‘Worse than we thought’ – climate models underestimate future polar warming

From the FLORIDA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY and the “if we make a correction factor, we’ve got funding” department.

This map shows Earth’s average global temperature from 2013 to 2017, as compared to a baseline average from 1951 to 1980, according to an analysis by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Yellows, oranges, and reds show regions warmer than the baseline. Note most of the warming it at the north pole, where there are no weather station. Credits: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

New Eocene fossil data suggest climate models may underestimate future polar warming

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A new international analysis of marine fossils shows that warming of the polar oceans during the Eocene, a greenhouse period that provides a glimpse of Earth’s potential future climate, was greater than previously thought.

By studying the chemical composition of fossilized foraminifera, tiny single-celled animals that lived in shallow tropical waters, a team of researchers generated precise estimates of tropical sea surface temperatures and seawater chemistry during the Eocene Epoch, 56-34 million years ago. Using these data, researchers fine-tuned estimates from previous foram studies that captured polar conditions to show tropical oceans warmed substantially in the Eocene, but not as much as polar oceans.

Importantly, when modern climate models – the same as those used in the United Nations’ recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports – were run under Eocene conditions, many could not replicate these findings. Instead, the models consistently underestimated polar ocean warming in the Eocene.

This discrepancy may result from a gap in our understanding of the climate system or from what we know about the Eocene, said David Evans, the study’s lead author and Leverhulme Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews’ School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. If it does indeed relate to the climate system, it raises the possibility that predictions of future polar warming are also too low.

“Yes, the tropics are warming but nowhere near to the same degree as the polar regions,” Evans said. “That’s something we really need to be able to understand and replicate in climate models. The fact that many models are unable to do that at the moment is worrying.”

The researchers published their findings this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Scientists frequently look to the Eocene to understand how the Earth responds to higher levels of carbon dioxide. During the Eocene, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was more than 560 parts per million, at least twice preindustrial levels, and the epoch kicked off with a global average temperature more than 8 degrees Celsius – about 14 degrees Fahrenheit – warmer than today, gradually cooling over the next 22 million years. These characteristics make the Eocene a good period on which to test our understanding of the climate system, said Laura Cotton, study co-author and curator of micropaleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

One of the challenges has been accurately determining the difference between sea surface temperatures at the poles and the equator during the Eocene, with models predicting greater differences than data suggested.

The research team used large bottom-dwelling forams as “paleothermometers” to gain a more precise temperature reading. Forams have an exceptionally long fossil record, spanning more than 540 million years, and they are often well-preserved in ocean sediments. Most are small enough to fit into the eye of a needle – Cotton describes them as “an amoeba with a shell” – but they were so abundant during the Eocene that there are entire rocks composed of them.

“If you look at the pyramids, they’re full of these tiny little lentil-like things – those are forams,” Cotton said. “The ancient Greeks thought the pyramids were made from the fossilized lentils of slaves, but it’s just the limestone from one of these deposits that is absolutely filled with them.”

Forams form their shells in concert with ocean temperatures and chemistry, acting as miniscule time capsules, each containing a precise record of the temperature and ocean chemistry during its lifetime. Their shells are primarily made of calcium, carbon and oxygen. Heavy isotopes of carbon and oxygen bond together as a foram makes its shell – the cooler the temperature, the more they bond to each other.

Fossilized foraminifera, such as these embedded in Tanzanian limestone, reveal that polar warming during the Eocene, a greenhouse period that offers a glimpse of our potential future climate, was greater than previously thought. CREDIT Laura Cotton

By analyzing these clumped isotopes from fossil specimens found in India, Indonesia and Tanzania, the researchers could get an accurate reading of sea surface temperature across the tropics in the Eocene. They also lasered a small hole in each specimen to measure the amount of magnesium and calcium that vaporized, revealing the seawater chemistry.

They found that tropical sea surface temperature in the Eocene was about 6 degrees Celsius – about 10 degrees Fahrenheit – warmer than today.

“This was the first time we had samples that were good enough and this method was well-known enough that it could all come together,” Cotton said.

The team then used their dataset from the tropics to back-calculate the temperature and chemistry of polar oceans, relying on previous studies of forams that captured the conditions of those regions.

With this correction factor in place, they investigated the degree to which polar oceans warmed more than the tropics, a feature of the climate system known as polar amplification. Their data showed that the difference between polar and equatorial sea surface temperatures in the Eocene was an estimated 20 degrees Celsius, about 36 degrees Fahrenheit. Today the difference is 28 degrees Celsius, indicating that polar regions are more sensitive to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide than the tropics.

Troublingly, said Evans, when the team compared their data with various modern climate models under Eocene conditions, most models underestimated polar amplification by about 50 percent.

The two models that came closest to reproducing the team’s data had one key aspect in common – they modified the way they accounted for cloud formation and the longevity of clouds in the atmosphere, particularly in the polar regions.

“To us, that looks like a promising research direction,” he said. “If – and it’s a big if – that turns out to be the right avenue to go down, that could play into the models we use for our future climate predictions.”

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116 thoughts on “‘Worse than we thought’ – climate models underestimate future polar warming

    • They did, but unfortunately, the FBI didn’t retain those text messages, but only between the two people who would have been texting, and only during a very, very specific time period…

    • Did the politicians know? Should’n CIA, FBI, NSA, EPA and what ever in the government know of that terrible looming catastrophe. Have you heard any warnings from them?

