Losing Ones Balance

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

According to NASA, we have the following exciting news about a new study.

Direct Observations Confirm that Humans are Throwing Earth’s Energy Budget off Balance

Earth is on a budget – an energy budget. Our planet is constantly trying to balance the flow of energy in and out of Earth’s system. But human activities are throwing that off balance, causing our planet to warm in response.

“Off Balance” … sounds scary, huh? Plus according to NASA, this isn’t some computer model output, it’s “direct observations”

The paper, sadly paywalled, is entitled “Observational evidence of increasing global radiative forcing” by Kramer et al., hereinafter Kramer2021. It claims that from 2003 through 2018, human actions increased the downwelling longwave infrared radiation from the atmosphere by 0.53 ± 0.11 watts per square meter (W/m2).

So let me see if I can explain the manifold problems with this hot new Kramer2021 study. Let me start by explaining the size of the system we’re talking about, the huge planet-wide heat engine that we call the “climate”. Here is an overview of what happens to the sunlight that warms the planet. The Kramer2021 study has used CERES satellite data, and I am using the same data.

Figure 1. Solar energy on its path from the top of the atmosphere (TOA) to the surface.

Note that we are talking about hundreds of watts per square metre of the surface of the earth.

Next, to the same scale, here’s a look at the energy absorbed by the atmosphere that is returned to the surface via downwelling longwave thermal radiation.

Figure 2. Sources of energy that power the downwelling longwave radiation that is absorbed by the surface. Read it from the bottom up. This is to the same scale as Figure 1.

So … how much of this downwelling longwave does the new study claim is of human origin during the period 2003 to 2018? See that skinny line to the right of the “300” on the vertical axis? That’s how much the energy is “off balance” …

That’s their claim.

Too big a scale to see how much the study is actually claiming? OK, here’s a detail of Figure 2:

Figure 3. Detail of Figure 2, to show the size of the amount that we’re claimed to be “off balance”.

The “whiskers” to the right of the “355” on the vertical axis show the size by which they are claiming that humans have made the downwelling longwave radiation from the atmosphere “off balance” …

So that’s the first problem with their analysis. They are claiming to diagnose an almost invisible change in downwelling longwave, in a very chaotic, noisy, and imperfectly measured system.

The next problem is with the claim that they are using “direct observations” to get their results. Sounds like they’re avoiding the myriad problems with using the global computer models (GCMs) to get results. From the NASA press release linked at the top of the post, we have (emphasis mine):

Climate modelling predicts that human activities are causing the release of greenhouse gases and aerosols that are affecting Earth’s energy budget. Now, a NASA study has confirmed these predictions with direct observations for the first time: radiative forcings are increasing due to human actions, affecting the planet’s energy balance and ultimately causing climate change.

However, what they really mean by “direct observations” is that they are using direct observations as inputs to “radiative kernels”. Here’s the abstract to their study, emphasis mine:


Changes in atmospheric composition, such as increasing greenhouse gases, cause an initial radiative imbalance to the climate system, quantified as the instantaneous radiative forcing. This fundamental metric has not been directly observed globally and previous estimates have come from models. In part, this is because current space-based instruments cannot distinguish the instantaneous radiative forcing from the climate’s radiative response. We apply radiative kernels to satellite observations to disentangle these components and find all-sky instantaneous radiative forcing has increased 0.53±0.11 W/m2 from 2003 through 2018, accounting for positive trends in the total planetary radiative imbalance. This increase has been due to a combination of rising concentrations of well-mixed greenhouse gases and recent reductions in aerosol emissions. These results highlight distinct fingerprints of anthropogenic activity in Earth’s changing energy  budget, which we find observations can detect within 4 years.

And what are “radiative kernels” when they’re at home? They’re a computer-based analysis of the instantaneous radiative forcing and radiative flux changes due to changes in things like temperature, water vapor, surface albedo and clouds.

And as a result, they can never be any more accurate than the underlying temperature, water vapor, surface albedo, and cloud etc. datasets …

Not only that, but to give an accurate result regarding human influence, the “radiation kernels” have to include all of the factors that go into the radiation balance. From Figure 2 above, we can see that these include the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the atmosphere (including the clouds), the sensible heat lost by the surface, the latent heat lost by the surface, and the longwave radiation emitted by the surface.

However, I find no indication that they have included all of the relevant variables.

