.
    Since 1975 solar activity has been declining, thus cosmic rays have been increasing, hence cloud cover should have been increasing, hence temperatures should have been decreasing, yet they have increased [which can be taken as an argument for AGW].
    Similarly, there has been no long-term trend in solar activity the last 300 years, yet there seems to be one [upwards] in temperatures. So, by the usual standard of science, SCO has been falsified.

      • If those ‘other variables’ overwhelm the solar cause[s] the data shows that the ‘S’ in SCO is not a major cause and thus falsifies the claim that it is.

      • Leif..
        That logic does not cut it. The sun need only change a small amount, but over time, it could induce large responses, both ways(PDO, AO, etc). It is way too early to write off the sun imo.

      • So you are saying that SCO is not falsifiable as of yet and is thus not science [yet]. Our [good] records go back three centuries and show no ‘S’ influence, so on that time scale SCO is falsified. Your comment illustrates my point that true believers cling to their belief, regardless of observations.

      • Dr. Svalgaard, it is true that the maunder minimum occured at the same time as the LIA. Solar output has been higher since then, as temperatures have generally increased. The proverbial analogy comes to mind here, you don’t have to keep turning up the stove to heat a kettle of water. Anything wrong with this line of reasoning? (thanx)…

      • Just that the MM and the cold climate could be a mere coincidence. If a correlation is to be believed it should continue as new data [the last 300 years] are added, and it failed, so [again] falsification.

      • Leif.

        “Just that the MM and the cold climate could be a mere coincidence”

        So then do you agree that currently the “other” variables cannot be separated out, ie, thus the sun cannot be ruled out as you earlier asserted.

      • The Sun can be ruled out as the MAJOR player and is thus of minor interest. BTW, there is as solar effect as the solar output does very a little bit. The effect on the climate is cyclic and of the order of 0.1 degree, but this is so small that the effect drowns in the noise caused by all ‘the other variables’. That is all.

      • “The effect on the climate is cyclic and of the order of 0.1 degree”

        So, what you are saying, based on the inflated IPCC sensitivity of 0.8C per W/m^2, is that the total solar variability is only 125 mw? It varies by over 20 W/m^2 (average) between perihelion and aphelion and by more than 500 mw between min/max sun spots. Nearly all the stars we observe have variable magnitude with apparently random magnitude and period. Who’s to say that our Sun just doesn’t have a slow, relatively small variability (several W/m^2) with a period of about 300 years? We just don’t have the data to know for sure. We only have accurate measurements of TSI for the last couple of decades, moreover; the effects of IR and UV solar emissions seem to be heavily discounted.

      • To claim that the Sun is ‘doing it’ you have to show that there was actual variation and that that variation explains the observed climate. There are no data that show this. TSI depends on the sun’s magnetic field which can be inferred from sunspots and geomagnetic variations and the result does not match the changes in climate. We can only go by what is actually observed, not with what might be or with what we want it to be.

      • Isvalgaard,

        “We can only go by what is actually observed, ”

        I agree and the 20 W/m^2 average difference between perihelion and aphelion (80 W/m^2 difference in the solar constant) and the about 1/2 W/m^s difference in average TSI seen between min and max sunspots is what we observe. But as I said, IR, UV and even the effects of particles being absorbed by the Earth’s magnetic field are not fully counted and these are all sources of joules (actual forcing) that are more variable than what we measure in the visible spectrum. What do you think happens to the energy absorbed by the Earth’s magnetic field? During the winter and peak sunspots, the Aurora Borealis can send more energy into the polar regions than the Sun.

        The window of observation accurate enough to detect differences of a few W/m^2 is at most a couple of decades and we have definitely seem that much variability over short periods of time, so you can’t say that the average solar output hasn’t varied by less than a few W/m^2 since the LIA and yet you don’t seem to question that a mere 3.7 W/m^2 can result in a 3C change in surface temperature. You can’t have it both ways, moreover; if the solar output is as steady as you think, the Sun is unusually stable relative to the rest of the stars in the Universe.

        Here’s a question for you. If as the IPCC claims, the next W/m^2 increases the surface emissions by about 4.3 W/m^2 for about an 0.8C surface temperature increase. How much did the last W/m^2 increase emissions, the one before that and so on and so forth. The problem is that even at a constant 4.3 W/m^2 of emissions per W/m^2 of forcing, you run out of surface emissions long before you run out of solar forcing. Why don’t you try plotting the sensitivity (in W/m^2 of emissions per W/m^2 of forcing) as a function of total forcing and then as a function of surface temperature.

        HINT: Measurements show that the last W/m^2 increased surface emissions by no more than 1.6 W/m^2 for about a 0.3C temperature increase as predicted by the SB LAW.

      • I agree and the 20 W/m^2 average difference between perihelion and aphelion (80 W/m^2 difference in the solar constant) and the about 1/2 W/m^s difference in average TSI seen between min and max sunspots is what we observe.
        The perihelion/aphelion difference averages out over the year, so is immaterial. The min/max variation gives us less than 0.1 degree response.

        But as I said, IR, UV and even the effects of particles being absorbed by the Earth’s magnetic field are not fully counted and these are all sources of joules (actual forcing) that are more variable than what we measure in the visible spectrum.
        The TSI is the Total Output and is most certainly counted. The particles in the solar wind provides negligible input to the climate system. And the variation of TSI is not just the visible, but of ALL of the radiation.

        If as the IPCC claims..
        The IPCC has nothing to do with this. The formula is quite simply dT/T = 0.25 dS/S where T is temperature and S is the radiation. So for dS/S = 0.001, we get dT/T = 0.00025 or dT = 288 K * 0.00025 = 0.072 K.

      • “The formula is quite simply dT/T = 0.25 dS/S where T is temperature and S is the radiation.”

        OK. So for 240 mw if incremental solar input we see a .072K increase in temperature, then 1 W/m^2 only increases the surface temperature by 0.3C, which is consistent with the output path from the surface to space. However; the temperature you should use for this equation is the 255K brightness temperature, and not the 288K color temperature of the emissions (peak per Wein’s displacement), since you are basically cancelling out the effective emissivity and the result becomes about 0.27C per W/m^2. However; observations show that the sensitivity of the surface to changes in solar input is about 0.19C per W/m^2 which is the sensitivity of an ideal BB at 288K. My hypothesis for why is that the system wants to behave as close to ideal as possible in order to minimize the change in entropy when transitioning from one state to another.