  1. ” the Eocene, a greenhouse period that provides a glimpse of Earth’s potential future climate”
    And yet, there is absolutely no sign that the climate went anywhere near “thermal runaway” or that anything remotely dire happened. Life went on, sea-levels rose and fell, glaciers came and went, life survived.

      • But but but… We know this is true (sarc): “High risk of extinction of benthic foraminifera in this century due to ocean acidification. Uthicke et al. Sci Rep. 2013., ”

        This is also true: “…but they were so abundant during the Eocene that there are entire rocks composed of them.”, CO2 at: 560, temp at +8.

        So that’s all perfectly consistent for sure. (/sarc)

        That really is the benefit of settled science.

    • Life flourished in the “Eocene Climate Optimum.” Optimum is a high school word, but when I visited Denver’s ice core lab, I learned that today’s young geologists do not know that a climate optimum is a period of flourishing life. That ignorance is a threat to all living things.

    • “A new international analysis of marine fossils shows that warming of the polar oceans during the Eocene, a greenhouse period that provides a glimpse of Earth’s potential future climate, was greater than previously thought.”

      Keywords:- new, international, glimpse, thought.

      Hmmm, there is wild extrapolation and then there is this sort of crap. A completely natural warming, 34-56 million years ago, when N&S America were separate, Australian was only a few hundred miles from Antarctica, India was a separate island and there were no Himalayas etc and it was lieterally a very different planet, is used as evidence of an alleged warming due to human activity over about a century.

      Chutzpah on crystal meth is what that is.

    • Yes life survived, but if humanity had been around, we probably wouldn’t have survived. Do you guys really want to turn this planets into a hell for humans?

      • Hell for humans (and most species) is living in an ice age. But humans adapted to it.

        I suspect those Eocene forams, now fossils, moved around synchronously with their respective plates, tectonically speaking.

  2. Eocene polar stuff is irrelevant to understanding the polar future hundred or so years. Antarctica was next to South America not the south pole; the Drake passage had not formed and the Antarctic ice sheet did not yet exist. The Isthmus of Panama had not formed; north and south America were widely separated. Greenland was over by Norway.
    Junk pseudoscience at its worst.

    • Amen. Antarctica was not ion the same place it is today. How can they not have allowed for continental drift?

    • What?!? No pictures? I want to see all those continent smashed together, Venezuela snuggled up to Africa.

      You wanna see my shrimp fossil?

    • Why should they expect the fossilized foraminifera samples from taken from the bottom of the artic ocean were in the artic when they were deposited?

    • During Early Eocene, 55-50 Mya, the Indian subcontinent had not yet slammed into Asia’s belly to uplift the Himalayan Mountains. Collision and early formation of the Himalayan Range marks the beginning of the Middle Eocene at 50.2 Mya.

    • Well said Ristvan.

      Do these people not realize for a valid comparison the lay of the land has to be considered? The Eocene was a completely different climate regime. The Earth’s current geological configuration prevents the much higher temperatures of that era from re-occurring.

      Data analysis indicates the polar regions to have been so much warmer than the present that a type of alligator existed on Spitzbergen as did florae and fauna in Minnesota that could not have survived frosts. At the same time equatorial temperatures were found to be about 4K colder than at present.

      The higher CO2 levels were obviously a response to the higher temperatures, as atmospheric CO2 levels are temperature dependant and draw from the CO2 surface flux. Throughout the Eocene there existed a far greater surface area of warm, shallow, out-gassing ocean and a much smaller area of cold CO2 absorbing ocean. The buffering system of the Eocene Ocean is not at all comparable to today’s.

    • Shhhh…don’t tell the New Young Earth Traditionalists.

      Same as the Old Young Earth Traditionalists, but they call themselves “scientists”.

      • Caligula,

        It seems entirely possible to me that something similar to what has happened with regard to climate science, happened before, with regard to “deep time” . . and I sometimes wonder why otherwise intelligent people here don’t seem to feel skepticism is called for in that realm too.

        The “pressure” to conform to the Old Earth Traditionalists has been great my whole life, so now, naturally, I don’t just “Believe” anymore. Ya’ll can just Believe if you want, but mocking people who are skeptical of something that is so “pressurized” seems kinda . . well, illogical, to me.

        I’m watching what such pressure can do to make “science” effectively one-sided, and it is logical to suspect it could have done something like that before . . for what to me are obvious reasons. I suggest a bit of open-minded skepticism is called for. I personally don’t take anything people here say about the matter seriously, BECAUSE they never exhibit the slightest hint of ever having even considered the possibility that what they’ve been told is less than absolute truth.

      • Amazing that these “Climate Scientists” think a good comparison with today’s Earth would be one with a circum-equatorial current and little if any ice caps.

    • Oh no. Climate change is caused by moving tectonic plates. This is going to be really expensive to fix.

    • Does anyone keep a database with the names of the “scientists” that put their names to this kind of garbage?

    • Here is a North Polar view at 50mya according to Christopher Scotese and the Paleomap project:

      Stable craton points and vectors for North America and the Eurasia since 250 are added.

      The Arctic Ocean was more landlocked back then. New 50mya rifting in red to the right of the yellow and green 100/110 Arctic Ocean floor in a more captive basin may account for the warming above what a modern climate model would predict.