And in any case, how accurately do we know those values? Not very well. Let me return to that question after we discuss the next problem.

The next problem with their study is that they seem totally unaware of the issues of long-term persistence (LTP). “Long-term persistence” in terms of climate means that today’s climate variables (temperature, rainfall, pressure, etc.) is not totally different from yesterday, this year is somewhat similar to last year, and this decade is not unrelated to the previous decade. Long-term persistence is unmentioned in their study. Long-term persistence is characterized by something called the “Hurst Exponent”. The value of this exponent ranges from 0.0 to 1.0. Purely random numbers have a Hurst Exponent of 0.5. An increasing Hurst Exponent indicates increasing long-term persistence.

And natural climate variables often show high long-term persistence.

What’s the problem with this? Well, the uncertainty in any statistical analysis goes down as the number of observations increases. The number of observations is usually denoted by capital N. If I throw a die (one of a pair of dice) four times (N=4) and I average the answer, I might get a mean (average) value of 4.2, or of 1.6. But if I throw the die ten thousand times (N=10,000), I’ll get something very near to the true average of 3.5. I just tried it on my computer, and with N=10,000, I got 3.4927.

The problem is that if a dataset has high long-term persistence, it acts like it has fewer observations than it actually has.

To deal with this, we can calculate an “Effective N” for a dataset. This is the number of observations that the dataset acts as though it has.

The general effect of long-term persistence is that it greatly increases the uncertainty of our results. For example, finding longer-term trends in a random normal dataset is unusual. But because of long-term persistence, as the saying goes, “Nature’s style is naturally trendy.” Longer-term trends in natural datasets are the rule, not the exception. As that linked article in Nature magazine says, “trend tests which fail to consider long-term persistence greatly overstate the statistical significance of observed trends when long-term persistence is present.”

So let’s take for example the CERES downwelling longwave dataset, the one that they say humans are affecting. It is indeed trending upwards. Looking at the period they studied, it increased by 1.1 W/m2, and they claim about half of that (0.53 W/m2) is from human actions.

And if we ignore long-term persistence, the “p-value” of that trend is 0.0003, which is very small. This means that there is almost no chance that it’s just a random fluctuation. Ignoring long-term persistence, the trend in that data is highly statistically significant.

But that’s calculated with the actual number of datapoints, N = 192. However, once we adjust for long-term correlation, we see that particular dataset has a Hurst Exponent of 0.88, which is very high.

Figure 4. Hurst Exponent analysis of the 16-year CERES dataset used in the Kramer2021 study. The diagonal line is what we’d see if there were no long-term persistence.

This means that there is so much long-term persistence that the Effective N is only 3 data points … which in turn means that the apparent trend is not statistically significant at all. It may be nothing more than another of nature’s many natural trends.

To summarize the problems with the Kramer study:

• The way that they are isolating the human contribution is to measure every single other variable that affects the downwelling longwave radiation, and subtract them from the total downwelling longwave radiation. The residual, presumably, is the human contribution. To do that, we’d need to measure every single variable that either adds to or removes energy from the atmosphere.

  • These include:
    • CO2
    • all other non-condensing greenhouse gases
    • water vapor
    • aerosols such as sulfur dioxide and black carbon
    • surface temperature
    • surface albedo
    • solar absorption/reflection by clouds
    • solar absorption/reflection by the atmosphere
    • solar absorption/reflection by aerosols
    • sensible heat loss from the surface
    • latent heat loss from the surface by evaporation and sublimation
    • sensible heat gain by the surface from the atmosphere
    • latent heat gain by the surface from dew
    • solar wind
    • long-term melting of glacial and sea ice
    • long-term changes in oceanic heat content
    • transfer of cold water from the atmosphere to the surface via snow, rain, and other forms of precipitation

I do not see evidence that all of these have been accounted for.

• The uncertainty in any and all of these measurements presumably adds “in quadrature”, meaning as the square root of the sum of their squares. Their claim is that the total uncertainty of their result is about a tenth of a watt per square metre (±0.11 W/m2) … I’m sorry, but that is simply not credible. For example, even without accounting for long-term persistence, the uncertainty in the mean of the CERES 2003 – 2018 downwelling LW radiation data is more than half of that, ±0.08 W/m2. And including long-term persistence, the uncertainty of the mean goes up to ±0.24, more than twice their claimed uncertainty.

