Claim: Future climate change revealed by current climate variations

From the UNIVERSITY OF EXETER and the “persistence forecasting doesn’t work past the chaos uncertainty threshold” department.

Uncertainty surrounding the extent of future climate change could be dramatically reduced by studying year-on-year global temperature fluctuations, new research has shown.

A team of scientists from the University of Exeter and the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology has pioneered a new process to reduce uncertainty around climate sensitivity – the expected long-term global warming if atmospheric carbon dioxide is stabilised at double pre-industrial levels.

While the standard ‘likely’ range of climate sensitivity has remained at 1.5-4.5oC for the last 25 years the new study, published in leading scientific journal Nature, has reduced this range by around 60 per cent.

The research team believe that by dramatically reducing the range of climate sensitivity, scientists will be able to have a much more accurate picture of long-term changes to the Earth climate.

Lead-author Professor Peter Cox from the University of Exeter said: “You can think of global warming as the stretching of a spring as we hang weights from it, and climate sensitivity as related to the strength of the spring.

“To relate the observed global warming to climate sensitivity you need to know the amount of weight being added to the spring, which climate scientists call the ‘forcing’, and also how quickly the spring responds to added weight. Unfortunately, we know neither of these things very well”.

The new research made their breakthrough by moving their focus away from global warming trends to date, and instead studying variations in yearly global temperatures.

Co-author Professor Chris Huntingford, from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, explained: “Much of climate science is about checking for general trends in data and comparing these to climate model outputs, but year-to-year variations can tell us a lot about longer-term changes we can expect in a physical system such as Earth’s climate.”

Mark Williamson, co-author of the study and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Exeter, carried out the calculations to work-out a measure of temperature fluctuations that reveals climate sensitivity.

This metric of temperature fluctuations can also be estimated from climate observations, allowing the model line and the observations to be combined to estimate climate sensitivity.

Using this approach, the team derive a range of climate sensitivity to doubling carbon dioxide of 2.8+/-0.6oC, which reduces the standard uncertainty in climate sensitivity (of 1.5-4.5oC) by around 60%.

Mark said: “We used the simplest model of how the global temperature varies, to derive an equation relating the timescale and size of the fluctuations in global temperature to the climate sensitivity. We were delighted to find that the most complex climate models fitted around that theoretical line”.

Explaining the significance of the results, Professor Cox added: “Our study all but rules-out very low or very high climate sensitivities, so we now know much better what we need to. Climate sensitivity is high enough to demand action, but not so high that it is too late to avoid dangerous global climate change”.

###

The research was supported by the European Research Council (‘ECCLES’ project), the EU Horizon 2020 Programme (‘CRESCENDO’ project), and the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council.

 

Interesting place, that university. They give away climate change courses for free, that’s how valuable they are. They also fail to reference/cite the name of their own study in the press release too. That’s how valuable it is. So I can’t give you a link to the paper.

They are really “on the ball” there.

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66 thoughts on “Claim: Future climate change revealed by current climate variations

  1. I’ve read badly thought out science fiction novels with better physics in them then the endless drool coming out of the the climate studies departments of some of our universities. This just amounts to it’s as bad as you want but not bad enough that if you give us lots more money we might magically do something unspecified to save the universe. Yawn. Meanwhile in the real world…

    • Yes, I don’t know whether to panic or make a pot of Tuscan bean soup.

      Recipe link here: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/01/30-minute-tuscan-white-bean-soup-recipe.html

      You may or may not want the kale but it’s quick to fix. I think I’ll make the soup and not send them any money.

      Is there anything at all that these people will NOT use to try to panic the rest of us?

      It appears that they think hammering at people is the answer to the issue. No, it isn’t It’s The Them crying ‘Wolf!’ and when the rest of us look, there is no wolf (except for the one at which I’ve been throwing some ham slices and dog biscuits. What?!? It’s only a wolf, not a pit bull.!)

      I don’t know what else we can do except collect this stuff in one place like WUWT and make sure that we all know about it. I hope sincerely that within the next 5 to 10 years, they are ALL proven incorrect.