    • So you’re happy to accept tectonic plate theory, but won’t accept the overwhelming evidence that 50 billion tons of greenhouse gases pumped into the atmosphere annually is changing the climate faster than at any time in the geological record?
      There’s none so queer as folks, they say!

      • Hi Jack,

        You are so mis-informed its really quite extraordinary! With regard to tectonic plate theory, the evidence from coastal outlines and from paelo-magnetic studies are over-whelming evidence that its a good theory.

        Regarding your claim that “50 billion tons of greenhouse gases pumped into the atmosphere annually is changing the climate faster than at any time in the geological record” – well, you need to get yourself educated. Just one glance at the rate of natural climate change evident from geological and ice core data at the point in time of the Younger Dryas event alone (relatively modern) is enough to convince any rational person that your claim is baseless. And that’s just the first example that springs to mind.

        Best wishes,

        TS

    • When I was a kid there were these amazing neon billboards for Sherwin Williams paint. There was this bucket, and it would dump paint on the North Pole and it would drool down the planet in red. Then the slogan at the bottom would light up, “Sherwin Williams Paint Covers the World”.

      This is exactly what they have done. They take greyed out areas where there is no data and dump a bucket of red paint on it.

  3. “This discrepancy may result from a gap in our understanding of the climate system”…maybe for you, but the rest of us got the memo a long time ago

    “indicating that polar regions are more sensitive to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide “…..nope

    • You ask too much of them. The use of conditional verbs by these people eliminates the need to acknowledge the epistemology of Aristotelian unities.

      • I read this comment often, that there should be definitive descriptions. When it comes to all aspects of atmospheric science, and many other sciences, it is just not possible to say for certain what the various causes and/or correlations are. I am not defending climate science as I have had to deal with too many of these people and many are quite arrogant and demeaning toward atmospheric scientists. But in my research, which has been in the fields of severe storms, boundary layer physics, and other aspects of meteorology, we very often use statistical correlations, based on sound physics, to try to come to a better understanding of what causes what. As is almost always the case, we cannot say for sure what the causes are. We can find correlations that seem to be related fairly well with various phenomena. So we have to use words like “possible”, “suggests”, “appears”, strongly appears”, etc, etc. It is certainly not perfect, but it is the best we can do and most times better than nothing. This is the case in many scientific research areas. They do not know definitively what causes many cancers but there appear to be factors that are highly correlated in some cases. That is the nature of research into areas were there are many non-linear variables and we try our best to tease out some sort of rational signal. But the important aspect is to realize your limitations and not present findings as though they are facts. Climate scientists seem to not have learned this.

      • I’d like this to be a reply to Max D. Got no problem with someone saying this appears to be that or whatever is necessary to show “something” of value in a discussion. Talking about the words, not your comment which does add value. The problem comes when they use this as a hammer to drive a stake through the heart of civilization. I get upset then since I personally don’t want to give up my warm clothes, cushioned shoes, warm house and go back to running barefoot wearing animal skins, trying to kill something with a club so I can eat, hunkered down in a cave with a bed of straw to sleep on. Perhaps considering them as weasel words is wrong, but it is time to accept that it is my life – and yours – that they are playing with so they can get their next grant. You never can tell what will be the final nail in the coffin of civilization as we know it, so attacking every one of them that has a hammer and a stake is the only safe response. Obviously I am not talking about physically attacking them, just their so called “intellectual work.”

      • Frankly, Max, in the arena of atmospheric science, which includes meteorology, there is more correct use of probability-related vocabulary than there is in so-called climate science.

        For example, you employ physics as a reference, and physics is a reality. Without it, we might not understand how a water column in one rain cloud can be a higher volume than in another nearby, or why cumulus clouds can rise on a warm updraft without automatically becoming twisters. There is no lack of reality in it; certain things happen because of specific conditions, and we are finally understanding better what those conditions are, and how they affect us on the ground.

        Climate science is not willing, however, to allow itself to be that well-defined. The ‘possibility of heavy’ snow/rain/hail has more concrete reality than speculating on the levels of gases from a small area in an ancient ocean bed. By using speculative and conditional language as a given, the results of investigating some ancient fossils become proof of something, with or without requiring verification.

        Weather forecasting is meant to give us an idea of what weather will be for the week to two weeks ahead. It can change in the blink of an eye.

        What climate ‘science’ does is make projections and say they are cast in stone until the next group of projections is created and released. Then the prognosticator becomes angry and obnoxious when the results are questioned. This is not science.

  4. This is what happens when chicken little eats way to many sweets , full scale ‘melt-down ‘ of the sky is falling .

  5. They estimate “precisely” but can make no claims to accuracy. While wisely suggesting that the current fleet of climate models perform poorly over the Eocene due to “a gap in our understanding of the climate system or from what we know about the Eocene” they go on to then assume the most likely reason is the models are not sensitive enough to CO2. This is based on what? I’d be much more impressed if they would just grow up and do some science and stop making spectacular assumptions and projections based on environmental catastrophism.

  6. “During the Eocene, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was more than 560 parts per million, at least twice preindustrial levels, and the epoch kicked off with a global average temperature more than 8 degrees Celsius – about 14 degrees Fahrenheit – warmer than today, gradually cooling over the next 22 million years. ”

    Essentially correct. However they forgot to mention that there is hardly a trace of correlation between temperatures and pCO2:

      • DOE and EPA grants a small compared to the NSF grant budget.