      • So for 240 mw of incremental solar input we see a .072K increase in temperature
        You have to do it right:
        dS/S = 1.3W/1361W = 0.001.
        Using 288 K instead of 255 K takes into account the albedo, emissivity, sphericity, etc automatically.

        However; observations show that the sensitivity of the surface to changes in solar input is about 0.19C per W/m^2
        What ‘observations’? and what Watt? TOA or surface?

      • Isvalgaard,

        What ‘observations’? and what Watt? TOA or surface?

        Both. The data is here:

        The yellow dots are the measured relationship along the output path between the surface temperature and planet emissions. The red dots show the measured relationship along the input path between post albedo power input and the surface temperature. The slope of the average of the yellow dots is 0.3C per W/m^2 while the slope of the average of the red dots is 0.19C per W/m^2. I can also generate this as a function of surface emissions, rather than temperature, and instead following an SB curve, they are linear.

        These and more can be found here:

        http://www.palisad.com/co2/sens

        Each little dot is the average of 1 month of data for a 2.5 degree slice of latitude whose differences are TSI (total forcing). The larger square dots are the LTE average for each 2.5 degree slice of latitude across the entire data set (about 3 decades of satellite measurements per ISCCP). The green line is the prediction from my model for the LTE relationship along the output path and the magenta line is my prediction of the relationship along the input path. The predictions represent the ideal behavior that is the goal of the system in order to minimize entropy when transitioning from one state to another.

        The blue line is representative of the IPCC sensitivity drawn to the same scale as the data.

      • Your confusion is due to your non-standard use of the acronym TSI. It usually stands for the Total Solar Irradiance measured by a spacecraft outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. A typical value is 1361 W/m^2.

        I don’t think you use TSI in its correct meaning. Please clarify what you mean.

      • Isvalgaard,

        TSI as you defined is an average, aggregate value measured perpendicular to the radiation from the Sun. It has many temporal components and is physically quite different at different latitudes either when measured from the surface or from a space based sensor tilted to a specific angle. It’s proportional to sin theta, where theta is the angle from the pole to the equator adjusted for axial tilt. While there’s a proportionally constant transfer of energy from the equator to the poles, the main difference between latitudes is the total amount of solar energy they receive. We can quibble about whether we want to call this TSI, but when you perform global simulations, you must account for these differences as well as the differences between aphelion and perihelion. As far as I’m concerned, TSI has both spatial and temporal dependencies and what you’re considering is average TSI. This is crucially important owing to the different average reflectivity/albedo between the 2 hemispheres.

        Interestingly enough the S hemisphere is on average less reflective on the surface than the N (owing to more water), but on average has a higher albedo (again, owing to more water and thus more clouds). One of the problems with consensus climate science is the failure to acknowledge the different response to solar energy between hemispheres and how this ‘amplifies’ the precession of perihelion. This was something Milankovitch discussed, but has generally been ignored.

        One complication is that to conform to the IPCC definition of sensitivity, we need to vary post albedo solar input which is regional TSI adjusted for local albedo which is equivalent to forcing. Conveniently, post albedo solar energy is roughly proportional to regional TSI on a per hemisphere basis, so evaluating the responses of slices of latitude tells us about the incremental behavior, or the sensitivity as defined by the IPCC..

      • TSI as you defined is an average, aggregate value measured perpendicular to the radiation from the Sun. It has many temporal components and is physically quite different at different latitudes either when measured from the surface or from a space based sensor tilted to a specific angle.
        You are conflating irradiance with insolation. The solar quantity of interest is Irradiance. As the shape of the Earth does not change with time there is a simple relationship between the two: namely a factor of four [the surface of a sphere is four times the surface of a disk with the same radius]. When dealing with dS/S that factor falls out. So we simply have dT/T = (dS/S)/4 [per SB’s law], so the global yearly relative average temperature change dT/T as a function of the relative change of the irradiance dS/S is just a fourth. By using T = 288 K we automatically take into account albedo, greenhouse effect, local differences, etc, and we get dT = 0.072 K. S [or TSI] has not varied more than 1 in 1000 over the last 400 years [Schrijver et al.], so T has not varied more than 0.07 K over the same time due to solar changes. Changes in S [TSI] are solely due to the magnetic field of the Sun, which cannot be less than nothing which is almost what we had in 2008/2009, hence S cannot be significantly less than S during that time.

      • Isvalgaard,

        “has not varied more than 1 in 1000 over the last 400 years”

        No matter what any paper might say, we do not have accurate enough instrumentation going back 400 years to make this determination. Proxies are no where near precise enough.

        Yes, the shape of the planet doesn’t change with time, but the solar energy arriving from the Sun varies about 80 W/m^2 p-p between perihelion and aphelion and as I said, I’m not convinced that the solar output itself has been as constant as you say. Again, I point to the observable Universe, where most stars we see have periodic fluctuations in output, seemingly random in period and magnitude. The range of fluctuations needs to be explained and shown to be irrelevant to our Sun before anyone can say solar output is absolutely stable.

        My hypothesis is that tidal effects from orbiting bodies push and pull the fusion core varying its output which would be consistent with the random nature of stellar fluctuations. This would also be consistent with Jupiter’s 11 year orbit correlating with Sun spot cycles, moreover; the relative positions of Jupiter and Saturn go through a long term cycle as both get closer and further away from the Sun owing to orbits whose eccentricity is significantly larger and more variable than Earth’s. Perhaps when both are at extreme perihelion on the same side of the Sun, this effect on the solar core would be greater and when both are at extreme aphelion on opposite sides, the effect would be smaller.

      • “the best estimate of magnetic activity, and presumably TSI, for the least‐active Maunder Minimum phases appears to be provided by direct measurement in 2008–2009.”

        I don’t think you can compare 2008-2009 to the Maunder Minimum that precipitated the LIA. There was no instrumentation at the time that could make TSI measurements. The DomeC ice cores show a very prominent periodic cycle of a few hundred years and measurements over the last decade or so are insufficient for determining if this is TSI related or not.