      I’m going to fix that bean soup now. Ciao!

    • Supported by the “Centre of Ecology and Hydrology” ……

      That would be the same “Centre of Ecology and Hydrology” that jointly published a paper claiming that Shags in Scotland had reduced their diet of Sand Eels because climate change had “likely” caused a reduction in the sand eel population; but without any evidence of the actual cause of reduced sand eel numbers.

      That would be the same “Centre of Ecology and Hydrology” that now refuses to respond or correspond about their study and explain why they ignored the Scottish Government’s study and the British Government’s study which both independently found that the reduction in the Sand Eel population was entirely due to commercial overfishing by Scandinavian vessels decimating the population.

      Climate Change money yet again perverts honest science.

  2. Good grief – they haven’t established that there is ANY “climate sensitivity” to ANY level of CO2 – and the Earth’s climate history says THERE IS NONE. They are STILL doing nothing more than ASSUMING that ANY of the SUPPOSED amount (based on the “data” that, scientifically speaking, is CRAP to begin with) of temperature rise is CAUSED by CO2, when they have not a SCRAP of empirical evidence that says it is, and plenty of history that says it’s NOT.

    I can’t think of any better solution to this madness than to simply END all funding of “climate” research until they stop trying to use it to push this propaganda, and all of the current crop of idiots posing as “climate scientists” are selling “fries with that” instead of Eco-Fascist BS.

    • I disagree with the idea that “the Earth’s climate history says THERE IS NONE” (CO2 effect on temperature), but I agree there is no evidence that CO2 is playing any major role or that we need to do anything about CO2 emissions other than celebrate their benefits. Proving a negative, that CO2 isn’t influencing temperature, would be much harder than simply observing that no one has proved it is doing so to any measureable extent.

      • Andy, given that there is no correlation whatsoever between temperature and CO2 level on geologic time scales (hundreds of millions of years), and that on shorter time scales where there IS a correlation (i.e., the ice core records) the correlation runs in REVERSE, i.e., temperature drives CO2 level, with a time lag of ~800 years, what exactly is the basis of your disagreement?

      • You can’t say that there is no correlation for two reasons.
        1) Climate noise is not understood well enough to understand how much of recent temperature movement is natural and how much isn’t.
        2) The climate measuring network isn’t high enough quality to detect subtle changes in the first place.

        Not being able to see something is not proof that nothing is there.

      • MarkW “Not being able to see something is not proof that nothing is there.”
        Err yes it is. As AGW points out over geologic time scales atmospheric CO2 concentrations follow temperature very convincingly and this can be SEEN in the data which makes this quite clear. With this principle established the global warming/ CO2 hypothesis that temperature follows CO2 concentrations is proved wrong.
        This being the case any observed temperature swings are due to something else, probably natural variation.
        If you are looking for something that does affect temperature you need to look up. It’s the Sun! We are currently in a period of low solar activity which is why it is now colder than usual in the North.
        There is a lot more too this than just Solar Cycles but it’s not a bad place to start. Search on line for ‘Solar Cycles’ or ‘Grand Solar Minimum’ and take it from there. There is a whole new exciting world out there if one knows where to look.

  3. This is what I’ve always thought. If the climate was prone to “blowing up”, there would be evidence of it in past.

    • Exactly. If 7000ppm didn’t cause any “runaway greenhouse effect,” there is absolutely no reason to believe that 400ppm, or for that matter 560ppm, is some kind of “tipping point.” It’s ridiculous.

      • The only “runaway greenhouse effect” might have been the explosive plant growth, which later became our fossil fuel caches.

      • Even at 7k ppm, CO2 is miniscule in the mix when compared to water vapor. CO2 is not warming the Arctic, humidity is. That’s why summer temps remain normal while winters are less brutal. When the SSTs cool again, the sea ice will increase and the CO2 will continue to rise, and this group will claim to have manipulated climate sensitivity.

