Yale study tries to prop up shrinking climate sensitivity

From Yale News: Climate models have underestimated Earth’s sensitivity to CO2 changes, study finds

A Yale University study says global climate models have significantly underestimated how much the Earth’s surface temperature will rise if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase as expected.

Yale scientists looked at a number of global climate projections and found that they misjudged the ratio of ice crystals and super-cooled water droplets in “mixed-phase” clouds — resulting in a significant under-reporting of climate sensitivity. The findings appear April 7 in the journal Science.

Equilibrium climate sensitivity is a measure used to estimate how Earth’s surface temperature ultimately responds to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). Specifically, it reflects how much the Earth’s average surface temperature would rise if CO2 doubled its preindustrial level. In 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated climate sensitivity to be within a range of 2 to 4.7 degrees Celsius.

The Yale team’s estimate is much higher: between 5 and 5.3 degrees Celsius. Such an increase could have dramatic implications for climate change worldwide, note the scientists.

Graph of several ECS estimates with the Tan 2016 study added, suggesting a 5 to 5.3 ECS value. Graph originally by Pat Michaels, updated by Anthony Watts

“It goes to everything from sea level rise to more frequent and extreme droughts and floods,” said Ivy Tan, a Yale graduate student and lead author of the study.

Trude Storelvmo, a Yale assistant professor of geology and geophysics, led the research and is a co-author of the study. The other co-author is Mark Zelinka of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison.

A key part of the research has to do with the makeup of mixed-phase clouds, which consist of water vapor, liquid droplets, and ice particles, in the upper atmosphere. A larger amount of ice in those clouds leads to a lower climate sensitivity — something known as a negative climate feedback mechanism. The more ice you have in the upper atmosphere, the less warming there will be on the Earth’s surface.

“We saw that all of the models started with far too much ice,” said Storelvmo, an assistant professor of geology and geophysics. “When we ran our own simulations, which were designed to better match what we found in satellite observations, we came up with more warming.”

Storelvmo’s lab at Yale has spent several years studying climate feedback mechanisms associated with clouds. Little has been known about such mechanisms until fairly recently, she explained, which is why earlier models were not more precise.

“The overestimate of ice in mixed-phase clouds relative to the observations is something that many climate modelers are starting to realize,” Tan said.

The researchers also stressed that correcting the ice-water ratio in global models is critical, leading up to the IPCC’s next assessment report, expected in 2020.

Support for the research came from the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship Program, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy.

(Note: title and date were corrected about 15 minutes after publication – this study was published in 2016, not 2017, and it was sent to WUWT as a tip. The error in not noticing the tip was for a study over a year old is mine- Anthony)

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258 thoughts on “Yale study tries to prop up shrinking climate sensitivity

  1. In the Carboniferous Era CO2 was some 20 times higher than now and the world did not boil over. There was an explosive growth of trees.MG

    From: Watts Up With That? To: mickgreenhough@yahoo.co.uk Sent: Friday, 28 April 2017, 16:49 Subject: [New post] New study tries to prop up shrinking climate sensitivity #yiv6342347846 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv6342347846 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv6342347846 a.yiv6342347846primaryactionlink:link, #yiv6342347846 a.yiv6342347846primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv6342347846 a.yiv6342347846primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv6342347846 a.yiv6342347846primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv6342347846 WordPress.com | Anthony Watts posted: “From Yale News: Climate models have underestimated Earth’s sensitivity to CO2 changes, study findsA Yale University study says global climate models have significantly underestimated how much the Earth’s surface temperature will rise if greenhouse gas” | |

    • But bear in mind that: During that period of time, even though the world didn’t boil over, sea levels were significantly highet than today. In fact, sea levels were much higher than today through most of earth history as this Phanerozoic sea level chart indicates

      Topping todays level by as much as 200m. This would eliminate most of the major population centers
      Here is an interesting interactive map for sea level alterations
      http://www.floodmap.net/
      Set your desired sea level rise, pan about, and zoom in to any area on the map. The world might survive carboniferous era temps and life would go on but society would be decimated.

      • You don’t think people would just move? As the sea level rises millimeters per year, they’ll hold their ground, toward the end just stand on their tippy-toes, and finally succumb to drowning? No chance that they’ll just move? Maybe their children will move out. Seems like there are so many options to drowning… slowly. Maybe you forgot your /sarc off tag.

      • Bryan A, if 200 meters higher sea level is normal, ie, not anthropogenic, how can you stop normal? For sure 200 meters higher sea level indicates most of the H2O budget of our planet is in the liquid phase, which is something not likely to happen again. I am much more concerned about snowball earth than 200 meters higher sea level. Actually I am not concerned aobut either.

      • The high sea levels in the past were largely not due to melted glaciers since there isn’t nearly enough water in all the glaciers in the world to raise sea levels 100 meters, much less 200 meters. The very high sea levels at certain intervals in the past were probably instead mostly caused by faster continental drift (=larger volumes of mid-ocean ridges).

        By the way the Carboniferous was a quite cold interval with low sea-level, low CO2 and large continental glaciation. Just like now in fact.

      • Your logic only is valid if CO2 is a climate driver, instead of it being controlled itself by other factors. But the latter is the case, CO2 is not a significant climate driver at any level except at very low concentrations. The 200 meters variation over geological epochs has nothing to do with CO2 but everything with the distribution of landmass over the globe. In particular, levels are at their low end when there is a large landmass at either pole or both which can accumulate very large quantities of water in its frozen form.

      • “I set the flood map for 100 years from now (300mm) and noticed no change.”

        You didn’t look closely enough. Death Valley and Imperial Valley are apparently going to turn into inland seas. Not to mention the Caspian….

      • Bryan, http://www.flodmap.net is so good that even at 0 meters, lots of features that are perfectly above sea today appear already flooded. Also the default value that appears is 397m. This value is simply impossible with the present amount of solid ice, even it all of it melted. This says a lot about the credibility of this “amusement” experience with a rather poor GSD STRM (90m/pixel). In the Eemian, the last interglacial period, its admitted that the sea was about 5 to 7 meters higher than today. I do not see any “exotic” factor that can lead to overall levels higher than those. As somebody is pointing out, we cannot compare the world in the carboniferous period with the present world. Remember that in that period the overall sea level was high because some interior seas were higher than today, sometimes a lot higher, not because the earth was hot and Ice was melting (Ice did not existed in the poles during the carboniferous) but because most seas were terminal interior seas that were later consumed by the final reunion of PANGEA!! Even if all the solid water melted, it was impossible, with a percentage lower than 2.15% of the earth water in the Icecaps and glaciers, to increase the sea level by 200 meters – pure nonsense.

      • If the seas were 200 M higher, men would move to higher ground. You, see, they have legs.

      • JN April 28, 2017 at 12:53 pm

        There was an ice age in the Carboniferous and Permian, so, yes, there was ice at the South Pole then and probably sea ice at the North:

      • JN,

        The Eemian:

        Florida and most of Iraq submerged, Scandinavia an island (more from crustal depression than sea level rise) and the GIS reduced.

      • Chimp, ignore those gross reconstructions of the seal level in the Eemian as if the flood was only due to sea level. Those maps are simple exercises of plotting a sea level over the the present SRTM without account for other factors that impact in the coastline position such as marginal diastrophism and isostatic movements. in the Scandinavian peninsula, for instance, that uplifted a lot since the last glacial maximum, coastline historical positions do not reflect, per se, the average sea level. With an average level of 5 to 7 meters above the present level, it would be impossible, without other factors, to have all those areas flooded. It’s not only sea-level that matters.
        Note – I work mainly in sea level reconstructions during the Holocene.

        https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259248357_Environmental_reconstructions_of_Eemian_Stage_interglacial_marine_records_in_the_Lower_Vistula_area_southern_Baltic_Sea/figures?lo=1

      • JN,

        Thanks for the more detailed map, and for your work. But it doesn’t look basically any different from my link, which naturally, being the whole world, isn’t as detailed.

      • People don’t NEED to move inland. The rise is a few centimeters per decade, same as it has been for centuries. Many places (like New Orleans) are already below sea level and have been for a long time.

        Humans adapt. It’s what we do. Adapting to a change that will take Centuries isn’t even a good joke. We won’t even notice the difference. ~¿~

      • “I don’t know if there’s a blocked drain, but I couldn’t see any drains on Google Maps, otherwise I’d go back there and try to unclog it myself.”

        No you wouldn’t.

      • Sea level in the Cretaceous was 250 metres higher because the newly expanding Atlantic ocean was still young.

        New oceans start out as rift valleys, even rift valleys that are not flooded by ocean yet. The continued spread starts to bring in-flow from the ocean but they can still be just 100 metres deep. As time goes on, they get deeper and deeper, they actually sink into the mantle.

