Moving The Goalposts: IPCC Secretly Redefines what ‘Climate’ means

From the “watch the pea under the thimble” department, the IPCC appears to have secretly changed the definition of what constitutes ‘climate’ by mixing existing and non-existing data

By Dr. David Whitehouse, The GWPF

The definition of ‘climate’ adopted by the World Meteorological Organisation is the average of a particular weather parameter over 30 years. It was introduced at the 1934 Wiesbaden conference of the International Meteorological Organisation (WMO’s precursor) because data sets were only held to be reliable after 1900, so 1901 – 1930 was used as an initial basis for assessing climate. It has a certain arbitrariness, it could have been 25 years.

For its recent 1.5°C report the IPCC has changed the definition of climate to what has been loosely called “the climate we are in.” It still uses 30 years for its estimate of global warming and hence climate – but now it is the 30 years centred on the present.

There are some obvious problems with this hidden change of goalposts. We have observational temperature data for the past 15 years but, of course, none for the next 15 years. However, never let it be said that the absence of data is a problem for inventive climate scientists.

Global warming is now defined by the IPCC as a speculative 30-year global average temperature that is based, on one hand, on the observed global temperature data from the past 15 years and, on the other hand, on assumed global temperatures for the next 15 years. This proposition was put before the recent IPCC meeting at Incheon, in the Republic of Korea and agreed as a reasonable thing to do to better communicate climate trends. Astonishingly, this new IPCC definition mixes real and empirical data with non-exiting and speculative data and simply assumes that a short-term 15-year trend won’t change for another 15 years in the future.

However, this new definition of climate and global warming is not only philosophically unsound, it is also open to speculation and manipulation. It is one thing to speculate what the future climate might be; but for the IPCC to define climate based on data that doesn’t yet exist and is based on expectations of what might happen in the future is fraught with danger.

This strategy places a double emphasis on the temperature of the past 15 years which was not an extrapolation of the previous 15 years, and was not predicted to happen as it did. Since around the year 2000, nature has taught us a lesson the IPCC has still not learned.

With this new definition of climate all data prior to 15 years ago is irrelevant as they are part of the previous climate. Let’s look at the past 15 years using Hadcrut4. The first figure shows 2003-2017.

It’s a well-known graph that shows no warming trend – except when you add the El Nino at the end, which of course is a weather event and not climate. The effect of the El Nino on the trend is significant. With it the trend for the past 15 years is about 0.15° C per decade, close to the 0.2 per decade usually quoted as the recent decadal trend. Before the El Nino event, however, the warming trend is a negligible 0.02° C per decade and statistically insignificant.

 

The second graph shows the 15 years before the recent El Nino, i.e. 2000-2014. The trend over this period is influenced by the start point which is a deep La Nina year. Without it the trend is 0.03 °C per decade – statistically insignificant. Note that there are minor El Ninos and La Ninas during this period but they tend to have a small net effect.

So which does one choose? The El Nino version that leads to 0.6° C warming over the 30 years centred on the present, or the non-El Nino version that suggests no significant warming? The latter of course, because the trend should be as free from contamination of short-term weather evens — in the same way as they are free from decreases caused by aerosols from volcanoes blocking out the sun and causing global cooling for a while.

The same problem can be seen in the IPCC’s 1.5C report when it analyses the decade 2006-2015 which it does extensively. In this specific decade 2015 is significantly warmer than the other years, by about 0.2°C. NOAA said, “The global temperatures in 2015 were strongly influenced by strong El Nino conditions that developed during the year.” The temperature trend including the El Nino year of 2015 is 0.2°C, that future again. Without the El Nino the trend is statistically insignificant.

To see the future temperature and climate the IPCC envisage in their report consider their Summary for Policy Makers figure 1, (click on image to enlarge.)

 

The IPCC’s attempt to move the goalposts is highly questionable. Non-existing data extrapolated for assumed temperature trends over the next 15 years should not be part of a formal definition of what constitutes climate.


UPDATE: From the IPCC Summary for Policymakers report, page 4, there is this footnote that defines the IPCC’s erroneous thinking. – Anthony

Advertisements

216 thoughts on “Moving The Goalposts: IPCC Secretly Redefines what ‘Climate’ means

      • Ah, but is it pure scientific fraud, in the words of super-serial litigant (and thin-skinned ring-bark obsessive) Michael Mann?

        No, just kidding. Little about climate politics is pure, much less scientific.

      • So the 30 y average is no longer a 30y average, it is a 15y average .

        Spin it how you like it is still only an overage of 15y of data.

          • Mark,

            Fifteen years of adjusted, pretend “data”, plus 15 years of only slightly less GIGO modeling.

          • They are treating it like it’s data when they don’t even know its sign! Laughable crap dressed up in a lab coat for Hallo’ween.

          • “Laughable crap dressed up in a lab coat for Hallo’ween.”

            A lab coat is the emporer’s new clothing.

          • That’s what I love about “socialized” science. /s
            It’s a shell game where only information which supports the ideology is revealed. It’s lies mixed with half truths. The end justifies the means – honesty, transparency, and full disclosure are not virtues of socialized science.

    • X 1000
      Putrid, disgusting, despicable, devious. And just scientifically and intellectually simple. Come on all alarmists – defend this deception or forever be treated as fraudsters. My wife would say “You’d better get out of his way – he’s angry now”

    • and, in my opinion, absolutely to be expected from that utterly corrupt, self referenced, fraud committing pack of shysters.

      • from the article:
        “Global warming is now defined by the IPCC as a speculative 30-year global average temperature that is based, on one hand, on the observed global temperature data from the past 15 years and, on the other hand, on assumed global temperatures for the next 15 years. ”

        One BIG problem – the IPCC has NEVER been correct about their modelled predictions (aka “projections”) of future global temperatures – they have never even been close, because their models all run much too hot.

        In the vernacular, the IPCC can’t find it’s ass with both hands. These people are not at all credible – they are the Clowns of Climate.

    • Why do we keep saying the “IPCC” like it’s not real people doing this. Why not call them out by name. Why not list a few of the authors every time the term “IPCC” is used.

    • Ice extent changes with temperature changes.
      100% of all scientists know this.
      97% believe temperature changes cause ice extent changes.
      3% believe ice extent causes temperature changes.

      This is what 100% of the ice core proxy data shows.
      It snows more in warmer times when more oceans are thawed and it does get colder after that.
      It snows less in colder times when more oceans are frozen and it does get warmer after that.

      • The Thermostat setting for this self correcting forcing is the temperature that the sea ice freezes and thaws.
        That is why the Greenland Ice Cores and the Antarctic ice cores show the high temperatures are bounded at the same limit.
        In the coldest of times, the Greenland Ice Cores show temperatures bound at the same upper limit but at a much colder lower limit during the smaller cycles during the long cold. That is because the ice extent does get much larger in the NH during the long cold of a major ice age.

        Facts like these are very important in understanding ice ages and warm periods. Everyone seems to only look at external forcing and never consider the earth climate cycles involve mass and spring rates. The mass is the water and ice that takes part in a climate cycle. The spring rates are the snowfall rates that depend on temperature and thawed open ocean areas. Consensus and Lukewarm people never consider that the earth climate system has internal cycles. External forcing sometimes resonate with the cycles and sometimes against the cycles. Ice extent and temperature are always in lock step phase with each other. Cover 10% of the floors in your house with ice and see what the temperature drops to in the rest of the house. Cover 30% of the floors in your house with ice and see what the temperature drops to in the rest of the house. Consider that on a earth size scale test.

  1. I hereby define “personal net worth” to be: my savings & assets accumulated over the past 40 years, plus the $100 million lottery winnings when my ticket hits the number next month.

    Good enough for IPCC, good enough for me.

  2. Next thing you know, the Federal Government will want me to claim my future projected earnings over the next 15 years as potential income and pay the appropriate taxes on it next year.

  3. There simply is no end to the degree of distortion, deception and dishonesty that the UN IPCC and climate alarmist propagandists and their media tricksters won’t resort to which throughly misrepresents the phony world of climate alarmism.

  4. I am not a scientist, I’ll say upfront, but does this not contravene the very definition of science and take it into the realm of astrology and economics? Hazy and impossible to prove or disprove!
    More proof they know they are a pack of liars desperately trying to force a round peg into a square hole.

  5. “The next time you apply for a home loan, make sure you include last years salary, and your forecast of your next years income in the average you tell the bank. Mix the numbers together, use bad statistics, and you’ll get a number you want. Never forget to take into account human fantasy when making projections, that’s how you get what you want out of life.” —- Banker acting like the IPCC

    • Minority Report? Could you elaborate?