• And it’s not just that longwave radiation dataset, that’s only one of the many uncertainties involved. Uncertainties are increased in all of the datasets by the existence of long-term persistence. For example, using standard statistics, the uncertainty in the mean of the atmospheric absorption of solar energy is ±0.02 W/m2. But when we adjust for long-term persistence, the uncertainty of the mean of the absorption is twice that, ±0.04 W/m2, which alone is a third of the claimed uncertainty of their “human contribution”, which is said to be 0.53 ± 0.11 W/m2.

• They are claiming that they can measure the human contribution to the nearest hundredth of a W/m2, which is far beyond either the accuracy of the instruments or the uncertainty of the measurements involved. And they claim that they can measure human influence as being about 0.15% of the total downwelling longwave … which means that all of their underlying calculations must be even more accurate than that.

Let me close by saying that I DO think that human-generated increases in CO2 alter the energy balance. That much seems reasonable based on known physics.

However, I don’t think changes in CO2 alter the temperature, because the changes are very small and more importantly, they are counteracted by a host of emergent climate phenomena which act to keep the temperature within narrow bounds. In other words, I think that the authors of Kramer2021 are correct in principle (humans are increasing the downwelling LW radiation by a small amount), but I think that they are very far from substantiating that claim by their chosen method.

Not only that, but the change in downwelling LW radiation from increasing CO2 is trivially small, even over the long term.

Figure 5. Using the IPCC figures of an increase of 3.5 W/m2 for each doubling of CO2, the yellow/black line shows the increase in total downwelling radiation (longwave + shortwave) since the year 1700 due to increasing CO2. See here for details on the data used.

As you can see, over the last full three centuries the theoretical increase in downwelling radiation from CO2 is not even four-tenths of one percent of the total.

Now, when I analyze a system, my method is to divide the significant variables into three groups.

  • Categories of Variables
    • First order variables: these cause variations in the measurement of interest which are greater than 10%. If the measurement of interest is instantaneous downwelling radiation (LW + SW), this would include say day/night solar variation, or the formation of tropical cumulus fields.
    • Second order variables: these cause variations in the measurement of interest which are between 1% and 10%. If the measurement of interest is instantaneous downwelling radiation (LW + SW), this would include say nighttime clouds.
    • Third order variables: these cause variations in the measurement of interest which are less than 1%. If the measurement of interest is long-term changes in downwelling radiation (LW + SW), this would include say incremental changes in CO2.

In general, I’ve found that third-order variables can be ignored in all but the most detailed of analyses …

TL;DR Version? They claim far greater accuracy and far smaller uncertainty than they can demonstrate.

Here on the hill, I spent most of my day cleaning up and fixing up my old Peavey Classic amplifier, using windex, a dish scrubby sponge, a wire wheel on my grinder to clean the rust off the corner protectors, and Rustoleum Wipe-New to restore the black finish … and then using the amp to do further damage to my eardrums and the general peace of the house.

I’d been wondering why it was hissing so badly, and then duh, I found out that somewhere along the line the ground prong on the plug had broken off. So I cut off and replaced the plug, and it’s good as new.

Keep the music flowing, dear friends. …


Technical Note: I describe the method I use to determine “Effective N” in a post called “A Way To Calculate Effective N“. It turns out that I had independently discovered a method previously found by the brilliant Greek hydrologist Demetris Koutsoyiannis, whose work is always worth reading.

My Usual Note: To avoid the misunderstandings that bedevil the intarwebs, when you comment please quote the exact words you are discussing. This allows us all to understand just who and what you are referring to.

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Paula Cohen
March 27, 2021 10:26 am

Dear Mr. Eschenbach:

Being neither a physicist, meteorologist, or mathematician, nor having been educated in any of the hard sciences whatsoever, might you be able to explain to me — in words of one or two syllables — what all this means for the planet?

Are we all doomed to be fried in no more than 12 years, as the idiot progressives insist, or is the climate simply acting as Earth’s climate has acted through its entire existence, Ice Ages and all?

Thanks for helping out this English major!! 🙂

Richard Page
Reply to  Paula Cohen
March 27, 2021 10:45 am

It’s merely a little bit of noise in the signal. It’s like expecting all daily temperatures in June, say, to be the same then coming across one or two that are half a degree higher. It means nothing for all practical purposes.