        So the new ocean starts with no water, gets to 100 metres in 5 million years and continues sinking into the mantle until about 100 million years after the initial separation, that former rift valley is not 5,000 metres deep, the average ocean depth of a mature ocean.

        So go back to the Cretaceous, the Atlantic ocean is only 100 million years old at it very earliest rift valley regions, but the rest of the ocean is only 2,500 metres and the mid-atlantic ridge is only 1,000 metre deep and the northern half of it hasn’t even split apart as a rift valley yet.

        So what you have is the average depth of all of the oceans is literally 250 metres higher than it is today. All that water has to go somewhere at it goes onto the land. 94 million years 30% of the continental shelves were flooded by the ocean. The Gulf Stream literally flowed right up through the centre of North America from Texas all the way to the Arctic ocean. The Rocky Mountains had only started forming at this point and the Colorado Plateau has not risen yet. All of the central region was only 100 metres above what is sea level today. With 250 metres of more ocean water, it was completely flooded. Europe and the Middle East as well.

        THAT is why sea level was 250 metres higher, in the Cretaceous.

      • Bill,

        There was also some thermal expansion from such very warm, indeed hot, seas.

        But sea level receded in the later Cretaceous.

        It bugs me that the Cretaceous doesn’t have a Middle Epoch. The Early (46 million years) and Late (34 M) Cretaceous Epochs both lasted longer than the entire Silurian Period (25 M). The Ordovician lasted 41 million years. The shorter Triassic and Jurassic Periods both have Middle Epochs.

        The mid-Cretaceous was distinctive and deserves its own epoch, IMO. It was not just warm, but hot, hot, hot! The seas went out in the later Late Cretaceous.

        Ichthyosaurs went extinct in the Turonian Age. That would be a good place to end the Middle Cretaceous. Early Epoch Ages: Berriasian, Valanginian, Hauterivian and Barremian. Middle Epoch Ages: Aptian, Albian, Cenomanian and Turonian. Late Epoch Ages: Coniacian, Santonian, Campanian and the ever-popular Maastrichtian, portrayed below with its two most famous Montanans (when the Rockies were under construction).

      • You are absolutely right chimp.

        Your TRex illustration taking down a Ceratops is from 67 million years ago when the ocean in central North America was gone already.

        The average depth of the ocean had fallen by 100 metres at this time and uplift in central North America had made it a great place for a great illustration. 30 million earlier the scene would have looked like this.

      • Bill,

        Right on!

        You want climate change, I’ll show you climate change!

        With very little difference in CO2, you go from the oceans of Kansas, dominated by giant shark and pliosaur-eating snake kin, the mosasaurs, to the tyrannosaurs of Kansas.

      • I’m not saying which factor was the driver and which was the result. I’m only saying:
        Although the world has been warmer over a significant portion of the past and life survived, we don’t necessarily want it to be that high now (not that we can do much to affect it one way or the other) due to the repeated effect on sea level.
        We can’t just pick up a city of 10 million and move it 500 miles inland. Last I checked high rise buildings didn’t have legs or wheels. How long would it take to rebuild every city under potential flooding loss 500 miles inland? Then the only place open to relocate the population centers would be where we grow our crops today. And far to many people are shy of “Walls” right now. Not many tourists would want to visit Miami Beach (without a beach) and have a 75′ or 100′ tall seawall. They would have to rename the town’s Miami Wall and Daytona Wall and South Wall. That type of adaptation wouldn’t work well with Phanerozoic era temperatures today so please try not to use that as an argument it makes little sense.

      • Realistically you wouldn’t set the depth of flooding greater than 70 meters as that’s about the max for all current ice

      • Sheri,
        Sure people could move inland. Large Populations require significant resources to do so though.
        50 families could quite easily relocate inland and pose no problem. But where would 8,000,000 Los Angeles residents relocate to? They would need an additional 2,000,000 vacant houses and support infrastructure businesses etc. just for the LA basin populace. Then the Sacramento Valley, where many of the nation’s crops grow, would also be underwater.

      • Bryan A April 28, 2017 at 11:05 pm

        No way will all the ice melt. Not even a small fraction, under the “worst” case scenario.

        The East Antarctic Ice Sheet, repository of most of the fresh water on earth, formed under conditions much warmer than now.

        It would take thousands of years or more to melt the Greenland Ice Sheet even at higher temperatures than now. The Eemian lasted 16,000 years and was hotter than even the Holocene Optimum. Yet only the Southern Dome melted maybe some 25% more than now.

        Maximum, worst case scenario would be less than ten meters MSL rise over thousands of years.

        Easily adapted to.

    • Think you mean the Cambrian Period (~7000 ppm high), not the Carboniferous (~300 ppm low), which suffered an ice age.

      Speaking of ice, I note that, thanks to the cooler than usual Arctic Ocean, sea ice is melting more slowly than normal. According to NSIDC, from April 26 to 27, Arctic sea ice extent dropped a mere 0.008 million sq km. Average for those dates is 0.042. This underperformance has characterized the whole melt season so far.

      Sorry, Griff, but extent is now above last year’s at this time. Your prediction that 2017 was “sure” to mark a new record low isn’t looking too good at the moment. But maybe you’ll luck out with two Arctic cyclones in August again this year.

      • The cooler ocean SST might be because of a lower than average maximum sea ice extent last winter, allowing more heat to escape to the air, thence to space.

        Griff was warned that this scenario was likely to play out.

      • Chimp, although you are right about the IceCAP in the late carboniferous, you have the notion that those Scotese maps, published in 1975 and 1976, when most of the geologists do not even admitted that plate tectonics was real, are very outdated. I studied paleogeography by those ones when I was very young ;-). Check for more recent ones that show a better paleogeographic reconstruction based on thousands of regional studies worlwide in recent years and by data of the LAGEOS mission.

      • JN,

        There is every reason to believe that there were extensive ice sheets and caps in the Carboniferous and Early Permian.

        I studied geology at the world’s top geology university from 1969-72, so can assure you that plate tectonics was fully accepted by that time. The discovery of seafloor spreading in the 1950s made for rapid adoption of the previously shunned theory of “continental drift”.

        Besides which, the Scotese maps are from 2003.

        http://scotese.com/

      • Chimp, the site you took them from http://www.scotese.com was last updated in 2003 but the maps are are painted graphical edited versions based on the earlier works from Scotese. If you study a little of tectonical paleoreconstruction you will easily see that they are still great maps but they do not fit in the most regional present stratigraphical knowledge.
        In 1972, most European geologists were yet verticalists with lots of problems to admit that plate tectonics was right and even less admitting that there was a thing so-called Neo tectonics ;-)
        History proved that they were wrong, of course!

      • Maybe Arctic alligators is one of those “dangers” from global warming of which the past POTUS spoke. Or maybe hippos in London again, as during the previous interglacial.

      • See my above explanation. They got there because the Gulf Stream flowed all the way up into the Arctic ocean 94 million years ago. The crocodiles got there right around this time for a short period of time following the Gulf Stream flow but they probably all died in the winter when it got cold. Hence the fossils.

    • “If the seas were 200 M higher, men would move to higher ground. You, see, they have legs.”

      Can you provide a link to a peer-reviewed study, published in a respectable journal, to back up this claim about legs?

  2. In other words, once they add this to the models. The models that already run too hot will start running way too hot.

    • This is exactly what I was thinking…the models will be even more wrong than ever!
      And hey…i thought the science was settled anyway.
      Now they tell us it took until 2016 and some grad student coming along to get a proper handle on what the correct composition of clouds is?
      And i thought the models did not include clouds, except as a correction factor, because clouds are far smaller than the individual pixels in the models?
      So just what they hell are they talking about?
      Just to recap…until the authors penned this study, no one knew what the correct makeup of clouds was…but now they know “everything”, and can say with greater certainty than ever that the world will be hotter than anyone ever guessed?
      Even though it actually proves the models are a larger bunch of crap than they already were proven to be.

      Riiiiiiiiiight…got it!
      *two thumbs up and a wink and a nudge*

  3. That paper is already more than 1 year old…

    [still valid to discuss – afaik, it was not covered here -mod]

  4. CO2 levels have risen by a factor of 4/3 since 1960. Assuming a logarithmic relationship of temperatures to CO2, this estimate of the sensitivity implies that a warming of 2 degrees centigrade should have occurred since 1960.

    • Could somebody much more knowledgeable than I answer Michael Palmer’s comment? Given that CO2 levels are around 400ppm is there a point in the historical past when levels were half that? That would be a ‘doubling’, not so? And what have been the effects of that doubling?

      • My comment doesn’t require an ‘answer’ — it just simple math:

        sensitivity estimate (5 degrees per doubling) * log(4/3) / log(2) = 2 degrees (approximately)

        But there have been times with CO2 levels approximately half as high as today: the deep-freeze periods of the ice ages. But note the order of cause and effect — the colder oceans dissolve and sequester more of the atmospheric CO2. It is CO2 that responds to temperature, not the other way around.