      While the sum total added to human knowledge by ‘climate science’ could probably be engraved on a small wooden ball, I’m yet to see any signs of precognition on the part of our learned friends. Prediction having proven too hard for them, they now appear to content themselves with projection—but hey, enough about Lewandowsky. 😉

  6. and simply assumes that a short-term 15-year trend won’t change for another 15 years in the future….

    That’s all they have been able to do for the past 30 years….extend a straight line

    $billions on computers…to do something you can do with a $1 ruler…any changes have been from adjusting past or present temps…not from computer models

  7. “However, this new definition of climate and global warming is not only philosophically unsound, it is also open to speculation and manipulation.”

    Same goes for the original definition of climate.

    Andrew

    • It does appear that if climate is limited to a 30-yr average, it is whether that determines climate, not vice versa. Given year to year variability, it would be surprising not to find that climate changes when you replace the numbers from 30 years ago with this year’s data.

  8. Extrapolating from the past 15 years to the next can easily be shown unjustified.

    Some scientists in 1977 worried about a return of glacial conditions, based upon the previous 15 years of pronounced cooling (indeed ~32 years). Yet in the real world, by 1992, some of the same scientists were then worried about runaway global warming. And by 2007, we were well into the “Pause”.

    • In 1975, we were here:

      The models say we would be colder now than in 1975 if not for the miracle molecule:

      If not for the miracle molecule, That 70’s Climate Science Show would have lasted more seasons than The Simpsons!

      • In that case, then the Magic Molecule has been a great Godsend for plants, children and other living things!

        Had the dramatic cooling trend of 1945-77 lasted another 32 years, ie until 2009, and beyond, we’d either be producing a lot more magic molecules or starving and freezing in the dark.

      • “The models say we would be colder now than in 1975 if not for the miracle molecule:”

        You will need to prove that David!

        I don’t believe the modern climate models can show a cooling trend without being fudged forcibly to do so.

        IPCC basing 15 years of alleged climate on models is an eco-wobbly attempt to use model failures in support of IPCC and EU delusions.

          • That makes it your model, not the official activist climate models.
            Plus, you are guessing. There may be multiple code components interacting improperly.
            Remember, “Harry, read me”.

            Any functional business would have cashiered such inept programmers and the model designers long ago. They would have brought in engineers to dismantle the climate programs and analyze module results to identify which code modules passed erroneous results.

            Nor do businesses waste time coding in “predictions”, like drought, floods, heat waves, etc.
            Models are to produce estimates. Skilled analyzers interpret the data to provide possible events.
            The repeated failure of climate models exemplifies the inability of the models to replicate or successfully model climate. Worse, the repeated failure of climate models highlights the failures of those who manage or design the models.

            Only governments can waste time and money on models that do not work reliably and accurately.

            Nor do I believe a “climate model” can work without including H₂O’s evaporation, condensation, conduction, convection and broad spectrums of light frequency activity.

  9. Isn’t this why we do not rely on shamans and witchdoctors?
    This is an intellectual plague.
    Get away fast, isolate yourself from the dangerously ignorant, stay away as long as you can.

  10. Nice! Given that past global temperatures are based on a small part of the earth’s surface since most of the oceans and much of the continents are not sampled, the new temperature trends are based on even less data than before.

    I was going to add: “You couldn’t make it up”, but …

  11. Anthony, a clarification: The new definition of GLOBAL WARMING (not necessarily of “climate”) can be found as Footnote 5 on page SPM4 of the IPCC’s Summary for Policymakers for SR-15.
    http://report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_final.pdf
    They write:
    “5 Present level of global warming is defined as the average of a 30-year period centered on 2017 assuming the recent rate of warming continues.”

    I’ll check the rest of the report.

    Cheers,
    Bob

    • To continue, the Technical Summary for that report…
      http://report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_ts.pdf
      …expands on the new definition in the second paragraph on page 4, under the heading of “TS1: Framing and Context”.
      There they write:
      “Human-induced warming reached approximately 1°C (±0.2°C likely range) above pre-industrial levels in 2017, increasing at 0.2°C (±0.1°C) per decade (high confidence). Global warming is defined in this report as an increase in combined surface air and sea surface temperatures averaged over the globe and a 30-year period. Unless otherwise specified, warming is expressed relative to the period 1850-1900, used as an approximation of pre-industrial temperatures in AR5. For periods shorter than 30 years, warming refers to the estimated average temperature over the 30 years centered on that shorter period, accounting for the impact of any temperature fluctuations or trend within those 30 years. Accordingly, warming up to the decade 2006-2015 is assessed at 0.87°C (±0.12°C likely range). Since 2000, the estimated level of human-induced warming has been equal to the level of observed warming with a likely range of ±20% accounting for uncertainty due to contributions from solar and volcanic activity over the historical period (high confidence). {1.2.1}”

      Oy!

      Cheers,
      Bob

      • “warming is expressed relative to the period 1850-1900, used as an approximation of pre-industrial temperatures in AR5”

        So the base line is from a period over 118 years ago and THAT is an approximation.
        Someone please explain why these people should get even one more penny.

        • An approximation based on very sparse data that had a low accuracy. Wonderful, just wonderful. In other words, they really don’t know how much the “global temperature” has increased since 1900; they are just guessing.

    • Well… That makes all the difference then.

      It’s not a fake definition of climate… It’s just a fake definition of the current climatology.

      //Sarc

      • David, bottom line is, the nincompoops had to redefine “climate” in order to redefine “global warming”.

        Cheers.

        • I think the only word they haven’t redefined is the word “redefine”… Oh wait, they did redefine “redefine”…

          LOL!

    • Bob,

      I presume then that by “recent”, IPCC means since 2002-3. But whatever warming happened from 2003-17 was thanks to the super El Nino of 2015-16, and its build up.

      Since February 2016, Earth has resumed cooling, so the now trend is down.

    • I found the more-detailed new definition in the document titled “Changes to the Underlying Scientific-Technical Assessment to ensure consistency with the approved Summary for Policymakers”
      http://report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_approved_trickle_backs.pdf

      There, they write:
      “Global warming – replace glossary definition with version in SPM Box 1: The estimated increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) averaged over a 30-year period, or the 30-year period centered on a particular year or decade, expressed relative to preindustrial levels unless otherwise specified. For 30-year periods that span past and future years, the current multi-decadal warming trend is assumed to continue.”

      Again, it’s a definition of “global warming” not “climate”.

      Cheers,
      Bob

      • PS: The new definition is what happens when politicians are allowed to dictate the “science”.

        How pathetic!!!

        How could any scientist with even the smallest amount of self-respect live with political nonsense like that?

        Regards,
        Bob

        • Gotta love their brazenly chutzpaceous admission that the “underlying technical assessment” (the section that kindasorta might be said to retain some vestige of scienciness) is doctored to match the SPMs (the fluff drafted in an unholy line-by-line alliance with gov’t attaches via the Tropicopolitical Method), not vice versa.

          As The History of the Climate Debate puts it:
          _______________________

          1988: IPCC created

          The Panel’s function is to periodically provide a big room—ideally in a hotel or resort—where Policy gets a unique chance to tell Science what to tell Policy to do, in a policy-neutral way.

    • Anthony, as a belated PS to my first comment: Using the 15-year trend starting at time “x” as a predictor of the 30-year trend also starting at time “x” assumes the 15-year trend is a reasonable predictor of the 30-year trend, does it not?
      But as we can see, it is not:

      Cheers,
      Bob

      • Don’t play into there hands with “anomaly” data. Always plot the data on a scale identical to a hardware store porch thermometer, or at least half the thermometer.

        • GogogoStopSTOP, first off, the graph I posted presents 15-year and 30-year trends. It makes no difference to the trends whether they are taken from anomalies or from data in absolute form.

          Second, please provide a link to a well-documented dataset of global surface temperatures in absolute form, with the data beginning in 1850 and running to present and I would be happy to include it in my monthly updates. Until that time, you’re wasting your breath complaining about anomalies.

          And, for example, because I compare sea surface temperature data from around the globe occasionally, please advise how I would provide a comparison of Southern Hemisphere and Northern Hemisphere sea surface temperatures that’s easy to read and comprehend without using anomalies. See Chapter 2.7 in my free ebook linked below for a further discussion:
          https://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/v2-tisdale-who-turned-on-the-heat-free-edition.pdf

          Regards,
          Bob

      • the clear 70 year signal (3 peaks, two valleys) on the 30 year trends shows that any calculation over a period of less than 140 years isn’t a climate signal. It’s just normal variation.