      • Who’s to say that our Sun just doesn’t have a slow, relatively small variability (several W/m^2) with a period of about 300 years

        These folks: http://www.leif.org/EOS/2011GL046658.pdf
        “the best estimate of magnetic activity, and presumably TSI, for the least‐active Maunder Minimum phases appears to be provided by direct measurement in 2008–2009. The implied marginally significant decrease in TSI during the least active phases of the Maunder Minimum by 140 to 360 ppm relative to 1996 suggests that drivers other than TSI dominate Earth’s long‐term climate change”

        and me: http://www.leif.org/research/Reconstruction-of-Solar-EUV-Flux-1740-2015.pdf
        “The Diurnal Range, rY, of the geomagnetic East component can be determined with confidence from observatory data back to 1840 and estimated with reasonable accuracy a century further back in time. The range rY correlates very strongly with the F10.7 microwave flux and with a range of measures of the EUV-UV flux and thus with the solar magnetic field giving rise to these manifestations of solar activity. The variation of the range also matches closely that of the Sunspot Group Number and the Heliospheric magnetic field”

    • Leif is right, it doesn’t look good for solar.
      The Milankovich orbital cycles are the only clearly proven example of astrophysical forcing of climate, on a millenial timescale.
      Or the lunar tides at the seashore, on a daily timescale.

      • Sunspots as proxy of solar output has been above long term average until solar minimum in 2009.

        I think there are a lot of thermal inertia in the oceans that normally have had about 9 years to travel back to the surface.

        2009 + 9 years gives us 2018 and soon to come solar minimum of 2020 when global temperatures really are going to take a step down.

        The solar maximum of sc24 was smaller than usual and a bit late so the recharge of oceans where out of sync, and we got El niño 2016 instead.
        So there wont be much heat left in 2021 for the oceans to release.

        We shall see.

      • Sunspots as proxy of solar output has been above long term average until solar minimum in 2009.
        No, a century ago, sunspots were on par with 2009 and cycle 24.
        Solar activity has been declining for 50 years, while temperatures have risen.

      • But surely 75 years with higher than average solar activity must have contributed to some of the warming.

      • Leif, my graph shows SSN and cycle(11yrs) CSSN. Along with that some trailing accumulated mean anomalies over 50 & 94 years.

        There’s no temperature here.

        So you then admit the solar activity has been on the rise during late 20th century? :)

    • @lsvalgaard January 30, 2017 at 9:01 am :
      The solar part could be, as postulated, the slow effect in the oceans of SW input changes. The ex-LIA warming, also as postulated, may be MWP warmer waters (or later) resurfacing. More proof needed, I think, but is it impossible, and why?

      • Given any two random claims A and B. That A is false does not automatically mean that B is true. They could both be false as in the case of CAWG and SCO.

  14. At present, it seems that climate scientists see everything on all time scales as caused by CO2. Don’t make the same mistake with SCO. Check every situation carefully in its own right.

    For example, Milankovitch cycles might not have a sun-cloud-ocean effect on climate.
    _______________________________________

    There’s no need for Milankovitch cycles to have a sun-cloud-ocean effect on climate –

    as long as the sun-cloud-ocean effect on climate

    works over time.

  15. ….· Scientists can go to severe lengths to protect the current paradigm, including highly unscientific behaviour.
    · Papers that support the current paradigm can pass peer-review no matter how bad they are. It would be easy to think that this paper was not truly reviewed at all (they went through the formal process, but that’s about all).
    · It can take a long time to take down an established paradigm, no matter how good the contrary evidence is, and no matter how badly its proponents are shown to have behaved…

    People will tell you that, in fact, supporting an incorrect paradigm for any length of time is unusual. Don’t believe them. Aristotle’s Physics was accepted and supported for many hundred years. The Phlogiston Theory similarly held sway for a long time. The Heliocentric Theory is another example, as, indeed, is Quantum Mechanics. Kuhn’s description of science is the rule rather than the exception…

    • No, only the [obvious] CO connection. The real issue is the ‘S’ part of SCO. And since the 1980s solar activity has decreased, yet Temperatures have increased, contrary to the SCO prediction, so SCO is falsified again [although the time frame is too short].

      • Are you sure temperature has increased, or is it just the way it is calculated? I know here in Phoenix, the temperature, as in the maximum temperature, has not increased but, in fact has dropped some. However, the night time temperature has increased due to heat storage in concrete and asphalt, and I am told that the average temperature of Phoenix is now hotter. I don’t agree of course, since the maximum temperatures are in decline, just like the solar activity appears to be.

        Since the vast majority of readings are taken in and around cities, it would be reasonable, due to heat storage, that the “average temperature” would be increasing. That does not necessarily mean that the temperature of the Earth atmosphere is increasing. After all, keeping this as simple – for me – as possible, a high of 100 and a low of 40 average 70, just as a high of 90 and a low of 50, And a high of 92 and low of 50 shows that it is now hotter than it was when the highs hit 100.

      • afonzarelli 10:30a

        “And yet the rate of temperature increase HAS decreased, no?”

        lsvalgaard 10:48a

        “no. people claim there has been GW. Perhaps you could illustrate your point by numbers or graphs?”

        We’ll use Dr. Roy’s graph… Temps trend higher from ’79 to 2002. (keep in mind that the early 90s show anomalous cooling from pinatubo) After that temps trend flat until the recent el nino. Current temps are right back where they were in ’02…

      • And the temperature today where I am is back to where it was yesterday. Climate is the average over many years, typically over 30 years. The rest is weather, varying all the time.

      • During an interstadial period, which we are now in, one would expect both temperature and CO2 to be bouncing along at peak amounts. If that is the case, and data indicates it is, we are in an age entirely within the average range during an interstadial period. Why choose to say something else must be causing the warmth when the natural expectation is that it should be warm?

      • lsvalgaard said, January 30, 2017 at 10:07 am:

        No, only the [obvious] CO connection. The real issue is the ‘S’ part of SCO. And since the 1980s solar activity has decreased, yet Temperatures have increased, contrary to the SCO prediction, so SCO is falsified again [although the time frame is too short].

        What a strange thing to say. Just look at the plot above. A reduction in cloud fraction (significantly over the tropics) naturally caused more solar radiation to become absorbed by the Earth system from the late 80s to the late 90s. And what do you get when more solar radiation is absorbed, Leif? You get warming.

        The solar activity per se doesn’t have to increase/decrease in order for the Earth to soak up more/less solar heat. All you need is a change in global albedo, a parameter mostly determined by cloud cover.

        And cloud cover variability (as is wind pattern variability) is a direct product of ocean/troposphere dynamics.

        The Sun is simply the energy (heat) provider. The actual rate of net heat uptake by the Earth system, however, might very well be controlled by other processes than pure solar activity (TSI). As evident from the plot above …

      • The Sun is simply the energy (heat) provider. The actual rate of net heat uptake by the Earth system, however, might very well be controlled by other processes than pure solar activity (TSI)
        So, the sun is not the controlling factor which is precisely the point.