Walter Horsting
Reply to  Paula Cohen
March 27, 2021 12:23 pm

There is no climate emergency until our next cooling cycle: https://clintel.org/world-climate-declaration/

Reply to  Paula Cohen
March 27, 2021 10:56 pm

Are we all doomed to be fried in no more than 12 years, as the idiot progressives insist, or is the climate simply acting as Earth’s climate has acted through its entire existence, Ice Ages and all?

If I may:


Richard G.
Reply to  Paula Cohen
March 28, 2021 4:14 pm


Hurricane Willy
Reply to  Paula Cohen
March 30, 2021 3:06 am

The IPCC claim in their first report 1990, that CO2 is a dangerous greenhouse gas because it absorbs and emits IR @ 15µm.  The implication being that 15μm radiation from CO2 is causing the Earth’s atmosphere to dangerously warm up.

According to Wien’s displacement law 15µm has corresponding temperature of -80° C.  The troposphere, that’s the part of the atmosphere that we live in, is defined by molecules with a temperature of -60° C and above. Emissions of IR @ 15µm from CO2, cannot heat any molecules in the troposphere. 

March 27, 2021 10:30 am

I’m sorry, I’m beginning to equate NASA with other 4-letter words — like DUMB. Is there an end to climate alarmism and junk science? Years ago they used to burn witches to stop glaciers from advancing. Today we burn fossil fuels to make tarps to keep glaciers from retreating …

Charles Higley
Reply to  John Shewchuk
March 27, 2021 3:10 pm

NASA has been directed to look downward and study our planet with the political goal of convincing the cooling population that they are warming and it’s all their fault.

Reply to  Charles Higley
March 27, 2021 6:53 pm

Which in the long term will do them immeasurable damage to their reputation.
The rocket scientists there must be feeling pretty itchy.

Reply to  John Shewchuk
March 27, 2021 3:10 pm

they used to burn witches to stop glaciers from advancing

They also used to do this:

Glaciers covered in Holy Water to slow advancing


Now, if they could convince Pope Francis to place The Shroud of Turin up there, that would really be something!!! And he just might be persuaded, as it would put the Church back on TOP, in a material way, as the spearhead of the CAGW movement.

Think of the headlines and the clicks that would generate!

(Even I would be a daily webcam viewer of the something like that!)

Reply to  Anon
March 27, 2021 7:23 pm

The Pope just cut salaries at the Vatican. I don’t think he will be doing much of anything. He is probably hiding in his room, with double tasters checking his food for poison.


Reply to  Drake
March 27, 2021 9:41 pm

What about the CEO, ie the Poop, does he take a pay cut as well ?

Reply to  Drake
March 27, 2021 10:59 pm

Is that for the pay offs?

Richard Page
March 27, 2021 10:38 am

Hi Willis, good article but is the paper Kramer2021 or Kragen2021? You seem to use both in there and I’m assuming there aren’t 2 referenced papers?

March 27, 2021 10:40 am

Willis: I suspect you meant to write “exciting” rather than “exiting”.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 28, 2021 1:45 am

I dislike making typos… but not as much as I detest those whose only contribution to a conversation is to point out typos.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 28, 2021 7:22 am

In your title, should be “ones” without apostrophe. Geoff S

Jan de Jong
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 28, 2021 8:47 am

There’s a “persisitence” that detracts a tiny bit from perfection…

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 28, 2021 9:16 pm


Avoidance of error in communication is really quite important in science. I once failed an exam because I confused ‘Inulin’ and ‘Insulin’. The careful scientist should have a mental program operating in the background to do routine checks. Too much science, as you know, suffers from use of ‘near enough is good enough’.
The careful chemist who slips up can cause confusion in the simplest of tasks. Merely taking the elements with two-letter abbreviations commencing with ‘P’ gives us this list
Pt Platinum
Pu Plutonium
Pd Palladium
Po Polonium
Pr Praseodymium
Pm Promethium
Pa Protactinium

Confuse one with the other through even a single typo and your words can not only lose intended meaning – they can become misleading. Bad enough for a gal to mix up Platinum with Palladium in her jewels, let alone for the nuclear chemist to confuse Plutonium with Polonium.  
I shall go to my grave worrying about the misplaced apostrophe. It is so easy for writers to get it right, yet so hard for some popular automatic spell checkers to avoid wrong.
That said, your essay above was spot on, emphasising a theme that has been a hobby horse of mine for decades, namely, the value of proper, accurate analysis of error and uncertainty. Thank you.
Geoff S

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 28, 2021 7:25 pm

The man that invented predictive text has died. May he rust in piss.