      • WRONG WRONG WRONG AGW
        There has to be a tipping point or the fairy tale won’t scare anyone.
        +1.9 degrees C. = no problem, enjoy the warmer nights
        +2.0 degrees C. = it’s too late, head for the hills, we’re all going to die!
        This is real science,
        among leftists

  4. They seem unaware that their proposition is trivially true. Study the variations in climate over the past and present and you have a good idea 9f what future cl8mate will be. Its already been argued that in assessing the existing climate record your highest probability forecast is “more of the same”!

    • I agree past trends and natural drivers would be very instructive if properly studied, but they may have to open their minds up to many of the cyclical natural patterns which seem to be preeminent in our climate history, and not remain fixated on CO2 as the magic control knob with linear effect. That path is the path to madness and/or extensive liberal oriented science grants.

      • Yes – therein lies the problem. They are still starting with an unproven assumption regarding CO2 driving temperature and extrapolating on it as if it were fact. And when you’re not talking about “cycles,” you’re not talking about “climate.”

  5. “Much of climate science is about checking for general trends in data and comparing these to climate model outputs.” They refer to it as a “science”.

    • Post modern science when properly conducted would have removed any data points not aligning with a predetermined correlation on the basis that it isn’t fair not to blame CO2 from human wealth creation for everything bad that happens such as mild temperature warming (which is actually good but spiritually a real downer) and then their graph wouldn’t look so absolutely idiotic. The graph could likely be reproduced with similar results using a shotgun and a white target.

  6. https://www.nature.com/articles/nature25450
    (paywalled of course.)

    The “tell” to their lie is contained in this sentence from their abstract:
    “We use an ensemble of climate models to define an emergent relationship between ECS and a theoretically informed metric of global temperature variability.”

    More circular logic.

    (On an entirely separate note, if I were the lead author I’d have changed my name as soon as I became an adult.)

    • And their “theoretically informed metric of global temperature variability” must certainly have enough assumptive sloppiness in it. Almost certainly they can engineer that “emergent relationship” in any direction and magnitude they want with equally valid sets of assumptions on the convective processes involving water and heat transport not captured by theory.

    • Perhaps their analogy might apply to the spring of a hanging scale, except they don’t mention that the climate scale weighs things in tons and CO2 can only add pounds. No detectable effect.

      • And had they understood much they would know that reliable spring weight scales (fish scales) use compression springs not extension springs. No sane minded engineer uses extension springs. At least when compression springs fail the still work sort-of.
        An engineer is merely a scientist who has though things through.

      • Maybe these dudes found an old slinky and hooked it to the clothesline, then hung plastic army men from it… Ya think?

    • From the article: ““To relate the observed global warming to climate sensitivity you need to know the amount of weight being added to the spring, which climate scientists call the ‘forcing’, and also how quickly the spring responds to added weight. Unfortunately, we know neither of these things very well”.”

      At least they are honest about not knowing these things very well.

      They should come back when they have learned more.

      • They will learn more when the money for this sort of scientology dries up. Doctoral research is the world’s biggest “science fair”. Everybody hopes to get a share of the prizes handed out. Only this science fair hands out bigger prizes for projects that match the theme of the fair and the opinions of those appointed to judge.
        It is probably to be expected that drivel such as this would be entered in the contest.

      • Also, if you should present a project which opposes the consensus of judges, you will positively be censured and risk being blackballed by the “in” crowd of your specialty, plus the double-jeopardy of legal entanglements.
        How can we expect anything else from academia?

  7. “Climate sensitivity is high enough to demand action, but not so high that it is too late to avoid dangerous global climate change”.”

    How convenient. So it’s not too late if you just ACT NOW. Sounds just like every commercial advertising a “sale.” Which is basically what this (and most “climate” pseudo-science) is.

    Hidden among the smoke and fog is:

    1. They ASSUME that CO2 is the “cause” of the observed “changes,” with no empirical evidence to support such an assumption and plenty of climate history that says this assumption is garbage.

    2. They say they don’t know very much about *how quickly* the change will occur, when they really mean how MUCH change will occur – the existing assumption being that the effect is immediate, otherwise all the claims about CO2 being the “cause” of whatever “warming” over whatever time frame would necessarily be false.