      • Leif – A sine curve (eg.) is out of phase with its derivative. I think we need to check this out more carefully.

      • afonzarelli

        “We’ll use Dr. Roy’s graph… Temps trend higher from ’79 to 2002. (keep in mind that the early 90s show anomalous cooling from pinatubo) After that temps trend flat until the recent el nino. Current temps are right back where they were in ’02…”
        ____________________

        The trend in UAH from 1979-2002 is 0.15 C/dec. The trend in UAH from 2003-2016 is 0.13 C/dec: http://www.woodfortrees.org/graph/uah6/to:2003/trend/plot/uah6/plot/uah6/from:2002/trend

        You mention the influence of the 2016 el Nino on the latter period but fail to mention that of the equally large 1998 el Nino on the earlier period.

      • DW, we’ve got to wait a few years to see where the trend lines go after the most recent el nino. Skeptics made the exact same mistake with the down turn in temps back in ’08. The further back we go in the record, the more confidence we have in the trends…

      • Svalgaard, it’s one thing to say something hasn’t been proven, quite another to say that something’s been falsified. (you seem to throw around that word ‘falsified’ more often than is warranted)…

      • Except in this case the hypothesis has been falsified, meaning that the data [Sun down – Temps up] showed the opposite of what was predicted: Sun down – Temps down

    • lsvalgaard said, January 30, 2017 at 9:37 pm:

      So, the sun is not the controlling factor which is precisely the point.

      But who ever stated that it had to be the controlling factor. That sounds to me like a convenient straw man and not much else. The Sun is simply what provides the Earth system with external heat, hence its natural inclusion in the “S-C-O” hypothesis.

      • The SCO hypothesis states that variations of the sun’s output controls variations of the clouds which then controls variations of the climate. If the Sun did not vary, the ‘S’ need not be in the SCO.

      • lsvalgaard said, January 31, 2017 at 7:58 am:

        The SCO hypothesis states that variations of the sun’s output controls variations of the clouds which then controls variations of the climate.

        No, it doesn’t. Not the one I’m going by. Look, there’s no authoritative, canonical “S-C-O” hypothesis, Leif. The hypothesis simply states that ‘global warming’ (and ‘global cooling’) is all natural, and what does it is the Sun + the coupled ocean/troposphere system. Nothing in this explanatory model needs for the Sun’s variations to control the climate. You’re mixing it up with Svensmark’s cloud hypothesis, Leif.

    • Kristian – Thx for your comment. It should have been clear from Part 1 that the sun is not the only influence on cloud cover, although it is important. In SCO (Sun-Cloud-Ocean) as I stated it, the sun warms the ocean and clouds affect the rate of warming. Later, I show that there is a solar influence on clouds, but didn’t say it was the only one (I hope I didn’t, because it isn’t!). Maybe I should have stated explicitly that there are other influences on clouds. The importance of the solar influence is that the CAGWers can claim that all other influences are just noise (short cycles etc) and can be ignored. Doesn’t mean they are right, of course.
      Leif, please note the above.

  16. Having now read all three parts some feedback. The ‘SCO’ model of part one is oversimplified, and over reliant on ‘delta sun’. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It should have some effect. The issue is feedbacks, and sorting the net away from the obvious natural variations that occur. That those appear ocean driven is plausible but unproven. Part 2 I agree with, not only because of the initial consitions problem illustrated by the 40 NCAR runs. Computational intractability forces parameterization. Thos have to be tuned to properly hindcast, and that brings in the attribution problem in the warming period ~1975-2000. Part 3 has two parts. The missing tropical troposphere hot spot is a climate models problem, not a climate problem. The essence of whether there is a C in CAGW depends on two things. 1. The definition of C. What we have is speculation based on faulty modles–or worse, irrationally ‘justified’ by the precautionary principle. For sure some definitions of C have already been falsified. Polar bears, for example, don’t depend on summer ice and nobody can credibly suggest winter ice won’t form for the bears to hunt seal pups in the spring. As another example,oceans are highly buffered and the natural biological variation in pH far exceeds what added dissolved CO2 might do. 2. The amount of AGW, which we dunno because of the attribution problem, for which there is no solution for at least another 30 years of data collection.

    • Rud – Yes, CO2 should and does have some effect: CO2 warms the atmosphere, but it does not warm the ocean (except over very long timescales). The ocean is warmed by the sun. The major energy circuit on Earth is one-way: Sun -> Ocean -> Atmosphere -> Space, but there is a lot of noise on all sorts of different timescales.

      There is a lot of work to do, to put together falsifiable predictions. Everyone, please keep the criticisms (and evidence-based support) coming. I have limited time over the next few days, but then I’ll try to put together a summary, plus falsifiable predictions.

      Leif – You refer to TSI as if it’s the only relevant measure of solar activity, but I stated that we didn’t know which measure of solar activity to use. It’s not the energy from the sun that matters most, it’s whatever affects clouds. We are pretty sure that this effect cannot be seen above the noise in the short term, because there are so many other factors affecting clouds on various timescales, but maybe we can work out what we could see over a period that is short enough for practical testing purposes. Over the longer term, there does seem to be reasonable evidence that solar activity (eg. 10Be proxy) relates to Earth’s temperature. But it should be clear that you can’t take a simplistic linear view of a short period and use it to just write SCO off, you have to work with what the hypothesis actually predicts. NB. I do note that you have said that we need data over a longer period.

  17. “All science is models”

    I have read here quite often the inference that science starts with an idea, that is followed by a hypothesis that is then investigated through experiment and observation. I beg to differ.

    A great chunk of science is driven by intrigue with observation and a search for truth. There is no preconceived idea in many cases, just a love for the discipline field. In my own field, geology we often just observe, measure, report. For many of us this is enough.

    In this approach the only danger lies in the conclusions. As long the observations and statistical principles are robust and the work is thoroughly peer reviewed it is the best we can do.

    Start with a hypothesis that one sets out to prove or disprove – then an incentive comes into play. If there are grants involved the incentive is even larger. The rapid rise in this approach is (IMO) driven by: “What can I do that will make me famous without my having to leave the office?” A love for the science topic is absent.

    Nevertheless, I maintain that most scientific advancement has been driven by the search for truth. My experience is that most thesis supervisors are passionate in a particular field and pursue science for science’ sake. They seek out undergrads to help them in their work. Sure, they like to publish but they mostly simply want to be very good in their field.

    This is how it really works (mostly)

  18. The amount of AGW, which we dunno because of the attribution problem, for which there is no solution for at least another 30 years of data collection.

