Gavin’s Falsifiable Science

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Gavin Schmidt is a computer programmer with the Goddard Institute of Space Sciences (GISS) and a noted climate alarmist. He has a Ph.D. in applied mathematics. He’s put together a twitter thread containing what he sees as some important points of the “testable, falsifiable science that supports a human cause of recent trends in global mean temperature”. He says that the slight ongoing rise in temperature is due to the increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) and other so-called “greenhouse gases”. For simplicity, I’ll call this the “CO2 Roolz Temperature” theory of climate. We’ve discussed Dr. Schmidt’s ideas before here on WUWT.

Now, Gavin and I have a bit of history. We first started corresponding by way of a climate mailing list moderated by Timo Hameraanta back around the turn of the century, before Facebook and Twitter.

The interesting part of our interaction was what convinced me that he was a lousy programmer. I asked him about his program, the GISS Global Climate Model. I was interested in how his model made sure that energy was conserved. I asked what happened at the end of each model timestep to verify that energy was neither created nor destroyed.

He said what I knew from my own experience in writing iterative models, that there is always some slight imbalance in energy from the beginning to the end of the timestep. If nothing else, the discrete digital nature of each calculation assures that there with be slight roundoff errors. If these are left uncorrected they can easily accumulate and bring the model down.

He said the way that the GISS model handled that imbalance was to take the excess or the shortage of energy and sprinkle it evenly over the entire planet.

Now, that seemed reasonable for trivial amounts of imbalance coming from digitization. But what if it were larger, and it arose from some problem with their calculations? What then?

So I asked him how large that energy imbalance typically was … and to my astonishment, he said he didn’t know.

Amazed, I asked if he had some computer version of a “Murphy Gauge” on the excess energy. A “Murphy Gauge” (below) is a gauge that allows for Murphy’s Law by letting you set an alarm if the variable goes outside of the expected range … which of course it will, Murphy says so. On the computer, the equivalent would be something in his model that would warn him if the excess or shortage of energy exceeded some set amount.

Nope. Not only did he have no Murphy Gauge set, but he also had no idea how far the model went off the rails regarding the conservation of energy, either on average or in individual timesteps. He just pushed it back into balance with each timestep, turned his back, and kept rolling.

At that point, I concluded that Gavin was far from suspicious enough of his model. Me, I wrote my first computer program in 1963, about the time that Gavin was born. And I don’t trust computer models one bit. They’ll bite the hand that feeds them at the slightest opportunity even if you fence them in with Murphy Gauges … and Gavin didn’t understand that basic problem.

This is particularly an issue with what are called “iterative” models. These are models that go step by step through time, with the output of each timestep being the input to the next timestep. Errors tend to accumulate in such models, so it’s very easy for them to spiral out of control … and climate models are all iterative models. Here’s a large number of runs from an iterative climate model.

Figure 1. 2,017 climate model runs from climateprediction.net. 

Figure 1 (b), the lower of the two graphs, shows the change in temperature. Note how during the “control phase”, when there is no change in the inputs, even a small ongoing drop in temperature can lead to the model spiraling down to the “Snowball Earth” off the bottom of the graph, as shown in the control phase of the modeled temperature in Figure 1 (a). 

So I’m suspicious as can be of all of the modern iterative climate models. They are all tuned to hindcast the past … but the climate sensitivities in all of them are different. How can that be? Well … it can’t. It means that they’re just making it up. I discussed this problem here, it’s a big one.

Next, let me make a heel turn to set the stage with an overview of the recent changes in climate. Back in Medieval times, around 1300 to 1500 or so, the surface temperature was as warm or perhaps even warmer than it is today. But then sometime around the year 1600 the earth cooled and went into what is called the “Little Ice Age”. This was a hard time for plants, animals, and us humanoids alike. Shorter growing seasons, frozen rivers and harbors, crop failures. No bueno.

Why were the Medieval times so warm? We don’t know. Why did the temperatures drop suddenly to the Little Ice Age? We don’t know. Why did temperatures drop around 1600 and not 1400 or 1800? We don’t know.

After a very cold century or so, temperatures started rising again. And since about the year 1700 or 1750 or so, temperatures have been rising, in fits or starts, at about a half a degree per century for the last two-plus centuries.

Why didn’t the temperature continue to cool after the Little Ice Age and put us into a glaciation? We don’t know. Why did it start to warm at the end of the Little Ice Age, rather than simply staying cold? We don’t know. Why did it start to warm around 1700 or so, rather than in 1900? We don’t know. Why have we seen slow warming since the Little Ice Age? We don’t know.

As you can see, although we know a lot about the climate … we also don’t know a lot about the climate.

In any case, with that as prologue, here is the short version of his “falsifiable science” from his tweet.


We develop theories.
1) Radiative-transfer (e.g. Manabe and Wetherald, 1967)
2) Energy-balance models (Budyko 1961 and many subsequent papers)
3) GCMs (Phillips 1956, Hansen et al 1983, CMIP etc.)

We make falsifiable predictions. Here are just a few:
1967: increasing CO2 will cause the stratosphere to cool
1981: increasing CO2 will cause warming at surface to be detectable by 1990s
1988: warming from increasing GHGs will lead to increases in ocean heat content

1991: Eruption of Pinatubo will lead to ~2-3 yrs of cooling
2001: Increases in GHGs will be detectable in space-based spectra
2004: Increases in GHGs will lead to continued warming at ~0.18ºC/decade.

We test the predictions:
Stratospheric cooling? ✅
Detectable warming? ✅
OHC increase?✅
Pinatubo-related cooling?✅
Space-based changes in IR absorption? ✅
post-2004 continued warming?✅


Let me start by saying he is badly conflating three very separate and distinct theories.

  • Theory 1) Increasing CO2 increases atmospheric absorption, which affects the overall temperature of the various layers of the atmosphere, and increases downwelling so-called “greenhouse” radiation.
  • Theory 2) In the short term, large changes in downwelling radiation change the surface temperature.
  • Theory 3) In the long term, small continuing increases in downwelling radiation lead to corresponding small continuing increases in global surface temperature.

Here the spoiler alert: I think that the first two of these are true (with caveats), but we have virtually no evidence that the third one is either true or untrue.

So let’s go through his six lines of evidence, consider which theory he’s actually discussing, and see if they stands up to critical examination.

a) Increasing CO2 will cause the stratosphere to cool. This is obviously evidence in support of theory 1. Here’s the record of stratospheric temperatures, from the Microwave Sounding Units on a succession of satellites.

Figure 2. Global stratospheric temperatures measured from space.

As you can see, although the stratospheric temperature has indeed dropped, the drop has been quite complex. The two peaks in the record are from the volcanoes noted in the graph. After each one, the stratosphere has warmed for about five years. Each time it seems to have stabilized at a lower temperature. There has been a slight drop since the second eruption. It’s likely that this is from the changes noted in Theory 1, although that is far from clear.

b) Increasing CO2 will cause warming at surface to be detectable by 1990s. This is supposed to be evidence in support of Theory 3. However, while this is true, the temperature has been rising for a couple of hundred years. So unless you believe in Little Ice Age SUVs, this is not evidence in support of any part of the “CO2 Roolz Temperature” theory.

c) Warming from increasing GHGs will lead to increases in ocean heat content. Same as (b) immediately above, and the same objection. It’s supposed to be in support of Theory 3, but in a warming world, a warming ocean is expected and not probative of anything.

d) Eruption of Pinatubo will lead to ~2-3 yrs of cooling. This is evidence in support of Theory 2 … but then so is the surface warming up when the sun rises. We know that large transient changes in the amount of downwelling radiation (which is called “forcing” in climate science) will change the surface temperature.

However, the models didn’t do a very good job of predicting the size of the cooling. Here are some results which I discussed in a post ten years ago:

Figure 2. Comparison of annual predictions with annual observations. Upper panel is Figure 2(b) from the GISS prediction paper, lower is my emulation from digitized data. Note that prior to 1977 the modern version of the GISS temperature data diverges from the 1992 version of the temperature data. I have used an anomaly of 1990 = 0.35 for the modern GISS data in order to agree with the old GISS version at the start of the prediction period. All other data is as in the original GISS prediction. Pinatubo prediction (blue line) is an annual average of their Figure 3 monthly results.

Note that the Hansen/Schmidt GISS model predicted more than twice the drop from Pinatubo compared to the actual reality. It also predicted that the drop would last longer than what happened. I’ll return to this question in a bit, but for now, we’ll note that Theory 2 is true—short-term changes in forcing, whether daily, monthly, or from volcanoes, do change the temperature.

e) Increases in GHGs will be detectable in space-based spectra. With more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, we expect to see more infrared absorbed by the atmosphere. We’ve measured this change in a variety of ways. This is evidence in support of Theory 1.

f) Increases in GHGs will lead to continued warming at ~0.18ºC/decade. This is put up in support of Theory 3. However, it’s been warming for two or more centuries now, and this prediction in 2004 is nothing but the continuation of the prior thirty years of warming. Once again, the fact that it is still warming is not proof of anything.

To summarize:

Theories 1 and 2 are clearly true and are supported by a variety of evidence. Three of his six bullet points are evidence in support of those two theories.

The other three pieces of evidence are saying that after more than two centuries of slow warming … the warming is continuing. This says exactly nothing about Theory 3.

This is the continuing problem with the “CO2 Roolz Temperature” theory … it’s really three very separate theories in one, and while two of the theories are clearly true, there is very little evidence in support of the third leg of the stool. And the stool will not stand up with only two legs.

Gavin closes out his tweet with the following:

We can also look at the testable, falsifiable, theories that were tested, and failed.

Solar forcing? Fails the strat cooling test.

Ocean circulation change? Fails the OHC increase test

Orbital forcing? Fails on multiple levels

If you have a theory that you don’t think has been falsified, or you think you can falsify the mainstream conclusions, that’s great! We can test that too! (But lots of people have tried this already so expect there to be an answer already).

PS. Actually, it’s even a bit harder. Not only would you need to find a theory that does as well as the current theory, but you’d also need to show why the current theory isn’t operative.

Now, for folks unfamiliar with my work, I do have a theory. I also have a heap of evidence in support of it. But I’m not a climate skeptic—I’m a climate heretic, someone who denies their basic claim that changes in the temperature are a simple linear function of the changes in forcing.

Folks are interested in why the temperature of the planet changes over time. That’s at the center of modern climate science. My theory, on the other hand, arose from my being interested in a totally different question about climate—why is the temperature so stable? For example, over the 20th Century, the temperature only varied by ± 0.3°C. In the giant heat engine that is the climate, which is constantly using solar energy to circulate the oceans and the atmosphere, this is a variation of 0.1% … as someone who has dealt with a variety of heat engines, I can tell you that this is amazing stability. The system is ruled by nothing more solid than waves, wind, and water. So my question wasn’t why the climate changes as it does.

My question was, why is the climate so stable?

And my answer is, there are a host of what are called “emergent phenomena” that arise when local temperatures go above some local threshold. They include the timing and strength of the daily emergence of the cumulus cloud field in the tropics; the development of thunderstorms; the emergence of dust devils when temperatures get hot; the action of the El Nino/La Nina pump moving warm water to the poles; and various “oscillations” like the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

These emergent phenomena arise out of nowhere, last for some length of time, and then disappear completely. And acting together, they all work to prevent both the overcooling and the overheating of the planet. And as mentioned above, I say that these phenomena acted to reduce the length and the depth of the effect of the Pinatubo volcano. See my post called “When Eruptions Don’t” for another look at how the climate system responds to a decrease in incoming solar energy due to volcanic eruptions.

I originally published this theory in the journal Energy and Environment. I followed that up with a posting of the same ideas here at Watts Up With That in a post called The Thermostat Hypothesis.

I have continued this quest by writing a number of posts over the last 20 years that have added observational evidence to the theory and explored its ramifications. These included “Emergent Climate Phenomena“, describing what emergence is and why it is so important; “The Details Are In The Devil“, explaining why the “climate sensitivity” type of analysis doesn’t work in a thermostatically controlled system; “Watching Thunderstorms Chase The Heat“, about how thunderstorms operate to cool only the warm parts of the tropical oceans; and most recently “Drying The Sky“, discussing the evolution of different stages in the tropical thermal regulation system.

In all I’ve written some 40 or so posts exploring this theory of how the climate works. There’s an index to a number of them here, divided up by subject which covers up to January 2018 … hmmm, I need to update the index. More recent posts of mine, not separated by subject, are listed here in reverse chronological order.

Now, I fear that my theory is of little interest to the climate establishment because they’re looking for headlines about THERMAGEDDON! CLIMATE EMERGENCY! My theory doesn’t have any of that, in fact, the opposite. My theory says that future warming is likely to be slow and small. So mostly, as with all good heretics, I’m shunned by the powers that be.

Let me close by saying that I have absolutely no academic qualifications at all. I took Physics 101 and Chemistry 101 in college. That’s it. 

Since then, however, I have followed my education by teaching myself a host of subjects. For example, I taught myself and have made money writing programs in the following computer languages—Basic, VBA, Mathematica (2 of 3), Hypertalk, Vectorscript, Pascal, C/C++, and R. I taught myself refrigeration so I could take a job constructing and installing a blast freezer on a boat … in Fiji. As that post discusses, that was instrumental in understanding how thunderstorms operate in exactly the same manner as your household refrigerator.

And to return to the current discussion, I’ve spent thousands and thousands of hours researching and writing and learning about climate … all with zero certificates on my wall.

So please, don’t bother telling me that I’m an uneducated jerk or an ignorant fool. First, I already know that, and if I forget, my gorgeous ex-fiancee will gladly remind me … and second, that’s not the question. The question is absolutely not are my educational bona fides up to your high standards? That’s meaningless.

Nor is the question is Watts Up With That believable or not?  I say this because where something gets published is never the question. There are folks out there that truly seem to think that if E=MC^2 is written on the bathroom wall it’s not true because of where it was published.

The question, the only valid question in science, is are the claims true? Does my theory stand up to close inspection? Are my ideas backed, not by climate models, but by actual real-world observations? Can you find flaws in the logic, the data, the math, or any other part of what I’ve written?

I have great confidence in what I’ve written about my theory, for a simple reason. Watts Up With That is the premier spot on the web for public peer-review of scientific theories and ideas about climate. This doesn’t mean that it only publishes things known to be valid and true. Instead, it is a place to find out if what is published actually is valid and true. There are a lot of wicked-smart folks reading what I write, and plenty of them would love to find errors in my work.

So when those smart folks can’t find errors in what I’ve written, I know that I have a theory that at least stands a chance of becoming a mainstream view.

My best wishes to all,

w.

Post Scriptum: As is my custom, I politely ask that when you comment, you quote the exact words that you are referring to, so we can all be totally clear both what and who you are discussing.

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288 thoughts on “Gavin’s Falsifiable Science

  1. Willis, I think there is one (more) thing that should be considered when wondering why the climate is so stable.
    We all understand that everything radiates if it’s above absolute zero – 0 Kelvins.
    And everything radiates at a given RATE for a given temperature of the substance.
    However, if that substance is warmed, it will radiate at the 4th POWER of the change in absolute temperature.

    Stefan-Boltzmann Law
    The thermal energy radiated by a blackbody radiator per second per unit area is proportional to the fourth power of the absolute temperature and is given by formula linked below:
    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/stefan.html
    Think about that…the 4th POWER is the feedback to any temperature change. That is about the fastest, most powerful feedback thermostat in existence. No WONDER the temperature is so stable – if it tries to change, it is INSTANTLY cancelled, by the increasing RATE of radiation. Sorry, CO2, you have nothing compared to that…

    • The basic problem with the theory is that they assume a linear relationship between W/m^2 and temperature. While it’s true that the work required to raise the temperature of matter is proportional to the temperature change, the work required to maintain a temperature is proportional to T^4.

      In the steady state, all that matters is the work proportional to T^4 since the temperature has already been changed.

      The needed to claim some kind of of linearity in order to apply Bode’s feedback analysis, so they invented approximate linearity around the mean, which while true for a small range around some temperature, it still doesn’t satisfy Bode’s requirement for strict linearity across all possible values of inputs (W/m^2) and outputs (temperature). Furthermore, it would need to be tangent to a T^4 relationship, rather than a slope passing through zero.

      The data could not be any more clear that T^4 rules (the green line) or that the IPCC’s sensitivity (the blue line) passes through zero, rather than being tangent to the green line as it should be.

        • MattS,

          Notice that the green line is a gray body whose emissivity is 0.62 resulting in a mostly linear relationship between the surface emissions and the planet missions across the entire range of monthly average temperatures found on the planet. Even the seasonal variability per slice of latitude are points along this constant emissivity curve.

          In the sensitivity plot, the temperatures are as reported in the ISCCP data, but the emissions at TOA are calculated. It was based on cloud properties and temperatures, surface temperatures and a multi-layer atmospheric model driven by GHG concentrations and HITRAN line data. As a result, the calculation is highly dependent on the amount of clouds. which when plotted against the surface temperature shows a highly non-linear, non monotonic and hemisphere specific relationship.

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

          Relative to the surface temperature, clear skies have a low emissivity while cloudy skies are higher. Since the average emissivity is highly dependent on the average amount of clouds, the data brings up an interesting question.

          Is there a really bizarre relationship between clouds and the surface temperature that coincidentally results in a constant emissivity from pole to pole, or is a constant emissivity the goal and the clouds adapt as required?

          If it’s the latter, then is there a reason that the constant emissivity is equal to the reciprocal of the golden mean, or is this just a coincidence?

          • How interesting and bizarre! Is there a difference in low clouds versus high clouds? I could imagine that at colder temperatures around the freezing point at ground level that maybe higher clouds are predominantly formed, where at higher temperatures we get more lower cloud formation?

          • StephenF,

            “Is there a difference in low clouds versus high clouds?”

            Perhaps, but the cloud metric in the plot is the fraction of the surface covered by clouds which is independent of the altitude of the cloud deck.

            There’s another interesting metric where the ratio of cloud area to cloud thickness seems to change in a way that enables the cloud area to decrease even as atmospheric water vapor increases producing larger clouds that cover less surface area.

      • ‘The basic problem with the theory is that they assume a linear relationship between W/m^2 and temperature.’

        Worse than that, they also assume that all wavelengths of radiation increase temperature. This is not true. Only radiation from a warmer object will increase the temperature of a cooler object.

        How does the warmer object know to ‘ignore’ the radiation from the cooler object and not increase its temperature? I have never seen an explanation of this on WUWT.

        Even though it is not explained, it is still true. As far as temperature is concerned, you can ignore any additional radiation if it is emitted by a colder object. It will not cause a rise in temperature.