      • Not quite. The Sensitivity referred to is ECS. This is reached over hundreds of years, so does not speak to the temperature rise from 1960 to now. One could use this logic IF thenYale paper also estimated TCR (transient climate response) which is to an annual 1% increase in CO2 until doubling (70 years). Because then the decades long time frame can be imputed.

      • Doesn’t the bulk of temperature increase occur in the first few decades, with a very long tail for the rest? since heat moves into the oceans very slowly.

      • “The Sensitivity referred to is ECS. This is reached over hundreds of years, so does not speak to the temperature rise from 1960 to now.”

        No, and since most of the CO2 is not going to hang around in the atmosphere until equilibrum is reached (which takes at least 1,000 years) ECS doesn’t exist in the real world.

      • During the depths of glacial phases, such as the LGM some 20,000 years ago, CO2 was less than half of now, ie perhaps 180-190 ppm. But conditions were very different, so it’s not a valid comparison. Albedo is affected by the vast ice sheets then covering much of the NH, while today all we have is Greenland and some mountain glaciers and ice caps. Wind patterns, oceanic circulation and a number of other climatic parameters besides temperature were different as well.

        The CO2 was lower because the oceans were colder. The world wasn’t colder because CO2 was lower.

    • This paper talks about Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity. In models it takes 150+ years to get there in response to the forcing.

      Which studies have you read on the long-term response of climate change? Anything by Knutti or Armour?

      • Michael Palmer;

        Everyone gets tripped up by this once in a while! There’s TCR and ECS and ECS_eff and ESS… just the other week a new paper came out trying to work out a way to understand how TCR and ECS relate to each other a little better:
        http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v7/n5/full/nclimate3278.html

        You might not have realised at the time, but your comment brings up a big question: if this is the real equilibrium sensitivity, then it means that a lot of warming is in the pipeline. The physics behind how that’s possible is really interesting IMO. Personally I don’t think the 5 C result is very likely, but that’s no criticism of Ivy Tan’s work, it’s just because other factors that they weren’t testing in this paper will probably cancel it out a bit.

      • When estimating climate sensitivity, Climate scientists seem to omit the shift from a cooling cycle to a warming cycle. circa 1850, the earth shifted from a cooling cycle to a warming cycle, That shift was a much greater swing than the rate of warming from the 80’s to late 90’s. This shift occured when CO2 went from 280ppm to 281ppm.
        So tell me again what a reasonable estimate of CS is for a doubling of CO2

      • There is NO way anyone can calculate a 5.5C ECS.

        One would have to failed Grade 9 math to get to this value and, hence, you have your answer what went wrong with this study.

  5. What I see here is an enormous range of CO2 sensitivity,displayed on the chart,that tells me that the subject is not that well understood.

    Personally I see very low sensitivity, because there will never be much IF any Positive feedback show up.

    • The water vapour feedback has been measured, e.g. doi: 10.1029/2009RG000301

      Hell, even Watts’ AGU poster last year showed that the CERES satellite data support water vapour feedback just like the models calculate.

      • “The water vapour feedback has been measured, e.g. doi: 10.1029/2009RG000301”

        The paper is freely available here:

        http://opensky.ucar.edu/islandora/object/articles%3A10468/datastream/PDF/view

        So anyone can read it and see that you are lying. What it does show is that by using three different GCM together it is more or less possible to match observational data, though none of them alone is even close….

        Ironically the paper also argues that cloud microphysics (which is at the heart of the Yale study) is climatically unimportant.

      • >>
        MieScatter
        April 28, 2017 at 9:45 am

        The water vapour feedback has been measured, e.g. doi: 10.1029/2009RG000301

        Hell, even Watts’ AGU poster last year showed that the CERES satellite data support water vapour feedback just like the models calculate.
        <<

        Except that pan evaporation has been decreasing for the last 50 years in direct conflict with GW theory and water vapor feedback.

        Jim

      • Jim Masterson:
        Citation needed for global 50-year pan evaporation data.

        And evaporation is related to the lapse rate feedback, not the water vapour feedback. Models say that they correlate, but if you don’t believe their physics then in principle you can have massive water vapour feedback and no measurable change in evaporation.

      • Water vapor is only between 1.0% to 3.0% above normal right now.

        It is supposed to be 7.0% higher given temps (measured by the NCDC) are 1.0C higher.

        Everyone who quotes water vapor feedback is just taking advantage of the ENSO timing because the ENSO appears to control at least 90% of global water vapor levels. When the next La Nina hits, water vapor will below normal.

        I can prove this if you want.

      • “…cloud microphysics … is climatically unimportant.”

        It is common practice in modelling to claim that anything you can’t model is unimportant. Wrong of course, but common practice.

      • [snip – you are using a fake name, fake IP address, and fake email to troll here – banned- Anthony]

  6. I was under the impression that the climate models did not include the effect of clouds of any type, just some fudge factors.

    • That was my understanding as well. Since cloud behavior can’t be well modeled (or even badly modeled), cloud effects are paramaterized.

      • The models all have a way of calculating cloud type. The model Tan et al. used, CAM5, for example, outputs water content, ice content, droplet size, ice crystal size etc.

      • Hmmm, how does the model “create” the clouds? What inputs say “make clouds here, now, of this type”?

      • It seems they are simply trying to make the parameterizations more accurate. As far as I know, we still cannot handle sufficient resolution in models to actually input real cloud data.

      • They seem to be saying that as temperatures increase, these models show that the make up of certain clouds will change.
        Since we have a wide variety of climates over the planet, why not go out and measure clouds at different temperatures rather than relying on a model?

      • Mark W:
        “Since we have a wide variety of climates over the planet, why not go out and measure clouds at different temperatures rather than relying on a model?”

        That’s a great experiment idea. Would you accept the results of such an experiment, regardless of what they are?

      • Why do you assume that I wouldn’t accept the results of an attempt to actually measure the real world?

      • Mark W:
        “Why do you assume that I wouldn’t accept the results of an attempt to actually measure the real world?”

        Because that’s what the Tan et al. paper is all about, with the help of some other recent work like Cesana et al (2015, doi: 10.1002/2014JD022932 ).

        They used the lidar on CALIPSO to look at clouds worldwide. The results say that a cloud cooling effect will be smaller than originally calculated by the model. Isn’t that a reasonable approach where you should take the results seriously and not dismiss them out of hand, or just assume that they didn’t take any measurements?

    • There are a bunch of these emergent constraints based on observations, and they constantly favour higher warming. It’s still an open question whether that’s really the case or whether something else compensates for them, which puts us back at the IPCC range for our best estimate of climate response and sensitivity.

  7. I think the graphic should have included Lewis and Curry (2014) and Lewis (2015), which indicate equilibrium climate sensitivity being higher than the studies shown in the graphic do, but still below the IPCC model range and projection.

    • DK, the Lewis and Curry 2014 central estimate is ~1.65. The Lewis 2015 (using Bjorn Smith’s new aerosol estimate) is ~1.5. Thos are lower than most in the figure. They are also more tightly bounded than most in the figure.

    • Ristvan, you are correct. I looked at the graphic again, and I see a central number being about 2 degrees C per 2xCO2, more than my first impression. But Lewis and Curry (2014) is bound asymmetrically, more upwards than downwards. And now that I see that these two studies indicate lower ECS than most of the ones shown, I still think they should have been included – this time because they would have helped the original poster’s point.

  8. So can anyone explain to me how they know how much ice there will be in clouds in 2050, and how many clouds there will be? If we get more cloud cover in 2050 and slightly less ice in the ice:water ratio then the extra cloud cover could more than offset the lower ice:water ratio. Where did I go wrong? Did I go wrong by assuming all mechanisms will NOT lead to more and more warming?

    • Tan et al. allowed the physical parameters used to calculate cloudiness to change. They then selected those which matched the observations of satellite-mounted lidar.

      Once you select the parameters that match observations, the models warm more. They could have selected parameters that disagreed with observations and maybe would have got less warming, but that doesn’t make sense to me.

      • If they got parameters that made it cool using the observations, the paper would have gone in the trash and never seen publication. The accuracy is irrelevant. We don’t know how many studies met this fate, so it’s kind of tough to know where the research is going.

      • OK, let’s select the increasing shoe/waist size parameter and see how that fits climate warming observations – Wow! A positive correlation. I think we are on to something.

      • MieScatter, “Tan et al. allowed the physical parameters used to calculate cloudiness to change.” Do you honestly think that something as complex as cloud can be “parameterized” and give anything but a garbage answer?

      • If one parameterization of a very simple well understood relationship is good. Then all parameterizations must be good.

      • PV = nRT is a natural law. A parameterization is something like, “when temperature goes up by n °C, change clouds to …”

      • In other words, when the system is too complex to calculate the actual physics (like PV = nRT) the models just apply a simple rule of thumb. That’s parameterization. Right?