March 27, 2021 10:41 am

re: budget

Silly little humans. They seem to be concentrating on a few linear parameters WHEN radiative (energy from a black body) flux is proportional to T^4 (T, or temperature, to the fourth power) …

Good luck with getting that temperature ‘up’ much at all.

March 27, 2021 10:56 am

My understanding is the the path length of IR from co2 is about 200 meters at sea level.(Could you confirm) In reality it is less because of any overlap with the absorption spectrum of water. The down welling IR increase caused by co2 is very minor. The only thing that counts in the energy balance is the temperature/emission level at the emission layers.(Chapman layer). Convection as set by the lapse rates dominates heat flow upward. The only real thing that will change the lapse rate is an increase in total atmospheric pressure. That is what we should be watching, total atmospheric pressue.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Devils_Tower
March 27, 2021 11:28 am

While downwelling IR is one way to think about the greenhouse effect, it leads to a lot of misunderstandings. In balance, incoming heating SWR equals cooling outbound LWR. Molecules like CO2, and more importantly H2O, retard the outbound LWR. It is the resulting absence of sufficient cooling that causes the warming, not downwelling IR per se. That is just one of the physical symptoms of retardation.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
March 27, 2021 8:46 pm


Listen to your Uncle Rud. He says the same thing I do, you contradict me but agree with him. OK….

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 28, 2021 9:43 am

Here’s some man made down welling radiation.
“VLF signals are transmitted from ground stations at huge powers to communicate with submarines deep in the ocean. While these waves are intended for communications below the surface, they also extend out beyond our atmosphere, shrouding Earth in a VLF bubble. This bubble is even seen by spacecraft high above Earth’s surface, such as NASA’s Van Allen Probes, which study electrons and ions in the near-Earth environment.”
Van Allen Probes Spot Man-Made Barrier Shrouding Earth | NASA

Reply to  jmorpuss
March 28, 2021 5:31 pm

Do FM radio waves cause skin cancer? Or only UVB…

Richard M
Reply to  Rud Istvan
March 28, 2021 8:36 am

I agree completely. The GHE really is just a resistance to outbound LWIR. So why did this study focus on an increase in downwelling LWIR?

LWIR energy that returns to the surface is reradiated almost immediately. It is just another temporary pause in its outbound path. It is a part of the overall resistance equation and not something special.

Turns out that when all the energy available is already being absorbed, adding more absorbers/emitters (aka GHGs) will increase BOTH the downwelling and outbound LWIR. The overall effect is no change.

The only way to warm this system of absorber/emitter pairs is to find more energy to slow down on its outward path. That was not done in this paper which is purely mathematical onanism.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 28, 2021 5:44 pm

How can LWIR heat anything? Compared to solar SWIR (near IR) it has nearly no energy due to its low frequency. Not all W/m² intensity are created equal. Eg: 300 W/m² near IR at noon can heat your car hood enough to fry an egg. 300 W/m² W/m² LWIR at midnight can not.

Reply to  UV Meter
March 29, 2021 4:20 pm

Let me rephrase this: Regardless of day or night… downwelling LWIR avg at 333 W/m² is weak lily-livered irradiance. Why is it called “thermal radiation”? It is not hot or even warm. It emanates from a very cold atm to a generally warmer surface and ocean.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
March 29, 2021 2:28 pm

Except in cases of transparent gas thermals like O2 and N2, which have practically zero radiation at atmospheric temperatures. Mix in some H2O or CO2 and you greatly increase the COOLING, radiation to space. Which is how you get cloud growth. And clouds radiate >50% to space, based on simple geometry.

Steve Case
March 27, 2021 11:13 am

I love it, Willis points out To do that, we’d need to measure every single variable that either adds to or removes energy from the atmosphere. followed by 17 bullet points. 

And that reminded me of the revision to Dr. Trenberth’s famous heat
budget diagram because the first one balanced, and if the planet were
going to warm up it needed to be unbalanced and so the revision.