        • Bernard Lodge January 19, 2020 at 11:09 am

          Worse than that, they also assume that all wavelengths of radiation increase temperature. This is not true. Only radiation from a warmer object will increase the temperature of a cooler object.

          How does the warmer object know to ‘ignore’ the radiation from the cooler object and not increase its temperature? I have never seen an explanation of this on WUWT.

          I’m sorry, but none of that is true. See my post ” Can A Cold Object Warm A Hot Object” for discussion.

          Here’s an example. Suppose there are two widely separated stars, one at say 6,000°C and one at 4,000°C. Now put them next to each other. What happens to the temperature of the hotter star?

          Well, when they were separated the hot star got nothing from its surroundings. When they are close, it’s getting energy from the cool star. So its temperature goes up.

          Note that the cool star also warms up, and that the NET flow always goes from warm to cold.

          w.

          • The hot star gets energy from the cooler star so the hot star cools more slowly, but does not heat up.

          • When the hot star was in isolation it was not cooling off, it was in a state of equilibrium between energy from the core and energy radiated out into space.
            Now it has an additional large input of energy, and just as much coming from the core.
            Why would it be cooling?

          • Willis Eschenbach January 19, 2020 at 11:47 am

            Willis,

            Well I’m sorry but it is true. Actually do the experiment and you will see for yourself. Place an object at a lower temperature next to an object at a higher temperature and watch what happens to the temperature of the warmer object … it does not go up!

            Also, try this thought experiment. We all know an ice cube does emit radiation, even though it is cold. How many ice cubes do you have to surround a pan of water with to make the water boil? You know the answer is that it will never boil. In fact, the temperature of the water will not increase at all.

            Now revisit your example of the 4000 degree star and the 6000 degree star. How many 4000 degree stars do you have to surround the 6000 degree star with to raise its temperature to 10000 degrees? The answer is the same. You could surround it with a hundred 4000 degree stars and its temperature would still not increase at all. Do the experiment.

            Do not use the coat fallacy. Where putting on a cold coat causes you to warm up. That is because you have an internal heat source. If you wrap a steel ball at 100 degrees in a coat, its temperature will not go up. Do the experiment.

            The bottom line is that a cold object absolutely cannot increase the temperature of a warmer object. Put another way, radiation sometimes increases temperature and sometimes it doesn’t.

          • Nicholas, the star is cooling and therefore not in equilibrium. Other cooler objects near it will slow the rate of energy loss, but only hotter objects have the potential of raising its colour temperature.

          • Bernard,

            How does cold space at near absolute zero heat the Earth?

            You’re conflating the heat transfer of matter in contact with other matter with matter heated by absorbing photons. Every photon absorbed by matter adds energy to it increasing it’s tempearture, independent of the temperature of its originating radiator. The GHG effect is radiant as photons returning from GHG molecules (and clouds) that warms the surface.

            It’s not the case of a cold object heating a warmer one, but is more like a cold mirror that reflects energy back to the surface.

            BTW, it’s requires well over 1000 W/m^2 to boil water. No matter how much ice area is emitting radiation, the energy density will never exceed about 315 W/m^2.

          • co2isnotevil January 20, 2020 at 8:47 am

            Sorry for delay responding .. I’ve been travelling. Hope you are still monitoring the thread.

            You said:
            ‘Every photon absorbed by matter adds energy to it increasing it’s temperature, independent of the temperature of its originating radiator’

            This is not true which can be easily proven by experiment. If you place a metal ball at 1000 degrees on a table and then place a second metal ball, also at 1000 degrees, close to it, the temperature of the first ball will not increase … despite the arrival of a large new source of radiated photons. You could surround the first ball by 10 new balls, each at 1000 degrees and the temperature of the first ball will still not increase. The only way to increase the temperature of the first ball is to introduce a second ball that has a higher temperature.

            This simple experiment proves your statement to be incorrect. To increase the temperature of one body, the photons must originate from a different body that has a higher temperature. This is not a theory – it is experimental observation. Just do some experiments with objects at different temperatures and you will quickly confirm it.

            This of course implies lots of interesting conclusions. The key one is that electromagnetic emissions are not all the same … they have different energy levels. Each energy level of radiation can only heat up an object to a certain temperature and not beyond that temperature … no matter how much of that radiation is present. If nobody else has claimed this yet as a scientific discovery, I hereby claim it to be ‘Lodge’s Law’ 🙂

          • Bernard,

            You’re missing the point and your example isn’t relevant since the 1000K metal ball is not in equilibrium and by definition, changes to Earth’s temperature are relative to some steady state. Yes, the metal ball will be radiating and cooling, but if it’s starting from a steady state, what it’s radiating must be the same as what it’s absorbing, thus each additional W/m^2 of photons arriving will increase the stored energy, increasing the temperature, until 1 W/m^2 more is being emitted. The temperature of what’s radiating that 1 W/m^2 of additional input is irrelevant. In your case, the second ball can’t contribute anything to the first one, as it’s incident and emitted W/m^2 must also be in balance to start with. Two balls in equilibrium at 1000K is the same as one bigger ball in equilibrium at 1000K. Why would one further heat the other under any conditions?

            Consider the solar input to the planet of 239 W/m^2. The equivalent temperature is only 255K, yet this is capable of increasing the surface temperature to about 288K. According to your hypothesis, this shouldn’t be possible.

            The EQUIVALENT temperature of the Sun at the distance of the Earth is not the same temperature as the Sun’s surface because W/m^2 decreases as r^2, thus the equivalent temperature goes as 1/r^2. Note that even the reflected sunlight from the Moon has a finite effect on the surface temperature!

            You seem to be hung up on the concept of a linear temperature without consideration for starting from a steady state. I understand why, as the IPCC incorrectly frames the science this way when the physical reality should frame the science around conserving W/m^2, where the EQUIVALENT temperature is calculated at the end of the calculations based on the SB Law. The bottom line is that all Joules are the same and the temperature of their origin doesn’t matter.

          • co2isnotevil January 22, 2020 at 10:01 am

            Thanks for the reply.

            You said:
            “You’re missing the point and your example isn’t relevant since the 1000K metal ball is not in equilibrium”

            I did not say it was in equilibrium. Equilibrium is a red herring. My experiment is taken from the real world where nothing is in equilibrium.

            You said:
            “by definition, changes to Earth’s temperature are relative to some steady state”

            That may be your definition but it is not mine. In the real world, changes in temperature are relative to what they were a moment ago. When you change an input, what happens to temperature the next moment … does it go up or does it go down? A simple experimental observation … not a theory.

            You said:
            “You seem to be hung up on the concept of a linear temperature without consideration for starting from a steady state.”

            I am not hung up on anything, I am simply doing an experiment and observing the results. In the real world, there is no steady state, there is just the current temperature of an object.

            You said:
            “The bottom line is that all Joules are the same and the temperature of their origin doesn’t matter.”

            All Joules are the same is like saying all inches are the same. Twelve inches of pipe is not the same as twelve inches of string. Forget Joules … that is a unit of measure … I am saying that all photons are not the same … though they can all be measured using Joules. Adding twelve inches of pipe to twelve inches of string does not give you twenty-four inches of either pipe or string.

            My bottom line is that you should do the actual experiment and observe the results. If you place an object at 500 degrees next to an object at 1000 degrees, the temperature of the warmer object does not go up. BUT, if you place an object at 1000 degrees next to an object at 500 degrees, the temperature of the 500 degree object does go up. This is a real experiment. How do you explain those results?

            Not only that, if you place a hundred objects at 500 degrees next to an object at 1000 degrees, the temperature of the 1000 degree object still does not go up … not even by a tiny amount, despite the massive increase in Joules! That is because the photons emitted by the 500 degree objects are only capable of raising the temperature of another object to a maximum of 500 degrees. It does not matter how many of these photons are present.

            When you ponder these real experimental results, it leads you to the inescapable conclusion that a cooler object can never raise the temperature of a warmer object … ever!
            My bottom line (Lodge’s Law) is that, in the real world, sometimes radiated photons increase temperature and sometimes they don’t – it depends on the temperatures of both the emitting and absorbing objects! Please do the experiment yourself to confirm these results.

    • No WONDER the temperature is so stable – if it tries to change, it is INSTANTLY cancelled, by the increasing RATE of radiation. Sorry, CO2, you have nothing compared to that…

      But CO2 re-absorbs the the increased RATE of radiation . The S-B Law is key to AGW. As CO2 accumulates in the upper atmosphere where it is DRIER & COLDER the mean altitude at which energy is emitted to space increases. This means that the energy is emitted from a COLDER layer.

      As you correctly point out E = sigma x T^4 so outgoing rate of emission will be reduced and we will have

      Incoming Solar Energy greater than Outgoing LW energy = Warming

      The debate isn’t about the relevance of CO2 (it is relevant) it’s about the magnitude of feedbacks. Spencer & Lindzen, for example, explicitly argue feedbacks are negligible Others such as Lewis & Curry also imply feedbacks are small from study conclusions.

      I’m less sure now. I think natural factors (ocean,solar) have dampened warming since ~2000 but warming appears to have resumed quite noticeably in recent years.

      • John

        Co2 is well mixed so should have a worldwide and consistent effect on temperatures. It doesn’t, both the UK and many parts of the US amongst other places have been cooling since the start of the century .

        This nuance is lost in ‘averaging’ which disguises those places cooling and those warming and those places not doing much at all.

        Tonyb

        • Internal variability hasn’t gone away. Some regions will still warm faster – or slower – than others. In fact we would have expected a dip in global temperatures post-2000 but all we got was a ‘pause’ of sorts.

        • both the UK …… have been cooling since the start of the century

          Could you be more specific about this “cooling since the start of the century”. Is this a statistically significant cooling? Which dataset shows this cooling?

          The earth is warming. It has been for several decades. Warming won’t be uniform across all parts of the world but that’s expected because of regional variability.

        • I’m not sure CO2 is well-mixed. NASA launched OCO-2 in 2014 to scan the world for CO2 concentrations. Rather than showing a well-mixed more or less even distribution it shows much the same big variations as other climate variables in local and the long term. CO2 distribution looks much like the temperature distributions, wind speed distribution, radiation, etc.

          Well-mixed is not a characteristic of the atmosphere, the ground, or the oceans. That supports Willis’ theory that many climate processes respond rapidly to changes and tend to keep the earth within a fairly narrow temperature range. All of the ice core data and most of the other paleo datasets also show that even across glaciations the temperatures have stayed within a range of about 10°C.

          • Philo January 19, 2020 at 5:48 pm

            I’m not sure CO2 is well-mixed. NASA launched OCO-2 in 2014 to scan the world for CO2 concentrations. Rather than showing a well-mixed more or less even distribution it shows much the same big variations as other climate variables in local and the long term.

            Here’s sample data from OCO:

            While that looks poorly mixed, it’s an artifact of the graphic. The range goes from 387 to 402.5. This a total range of about ±2% … and of course, the stadard deviation is much less than that, likely on the order of ±0.5%.

            And this in climate terms is indeed well mixed compared to the other main greenhouse gas, water vapor.

            Best regards,

            w.

      • … quite noticeably in recent years….

        In western WI we sure could have used your noticeable warming these past 3 years. I am hoping.

      • john finn,

        “But CO2 re-absorbs the the increased RATE of radiation . ”

        What happens to the re-absorbed radiation? Does it, in turn, get re-radiated as well?

    • It is incorrect to apply the Stefan-Boltzman Law to a single gas species, such as CO2, that radiates in a comparatively few, distinct spectral bands. Such a gas cannot be approximated as a blackbody or grey body radiator with an “emissivity term” and T^4 dependence.

      Also, although CO2 can distribute absorbed radiation energy via collisions with other, less energetic gas molecules, including other CO2 molecules (a process known as “thermalization”) it only absorbs radiation in a small portion of the continuous LWIR band at which Earth (as a true grey body) radiates over surface temperatures in the range of 200-350 K (~4-70 micon wavelength range).

      Lack of awareness of this two fact leads many to misunderstanding (and overestimating) the role that CO2 plays in affecting Earth’s radiation balance, and thus its “average” temperature. I believe this applies to misunderstanding the basics of ECS, as well.

      • i keep telling climate warriors on social media an unenclosed gas cannot fit the definition of “body” or “system” because where would the system boundaries be, and how does this “body” absorb any and all light frequencies and why isn’t the body temperature homogeneous. when you look at emissivity tables you can find metals, rocks, wood, snow, ice but there are no gases. maybe free floating gases at room temperature don’t have the intensity to make any difference. like does anyone worry about the cold photons leftover from the big bang?

  2. What!? Gavin Schmidt is not a Climate Scientists? Well according to every alarmists I have ever crossed swords with that, by default, renders him unqualified to have an opinion on the topic of AGW let alone to speak out and write about it. Holy Cwap! How come the General Alarmist community doesn’t know about this?

    • Bill, as you point out, the claim that nobody but a “climate scientist” should speak about the climate is hilarious. NOBODY is a climate scientist because the field is far too broad. It encompasses a whole host of scientific disciplines: physics, chemistry, oceanography, computer science, statistics, lithography, atmospheric physics, biology, the list goes on and on. Nobody can be an expert in all of those.

      Regards,

      w.

      • My thoughts entirely! I had the displeasure of listening to Schmidt on the BBC’s latest scare/propagandist climate emergency airing. He speaks so well – more in the Little Red Riding Hood kind of mode – to scare BBC listeners that the end is nigh. Oh dear.

      • Beyond that, they have set themselves up as a gatekeeper regarding who is qualified to call themselves a “climate scientist”. If you don’t agree with them, then by definition you aren’t qualified.

        • Pretty much by definition if you want to be considered an “expert” you need to keep in line with the consensus. Once you have an original thought that goes against the consensus you cease being an expert and are now considered a “quack”. This is the status quo of all science… it amazes me that things ever move forward.

        • Thank you, Mark. In all my discussions with alarmists – who always ask, ‘are you a climate scientist?’ – I ask them to define what a climate scientist is. I also ask them to name but three. They generally fail. But, if they name Mann, or Schmidt et al, I then go on to ask them, what their qualifications are (of the named). I could make a fortune on betting that nearly all will fail to include statisticians.

      • My mum does lithography, does that make her a qualified climatologist !

        “1991: Eruption of Pinatubo will lead to ~2-3 yrs of cooling”

        yes, Lacis et al 1992, from Gav’s own GISS team made very good , physics based calculations based on observations of El Chichon 1982. So , why did they drop physics based modelling in Hansen et al 2005 in favour of tweaking fudge factors and increasing volcanic forcing by almost 50%, to get the models to do what they wanted.

        Having modelled volcanic effects and made a reasonably successful prediction you’d think they’d keep it , not throw it out.

        Maybe he just forgot to mention that.

        • self correction:

          They change AOD scaling from 30 W ( Lacis ) to 22W ( Hansen ) , thus reducing the forcing and by inference increasing the sensitivity of climate to radiative forcing.

      • @Willis – you left out the psychologists, sociologists, and economists from that list of “experts.” Not to mention the politicians, actors, and “journalists” who, of course, know far more than any of the plebeian masses.

        • And let’s not forget those academics who inhabit university departments of “climate communication”. Otherwise known as “schools of how to try and scare people”.

      • Would this not discount most of what the IPCC base their conclusions on as most of the experts who contribute to their reports are experts in one discipline only?

        Could you comment on the missing ‘hot spot’, both the hypothesis/theory of why it should occur with CAGW and the possible reasons for it not being there? Also, how has this not killed the CAGW monster as it is a major failed prediction?

      • Willis
        Firstly thank you for your excellent article.
        I consider myself a Climate Engineer.
        I have over thirty years experience in designing and building infrastructure.
        Although I currently project manage road construction, I many years experience in flood mitigation. I need to understand rainfall. – I am a Climate Engineer.
        Additionally, I have great respect for Climate Pilots, Climate Sailors, and Climate Farmers – they all need to have an understanding of climate.

      • You forgot geography, Willis.

        I understand that universities that offer degrees in climate science generally put the discipline in the geography department!

        I could add another “I don’t know why” comment but the reason they give is that it isn’t a hard science like chemistry, physics, or geology!

        I don’t mean to denigrate the effort but can we take it that serious if it’s just another branch of geography? Maybe the alarmists want it that way so they can’t be tied down, or funding is easier to get with a nebulous discipline.

        Certainly Gavin has shown significant loose ends in his approach and the government seldom asks for verification–they’re rolling in dough! A circus loaded with lots of clowns is entertaining for a reason! Point out their folly and ringmaster Mann raises his whip!

      • Please don’t leave geologists off the list!

        I suspect there’s more scepticism of CAGW by geologists than any other sort of scientist, probably because we’re good at analysing complex natural systems, we have intuitive understandings of time and scale, and we’ve seen it (i.e. climate change) all before multiple times. A lot of us have also tried earth modelling of some sort or other, with levels of skill ranging from zero to pretty good.

        Willis, I always enjoy reading your articles and don’t worry about not having letters before or after your name. In the end, they don’t matter. What does matter is the truth, and that always comes out eventually.

  3. In reply to:

    There is an alternative physical explanation for the stratosphere cooling, to atmospheric CO2 changes.

    “a) Increasing CO2 will cause the stratosphere to cool. This is obviously evidence in support of theory 1. Here’s the record of stratospheric temperatures, from the Microwave Sounding Units on a succession of satellites.”

    A reduction in cloud cover will also cause stratospheric cooling. There are peer reviewed papers that assert there is evidence of a major reduction in cloud cover post-1994 in the climate record.

    Less reflected sunlight will also cause the stratosphere to cool. Ozone absorbs the sunlight so if sunlight is reflected off of clouds the reflected sunlight has a second opportunity to heat the stratosphere.

    • Interesting, William. I hadn’t considered those.

      One other curiosity. The RSS satellite temperatures show no stratospheric cooling since about five years after the Pinatubo eruption … go figure.

      w.

      • A perhaps off the wall thought came to mind about stratospheric cooling: There aren’t any SR-71’s flying around anymore to inject exhaust products in the stratosphere. One good outcome of a cold stratosphere is trapping water below where UV would strip hydrogen off water molecules and allowing them to escape to space.

        I do think you are on the right track in regards to the thermo-regulatory effect of tropical thunderstorms, especially when considering that the vapor pressure of water doubles about every 10C rise.

        • Nicholas McGinley:

          The hot spot was caused by a stalled high pressure weather system, which eventually moved on.