        In signal processing, we usually demand 5 cycles. Let’s see what the climate is in 350 years.

        Absurd? Yes, but also accurate. You cannot sample a long period signal with a short window and get anything other than “wrong” out of it.

      • Bob,

        So you’re plotting trends of trends? Sorry, I’m not a math wizard – why do you do that, based on the definition?

  12. How can any organization that claims they are made of scientist go from science to astrology and claim any credibility. Well at least 50% of the people are below average intelligence and 40% more don’t bother to really read the details that give these charlatans 90% of the population. No matter, soon it will cool and they will have to go on to the global cooling scare again.

  13. Even the old International Meteorological Organization definition is more than a bit deficient, as there was history of rather more than the past 30 years, and what the climate was like in 1800 or so was noticeably different than 1930, even if the records were a bit dodgy.
    Even using quality raw data, any presumption that warming trends continue indefinitely is unsupported. Most of the claims of long term warming trends with no dips are clearly cooked.

  14. “this footnote that defines the IPCC’s erroneous thinking”
    No, it reflects the normal meaning of the word. To re-highlight,
    Present level of global warming is defined an the average of a 30 year period centered on 2017.
    You define the concept first, and then figure out how to estimate it. The footnote refers to an estimated rise from pre-industrial to 2017.

    • C’mon Nick. They are using a base line from 1850-1900 that is an approximation. Even you cannot defend that.

      • Of course it is an approximation. They are trying to estimate the rise from pre-industrial. Because you have imperfect information to quantify a concept doesn’t mean the definition of the concept is wrong.

        • The concept has no application, if there is not 30 years of real data to define it. The concept does not exist yet in the future. Confusing known climate periods with projected climate periods is the problem.

          They are equating real climate with fictional climate, and THIS is illegitimate application of what Nick is calling … “the concept”. There are TWO concepts here — (1) climate and (2) projected climate, and these two are being horribly confused in this ill conceived fabrication that tries to lead people into merging them into the same concept.

          It’s bull shit.

        • No, but the conclusion can be wrong. And the policies persuant.
          Nick, read the tables of rewording above and ask yourself if they are high quality science or devious manipulations by scheming minds working to an agenda, with estimates of confidence and certainty that are unsupportable by good scientific procedure. I will not be so unkind as to use expressions like “raving nut cases”, but you know what I mean. The heavy reliance on the subjective guesses of authors is indefensible and a crook technique that I have not seen before in hard science. To me, it reads as a deliberate corruption of established science, a prop they are using to cover an absence or lack of hard data. That is, propaganda technique.
          Can you, with your experience, mount a defence for the use of guesswork with subjective estimates of confidence? How do YOU put confidence limits around guesses? Geoff

      • You can’t estimate global temperatures from this period because it’s not available anywhere unless you use proxies or very limited regional data sets like the CET. Even with proxies global temperatures still not really true.

        This main issue is that the IPCC choice a period form a base line that has virtually no global coverage of data for most of it. How anyone can defend this just shows they are not interested in science.

        “Because you have imperfect information to quantify a concept doesn’t mean the definition of the concept is wrong.”

        The definition of the concept is wrong when it’s NOT based on global temperatures because they weren’t available then and this relies on them being so.

    • “Present level of global warming is defined an the average of a 30 year period centered on 2017.”

      Sooo… the PRESENT level of warming is defined by the future? That’s the normal meaning of the word?

      And if they decide to speculate a 10 degree rise in temperature in the next 15 years that means current warming is astounding?

      • “That’s the normal meaning of the word?”
        Yes. The level of global warming in (Jan) 2003 is defined as the average of rise from 1998 to 2017. The level in 2017 is defined as the average trend from 2012 to 2031. It may not be immediately obvious in 2017, but that is what it is.

        • Then it’s a useless definition (concept) at best, and at worst it’s a damn lie meant to deceive. If you can’t see this, then you are not as intelligent as I thought you were.

          • The definition is NOT fine, because it is a big confusion of TWO definitions trying to be forced into one erroneously.

            (1) Climate = 30 years of real data

            (2) Projected climate = some years of real data + some years of projected data

            The two are NOT the same concept. One is based on pure observational input. Two is based on half observational and half best guesstimate. One is pure reality. Two is half real and half fantasy.

            Half real + half fantasy = ALL fantasy

        • Mr. Stokes You said:

          ““That’s the normal meaning of the word?”
          Yes. The level of global warming in (Jan) 2003 is defined as the average of rise from 1998 to 2017. The level in 2017 is defined as the average trend from 2012 to 2031. It may not be immediately obvious in 2017, but that is what it is.”

          I am a little confused by this so I would appreciate some clarification:

          1) Shouldn’t the 30 year level of Global Warming centered on 2003 be the average of temperatures from 1988 to 2017?

          2) If the level in 2017 is defined as the average trend from 2012 to 2031, isn’t that value indeterminate until you have all of the actual temperatures in the range from 2012 to 2031?

          • “Shouldn’t the 30 year level of Global Warming centered on 2003 be the average of temperatures from 1988 to 2017”
            Yes, typo, sorry.

            “isn’t that value indeterminate until you have all of the actual temperatures”
            Possibly. But we are in 2017 (well, were) and people want to estimate to see where we stand. And you need a best (imperfect) estimate of the right thing, not a better estimate of the wrong.

            It’s basically the concept of a centered average. It’s well accepted that a moving average should be attributed to the centre of the time range (a centered moving average). That is as true for 2017 as it is for 2003. The fact that in 2017 we only have half the data is a knock on the quality of the estimate. But to assess 2017, it’s no good saying that it is represented by 1986-2017. That is the estimate for 2003.

          • But you can’t logically average an undetermined future data into a grouping of empirical data and treat it as equally empirical just by assuming what that future dataset might be is what it will be. It is highly improper to do so and treat it as actual data.

          • Mr. Stokes:

            Thanks for the reply.

            To the question “isn’t that value indeterminate until you have all of the actual temperatures” you said:

            “Possibly. But we are in 2017 (well, were) and people want to estimate to see where we stand. And you need a best (imperfect) estimate of the right thing, not a better estimate of the wrong.”

            What basis would we have for assuming that the “best (imperfect) estimate” is better than the “better estimate of the wrong”?

          • “What basis would we have for assuming that the “best (imperfect) estimate” is better than the “better estimate of the wrong”?”
            It’s like the old story of where do you look for your keys? Where you dropped them, where it’s dark, or down the street, where it is lighter?

          • ” It is highly improper to do so and treat it as actual data.”
            So who did that? That is the problem with this stuff – no-one quotes what the IPCC said that is supposed to be wrong. The update did, but that is a footnote to an estimate over a much longer period. The actual IPCC statement is this
            ” Human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming⁵ above pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of 0.8°C to 1.2°C. “
            Obviously they allow for quite a lot of uncertainty at either end.

          • Could you be any more pathetic in defending this nonsense? Even aside from your glaring error in simple mathematics (“The level in 2017 is defined as the average trend from 2012 to 2031″…try 2002-2031 on for size), this spin is absurd even by your standards.

          • Mr. Stokes, you said:

            “It’s like the old story of where do you look for your keys? Where you dropped them, where it’s dark, or down the street, where it is lighter?”

            I take this to mean that we have no assurance whatsoever that the “best (imperfect) estimate” is better than the “better estimate of the wrong”, but since this is all we have, we are going to use it.

            I am not a Scientist nor do I play one on TV, but I think that if you are going to use this sort of method to calculate the 30 year level of Global Warming centered on 2017, you are obligated to make it very clear to all who use this value that it is a low-confidence estimate and should be used with extreme caution.

          • ” you are obligated to make it very clear to all who use this value that it is a low-confidence estimate and should be used with extreme caution”
            Well, don’t be hypothetical; quote what they actually say. I did that for this occasion:
            ” Human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming5 above pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of 0.8°C to 1.2°C. “

          • Mr. Stokes, you said:

            “Well, don’t be hypothetical; quote what they actually say. I did that for this occasion: ‘Human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming5 above pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of 0.8°C to 1.2°C.'”

            True, that is what they said about their current estimate of the impact of human activities on Global Warming, but I don’t see how that +-0.2C error in their estimate is in any way related to calculating the 30 year level of Global Warming centered on 2017 since we have no way of knowing (until 2031) what the actual error is in their projections of the temperature from 2018 to 2031. An error of +-0.2C in their projections would seem highly unlikely given the current performance of the existing climate models.