      • Seems like MeiScatter didn’t like my comments. Reminds me of other commenters who keep insisting they’re right, then scatter when you show they’re wrong.

      • Mark W, Thomas:
        Thomas’ claim was “Do you honestly think that something as complex as cloud can be “parameterized” and give anything but a garbage answer?”

        Gases are incredibly complicated, with trillions upon trillions of molecules bouncing around in every possible direction and with a wide distribution of speeds. The number of collisions is insane and it’s impossible for us to even calculate the trajectories of one millionth of the number of molecules in the air in a single bedroom.

        But the ideal gas law, which effectively parameterises the statistical mechanics of gases, works great in these conditions. Thomas’ claim that complexity means parameterisations are garbage is wrong.

        Clouds are complex, but they still obey physics. We’re getting better at them all the time.

      • CERES is actually calculating ZERO cloud feedback. I’m surprised anyone in climate science would just ignore these numbers.

      • >>
        Clouds are complex, but they still obey physics. We’re getting better at them all the time.
        <<

        From a recent text on GCMs:

        One of the most uncertain factors in the reliability of currently used general circulation models is the use of cumulus parameterization. Since the horizontal extent of cumulus convection is about 1 km, the effects of cumulus convection must be statistically treated in general circulation models with horizontal resolutions of about 100 km. However, it is very difficult to appropriately parameterize all the statistical effects of cumulus convection, though many kinds of cumulus parameterizations are being used in current models. As the horizontal resolution of numerical models approaches 1 km, individual clouds can be directly resolved in the models, so that it is expected that we will no longer need to use such cumulus parameterization based on statistical hypothesis. Thus, the likely horizontal resolution of next generation general circulation models is a few kilometers. We expect the use of models with 10-km resolution or less will come within the range of our computer facilities. With such finer resolution models, the assumption of hydrostatic balance is no longer acceptable. We must switch governing equation of the general circulation models from hydrostatic primitive equations to non-hydrostatic equations. As for vertical resolution, we do not have a suitable measure of its appropriateness.

        In other words, cumulus convection is made up–parameterized.

        Jim

      • I should give credit where credit is due. The text is “Atmospheric Circulation Dynamics and General Circulation Models” by Masaki Satoh, pp 515-516.

        Jim

      • Here is the actual “cloud forcing” as measured by the CERES and ERBE satellites.

        Given the NCDC’s temperature estimates we should have seen at +0.5 W/m2 increase in the net cloud radiative effect and according to TAN 2016, it should have been at least 1.0 W/m2 increase.

        CERES since 2000 says NO CHANGE at all. It is possibly even down a bit.

        And then from 2000 back to 1990 using the ERBE satellite – the darkest black line here. Again nothing really happening except for the 1997-98 El Nino which went away afterward.

        So where is this big cloud feedback showing up ?

      • [snip – you are using a fake name, fake IP address, and fake email to troll here – banned- Anthony]

      • [snip – you are using a fake name, fake IP address, and fake email to troll here – banned- Anthony]

      • >>
        Jim, the ideal gas law is a parameterisation. Do you think that the physics of gases are “made up”?
        <<

        No, but it’s nice that you finally gave it its proper name. It’s one thing my professors always stressed: the ideal gas law only applies to ideal gases. With real gases, it’s only an approximation. However, you need more than pV = nRT to calculate cumulus convection.

        Jim

  9. “misjudged the ratio of ice crystals and super-cooled water droplets in “mixed-phase” clouds — resulting in a significant under-reporting of climate sensitivity.”

    So you make an error in the specification of a variable that implies that the model’s error will increase? That, by definition, says the model was incorrectly specified in the first place. It’s a lot like saying if I raise the price of SPAM then SPAM’s sales will increase.

    Once again the intended consequences of the AGW proponents boomerangs.

    • The science that man-made CO2 is going to cause heat, cold, wet, dry, more hurricanes, fewer hurricanes, more tornados, fewer tornados, more wind, less wind, more snow, less snow, etc. is indeed settled. It’s just not quite settled enough that we know exactly how big or small these effects will be, whether my region’s catastrophe will be bigger than your region’s catastrophe, or just exactly which of the hundreds of reasons why this or that does or does not happen are correct. So, please send lots more research money.

  10. So is this “settled science” or not?

    “We saw that all of the models started with far too much ice,” said Storelvmo, an assistant professor of geology and geophysics. “When we ran our own simulations, which were designed to better match what we found in satellite observations, we came up with more warming.”

    This suggests that it is NOT settled science. Settled science does not mean that you can use new information that changes the previous incorrect assumptions when that information requires adjustments one way………..that offset other previous incorrect assumptions that were in the opposite direction.

    • When advocates refer to this as “settled science”, I find they mean it’s settled that CO2 is rising, rising temperatures are bad for humans and we must act. There are some that demand you believe it’s CAGW and any statement to the contrary is wrong, but most just mean the temperature trend line keeps going up and that’s a bad thing. Average citizens are very visual—if you show them a graph that shows the temperature going up and tell them that’s the trend line, they don’t ask how you got the line. They just believe that it’s happening and it’s bad to have a rising trend line.

      • “When advocates refer to this as “settled science”, I find they mean it’s settled that CO2 is rising, rising temperatures are bad for humans and we must act.”

        That would be perfectly acceptable, if people like me, who agree with the direction of the trendline but not the slope or the danger(and see many benefits) were not referred to as “Deniers”. This implies that we must disagree with settled science. If it was just the expected uncertainty within the settled science and unresolved specifics of the settled science, then we would not be Deniers.

        It goes something like this:
        Settled science is that the current trajectory of increasing CO2 will lead to 2+ deg. C of warming and all sorts of negative consequences.
        If one believes that this will lead to less than 1.5 Deg. C of warming and along with a few negative consequences(like more flooding) are a host of benefits, we are Deniers.
        If one believes that this will lead to 4 or even 6 degrees of warming and catastrophic consequences, this is not reason for being called a Denier. Guessing too high, above the range of most estimates is acceptable.

        OK, those that are more conservative with their estimates would call this group “alarmists” but the mainstream media and commonly held perception is that if you’re estimates are low, you are a denier(of the settled science). If your estimates are high, you are portrayed as using settled science and projecting a realistic, worst case scenario……..something that should be considered. Deniers on the other hand, should be ignored, discredited, punished and exposed because they don’t follow the “settled science”.

        Life on this greening planet has been telling us the past 40 years that it likes slightly warmer temperatures and increasing CO2 and is asking for more of it.
        Funny how life and the biosphere of this planet , are in fact………..Deniers!

  11. Good grief.

    Draw conclusion… collect evidence… adjust evidence to fit conclusion… repeat.

    They’ll never stop, will they?

  12. The estimates of ECS have not gotten any precise since the 1979 Charney Report. They seem to be trying to patch a broken model.

    • I don’t usually patch a hole with repeated blows from a sledge hammer. That makes the hole bigger. They’re making the error bigger. Are they actually trying to blow the whole AGW thing by reductio ad absurdum?

      • Earth’s Energy Imbalance is only 0.675 W/m2/year – I just calculated it.

        Now GHG forcing is about 2.3 W/m2 and feedback should add another 2.1 W/m2 to that or a total of 4.4 W/m2/yr should be showing up.

        Yet only 0.68 W/m2/year is measured which means that ECS can only be in the 1.2C range. Only people who failed Grade9 math can calculate a higher number based on the current energy balance (which actually fell over the last 18 months, as in more energy left the Earth than entered it).

      • [snip – you are using a fake name, fake IP address, and fake email to troll here – banned- Anthony]

      • Sorry, I should have added that it appears to be entirely RANDOM given any value between -40.0C per doubling to +40.0C per doubling appears to work.

      • Mie,
        The paleo link is unspeakable garbage. Sadly, entirely typical of the organized criminal conspiracy of so-called consensus climate science, as opposed to real climatology. It’s false on its face. How could anyone with even a passing familiarity with climate history possibly credit its lies?
        http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k247/dhm1353/Climate%20Change/PhanerozoicCO2vTemp.png
        As you can see from the above, all epochs, periods, eras and eons prior to the last 65 million years show the paper’s “estimates” of ECS to be preposterous. CO2 has fallen steadily, with two minor bumps up, since the Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary, which was an Ice House interval. Which shows the ECS nonsense to be complete and total rubbish, since the mid-Cretaceous was the hottest interval of the Phanerozoic Eon, and the Paleocene/Eocene Epoch boundary close. But consider just the interval of this “study”, ie pack of lies, the Cenozoic Era.
        The Paleocene and Eocene were warm, so naturally CO2 was high, but it fell fairly steadily due to natural causes having nothing whatsoever to do with the GHE.
        Antarctic glaciation began at the Eocene/Oligocene boundary because of the formation of deep ocean channels between that continent and Australia and South America. The ice sheets retreated somewhat during the Miocene because tectonics temporarily shoaled those channels. CO2 responded to the warming which occurred due to reduced albedo. CO2 is an effect, not a cause of warming and cooling.
        Then, in the Pliocene, cooling started up again as the channels deepened once more and Antarctica was isolated by the Southern Ocean. This process was enhanced at the end of that epoch, when the Isthmus of Panama formed, altering NH oceanic circulation. More moist air was carried to the North Atlantic region, leading to ice sheet formation on Greenland, and eventually North America and Eurasia as well. The Pleistocene glaciation was on.
        Plate tectonics (and the 150 million year cosmic cycle) account for the Neogene glaciations. CO2, not at all. It’s along for the ride.