    • indeed William but there is more to it than just cloud cover, it is why cloud cover may change. One reason is a change in the concentration of cloud condensation nuclei, another cause of change is a change in ozone, ozone dropped by between 5 and 8% after mt. P.

      What Gav et al fail to tell everyone is that volcanoes also produce stratospheric cooling. This can be clearly seen as the step change AFTER the initial warming ( eruptions warm the stratosphere as they cool the lower climate ). Then the opposite accurs as the system settles to the “new normal”.

      https://climategrog.wordpress.com/uha_tls/

      Climate con-men like the GISS team prefer to draw a straight line though those step changes and pretend it due to CO2 and thus “proof” of their hypothesis.

      As the lower stratosphere clearly cooled, once the initial aerosols had dispersed, we can conclude that it became less opaque to solar radiation than before . That means more energy gets through to the lower climate. Volcanoes cause global warming, they don’t mention that.

      • This is the paper I was thinking about. There is another paper that shows planetary temperature changes correlate with solar wind bursts and the solar wind bursts were caused by coronal holes.

        As Palle, notes the changes in cloud cover are regional not global and are consistent with the regions affected by the mechanism electroscavenging.

        Solar wind bursts create a space charge difference in the ionosphere which causes current flow for a few days which in turn affects planetary temperature.

        https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/The-possible-connection-between-ionization-in-the-Pall%C3%A9a-Butlerb/4ad159e3523889be89dce82297271472d4c024bc

        A simple linear fit to the yearly low cloud data (Fig. 2) has a slope – 0.065%/yr.

        The possible connection between ionization in the atmosphere by cosmic rays and low level clouds

        Nonetheless they appear to be marginally field significant over broad latitude and longitude bands with a peak positive correlation at 50 degrees North and South and a tendency to negative correlation at lower latitudes. The correlation is strongest over the North and South Atlantic. Several of these features are consistent with the predictions of the electroscavenging process.

        However, the symmetry in the significance distribution over the northern and southern hemispheres (see next section) points to a physical mechanism behind the correlation. The correlation distribution does become field significant if one looks only at the latitude bands 40–60_ in both hemispheres. Moreover if detrended low cloud data is used, the significances for all cells increase and the correlation becomes field significant (although marginally) over the whole earth.

        The second process, considered by Tinsley and Yu (2003), namely electroscavenging, depends on the action of the global electrical circuit (see review by Rycroft et al. (2000)). The transport of charge by rapidly rising convective currents in the tropics and over continental land masses leads to a _200 kV positive charge of the ionosphere compared to Earth.

        This large voltage difference, in turn, necessitates a return current which must pass through the regions of the atmosphere where clouds are formed. As cosmic rays are the principal agent of ionization in the atmosphere above 1 km altitude, any modulation of the GCR flux due to solar activity is likely to affect the transport of charge to complete the global electrical circuit. Tinsley and Yu (2003) discuss how the build up of electrostatic charge at the tops and bottoms of clouds could affect the scavenging of ice forming nuclei (IFN) and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) by droplets, and how this can lead to greater rates of precipitation and a reduction in cloud cover. They find that the electroscavenging process is likely to be more important over oceanic
        rather than continental regions and that it leads to a positive correlation between clouds and cosmic rays at higher latitudes and a negative correlation at low latitudes.

        Thus the electroscavenging process can explain several of the most striking features of Fig. 5, namely: (1) the peak in significant positive correlations at latitudes around 50 degrees North and South (Fig. 5a); (2) the tendency for a less significant but nonetheless evident trend to negative correlation coefficients at low latitudes (Fig. 5a); and (3) the location of the peak in
        correlation over one of the principal oceans, namely over the North and South Atlantic (Fig. 5c).

  4. My grasp of climate ‘science’ is pretty poor, though by reason and instinct I veer towards scepticism. But as a writer I do need to query ‘falsifiable’. Is this a Freudian slip by Dr. Schmidt, or does the word have a totally different meaning in science-speak? Falsifiable surely means to make a falsehood of something.

    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability

      “An hypothesis is falsifiable if some observation might show it to be false. For example, in order to verify the claim “All swans are white” one would have to observe every swan; but the observation of a single black swan would be sufficient to falsify the claim. “All swans are white” is falsifiable because the observation “Here is a black swan” shows it to be false.

      Falsifiability was introduced by the philosopher of science Karl Popper in his book The Logic of Scientific Discovery, as an answer to both the Problem of Induction and the Demarcation Problem. He saw falsifiability as the cornerstone of critical rationalism, his theory of science.[1]

      Falsifiability is a key notion in the separation of science from non-science, and as such has featured prominently in many scientific controversies, even being used as legal precedent. ”

      end except

      I hope that helps.

    • In this context, “Falsifiable” means “capable of being falsified” in the sense that there are experiments one could do that, if the results turn out in a particular way, would prove the theory is false. Sigmund Freud’s theory of the mind was considered by some to be unscientific because, for any unpredicted behavior, Freud could later come up with a reason (the id, ego or superego) why the behavior was actually consistent with the theory. Schmidt claims that his theory does not have that characteristic – that, if false, it can be shown to be false.

    • Tish,
      A theory or hypothesis is falsifiable if it allows us to make predictions. If the predictions agree with subsequent observations, it is evidence that the theory is true. If they do not come to pass, then the failure is evidence that the theory is false. The possibility of a failed prediction makes the theory falsifiable—it could be shown to be false. It is never possible to say that the theory is proven (or “settled science”), but only that there is strong evidence that it is close to the correct understanding if it has been tested and has not been falsified.

      Falsifiability is a necessary attribute of a useful scientific theory. A theory that can be twisted into explaining any outcome is not a scientific theory, it is more of a religion. If your theory is that the sun god controls the weather, whatever the weather turns out to be, the theory says was caused by the sun god’s will. No outcome can falsify that theory. Droughts and floods are signs of the sun god’s wrath. Pleasant weather indicates that the sun god is pleased with us.

      Alarmists convolute their theories to cover every outcome. “Record cold is just what would be expected from climate change“. Their theories are not falsifiable.

  5. Increases in GHGs will be detectable in space-based spectra.

    As far as I can tell, no satellites have produced spectra for LWIR at wavelengths greater than 15 um. There is a European satellite scheduled for launch around 2025. link

    As far as I can tell, all the TOA upwelling spectra I have seen are the product of calculation, not measurement.

  6. The term ‘iterative’ pulled me in because my colleague Philip Mulholland and I used it here:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/07/18/using-an-iterative-adiabatic-model-to-study-the-climate-of-titan/

    Willis’s objection to iterative models is that one needs to identify how such models can be constrained from spiralling out of control. All current iterative climate models fail to address that issue and so can only work by hindcasting the past.

    Our model deals with that issue by pointing out that radiative imbalances are automatically neutralised by changes in the speed of convective overturning (as per Willis’s own thermostat hypothesis) which adjusts the balance between radiation and conduction at the surface beneath an atmosphere.

    The result is that our model becomes predictive as to the tropopause height required to achieve stability for any planet or moon with an atmosphere (hydrostatic equilibrium) and that prediction of tropopause height works for all the planets or moons with atmospheres that we have been able to measure.

    Our model works for a radiatively transparent atmosphere so it follows that if our model is accepted to be accurate then there is no longer any place for radiative gases as an influence on surface temperatures.

    • Stephen
      Back when I got my first personal computer — an Atari 800 — I spent a lot of time using the approach to model things with the System Dynamics approach of iteration. I remember trying to model the terminal velocity of a falling object such as a bullet. It worked as expected up until it got close to what I thought the terminal velocity should be (~120-150 MPH), and then suddenly started oscillating wildly with unreasonable velocity values. At first I thought that I was seeing the results of turbulence. I then realized that what I was seeing was the result of round-off error as the denominator approached zero, produced very large numbers, and then worked its way back down. Iteration has unique pitfalls.

      • Is that relevant to our model though?
        Our model incorporates the effects of decompression / compression and not just the height off the ground. Decompression and compression involve far higher energy quantities than simple raising and lowering a piece of solid matter.

        • Clyde is describing a computational problem and you are describing a physics problem.

          Digital signal processors have a solution to the inaccuracy produced by iteration/quantization. They can have a data bus 128 bits wide so they can accurately calculate an answer that is 16 bits wide.

          Think about it. You bring in 12 bit data from an a/d, you perform successive iterations and you end up with 128 bits. Then you throw away your 112 least significant bits and you have a useful 16 bit result. After that, you can probably throw away another 4 least significant bits because you only started with 12 bits in the first place.

      • Clyde, this is a well known property of a brute-force attack on iterative systems, and modern differential equation solvers handle it well. I am more interested to know if Stephen’s method could be applied to Earth.

      • Peter Gibbons : [Explaining the plan] Alright so when the sub routine compounds the interest is uses all these extra decimal places that just get rounded off. So we simplified the whole thing, we rounded them all down, drop the remainder into an account we opened.

        Joanna : [Confused] So you’re stealing?

        Peter Gibbons : Ah no, you don’t understand. It’s very complicated. It’s uh it’s aggregate, so I’m talking about fractions of a penny here. And over time they add up to a lot.
        Office Space (the movie, 1999)

  7. > “If nothing else, the discrete digital nature of each calculation assures that there with be slight roundoff errors. If these are left uncorrected they can easily accumulate and bring the model down.”

    “We lose a little on each transaction, but make up for it in volume.”
    ~ someone in Dilbert maybe?

    > “He just pushed it back into balance with each timestep, turned his back, and kept rolling.”

    This reminds me of an incredible scene in Arnold Federbush’s 1978 novel Ice! which is a sudden-onset ice age scenario, unsung inspiration for the Day After Tomorrow movie. It makes up in drama and novelty for the little losses of science rigor. In a room is somehow built a real ‘model’ apparatus of Earth’s climate, with rocks and water and dirt and air and fans and chillers and heat lamps and thermo-meters and what have you. And this model even passes some initial stress test, miraculously synchronizing to the day’s actual conditions like some Copernican clockwork orrery of climate. Then exhausted after this hard day’s work the protagonist falls asleep with the model running and wakes with a shiver to discover it has devolved into a crusty Ice Age. Then in fine disaster novel tradition real events begin to mirror the apparatus.

  8. “My question was, why is the climate so stable?”

    I would suggest because the sun is so massively stable, and that the other things you mentioned, for the most part, directly or indirectly, take their marching orders from it.

    • icisil January 18, 2020 at 10:51 am Edit

      “My question was, why is the climate so stable?”

      I would suggest because the sun is so massively stable, and that the other things you mentioned, for the most part, directly or indirectly, take their marching orders from it.

      In fact, the weather is changing at all times at all points of the surface. There is no reason a priori to assume that these will all average out to within ±0.3°C over the 20th century, and every reason to assume they wouldn’t.

      w.

      • Even with the 11 year solar cycle our sun is stable. One thing I’ve never seen discussed is Earth sits on the very inner edge of the habitable zone. With that in mind, any tiny increase in solar radiation could have a greater effect on climate than if Earth sat more in the middle or further back in the habitable zone. Are you aware of any discussion on the effect on climate from our position in the habitable zone?

          • Mars the jury is still out, Curiosity found organic matter and the new Rover to do further testing wont be there until late this year or early next.

            Venus we have no data either way as the planet has had limited probes land.

          • When Mars had a thicker atmosphere, it had liquid water. And that was back when the sun wasn’t as bright as it is today.

            The habitable zone just means that water is liquid on the surface of planets at standard pressure.

    • On the real global climatic scales that matter, ie tens of thousands to hundreds of millions of years, Earth’s climate is not stable.

      • True but immaterial. The question still exists, why is it so stable on the centennial scale?

        Also, even in the long run, in the last hundred million years, despite years of endless volcanoes, despite being hit by a giant meteorite, we haven’t spiraled into an ice-covered ball or died of heat-death. And after each such catastrophe, the climate has recovered to where it was before and gone on.

        w.

        • It’s relatively stable on the centennial scale because the major movers of climate change operate on much longer time intervals.

          Over short periods of tens, hundreds to thousands of years, our water world is largely homeostatic. Yet interglacials still show fairly regular climatic fluctuations even on multi-decadal and centennial scales. Within each several century-long secular trend, there are pro- and counter-trend cycles. Recognizing these facts falsifies the CACA hypothesis.

          Variation of a few degrees in apparent global average T from the height of warm intervals, like the Holocene Climate Optimum, to the depths of cold spells, like the LIA, is indeed stable compared to the changes observed going into and coming out of glaciations, and between stadials and interstadials within them.

          In order even to begin to try to tease out a man-made global signal, the existence and causes of such natural fluctuations need to be recognized and assessed.

          So, IMO, hardly immaterial. Rather, essential.

        • In the early Cenozoic, climate recovered to where it was after the big impact to end the Mesozoic Era, but then it entered an Ice House in the Oligocene Epoch, in the grips of which we still are. The causes appear both astronomical and tectonic. Ice ages got worse in the Pleistocene, probably due to formation of the Isthmus of Panama.

          For most of the Phanerozoic Eon, Earth has been a lot hotter than now. It was briefly as cold as today during the Ordovician-Silurian ice age, and for much longer during the Carboniferous-Permian ice age. But before the O-S, between it and the C-P and during the Mesozoic Era and first two epochs of the Cenozoic Era, Earth was usually hot, hot, hot, compared to now. Often ten degrees C balmier, and spiking even higher.

        • Willis your iris effect which is driven by the condensing GHG is the moderator of all.

          The great wonder is that protein remains in tact in our temperature band.

    • The sun, while very stable in its radiation, is not a source of energy stability on earth, where it’s energy is impacting a sphere of chaotic fluids at rates that constantly vary in all possible dimensions.

  9. Peak Medieval Warm Period heat happened before AD 1300, and the Little Ice Age Cool Period began before AD 1600.

    Various start dates for the LIA have been suggested from AD 1300 (or even earlier) to 1550. Does the Wolf Minimum (1280 to 1350) belong to the late MWP or early LIA? Warmth returned in the second half of the 14th century, so it’s conventional to date the onset of the LIA from c. 1400, with decent into the inclement weather of the Spörer Minimum.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spörer_Minimum#/media/File%3ACarbon14_with_activity_labels.svg

    While the MWP thus suffered just two shallow solar mínima, the LIA was slammed with three brutal minima, the worst of which was the long, deep Maunder.

    Mann of course tries to blame the LIA on volcanoes rather than the quiet sun.

      • Glad you concur.

        Here are the known VEI-6 and -7 eruptions during recognized warm and cool intervals of the past two millennia, with approximate dates:

        Roman WP (AD 50-500): 3 VEI-6 and 1 VEI-7 (Vesuvius rated a 5).

        Dark Ages CP (500-950): 4 VEI-6 and 1 VEI-7 (one 6 in AD 930).

        Medieval WP (950-1400): 1 VEI-6 and 2 VEI-7.

        Little Ice Age CP (1400-1850): 6 VEI-6 and 1 VEI-7.

        Modern WP (1850-present): 4 VEI-6 and 0 VEI-7 to date.

        Cool Periods do seem to have more big eruptions, but not enough to make a difference, and the period dates are to some degree fungible. The Modern WP has been active, but so far lacks a VEI-7, thank God.

        The effects of even the biggest tropical (which cause more cooling) eruptions are fleeting.

    • “Mann of course tries to blame the LIA on volcanoes rather than the quiet sun.”

      Funny that now the science is starting to catch up to the fact that a quiescent sun and volcanoes go hand in hand and not in ways Michael Mann thinks…..

    • “Does the Wolf Minimum (1280 to 1350) belong to the late MWP or early LIA? ”

      Good question, from my findings in the ordering of solar cycles and centennial minima, I would say that the little ice age series of grand solar minima began with a longer centennial minimum from around 1215 AD, which agrees with Esper et al 2014, and with weather chronicles. The centennial solar minimum in the early 1100’s although short, was very deep and cold according to proxies and weather chronicles from Europe and the Near East. Sporer was in fact two separate centennial minima, a very long one from 1425 and a shorter one from 1550, the 1530’s were very warm and 1540 was hotter than 2003 in Europe.
      Tropical volcanic eruptions normally slightly warm N Hemisphere winters, and typically occur just after extreme cold N Hemisphere winter periods, so if anything the LIA drove the eruptions.

      • Thanks!

        If only we presently enjoyed real paleoclimatology, trying to understand the past, instead of squandering billions of GIGO models failing to predict the future.

    • John Tilman:

      Regarding the start date of the Little Ice Age, if 1350 is used, the VEI7 eruption of Mount Rinjani would fall into the MWP, as well as the string of 6 VEI5 eruptions of Tarawera 1310-1315, which caused the great famine of 1315-17, because of the colder weather.

      This is ridiculous, they clearly belong in the LIA!

      Tarawera’s SO2 aerosols settled out around 1320, and warming resumed, with the next large eruption not occurring until 40 years later, El Chichon VEI5 in 1360. And Oreafajokull VEI5 in 1362.

      With this adjustment, the MWP had only 6 VEI5 eruptions and 1 VEI7 eruption over a period of ~300 years, as opposed to at least 34 VEI5, 8 VEI6, and 2 VEI7 eruptions during the LIA. There is a huge difference in large volcanic eruptions between the 2 eras!

      I have pointed this out to you earlier, but you persist in using 1350 as the starting date of the LIA.
      And, as I also pointed our earlier, it is impossible to determine changes in solar output by proxy measurements because of interfering SO2 aerosols, so the LIA cooling cannot be attributed to sunspot activity.

      Just volcanoes. For once, Mann is correct.

  10. Great presentation Willis. About the only complaint I have about all this is temperatures are always shown as an anomaly, which implies there is one true baseline. Well, there is no true baseline that we can calculate. How do we know the current state of the Earth isn’t too low and all we are doing is catching up?

    But when you fix the baseline at some arbitrary point in the past and call it normal in a trending up state, you can sure put out graphs that have very intense reds and even Barney colors to terrorize your readers.

    And then the Steven Mosher’s of the world can take their “data” as they call it, grind it around in a few iteration loops, and spit out new numbers more in line with the terror campaign.

    • The complaint I have is that we’re presented with a single line as a “global temperature” (or anomaly, makes no difference). There is no such thing, it’s a mathematical abstract that has no physical meaning.

  11. Willis
    You stated the question, “… are my educational bona fides up to your high standards?” When a zealot demands one answer that question, it is a not-so-subtle “ad hominem attack on the author, and avoids dealing with the facts and logic of the author’s stated position. Whatever “bona fides” one presents, the zealot can (and will) raise the bar and object that it doesn’t meet their standards, again avoiding the legitimate response of attacking the argument rather than the author. I don’t know how many times I have seen self-righteous defenders of the orthodoxy respond that way to a comment directed to a Yahoo ‘news’ article. It was even more common back in the days when I responded to articles posted on The Conversation blog. One Australian woman complained that she couldn’t find my digital presence on the internet. The problem was that most of what I have had published was either company proprietary, or classified, and typically written before Al Gore invented the internet! 🙂

    Incidentally, the right-hand sides of Figure 1 are reminiscent of the uncertainty envelope demonstrated by Pat Frank.