    3. They claim to have “reduced uncertainty” about something they basically admit they “know little about,” if one were to summarize.

  8. Read the supplemental materials. They did not use the entire CMIP5 ensemble. Those models they did use all got the post 2006 (start of projection) warming badly wrong (too high), especially in the tropical troposphere. Trying to narrow the uncertainty in ECS projections from models that are provably just wrong and running hot seems a fools errand. Cargo cult science. Observational energy budget studies place ECS likely between ~1.5 and 1.8, far below this papers narrowed uncertainty range. And that may still be too high because of the attribution problem buried in model parameterization. See guest post Why Models Run Hot for details.

    • Nobody has picked up on the meaning of 2.8 +/- 0.6. Suppose for a moment those numbers are correct, well the +/- usually means “one standard deviation”. Deviations up to 2 s.d.’s aren’t that unusual, about 1 in 20 of the time, so 2.8-2(0.6) = 1.6 is quite on the cards, and 2.0 more so. I don’t think ECS of 2.0 is worrying.

      Rich.

  9. Since they are dealing with annual points of global temperture, which is not a physical measurement but a model, the error ranges on their calculation are undoubtedly much higher than they show.

    On the other had, this finding dovetails neatly with the number of recent articles showing, by various means, that the climate models run hot and that data-based estimates are in the same range- perhaps .2C +/- 1.6. Not good news at all for anyone with alarmist beliefs.

  10. 2.8c is a long, long way below the IPC’s 3.5c to 6.5c…. 1.1 c is the lab tested temp increase for the doubling of co2 therefore not much feedback at 2.8c. ha ha the catastrophists will be grinding their teath at this result.

    • And even the “lab tested” assumes “all other things held equal.” In the real world, “all other things” are NOT “held equal,” the “feedbacks” are offsetting/negative in nature (as can be seen by the complete lack of a CO2 temperature driving effect in any paleoclimate record), and the “net” effect is not identifiably different from zero.

      • It is going to be very very difficult to generate a catastrophe out of a measly 2.8c. I personaly believe that the feedbacks are negative. I wish they weren’t but ice ages tell me not. Man I am hoping that the climate continues to gently warm at least during my lifetime.

      • “(as can be seen by the complete lack of a CO2 temperature driving effect in any paleoclimate record)”

        That’s the killer right there. The historical record refutes all these claims of a runaway greenhouse effect caused by CO2. It has never happened in the past even though CO2 levels in the atmosphere have been much higher in the past than they are today.

        These people need to study a little bit of history instead of looking at flawed computer models all day.

  11. But don’t you see? The Earth’s climate is like a spring, and CO2 forcing is like a weight. Forget all that stuff about the earth-sun ecosystem being a highly complex mathematically chaotic non-linear system with many unknown variables and positive and negative feedbacks that have not been quantified. It’s a springy thing, you see.
    /sarc

    • As long as the spring remains in tension until I die. The rest of you can look after yourselves that includes my well educated, iphone patronising, electricity consuming, oil guzzling children and their offspring.

  12. They reduced the ECS by 60 percent.

    Every time we get a new ESC number it gets smaller, not larger. We are getting closer to zero with every new study.

  13. We get graduates at work who have the idea that there is nothing that us plebes can teach them and they know it all. Occasionally there is one who will listen and learn but not often.

    James Bull

  14. It seems to me that to embrace the idea that we’re to return to pre-industrial era CO₂ output levels, what’s needed is not yet another paean about why it is so necessary, and why the wiggles in the data portend a deeply out-of-balance future where ice caps melt, oceans rise, seashores vanish, cities innundated, and so on.

    But… how to reverse the CO₂?

    See, that IS the question. That’s the question that I – a thinking, listening, literate, well-read person – can not actually identify as the consensus opinion of the Scientic AGW fearful community. Can you? Anyone reading this?

    FIRST, I would think that the eyes-wide-open alternatives and compliments should be listed.