        WH OSTP can coordinate with the NSF to ensure research to address policy questions are funded. But the grants are competitive with study sections that score individual grants to determine cut-off scores. So it is the composition of the Study sections (getting honest skeptic researchers back on the climate research sections) is where the White House can exert influence.

  7. So, open question for the authors:
    50 million years ago North and South America were separated and so water could flow unimpeded between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Similarly the Indian and Pacific oceans were connected.
    Do the climate models accurately account for oceanic currents? Given the much smaller Atlantic Basin were hurricanes more or less common? How did that frequency of hurricanes affect the cycling of water between the poles and the equator?

    • None of that matters since the models have already proven that CO2 is the only thing that impacts temperature here on this Earth. /snark

    • You expect models that can’t get sun and clouds right to be able to understand continental drift?

      Or, more accurately, you expect the people who code the models and leave out sun and clouds to be able to understand continental drift?

      • The models don’t include ocean currents, so I’m guessing that anything that might end up changing ocean currents would be ignored by them.

  8. Computer models applied to past periods fail most spectacularly when applied to the Eocene. They underpredict temperature by 20 degrees in some cases. Even with enhanced CO2 levels. The only conclusion is that the models are missing significant physics that underlies the actual behavior of the climate system.

    Numerous extreme changes occured during the Eocene that can’t be explained by any model. Co2 varied considerably and no one knows why. The Earth was in a pretty ideal time with forests covering the Earth to the poles.

    It should be apparent that using CO2 as a proxy for every climate related change is a non-starter. Even in the last 100 years we’ve seen periods where co2 was insufficient in effect to cancel out simple ocean cooling or warming or the presence of some aerosols from pollution. Co2 cannot be the high sensitivity dominant factor.

    We already know now that the atmosphere doesn’t have the CO2 sensitivity needed to explain a more recent phenomenon. The ice ages. Hansen originally proposed high sensitivity to Co2 as a way to explain the ice ages. Since the temperature of the earth hasn’t responded to CO2 even with ECS=3.0 which is the minimum or even below the minimum needed to explain the ice ages it means the ice ages are because of some other reason. This reason has not been really explored even though it is the principal motivation to believe higher atmospheric sensitivity to CO2. Theory disproved robustly.

    • We know CO2 doesn’t cause ice ages. Not unless some mechanism can be found where CO2 controls the Earth’s orbit.

      • Those are the periods (as a frequency) of the dominant Milankovitch cycles: eccentricity, obliquity and precession of the equinoxes (left to right, repectively). With those cycles, plots of incident solar radiation (aka, Insolation) at 65N latitude can explain the rate of NH ice mass accumulation during the glaciation (cold) periods. CO2 no control of ice Age timings, or the onset of glaciation, or collapse to interglacial. CO2 lags T at all time scales. It cannot be causal.

      • It shows the relationship between temperature cycles and Milankovich cycles for the Dome Fuji Ice Core. As you can see the precessional (23,000 years) and obliquity cycles (41,000 years) are prominent. The 111 kyr cycles is more problematic, it does noit quite fit the eccentricity cycle.

    • If the climate models cant get today’s results correct; How can you expect them to duplicate results of 50 million years ago? How would one model continental drift when no one has explored the middle of the earth to understand exactly how the bedrock changes over time and exactly what is causing it? Okay we know about tectonic plates and all that but geologists will be the 1st ones to tell you that there is a lot they don’t understand. Building a model to model the earth is a fools game.

  9. Higher CO2 = More Forams = more calcium carbonate deposited… what happened to Higher CO2 =acidification of the sea = less calcium carbonate deposited??

      • ……….it’s magic

        It has to be. CO2 levels were 580 ppm, or about double what they were in 1880. Our climate experts today say that a doubling of CO2 will lead to a climate forcing of ~2°C based on the logarithmic scale of CO2 as a GHG. Yet the Eocene’s global temperature was “6 degrees Celsius – about 10 degrees Fahrenheit – warmer than today.”

        So which is it? Is the climate forcing ~2°C per doubling of CO2, or does it follow a logarithmic curve, or is the paleoclimate record even accurate?

        If our climate “scientists” cannot resolve basic physics questions between the paleo record and today, what hope do we have of understanding where our future will be with respect to temperature and consequences?

  10. If a climate cult member
    ever got an article published
    that said the future climate was going to be
    BETTER than we previously thought,
    all the skeptics would faint,
    fall over and hit their heads,
    and not remember anything
    about real climate science
    from that moment on.

    But the climate cult members
    know only one game,
    and it is a game — just keep
    predicting bad, and worse, climate
    forever … even as the current climate
    is actually the best it has ever been for
    humans and animals (warmer nights)
    and is at least getting better
    for green plants (growing better
    from more Co2),
    because it seems
    few people can observe the
    current wonderful climate
    outside their doors,
    and enjoy it

    • stephana
      wonderful name,
      my first thought

      More warming than anticipated,
      based on wild guess climate model
      = BREAKING NEWS !!!