And Lo and Behold WattsUpWithThat posts a link to that very issue (-:
I might as well blow my own horn LINK Yes, Trenberth changed his
Heat Budget Diagram so that it showed 0.9 Wm²

Reply to  Steve Case
March 27, 2021 1:31 pm

About 50% of the time it’s twice as bad as we predicted.

Reply to  Steve Case
March 27, 2021 2:30 pm

Yeah, the 17 bullets is why I’m bookmarking this post/thread. Thank you Willis.

I think, in fact, I’m pretty sure that it has to be more, possibly many, many more and will work on adding to the list for future reference.

Steve Case
Reply to  Steve Case
March 27, 2021 4:27 pm

Here’s the link that was supposed to be.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Steve Case
March 27, 2021 6:20 pm

Aside from those 17 there is the unpredictability of volcanos.
Just one, Mount Tambora, resulted in “The Year Without a Summer”.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Gunga Din
March 27, 2021 8:54 pm

Just one, Mount Tambora, resulted in “The Year Without a Summer”.”

Maybe, maybe not. It seems unclear.

March 27, 2021 11:13 am

Glad to see the Climate is on a budget, It would be nice to get the Fed. Gov. to to do the same. Wishful thinking. LOL.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Philip
March 27, 2021 11:49 am

Yes, taking the study at face value, the energy budget is out of wack by about 0.3%. The US FY2021 budget was 4.829 trillion. If it had the same variance, that would be about $15.6 billion in deficit. We could hold a bake sale and call it a day!

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Philip
March 27, 2021 2:22 pm

The government has realized that no budget is needed, as long as the supply of fine rag paper holds out.
And ink. They need lots and lots of ink.

Reply to  Alan Robertson
March 28, 2021 1:19 am

NIce attempt at humor but you do know, do you not, that most of the created “money” exists only in computer bits, never in any physical form?

Rud Istvan
March 27, 2021 11:22 am

Nice takedown, WE.

Yet another compelling demonstration that ‘climate scientists’ know very little about even basic statistics. They are deficient. Long term persistence is a well known and long ago ‘solved’ effective N problem taught in graduate level econometrics, because there is a LOT of it in economic time series.

Mann demonstrated the deficiency with his hockey stick prinicpal centered components ‘unique’ analysis, which was shown by Steve McIntyre to always produce a hockey stick from red noise (red=>long term persistence, aka some degree of autocorrelation, whereas white noise is random).

Dessler showed the deficiency in his 2010 paper finding positive cloud feedback by regressing clear sky on all sky TOA IR—with an r^2 of 0.02 meaning no statistical relationship at all.

March 27, 2021 11:27 am

It been proven math is hard, and NASA in the last 40 years have proved they are not very good at it! After NASA stand for Need Another Seven Astronauts. Both Shuttle disasters were preventable but NASA math abilities were lacking. First one you don’t fly a space vehicle outside it design capabilities. Second one even light weight foam at high speeds pack a fatal wallop. The foam problem was due to NASA not using Freon base foam, they knew the non Freon foam was a problem and flew with it anyway.

Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  MAL
March 27, 2021 2:11 pm

They didn’t want to fly a repair kit, and were unwilling to try a provisional repair using onboard materials after the severity of the problem was known. They had nothing to lose by trying a patch made from spare insulation, etc. onboard.

Reply to  MAL
March 27, 2021 2:27 pm

It is even worse.

Basic physics…
Force and Acceleration.


Observational evidence of increasing global radiative forcing

can not be true outside the premise of evidence as;

CO2 atmospheric concentration variation AND
thermal atmospheric variation AND
cryosphere (ice) variation and sea level variation,
showing clearly

No variation in Forcing, or a given Forcing, outside the premise of acceleration.

No observational evidence of acceleration in the given parameters,
no variation of RF,
or as NASA calls it, “global radiative forcing”.


Curious George
Reply to  MAL
March 27, 2021 2:39 pm

“math is hard” – and racist. Down with math! We are seeing the birth of a truly progressive science.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Curious George
March 27, 2021 3:06 pm

CG, perhaps you meant nonscience. Nonscience=nonsense.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
March 28, 2021 1:24 am

No, “science” by Papal decree — or some equivalent thereof.

Reply to  MAL
March 27, 2021 8:51 pm

The first Space Shuttle disaster involved the discontinuation of the use of asbestos insulation in the O-rings for the solid fuel boosters. Why did they do that? Why, to save the schoolchildren of course…

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 28, 2021 6:43 am

“The cause was an inadequate low-temperature performance of the O-ring seal itself, which had not been replaced.”