          • “An error of +-0.2C in their projections would seem highly unlikely”
            I presume you mean that estimate is too low. But check the arithmetic. We already have half the data. So a deviation of 0.2 would require a deviation of 0.4 in the second half. That would actually require an error of 0.8 °C/decade in trend, or 8°/Century. I doubt if they used models for this estimate; more likely simple extrapolation. You’d get much the same answer (within the error range) if you assumed constant temperature in the future.

            The ±0.2° of course includes the error of the earlier period. But it is still a large range. The point is that they are talking about a lot of years, and uncertainty at the endpoints plays a limited role.

          • Mr. Stokes, you said: “I doubt if they used models for this estimate; more likely simple extrapolation. You’d get much the same answer (within the error range) if you assumed constant temperature in the future.”

            Even if that is true, the question is whether the answer you get has any relationship to the actual temperatures that will occur in the 2018 to 2031 time frame and since there doesn’t appear to be any way of assessing this, I don’t understand how one could have any confidence in a method of calculating an estimated temperatures using 15 years of real data and 15 years of projected temperatures.

          • ” I don’t understand how one could have any confidence in a method of calculating an estimated temperatures using 15 years of real data and 15 years of projected temperatures”
            But again, you don’t quote what they are saying, and create a strawman. They aren’t doing that. They are estimating the change over about 150 years. In that range uncertainty that affects the last few points in the range has a relatively small effect.

          • Nick,
            As usual, you are spouting sophistry! That is, you said, “You just have to wait a bit to find out.” That is like predicting a home run before the batter even swings. A lot can happen between the pitch and arriving back at home plate! The definition is NOT “fine” if it has no utility except to scare the public with extrapolations that can’t be verified for 15 years. It reminds me of Hansen’s ‘trick’ of hypothesizing a major volcanic eruption in 2014 to justify reducing the Scenario B and C temps, and then claiming how good his 1988 prediction was, based on something that didn’t happen. That is, the Scenario C (severe mitigation) would have been much higher than actual temperatures had he not introduced a hypothetical eruption that never happened. It is all smoke and mirrors!

          • The interesting part is given Nicks background he hasn’t mentioned better ways to do the projection, of which there are many and he stays silent on. That thing again of the IPCC not using experts in the field they should be used in.

            It’s all sort of moot, only a couple of small Nordic countries have made inroads into there emissions and no politicians in major countries have the political capital to be able to go any further. Grab your popcorn and watch the fun and games in Poland 🙂

          • I presume you mean that estimate is too low. But check the arithmetic. We already have half the data. So a deviation of 0.2 would require a deviation of 0.4 in the second half.

            Nick try doing the arithmetic centered on 1977 only using the prior 15 years and “continuing the (then cooling) trend” into the next 15 years and see if a deviation of 0.2 is justified when you compare your calculated results to the actuals!

          • Mr. Stokes:

            I believe we have reached an impasse in our discussion because you believe I am using a strawman argument by not using the IPCC estimate of Human Impact on Global Warming to assess the accuracy of a method to calculate the temperature of the Climate using 15 real data points and 15 projected temperatures and I believe you are using a strawman argument by quoting the IPCC estimate of the Human Impact on Global Warming in relation to this method as I believe the IPCC estimate of the Human Impact on Global Warming is irrelevant to accessing the accuracy of this method.

            Thank you for your patience in answering my questions. One of the reasons I like the Web Site is that knowledgeable people such as yourself are willing to answer questions posed by non-scientist such as myself. I don’t always agree with their answers but I greatly respect their willingness to participate in the discussions on the Web Site.

        • What is more predictable than climate change trends?

          The fact that Nick Stokes would show up to defend this crap statistical method.

          Nick is in fact more predictable than climate, while he’s high entropy, the mean of his noise is a very predictable path.

    • They could have stated the definition better:

      The current level of global warming is the point on a linear regression line of the last 15 years of global temperature anomaly data at the last point on the 15-year line, the year 2017.

      They are not using any other data or fabricating any data, just defining it in a horrendous way.

    • I use estimates to scope out the feasibility of a project, but before I spend any money I measure everything first. If I can’t, then I wait until I can. Before spending trillions on mitigation efforts, I would say it’s imperative we do the same with CAGW. But right now, it’s all estimates. If that’s the best we can do (and it probably is right now), then we must wait until we can really measure it. In the meantime we will adapt as we always have. Do you seriously think that a few degrees of warming, even if it happened, would make the planet uninhabitable for mankind?

      • The problem for this new definition of ‘climate’ is not that it is described and now a new measure.
        Yes, these things are true.
        The problem is that it is ‘climatology of the gaps’, a faith based identity of something not measured.
        As such it is usefull to argue about, but useless to adding understanding.
        Until it is ultimately measured.

        • Lewis,

          Yes, this is CACA Young Earth fundamentalism.

          If only its adherents could see themselves as others see them.

    • Present level of global warming is defined an the average of a 30 year period centered on 2017.

      Thank you, Nick.

      I’ve always read your comments, because you occasionally provide some insight, and are almost invariably polite. You seem to be increasingly wrong, however, but I’ve been giving you the benefit of doubt.

      This statement in support of such a ridiculous and fraudulent scientific practice reveals your inherent bias in sharp detail.

      I no longer need to give you any benefit of doubt nor read your comments, for which I am grateful.

    • Oh, Nick Nick Nick,

      Your grandfather would be ashamed.

      As they taught me in engineering school, interpolation must frequently be used.

      As they say in court, Extrapolation “assumes facts not in evidence.”

      You should just retire, assuming that you do not need the money any more.

      Goodness

  15. “When I use a word,” Climate Schmimate said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Climate Schmimate, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

  16. “Since around the year 2000, nature has taught us a lesson the IPCC has still not learned” No, I think the did learn the lesson, hence the change to “climate futures” as half of the baseline. Pretty clever bit of marketing to hedge against cooling.

  17. Mathematically speaking, isn’t a 30-year average that uses the trend of the first 15-year half, just the 15-year average up to the present? You could just as easily use a 60-year trend centered on 15 years from now, with 15 years of data and 45 years extrapolated.

  18. I can’t see what the problem is, They have been fabricating about half the surface data for most of the last 30 years already

    This is not much of a change.

  19. I think this definition is intended as a guide to what is expected in future from the data-adjusting fraternity.

  20. Why not go the whole hog, and just decree that “present” climate is what it will be from now to AD 2100, and dispense with troublesome observations of the past altogether?

    Modeled projections show the One True Climate, and data since AD 1850 aren’t to be trusted, let alone believed.

  21. Well, this is not that surprising, really.

    Originally, the definition of “climate change” was hijacked by a definition (in the minds of those hijacking the term) that means ONLY “human caused climate change” — they just started leaving out the “human-caused” part, to try to force everybody to talk about ONLY what they wanted to talk about, in the way they wanted to talk about it.

    See, by having a select few people redefine a word or phrase, unbeknownst to the general public, these select people can talk about the new term in such a way that the general public thinks that they might be talking about how the word or phrase used to be used, but now is NOT used by those speaking the word or phrase loudest.

    This way, when one side argues about “climate change” from one perspective, the select group using the phrase in their own hijacked way, can accuse this opposing side of being a denier, when, in fact this side is NOT even talking about the human part — they are just talking about changing climate in general.

    By hijacking language this way, climate alarmists insidiously manipulate words in their favor, by being deniers themselves of the original definitions of words that the general public understood those words to be. This tactic confuses everybody, because basic hidden assumptions of the language being used are not clarified upfront. People, then, do not even know what they are disagreeing about, and one side can claim a victory based on one understanding of the language, while the other side can claim a victory based on a DIFFERENT understanding of the language.

    I mean, why even have much of any real data at all ? Why not project the center point fifteen years into the future, and then start the data now, and end it with totally synthesized data for the next thirty years ?

    Let’s just define “climate” to mean “a thirty-year pattern of weather patterns that exists ONLY in computer models”? This makes about as much sense as half real data, half computer-projected data. Why have any token real data at all ? That just messes up the illusion.

  22. Looks like to me from the graph,(SPM figure 1 above) about year 2050, even if there is “no reduction in forcing” we stabilize out at 2 degrees of warming, no further warming.

    So, I guess those CO2 IR bands really do saturated out.

    No problem, since at least that first degree or so will have many benefits !

  23. Oh my. If only NFL and college football kickers could do the same thing that the IPCC and their fellow climate alarmists are doing to keep the climate scare narrative alive and kicking. If football kickers could put the upright goal posts wherever they pleased during a field goal or extra point attempt, life would be soooo much easier for them.