    I would suggest that the simplest and most expedient way to get a handle on this, is to select a dozen or so pristine stations (pristine siting, no station moves, no encroachment by urbanisation, or change of land use, the best systems of practice in and about observations, record keeping, data quality etc), in a dozen countries across the Northern Hemisphere and then retrofit these with the same type of LIG thermometers that were used in the 1930s/1940s (calibrated if appropriate in Fahrenheit) and then observe in accordance with the same practices and procedures as used by the individual station in question as used by that station in the 1930s/1940s (eg., use the same TOB as used by that station)

    We would then have the original 1930/1940 raw data, and we could then compare it with raw data collected over the next few years (one complete ENSO) cycle. No adjustments whatsoever to raw data, no attempt to make a Northern Hemisphere wide assessment.

    Just look at each station, individually, one by one, and see how each has changed from the highs of the late 1930s/early 1940s.

    We would soon have a good feel for what changes have taken place, and whilst any change could be of natural origin, it would cover a period when some 95% of all manmade Co2 emissions has taken place.

    Given that CO2 is a well mixed gas (at any rate for the purposes of the theory), one does not need thousands of measurements. CO2 does not change its characteristics and operate in a different fashion say over the US than it does say over Hungary. Subject to any changes in relative humidity, at the chosen stations, we would have a very good handle on this even with just a 100 stations.

    What one needs is quality data from quality sources. Our problem is that we are trying, by way of adjustments and homenisation, to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear; it cannot be done.

    Science is all about experimentation and observation. There must be some really good quality data for the 1930s/1940s out there, let us replicate it by carrying out the experiment, ie., making observations using the same equipment and using the same methodology, standards, practices and procedures.

  19. “making observations using the same equipment and using the same methodology, standards, practices and procedures”.

    Yep – and throw in some modern devices alongside. Anyone know of a billionaire that will fund a search for truth?

    Ya know, if this topic was on the futures market oh how different things would be!

  20. “Unfortunately, a culture of gate-keeping has prevailed within science for a long time, whereby a current paradigm is tenaciously defended in the face of contrary evidence until its defenders’ position becomes politically untenable”
    Some one has wisely said that it mostly happens when the defenders die.
    These disputes are as old as science.
    When all your work, research and reputation suddenly seems to be based on a wrong theory, most peoble try to defend that theory.

  21. I feel that it requires a few more courageous souls in the entrenched system to voice their reservations. Once the flood gate begins to open there could be a torrent. I cannot believe that there is not some real concern within the institutions. It most bubble out sooner or later

    • Michael, I believe you are not taking into account that, within these institutions the scientists with ‘some real concerns’ are becoming increasingly subject to the funeral process, or just retiring, and a younger cohort that would become completely disoriented by wandering 10 metres from their computers, is taking their place. So sadly, no torrent.

  22. Doesn’t the simple observable fact that the ice cores show CO2 following temp make the entire theory of AGW untenable? Is there an argument as to how to reconcile this contradiction? If so I haven’t been able to find it, but maybe it’s out there somewhere. I’d be obliged if someone knowledgable here could help me understand the counter argument if there is one…

    • David, two things… According to hansen, yes, temperature does cause the co2 rise. BUT, that co2 rise then causes higher temps which cause higher co2 levels still. This would be called a “positive feedback loop” (if i’m not mistaken). Secondly, there is a school of thought out there that the apparent lag of co2 behind temps is really global temps behind temperatures at the poles. Ocean overturning at the equator retards global warming and cooling. Shallow cores when compared with global temperature reconstructions do not exhibit the 800 year lag of deeper cores.

      • Thankyou afonzarelli, those are interesting explanations that seem plausible, though not necessarily persuasive. What is your level of confidence in them?
        Having scratched the surface on AGW my initial reaction was to say of course it’s true, mostly due to headlines and the apparent scientific “consensus”.

        But then I began to consider that scientific consensus has been massively wrong on some major stuff, even in recent history. I’m thinking of the fat vs. sugar consensus that was just overturned and will necessitate a major paradigm shift on that subject. Or Eugenics in the late 19th century up till the 1950’s, which was widely accepted as the cutting edge of science, and taught in the worlds most renowned Universities, lavishly funded and government supported.

        So then I was considering the idea of what Viking era farmers in Greenland would have said about our hysteria about Greenland melting, or what hundreds of thousands of Americans forced to migrate in the Dustbowl of the 1930’s would have made of the modern panic over climate. Those are just two examples of populations that lived through dramatically more extreme variations of climate than anything we have seen so far, and that was prior to any significant CO2 production.

        So common sense tells me to be skeptical of the endless pronouncements of doom, though I fully agree we need to move on from fossil fuels as soon as we can find a practical and reliable substitute.

        So I am on the fence about AGW, in that I know CO2 is a greenhouse gas and has been increasing due to man, and that the temperature has been steadily rising since the Little Ice Age, but feel that much of the alarm is based merely on computer model predictions, and those models seem to have a great deal of uncertainty to them if you read the fine print of the IPCC reports. Computer models certainly can’t do a very good job of predicting economics, and climate has a level of complexity(a chaotic non linear object) that far surpasses economics.

        So…. I also react negatively to the idea of the popular labels “climate heretics” and “climate deniers”, I mean that’s straight up Spanish Inquisition language that just throws the whole thing into a very suspiciously dogmatic light from my point of view.

        Anyway, thanks again for your reply to my question, and would welcome any more thoughts on AGW.

      • David, i’m just a “parrot head”. (a. i’m just repeating what i’ve heard and b. i like rum… ☺) i’m just saying that’s how hansen, at least, “reconciled the contradiction”. Whether it’s actually happening is another matter. As for my second point, seems right to me. i got wind of it from dr. jan perlwitz (of giss) over at spencer’s blog. But i haven’t heard much in the way of discussion on it, so it’s hard for me as a “layman” (non pejorative for “dummy”) to really have much confidence in it either way…

    • “the ice cores show CO2 following temp make the entire theory of AGW untenable?”
      No, it is irrelevant. It is true that when the seas warm, CO₂ will outgas with delay, as observed, and will cause some further warming. But our situation is that we are burning fossil C and putting it directly in the atmosphere. No issue of delay there. AGW looks at the consequences of doing that. It hasn’t happened before.

      • But the planet has experienced about 7,000 ppm of CO2 without runaway warming.

        All positive feedback loops that exist would have come into play when CO2 was circa 7000 ppm, but they did no create a tipping point.