  13. Whilst I think we should all welcome as much academic research into our ever changing climate, why must muppets like these, continually select a single element of an incredibly complex and dynamic system, and make dramatic claims like this?

    Shooting their own credibility in the foot just doesn’t begin to approach it.

    Laughably, there will be a generation of these people who, in 20 years or so, will have to rely on these papers, as part of their CV, to get jobs.

    Good luck.

    • They are trying to refute recent studies that measure real world temperatures in an attempt to estimate the ECS, by creating a new model that says it’s worse than we thought.
      In other words, ignore the real world.

    • HotScot: “Whilst I think we should all welcome as much academic research into our ever changing climate, why must muppets like these, continually select a single element of an incredibly complex and dynamic system, and make dramatic claims like this?”

      I think Tan’s approach makes sense, and they’re careful not to make crazy claims. From their abstract: “we show that the ECS can be up to 1.3°C higher in simulations where mixed-phase clouds consisting of ice crystals and supercooled liquid droplets are constrained by global satellite observations.”

      Pretty weak phrasing for a “dramatic claim”, especially considering the painstaking effort that’s gone into gathering the data and working out the physics.

  14. Hmmmm…. The Yale report appears to be doubling down on an already bad climate model bet.
    However, when your playing with other peoples money, the losses from your bad bets have no personal consequences, do they?

  15. looked at a number of global climate projections and found that they misjudged the ratio of ice crystals and super-cooled water droplets in “mixed-phase” clouds

    IOW, counted faeries on a pinhead.

    When CO2 leaves the surface of the Earth, whether from a fire, exhaust, flue or The Dirt, it does so with as many energy levels full as it can carry. It cannot trap any more energy without releasing some first.
    Hence you can think of it as like the phosphor in a fluorescent tube, changing UV from the mercury vapour inside the tube into visible light (white) light that leaves the tube.
    CO2 intercepts relatively hot/high-energy/short-wavelength photons and releases longer wavelength, colder photons without increasing its own temperature or that of its surroundings. As such, it has a cooling effect.

    Just wondering, wasn’t Absinthe all the rage around Arrhenius’ time, or was he making tea from poppy seed stolen from a bakery, or using mercury to search for the Philosopher’s Stone? Isaac Newton certainly did. (mercury)

    • It was especially popular around Valentines’s Day.
      Because Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.

    • My limited knowledge of GW (compared to the folks here) tells me that CO2’s only effect supposedly is to increase atmospheric H2O levels which is the greenhouse gas of consequence. Increased H2O leading to GW isn’t a debate point but how the magic gas CO2 does that is a mystery to me as I suppose it is to others.
      Are not the CO2 absorption bands already filled by other gasses? How does doubling, tripling or even quadrupling CO2 have any large effect other than to increase carbon sequestration in increased biomass?

      • CO2’s absorption bands are not saturated, and certainly not at all levels of the atmosphere. Its heating effect has been measured over the last decade ( https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v519/n7543/full/nature14240.html ).

        There’s a free version of MODTRAN that can show you the effect on fluxes at each layer of the atmosphere.
        http://climatemodels.uchicago.edu/modtran/

        I wouldn’t believe what you read in WUWT articles about stuff like radiative transfer.

      • Perhaps MieScatter, you can explain how CO2 produced twice the heating the sun does. That is always incomprehensible to me, yet I have heard it over and over.

      • Dear MieScatterBrain,
        Perhaps you should READ the links you post. Your Nature paper does not mention anything about a “heating effect”.

        Like were going to REALLY learn something about radiative transfer from some clown posting a comment.

      • And by the way don’t believe that radiative transfer is the dominating heat transport mechanism in the troposphere. It isn’t. Convection is dominant, so measuring that increased CO2 has an effect of 0,02 +- 0,01 Wm-2 and year is pretty irrelevant.

      • SkepticGoneWild:
        “our Nature paper does not mention anything about a “heating effect”.”


        from the abstract:
        “The time series both show statistically significant trends of 0.2 W m−2 per decade “. More heat going down to the surface (in W m-2, or Watts per square metre) = heating effect.

      • tty,

        That paper verifies the calculations for surface trends. They’ve also been checked by satellites and, for shorter periods, aircraft. The measurements agree amazingly well with the models, so we can be confident in the 1.82+/-0.19 W m-2 extra heating that our CO2 has caused directly.

      • MieScatter brings up the Feldman 2015 paper which measured an increase in downwelling radiation in the CO2 frequency band. However, for some reason did not mention Gero/Turner 2011 which showed a decrease in all downwelling radiation across the same time period at the same location. Hence, an overall cooling effect.

        When I see people do this I know they are dishonest.

      • Richard M: total downwelling radiation at one location depends on everything in the atmosphere above, including its temperature, humidity profile etc. At a single location, there could easily be a change in cloudiness or similar over a decade that effects the total trend.

        The spectral information from Feldman confirms that CO2 has been increasing its heating effect, just as predicted by models. Satellites confirm that globally, the change at the top of the atmosphere is just like physics said too.

        Scientists can calculate these spectra with amazing detail. Those who attack physics have never, *ever* been able to calculate the observed spectra and their changes. They’ve just whined about it for decades.

      • MieScatter: “At a single location, there could easily be a change in cloudiness or similar over a decade that effects the total trend.”

        And there could have been no change. In addition, this decrease was also under all sky conditions so that the decrease under clear sky would not be affected by clouds. You’re making excuses and showing your bias. Sounds a lot like denial.

        But here’s the big issue. If we have the ability to measure the radiation from all that “trapped heat”, then why hasn’t it been done all over the world? Build a 100 stations and measure it. This would balance out any local changes. The fact this has not been done tells inquisitive people that climate science does not want to know the answer. Now why wouldn’t they not want to know the answer?

      • MieScatter, are you saying you have found the “Hot Spot” and all that down dwelling is causing more “heat trapping clouds” which block the direct sun light?

      • [snip – you are using a fake name, fake IP address, and fake email to troll here – banned- Anthony]

      • Modtran actually shows that CO2 is cooling off the Earth because once one gets to 10 kms high to 30 kms high, CO2 is, by far, the primary molecule emitting energy to space.

        That is all that Modtran actually shows.

        All of the graphs you have seen portraying “CO2 Absorption” is actually showing CO2 “emitting energy” to space in the stratosphere. Its a unusual situation where “CO2 absorption patterns” are actually “CO2 emitting energy away” from the Earth.

        But most people have fallen for it.

      • [snip – you are using a fake name, fake IP address, and fake email to troll here – banned- Anthony]

    • [snip – you are using a fake name, fake IP address, and fake email to troll here – banned- Anthony]

      • >>
        CO2 molecules collide with other molecules and transfer heat in that way.
        <<

        They used to call it “quenching” or “thermalization.” I’ve not seen the term quenching used recently.

        >>
        This is physics 101 stuff.
        <<

        No it isn’t. They never covered radiation and thermodynamics in physics 101.

        Jim

  16. Desparate for job and funding preservation, these sorts of fake climate science papers will continue to find their way into Science and Nature.

    • Which part of the paper do you disagree with? Pages and line numbers would help. Why do you disagree?

  17. So it has been a year. How was it received by “The Team” ?

    Surely the “The Team” must be all on-board with these new much higher numbers. If not why not? (Because there is not evidence for it, perhaps)

    • The CALIPSO data show that supercooled liquid cloud droplets already exist in nature at cold temperatures. So it’s impossible for there to be the increase in their fraction as calculated in the original CAM5.

      Do you think that the lidar phase discrimination method is wrong? Why? Have you published your calculations anywhere? Is your method validated with field data?

      The CALIPSO data and the airborne cloud sample data taken directly underneath CALIPSO are publicly available if you want to check.

      • Please, don’t get into Sicilian tones. The measured phases are right probably, but ECS being too small in models is rather far-fetched. You just found an error, and it is not the only one.

      • MieScatterBrain stated:

        “More heat going down to the surface (in W m-2, or Watts per square metre) = heating effect.”