    Three Sundays ago, Green Bay Packer kicker Mason Crosby missed a total of five kick attempts (a mix of field goal attempts and extra points) against the Detroit Lions. One could conceivably argue that it cost the Packers the football game. Unfortunately, Crosby’s bad day at the office received quite a bit of media attention and probably made him feel like burying his head in the ground.

    The IPCC and climate alarmist camp need to meet with the NFL and convince the league that the goal posts in football need to be infinitely mobile during the game for the convenience of the kickers. With their expertise in moving the climate scare goal posts, the climate alarmist camp could argue that mobile goal posts would dramatically improve scoring opportunities in football.

    Hey, if it works in the climate scare, it will work in football. Mason Crosby would have had a much better day at the office that day in Detroit. Makes perfect sense to me. /sarc

  24. Got it… We’ll use the last 15 years of recorded data (adjusted as necessary) and the next 15 years of “projected” data from the models. Why not just update the recorded data to include the next 15 years, after all they’ve already MADE IT UP!!!

  25. this new IPCC definition mixes real and empirical data with non-exiting and speculative data and simply assumes that a short-term 15-year trend won’t change for another 15 years in the future. –>

    this new IPCC definition mixes real and empirical data with non-existing and speculative data and simply assumes that a short-term 15-year trend won’t change for another 15 years in the future.

      • Nick says, “It isn’t a new definition. It is the ancient and correct usage of a centered moving average.”

        Nick, you obviously haven’t bothered to read the IPCC’s SR15 “Changes to the Underlying Scientific-Technical Assessment to ensure consistency with the approved Summary for Policymakers”, which I posted above.
        http://report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_approved_trickle_backs.pdf

        Scroll forward to the final page (page 16). As quoted above in my comment here…
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/10/29/moving-the-goalposts-ipcc-secretly-redefines-what-climate-means/#comment-2503842
        …There, they write:
        “Global warming – replace glossary definition with version in SPM Box 1: The estimated increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) averaged over a 30-year period, or the 30-year period centered on a particular year or decade, expressed relative to preindustrial levels unless otherwise specified. For 30-year periods that span past and future years, the current multi-decadal warming trend is assumed to continue.”

        Let me repeat it, Nick: “Global warming – replace glossary definition…”

        And as I noted here…
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/10/29/moving-the-goalposts-ipcc-secretly-redefines-what-climate-means/#comment-2503933
        …David, bottom line is, the nincompoops had to redefine “climate” in order to redefine “global warming”.

        Cheers.

        • “Let me repeat it, Nick: “Global warming – replace glossary definition…””
          That is just a notation on a draft, saying to replace that particular text with another version to be consistent with what is previously said in the SPM of the same document. Drafts do change – there are pages and pages listed there. If you think it is an actual change of policy, spell it out. What did the IPCC say before? – quote it. What do they say now? – quote it.

          • Indeed. but I’d suggest that the benefit from the expenditure of bandwidth’s isn’t for Nick, it’s for all the others reading the thread.

          • John Endicott,
            Yes, there are some people who actually believe the misinformation that Nick puts out. I think it is worth my time to call him on it, even though he has NEVER admitted being wrong.

      • “It isn’t a new definition. It is the ancient and correct usage of a centered moving average.”

        It’s where it’s centered, that’s the problem. You can’t call it 30 years when you don’t have 30 years of data. Why is that difficult?

  26. Mr. Layman here.
    I’ve always thought that if an average is going to be used, it should be at least 60 years and not 30 years.
    (Or maybe even the average going back into the 1800’s?)
    Again, “Mr. Layman here”, isn’t there a 60 year cycle to some weather patterns?
    The “present” climate thing seems to be reducing the 30 years to only 15 past years (from 2017) with the rest of the 15 years being climate model projections (a “hot” topic just to heat things up … and get rid of the “pause”?).
    (Hmmm…maybe based using the computer in the dashboard of Dr. Brown’s DeLorean?)

    “and get rid of the “pause”. The IPCC is attempting to use “Mike’s ‘model’ trick”?

    • Gunga Din,

      I was going to read thru all the comments be for posting but you brought up my same concern being the use of a 60-70 year term to establish a fair idea of what the temperature trend is.

      As Bob Tisdale shows in his graphic above (Bob Tisdale October 29, 2018 at 2:47 pm ) the warming and cooling appears much as a sine wave. A 60-70 year time frame ‘peak to peak’ or ‘min to min’ (or for that matter anywhere on the curve(s)) would reflect the same long term trend.

      I have a hard time justifying using 30 years and a harder time using 15 years and using modeled future trends just takes the cake. I call BS and outright attempted fraud.

  27. this behaviour by the IPCC is even worse then using proxy data and adding instrumental data onto it at the end. Not only are they comparing different techniques that may have little resemblance. They are making wild suggestions based on failed predictions and these are even placing the goal posts from pseudoscience into religion.

    “The definition of ‘climate’ adopted by the World Meteorological Organisation is the average of a particular weather parameter over 30 years.”

    I have never supported this length representing climate because proxies and temperature data show no stable period this short and regular oscillations that leads to warming and cooling over it lasting at least 60 years.

    Climate should be defined a period over 60 years because there are no stable periods shorter than this.

  28. For its recent 1.5 ° C report the IPCC has now changed its name to 30 years for its estimate of global warming and climate change – but now it is the 30th years centred on the present.
    ___________________________________________________

    30 years for climate observation is just too long for the green belivers.

    They just want to see how their build up lies collapse during their lifetime.

    Who wants to blame them.

  29. lt really smacks of desperation when they have to start resorting to this kind of fudge. lt shows they are getting rattled. What l think is the best way to call them out is to use real data rather then trying to fight them by using their own made up numbers.
    For example since 1960 there has been a warming trend in England’s winters. Now l think that this has been due to changes to the weather patterning over this time rather then CO2 levels. The best way to show this would be to combine the use of mean temps with trends in number days of frost and snow cover and then compare it with trends in wind direction. Because if there is a trend of decreasing numbers of days of frost and snow during this warming that is linked to trend of wind direction that has moved away from a NW to east direction and more to SW and west direction. Then that shows that the warming trend has been due to changes to the weather patterning and not CO2 levels.

    • This observation has and is easily demonstrably shown, but the IPCC ignore all inconvenient atmospheric and ocean patterns.

      “For example since 1960 there has been a warming trend in England’s winters. Now l think that this has been due to changes to the weather patterning over this time rather then CO2 levels.”

      Definitely after 1963 and this has been down to weather patterns reflecting a change from more negative NAO periods to more positive NAO ones. This comes down to the jet stream where zonal jet stream favours positive NAO and meridional jet stream favours negative NAO.

      https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/87/Winter-NAO-Index.svg/1280px-Winter-NAO-Index.svg.png

      https://im-1.msw.ms/eengine/ce_images/eedfdb7c6f2cb918/jet-stream-graphic_960_533_s.jpg

      “decreasing numbers of days of frost and snow during this warming that is linked to trend of wind direction that has moved away from a NW to east direction and more to SW and west direction.”

      Northerlies are frequent with negative NAO periods and southerlies frequent with positive NAO periods. Frost and snow frequently occur in winter when in a northerly source of air compared with southerly.

      CO2 has not been demonstrated to have any known effects on the NAO, PV (polar vortex), jet stream or high pressure blocks.

      • Yes this warming winter trend has largely been due to less northern blocking. With less cold air coming from the north and east and a increase of warmer air from the SW.

  30. Averaging weather over a period as short as 30 years was necessary n 1934 because they just didn’t have very much “good” data then, but today it’s a travesty. The definition for climate should have been extended to 100 years by now, even if the earlier data is of poorer quality. Interpreting the results would still be difficult, but at least it would be starting with an honest definition.

    • Amen.
      With our knowledge of ocean cycles (PDO, AMO etc) spanning 70 years plus or minus, defining climate as an average of data over thirty years is ludicrous. But not sufficiently ludicrous for the IPCC. Averaging centred on the present with half the data manufactured simply boggles the rational mind. The old fashioned term “scoundrels” comes to mind.

    • Thanks for that.
      I wondered how 30 years became a standard.
      Two phrases come to mind when it comes to changing a standard.
      “But that’s the way we’ve always done it!”. That is usually used in the context of needing to improve a standard stuck in a rut.
      The other is, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”. That is usually used in the context of it works well, why change it just for the sake of “change”?
      It looks like the IPCC has screwed both of them up!