      Three really cold weeks in a row
      in Detroit Michigan area where I live
      in an appliance carton
      = just weather

  11. Climate models overestimate polar warming compared to surface station records around the Arctic Circle.

    Fig. 3 Temperature change for a January, b July and c annual relative to the temperature during 1961 to 1990 for Arctic stations. The red curve is the moving 5-year average while the blue curve is the number of stations.

    “The Arctic has warmed at the same rate as Europe over the past two centuries. . . The warming has not occurred at a steady rate. . .During the 1900s, all four (Arctic) regions experienced increasing temperatures until about 1940. Temperatures then decreased by about 1 °C over the next 50 years until rising in the 1990s.

    For the period 1820–2014, the trends for the January, July and annual temperatures are 1.0, 0.0 and 0.7 °C per century, respectively. . . Much of the warming trends found during 1820 to 2014 occurred in the late 1990s, and the data show temperatures levelled off after 2000.”

    https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2016/05/06/arctic-warming-unalarming/

    • Wonder where he found an arctic weather station with data going back to 1750, because there isn’t any, unless you count Uppsala in Sweden as “arctic” (60 deg. latitude, data from 1722). SW Greenland has (incomplete) data from the 1780’s, Stykkisholmur in Iceland (with a qualitatively very good series, adjusted to death by GHCN) starts in 1798.

      • tty the table of stations in the paper shows these to be the oldest records:
        Trondheim 63.40 10.50 1761–1981
        Bergen 60.40 5.30 1816–2014
        Archangel’sk 64.50 40.73 1813–2014
        Jakutsk 62.02 129.72 1829–2014
        Helsinki 60.30 25.00 1829–2013

      • I suspected Trondhem, but Trondheim certainly isn’t “arctic” and Bergen is even less so. Bergen has a very mild, wet oceanic climate rather similar to Vancouver.

      • The problem I have with all weather stations that actually are in the Arctic is that I assume that they cannot avoid some UHI effects or at least some effects from being sheltered by buildings. Maybe some new ones are carefully sited far enough away from buildings but I doubt it. Anyone have any info on that?

  12. I’m confused. Two or three days ago climate sensitivity was reduced. Now the poles are going to get hotter faster. I’m not seeing settled here…..

    • Sheri
      You are obviously “confused” because
      you are a girl, and this here science stuff
      seems very complicated. In fact, it is so
      simple a seven year-old child could
      understand it. And if you happen to know any
      seven year-old child, could you please
      have them contact me via email
      and explain it to me?

  13. Has anyone besides me noticed those nodules in that specimen sample?

    Aren’t those the Horta’s children? And she’s drilling holes in them??????????

    Since this silly woman’s report clearly indicates that she’s missed many important aspects of her guesstimate (which might make it more credible if she had not) including but not limited to continental landmass formation, ocean currents and inland water resources at the time of that epoch, and that guesses about atmospheric content compared to current atmospheric composition are not reliable, I simply cannot take her seriously. Her conclusions are incorrect because of her failure to recognize the differences in causation.
    The whole thing is invalid whether she likes it or not.
    I need chocolate ice cream.

  14. l think the most telling thing from this report is the fact that they are having such hard time with their climate models over the Arctic warming. Why are they having such a hard time over this?.
    Because the warming in the Arctic is largely confined to the winter months and not the summer months.
    Why this is important is because it takes larger amounts of heat from the rest of the planet to warm up the Arctic during the winter. lts this unexpected heat loss that is messing up their climate models and is in large part the reason why their models overstate the warming in their forecasts.

    • You’ll have to look this up because I’m going on memory: CMIP3 got the Arctic ice way wrong so adjustments were made to CMIP5 to compensate. (Still got Arctic wrong, but not as much.) All other CMIP5 climate metrics were negatively affected and temperature predictions in IPCC AR5 had to be arbitrarily reduced in the near to medium term.

      If you want to screw with AR6, just demand that all models have to use the same historical aerosol estimates. High ECS ones will fail in their hindcasts spectacularly.

  15. It’s truly amazing what passes for ‘science’ these days! Consider just these two misconceptions that serve as the basis for their conclusions.

    “Yes, the tropics are warming but nowhere near to the same degree as the polar regions,”

    Antarctica has shown NO warming in 37 years of satellite data and South Pole temp data show NO warming in 57 years! How can anyone possibly conclude that the polar regions are warming faster than the tropics?

    “Scientists frequently look to the Eocene to understand how the Earth responds to higher levels of carbon dioxide. During the Eocene, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was more than 560 parts per million, at least twice preindustrial levels, and the epoch kicked off with a global average temperature more than 8 degrees Celsius – about 14 degrees Fahrenheit – warmer than today,”

    Over four interglacial periods spanning 800,000 years, all data shows conclusively that WARMING ALWAYS PRECEDS INCREASE IN CO2! Yet the authors ASSUME that Eocene warming was caused by excess CO2.

    • You left out the part about how during the Eocene, humans did not exist. It’s a small thing, but it emphasizes the disconnect between carbon levels and human activities.

    • Don, as you know, this isn’t really scientific investigation at all. If it was this whole project would have ended long ago.

      On the other hand, the work of yours that I have seen is the real thing, based on using real evidence to investigate the real world and make reality based conclusions, and I thank you very much for that.

  16. Climate models fail badly enough on a global scale, but on a regional scale, they are completely worthless. So it is no surprise that they fail so spectacularly…

    • Discovering that the climate models do not work well in the Eocene makes it pretty unanimous. Climate models fail to work over all time periods.