  12. Thank you Willis, another of your very thoughtful posts. Sanity incarnate.

    My analog analysis of any idea I am trying to develop an understanding of always starts with how to filter the overwhelming amount of information typically available. Your post uses one of my primary rules of engagement:

    “We don’t know”. If this concept is not honestly conveyed in prodigious quantity, the source gets down marks.
    Pat Franks excellent series of posts relating to model uncertainty go to the heart of this concept.

    Another concept I adhere to, which you clearly share, if that the purpose, and measure, of learning about something is the ability to ask better questions.

    The bulk of the information posted by the AGW adherents usually fails both of these miserably. The reason, trivial…they “believe” in what they are saying. The concepts of faith (religion) and science are not the same.

    Your idea of emergent physical mechanisms which act to counter temperature changes is, I think, similar to my own take of how our bodies physically deal with ionizing radiation (nuclear engineering is one of my life side roads…). The current “settled science” with respect to how radiation affects us is embodied in the linear threshold theory (any amount is bad). A more nuanced, and actual data supported theory, is the concept of hormesis (a non linear response with perhaps, some positive elements at low levels). I suspect that there may be some interesting underlying behaviors going on that relate your emergent feedback idea with biological hormesis, and that both relate to the behavior of systems with chaotic tendencies, when subjected to any change .

    The trouble with learning is that it just generates more questions!

    And what fun that trouble is!

    Best,
    Ethan Brand

  13. W,

    If I weren’t 75, unscientific, and an inveterate word cuisinart, I would consider you my hero. That said, you are a reliable source for a scientific dilettante use.

    Your longstanding efforts, intellectual girth, and palpable humility would make Lincoln proud.

    Thanks for your hard work and passion, Willis.

    Best,

    The Energy Pragmatist and Word Merchant

    • Stephen Heins- My Mac lets me highlight a word, right click and take the Look Up option to get the definition of the word. It helps me significantly when people of your ilk post these multi-syllabic words that are half French and half Latin and only used by people like yourself and the late, great William F Buckley. 🙂

      And Willis sneaks a few in now and then as well.

  14. Thanks so very much for a very informative posting. I am always eager and happy to learn something new and to reinforce any previously acquired knowledge on this subject. This is definitely much better than an Open University…

  15. Willis your efforts are legendary I cant believe you have put up with this S@@@ for years. My prediction for 2020 Trump will get the congress and senate back with huge majorities and Will Happer or others will end this nonsense.

  16. “The interesting part of our interaction was what convinced me that he was a lousy programmer. I asked him about his program, the GISS Global Climate Model. I was interested in how his model made sure that energy was conserved. I asked what happened at the end of each model timestep to verify that energy was neither created nor destroyed.”

    Gavin is not a lousy programmer. The energy correction is what every program that is based on conservation of energy has to do. It conserves energy. That provision would have been in GISS GCMs since Hansen’s time. It is in every other GCM, and in every CFD program that has to run for any substantial length of time.

    Now CFD is a major engineering tool. CFD was not written by lousy programmers.

    CFD, of which GCMs are a branch, solves the progress of a flow subject to conservation of mass, energy and momentum. You work out what forces apply, use F=ma and at the end of a timestep, have a new state which should have achieved that conservation. The scheme is discretised; there will be some error. We knew that. But the error should not be in total energy (or mass) because that will be accumulated. Other errors mainly attenuate by diffusion. So to the equations which express the exchange of mass, energy and momentum between cells, you add an equation which says the global total must be unchanged.

    CFD often does not have an explicit correction because of use of a conservation form. That builds the correction into the basic equations. More elegant, but same effect.

    • Nick, please learn to read before attacking at random. I didn’t say he was a lousy programmer for how he dealt with the energy imbalance. I specifically said that was OK.

      I said he was a lousy programmer for not putting a Murphy Gauge on the amount of energy re-distributed, so he could see when and where it went off the rails.

      He said the way that the GISS model handled that imbalance was to take the excess or the shortage of energy and sprinkle it evenly over the entire planet.
       
      Now, that seemed reasonable for trivial amounts of imbalance coming from digitization. But what if it were larger, and it arose from some problem with their calculations? What then?
       
      So I asked him how large that energy imbalance typically was … and to my astonishment, he said he didn’t know.
       
      Amazed, I asked if he had some computer version of a “Murphy Gauge” on the excess energy. A “Murphy Gauge” (below) is a gauge that allows for Murphy’s Law by letting you set an alarm if the variable goes outside of the expected range … which of course it will, Murphy says so. On the computer, the equivalent would be something in his model that would warn him if the excess or shortage of energy exceeded some set amount.
       
      Nope. Not only did he have no Murphy Gauge set, but he also had no idea how far the model went off the rails regarding the conservation of energy, either on average or in individual timesteps. He just pushed it back into balance with each timestep, turned his back, and kept rolling.

      w.

      • Willis,
        “I said he was a lousy programmer for not putting a Murphy Gauge on the amount of energy re-distributed”
        And my assertion is that he is not. He has dealt with a universal CFD issue in a conventional way. I have never seen anyone apply a “Murphy Gauge” in these circumstances.

        The function of solving the equations iteratively is to get a set of numbers at the end of each step consistent with conservation laws. Here an equation requiring global conservation is added, a perfectly valid equation. The fixer process in effect gives it very high weight. But it is part of the system.

        CFD programs (and GCMs) are monitored for signs of failure. These are well known – I described the general stability issues in a WUWT post. They are characterised by exponentially growing modes, which can be quickly spotted. In comparison with these, the very slow growth of total energy or mass discrepancy would be a poor diagnostic.

        • Nick Stokes January 18, 2020 at 1:07 pm

          Willis,

          “I said he was a lousy programmer for not putting a Murphy Gauge on the amount of energy re-distributed”

          And my assertion is that he is not. He has dealt with a universal CFD issue in a conventional way. I have never seen anyone apply a “Murphy Gauge” in these circumstances.

          Look, Nick, I don’t care what you’ve seen or haven’t seen. THINK ABOUT IT. You have a chance to see whether your model is going seriously off the rails and being nudged back on every timestep. Why would you NOT want a Murphy Gauge on that? Why would you ignore such a critical indicator of error by simply munging the data back into balance each time, regardless of the size of the error???

          w.

      • Willis, you may personally know, or are at least familiar with Christopher Essex’s (Canadian Mathematician) work regarding Climate Computer Models, or you are probably quite familiar with his perspective on climate models from some other such mathematician, or from even your own expertise – not needing anyone else’s input because of your own broad knowledge. Having made the aforementioned “excuse me, in case you know this already”, I think that the below excellent 1 hour presentation by Mr. Essex, to some folks somewhere in England, is relevant to Computer Climate Modeling discussions. It starts very slow, and seems trivial at first, but hang with it for its excellent revelations on the enormous deficiencies of Computer Climate Modeling.
        Hang with it, it is worth the 1 hour…
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/02/20/believing-in-six-impossible-things-before-breakfast-and-climate-models/

      • Gavin seems to be obsessed with the conservation of energy, correctly, but to an exclusion of other valid concerns. Here he defends models which neglect the temperature dependence of a latent heat of water evaporation, resulting in a 2.5% error in energy transfer by water evaporation from tropical seas. Who cares for a 2.5% error when we can use a pretty good approximation?

        ” The temperature dependence of L depends on the differences in specific heat in each phase (since energy must be conserved in a condense–> warm –> evaporate –> cool cycle), and the dependence is then

        L(T) = L0 + (c_vap – c_cond) * T

        What the appropriate form for L is depends on what the total energy function is in the atmosphere. If the specific heats of condensate and vapour is assumed to be zero (which is a pretty good assumption given the small ratio of water to air, and one often made in atmospheric models) then the appropriate L is constant (=L0). (Note that all models correctly track the latent heat of condensate).

        The fix is not to simply put a temperature dependence on L (which of course would be trivial), but to rewrite the entire code with extra prognostic variables for vapour and condensate sensible heat. If you just ‘fixed’ L you would not conserve energy, and that would be a much worse error.”

        https://judithcurry.com/2012/08/30/activate-your-science/#comment-234131

      • I think anyone who proposes using CFD solutions of the Navier Stokes equations for climate modeling is at best an idiot, and at worst a charlatan. There is no foreseeable computer that can ever handle the number of computations required to actually model the global climate to a meaningful scale, and do so in less than real time (a prerequisite for prediction). So what we have are low-fidelity, highly approximate (an understatement) codes posing as climate predictors.

        But there’s another aspect of climate model errors that I’ve seen dismissed by people who should know better. Computers are machines, and like all machines they sometimes fail. In a thread on Dr. Roy Spencer’s (I think) blog, someone asked whether the same climate code on the same machine with the same initial conditions would always produce the same results. The responses were universally dismissive (and derisive), following the idea that a computer is a machine that always gives the same results if given the identical data and running the identical code.

        Well, they don’t. Computer memory, especially modern memory with highly dense features, is subject to a large number of influences which can cause one or more bits in a word to flip. Error correcting codes hardwired into the computers may catch these – or they may not. Here is just one study (https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/81577401.pdf) of bit errors in a large-scale computer, the type necessary to run climate models. It developed techniques to catch bit errors of virtually any type, and found that there were a number of “undetectable errors”, i.e. those that error correcting codes are not equipped to spot.

        Everyone here is familiar with Lorenz and his finding that small changes in initial conditions for certain differential equations produce increasingly different results. Judith Curry had a post a while ago quoting a study which found that changes of one trillionth of a degree in initial conditions produced completely different results in runs of global climate models.

        Well, in every numerical integration scheme, the results of each time step are the initial conditions for the next. Having even one case in which 3 non-adjacent bits in a word flip (a non-detectable error) changes the initial conditions for a subsequent time-step, and the trajectory of all subsequent time steps.

        The “higher fidelity” the climate model, the more susceptible it is to this kind of error propagation. They may not happen “frequently”, but when terabytes of memory and teraflops worth of computation are performed for days on end, the odds are that a code sensitive to small changes in initial conditions will not produce the same results from run to run.

        • “I think anyone who proposes using CFD solutions of the Navier Stokes equations for climate modeling is at best an idiot…”

          Every practical application of CFD works at the scale nominated, with finer effects that it does not resolve. I’m thinking especially of turbulence. You have to model the effects of all the fine scale eddies. But CFD works, despite turbulence.

          GCMs are no different. They can’t resolve a whole lot of fine scale features. But they can still conserve mass, momentum and energy on the scale of their grids. GCMs used for weather forecasting do that with continually tested success.

          And the turbulence treatment is one way of seeing why the issue of great sensitivity to initial conditions does not matter. The turbulence treatment is of constant random fluctuations. Totally irreproducible on a fine scale. You can’t usefully track particles. And yet, CFD works.

          • Nick,
            See my post about Freeman Dyson at the end of this thread.
            You know Dyson’s éminence as Einstein’s protégée.
            Climate models are not reflective of the world in which we live.
            The whole global warming issue has been grossly exaggerated.
            That is all we need to know to avoid a catastrophic misallocation of public and private funds, now proposed to be in the trillions, and a perversion of science.

          • “GCMs used for weather forecasting do that with continually tested success.”

            Which is why the forecasts change every couple of hours for the same time period. Wonderful.

          • Jeff,

            “Which is why the forecasts change every couple of hours for the same time period. Wonderful.”

            You pretty much nailed it. If the models don’t work over the short term then how can they possibly work over the long term. We are expected to believe that over the long term all the short term inconsistencies somehow average out so the long term outputs are correct.

            My daddy called that buying a pig in a poke.

        • The issue here is the conflation of 2 types of CFD. Reynolds’ Averaged Navier-Stokes or RANS is a steady state formulation that “averages out” the unresolved turbulent eddies. There is at least some plausible hope these might be well posed, even though evidence is accumulating that this is not the case. The second type is eddy resolving simulations which typically use some form of LES to model the unresolved scales. These are not well understood and there is very little definitive research so far. People just run the code, adjust the many parameters until they get a plausible result. A perfect example of selection bias. Climate and weather models fall into this latter category. By careful attention to detail and tuning you can control the numerical errors on short time scales (a few days) if all you want to model is Rossby waves. On longer time scales, this becomes much more difficult if not impossible.

          But the real problem is the almost complete lack of rigorous research into these questions. Instead, modelers use pseudo-mathematical sounding arguments that have no substance and are impossible to verify. This is one of the disappointing things about modern science. It’s vastly easier to just run and tune codes than to try to address fundamentals where you might not generate any “publishable” results.

    • As you say, Nick (about Schmidt’s modelling

      It conserves energy

      HOW? Who determines energy saving, for goodness sake? It’s not an objective meme, IMO.

        • Yes but in the real universe none of those hold. It isn’t even a debate anymore because since the discovery of Gravity Waves and the installation of GR as a science fact it follows none of those things are conserved. Space and time are curved and you don’t have a invariant reference to conserve quantities against.

          If you want an explanation just search “Is Energy conserved in GR” and almost any hard scientist forum or site will explain it.

          Always remember when using ye ole classical physics on things outside a very small localized setting that it may not hold. At the scale you are working it likely is not an issue and you can ignore. However if you want to be a deep thinker consider what happens with GR on a hotter (heavier Earth) versus a Colder (lighter Earth) if you now understand the background 🙂

        • Even simple systems can exhibit chaotic behavior for which it is not possible to derive all mechanics.

    • Nick
      I too am a programmer and have to deal with this type of error.
      ATM I am working in retail where the sizes of clothes are determined by a size ratio
      If I used your ‘elegant’ way of attacking the problem, pretty soon everyone in the country would be wearing ‘XXXL’ .
      At least Willis has the inestimable wisdom to want to attach some common sense to a known problem.

      • “pretty soon everyone in the country would be wearing ‘XXXL’ “
        My experience with off-the-rack shopping is that the store is already working on that principle.

        But I think before people disparage the programming skills of Gavin, they should try getting a GCM working, or even a CFD program. It is a humbling experience. But they do work. It does help to be an eternal optimist.

        • Nick Stokes
          “But I think before people disparage the programming skills of Gavin, they should try getting a GCM working, or even a CFD program. It is a humbling experience. But they do work. It does help to be an eternal optimist.”

          Hmmm..it might be helpful to more rigorously define “works”:

          10 CLS
          20 PRINT “I believe”
          ‘ 30 PAUSE (for reflection)
          30 GOTO 10

          It does help to (be an eternal optimist) << be introspective.

          🙂
          Ethan Brand

        • Not convinced Nick
          If your words were accurate, that the discrepancy is used to modify the algorithm in an elegant way
          (“builds the correction into the basic equations. More elegant, but same effect”)

          that’s like changing e = mc2 on an iterative basis.

          crazy.

          do it once, then start afresh, or, as willis says, keep on top of exactly what’s going on

    • nick,

      “So to the equations which express the exchange of mass, energy and momentum between cells, you add an equation which says the global total must be unchanged.”

      If you have multiple elements in the total, how does saying the total must stay the same determine how that is achieved? You can change any or all of the elements in order to keep the total the same. What changes you make to what elements will have a big difference on the overall environment! In other words it can have a big impact on the output of a CFC (e.g. CGM).

  17. I can’t see that any linear computer model can mimic Earth’s climate. You’d think all the algorithms would be inputting to and getting feedback from each other in real time.

    • Not sure what you mean by a “linear model”, but computer models are constrained by the hardware, which effectively operates in discrete time increments. It takes X nanoseconds (or etc.) for the CPU to perform a single operation, and during that time slice it can’t take input from some other process. That short a time slice may look like real time to us, but it isn’t. And any particular calculation may require many operations in the CPU, which generally cannot be interrupted for new data input. (Also, some operations take longer than others, e.g. multiplication or real numbers is slower on most processors than addition or subtraction, and division is often slower than multiplication.)

      Now a days, most climate models are run on supercomputers (or at least on GPUs, or maybe TPUs). That effectively means a multitude of calculations are done simultaneously. Nevertheless, the same time slice constraint is effective: although many calculations are done in a single time slice, they can’t take input from each other until that time slice is over.

      The other part of this is that you’d like a 100 year (for example) climate model to finish in something under 100 years. So each time slice on the computer represents some longer time slice in the real world.

      Even so-called “real time processors”, used to monitor industrial processes for example (or the Apollo moon landers, back when), slice real world time up into chunks, of necessity.

  18. Regarding the 2004 prediction of warming being a continuation of warming that happened in the 30 prior years: CO2 increased enough in the decades prior to 2004 to account for much of that warming, upswing of multidecadal oscillations account for about .2 degree C of surface warming indicated by HadCRUT3 and HadCRUT4.

  19. Couldn’t get past this, Willis:
    ==========
    “…..If nothing else, the discrete digital nature of each calculation assures that there with be slight roundoff errors.”

    Typing while holding three thoughts in your head, all at the same time ?

  20. I’ve never been happy with using the word climate when global warming is the concept.

    I prefer Wladimir Köppen’s plant-based boundaries for climates. Note the ‘s’.
    Not that anyone agrees with me, of course.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    We don’t know.
    At least we know all of the things we don’t know. Right?
    – – winking smiley face – – Poe’s Law

  21. The earth may well be remarkably stable in this respect.
    If so, what about the rest of the planets and moons? If we have a remarkably stable body, a runaway ice cube and a runaway hot-house…
    It cant be long till we have all the answers. no ?

  22. @Willis

    You might want to recall that blog of yours..

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/03/the-cloud-radiative-effect-cre/

    I had the suspicion these NASA data do not make sense, so I put them to the test, at least where I could. Among other regions NASA suggests a massively negative CRE (cloud radiative effect) in the Bering Sea. Incidently there are the Aleutic Islands with 10 weather stations reporting to the NOAA, which again postet these data on its website (though has withdrawn it a while ago).