  31. Small temperatures in “average” temperature was a dishonest basis for determining climate change from the beginning. The vast majority of climate maps use the Koppen system of climate types. Maryland and Mississippi both have the same climate classification, despite differences in average temperature far more that two degrees.

    If there is truly disruptive climate change, then there will be changes to different areas classification. Anyone that claims climate change is a problem should be able to answer the following- What percent of the Earth’s land mass has changed climate types in the last 50 years? How much of that could be argued to be change for the worse (i.e. a desert area becoming semi-arid is an improvement)?

  32. The IPCC is not a scientific institute. The IPCC abandoned the scientific method from the very first moment of her existence.

  33. …..headscratching about the “30” years as base period. In 1932, in Warsaw, the
    WMO agreed to propose a period, and because of “round numbers”, they took 1900 to 1930 and agreed on this at Wiesbaden in 1934….. Then in the 80th, they
    continued with the magic number 30, avoiding additional work caused by a period change. They should have taken 62 years, in order to take the AMO/PDO-cycle into account, but no. Now they move the 30 years forward, centered on 2017, with half the period still open-ended….and it is easy now to mock this type of science…..
    But, what they have not taken into account, see : page of Norman Page or better
    still: Holocene Part 8 in: http://www.knowledgeminer.eu/climate-papers.html
    is that a temp plateau emerged (take out the “Nino of 2016 and future Ninos) with the horizontal temp level of 2004 (!!) continuing for the next decades. This would place the new 30 year period right onto this horizontal plateau, which means that this is a great climatological move to have the reference period right onto this important level plateau, which is very useful and makes sense, by taking this level plateau as future measure.
    Therefore: Well done!!

  34. Climate is not weather averaged over 30 years. Statistically to get a valid mean and modal distribution the number of samples is considered to be 32, while some say 50. That is where that came from. But, climate is the probability of a thing on any sample scale. For example, the climate for a day can be 32 samples of temperature over a day. Weather is a data point, an instance of a measurement by a particular instrument for the atmosphere. Climate is the probability of that data value occurring. Climate is a pronoun modified of weather.

    • Donald,
      Where did the “32” come from? It has been my experience that the Rule of Thumb for statistical significance is a minimum of 20 to 30 samples. I believe that is based on the fact that, among other things, when calculating variance for small samples, one is supposed to divide by n-1 samples instead of n. The difference between n-1 and n becomes ‘negligible’ around 20 to 30 samples, depending on the application and the need for accuracy. But, there is, to my knowledge, no sharp cutoff, (such as 32). It is a fuzzy boundary. However, 12 samples (monthly) for an annual average certainly fails the Rule of Thumb!

  35. ”Climate is what you expect and weather is what you get”
    The 30 year definition is artificial and quite meaningless. Unfortunately one of the short comings of humans the inability to truly comprehend the reality of planet with an obviously self-regulating climate system which spans unimaginable periods of time. This leads us to point to the sky and complain that it’s a bit warm lately or a bit chilly this year. We can look at a species and know it’s been around for 200,000,000 years but we cannot truly come to terms with the profundity of that fact. In other words the IPPC and their kind are children playing in the sand.

  36. IPCC made climate as fools paradise.

    The 30 year period used to define climate — it is not a definition. The IMD, it is called red book.

    It contains averages and extremes of all meteorological parameters. Climate does not mean, temperature.

    The averages and extremes refer to single met station only and not the averages of stations.

    It is the right time to close down the office of IPCC.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    • Yes but even ”averages” does not mean much. Over what time scale? If you go back far enough and include EVERYTHING, the average temp could be anything! The results will be hollow. It like the average over one day – pointless.

      • Mike — the normal books present, for example in the case of temperature, dry and wet bulb temperatures at 03 & 12 GMT [this provides inter comparision at country level countries level]; meximum and minimum [the height and the lowest in a day] and their extremes in a month and in a day in a month. Let me give an example:

        Hyderabad: 34.8, 20, 38.5, 42.2 oC — monthly mean maximum of March month, monthly mean minimum of March month , the highest monthly mean maximum of March in 30 year period, the highest on a single day maximum of March month in those 30 years. [same way for minimum temperature extremes are presented]

        In fact the extremes are not associated with the local conditions — The Sun’s movement — but depends upon the general circulation patterns during summer in the case of maximum extremes and in winter in the case of minimum temperature. In the case of India, these are associated with Western disturbances conditions with respect to high pressure belt position around Nagpur latitude. These have no meaning in national or global level.

        These extremes help in local agriculture planning, tourists guide, etc. Have no relevance to global conditions. Global Warming help to mint money by UN agencies, World Bank, and their agents in individual countries but not the planning at local level.

        Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    • Climate is not the average of 30 years. It is a misnomer. Climate includes averages and extremes for local conditions only for meteorological parameters: rainfall, temperature, relative humidity, wind, hours of bright sunshine, global solar radiation, net radiation, evaporation, evapotranspiration, etc.

      Rainfall presents a natural variability, accordingly the met variables change. This we get by detailed studies depending upon the need. In India, 2002 and 2009 are deficit rainfall years at all-India level, accordingly the temperature raised by 0.7 and 0.9 oC at all India level.

      Normal books [1901-30; 1931-60, 1961-90, etc.] serve general information.

      Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

      • Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
        Yes, I think that variance should be considered in the climate parameters because it is conceivable that the mean of any variable might be constant, but the variance could change. That change in variance would be perceived as a different climate because either having different extremes, or skewing of the distribution would affect plants and animals. A single number, such as an arithmetic mean, just doesn’t cut it for describing climate!

  37. I’m all in favor of this approach. I will be using 2013 as the “present” in all of my future climate analyses (and UAH data). A nice negative rate of warming.

  38. Help me out here:
    1. To talk about climate almost exclusively in terms of temperature is to miss, I think, two important attributes of climate: rainfall and vegetation.
    2. If rainfall/temperature change but the vegetation regime does not adjust can the climate be said to change?
    3. When I think of climate change, the US growing area map comes to mind as a surrogate for identifying the climate regions of the US. (I also think of Koeppen.)
    4. If it is true that a change in the climate must be seen in the responding change in the vegetation regime––otherwise a short-term warm period would count as climate change–– then it should take very many years for climate change to happen.
    5. So, why is a climate confined to any arbitrary time period? How long, for instance, would it take for vegetation found thriving in Central Florida to grow naturally in Central Pennsylvania?

    • ”5. So, why is a climate confined to any arbitrary time period? How long, for instance, would it take for vegetation found thriving in Central Florida to grow naturally in Central Pennsylvania?”

      John,
      This is what I bang on about a lot. I’m not a biologist but I think the claims made by the warmists that natural systems cannot keep up with this ”rapid” change is fundamentally wrong. I think they are confusing evolution with migration. They seem to think that the biosphere is more or less static. (I also suspect evolution can be a lot faster than commonly thought too but that’s another subject) Plants set seed every year (more or less) and in that seed there is genetic variability to facilitate adaptation with regards to the environment (prevailing climate). Some will be able to tolerate colder conditions and others warmer. I also believe this is an inbuilt mechanism brought about precisely to deal with any natural changes be they rainfall or temperature. So, for example, I can imagine the migration of trees/plants/weeds to be extraordinarily rapid and quite capable of keeping up with non-catastrophic temperature change, or alternatively those which cannot will be quickly replaced by other species which can.
      There is no doubt that probably all plants or their progenitors originally evolved in a warmer environment too, as I have trees in my garden which are native to very cold climates setting viable seed. Some of which naturally germinate without help in temperatures several degrees above their native temps. Plants rule the world not animals. Animals follow the plants.

    • Based on the purpose of study, indices are derived to specify that condition. Historically, climate classifications were prepared for vegetation link, some present drought indices, etc. The human comfort index is defined by temperature, relative humidity and wind speed, etc.

      For understanding natural variability cycle, you need the data double to the cycle period. WMO (1966) “Climate Change” presented some of these. For example, if you got 100 years data series, through moving average technique, you can estimate trend if any or cyclic pattern deriving moving average estimates using 10-, 30-, or 60- or any oyther numbers. In the case of dates of onset over Kerala Coast, I used 10-year moving average. This pattern showed that the data series follow a 52-year cycle. The US Academy of Sciences &V British Academy of Sciences used 10-, 30- and 60- years moving average and found in the 60-year moving it cleared the cyclic pattern and presented trend. In rainfall, we rarely find the trend. They principally present cyclic patterns but showed increasing cycle length with equator to moving to higher latitudes. Fortaleza in northeast Brazil presented a 52 year cycle [superposed on this the submultiples] and Durban in South Africa showed 66 year cycle with a sub-multiple of 22-years.

      Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  39. What bothers me is the refusal of the climate establishment to acknowledge that there has never been a warming trend of 30 years or more since the mid-20th C. IPCC continually refer to the 1950 to 2010 warming trend – there isn’t one. Temps are flat 1950 to 1978, they then escalate through to the 1998 el Nino spike, then don’t do much until the 2016 el Nino, after which we find ourselves back to 1998 levels. We had ‘global warming’ for 20 years – between 1978 and 1998 – when CO2 levels increased in a correlated (not causative) way – but not before or since.

  40. Someone needs to point out to these so-called scientists that by changing the time period these temperature measurements are averaged over they have made ALL the previous data not relevant to the previous data and whatever conclusions they may or may not have tried to discern in those series. If the most recent data is now ‘smoothed over 15 years it must NOT be compared to any data smoothed over 30 yrs. In other words, to be useful for comparison all the data must be smoothed over the same time frame.

  41. Oxygen Isotope ratios have clearly shown that it has been much warmer in the past. On top of that CO2 ability to create heat is Logarithmic.
    You can have as much as you like.
    The more we get the greener the planet gets.
    Worryingly: We are heading into Global Cooling….Solar Physicists have been predicting it for sevetal years. It started in 2013, the Jet Stream is going south….Sun Spots disappearing.

  42. 30-year trends (K/century) with 95% confidence intervals (corrected for auto-correlation):

    1.76 +/- 0.37 1/1988 to 1/2018 Starts in El Nino year
    1.71 +/- 0.34 1/1986 to 1/2016 Ends in El Nino year
    1.73 +/- 0.32 1/1983 to 1/2013 Starts in El Nino year
    1.86 +/- 0.32 1/1978 to 1/2008
    1.87 +/- 0.38 1/1973 to 1/2003

    30-Year trend are only modestly effected by presence of El Nino year. There 95% confidence interval is about 20% of trend.

    15-year trends (K/century) with 95% confidence intervals (corrected for auto-correlation):

    1.69 +/- 1.06 1/2003 to 1/2018
    0.52+/- 0.77 1/1998 to 1/2013 Starts in El Nino year. Warming not statistically significant.
    2.28 +/- 0.85 1/1993 to 1/2008
    2.12 +/- 0.99 1/1988 to 1/2003
    1.71 +/- 0.96 1/1983 to 1/1998 Starts and ends in El Nino year
    1.38 +/- 0.90 1/1978 to 1/1993
    1.69 +/- 1.16 1/1973 to 1/1988 Ends in El Nino year
    -0.30 +/- 0.97 1/2002 to 1/2013 Cooling or absence of warming not statistically significant.

    15-Year trend are dramatically effected by presence of El Nino year. 95% confidence interval is about 50% of trend. In other words, these trends are highly uncertain. If one cherry-picks the right starting and ending years from dozens of possibilities, the 95% confidence interval no longer means that roughly 19 out of 20 experiments will fall within this range. Cherry picking makes confidence intervals meaningless.

    • ”Cherry picking makes confidence intervals meaningless.”
      Exactly!
      And it’s almost impossible not to cherry pick!

      • Mike: If you noticed, I started with the 15-year period chosen by the IPCC (1/2013-1/2018) and systematically stepped it backwards five years at a time. Then I chose 30-year periods and did the same thing covering the same period. I looked up the trends, ONLY after designing the experiment. No cherry-picking.

        Then I added a 30-year period ending with the recent, El Nino (1986-2016) a situation not explored above, to further validate my conclusion that El Ninos didn’t distort 30-year trends. I should have put that entry in a separate category.

        Then I cherry-picked an 11-year period I already knew showed with slight cooling to illustrate how misleading that could be.

        To be completely honest, I’d need to admit I cherry-picked how far back in time I went (1973). When I went back to 1968, the 30-year trend began to fall because the 1945-1975 Pause becomes part of the data. However, if you look at the rate of increase in radiative forcing linked below, you’ll see a dramatic increase in the rate of radiative forcing beginning about 1970 from about 0.7 W/m2/century to 4 W/m2/century. A post-hoc rational, which is always dangerous.

        If a post-1970 forcing increase of 4 W/m2/century produced the post 1970’s warming rate of 1.8 K/ century, then the pre-1970’s forcing increase of 0.7 W/m2/century would be expected to produce a warming rate of about 0.3 K/century in the decades that preceded 1970 or about +0.1 K of warming over the 30-year pause from 1945-1975. So there isn’t a lot of warming missing from that Pause and there was “excess” warming in the two previous decades. (Real hand waving now.)

        http://www.ipcc.ch/report/graphics/images/Assessment%20Reports/AR5%20-%20WG1/Chapter%2008/Fig8-18.jpg
        AR5 WG1 Figure 8-18

        • Cherry picked up — in fact all these discussions relate to trend, then what about the cyclic part of 60-year cycle that the Sine Curve varies between -0.3 oC and +0.3 oC — for the period 1880 to 2010, the trend is 0.60 oC per Century or 01.34 oC for 1880 to 21000 or 0.91 oC for 1951 to 2100 with around half is global warming with adjusted data series. Your selected period needs correction accordingly.

          Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

          • Dr Reddy asks: “What about the cyclic part of 60-year cycle that the Sine Curve varies between -0.3 oC and +0.3 oC — for the period 1880 to 2010?”

            On a planet with chaotic ocean currents, two cycles of data is inadequate to characterize a phenomena as following a sine curve, which I understood to have a peak to trough amplitude of about 0.25 K, not 0.6 K. (Perhaps I’m wrong.) If you look at CET temperatures going back centuries, there are sizable oscillations, but they are very irregular.

            Since this cycle could be responsible for the 1940’s warmth and 1950-1970 Pause, a 60 year cycle would put the next Pause at 2010-2030. Temperature since the 15/16 El Nino haven’t returned anywhere near the Plateau of 2001-2013 (being up at about 0.2 K) with suggestion of a weak El Nino this winter. It certainly isn’t obvious to me that we are halfway through another 1950-1970 period.

            If current conditions were part of a 60-year cycle, we would expect: a trough (no warming), followed 15 years later by maximum warming, followed 15 years later by a plateau (no warming) and 15 years later by maximum cooling. Even with 30 year averages, one might expect to see part of this pattern since I calculated the trend for four 30-year intervals starting 5 years apart. One of them should have had a near zero 30-year trend, such as those seen beginning in 1945.

            Dr. Reddy is certainly correct in suggesting that internal variability, changes that aren’t “forced”, can always be responsible for climate change and that we have no way except the Holocene proxy record for temperature to estimate how much change might be attributed to unforced variability. 45-years of steady (on the 30 year time scale) warming totaling 0.8 K is unusual for the Holocene.

  43. “A harmless and beneficial rise in CO2 level is now the leading cause of outrageous politicization and corruption of science, media and public debate by the United Nations.” – UN IPCC.

  44. My comment will be wasted as usually, but I do think it is disingenious to say the last El Niño period was weather and imply it should not be included in a climatic trend. I hate that oft-repeated idea.

    All it says in fact is, that you need a long period, more than 15 years to get the existing warming trend visible. When one stops cherry-picking short periods, a clear 30 year trend is seen. At a decadal scale, obviously both positive and zero trends may show up.

    Accepting this as a fact would increase one’s credibility while talking about confirmation bias that runs so rampant in climate science let alone its reporting in media.

    • ” … My comment will be wasted as usually, but I do think it is disingenious to say the last El Niño period was weather and imply it should not be included in a climatic trend. I hate that oft-repeated idea. …’

      Yes, it very much was wasted.

      El-Nino is without question a weather-cycle transient, i.e. noise.

      Noise is not signal.

  45. If the climate fear industry was right about CO2 driving climate , and they aren’t , then why have no science based organizations announced and provided proof that humans can set the earths temperature ?
    Yes C02 has some minor effect , thankfully mostly positive when increasing ,but the notion that natural occurring variables are being usurped is utter rubbish .
    That is why science by direction as in the IPCC is such a complete joke . Science pretenders used to validate a scam . Sad but the public ain’t buying the inconvenient goof any longer .

  46. Isn’t this just a cynical way to “take control” of the climate. They effectively invent it and of course we all know the direction they will invent in. They are setting up the IPCC to be a permanent blight on Mankind and the West in particular. It goes without saying this means jobs for life, in fact they can create dynastic employment. We will now be treated to a saw tooth temperature profile, half “real” if you trust their manipulated gathering techniques and half, well what ever sounds sexy to keep the believers in the required frenzy.