        Ditto, with high temperatures. we know the planet has been at least 10 degC hotter than today, but there was no drastic water feedback loop that caused runaway warming.

      • “But the planet has experienced about 7,000 ppm of CO2 without runaway warming.”

        Yes, and Mars would have over 6000 ppm if it had 1 ATM of O2/N2 along with it’s CO2 and it certainly does not exhibit runaway warming. The simple fact is that runaway GHG warming is a physical impossibility, largely because of the transparent window remains significant at any CO2 concentration. Those that point to Venus don’t understand what part of Venus is in equilibrium with the Sun,
        and it’s not the solid surface which has more in common with the solid surface of Earth beneath the ocean than with the surface of Earth in direct equilibrium with the Sun.

      • Nick, i think that he was thinking that, since co2 lags temps, co2 can’t be causing warming at all. Thus if we add aco2, then that co2 won’t cause warming either. i’m always amazed when skeptics don’t “get” hansen’s positive feedback loop. (goes to show that group think ain’t just a warmist thing… ☺)

      • ” i’m always amazed when skeptics don’t “get” hansen’s positive feedback loop.”

        As I understand it, I do not claim any expertise, the ice cores also show that glaciation starts when CO2 is at a maximum or thereabouts. It is reasonable to conclude therefore that there is another mechanism of negative feedback that overcomes what you call CO2 positive feedback. Does anyone know what that is?

      • Fonz
        ” Thus if we add aco2, then that co2 won’t cause warming either. “
        It’s a nonsensical argument. It’s like noticing that your house is on fire, but reasoning that the house only ever gets warm after you have turned on the heating, so no need to call the fire brigade.

      • Fonz
        ” Thus if we add aco2, then that co2 won’t cause warming either. “
        It’s a nonsensical argument. It’s like noticing that your house is on fire, but reasoning that the house only ever gets warm after you have turned on the heating, so no need to call the fire brigade.

        My understanding is that ice core data show that cooling/glaciation start when CO2 is at or near maximum. Ergo nature has its own fire engine. What is it?

      • “My understanding is that ice core data show that cooling/glaciation start when CO2 is at or near maximum.”
        It’s not my understanding – I’d need to see the data.

      • Yeah, nick, skeptics really haven’t thought that one through. (hansen’s loop…) And yet, that’s probably the most common skeptic talking point out there. (how many times have we heard that co2 can’t cause temps to rise because co2 follows temperature?) That’s one of several dubious skeptic arguments that drove me to dr spencer’s blog. Whatever Dr. S. is, he ain’t crazy…

        Peter, theories as to what triggers ice ages are a dime a dozen. (that’s one thing that’s really neat about anthony’s blog is that he’ll cover every paper that comes up)…

      • Peter, here’s one from just last week. i liked it because it’s an easy read and it makes a lot of sense. These type of posts pop up here every so often at wuwt. (not too long ago they had one on the role of terrestrial dust in changing ice albedo) i imagine you could search ice ages and a whole host of posts will come up…

  23. For those not familiar with the Hot Spot, it was identified in the fourth IPCC report as the principal place where man-made-CO2-driven warming originates, and from where it spreads to the rest of the globe.

    When I saw the hot-spot graph, I wondered if the same old mistakes about it would be made. Well, there was one old mistake and one new one.

    Enhanced warming of the tropical mid-troposphere is not meant to be a fingerprint of AGW. It is meant to be a result of warming at the surface regardless of the cause. If the hotspot is missing, it means that models of heat transfer in the atmosphere (moist adibiat) are incorrect. It doesn’t mean that the greenhouse effect is broken.

    That’s the old mistake. The new one is that this is where AGW “originates… and spreads to the rest of the globe”. That is strange invention. Like claiming the heat from a concentrating reflector ‘originates’ at the point of focus.

    • Nicely put barry. Would you mind dropping in and repeating that whenever those mistakes are made. You know, every few hours.

    • barry – The hotspot is made up of multiple elements, as shown in the parts of AR4 Figure 9.1. The largest component is from GHGs, and while “as a result of warming at the sutface regardless of the cause” is correct in a sense (the GHGs intercept upward IR from the surface), it is misleading. The point is that the GHGs intercept upward IR, thus warming the mid troposphere and providing the major component of the hotspot. Man-made CO2 causes more upward IR to be intercepted, thus enhancing the hotspot, and this is the origin of the CAGW. The hotspot re-radiates IR. It is that re-radiated IR which (together with the atmosphere and ocean currents) spreads the energy to the rest of the globe. This whole mechanism – and therefore the hotspot – is central to CAGW.

      • Mike, the tropical mid-troposphere hotspot is meant to be a result of changes in the lapse rate through the atmosphere, not from IR. Wherever you got that notion, you’ve been misled.

        Consequently, it is not meant to be a ‘source’ of atmospheric warming, whether caused by GHGs or anything else. It is a response to warming at the surface as an increase in the moist adibiatic lapse rate.

        Even if IR changes were the cause, the idea that this zone of the atmosphere was the ‘originator’ of wider atmospheric warming would then have to assume that the greenhouse effect ONLY works in the tropical mid troposphere, and that CO2 everywhere else in the atmosphere doesn’t operate as a greenhouse gas.

        But that’s clearly absurd, and IR is not the cause in any case.

        The AR4 graphs are of historical forcings, not relative strengths on some equivalent basis (sorry if you already know that, but this item, too, is often misconstrued). CO2 forcing has the strongest response in the AR4 graphs because it has had the strongest signal of the forcings assessed (solar, volcano etc) over the period (from 1750, if memory serves).

      • Here is an explanation posted at WUWT.

        Based on theoretical considerations and simulations with General Circulation Models (GCMs), it is expected that any warming at the surface will be amplified in the upper troposphere. The reason for this is quite simple.

        More warming at the surface means more evaporation and more convection. Higher in the troposphere the (extra) water vapour condenses and heat is released. Calculations with GCMs show that the lower troposphere warms about 1.2 times faster than the surface. For the tropics, where most of the moist is, the amplification is larger, about 1.4.

        This change in thermal structure of the troposphere is known as the lapse rate feedback. It is a negative feedback, i.e. attenuating the surface temperature response due to whatever cause, since the additional condensation heat in the upper air results in more radiative heat loss.