        Seriously? W/m-2 is not “heat”. Ice gives of thermal radiation in W/m-2, but it does not heat your up. Were you drunk during physics lecture? You confuse “heat” and “energy”.

      • [snip – you are using a fake name, fake IP address, and fake email to troll here – banned- Anthony]

  18. It would be nice if the climate sensitivity for all greenhouse gas were published, not just CO2. The “Popular” press tells us over and over again how many times more potent methane is as a greenhouse gas than CO2. This meme tells the average person absolutely nothing about how much methane will run up the temperature or how long it will take. I’m outraged that the skeptical side of this issue doesn’t call bullshit on this obnoxious propaganda.

    • Have you read any papers on forcing efficacy? Which ones?

      Well-mixed greenhouse gases tend to be pretty similar to CO2. Responses to solar, aerosol, land-use change can be quite different.

      • Notice “Well-mixed”. That is the giveaway. Water vapour is the dominant GHG, but it isn’t well-mixed, so it’s not kosher.

      • MieScatter – 9:56 – Have you read any papers on forcing efficacy? Which ones?

        Methane is umpty bump times more powerful than CO2 vs. it will run the temperature up so much by such and such date, isn’t an issue for me to read up on it, it’s a issue for the news media and the scientific community to stop engaging in blatant propaganda.

      • Steve Case –

        So you haven’t read any papers but you’re certain that you know better than all of the researchers who’ve worked with the data and done the calculations, and you know they’re wrong by a factor of “umpty bump”. Right?

      • MieScatter April 28, 2017 at 1:03 pm
        Steve Case –

        So you haven’t read any papers but you’re certain that you know better than all of the researchers who’ve worked with the data and done the calculations, and you know they’re wrong by a factor of “umpty bump”. Right?

        I know that they don’t want to say how little methane will actually warm the planet.

        How much do you think methane will warm the warm the world if you double its concentration? And how long that will take? While you’re at it, show your work on how knowing that, “Pound for pound methane is 86 times more potent than CO2” helped you arrive at that figure.

      • [snip – you are using a fake name, fake IP address, and fake email to troll here – banned- Anthony]

      • Steve Case: the term is Global Warming Potential [GWP]. Which papers have you read on this so far?

        Why would I want to read any? It’s a meaningless statistic that can’t be put to any use to tell anyone anything useful about any greenhouse gas. For example:

        How much of a particular greenhouse gas is in the atmosphere?
        How does knowing its GWP tell us that? It doesn’t.

        How much an increase in a particular greenhouse gas will warm the planet?
        How does GWP help us answer that? It doesn’t.

        How fast a particular greenhouse is increasing or decreasing in the atmosphere?
        How does GWP help us find out what that is? It doesn’t.

        How much we can scare an uneducated populace into passing unnecessary regulations of a particular greenhouse gas?
        How does GWP help us do that? Oh yes, that it does quite well. Eighty-six times more powerful than CO2 is very dramatic. Perfect propaganda, a genuine statistic as true as the average telephone number in the New York phone directory and just as useful, but very scary indeed.

        Where do we find this scary number?

        IPCC AR5 Chapter 8 Table 8.7
        or
        IPCC AR4 Chapter 2 Table 2.14

        The astute reader will note that the Global Warming Potential values have changed from the AR4 to the AR5. That’s because it uses the concentration of CO2 as a standard and the concentration of CO2 changes over time which makes it as a standard as useful as a rubber yard stick.

        But Mr. MieScatter I asked you how much methane will run up the temperature if you double how much is in the air and how long that will take? And to say how much knowing the methane’s GWP helped you in achieving that answer.

        I’m guessing you will come up with or you already know the answer, but you won’t say what it is. (because it’s not very much) Which of course means you won’t tie the answer to methane’s GWP either.

      • >>
        . . . the term is Global Warming Potential.
        <<

        There is no GWP for either water vapor or ozone–two very potent GHGs. And the GWP for CO2 is defined as 1–the lowest of any GHG.

        Jim

      • Jim Masterson April 29, 2017 at 9:39 pm
        >>
        . . . the term is Global Warming Potential.
        <<

        There is no GWP for either water vapor or ozone–two very potent GHGs. And the GWP for CO2 is defined as 1–the lowest of any GHG.

        Jim

        The Global Warming Potential is a meaningless statistic dreamed up to scare people. The notion that methane is pound for pound 86 times more potent than CO2 at trapping heat serves no useful purpose other than its use as propaganda to bully the populace into demanding that it be regulated.

      • >>
        . . . serves no useful purpose other than its use as propaganda . . . .
        <<

        You’re preaching to the choir Steve. When the IPCC left water vapor off of the GWP list you know it was for propaganda purposes. The GWP estimate for water vapor (they won’t tell you what it really is) is somewhere between 0.5 and 2.0. Even at 0.5, water vapor’s 4% would swamp CO2’s meager contribution. I guess that’s why they left WV off the GWP list.

        Jim

      • Good point. But Methane is only present in concentrations of about 0.2 ppm so I guess it doesn’t contribute much to the greenhouse effect. Anyway, if we’re no longer going to allowed to exhale, we should at least be allowed to fart. : )

        CO2 might be short lived too. We don’t really know for sure. It would be cool if we could all stop using fossil fuels for a year just to see what happened. Unfortunately, that’s not practicable; most humans would starve to death.

  19. So let me get this straight. All of the models up to this date have been incorrect in predicting the temperature increase of the Earth for the last quarter-century by overestimation. Now Yale discovers that the models have all been incorrect in that they should have overestimated the temperature increases even more than they did. Or are they saying that all future estimations are incorrect and that all past overestimation should be overlooked?

    • “All of the models up to this date have been incorrect in predicting the temperature increase of the Earth for the last quarter-century by overestimation.”

      That’s not true ( http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v6/n10/full/nclimate3066.html ).

      The observed trend was at the low range of the models (at least until the 2014/15/16 records, I’d need to recheck now) but that’s only if you also compare models which went from negative-to-positive PDO with reality. In models where Pacific changes are similar to those observed, then the trends match up. Without human caused global warming, we would have expected to cool since 1998 instead of warm. See Risbey et al., Kosaka & Xie, England et al.

      • “We show that there is no evidence that climate models overestimate TCR when their output is processed in the same way as the HadCRUT4 observation-based temperature record3, 4. Models suggest that air-temperature warming is 24% greater than observed by HadCRUT4 over 1861–2009 because slower-warming regions are preferentially sampled and water warms less than air5”

        “That’s not true ( http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v6/n10/full/nclimate3066.html ).”

        Mie – the nature article is basically stating that the models are spot on when done based on reality based science. Out of the 1,000, or so, models, how many can you point to that have reality based? More than 5%?

      • joe – the non climate scientist

        The Richardson et al. supplementary information is open and so is the code and data so you can check. The Supplementary Information discusses the proportion of models that are warmer/cooler than the observations over different time periods.

        The Richardson et al. results use all of the CMIP5 climate model runs that have historical to 2005 plus a post-2005 scenario called RCP8.5, so the results refer to all of those.

      • HAS – the Richardson comparison is like-with-like, ignoring the faster-warming Arctic just like Judy implies she wants. The Supplementary Information shows that the HadCRUT4-implied response is higher than 42 % of models, lower than 58 %.

        Iirc a Stevens aerosol correction implies that observations are only warmer than 30-35 % of models instead. Observations showing more warming than a third or more of the models means there’s no evidence of disagreement here.

      • MieScatter

        And your thoughts about the circularity involving the use of GCMs in determining the sampling error estimates?

      • [snip – you are using a fake name, fake IP address, and fake email to troll here – banned- Anthony]

      • MieScatter

        So we sample the models as if they were potential observations (in alternative earths) and find results from the observations don’t agree on some derived measure.

        This may suggest the observations are biased (assuming the assumption was correct) but methodologically it could equally be interpreted as demonstrating the assumption that the models and observation are from the same set is incorrect. So potentially Richardson is an artifact of problems with the models rather than the observations. In other scientific disciplines this would be the default starting position for further investigation.

        Also the matching of models that replicate the very recent cycles and claiming a better fit suffers from a similar theoretic problem – the assumption is being used expost – and there is also a practical one. The observations start at a temp anomaly that is low in the pdf derived from the model set and go lower within the pdf, whereas the matching PDO models start in the higher range and head below average (perhaps unsurprisingly). If you match models in the same part of the pdf as the observed temp anomaly you will find the corresponding models all trend up the pdf while the obs go down (and that no models in phase on the PDO share the same initial position in the pdf of model temps).

  20. I think this is disastrous for the climate alarmists. This says the models must be horrifically wrong. If they put in this level of sensitivity they will have missed by incredible amounts and the 20th century “fit” they had will evaporate into a joke. This will prove the climate science so far is completely wrong.

  21. Is MieScatter the new voice of opposition? How long before name calling and rudeness erupts? Anyone want to place bets?