    Here is the result of my analysis (years 2016 and 2017):
    1. It is indeed a very cloudy region, with 60% of all records giving an “OVC” condition.
    https://www.climate-debate.com/forum/attachments/aleuten3.png
    2. There is a strict, linear correlation between cloudiness and temperature. The more clouds, the warmer it is (seasonally adjusted)
    https://www.climate-debate.com/forum/attachments/aleuten2.png
    3. We see the common pattern. From spring to mid summer, when solar radiation is relatively stronger as surface temperatures, clouds have a cooling effect. This is reversed for the rest of the year when surface temperatures are relatively higher than solar input.
    https://www.climate-debate.com/forum/attachments/aleuten1.png

    Conclusion: The CRE in the Bering Sea is positive, as anywhere else on the planet. The named NASA data are garbage. And of course the “GHE” is based on the ill-fated believe clouds were cooling the planet, rather than warming it, as they do indeed.

  23. Hey Willis,

    Thanks for informative and clear post. This chart from climateprediction.net is very informative – reminds me discussion around Pat’s Frank article. His critics were asking why huge uncertainty doesn’t manifest itself in wild runs. Well, it does as this chart proves in the ‘control mode’ where models go wild. The only reason why they don’t go are post-factum adjustments applied to those models in order to constrain them.

  24. Increasing CO2 will cause warming at surface to be detectable by 1990s

    A 60 year period was already noticeable in temperature anomalies so warming to about 2000 was assured. Then the rate of warming should have decelerated, which it did and then after adjustments it didn’t.

    It’s not science to say that a theory is falsifiable but wasn’t because you can adjust the data to fit. To not discus at the very least shows a lack of honesty.

  25. Not only do we not know why temps rose and fell during the M Warm Period and Little Ice Age, but also we CANNOT know, really, whether they did or not, in terms of proxy determinations. Maybe we can assess that they did from descriptive historical accounts, but, other than this, I doubt that we CAN know within any range of certainty, especially in terms of stating any degree values, … if I understand the gist of proxies and their temperature assignments correctly.

  26. “Folks are interested in why the temperature of the planet changes over time.
    That’s at the center of modern climate science.”

    Folks SHOULD be interested.

    That SHOULD be the center of modern climate science.

    But most “climate employees” with science degrees (I hate to call them “scientists”) are different.

    Most have government financed, or government bureaucrat, jobs related to climate science, and THEY are NOT interested in why the global average temperature changes over time.

    They are paid to not be interested.

    They already “know” 4.5 billion years of natural climate change “died” in 1975, and Mr. “big shot” CO2 took over as the “climate control knob”.

    The government bureaucrats are the center of modern climate junk science.

    Their “science” consists of repeated, always wrong, gloomy predictions of the future climate.

    Each year they predict bad news … louder, and more hysterical, than the prior year.

    That takes great talent, and a PhD.

    They observe pleasant, good news global warming since the 1690s — over 300 years — and then predict if that global warming continues, it will no longer be good news, it will morph into an existential climate crisis.

    That takes great talent too, and a PhD..

    Re: You wrote:
    “over the 20th Century, the temperature only varied by ± 0.3°C”

    Temperature data before WWII are not very accurate, and before 1920 are mainly US, Europe and Australia — not even close to global coverage.

    I believe “+/- 0.3 degrees” is false precision, and not a good summary of the 20th century, which had an intermittent up trend.

    My mo’ better summary:
    The temperature rose slightly in the 20th century, but no one would have noticed except for hysterical leftists bellowing that the world is going to come to an end from global warming !
    .
    .
    Re: You also wrote:
    “So please, don’t bother telling me that I’m an uneducated jerk or an ignorant fool.”
    Try to be funny without saying anything bad about yourself.
    No other writer at WUWT is as consistently good as you are.
    I’m sure that means you get plenty of insults from climate alarmists elsewhere.
    And the picture of your ex-fiancee at the link is fuzzy — please provide a clear picture !

  27. “2004: Increases in GHGs will lead to continued warming at ~0.18ºC/decade”.

    Assuming he is referring to CO2, I thought the agreed theoretic warming due to increasing CO2 was ~1C per doubling of the atmospheric concentration, anything other than that is unfounded speculative assumptions because there is no independent control for comparison — apart from computer modelling assumptions based on circular reasoning.

  28. Willis Eschenbach:

    You said “Why were the Medieval times so warm? We don’t know. Why did temperatures drop so suddenly to the Little Ice Age? We don”t know. Why did temperatures drop around 1600 and not 1400 or 1800? We don’t know”.

    The answers are readily available.

    For you, and anyone else who cares to know, view this pre-print link : https://www.Osf.io/bycj4/

    It also provides answers to many of your other questions.

    • Burl, your claim is that sulfates are the secret temperature control knob for temperature. I find that as unlikely as the idea that CO2 is the secret temperature control knob for temperature. In any case, the post I linked to somewhere above, “Dronning Maud Meets the Little Ice Age“, deals with this exact issue.

      TL;DR—it’s not sulfates.

      w.

      • Willis Eschenbach:

        Your “Dronning Maud Meets the Little Ice Age” post does NOT negate my claim that SO2 is the Principal Control Knob Governing Earths’ Temperatures, which is based upon empirical observations as to how Earth’s temperatures change when there are changes in the amount of SO2 aerosols in the atmosphere.

        I have yet to find any large change, either increase or decrease, which is not related to changing levels of SO2 in the atmosphere, and this is documented in the reference cited.

        This explanation of Climate Change, that changing levels of SO2 in the atmosphere, is falsifiable (that is, according to Websters, empirically testable) and it has been tested and validated multiple times on a planetary scale, whenever there is a VEI4, or higher, volcanic eruption.

        There is initial cooling due to the volcanic SO2 aerosols injected into the atmosphere, then warming to pre-eruption levels, or a bit higher, when they eventually settle out, cleansing the air.

        Further, there can be only one falsifiable explanation for a given problem, in this instance, Climate Change.

        Environmental “Clean Air” efforts resulting in the reduction of the protective haze of SO2 aerosols in our atmosphere is what has caused our anomalous temperatures increases!

        • “Environmental “Clean Air” efforts resulting in the reduction of the protective haze of SO2 aerosols in our atmosphere is what has caused our anomalous temperatures increases!”

          Did SO2 cause the similar temperature increases from 1910 to 1940?

          • Tom Abbott:

            You asked whether SO2 caused the similar temperature increases from 1919 to 1940.

            Probably. There were 8 recessions/depressions between 1910 and 1940. They are associated with increased temperatures because of fewer SO2 aerosol emissions due to reduced industrial activity.

            Six of them resulted in enough warming to produce an El Nino. Two failed to produce an El Nino because of increased SO2 emissions from volcanic activity.

          • Burl, I won’t dismiss your SO2 theory out of hand because I haven’t really studied the subject that much. It would be very helpful to have a method for humans to heat up the atmosphere at times such as when the Earth is cooling drastically. So according to your theory, all we need to increase the Earth’s temperature is increased economic activity. I think humans could manage to do that. 🙂

          • Tom Abbott:

            Tom:

            You misunderstood my reply.

            DECREASED industrial activity in the 1910-1940 era caused more warming because of fewer SO2 emissions,
            Increased activity would have caused more cooling.

            Currently, because of Clean Air efforts, industrial SO2 levels have fallen so low that now, decreased industrial activity will have little effect. Their gradual removal from the atmosphere has been responsible for the anomalous warming that has occurred since the mid-1970’s, not CO2.

            But if you want to DECREASE existing temperatures, then iINCREASED industrial activity could lower global temperatures (as long as their SO2 scrubbers are turned off)

          • “You misunderstood my reply.

            DECREASED industrial activity in the 1910-1940 era caused more warming because of fewer SO2 emissions,
            Increased activity would have caused more cooling.”

            I did misunderstand what you were saying.

            I read something the other day about SO2 and volcanic eruptions and the article said that initially this caused an increase in temperatures and then a decrease in temperatures, so I guess I conflated that article and your statements into thinking you were talking about warming from increased SO2.

            I may have misunderstood the other article’s point, too. As I said, I’m not up to speed on SO2 and its effects. The only thing I do know about it is volcanic eruptions will reduce the global temperatures by a degree or two for a year or two. I think that is pretty much established.

            I followed the debate about Human-caused Global Cooling back in the 1970’s and although I saw lots of claims of “human-caused”, I never saw any evidence that humans have the same impact on the atmosphere as a large volcanic eruption.

          • Tom Abbott:

            If the article was about satellite observations, then you remembered correctly. The SO2 plume reflects incoming solar, initially causing warming of the stratosphere (but cooling of the surface underneath). Then when the SO2 of the plume settles out, the reverse happens.

          • “The SO2 plume reflects incoming solar, initially causing warming of the stratosphere (but cooling of the surface underneath). Then when the SO2 of the plume settles out, the reverse happens.”

            That’s right, Burl, that’s what was bouncing around in my mind when I read your post.

      • Willis;

        You never responded to my following post.

        You had written “The question, the only valid question in science, is are the claims true? Does my theory stand up to close inspection? Are my ideas backed not by climate models, but by actual real-world observations? Can you find flaws in the logic, the data, the math, or any other part of what I’ve written?”

        Since you are one of the “wicked smart” individuals on this site, can you evaluate my claims with respect to the above?

        • Actually, he did respond, referring you to his “Dronning Maud Meets the Little Ice Age“ article. You just ignored it.

          • Anton Eagle:

            No, I read Willis’s post, and responded to it.

            What I was referring to was the fact that he never responded to my response, which countered his “Dronning Maud Meets the Little Ice Age” post with empirical data.

          • Burl Henry January 23, 2020 at 6:04 am

            Anton Eagle:

            No, I read Willis’s post, and responded to it.

            What I was referring to was the fact that he never responded to my response, which countered his “Dronning Maud Meets the Little Ice Age” post with empirical data.

            My post showed the SO2 levels over the entire period from the year 800 to the present. I showed that SO2 levels did NOT cause the LIA, nor the corresponding ice advance and retreat.

            Your response was as follows:

            Burl Henry January 18, 2020 at 6:00 pm

            Willis Eschenbach:

            Your “Dronning Maud Meets the Little Ice Age” post does NOT negate my claim that SO2 is the Principal Control Knob Governing Earths’ Temperatures, which is based upon empirical observations as to how Earth’s temperatures change when there are changes in the amount of SO2 aerosols in the atmosphere.
             
            I have yet to find any large change, either increase or decrease, which is not related to changing levels of SO2 in the atmosphere, and this is documented in the reference cited.
             
            This explanation of Climate Change, that changing levels of SO2 in the atmosphere, is falsifiable (that is, according to Websters, empirically testable) and it has been tested and validated multiple times on a planetary scale, whenever there is a VEI4, or higher, volcanic eruption.
             
            There is initial cooling due to the volcanic SO2 aerosols injected into the atmosphere, then warming to pre-eruption levels, or a bit higher, when they eventually settle out, cleansing the air.
             
            Further, there can be only one falsifiable explanation for a given problem, in this instance, Climate Change.
             
            Environmental “Clean Air” efforts resulting in the reduction of the protective haze of SO2 aerosols in our atmosphere is what has caused our anomalous temperatures increases!

             
            At that point I gave up. You say you “countered” my post with “empirical data”??? Hardly. Your playground-level response to a whole bunch of research and analysis and computer work on my part was simply to say no, Willis you’re wrong and I’m right. Not one scrap of empirical data in sight …

            Pass. Not interested in that kind of childish response in the slightest.

            In addition, your theory and whatever your “emipirical data” might be is of little interest to me because I’ve never seen a complex flow system that is ruled by some one single “Control Knob”. Complex flow systems far from equilibrium are ruled by the Constructal Law, not some fanciful “Control Knob” whether it is SO2 or CO2.

            w.

            PS—While we’re on the subject, Bejan’s paper on the “Constructal theory of global circulation and climate” is here

          • Willis:

            Several points:

            1. Your post was written to invite others to attempt to find any errors in your theory, but when I challenged your theory, you got huffy and called it a playground-level response, etc. and refused to even consider it. A surprising response in consideration of your statement “The question, the only valid question in science, is ARE THE CLAIMS TRUE?”

            2. The SO2 model which I have proposed, is falsifiable, and has been empirically tested, and validated, multiple times, on a planetary scale. It is far from a playground -level response.

            3. There can only be one falsifiable and validated solution to a given problem, in this instance, climate change.

            4. Consequently, your theory CANNOT be correct.

            (Tom Abbott has an excellent discussion on falsification earlier in this thread).

          • Burl Henry January 23, 2020 at 7:24 pm

            Willis:

            Several points:

            1. Your post was written to invite others to attempt to find any errors in your theory, but when I challenged your theory, you got huffy and called it a playground-level response, etc. and refused to even consider it. A surprising response in consideration of your statement “The question, the only valid question in science, is ARE THE CLAIMS TRUE?”

            Burl, you didn’t point out one error in my theory. Instead you promoted your own theory.

            And what I said was a “playground-level” response was when I provided actual observations that showed you were wrong. Your response was puerile, and didn’t address one thing I said.

            2. The SO2 model which I have proposed, is falsifiable, and has been empirically tested, and validated, multiple times, on a planetary scale. It is far from a playground -level response.

            I’m glad you think so. I disagree. And see above. What I called a childish answer was your reply when I showed that SO2 did NOT cause the Little Ice Age. I was being polite—your response was non-existent.

            3. There can only be one falsifiable and validated solution to a given problem, in this instance, climate change.

            Agreed.

            4. Consequently, your theory CANNOT be correct.

            You STILL have not pointed out one incorrect thing that I’ve said. Nor have you made one substantial comment on the 1200 year SO2 record I provided, a record which shows little correlation with temperatures and clearly shows that SO2 did NOT cause the Little Ice Age. Stop pretending that your theory has been proven. It hasn’t even been tested.

            w.

          • Willis:

            Regarding your last reply:

            You said “I showed that SO2 did NOT cause the Little Ice Age ‘

            However, your Fig. 3 shows a large peak of Volcanic Sulfates in 1258 (from the Rinjani/Samalas VEI7 eruption in 1257), and an immediately following gradual rise in Ice Expansion that peaked about 22 years later, in 1280.

            In this instance volcanic SO2 DID cause cooling, so you need to explain why the other numerous large eruptions during the LIA did not cause any cooling, per your theory.

            You also stated “There is a large expansion of the ice cap…..in the century from 900 to 1000, but nary a volcano in sight”

            Actually, there were 3 eruptions in 1000: Kusdach VEI4+, Tolbachik VEI4+, and and Chiangbaishan VEI7?

            However, your Fig. 3 does not show any spike in volcanic sulfates from the Megatons of SO2 spewed into the atmosphere from those eruptions. Probably because it is not a plot of real data, but a plot of Probability Density Functions. And there are other problems with the Figure, as well.

            As such, it is miss-leading and useless.

            However, all of the above is moot.

            According to the scientific philosopher Karl Popper, a theory must be falsifiable (that is, empirically testable) and that predictability was the gold standard for its acceptance.

            You have voiced some good ideas, but you do NOT have a theory. See the preceding posts of Tom Abbott, Rich Davis, and Terry Oldberg.

            With respect to my theory (that changing levels of SO2 aerosols are the control knob for Earth’s temperatures) it is falsifiable, and has been tested and validated multiple times, for example after every VEI4, or larger, volcanic eruption. The same is also observed for large increases or decreases in Anthropogenic SO2 aerosol emissions.

            There is initial cooling from their injection of SO2 aerosols into the atmosphere, with the maximum cooling occurring around 12-15 months after the eruption, as the aerosols circulate around the globe.

            Then, when the aerosols eventually settle out, typically two years or more after the eruption., temperatures return to pre-eruption levels, or a bit higher, as predicted.

            With respect to predictability, the sensitivity factor, or Rule of Thumb, is ~ .02 Deg. C. of warming, or cooling, for each net Megaton of Change in global SO2 aerosol emissions.

            That is, for example, if an eruption puts 10 Megatons of SO2 into the atmosphere, temperatures should be expected to decrease by ~ 0,2 deg.

  29. Wow, I never realized how similar our backgrounds are. I too started life as a programmer and later as various roles in computer/programming architecture. I too have a deep, well founded suspicion of computer models. I couldn’t agree with your sentiments on this subject more.

    The fact that different models have different sensitivities should be a bright red-flag that there models are almost all certainly wrong. You cannot compute the sensitivity if there are many non-linear variables involved, and especially any of the processes you model demonstrate sudden changes (maybe even chaotic behavior). You cannot build an effective predictive model of a complex system where there are many unknowns.

    So you guess at sensitivity, then tweak the knobs (starting values, constants, and even equations) on your model until it seems to work. This in itself is enough to cause any reasonable person of sufficient education to doubt the models. Taking a lot of bad models and averaging them is completely nuts. You do not come up with a correct answer in science by averaging a lot of incorrect answers.

    The data is telling them in no uncertain terms they need to discard their current models and go back to square one, but everyone seems too invested. Models can be useful if they lead to areas where more research is needed. In climate, they are completely worthless for predictions, at least until there is a deeper understanding of process(es). My guess, and it’s just a guess, is that climate is too complex (and maybe chaotic) to ever be predicted more than a short time out.

  30. An aside, related to where something is published, is to note the irony that Gavin was ‘publishing’ over on twitter.

    I have followed these postings closely since I first discover WUWT and then these expositions. I am increasingly convinced there is a lot to be learned here. In an effort to think about where the observational evidence for it could be found I was thinking what would an observer outside the system would see happening on a daily/hourly… momentary basis, if he stayed over the target 24/7. Essentially the amount of IR emanating from the system to space would be ‘throttled’ by the ocean’s surface temperature. GEOS-17 [West] is geostationary above the Pacific, collects data in multiple wavelengths, and the visualisation of its products is available from Colorado State at: [link below]. If I view the visible wavelengths overlaid with longwave IR, i swear I can see Willis’s theory in operation in terms of differing amounts of energy emission on different days. Some days along the equator there are a continuous line of deep IR emission. other days not so much. Now if I could only figure out how to couple that with realtime ocean surface temps…

    https://rammb-slider.cira.colostate.edu/?sat=goes-17&z=0&im=60&ts=1&st=0&et=0&speed=130&motion=loop&map=1&lat=0&opacity%5B0%5D=1&opacity%5B1%5D=0.5&hidden%5B0%5D=0&hidden%5B1%5D=0&pause=0&slider=-1&hide_controls=0&mouse_draw=0&follow_feature=0&follow_hide=0&s=rammb-slider&sec=full_disk&p%5B0%5D=band_16&p%5B1%5D=geocolor&x=10848&y=10848

  31. Another interesting post Willis!

    I have always found it strange that almost all of the talk surrounding CO2 and global warming centers around radiative effects. Aren’t convective forces more important than radiative forces for heat transfer in the troposphere? I think your emergent phenomenon hypothesis and Stephen Wilde’s convection ideas make a lot of sense.