    [1] Prohibitive Taxation – Make a product too expensive to consume (at least “willy nilly”), and you will definitely make inroads at consumption-reduction. Prohibitive also solves lots of other secondary and tertiary “End Days of the Empire” problems (that frankly pîss me off – like strawberries, in Vermont, in winter…).

    [2] Derivative product tariffs – similar to [1], but related to the content of products, and how much they depend on oleaginous feedstock. (Yes, China… all that plastic shît you make? Guess what… TARIFFS!)

    [3] Mitigation Credits – we’re trying to substantially drop CO₂ output, right? Well … if you’re a business (or farmer) that is sucking up atmospheric CO₂ and semi-permanently sequestering it (min: 100 years), then … all that prohibitive taxation and tariffing? There’s MONEY to pay you for your efforts. Real hard cash.

    Lemme tell you – Nº 3 is the one that gets the juices flowing. Give opportunities for real people to earn real money doing such dirt-farmer things as replanting entire forests, and you’ll have armies of do-gooders planting trees. Same goes for the oceanic seeding-with-iron-sulfate efforts. Scientific studies can actually determine with some accuracy how efficacious such efforts are at ultimate CO₂ sequestration. PAY THEM to research this. Nº 1 and Nº 2 get the bucks. Spend them.

    You might want me to put in “obvious man” next steps. Like electric cars, like heat-pump reverse refrigerator home and business heating systems. Like solar panels, like windmills. Like geothermal energy production. Yah! Sure.

    But in the end, it takes Nº 1 and Nº 2 to pîss people off so much that they don’t just “stop” their bad behavior, but to “reverse it, to self-medicate a cure”. You’ll get rid of a car that sucks petrol like a parched lizard. You’ll entertain an e-car even tho’ it has seriously compromising (compared to petrol) “issues”. Its not just the browbeating of your tye-dye teeshirt wearing reformed-hippy neighbors that’ll get you to change. Its the hit on your budget.

    And there is essentially no other way.
    Not that’ll really work.
    Because this will.
    Totally.

    I WELCOME ALTERNATIVES that actually, really, through fundamental human force, will work. I’m just at a loss to find them. It isn’t rocket science. Its taxation. Penalties. Tariffs. Fees. Surcharges. Levies. It may also include ration cards. And it definitely has economic benefits for the people on the “right side” of the consumption-dynamics equation(s).

    GoatGuy

  15. This doesn’t take a genius to see how far off they are. With 2.8C/doubling of co2 we should see a 1.0 (approx) temp change from a 35% increase in Co2. Since 1945 when man started putting in significantly more co2 (94% of all Co2 ever put in is after 1945) we have raised co2 by about 110/300 or more than 30% increase in CO2 and seen 0.4C. Maybe 0.5C if you average the satellite data this with the extremely adjusted data from GISS. That’s half the 2.8 sensitivity they claim. That means when they say they have high probability it is 2.8+-0,6 this is obviously wrong. Since it seems much more likely it is 1.4+-0.3 or even less.

    • This kind of back of napkin estimates are pretty damn good in many cases. Even more important it comports to the real world. If they are right that it is 2.8 we need to see a massive increase in the impact from the co2 we are putting in the atmosphere. Rates of temperature rise have to surge. It also means the lack of sufficient reaction by the atmosphere must have resulted in either a storage of energy somewhere in the system and subsequent some release of this energy which they haven’t explained or somehow the energy that was supposed to happen somehow disappeared and to believe it will stop disappearing they need to explain where it went and why it will stop escaping.

      Further, it defies common sense. If we have 2.8C sensitivity then we should see 1.4->2C or more in the next 70-80 years which is nearly 0.3C/decade. Yet we have been getting 0.05-0.08C / decade for 70 years now. That is nearly quadrupling the rate of temperature increase. Why? Why will it start surging?

      As the rate of warming has missed prior expectations it has placed a burden that future warming catch up with the prior projections. Where or how would this catchup happen and why now? They require that for 8 decades in a row the rise will be 4 times faster than we’ve seen over the last 70 years and if there is another pause the situation will get exponentially worse. It just strains reasonable common sense.