  17. They’ve dramatically over estimated past and current warming, so they make up for it by underestimating future warming.

  18. So it was 8 degrees C warmer during the Eocene, CO2 was at 560 ppm, and life not only survived but thrived. Earth’s climate from 50 million years before the burning of fossil fuels may be a good predictor of its future climate. Oh, and the climate models failed. Could there possibly be any more obvious refutation of climate alarmism?

  19. Obviously, the only difference between the Eocene and now, is that there was more CO2 during the Eocene.
    /snark

  20. Well, I’m just going to leave this here, because it confirms that CO2 is necessary to plant life, which supports animal life. Without plants, animal and insect life will suffocate and die off. Yes, I know insects are animals, just being a teensy bit specific.)

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030404071649.htm

    Fossils Show Extreme Plant Diversity In South America 50 Million Years Ago
    Date:
    April 4, 2003
    Source:
    Penn State
    Summary:
    The extreme biological diversity found in today’s New World tropical forests began much earlier than previously thought and has researchers rethinking its origins, according to an international team of researchers studying fossil plants from Argentina.

    Excerpt: “Adjusted for sample size, observed richness exceeds that of any other Eocene leaf flora, supporting an ancient history of high plant diversity in warm areas of South America,” the researchers report in today’s (April 4) issue of the journal, Science.

    Although the fossil site, 817 miles southwest of Buenos Aires, is currently in a temperate desert area, it had a warm, frost-free and moist climate with lush vegetation during the early Eocene, 52 million years ago. This period was the warmest of the past 70 million years of Earth history and predated the Andes mountain range, which currently blocks Pacific moisture from reaching the area.

    Warm is good. Keeps us alive, sheltered and fed. Cold is not, does not keep us alive, sheltered and fed.

    What’s the real problem, aside from losing grant money?

  21. Rather then waste time on trying to link the current Arctic warming to the Eocene.
    Why don’t they see how the extent over the NH where temps are at 0 C or under has changed in recent years. Because the snow cover extent suggests that there has been very little change in this in recent years despite the warming of the Arctic.

  22. “That’s something we really need to be able to understand and replicate in climate models. The fact that many models are unable to do that at the moment is worrying.”

    To whom is it worrying? Idiots? Brainwashed school children? No, even they are not worried by something this esoteric. To truly worry about something so inane, it requires a hockey team climate scientist

  23. During the Eocene, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was more than 560 parts per million, at least twice preindustrial levels, and the epoch kicked off with a global average temperature more than 8 degrees Celsius – about 14 degrees Fahrenheit – warmer than today, gradually cooling over the next 22 million years.

    According to Warmist Wisdom, first the temperature warmed, by non-CO2 means, so by magic, then the warming caused CO2 to rise, which then kicked in more warming, causing more CO2 to be released, and so on. Gosh, you would think that the oceans would have boiled away, and we would now have the atmosphere of say, Venus. But somehow, again, by magic, instead of the warming causing the oceans to boil, we cooled! Gee, go figure.

  24. Wow! For CAGW Theory, there is money hiding under every rock that they cn come across. There’s even more gold in that Settled Science yet to be found.

  25. ‘Today the difference is 28 degrees Celsius, indicating that polar regions are more sensitive to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide than the tropics.”

    It indicate no such thing! That statement was made based on the assumption that CO2 is the driving force behind all temperature changes on the planet.

    What was the absolute humidity during this time? Are they even aware that water vapour is a GHG? Are they aware that as the IR radiative gas concentrations tend to zero the temperature of the atmosphere rises due to an inability to cool?

    The study is interesting but the analysis is flawed.

    Second thing: if the Delta T is now 20 and the Arctic ocean is 3 deg C, and back in the day it was 8 deg warmer in the tropics, that means it is presently 23 C and back in the day it was 31.

    Does anyone else notice that 31 C is the maximum tropical ocean temperature attainable before the Willis cloud and thunderstorm mechanism (WCTM) kicks in? Fits perfectly with modern observations. There is an upper limit to tropical ocean temperature. Anything additional is pumped to the poles.

  26. “Troublingly, said Evans, when the team compared their data with various modern climate models under Eocene conditions, most models underestimated polar amplification by about 50 percent”

    Troubling?

    A) The climate models have failed repeatedly to model climate; even with extensive “tuning” seeking the “right” mix of inputs.

    B) Notice these alleged researchers immediately ignore the obvious answer; i.e. the climate models are failures.

    C) Notice that the immediate reaction of these alleged researchers is that somehow, without a proven mechanism, CO2 warmed the Eocene Arctic waters. No need to chart where warm water currents traveled.

    “By studying the chemical composition of fossilized foraminifera, tiny single-celled animals that lived in shallow tropical waters, a team of researchers generated precise estimates of tropical sea surface temperatures and seawater chemistry during the Eocene Epoch, 56-34 million years ago. Using these data, researchers fine-tuned estimates from previous foram studies that captured polar conditions to show tropical oceans warmed substantially in the Eocene, but not as much as polar oceans.

    Importantly, when modern climate models – the same as those used in the United Nations’ recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports – were run under Eocene conditions, many could not replicate these findings. Instead, the models consistently underestimated polar ocean warming in the Eocene.