    I just find it plain weird that “climate” scientists and their models ignore so much of the climate history of the Holocene. I see no way to explain the temperature reconstructions from the Greenland ice cores using CO2 changes. We know the early Holocene was warmer than now and CO2 was much lower. The transitions from the Dark Ages to the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice age need to be explained within the context of the climate models.

    The problem with Gavin’s tweets is that there are other hypothesis that fit the observed data. Its an identification problem that he ignores.

    Also, can someone explain to me how high values for ECS reconcile with the ideal gas laws? I just don’t get it. Scientists claiming a .04% increase in CO2 leads to a ECS of 3-5 degrees must have an explanation.

    • In terms of convection, it’s certainly true that the troposphere is more like a pot with it’s lid ‘off’ than like a pot with it’s lid on’! So greenhouse theory has to maintain that not only does it make a difference that CO2 might require a higher temperature at the surface to drive some *combination” of heat flows going further out, you then have to get just the right amount of relative coldness near the top of the air column to make sure that the flow of heat isn’t lost to space too quickly, spoiling the whole effect.

      Given that the air *does* get colder with height (itself largely a convection driven circumstance), it is perhaps not too implausible that you would get *some* surface warming — but why would anyone ever assume or consider it ‘proven’ that such greenhouse warming would amount to very much, now there’s the mystery.

  32. Hi Willis. Since Science thrives on testing data, I would welcome your comments/post on McKitrick & Christy’s invalidation of climate models. Tried and found wanting.
    McKitrick, R. and Christy, J., 2018. A Test of the Tropical 200 to 300 hPa Warming Rate in Climate Models. Earth and Space Science, 5(9), pp.529-536.
    Abstract

    Overall climate sensitivity to CO2 doubling in a general circulation model results from a complex system of parameterizations in combination with the underlying model structure. We refer to this as the model’s major hypothesis, and we assume it to be testable. We explain four criteria that a valid test should meet: measurability, specificity, independence, and uniqueness.
    We argue that temperature change in the tropical 200‐ to 300‐hPa layer meets these criteria. Comparing modeled to observed trends over the past 60 years using a persistence‐robust variance estimator shows that all models warm more rapidly than observations and in the majority of individual cases the discrepancy is statistically significant. We argue that this provides informative evidence against the major hypothesis in most current climate models.

    Discussion

    We propose four conditions that a prediction test must meet to be informative regarding the major hypothesis embedded within GCMs concerning climate sensitivity to GHGs: measurability, specificity, independence, and uniqueness. Temperatures in the tropical 200‐ to 300‐hPa layer meet all four conditions. We present a trend model robust to general forms of autocorrelation and the possible existence of a step change associated with the 1979 PCS. Comparing observed trends to those predicted by models over the past 60 years reveals a clear and significant tendency on the part of models to overstate warming. All 102 CMIP5 model runs warm faster than observations, in most individual cases the discrepancy is significant, and on average the discrepancy is significant. The test of trend equivalence rejects whether or not we include a break at 1979 for the PCS, though the rejections are stronger when we control for its influence. Measures of series divergence are centered at a positive mean and the entire distribution is above zero. While the observed analogue exhibits a warming trend over the test interval it is significantly smaller than that shown in models, and the difference is large enough to reject the null hypothesis that models represent it correctly, within the bounds of random uncertainty. . . .
    Instead, we observe a discrepancy across all runs of all models, taking the form of a warming bias at a sufficiently strong rate as to reject the hypothesis that the models are realistic. Our interpretation of the results is that the major hypothesis in contemporary climate models, namely, the theoretically based negative lapse rate feedback response to increasing greenhouse gases in the tropical troposphere, is incorrect.

  33. I can’t necessary follow the logic that any of the conclusions you make are right . As far as I can see without the benefit of a global placebo it’s impossible to link CO 2 causation to anything . Ironically the only way to disprove the theories is to either keep pumping as much CO 2 as ever and see what happens or eliminate CO2 with draconian measures and see what happens. The reality without a proper control ( i.e parallel universe that has no additional man made CO2 ) which imitates the preindustrial world that contained only natural cyclical climate changes then any conclusions on any of Smiths theories and predictions are pure guesswork.
    I actually believe that if the CO2 influence on temperature had not been hypothesised I don’t believe any humans would have had the acuteness of senses to notice that the temperature had increased or that the climate had changed during their lifetime. And if there had indeed been such a perceptive person I doubt that person would’ve had the light globe moment to think “ wow that 1/2 a degree of warming must be due to that fact that coal generated energy produces CO2.
    Everything about the global warming theories don’t make sense and it staggers me that so many people don’t view the inconsistencies of the alarmists as some form of insanity rather than divine gospel preachings to be followed without question.

    • We could look at what hundreds of millions of years of Earth history says about the relationship between CO2 concentration and GAST, eh?

  34. Willis another very interesting post, thanks for having the nerve to take on the true believers. BTW have you heard of the work of the Connollys over the last 5 years? Nic Lewis has promised to look at the Connolly’s work , when he has the time. He has met them and seems impressed. See his answer at Climate Audit.

    They’ve looked at co2 as the driver of climate and actually checked the atmospheric data and evidence over a long period of time using the balloon data.

    Here’s the links. http://oprj.net/

    https://blog.friendsofscience.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/July-18-2019-Tucson-DDP-Connolly-Connolly-16×9-format.pdf

  35. I don’t the right place to post my basic CO2 issue. long ago before climate science separated from meteorology to become a thing i got my physics degree. like John Cook I got employment in something else so i am not a science pro. did anyone take enough university physics to learn some thermodynamics? does everyone know that it applies at the macroscopic level? did anyone take an advanced program where you would learn quantum energy states and the internal energy states of dipolar molecules like carbon dioxide? i don’t remember the second part at all. i looked at “Physics Companion” on thermal topics and it jumped out. it is not surprising the ordinary person can’t distinguish between interactions that raise the temperature of a body at the macroscopic level and quantum mechanical effects at the microscopic level. The way I read John Tyndall’s experiment from 1850 is he blundered on to the 15 micron energy needed to excite a dipolar molecule into a vibrational / rotational state. physics distinguishes those two internal states from the three translational states where particles are hitting each other and creating the temperature of macro body. so what is the problem? putting a dipolar molecule into a higher energy state does not affect the temperature. the author of “Physics Companion” explicitly says that. so you can hit CO2 with radiant energy but it won’t heat up the atmosphere at the macro level. what happens to the 15 micro photon once it gets emitted again? we have to guided by basic thermodynamics and use temperature differential to say there is no net change between two systems if thermal equilibrium is reached in a reasonable time. what is a reasonable time? i would say when some quasi equilibrium is reached during the day’s heating and another quasi equilibrium is reached during the night’s cooling.

    • “The way I read John Tyndall’s experiment from 1850 is he blundered on to the 15 micron energy needed to excite a dipolar molecule into a vibrational / rotational state.”

      George.
      Have a look at this post and in particular the comment by LOL@KLIMATE KATASTROPHE KOOKS AUG 13, 2019 AT 8:33 PM
      https://climatechangedispatch.com/fiction-man-made-global-warming/

      Quote:
      The only way our planet can shed energy is via radiative emission to space.

      Convection moves energy around in the atmosphere, but it cannot shed energy to space. Conduction depends upon thermal contact with other matter and since space is essentially a vacuum, conduction cannot shed energy to space… this leaves only radiative emission.

      But N2 and O2 cannot radiatively emit because, being homonuclear diatomic molecules, they have no net magnetic dipole.

      Thus, common sense dictates that the thermal energy of the 99% of the atmosphere which cannot radiatively emit must be transferred to the so-called ‘greenhouse gases’ (CO2 being a lesser contributor in the lower atmosphere and the largest contributor in the upper atmosphere, water vapor being the main contributor in the lower atmosphere) which can radiatively emit and thus shed that energy to space.

      So, far from being ‘greenhouse gases’ which ‘trap heat’ in the atmosphere, those radiative gases actually shed energy from the atmosphere to space. They are coolants.

      The chance of any N2 or O2 molecule colliding with water vapor is ~3% on average in the troposphere, and for CO2 it’s only ~0.041%. Logic dictates that as atmospheric concentration of CO2 increases, the likelihood of N2 or O2 colliding with it also increases, and thus increases the chance that N2 or O2 can transfer its translational and / or vibrational mode energy to the vibrational mode energy of CO2, which can then shed that energy to space via radiative emission.

      Here is the key message:-
      “The conversion of translational mode to vibrational mode energy is, by definition, a cooling process.”

      See also this paper by Blair D. Macdonald.
      Quantum Mechanics and Raman Spectroscopy Refute Greenhouse Theory. Blair D. Macdonald. First Published: 2018-10-13Update 2019-02-12
      https://principia-scientific.org/publications/PROM/PROM-Macdonald-Quantum-Raman-Atmosphere.pdf

      Abstract: One of greenhouse theory’s key premises – N2 and O2 are not greenhouse gases as they do not emit and absorb infrared radiation – presents a paradox; it contradicts both quantum mechanics and thermodynamics – where all matter above absolute zero Kelvin radiates IR photons. It was hypothesised: these gases do radiate IR photons at quantum mechanics predicted spectra, and these spectra are observed by IR spectroscopy’s complement instrument, Raman Spectroscopy; and N2 spectra can be demonstrated to absorb IR radiation by experiment and application of the N2-CO2 laser. It was found the gases do possess quantum predicted emission spectra at 2338cm-1 and 1556cm-1 respectively, both within the IR range of the EMS, and these are only observed – and their respective temperatures and concentrations accurately measured – by Raman laser Spectrometers. It was concluded Raman spectrometers make IR spectroscopy redundant: they measure, more accurately the Keeling curve, and have application with meteorological Lidars and planetary atmospheric analysis. The N2-CO2 Laser showed – contrary to current greenhouse theory – N2 absorbs electrons and/or (IR) photons by its – metastable ‘long lasting’ – said spectra mode. It was argued atmospheric CO2 is heated by the same mechanism as the N2-CO2 laser, as by physical law. N2 and the entire atmosphere absorbs IR radiation directly from the Sun and other matter. With these findings, greenhouse theory as it stands is misconceived – all gases are greenhouse gases – and the theory is in need of review

      “The Science” (TM) is still developing.

      • i will try to post separate comments for separate points. Katastrophe makes an odd comment. for me it is a given that infrared from the ground will leave for outer space unless something stops it like a cloud. so the planet is already cooling without any help. it doesn’t need an intermediate step of gas absorption and re-emission to make it work any better. there is already a temperature gradient of something like minus 60 degrees in the troposphere. anyone who thinks the troposphere can’t cool needs to provide evidence.

  36. This is a physical problem. There must be a natural logical physical explanation for everything.

    I see this more as a puzzle to be solved, as opposed to a fight. Puzzles are more fun, the more clues you have.

    We are not following the physical evidence.

    It is a fact that there is no physical explanation for phenomena that is happening today on the earth which correlates with current temperature change and has correlated with past temperature changes…

    …that fact, is evidence that there is a conceptual error in our assumptions.

    We know planetary temperature suddenly changed in 1994.

    As the link, to the Nature Article, notes, the earth’s magnetic field also started to ‘act up’ in 1994 and geologists do not know why. The sudden change to the geomagnetic field forced changes to be made to navigation systems worldwide, multiple times.

    Acting up means the North Magnetic Drift velocity increased by a factor of five from 15km/yr to 55km/yr starting in 1994 and suddenly in 2016 there has an abrupt change in the geomagnetic field strength in the Southern Atlantic region.

    Planetary cloud cover also suddenly changed in 1994, at the same time that the North magnetic pole drift velocity increased by a factor of 5.

    A decade ago geologists found that earth’s magnetic field has changed abruptly in recent times (last 5 thousand years) and the abrupt changes correlate with temperature change. There was an interesting PBS program that explained how by analyzing fired French tiles which capture the strength and orientation of the geomagnetic field at the time of their firing, geologists found the sudden past changes to the geomagnetic field.

    There is no physical explanation as to what caused the past sudden changes to the geomagnetic field and there is no explanation for the recent magnetic field changes.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00007-1

    Earth’s magnetic field is acting up and geologists don’t know why
    Erratic motion of north magnetic pole forces experts to update model that aids global navigation.

    First, that 2016 geomagnetic pulse beneath South America came at the worst possible time, just after the 2015 update to the World Magnetic Model. This meant that the magnetic field had lurched just after the latest update, in ways that planners had not anticipated.

    Second, the motion of the north magnetic pole made the problem worse. The pole wanders in unpredictable ways that have fascinated explorers and scientists since James Clark Ross first measured it in 1831 in the Canadian Arctic.

    In the mid-1990s it (William, the North magnetic pole drift speed, increased by a factor of 5) picked up speed, from around 15 kilometres per year to around 55 kilometres per year.

    “Core questions
    In the meantime, scientists are working to understand why the magnetic field is changing so dramatically.

    Geomagnetic pulses, like the one that happened in 2016, might be traced back to ‘hydromagnetic’ waves arising from deep in the core1. And the fast motion of the north magnetic pole could be linked to a high-speed jet of liquid iron beneath Canada2.

    The jet seems to be smearing out and weakening the magnetic field beneath Canada, Phil Livermore, a geomagnetist at the University of Leeds, UK, said at the American Geophysical Union meeting. And that means that Canada is essentially losing a magnetic tug-of-war with Siberia.

    “The location of the north magnetic pole appears to be governed by two large-scale patches of magnetic field, one beneath Canada and one beneath Siberia,” Livermore says. “The Siberian patch is winning the competition.””

    http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/BardPapers/responseCourtillotEPSL07.pdf

    Response to Comment on “Are there connections between Earth’s magnetic field and climate?, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 253, 328–339, 2007” by Bard, E., and Delaygue, M., Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., in press, 2007

    Also, we wish to recall that evidence of a correlation between archeomagnetic jerks and cooling events (in a region extending from the eastern North Atlantic to the Middle East) now covers a period of 5 millenia and involves 10 events (see f.i. Figure 1 of Gallet and Genevey, 2007).

    The climatic record uses a combination of results from Bond et al (2001), history of Swiss glaciers (Holzhauser et al, 2005) and historical accounts reviewed by Le Roy Ladurie (2004).

    Recent high-resolution paleomagnetic records (e.g. Snowball and Sandgren, 2004; St-Onge et al., 2003) and global geomagnetic field modeling (Korte and Constable, 2006) support the idea that part of the centennial-scale fluctuations in 14C production may have been influenced by previously unmodeled rapid dipole field variations.

    • William Astley:

      You wrote “This is a physical problem. There must be a natural, logical physical explanation for everything.”

      I believe that I have solved the physical problem. Visit the pre-print site https://www.Osf.io/bycj4/

  37. “Increasing CO2 (X) will cause the stratosphere to cool (Y). This is obviously evidence in support of theory 1.”

    There is an empirical observation that is consistent with what was predicted.

    But only a correlation between observations is shown.

    Unless you control the other variables I don’t see how you can make the inference that X caused Y (X came before Y, therefore X caused Y is a post hoc fallacy)..

    For example, as was pointed out above, a reduction in cloud cover will also cause stratospheric cooling (so the inference of co2 as the cause is not necessarily the best explanation of the observation, either, ruling out an abductive argument).

    Likewise if stratospheric cooling is not observed it can be explained away by some other variable (which would be an acute case of Quinean underdetermination).

  38. I always enjoy your posts Willis and find your explanations understandable and logical. Being a 75 yo farmer in Australia I have lived through droughts, floods, cold winters and hot summers and am happy to accept that generally there is stability. I have often observed the heat built up during the day being dissipated by an afternoon thunderstorm and enjoyed your tropical storm post many year ago as confirmation of the Earth’s ability to control temperature. I have no answer to your question except nature always seeks equilibrium. My question is why nature has determined that the current temperature/climate is just right? I do observe that at various other times the Earth has settled for a colder or hotter temperature which drove great changes in the environment and in the lifeforms it supported. I love your work.

  39. Willis,
    “Figure 1 (b), the lower of the two graphs, shows the change in temperature. Note how during the “control phase”, when there is no change in the inputs, even a small ongoing drop in temperature can lead to the model spiraling down to the “Snowball Earth” off the bottom of the graph”
    The various behaviours in Fig 1(b) are not due to a small ongoing drop in temperature. The diagram comes from this 2005 paper. The GCM concerned is not a coupled AOGCM, but approximates the ocean with a mixed-layer model. They did 2578 simulations on different PCs run by volunteers. They used different parameter ranges for each simulation, to test what the effects would be. The Fig is the distribution of 2017 of those simulations. The scatter represents the effect of the different parameter ranges, not instability in a program. Some did not work at all.

    • Nick, after a couple of years during which you’ve made logical, reasonable objections, now you’re back to the kind of argumentation that got you the nickname “Racehorse Stokes”. And it’s really not a good look on you.

      Here’s the origin of the nickname. Richard “Racehorse” Haynes was a famous Texas lawyer. He once explained a defense as follows:

      “Say you sue me because you claim my dog bit you. Well now, this is my defense: My dog doesn’t bite. And second, in the alternative, my dog was tied up that night. And third, I don’t believe you really got bit. And fourth, I don’t have a dog.

      My point was that it is quite easy for an iterative model to go wildly off of the rails. Not one damn thing you said makes any difference to that point. Not one. It’s just obfuscation. You’re just claiming you don’t have a dog.

      w.

      • Nick Stokes has spent years diligently improving his fine-gridded model of the earths surface temperature. That is not a race-horse mentality compared with the quickie slop posts that occur on this blog.

        • Hayata, first, his nickname of “Racehorse Stokes” has nothing to do with racehorses, and everything to do with a famous lawyer named “Racehorse Haynes”.

          Second, if you are going to accuse others of “quickie slop posts”, at least have the huevos to say who it is you’re talking about.

          Regards,

          w.

    • “The Fig is the distribution of 2017 of those simulations.”

      I see that Fig 1(a) is the distribution of those simulations. Fig 1(b) is the result of applying a range of initial conditions (414 trials).

      Of the snowballing ones, they say:
      “Six of these model versions show a significant cooling tendency in the doubled CO2 phase. This cooling is also due to known limitations with the use of a simplified ocean (see Supplementary Information) so these simulations are excluded from the remaining analysis of sensitivity”

  40. Willis
    I hope the following is not a too stupid golf analogy.
    Step#1
    Ten hack golfers (call them CMIP5s) each get ten shots at a par three.
    The precision and accuracy is compared to one shot from a professional golfer (weather).
    Some hacks will fall short, go long, slice, or hook or just be shockers. But the average of the 100 shots may be ok.
    Step#2
    Do the same with ten average golfers.(call them CMIP6). Their precision an accuracy may improve and the average may be even closer to the professional or even weirdly better..
    Step#3
    You now must choose the best CMIP5 and CMIP6 golfer and they must play a stroke round with the professional.
    Their performance is only judged on the final score. Getting earlier rounds close or lucky holes in ones don’t count.