    • Very funny article. They claim a lower rate of El Nino was the reason for the pause but give no evidence that they understand what a normal rate would be. Of course, the opposite conclusion, that it was a high rate of El Nino that lead to the warming, is never considered.

  22. I think Mr Palmer makes the essential point and backs it up with mathematical logic: if the Yale team are right why have we not seen much greater temperature rise over the last 30, 40, 100 years? If they have no explanation for that I prefer to believe the low sensitivity estimates, especially when you look far back into Earth history and see relatively reasonable temperatures with far higher CO2 levels. Or is the Yale team asking us to believe the laws of physics operated differently then?

    • Or is the Yale team asking us to believe the laws of physics operated differently then?
      Absolutely, – human caused co2 repealed the law of physics – its basic science. ( sarc)

    • As a matter of fact the low sensitivity estimates are based on actual energy-balance data, not climate models. The only way they could be strongly too low is if HADCRUT/GISS etc temperatures are are also way too low and/or heat transfer to the deep ocean is vastly underestimated (which is only possible if ice in Greenland and Antarctica is growing fast and thereby hiding the thermosteric sea-level rise).

  23. This has got to be the dumbest study anyone has ever done.

    Look, we KNOW that climate sensitivity is. Global warming theory states temperatures increase by 1.3C for each doubling of carbon dioxide concentrations. This is due to the direct, physical effects of additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The theory is that increasing surface temperatures will engender a positive feedback loop, that is to say warming will lead to even more warming (climate sensitivity).

    Carbon dioxide concentrations have increased since 1950 from 270 ppm to 400 ppm, or 130 ppm, which is a 48% of the first doubling. Ergo, assuming everything is proportional, the temperature increase to date should be 48%*1.3 degrees = 0.62 degrees C based on carbon dioxide alone.

    Okay, so how much actual warming have we observed since 1950? Around 0.60 degrees C. This strongly implies that climate sensitivity is close to zero.

    ZERO.

    A high number for climate sensitivity, based on some sort of esoteric study of cloud droplets, must be flawed because we have run this experiment in the real world, and the real word says the number is zero.

    ZERO.

    This Yale study is like someone studying aerodynamics and determining that it is scientifically impossible for birds to fly.

    • This study is for equilibrium climate sensitivity. If we are now at equilibrium, why are the oceans still gaining heat?

      • Are they?

        They just blew off a lot of heat in a super El Nino. The Arctic Ocean is colder this year than it has been for a good long while.

      • “Why are the oceans gaining heat. ?”

        A common belief – except there is very data to reach any conclusion. simply put, scientists ability to measure ocean heat content with reasonable level of reliability did not exist up until the 8-10 years.

      • Mie,

        Those “data” are largely imaginary for centuries before the 21st (OK, 2000 was still technically in the 20th).

        Argo, as you know, is a development of this century, and still far from complete or reliable:

        http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/

        Argo deployments began in 2000, and by November 2007, the millionth profile was collected. Today, even with close to 400 active floats, there are still some areas of the ocean that are over-populated while others have gaps that need to be filled with additional floats. Today’s tally of floats is shown in the figure above and additional float statistics can be found here. To maintain the Argo array, national programs need to provide about 800 floats per year.

        The original global Argo array was designed for the open ocean excluding seasonal sea-ice zones and marginal seas. Thanks to both two-way communication and ice-sensing algorithms on floats, these technical limitations are largely mitigated. The concept of Argo has always been of a spatially complete global array. Therefore, including seasonal sea-ice zones and marginal seas moves the target number of Argo floats from 3000 to 3800.

        In addition to the globalization of core Argo described above, there are several Argo enhancements that are in various stages of development and implementation. These include extended coverage to the ocean bottom, additional floats equipped with bio-geochemical sesnors, and enhanced spatial coverage in boundary current regions and equatorial regions.

        Besides float deployment, Argo has worked hard to develop two separate data streams: real time and delayed mode. A real time data delivery and quality control system has been established that delivers 90% of profiles to users via two global data centers (GDACs) within 24 hours. A delayed mode quality control system (DMQC) has been established and 65% of all eligible profiles have had DMQC applied.

        Float reliability has improved almost every year and the float lifetime has been extended. Argo has developed a large user community in universities, government labs and meteorological/climate analysis/forecasting centers. The need for global Argo observations will continue indefinitely into the future, though the technologies and design of the array will evolve as better instruments are built, models are improved, and more is learned about ocean variability.

      • At 400 floats, ARGOS is between 1 and 2 orders of magnitude short of having a sufficient number. Even if they could keep them from clustering.

        Beyond that, the belief that you can use sensors rated at 0.1C to measure something to 0.01C is absurd.

      • Mark,

        I agree, but they’re better than what went before. Unless they’re worse than nothing, being so inadequate as to give a false picture, even of the areas they do cover. Overrepresent, in fact.

      • More data is better. My complaint is focused solely on how some people use that data and the unsupported conclusions they derive from that data.

        Such as the claim that we know the temperature of the oceans, sea bed to sea surface, with an accuracy of 0.01C.

      • I guess throwing out data as was done with Argo floats is acceptable science in the world of MieScatter. No reason other than it felt right. Sorry dude, Argo is not a scientific source of data.

      • [snip – you are using a fake name, fake IP address, and fake email to troll here – banned- Anthony]

      • MieScatterBrain,
        It’s that big bright thingy in the sky that heats the oceans. Downward longwave radiation can only penetrate the ocean service about 50 micrometers, and the ocean surface is always cooler than the layer 50 micrometers below the surface. So, bottom line, CO2 does not heat the oceans.

      • [snip – you are using a fake name, fake IP address, and fake email to troll here – banned- Anthony]

      • [snip – you are using a fake name, fake IP address, and fake email to troll here – banned- Anthony]

      • MieScatterBrain,

        The ocean surface is COOLER than the thin skin layer below. See:

        https://disc.gsfc.nasa.gov/oceans/science-focus/modis/MODIS_and_AIRS_SST_comp.html

        Notice Figure 2.(a) for the temperature profile at night. Yes, backradiation “shines” at night with an average of about 320 W/m2. The ocean surface is COOLER. If backradiation was heating the oceans (especially at night), the gradient should be the opposite.

        I’m done with you, since it’s obvious you’re a science bullsh***er.

      • >>
        In the meantime my egg is ready.
        <<

        Heat transfer by conduction is different than heat transfer by radiation. The physics of a liquid-air boundary is extremely complex. Your inappropriate and trivial example about boiling an egg is ludacruos.

        >>
        Clinging to denial of CO2-caused ocean warming means rejecting thermodynamics. It’s absurd.
        <<

        Thermodynamics is more about what is possible rather than what is probable. How about we put your raw egg in the ocean and cook it there. I’ll even breathe heavily over it to provide more CO2 to hurry the process along.

        Jim

    • Tenn,

      “Okay, so how much actual warming have we observed since 1950? Around 0.60 degrees C. This strongly implies that climate sensitivity is close to zero.”

      Doesn’t it imply that “feedbacks” are zero and sensitivity is around 1.3 °C?

      • 1) The world hasn’t really warmed that much since 1950. Whatever warming has occurred can’t be attributed to man-made CO2.

        2) It cooled dramatically from 1950 (starting in the ’40s, raising fears of a return to ice age conditions) until c. 1977, when the PDO flipped, then warmed slightly until the late ’90s, since when GASTA, if such a thing exist, has stayed flat, fluctuating with ENSO.

        3) Since CO2 has risen since 1950, no correlation has been observed between its increase and temperature.

        4) Hence it’s possible that net feedbacks at least cancel out whatever GHE more CO2 might occasion.

      • No. feedbacks = climate sensitivity. the 1.3 degrees is the amount due to the carbon dioxide alone. For climate theory, this number is a given. In fact, I completely agree with this number – for each doubling of carbon dioxide concentrations, the temperature will increase by around 1.3 degrees C.

        Naturally since this is a doubling, it means that the increase is going to be less for each incremental unit of carbon dioxide. Doubling from 250 to 500 ppm = 1.3 degrees. Doubling from 500 to 1,000 ppm = 1.3 degrees. As you can imagine, the total increase from this source is highly self limiting.

        The premise of climate sensitivity is that warming begets more warming. That is, a small amount of warming from increased carbon dioxide concentrations would be amplified by some mechanism. Say, the warming increases the amount of total water vapor in the atmosphere, and water vapor, being a greenhouse gas, amplifies the warming. Climate sensitivity has to be high to create the kind of climate catastrophe scenarios that Global Warming Enthusiasts seem to prefer. Carbon dioxide, alone, cannot create the disaster they envision. So you need a big number for climate sensitivity – otherwise there is no crisis. Problem is, every speck of data we have points in the opposite direction – climate sensitivity is low. very low. maybe even a negative number.