    This discrepancy may result from a gap in our understanding of the climate system or from what we know about the Eocene, said David Evans, the study’s lead author and Leverhulme Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews’ School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. If it does indeed relate to the climate system, it raises the possibility that predictions of future polar warming are also too low.”

    “Precise”?
    Well, that is an unusual use of the word, precise.

    “This discrepancy may result from a gap in our understanding of the climate system”
    You think!? Well, that is a Doh! moment.

    “If it does indeed relate to the climate system, it raises the possibility that predictions of future polar warming are also too low”
    How in blazes do these yahoos use “If it does relate” and “predictions of future polar warming are also too low” together in one paragraph to justify CAGW?

    That gross assumption is solely based on confirmation bias and religious faith; not questioning science, applying reason and properly evaluating data!

    • “Notice that the immediate reaction of these alleged researchers is that somehow, without a proven mechanism, CO2 warmed the Eocene Arctic waters. No need to chart where warm water currents traveled.”

      The GHE of atmospheric CO2 is proven.
      That you do not accept that does not make it so.
      We have ~150 years of empirical science that says so.
      If you have evidence/theory otherwise the world awaits.

      The Eocene climate would manifest the GHE in the same way. Given that there is a source/sink (oceans) present.
      And that the earth is still wobbling on it’s orbit now, as it did then.
      And that that driver would be followed by the CO2 feed-back.
      If it came first naturally CO2 becomes the driver.
      As it must have done in order to get Earth out of an ice-ball state.

      ““This discrepancy may result from a gap in our understanding of the climate system”
      You think!? Well, that is a Doh! moment.”

      No it’s not.
      The basic thermodynamics of SW absorbed (must =) LWIR emitted is what counts for stable climate.
      It is currently not equal.
      The anthro driven GHE is the culprit.
      It may or may not have been in the Eocene …. but at the very least it was an amplifying feed-back of orbital eccentricity.

      • “Toneb January 24, 2018 at 7:09 am

        “Notice that the immediate reaction of these alleged researchers is that somehow, without a proven mechanism, CO2 warmed the Eocene Arctic waters. No need to chart where warm water currents traveled.”

        The GHE of atmospheric CO2 is proven.
        That you do not accept that does not make it so.
        We have ~150 years of empirical science that says so.
        If you have evidence/theory otherwise the world awaits.

        More mis-direction Toneb?

        List all research that proves a significant CO2 effect in the atmosphere!
        Sorry, lab experiments extrapolated to “possibilities” are not experiments regarding the atmosphere.

        Making your claims about my “beliefs” as totally fallacious. Until, alarmists providing explicit proofs, experiment verifications and independent replications.

        Nor does “your” 150 years of empirical observations provide any support or verification towards a major CO2 temperature driver. Conflating 150 sparse temperature records with extremely sparse CO2 measurements provide zero proof towards a CO2 atmosphere driver.

        Without “evidence/proof that CO2 is a major atmospheric driver, natural variation is the operating mechanism and as modern current evidence amply demonstrates very misunderstood by alleged climate researchers.

        Nor do alarmists manage to honestly portray how a miniscule amount of CO2 increase affect atmosphere temperatures through small interactive abilities with a minimal amount of infra-red frequencies.
        Water is a much more active molecule absorbing/emitting infra red frequencies.
        Water is a far higher component of the atmosphere, even in the driest environments.
        Water is active across a large swath of infra-red frequencies.

        “Toneb January 24, 2018 at 7:09 am
        The Eocene climate would manifest the GHE in the same way. Given that there is a source/sink (oceans) present.
        And that the earth is still wobbling on it’s orbit now, as it did then.
        And that that driver would be followed by the CO2 feed-back.
        If it came first naturally CO2 becomes the driver.
        As it must have done in order to get Earth out of an ice-ball state.

        Baseless unproven claim about the Eocene.
        N.B. that toneb pretends that his earlier CO2 atmospheric activity claim automatically verifies “Florida Museum of Natural History’s” pitiful research claims. That’s an incredible leap of logic based on gross assumptions.

        Then toneb follows up by throwing straw man arguments out:
        • Wobbling axis; toneb fails to explain why this validates anything.
        • “that that driver would be followed by CO2 feedback.”: The unproven CO2 atmospheric effect independent of water and many other GHG is again promoted as a major atmospheric effect.
        • Ooooh, the fears! Godzillar rises again! toneb’s “get Earth out of an ice-ball state”; now that’s an amazing assumption leap.

        ATheoK
        “This discrepancy may result from a gap in our understanding of the climate system”
        You think!? Well, that is a Doh! moment.”

        “Toneb January 24, 2018 at 7:09 am
        No it’s not.
        The basic thermodynamics of SW absorbed (must =) LWIR emitted is what counts for stable climate.
        It is currently not equal.
        The anthro driven GHE is the culprit.
        It may or may not have been in the Eocene …. but at the very least it was an amplifying feed-back of orbital eccentricity.

        Again, toneb throws out false straw man distractions:
        • Shortwave absorbed – Long Wave Infra-red = “stable climate”.
        Got that!?
        Only CO2 strictly absorbs or emits a few, very few frequencies of infra-red. Only if and when that LWIR consists of those few infra-red frequencies is CO2 involved. For the vast majority of the infrared spectrum, water vapor is the active atmospheric component.