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/16/about-that-missing-hot-spot/

  24. There have always been some very fundamental problems with the AGW conjecture. Let me mention a few.

    1 The AGW conjecture claims that it is a radiant greenhouse effect provided for by the LWIR absorption bands of so called greenhouse gases that keeps the surface of the Earth 33 degrees warmer than it would otherwise be without an amosphere. The 33 degrees because of the atmosphere is not in dispute but the mechanism is. The AGW conjecture cliams that there is no other mechanism that could cause what we observe but that is not so.

    A real green house does not stay warm because of the action of heat trapping greenhouse gases. A real greenhouse stays warm because the glass decreases cooling by convection. It is entirely a convective greenhouse effect. Experiments early in the last century ruled out a radiative greenhouse effect. If CO2 had insulation properties there would most likely be some proctical engineering applications where CO2 is used as an insulator but no such applications exist. So there is no radiant greenhouse effect in a real greenhouse.

    So too in the Earth’s climate system. As derived from first proncipals, the surface of the earth is kept 33 degrees C warmer because gravity reduces cooling by convection forming a convective greenhouse effect. The effect is a function of the heat capacity of the atmosphere, the force of gravity, and the depth of the troposphere and has nothing to do with the LWIR absorption properties of greenhouse gases. The convective greenhouse effect accounts for all 33 degrees that have been observed. There is no additional radiative greenhouse effect. It does not exist in the Earth’s climate system.

    It is the convective greenhouse effect that explains the insulationg properties of the atmospheres on all planets in the solar system with thick atmospheres. A radiant greenhouse effect has not been observed anywhere in the solar system. The radiant greenhouse effect is nothing but science fiction hence the AGW conjecture is nothing but science fiction.

    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 in the troposphere but such has not happened. CO2 appears to have no effect on weather or climate but it is required for life as we know it on Earth as it is plant’s supply of Carbon.

    2. According to the AGW conjecture the primary greehouse gas is H2O but that H2O’s effect on climate is completely controled by CO2 and that H3O provides a positive feedback to CO2 which amplifies the effect on CO2 on climate. A major problem with this is that H2O is a net coolant in the Earth’s atmosphere as evidenced by the fact that the wet lapse rate is significantly less then the dry lapse rate which is a cooling effect. According to some energy balance models, more heat energy is moved from the earth’s surface to where clouds form via the heat of vaporization then by both LWIR absorption band radiation and convection combined. The feedback would have to be negative for the Earth’s climate to have been stable enough for life to have evolved. If the feedback were positive the H2O warming feedback caused by more H2O in the atmosphere would continue to warm the planet until the oceans boiled over and our atmosphere were as thick as that on Venus. This part of the AGW conjecture just cannot be so.

    3. The AGW conjecture tries to scare us all with tipping points that will render the climate unstable and spell doom to live on Earth. If we look in the paleoclimate record, CO2 levels have been more than 10 times what they are today yet no tipping point was ever reached. The precious interglacial period, the Eemian, was warmer than this one with more ice cap melting and higher sea levels yet no tipping point ever occoured. The increase in methane caused by permafrost melting did not cause the Earth’s climate to become unstable. The last ice age took place on schedule.

    • These seem to be very plausible problems that should at least cause serious thought as to the validity of AGW theory. What do subscribers to AGW rebutt with when faced with these arguments? I have listened to much of Prof. Richard Lindzen’s take on AGW, and find his arguments against alarm to be compelling and articulate. Strange how science itself can take on characteristics of religion and dogma under certain circumstances, but I suppose that’s just a human tendency and not all that shocking. I am just amazed that so much of the scientific community seems to be mute as to the endless fear mongering and accelerating hysteria coming from media and many politicians and activists on this issue. Are they really collectively convinced of the accuracy of AGW theory or are they just too intimidated by the momentum of it to question it openly?

      • What do they rebutt?

        1. Scientific consensus.

        2. I am lying because I am being paid by the oil companies.

        3. I am not backing up what I say with references to “peer reviewed” papers from prestigious journals.

        4. They refer me to the AGW literature, repeat the standard AGW arguements and ignore what I say.

        In general it is hard to find one who can really engage in a scientific debate. I keep saying that there is no real evidence that CO2 has any affect on climate and I have yet to find anyone who can provide any such real evidence. I may not agree with Prof. Lindzen on everything but I am impressed with his common sense.

        At first the AWG conjecture seems to make a lot of sense and many who cannot go into the details themselves are swayed by the consensus arguement and are in line with the political outcome. I myself beleive that Mankind’s burning up of our very finite supply of fossil fuels is not such a good idea and I would like to use AGW as another reason to conserve but for me the science was not there. Maybe it is because I have a science background and have often had to be a trouble shooter so being skeptical of “the facts” has been a part of my making a living. Having created so much simulation software I am skeptal with any simulation results that oftern turn out to be not much more that make believe. You can program a computer to provide any result you want. It is almost amayzing how much faith people put in simulation results just because they come from a computer. The biggest problem is not the mistakes we have uncovered but the mistakes that have not been uncovered. Yes, I have many war stories.

        Much of the scientific community are too busy with their own specialities to challenge what “climate science experts” are coming up with. One reads publications by NASA and they sound very authoritative but I keep telling myself, but the climate system does not operate that way. I never bought the idea that CO2 is some supper natural gas having dominion over H2O and totally controls the Earth’s climate. I am not impressed with mention of the LWIR absorption chacteriztics of CO2 because I have dealt with that for decades. If the IPCC really understood how the climate system operated then they would have a single model but instead they have entertained a plethora of models with the hope that in the end one of them may turn out to be right. This averaging over different model results in nonsense. After more than 2 decades of study the IPCC has been unable to narrow the range of their climate sensivity of CO2 guesses because they really do not know.

      • I keep saying that there is no real evidence that CO2 has any affect on climate and I have yet to find anyone who can provide any such real evidence. I may not agree with Prof. Lindzen on everything but I am impressed with his common sense.

        Richard Lindzen believes increasing CO2 in the atmos raises temps at the surface.

  25. I hope one of you experts on this site can answer a question that has been buzzing away recently in the back of my mind. I am not an expert on any of the science but I have read many times that H2O is amore powerful GHG than CO2. I too have laughed at AGW alarmists using pictures of power station cooling towers with their steam clouds to show evidence of dangerous global warning. But it has occurred to me that since burning fossil fuels does generate lots of H2O from stuff that used to be under the ground it could be a problem. Has anyone done the sums?

    • This is a PS. I read that if Germany is to meet its Green energy targets it will need a windmill every 2.7km across the entire country. Apart from the obvious impact on the environment it occur to me ta converting all that kinetic energy to electricity on that scale will significantly reduce wind velocity and could have a significant effect on climate. More sums?