        Which make perfect sense. If climate sensitivity were high, and temperature could easily “run-away” because of small warming periods, then how could the climate have remained relatively stable for thousands, even millions, of years?

    • [snip – you are using a fake name, fake IP address, and fake email to troll here – banned- Anthony]

  24. To me, the real bottom line on the effects of CO2 as a climate driver is simply this – if nothing happened, to speak, of other than data fiddling, between 1998 and 2015 while CO2 increased steadily, if is NOT the control knob. The pause, whether it exists now or not is absolute proof that the models do NOT work, that CO2 is not a control knob, and that current climate changes are natural. I don’t care how much they try to excuse the pause to natural variability having hidden the CO2 affect. They can write a million papers about what might happen in the future, but if it can’t explain the present or recent past it is just pure bull droppings. No real science works “part of the time,” it either works or its fantasy.

    • Well, and if they concede that natural variability is the cause of the pause, why couldn’t natural variability be the cause of the increase? It certainly was prior to 1950.

      • The facts that the late 19th century warming and the early 20th century warming are virtually indistinguishable in slope and duration from the late 20th century warming leaves little room for human activity, aside perhaps from generally cleaner air, causing slightly more warming. China and India however muddy those waters, to mix physical state metaphors.

        The early 18th century warming was even greater in amplitude and lasted longer than the late 20th century warming. Which is not surprising, as it was a rebound from the depths of the LIA during the chilly Maunder Minimum.

  25. So the models that have been completely wrong for the last 40 years can be relied upon to be completely wrong for at least another 80 years?

  26. A higher climate sensitivity leads directly to more missing heat.

    It looks like April is going to have a colder anomaly temperature than previous months, so temperatures are still going down. No good for alarmists. Half or more of the warming from the past El Niño is already gone. If we go back to the 2003-2014 average, defending a high climate sensitivity is going to be a tough cookie to sell.

    • Have you read any of the long-run sensitivity papers by people like Reto Knutti and Kyle Armour? Which ones?

      • Nope, none of those. Whatever I tried to read about sensitivity calculations I couldn’t quite make half of it. I don’t even fully understand Lewis posts at Climate etc. I don’t think it is worth the effort and time to study the issue. Specially considering that after 35 years very little progress has been made in the determination of ECS.

    • Quote: A higher climate sensitivity leads directly to more missing heat.

      Bullseye! I wonder whether these people realise the full effect of what they are saying?

      I think this is more a problem than a boon for Gang Green. Otherwise we’d have heard all about it from the usual suspects.

  27. “Without human caused global warming, we would have expected to cool since 1998 instead of warm.”

    NO. After the 1998 El Niño ejected massive amounts of heat into the atmosphere, one would expect temperatures to decline or remain stable for a period regardless of the then present amount of atmospheric CO2.

    All your other comments above cannot overcome the deficiency of hard science showing that one extra CO2 molecule per ten-thousand other air molecules can produce the affects of CAGW. And don’t attempt to persuade us by employing the old trick of correlates.

    Bottom line is this: There is insufficient understanding of climate to make costly economic decisions.

  28. Somebody may remember that I wrote a story about the reproduction of the Myhre’s equation, which is the basis of the CS calculations

    RF = 5.35*ln(C/280)

    where C is the CO2 concentration in ppm. I did the very same calculations in order to find out, if I can get the same result. My equation is also logarithmic but not the same

    RF = 3.12*ln(C/280)

    I also found that there is no positive water feedback doubling the warming effects of GH gases. Therefore, the ECS value is only 0.6 degrees Celsius. The IPCC’s model calculated temperature is today about 50 % above the UAH temperature value of the 2000’s. Below is a figure showing a lot of information.

    The temperature graph shows very clearly that the global temperature goes up and down according to ENSO events. It is also very clear that during ENSO events the absolute water content changes doubles the original temperature changes, i.e there is a positive water feedback in ENSO temperature changes. But it is also very clear that in long term changes (more than 10 years), there is no positive water feedback: the average absolute water content is about constant. For example, from 1979 to 2000 the UAH temperature increased 0.35C but the absolute humidity decreased a bit. So where is the positive water feedback?
    By the way, there is also a Factor X in figure, which shows a driving force needed to explain the observed temperature, when water and CO2 effects (according to Ollila) are decreased. The CO2 effect by Myhre & IPCC went through the roof when the present temperature pause emerged after 2000.

    Dr. Antero Ollila

    • Thanks.

      Warmunistas don’t believe me when I tell them that the assumed net positive feedbacks from rising CO2 are not in evidence, but merely assumed by so-called “climate scientists”. The net feedback effects might well be negative, so that TCS, if there be such a thing, could be less than 1.2 degrees C per doubling of CO2.

      • Yup. exactly. the magical mechanism creating a positive value for climate sensitivity is not in evidence at all. It was always just an assumed number.

        Climate activists intentional blur the distinction between the actual temperature due to carbon dioxide, and the assumed number for climate sensitivity. They pretend they are the same thing.

  29. In 2008, Jim Hansen gave a lecture claiming that the ECS is 3°C. It is duly reported on at this site:
    Jim Hansen’s AGU presentation: “He’s ‘nailed’ climate forcing for 2x CO2”
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/12/21/jim-hansens-agu-presentation-hes-nailed-climate-forcing-for-2x-co2/

    For these young whippersnappers* to publish a paper that sees Hansen’s 3° and raises him 2° is bold. Very Bold.

    *the lead author is a graduate student, of all things, and the PI is a mere assistant professor. The impudence of these people. The nerve.

  30. Yale scientists looked at a number of global climate projections and found that they misjudged the ratio of ice crystals and super-cooled water droplets in “mixed-phase” clouds — resulting in a significant under-reporting of climate sensitivity.

    No doubt there are many overlooked processes which would tend to make things hotter. But, there are very likely as many or more that would tend to make them cooler. As they are only looking for the things that make it hotter, that is what they find.

    Confirmation bias is what it is all about.

  31. Apparently it is only CO2s direct forcing of about 1C per doubling that precipitate these feedbacks resulting in this purported 5C long-term temperature rise not seen at least during this interglacial, amazing stuff.

  32. Quote: A key part of the research has to do with the makeup of mixed-phase clouds, which consist of water vapor, liquid droplets, and ice particles, in the upper atmosphere. A larger amount of ice in those clouds leads to a lower climate sensitivity — something known as a negative climate feedback mechanism. The more ice you have in the upper atmosphere, the less warming there will be on the Earth’s surface.

    A NEGATIVE feedback? NEGATIVE? Tell us more!

    Seriously, these people may be right. If they are right they may or may not realise what they have done. Each improvement in one part of the climate models blows yet another massive hole in another part.

    And you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction!

  33. Wow! Note the precision: 5-5.3 degrees C. Clearly the science is now settled. Stop funding all other models.

  34. If the no feedback CS be 1.2 degrees C per doubling, then IMO the range should be 0.0 to 2.4 degrees C. It’s improbable that net feedbacks could yield a near quadrupling, ie to 4.5 degrees C.

    This range includes most of the most reasonable estimates and measurements. The “canoncial” 3.0 degrees C is clearly too high, IMO. It was derived from nothing more than the average of two WAGs back in the ’70s and hasn’t changed since. The higher guess of 4.0 degrees was by Hansen, so should be rejected on that basis alone. Even the lower, better guess of 2.0 degrees can now be seen to be too high as well.

    • Not improbable. Impossible. We ran the experiment on the entire Earth already, and the data says their result is crap. Full stop.

      Based on the results of the experiment we have performed on the entire earth since 1950, climate sensitivity is very low. It is certainly less than 1 degree, probably less than 0.5 degrees.

    • Chimp. many of the studies showing about 1.2 C climate sensitivity have used Myhre’s RF value for CO2 without questioning it. They should have calculated it by themselves.

  35. Perhaps I did not understand but these folks are saying that there should be more warming as a result of additional CO2 in the atmosphere and the actual temperature rise has already been way less than predicted so doesn’t that mean that all of these models are even more screwed up than anyone ever thought that they were?

    • They could not possibly be more screwed up than I have thought they are.

      They are worse than worthless, wanton wastes of tax receipts, GIGO computer games perpetrated by corrupt, rent-seeking, trough-feeding, anti-scientific, second and third-rate Watermelon ideologues.

  36. The researchers also stressed that correcting the ice-water ratio in global models is critical, leading up to the IPCC’s next assessment report, expected in 2020.

    Because as we all know, a better fit means a better projection.

    sigh/sarc

  37. As with all of these models, the first question always has to be “show me how you validated it”. Without validation, it’s just castles in the sky… or out-and-out propaganda, as in this case.

  38. “The overestimate of ice in mixed-phase clouds relative to the observations is something that many climate modelers are

    starting to realize,

    ” Tan said.
    ____________________________________________

    Tan starting to realize. Sad.

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