        • “It is currently not equal”.
        Here, toneb is apparently referring to the common model of down welling and outgoing energy budget. It’s a nice simple model, totally devoid of detail and actual numbers.
        Nor does toneb, again, bother to separate out the whale’s effect on the atmosphere, versus the flea’s effect. If you haven’t figured it out; water is the whale and CO2 is the flea.

        • “The anthro driven GHE is the culprit.”
        Pure cultist advocacy!
        Especially considering that NOAA themselves through the use of the OCO-2 satellite imaged Earth’s CO2’s release from warming water and CO2’s dissolving into cooling water.
        Globally, man’s miniscule emissions compared to the global total atmospheric CO2 are barely recognizable. Which goes a long way towards explaining why NOAA and others do not research actually proving a CO2 atmospheric effect.

        Now, toneb; since the late 1800s’ the total increase of atmospheric CO2 is 1.2 molecules of CO2 per 10,000 molecules of atmosphere.
        Yet, in toneb’s advocacy world frame, those 1.2 molecules of increased CO2 raise the temperature of 9,996 other molecules substantially. This is before somehow raising the temperatures of untold amounts of ground surface and water surface molecules…

        yeah, right…

        In a physics world, those 1.2 extra CO2 molecules potentially and infinitesimally increase the lapse rate; thus slowing a few infra red frequencies escape to space.

        Unlike, feeling a temperature difference when clouds pass overhead or when a moist air mass moves in, local variations and changes in atmospheric CO2 are impossible to detect via temperature.

        “It may or may not have been in the Eocene …. but at the very least it was an amplifying feed-back of orbital eccentricity”:
        N.B. toneb’s rough “may not” admission belies toneb’s doubling down on his specious claims. Well, except for the orbital eccentricity portion. As climate science’s failed climate models repeatedly prove, assumptions regarding CO2 feedback are grossly overstated and very misunderstood!

        Or the models wouldn’t be playing the:
        Tweak that aerosols parameter,
        Tweak that clouds parameter,
        Tweak the feedback sensitivity,
        Increase the sea surface temperatures
        along with:
        NOAA wouldn’t be adjusting perfectly good temperature records or inventing temperatures where they are not collected.

      • Require all IPCC AR6 CMIP6 climate models use the exact same estimates of historical aerosol types and concentrations. I’d bet the Russian model is the only one that could hack its way out of that problem.

      • “List all research that proves a significant CO2 effect in the atmosphere!”

        None needed my friend unless you deny that the Earth does not radiate at 255k yet has a surface temp of 288k
        Yes, the majority is due WV but without CO2, WV would rain/snow out.
        I have provided research and do not propose to dance to your gainsaying.
        The are multiple ones from may lines of attack.
        I propose a radical suggestion.
        The climate scientists know more than you Mr ATheoK.
        Staggering thought for you and many on here I know.

        “Sorry, lab experiments extrapolated to “possibilities” are not experiments regarding the atmosphere.”

        I have also said recently that there are none and what’s more can be none.
        It’s a planet.
        Even if there were, the likes on here would “d” it.

        So we should give up on all lab research science? …. and super-computing modeling also just because we can’t do experiments on the atmosphere?
        Truly bizarre.
        Just because you say stuff to promote doubt my friend does make the probabilities of correctness go away.
        The “just because we don’t know anything doesn’t mean we know nothing” meme is common-sense. To say otherwise is bollocks.
        Build a time-machine and go tell Arrhenius that 150 years later no one has “proved” him wrong – I doubt he would, unlike you, be surprised that there can be no “experiments of the CO2 effect on the atmosphere” (other than the one I have linked and necessarily uses a LBL radiation transfer algorithm to determine forcing from the spectroscopically measured CO2 DWIR spectrum)
        However I’d suggest that he would be staggered that we have promoters of doubt who appear to have ideological and not scientific motivations to do so …. even there is no spare planet on hand (unless you know otherwise).

  27. How do we know that models underestimate future polar warming? Simple – we just know the future. We don’t need no damn models.

  28. It still troubles me that they dive in headfirst with if the temperature is up, CO2 must have caused it. Nobody can prove that. Nobody. So everything after is just so much blah, blah, blah.

  29. From the blurb:

    Importantly, when modern climate models – the same as those used in the United Nations’ recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports – were run under Eocene conditions, many could not replicate these findings. Instead, the models consistently underestimated polar ocean warming in the Eocene.

    This discrepancy may result from a gap in our understanding of the climate system or from what we know about the Eocene, said David Evans, the study’s lead author and Leverhulme Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews’ School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. If it does indeed relate to the climate system, it raises the possibility that predictions of future polar warming are also too low.

    In my mind it raises the very strong likelihood that the climate models have got the theory completely wrong.

    Here’s a simple question they can’t answer – if CO2 is so strong an effect, how do you get back to an ice age after an interglacial?

  30. Funny thing about the Eocene. As a geophysicist I spent a lot of time exploring for Eocene reefs which were thought to be an prolific source of oil in North Africa and worldwide. However we know now from climate science communicators that coral reefs are simply not possible under such conditions of CO2 and temperature. What were we thinking about? We science deniers to be wasting our time drfilling such dogs.
    And yet and where did the billions of barrels in Intisar D reef come from?

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