      And then if we cover vast areas of earth with solar cells, the sun won’t heat the surface under the solar panels and the electricity so generated will be dissipated elsewhere, mostly as heat. Potentially significant?

    • Water condenses. So we can’t really change the amount in the air. If you burn CH₄ the water will be gone in about ten days. The CO₂ will last for decades.

      But CO₂ is still important, since it affects a different part of the spectrum, impeding IR that water would have let through.

      • But we are continually burning CH4 24/7 some 365 days per year. Hence the water vapour is continually being replenished and never has time to be gone. How much extra water vapour do we pump into the atmosphere each and every day, 365 days a year, by burning CH4, petrol, diesel, jet, and irrigation for farming etc?

        As regards your second paragraph, I am not suggesting that CO2 has no role whatsoever, but the gap in the IR window between water and CO2 is very small, and it corresponds to a cold radiant temperature such that CO2 may not be as important as suggested.

      • Thank you Nick but that doesn’t sound complete. The H2O doesn’t disappear. Surely it disperses in the atmosphere in exactly the same way as water vapour rising from the sun warmed sea and land to become a GHG? And since it was previously bound in a fossil fuel in the ground, it is indeed increasing the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere. I might have confused my question by referring to the cooling towers. My question is about the water vapour from the chimneys.

        Perhaps the sum to do is to calculate the rate at which H2O is produced by combustion in say a 1 GW gas fired power station and then calculate the area of ocean required to produce the same rate of water evaporation for some typical solar insolation rate.

        Another thought, perhaps someone has studied cloud formation in the vicinity of large power stations.

        I’d offer you a bottle of bubbly but it doesn’t travel well over the internet.

      • Richard
        “Hence the water vapour is continually being replenished”
        OK, let’s compare. Average rain is about 1m. That means about 500 teratons water evaporate every year, naturally. We burn about 10 Gtons C, and in doing so would produce a similar amount of water. That is 1 part in 50000 of natural evaporation. Since that is constantly being precipitated, nothing accumulates. So we might amplify humidity by 1 part in 50000.

      • Nick, I think that answers my question. 1/50000 is an insignificant amount of H2O and presumably your figure is total so the amount from power stations is even less. I’ll leave you to argue about CO2 vs H2O, which was not part of my question. Thanks.

  26. Water vapour cools the surface both by absorbing incoming IR from the sun during the day and evaporation from the surface.Perhaps someone better at maths than me could verify or mock my back-of-the-envelope calculation that the energy involved in a years worth of evaporation and condensation within our atmosphere could power all the cities in the world for 5000 yrs.

    • According to some energy balance models, more heat energy is moved from the earth’s surface to where clouds form via the heat of vaporization then by both LWIR absorption band radiation and convection combined. The cooling effects of H2O are further exemplified by the fact that the wet lapse rate is singificantly lower than the dry lapse rate and is hence a ccoling effect.

      • I don’t see how the lower wet lapse rate infers a cooling unless you understand that the lowering of the lapse rate is a consequence of heat being stolen from the surface by evaporation to progressively return that stolen heat to the atmosphere as it condenses with altitude. In other words in a humid atmosphere there is a potential temperature increase of say 3.4C/km with height of the difference between the wet lapse 6.6C/km on the up and dry 10C/km on the down. The same amount of surplus solar energy shining onto a humid tropical rain-forest would be spread much further and faster around the globe with winds averaging out that PT increase of 34C at 10km to 17C together with a cooling of the surface from which it came. Whereas in a desert at the same latitude the surface would only cool by convection, conduction and radiation and get much hotter at the surface with no potential temperature increase with height. i.e. goes up at 10C/km and comes down at 10C/km.
        So turbulence and wind with moisture around spread the sun’s energy further and faster than otherwise. Water in all its forms is a great equaliser of the tropical to polar gradient.
        So logically the more forest, greenery and water there is around the more equable the global climate.

      • The lapse rate is a measure of the insulation properties of the atmosphere, in other words how the atmosphere attenuates temperature with altitude. The hugher the lapse rate the greater the insulating properties of the atmosphere and hence the greater will be the surface temperature. In general the Earth radiates to space as an equivalent 0 degrees F black body radiating at an equivalent altitude of 17k feet which just happens to be at the mass versus altitide midpoint in the atmosphere. The surface temperature is found by following the lapse rate down to the surface. The higher the lapse rate, the warmer will be the surface. Hence a decrease in the lapse rate resutls in cooling and an increase in the lapse rate results in warming.

  27. “The tropical hotspot” wold occur with ANY amount of global warming caused by the greenhouse effect, and is actually a negative feedback due to convection from.the earth’s surface. NO discernable hotspot would imply that there has been NO global warming, and any surface warming measured must have resulted from data error.

    • 1. The tropical hotspot is meant to occur with warming at the surface no matter the cause. It keeps getting portrayed as a signature only of greenhouse warming, which is not true.

      2. No discernible hotspot along with surface warming would imply that this notion of heat transfer in the atmosphere is wrong. It would have no impact on the basic premise of the greenhouse effect.

      3. Different data sets yield different results regarding the hotspot. One has to be quite selective in the data set used, and the methodology, to say outright that the hotspot doesn’t exist. Neither its presence nor its absence is completely verified.

      • When I restricted the hotspot to warming due to the greenhouse effect, I was specifically thinking of Trenberth’s model.

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/08/correcting-trenberth-et-al/

        Note tthat 67 watt figure absorbed directly by the atmosphere. If there were warming by a star only in the infrared range absorbed by an atmosphere, the atmospheric radiation will increase by a specific amount, with no effect on hotspots- suppose the amount absorbed by the atmosphere increased to 70 watts. That would increase surface temperatures, but it would increase temperatures in the atmosphere by an equivalent amount, resulting in no change in the relative hotspot other than scale. In the sense that all circles look alike except for scale, , the temperatures for the changed climate would increase, but the shape would stay the same.

  28. Heat transfer in the atmosphere is all about how fast energy is moved from the tropical or summertime solar surplus to cooler areas of the globe. Evaporation with its latent heat facilitates this process hugely.
    Water vapour is the “Robin Hood” gas in all of this, robbing from the energy rich to give to the energy poor.
    The northern hemisphere would be 15-25C. warmer without the cooling from evapotranspiration.
    Nitrogen and oxygen hold on to all that redistributed heat and allow us to live in a more moderate climate but of course the main player in moderating extremes is the ocean.

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