  41. Eschenbach is full of crap when he posts: ” Watts Up With That is the premier spot on the web for public peer-review of scientific theories and ideas about climate. ”

    Web site hit counters do not measure anything. Not to mention that this site has not produced a single decent “idea” about climate, other than rejecting the established science. It doesn’t do science, it does news and commentary, with the “peers” on this site just being members of a circle jerk.

    Roy Spencer destroyed your “thermostat hypothesis>”
    ..
    There is a big difference between a PhD in math and a BA in psychology. Maybe you should focus on “massage.”

    • Satyendra, instead of indulging in spittle-flecked rants and calling everyone who reads WUWT “members of a circle jerk”, perhaps you’ll point out to us the spot on the web that you think is a better place for public peer review of climate science.

      I see that you disagree with the papers published here on WUWT. However, you haven’t put up one single scientific objection to anything I’ve said on this post. Cat got your tongue?

      You’ve made two other comments on WUWT. In one you accused Anthony of “name calling”, and in the other one you made a public appeal for someone to collaborate with you on your research. Yeah, that’s real impressive. Of course you don’t think peer-review goes on here, you haven’t mustered one objection to anything … well, anything but me and Anthony.

      Next, Dr. Roy Spencer is one of my scientific heroes, but he was 100% wrong when he accused me of plagiarism. He a) didn’t understand what I was saying and b) didn’t do his homework. See my post “Dr. Roy Spencer’s Ill Considered Comments on Citizen Science” for details.

      Finally, in the post above I said:

      So please, don’t bother telling me that I’m an uneducated jerk or an ignorant fool. First, I already know that, and if I forget, my gorgeous ex-fiancee will gladly remind me … and second, that’s not the question. The question is absolutely not are my educational bona fides up to your high standards? That’s meaningless.
       
      Nor is the question is Watts Up With That believable or not? I say this because where something gets published is never the question. There are folks out there that truly seem to think that if E=MC^2 is written on the bathroom wall it’s not true because of where it was published.
       
      The question, the only valid question in science, is are the claims true? Does my theory stand up to close inspection? Are my ideas backed, not by climate models, but by actual real-world observations? Can you find flaws in the logic, the data, the math, or any other part of what I’ve written?

      But given your inane comments above, I guess it’s not a surprise that you are abysmally stupid enough to totally ignore what I said and to continue to think that education makes a difference to whether a given claim is true. Wake up. Any given claim is either true or false, whether it is put forward by the college president or the college janitor. My education is immaterial.

      w.

      • Willis, the “public” is not capable of peer reviewing any science.

        You have not contributed a single iota of climate research. Commentary on actual scientific research is simply commentary, and not science. Spencer is a reputable scientist, you have yet to pay your dues to the scientific community. Your mistake is not being aware of previous research, which Spencer pointed out. Had you actually been schooled in climate science, you would not have make the mistake of a neophyte.

        Why don’t you do some real science, you know…..like formulate a real hypothesis, collect data and publish?……..Instead of wasting your time on a “news and commentary” blog?

        Blogs are not where science is done.

        [Show us a list of YOUR peer reviewed papers. At least Willis has them, as do I. Oh wait, you’re too afraid of exposing your identity, right David? -Anthony]

      • “I see that you disagree with the papers published here on WUWT”
        ….
        Are you serious? “Papers” published on a blog?

        Dear Willis, grow up……….science isn’t done on BLOGS

        There is no peer review here, just a bunch of Yahoo’s who think they know “science.”

        When you get folks like Schmidt and Mann (and others from the “real” world) submitting articles here, then you may be able to make the claim that this site is relevant. Absent their contributions here, this place is just a circle jerk.

        [“science isn’t done on BLOGS” Well then lets immediately delete RealClimate.org and QuarkSoup. – Anthony]

      • “My education is immaterial.”

        Your lack of relevant education is material. Your lack of education is the cause of you plagiarizing previous research as Spencer has pointed out.

        You can’t join the club unless you pay the dues.

        And due to your lack of published papers of original research, you also lack “on the job experience.”

        • Ad Hominems are always indicator of lack of real arguments.

          Neither Albert Einstein nor Srinivasa Ramanujan had relevant education, published papers of original research or on the job experience before they were finally recognized by herd science.

        • Mr. Bhandari: The mod caught you out, but your posts scream american academic. Please forgive us plebians for being curious.
          Hope that wasn’t too disgusting for you.

        • Additionally… the claim that science isn’t done on blogs, but rather done in scientific journals doesn’t really hold up to scrutiny these days. Satyendra, in case you haven’t been paying attention, science isn’t really done in journals anymore. Something like 70+% of everything published in peer review journals is wrong… all journals… in all branches of science.

      • “In one you accused Anthony of “name calling””

        Yes I did, he called someone a “jerk.” Is that not “name calling?”

        You however use the term “jerkwagon.” when you engage in the same disgusting behavior.

        (I have caught you…. again, I think I know who you are, if you are what I suspect you to be, you must be a miserable person for repeatedly crashing this blog over and over, using Proxy servers and sometimes using someone else’s real name. Shame on you!) SUNMOD

        • Pass. Satyendra, clearly you’ve mistaken me for someone who cares about your bitter bile.

          w.

          PS—One correction to the record. You say:

          And due to your lack of published papers of original research, you also lack “on the job experience.”

          You can’t even do simple research. I have a half-dozen peer-reviewed publications in the scientific journals, with over 130 citations.

          w.

    • Bhandari
      You said, “… this site has not produced a single decent “idea” about climate, other than rejecting the established science.” Thank you for your unsupported opinion. [/sarc] With hundreds of articles and thousands of comments, it would be surprising if your claim was true. I suppose that means that articles by Stokes and Mosher are similarly not “decent.” Perhaps you wouldn’t recognize a “decent idea” if you saw one. It would be more interesting if you could supply some evidence to support your claim, in lieu of the insults that you seem to prefer.

  42. “My question was, why is the climate so stable?”

    The answer to that would be found in why and how it oscillates. Ocean phases and associated changes in cloud cover act as negative feedbacks with overshoot, to changes in climate forcing, particularly indirect solar variability.

  43. ” this is a variation of 0.1%”

    Isn’t that the same as the variation in TSI? If so, why doesn’t that explain the stability?

    • Jeff, good question. It doesn’t explain it for two reasons. First, because there’s no trace of any ~11-year cycle in the temperature, as we’d expect if the sunspot related variations controlled the temperature.

      And second, because at any given point on the planet the temperature varies by dozens of degrees over the year. Given the nature of clouds, which vary the incoming sunlight by far, far more than a tenth of a percent and which change unpredictably both in time and space, there’s no reason to expect stability … but there it is.

      Regards,

      w.

      • Thanks Willis.

        I’m not sure that explanation does it for me, but I don’t have the skills to refute it. But, thanks.

        • Here’s a simple thought experiment that might help clarify Willis’ second point.

          Imagine a typical summer in some warm temperate climate. Now imagine a 1 week cold spell during that summer. On day 1 it’s maybe 5 degrees below the seasonal average, day 2 its 10 degrees cool, day 3 its 15 degrees cool, day 4, 5, 6, its 20 degrees cool. Then, it snaps back day 7 to just 10 degrees cool, and day 8 it’s back to average. I’ve seen plenty of weeks like this. On a degree-kelvin scale, that might represent a drop that is about 5% below normal. So, did the sun’s TSI drop by 5%? Of course not. Something else drove that weather change. So if a drop in TSI didn’t cause the cooling, why would we say that the stability in TSI caused the cool spell to end? TSI didn’t drive either (at least not completely).

  44. There are two studies about the dynamic temperature response in the Mt. Pinatubo eruption published by the loyal soldiers of the climate establishment. Hansen et al. applied GCMs by name SI94 and GRL92 in their simulations published in 1992. Soden et al. also applied a GCM in the research study published in 2002. They also included the absolute atmospheric water content as a variable. The major results were that the GCM simulations could calculate the dT values close to the measured value if the positive water feedback was included. The water content was calculated using the NASA Water Vapor Project (NVAP) values in a very odd way (=manipulated).

    I have carried out the same simulation for the Mt. Pinatubo case, which was published as a research study and also as a blog story in WUWT: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/03/08/positive-water-feedback-not-found-in-the-mt-pinatubo-eruption/

    I used two models in my study: 1) My own model with the climate sensitivity of 0.6 C and no positive water feedback, 2) the IPCC model with the climate sensitivity of 1.8 C and positive water feedback corresponding the models used by Soden et al. and Hansen et al. I could show that my model gave temperature response very close to the observed temperature change with maximum of 0.5 C decrease but the IPCC model gave a decrease of about 1.0 C.

    So, there are research results that show very different results. What could be the reasons? The reasons are rather simple to point out. All other researchers including me have used maximal solar irradiation decrease value of -6 W/m2 but in these two studies, the researchers have used the value -4 W/m2. In the same way, other researchers have used the maximal deviation value of -0.5 C during the eruption but in these two studies, the value of -0.7 C has been used. Soden et al. have included the RH change during the eruption and they have been able to show that there is positive water feedback needed to explain the temperature decrease. Soden et al. manipulated the humidity change to be negative but actually there was no humidity change at all. In order to get the right results at least Soden et al. manipulated the input data because there were bold enough to shows their data choices.

      • Hawaii sits out in the middle of the largest heat sink on the planet, the Pacific Ocean. I wouldn’t have expected that much change in temperature over the relatively short period of time of a couple of years. Did you get a dataset from a reporting station or two in the middle of a continent and see the same results?

        Additionally, if the ocean water was getting less energy it would cool, but since it is so vast the results wouldn’t be immediately seen and maybe not even measurable in the short term. Mixing with water beneath the surface is pretty constant and would mask it, imo. The Earth runs on geologic time, we run on human time. Big difference.

        • Thanks, rbabcock. People often have an exaggerated idea of the stability of the ocean’s temperature. If you look at the graphs you’ll see that the temperature at those Hawaiian stations varies considerably. Here’s the Mauna Loa station:

          Note that a few years after the El Chichon eruption the monthly average temperature dropped by almost six degrees C in a few months …

          So no, the answer to why the eruptions didn’t affect the temperature much is not thermal mass …

          Regards,
          w.

          • “dropped by almost six degrees C in a few months”

            Now THAT’S catastrophic! The place must have been covered in glaciers!

          • Actually the patterns of the two volcanoes look the same. A spike up, a spike down, a spike up and a final spike down. El Chichon is more pronounced in delta T. The volcanoes were different. Chichon was smaller than Pinatubo but put more sulfur into the air. That may contribute to the larger temperature swings.

            If this is the temperatures from the observatory, it is at an elevation of 700 millibars which is above the daily influence of the surface layers and above the haze layer on most days. The measurements would be out of direct influence of the ocean especially under high pressure. Low pressure has a lot of lift and would have ocean influences, but typically high pressure dominates that part of the world most days.

          • rbabcock January 19, 2020 at 11:20 am

            Actually the patterns of the two volcanoes look the same. A spike up, a spike down, a spike up and a final spike down.

            Thanks, rbabcock. Read the full post. There are temperature records from a number of the sea level stations, which don’t have the pattern you describe. Here’s Molokai, for example.

            Also, I’m not seeing how a decrease in sunshine would lead to an increase in warmth …

            w.

  45. “are my educational bona fides up to your high standards? That’s meaningless.”

    Uh…no, if you were educated, you wouldn’t be wasting your time blogging on a web site dedicated to rejecting science.

    [Hey, David, we don’t reject science, we don’t even reject CLIMATE science, we just think it’s oversold, much like you and your fake personas- Anthony]

    • Pass. As the old saying has it,

      Never wrestle with a pig. You just get dirty and the pig enjoys it

      w.

    • Bhandari
      You said, “… you wouldn’t be wasting your time blogging …” Why should we give any credence to your rantings?

      Since you seem to be targeting Willis with your screeds, you may have missed something I wrote above. So, I’ll repeat it here:

      “Willis
      You stated the question, “… are my educational bona fides up to your high standards?” When a zealot demands one answer that question, it is a not-so-subtle “ad hominem” attack on the author, and avoids dealing with the facts and logic of the author’s stated position. Whatever “bona fides” one presents, the zealot can (and will) raise the bar and object that it doesn’t meet their standards, again avoiding the legitimate response of attacking the argument rather than the author. I don’t know how many times I have seen self-righteous defenders of the orthodoxy respond that way to a comment directed to a Yahoo ‘news’ article. It was even more common back in the days when I responded to articles posted on The Conversation blog. One Australian woman complained that she couldn’t find my digital presence on the internet. The problem was that most of what I have had published was either company proprietary, or classified, and typically written before Al Gore invented the internet! 🙂”

    • Satyendra,
      You are displaying the usual characteristics of a progressive who deliberately conflates as a means to avoid any scrutiny, analysis and collaboration which sways from the group think dictates you champion.
      Your assertion that a “blog” cannot scientifically analyse, critique and collaborate as well as any peer review means is asinine. Or rather purposefully mendacious.
      Gathering on a website to do so is no different than gathering at some hallowed institution of higher learning.
      Better really because anyone from anywhere, with any applicable skill set, can contribute with any substance or query that may be helpful.
      You’re clearly the type of ilk who would ban such discussion and speech on any campus or anywhere you could control.
      Your kind is everywhere in every arena and always charges the same accusations in an attempt to omit challenge and prevent exposing your progressive ideas to scrutiny.
      In short you are a horrible person.

    • …. dedicated to rejecting science

      I’ve no idea what this statement is about. Please explain.

      Richard Feynman admonished researchers to be skeptical in the manner of Wilhelm Röntgen – tried his damnedest to prove himself wrong. Your esteemed and peer reviewed “climate scientists” seem to be more in the mold of Pons & Fleischmann.

      WUWT and other sites are doing the peer reviewing that “pal review” has shown to be useless. There has be 12 to 15 years of blog postings detailing such issues. Example: start at the beginning of Climate Audit and read it all.

  46. My question is regarding the very minimal IR absorption capability of CO2. Why do they think that such narrow absorption bands will do much of anything? The 400 and 800ºC absorption bands of CO2 will absorb incoming IR radiation but will immediately re-radiate the energy in random directions, thus short-stopping some solar insolation. CO2 is cooling the planet in this case.

    Regarding outgoing IR radiation, the -80ºC absorption band will be busy as everything on the surface is hotter than that, but any re-radiated IR from CO2 toward the surface will be reflected upward to space, as the -80 energy levels of the surface are already full. CO2 is patently incapable of heating anything on Earth.

    • Charles, there’s no such thing as a -80ºC absorption band, this is a faulty understanding of Wien’s Law which is constantly being brought up here. The only thing you got right in this post is that the earth is warmer than -80ºC (except near the south pole).

  47. Willis, sitting at a keyboard, looking at a screen, and running Excel is not doing science. Maybe you should go out into the field and collect some real data, then analyze it, and publish is a science journal?

    • Satyendra,
      You’re being absurd and a jerk. Willis’s studies and analysis have spawned much more scrutiny, exploring and collaboration. His many posts have been very interesting with the comment input from countless people adding even more. Including the scientific content io
      Your objection is unethical mudslinging.

    • How about you analyse Willis E’s work then point out the error of his ways?
      That’s what this forum is for.
      And “Go out into the field” . . . try that yourself Mr ICCSIR office chair warmer.

    • Satyendra Bhandari –“sitting at a keyboard, looking at a screen, and running Excel is not doing science. ”
      Neither are a string of ad hominems.
      Lets see YOUR peer reviewed publications.
      Lets see your original research.
      Lets see your real name.

    • “Maybe you should go out into the field and collect some real data, then analyze it, and publish is a science journal?”

      That’s funny. Mann didn’t go collect any field data. he bungled his way through stats (well, didn’t really bungle, he knew what he was fudging.)

    • Satyendra says:
      “Willis, sitting at a keyboard, looking at a screen, and running Excel is not doing science. Maybe you should go out into the field and collect some real data, then analyze it, and publish is a science journal?”

      Thank you. He is much too fast and loose with the analysis.

      • “Thank you. He is much too fast and loose with the analysis.”

        You know, just saying something is so, doesn’t make it so.

        Instead of making personal attacks on the author, you should point out where the author’s analysis is wrong. Demonstrate how it is “fast and loose”.

        That’s what WUWT is here for: Somebody makes a claim, and then the commenters take that claim to task to see if it holds up or not. Your claim doesn’t hold up. You need to up your game. Tell us how Willis’ analysis is wrong. You imply you know.

        In the normal course of things, alarmists just usually attack the messenger instead of the message. That would be because they are not capable of attacking the message because there is no evidence to back up their CAGW position. So they carp at the people who point this out.

  48. Do we know how stable the climates are on other planets near us? Not hyperbole, I’m just too dumb to know if we know the answer. All we know of any planet is from observation, we just have a bit more insight of this one we live on. Although not much, just a couple hundred years of looking with record keeping and hypothesizing compared to the many billions years age of the Earth. It seems we still can’t get it right despite our vast knowledge and technology. We still guess at what’s happened and what’s going to happen to the Earth and most of the time we are wrong (wait a few years the hypothesis will change). Yet we still say how learned we are. The arrogance of man knows no bounds. Still I’m just a dumb worker bee, don’t listen to me.

  49. “So mostly, as with all good heretics, I’m shunned by the powers that be.”

    Piffle! Merely being shunned shows that you are just a mediocre heretic. A good heretic gets burned at the stake or tortured by the Spanish Inquisition.

  50. Willis in the original post talking about the effects of CO2 on the stratosphere:
    As you can see, although the stratospheric temperature has indeed dropped, the drop has been quite complex. The two peaks in the record are from the volcanoes noted in the graph. After each one, the stratosphere has warmed for about five years. Each time it seems to have stabilized at a lower temperature. There has been a slight drop since the second eruption. It’s likely that this is from the changes noted in Theory 1, although that is far from clear.

    One of the reasons for the complex behavior is the additional effect of Ozone and its change over time,
    see: Clough and Iacona, J. Geo research, vol 100, 1995

  51. Willis,
    I hope you’re still reading comments on this post.

    I have a question, but first I should say I like your theory and your observation on stability, but I’ve been wondering if it is the same during glacial periods? Or is there some input to the system which “flips”? It seems to me that the climate has two stable states, it flips when something in the regulating mechanism overshoot.