      This is similar to how they have played with adjustments to old thermometer data. We see they have moved some thermostats in the past 100 years ago by 6 degrees F. Mercury has worked pretty much the same for the last 100 years. It is incredibly unlikely that thermostats even 100 years ago were recording temperatures 6F different than today. The adjustments make the 30s and 40s into a cold period in history. We know that this is bogus. A peer reviewed study a year ago showed that the adjustments have modified the historical record so grossly that the adjustments are no longer believable. They have reached the end of the wiggle room.

  16. But based on the paleoclimate record and the work done with modeling one can conclude that the climate change we have been experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans over which Mankind has no control. There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and plenty of sceintific rational to support the idea that the climate sensivity of CO2 is really zero. It seems most likly that the current interglacial period will end and a new ice age will begin but it may take thousands of years for that to become apparent. So just sit back relax, and, look out your window and watch the climate change before your eyes knowing that there is nothing that you can do to change it.

  17. More post hoc arm waving to explain away CO2 lagging ice core data, as well as the lack of evidence if a catastrophe.

  18. ‘Climate sensitivity is high enough to demand action, but not so high that it is too late to avoid dangerous global climate change’

    Now that is ‘lucky’ because of course that keeps the gravy train on track for as long as they want it for there never is a point when its ‘to late ‘ nor when there is ‘not a possible problem ‘.

  19. What’s wrong with these climate change nuts?

    They claim one year is warmer than the prior year
    by a few hundredths of a degree C.

    But they are still using +1.5 to +4.5 degrees C.
    for a doubling of CO2 ?

    That’s ancient history.

    Since these numbers were pulled out of a hat,
    or from two feet lower,
    they are not supported by any REAL science
    and cause the climate games, er,
    I mean scientific climate models,
    to make wrong predictions.
    ,
    The obvious answer
    to the lack of real science
    and the bad predictions is ?

    What is it class ?

    That’s right:
    MORE DECIMAL PLACES !

    How about +1.526 to +4.573 degrees C. ?

    MORE DECIMAL PLACES = MORE ACCURATE
    Any scientist of engineer should know that.
    That’s the first thing they teach you.
    I was in engineering school for a few years,
    so I should know.

    And whats with the IPCC 95% confidence level?

    How about a higher number?

    I recommend 105% confidence.

    What exactly is 105% confidence, you ask ?

    105% confidence is when 5% of the scientists
    voted twice because they were SO CONFIDENT.

    Or perhaps 10% of the scientists voted twice
    and 5% were fast asleep during the vote.

    Whatever the case, a show of hands that adds to 105%
    is real science — what could be more fair than a vote?

    And of course 105% is more better than 95%

    And 97% of scientists agree
    with what I just wrote,
    although I would prefer 99.9%,
    so maybe a new survey
    could be developed
    to get from 97% to 99.9%.

    Recommended question:
    (1) Do you believe the climate changes?

    http://www.elOnionBloggle.Blogspot.com

  20. There can be no question that the presumed sensitivity range is so out of whack with reality it would be humorous if the consequences of the mistakes that led to it weren’t so expensive. Considering the wide range presumed by the IPCC (0.8C +/- 0.4C per W/m^2), anyone ignorant enough to call science with a +/- 50% range of possible effects ‘settled’ is in need of a primer on basic math and science.

    Reducing the range around it’s nominal value isn’t the right approach, as the actual climate sensitivity is somewhere between 0.2 and 0.3C per W/m^2 and well below the IPCC lower limit. The warming from 3.7 W/m^2 more equivalent forcing said to arise from doubling CO2 is then somewhere between .74 C and 1.1C or about 0.9C +/- 0.2 which are even tighter and more accurate limits and which can be predicted by theory and validated with data.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01/05/physical-constraints-on-the-climate-sensitivity/

    Keep in mind that the primary constraint on the original lower limit for the climate sensitivity that drove AR1 was that it had to be large enough to justify the formation of the IPCC. The reality is that it isn’t, so it’s unlikely that anyone with a vested interest in the bogus IPCC sensitivity will ever acknowledge this truth.

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