  47. Non-existing data extrapolated for assumed temperature trends over the next 15 years should not be part of a formal definition of what constitutes climate.

    David Whitehouse is right in that, within the past 30 full years of global temperature data, you can get 15 year periods such as 2000-2014 with very low warming trends (0.02 C/dec) or you can get 15 year periods like 2003-2017 with statistically significant warming trends (0.17 C/dec).

    All this tells us is that within the WMO’s defined 30-year period of ‘climatology’ you can get shorter periods of slower or faster warming. But we all knew that already, right?

    So how does the IPCC, or any group charged with extrapolating future global temperatures, decide which 15 year trend to go for, the slower one or the faster one? The answer of course is that they don’t use periods as short as 15 years to extrapolate future temperatures. They use periods of 30 years, as the WMO advises.

    Perhaps a better question is, what is the trend in HadCRUT4 over the full 30 year period from 1988 to 2017? Is it closer the the 2000-2014 rate or closer to 2003-2017? The 30 year trend in HadCRUT4 from 1988 to 2017 is +0.19 C/decade. That’s even faster than 2003-2017! The linked chart below shows HadCRUT4 per month from 1988-2017 with the full 30-year trend and the two 15 year trends described by David Whitehouse. Whichj of the two 15 year trends do you think is more representative of the full 30 year trend?

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/graph/hadcrut4gl/from:2003/to:2018/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1988/to:2018/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1988/to:2018/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2000/to:2014/trend

    The IPCC isn’t basing it’s 2017 + 15 year estimate on the El Nino influenced 2003-2017 trend, it’s basing it on the trend seen in the 30 years running up to 2017. 30 years of data, not any arbitrary 15.

    • Correction: the rate of warming in HadCRUT4 from 1988 to 2017 is 0.18C/dec, not 0.19 as stated. But that’s still warmer than the 15 year period ended 2017.

    • 30 years is arbitrary. Why not 50 or 100? I would think that longer would be better if you are going to engage in such an exercise in the first place.

      • I agree up to a point that the longer the period used the better. 30 years is certainly better than 15, yet David Whitehouse and others seem to prefer the shorter period.

        30 years typically covers around 6-8 full La Nina/El Nino cycles and typically includes the influences of 3 solar cycles; so it covers most of the known natural variables on climate.

        If you use 50 years instead of 30 the warming results are little changed. 50 years from 2017 centres at 1992 and starts at 1968. The rate of warming in HadCRUT4 over that period was still +0.17 C/dec; just fractionally slower than the 30 year period ending 2017 and the same as the 2003-2017 trend. It’s within the IPCC ~ 0.2 C/dec estimate. Extrapolate the 50 year trend out and you still pass +2.0 C above pre-industrial by the mid 2070s.

        Using trends for periods much over 50 years you start to drown out possible real recent influences; but then that may be some folks’ preference.

  48. Ice extent changes with temperature changes.
    100% of all scientists know this.
    97% believe temperature changes cause ice extent changes.
    3% believe ice extent causes temperature changes.

    This is what 100% of the ice core proxy data shows.
    It snows more in warmer times when more oceans are thawed and it does get colder after that.
    It snows less in colder times when more oceans are frozen and it does get warmer after that.

  49. umm, correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t assuming an el nino causes warming a mistake? All an these types of events do is redistribute heat, in the nino case from where we don’t have sensors to where we do. Shallow waters don’t absorb more solar energy than deeper waters, they just concentrate it more – and that wind energy expressing as heat in water? came from heat – so, again, just moving it around.

  50. It’s revealing how many people are eager to condemn the IPCC for what they’ve done here. It’s “devious manipulations by scheming minds working to an agenda”…”By hijacking language this way, climate alarmists insidiously manipulate words in their favor, by being deniers themselves of the original definitions of words that the general public understood those words to be. ” Etc. Any little excuse to condemn the IPCC will result in similar rants.

    It certainly doesn’t help that the issue is framed as it is, starting with leading post title. In what way is this a “secret”? Besides, as others have pointed out, this is not a new definition of climate, but of global warming. The two are not synonymous.

    Everyone should just take a deep breath and think about this. The trend in present global warming MUST be estimate. It doesn’t exist mathematically: you can’t calculate it as the average change over a given time period when the future is unknown. There is no slope to the trendline when you are at the endpoint. As an estimate of the current trend, one necessarily has to extrapolate. Otherwise, what are your options?

    1) You make an exception and use the previous 30 years for the current trend. Then you’d have the same trend 15 years ago that you have now.

    2) You always calculate the trend for any time based of the previous 30 years. But that, of course, would not be the current trend, it would be the past trend.

    You can ONLY calculate the past trend.

    As long as it’s made clear that is what the IPCC is doing, and that it is just an estimate with associated uncertainty, why is it a problem if they defines it like this? It’s not a magic trick, it’s a definition of something that isn’t otherwise clear if one takes the time to think about it. Is it even a big talking point in the report what the present rate global warming is?

    From the post:

    “It’s a well-known graph that shows no warming trend – except when you add the El Nino at the end, which of course is a weather event and not climate. ”

    Since when is weather not a part of climate? It would only make sense to exclude this El Nino if you also excluded all other El Ninos and El Ninas – which is not done…

    “The second graph shows the 15 years before the recent El Nino, i.e. 2000-2014. The trend over this period is influenced by the start point which is a deep La Nina year. Without it the trend is 0.03 °C per decade – statistically insignificant. Note that there are minor El Ninos and La Ninas during this period but they tend to have a small net effect.”

    What kind of logic is this? It’s a smaller effect, so it’s not a “weather event”? Why is this sort of dubious science overlooked in favor of bashing the IPCC for giving their definition of a phrase?

    I see Dr. Whitehouse’s rationale, but it’s still not reasonable to simply exclude inconvenient “weather” when looking at either climate or global warming.

    • Years ago when I was a UK ‘A level’ student (aged 17) in 1954, I recall doing something similar to this disputed analysis and not surprisingly, got ‘taken apart’ by the physics teacher of the day who carefully explained – just as others here have done – that there was a strong risk of using the manipulated data as if it was real. His further response was interesting in the light of this discussion. He said there is no problem showing such a trend if an arguments needs it but every graph showing this or based on this, must be annotated to explain what is real data and what is not. It would have been better if the IPCC followed this concept here.

      • Patrick Powers,

        I agree with your professor, but I don’t understand why you seem to think that the IPCC has not annotated its graphs properly. Nor do I know what you mean by “manipulated” data.

        There are reasons to criticize the IPCC report without resorting to illusory faults. It’s goals are simply not realistic. It’s possible that they justify setting high goals just to spur more effort to meet them, but it ends up making the whole thing less credible. But that’s another issue, not relevant to the post.

    • Kristi,
      The logic of your argument applies to a gambler beside a Roulette wheel guessing about future states, but your logic is not appropriate for use in scientific advancement.
      Here is an analogy. We start within the Fukushima nuclear plant hit by a strong tsunami. Plausibly, a lot of work had gone into safe operation, but there was damage compounded from the unsafe placement of emergency generators. There would have been a complex model of plant vulnerabilities, but they could not synthesise a full scale tsunami test. So they guessed at some tsunami values and ended up with a safety model and high subjective confidence in it. And some guesses.
      Now, to climate models, which are clearly unable to have full scale live tests, so they have some guesses. The climate state over the next 15/30 years is a guess. But note, there is a non-zero probability that something perverse will happen to upset the climate models with their levels of confidence. And guesses.
      This is all non-contentious black swan material until you address how to treat guesses. My assertion and plausibly that of many here is that one must not treat guesses as data and do typical things like taking standard deviations and forming distributions and blending them with measurements.
      Where there are guesses, they correctly should carry big red flags. Maybe with a slogan like “We Guessed About the Fukushima Tsunami and We Lost.” Geoff

    • Kristi,
      You asked, “Otherwise, what are your options?” Your options are to use standard practice in analyzing scientific data. If you wish to smooth it with a moving window, and center the results, then you truncate half the width of the window at the beginning and end of the time series. That gives you the smoothed behavior up to a 1/2-window width from the most current measurements. If you don’t want to lose the most recent data, then don’t smooth it! Either way, if you want to predict what the future holds, then select a method of extrapolation, defend the choice, and present the results as your best estimate of what the future holds. But, there is NO justification for defining the current climate as being based on your risky extrapolation. Climate is history up to today. Anything else is speculation!

  51. From the IPCC – a new word for a new form of data – ‘Unobtanium’ (courtesy of the SciFi Avatar movie) = ‘data we don’t yet have

Comments are closed.