    • Ben, it’s hard to tell because our proxy temperature records 50,000 or 150,000 years ago are less than stellar. Given that, it seems that the earth has two stable states, one some 5°C or so cooler than the other. I envision it as working something like the diagram below, with the flip from one strange attractor to the other governed by Milankovich cycles plus … something …

      Regards,

      w.

      • Willis, would you consider doing a deeper dive on this in a future post? Admittedly it would be speculative, in contrast to your usual data analysis, but I don’t think I would be alone in wanting to hear the speculations of someone who has spent so many hours with the data.

        If this idea comports with reality, it would imply that the only “tipping point” that we have to fear would be one that drives us to the stable glaciated state. From a precautionary principle point of view, don’t the doom-mongers have it backwards? If human activity has any substantial effect on climate (an open question in my mind), we should be doing whatever possible to raise average temperatures to avoid falling into the cold regime.

      • Thank you Willis, could I echo Rich’s request, it’s been something that has puzzled me about CO2 is the master controller theory since it started gaining traction.

    • Earth during the Pleistocene and Holocene Epochs has three fairly regular states. One is interglacial, as now. The other is normal glacial, as per perhaps most of the past 2.6 million years. The other is glacial maximum or Heinrich event-dominated, as for some 10,000 years before transition to the Holocene, ie the latest interglacial.

      • “Earth during the Pleistocene and Holocene Epochs has three fairly regular states”
        Also know as “Tolerable for Plants” ; “Bad for Plants” and “Terrible for Plants.”

  52. Knowing your standard that perfection is good enough, may I point out a typo?
    In all I’ve written so 40 or so posts exploring this theory’

  53. Willis,
    I like Heretics.
    Heretics are useful for testing science and falsifying hypotheses, even if they are wrong.
    Here is a well known self confessed heretic.
    “ A Many Coloured Glass” by Freeman Dyson,
    Chapter 3, “ Heretical Thoughts about Science and Society,”-
    “As a scientist, I do not have much faith in predictions.Science is organised unpredictability.The best scientists like to arrange things in an experiment to be as unpredictable as possible, and then they do the experiment to see what will happen.You might say if something is predictable then it is not science.
    When I make predictions,I am not speaking as a scientist,I am speaking as a storyteller and my predictions are science fiction rather than science…..
    I will be telling stories that challenge the prevailing theories of today.The prevailing dogmas may be right but they still need to be challenged.
    I am proud to be a heretic.The world always needs heretics to challenge the prevailing orthodoxies….”
    Dyson goes on to state his most famous and quoted passage about the unreliability of models whose creators do not go out into the real unruly world where scientific data can be observed and tested away from the modeller’s comfortable office.
    He states his conclusion succinctly. “My first heresy says that all the fuss about global warming has been grossly exaggerated……Of course they say, I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore not qualified to speak.But I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do.The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds ,the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests .They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in….”
    Willis, continue your heresies.

  54. The ‘sprinkling’ of energy described is still strong denial of physics. They think that if they use some anti-physical process to conserve energy globally, then it’s ok. It’s not ok, because it still violates the energy conservation law. That law is local, not simply global. It does not allow energy teleportation, which they do with that ‘sprinkling’.

    Physics denial is strong in climastrology.

    • Adrian, you are both right and wrong.

      You’re right in that there is no physical process that sprinkles magic energy fairy dust over the surface of the planet.

      However, the problem is that no digital process is perfect because of rounding errors. Now, there’s a huge amount of energy flowing through the climate system at all times. The sun is constantly delivering 173 petawatts of energy to the climate system. Let’s assume a half-hour timestep. That’s 0.3 zettajoules per timestep (3.1E+20).

      Now, suppose at the end of that timestep we have an imbalance of let’s say 420 terajoules (420E+12). Sounds like a lot of energy, and it is … but its only .0001% of the total. However, if you let it accumulate, soon it will put the model off the rails.

      So the question is … how do you keep things in balance?

      The way that Gavin does it is reasonable. If you spread that evenly over the planet, you get less than one joule per square metre … and it takes four joules to warm a single gram of water up by one degree C.

      If you have a better solution, I’m sure folks would be interested.

      w.

      • You had the option to click on my name before trying to explain me things that I kind of know…

        Now, for the energy conservation issue, ‘sprinkling’ is not a solution, but an added fallacy on top of those numerical errors. It can only add to bullshit, by ex falso, quodlibet.

        For alleviating the issue, look up ‘symplectic integrators’. It’s the most one can do about it. Adding anti-physics is not going to help, but is going to hurt the simulation. BADLY. No matter how ‘reasonable’ it looks to some folks.

        • Adrain, I just clicked on your name. I didn’t learn a damn thing. It didn’t say one word about what you know about the subjects under discussion. How about you dial it back a bit?

          Regarding “symplectic integrators”, the American Association of Physics says:

          Symplectic integrators very nearly conserve the total energy and are particularly useful when treating long times.

          Since they only “very nearly” conserve energy, obviously using them won’t fix the problem.

          And finally, there are ALWAYS rounding errors in digital computers. So with or without symplectic integrators, we have the same problem—what to do with the residual error?

          So … what do you say we should do with that error?

          w.

          • Well, of course you didn’t learn a damn thing. Why would I expect otherwise?

            ‘Very nearly’ can be much better than using integrators that are not symplectic and augmenting them with anti-physical laws. Simulations by using denial of physics is not a solution.

            Now, the problem ‘won’t be fixed’. Yes, that’s true, the problem won’t be fixed even if using perfect algorithms with a hypothetical infinite speed, infinite memory computer.

            The measurement errors and the mere fact that the initial condition is specified in a bullshit way, using only very few points of the system, renders the ‘numerical errors’ issue irrelevant after some simulations steps. Those initial errors explode exponentially.

            Those initial errors can be much bigger than the numerical errors introduced by a single step in the simulation, so you should be very worried about those that occur first, because those are the ones that are the biggest and get amplified the worst.

            The numerical errors that add up during the simulation are only cherries ‘sprinkled’ on top of that and nothing more. You can always take a certain step and consider that state as the initial state with the numerical errors ‘sprinkled’ on top of the exponentially amplified errors from the actual initial state. But if you don’t solve the initial state problem, trying to fix the numerical errors by anti-physics is not productive.

            You just make your model deny physics more. You don’t fix the problem, you make it worse. There is not warranty that by using an anti-physical law (global energy conservation, that is, energy teleportation) will make the simulation behave in a more physical way and closer to reality. There is no warranty of any kind that by denying physics like that you get closer to reality. You don’t even respect the energy conservation law, because that is local, a much tough requirement than in the anti-physics global one.

            TLDR: By doing the ‘sprinkling’ you don’t even respect the real energy conservation law, you actually deny it. Why would anybody expect to make it better for anything else is quite surprising since it doesn’t even fix one single law that it targets…

  55. How about an explanation on how one can “falsify” probability models???? Since Willis is talking models and falsifying, I think that would have been very, very important.

    Good discussion, but without a definition of what “falsifying” means in a probability model, it really solves nothing.

  56. I liked that Willis.

    Tell me what effect doubling co2 to 800 ppm would have on the speed of energy loss to space from the atmosphere as a whole, because that doubles the energy loss that is passed on to co2 kinetically by the other 99.96% of the atmosphere and then radiated directly to space as well as back-radiated down..

    The atmosphere as a whole has to start to cool eventually no matter how much energy is back radiated, the Co2 is still radiating the equal amount directly to space surely.

    With energy in to the earth system as a whole remaining a virtual constant over a century, then doubling the strong energy emitters to space in the atmosphere must surely cool the atmosphere as a whole eventually.

  57. Eventually Willis i cant see any other thing happening than our atmosphere cooling from the top down eventually if we keep adding what are essentially atmospheric energy drainers directly to space, the atmosphere will cool layer by layer over 1000s of years……. assuming energy in remained a constant and the strong atmospheric emitters of the whole atmospheres energy store continued to rise.

    The back radiation focus is just a red herring rotten enough to make a seagull sick imo.

  58. This is idiotic. Not Willis’ analysis, or Gavin’s analysis. The process is stupid, debating such a matter in academic journals and blogs. This debate has been running for 3 decades, and has gridlocked climate policy.

    As Mosher said, we don’t even prepare for the inevitable repeat of past weather.

    There is a simple next step, one that has often worked adequately. Bring in an outside group of experts to review and validate the models. Whatever the cost, it would be pocket change compared to the bills we’re running up now.

    America has a wealth of people and institutions capable of doing this. The National Academy of Sciences could be the lead agency in a Federal project to validate climate models. They could mobilize experts in the required wide range of fields.

    Operational leadership could be provided by the Verification and Validation Committee of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). See their “Guide for Verification and Validation in Computational Solid Mechanics”, their “Standard for Verification and Validation in Computational Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer”, and “An Illustration of the Concepts of Verification and Validation in Computational Solid Mechanics.”

    NOAA and NSA could assist. There are probably other groups that could provide expert assistance.

    For details see:
    https://fabiusmaximus.com/2020/01/18/solution-to-the-climate-crisis/

    A nation with such resources that can’t apply them to a critical issue probably won’t make it thru the 21st century.

    • It’s a good sentiment, but you’re still going to run into personalities on both sides of the argument that will sully the results. I don’t think anyone is really unbiased at this point. Or even if they are, they will be painted in a bad light if their conclusions go against one orthodoxy or the other.

    • This debate has been running for 3 decades, and has gridlocked climate policy.

      Which assumes that we need some kind of “climate policy”. We do not. Presumably you don’t consider “do nothing and let markets control the outcome” as a valid climate policy.

      The reason there is gridlock is that the entire exercise is political, not scientific. So-called experts setting industrial policy is straight out of the early 20th century Progressive movement’s handbook. The experts will be defined as experts by politicians, and their judgments no less political. It’s as predictable as the rulings of Supreme Court justices. (If you dispute that, then why the fear on the Left that Trump might get to appoint a few more judicial experts?)

      Just like virtually every other activity undertaken by government to interfere in markets and individual freedom, climate policy is anti-liberty, unless that policy is to do nothing.

      I’m for eternal gridlock, given the likely alternatives. No change is always preferable to change that pleases the Left. Any conceivable panel of climate experts would exclude true experts like Happer, Lindzen, and others, or would marginalize them like Republican legislators in Massachusetts or California.

  59. Why we love climate activists and their “climate scientist” accomplice friends:

    Al Gore used a picture of a mama Polar Bear on an ice berg and became a revered climate guru. The picture was taken by a NZ student researcher, and Gore used it without asking her or giving her credit.
    Oh, and the photo did not show what Gore claimed.

    Do Schmidt and Mann go into the field and collect some real data?

  60. Willis asked me to comment on his volcano theory in the case of Mt. Pinatubo as observed on Hawaii island. Sorry that I do it so late, but I am living in a different time zone. The theory about clouds compensating the eruption effects could be possible but a basic problem is that we do not know enough about the clouds.

    There is also a possible explanation of why the temperature of Hawaii did not respond to the eruption but stayed about at the same level as before the eruption. During the eruption effects from June 1991 to about December 1995, there was a strong El Nino ONI being 1.7 in January 1992. It was exactly the same month when the eruption effects had its maximum effect (lowering temperature).

    Hawaii locates very close to Nino 3.4, which is the most sensitive area of ENSO and its 3-months temperature average anomaly is the ONI. So, my explanation is that the temperature of Hawaii had two opposite climate forcing effects compensating each other.

    • Antero
      The Hawaiian Islands are surrounded by what chemists or physicists might characterize as a “water bath.” That is, something to hold temperature constant. Where we tend to see temperature extremes is in the interior of large continental masses. So, for greater sensitivity to changes we should be looking at land temperatures unmodified by large bodies of water.

      • Clyde,

        Your explanation maybe even better. When I was working in Oman, I was looking at the weather forecasts of the eastern hemisphere. I noticed that the temperature of Sri Lanka was constant from day to day, from month to month.

        Anyway, it is a fact that no climate theory can be built on observations from one location only.

  61. The CAGW hypothesis depends on a fake “runaway CO2/water vapor feedback loop” to get ECS over 3C.

    The problem with “runaway feedback loops” is that they eventually go to infinity unless negative feedbacks counter act them…

    When Dr. Lindzen confronted CAGW modelers on this conundrum, they gave vague references to fossil-fuel particulates keeping the runaway feedback loop in check, but couldn’t actually provide any equations or lines of code that quantified it….

    In reality, there isn’t a “CO2/water vapor runaway feedback loop”. What’s likely occurring is that the maximum CO2 forcing per CO2 doubling is around 1.2C, and the increased ocean water vapor caused by CO2 warming increases cloud cover, which increases earth’s albedo and makes the NET ECS around 0.8C…

    Willis has done yeoman’s work on this water vapor/cloud cover/albedo/negative feedback process, which elegantly explains why the CAGW hypothesis has already been disconfirmed….

  62. “where something gets published is never the question”

    Willis, I agree 100%. When I recently did a Master of Project Management degree, I was horrified to be given and extremely long list of publications graded from A* down to E. We were only allowed to reference publications from the ‘top’ of the list.

    And, yes, my university did drink the climate change cool-aid, to the extent that they disgustingly jumped onto the latest bushfires to push their propaganda out.

  63. Does my theory stand up to close inspection? . . . Can you find flaws in the logic, the data, the math, or any other part of what I’ve written?
    What procedure might conceivably falsify the argument made above? Have you made any effort to do so?

    • Mark, I have no clue WHICH “argument made above” you might be going on about. Sorry to be harsh, but I ask people to quote what they are discussing for a reason. There are 247 comments in this thread, many of which have made arguments for various points of view …

      w.

      • The italicized bit is a quote from the article and to be fair, upon further examination it isn’t clear to what “my theory” refers as there are a number of possibilities in the article. We can eliminate the 247 comments from consideration on the grounds they were made after the quoted statement.

        What I’m interested in is how you would evaluate your own self-skepticism and what protections you might employ in that regard.

        • Thanks for the clarification, Mark. I don’t publish without doing whatever I can to make sure my claims are solid. However, as Richard Feynman said, “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

          So I do my best, but then I do what many climate scientists are unwilling to do. I expose my work to the harsh gaze of the Argus-eyed intarwebs, and to the immediate criticism of a host of folks who would like nothing more than to find errors in my work. That’s the best peer review I know of.

          Regards,

          w.

          • “I expose my work to the harsh gaze of the Argus-eyed intarwebs, and to the immediate criticism of a host of folks who would like nothing more than to find errors in my work. That’s the best peer review I know of.”

            And we are glad you do, because we all learn something. It takes a special kind of person to do what you do.

            And it takes a special kind of place like WUWT to dig into the details of all the claims that are made in the name of climate science and other sciences, because climate science involves many specialties and you will find experts in all those subjects here at this website and those experts are willing to weigh in when appropriate.

            I don’t think there is a better review process than right here at WUWT. Not to mention the fun we have doing it!

  64. I have an issue with using average temperature to define climate. Local climate is mostly dependent on the availability of liquid water and the prevailing humidity. That is why Antarctica is as desert as Sahara. That is also why we define local climes as desert, swamp, monsoon, rain fed, dry, wet, etc… And why temperature defined climate goes across all longitude along certain latitude ranges like tropical, temperate, arctic and sub-arctic and this is regardless of the local climate which can be a rainforest such as in Vancouver or in the Amazon while some in the same relative latitude are deserts.

    • Paul, I completely agree. And, we have ocean temperatures transporting warmer and cooler water to different regions. We do have a good handle on regional climates over many, many years. The dispersal of surface temperature monitoring stations and tweaking makes that temperature data suspect, but the satellite surface and atmospheric data is very good and getting better AND it is regionally specific, not a mean global temperature. Mitigation and adaptation efforts will be at the regional level, not global. My suggestion is to wait on the data, we can certainly handle a 1 degree C rise in 80 years. In the meantime, maybe work on regional models, in particular the areas that have a consistent cycle of cloud formations. That would be useful in many ways.

  65. A “prediction” is an unconditional “predictive inference.” Conversely, a “predictive inference” is a conditional “prediction.” Today’s climate models do not make “predictions.” Instead, these models make “projections.” A “projection” is not the same thing as a “prediction,” impressions to the contrary not withstanding. That these models make “projections” rather than “predictions” has the consequence that the arguments which are made by these models are non-falsifiable, thus lying outside science.

  66. OK, I’ll bite …

    Burl Henry January 20, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    John Tilman:

    Regarding the start date of the Little Ice Age, if 1350 is used, the VEI7 eruption of Mount Rinjani would fall into the MWP, as well as the string of 6 VEI5 eruptions of Tarawera 1310-1315, which caused the great famine of 1315-17, because of the colder weather.

    This is ridiculous, they clearly belong in the LIA!

    Tarawera’s SO2 aerosols settled out around 1320, and warming resumed, with the next large eruption not occurring until 40 years later, El Chichon VEI5 in 1360. And Oreafajokull VEI5 in 1362.

    With this adjustment, the MWP had only 6 VEI5 eruptions and 1 VEI7 eruption over a period of ~300 years, as opposed to at least 34 VEI5, 8 VEI6, and 2 VEI7 eruptions during the LIA. There is a huge difference in large volcanic eruptions between the 2 eras!

    I went and got the Smithsonian Eruption database. Here are all the eruptions with a Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) of 5 or more since the year 2000.

    As you can see, the earlier times don’t have nearly as many volcanoes as the post-1600 period. Per your theory … we should be freezing.

    w.

    • Willis:

      As I have been saying, the Medieval Warm Period (circa 950-1250) resulted from the fact that there were very few volcanic eruptions over its 300 year period, only 6 VEI5, and 1 VEI7 (year 1000), which your plot nicely confirms.

      The Little Ice Age (c. 1257- c.1850), had 7 VEI5, 6 VEI6, and 1 VEI7 eruption, as well as 5 explosive eruptions in 1370, 1380, 1440, 1550, and 1800 whose VEI is presently unknown (could range VEI4-VEI7+). Also at least 94 VEI4 eruptions (23 during MWP), all of which would have added SO2 and additional cooling

      Also 63 of the eruptions occurred within 2 years, or less, of another, deepening their cooling effects (8 during MWP)

      Again, your plot confirms what I have been saying.

      Millions of tons of SO2 would have entered the stratosphere from the LIA eruptions, with unavoidable cooling, and yet you say that they were not the cause of the LIA.

      As to your comment “Per your theory…we should be freezing”” No, NONE of the prior eruptions have ANY effect on today’s temperatures. But if we should have another VEI6 or 7 eruption, we could be freezing.

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