Yes, it was freezing outside when they launched. The engineers did not want to launch at these cold temperatures but were overruled by the bureaucrats.

What the engineers feared, happened.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 29, 2021 8:31 am

Feynman apparently demonstrated the problem with the gaskets experimentally at the Congressional inquiry. Infuriated by the lies and evasions of some suit from Morton Thiokol, he took a sample of the rubber and dunked it in the ice-water in the jug on the table for a few seconds. The rubber snapped when he tried to bend it.

March 27, 2021 11:28 am

Deja vu, again. I remember when outlets didn’t have a receptacle for grounding plugs.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Scissor
March 27, 2021 1:55 pm

CalOSHA used to cut off plug ends that were missing grounds. My lucky worm-drive Skilsaw had a bent lower guard that would stick in the fully retracted position where I would leave it when doing lots of cutting like rafters or stair stringers. Luckily, I never got caught with it retracted or cut myself badly while doing so! Just about any time you read about some construction guy cutting off his hand, it’s safe to bet that he had his guard pinned with a nail or a screw to save a little time!

Reply to  Abolition Man
March 27, 2021 7:34 pm

Yep, as an electrician, when OSHA was coming, the Forman would show up with cord caps, and the carpenters would show up with cords needing repair.

20 minutes later we were all LEGAL.

No one ever got hurt for lack of ground on the plug. All the 20 amp receptacles were GFCI, which don’t need the ground to work.

Reply to  Drake
March 28, 2021 4:14 am

As long as GFI is properly grounded on 120v.

Sal Minella
March 27, 2021 11:41 am

“Our planet is constantly trying to balance the flow of energy in and out of Earth’s system.”

I wonder where it finds the time with all of the other things it’s “trying” to do. I would think that nearly all of its bandwidth would be expended just in trying to keep spinning and finding its way around the sun. Holding on to its atmosphere, staying upright, not spilling its lakes and oceans and nurturing all of the little animals would seem quite exhausting as well.

Reply to  Sal Minella
March 27, 2021 3:19 pm

We exist on an unimaginably exquisite rock that has stood the test of time.

A long time ago, plant life became so voracious it absorbed its basic building blocks from the atmosphere to the point of its own extinction. Humans have been returning those building blocks back to the atmosphere getting a two way benefit; one from stored energy and the other by marginally restoring plant productivity. Humans will eventually need to find an alternative to the fossil resource or face extinction.

Meanwhile the blue rock keeps spinning, precessing and orbiting around a sun in an immense galaxy just a spec in the universe.

Sal Minella
Reply to  RickWill
March 28, 2021 6:52 am

My point exactly. But, what if it just stops trying? Suppose it wakes up one morning and decides not to get out of bed?

March 27, 2021 12:06 pm

Many thanks once again Wills for revealing what’s going on “behind the curtain”.

From my (“I’m-too-old-for-this-shit”) perspective about the current climate carpetbagging pandemic, the main problem imho is this –

Your average working-age voter who gets most of their daily information from headline grabs on social media sees –

Direct Observations Confirm that Humans are Throwing Earth’s Energy Budget off Balance.

Then sees – “NASA” in the body of the text. So, case closed. Fact-check done! No need to read any further.

Now let’s say that your claims-demolishing article here is published immediately below the GISS ‘science-by-press-release’ article above.

Although clearly written and replete with facts, data, references and rational analysis, the incurious / low-info voters won’t read paragraph 1 or any further, because it requires a modicum of effort from them to concentrate, absorb and comprehend the information being presented.

So this is where we are today on this front in the battle for acceptance of rationality. We don’t even get space on the fields of battle to stage our armaments.

I sometimes think we’d be better off to start a religion called the “Mystical Earth Movement” or some such to get more exposure for rationality.

People flock to new religions, as long as they don’t involve a deity or personal conduct standards.

Chris Nisbet
March 27, 2021 12:08 pm

The language they use seems carefully designed.
E.g. the phrase “_trying_ to balance the flow of energy”. By using the word _trying_ there’s a suggestion it might not succeed. They follow it up with the claim that “human activities are throwing that off balance”, which suggests that we’re somehow thwarting nature’s pitiful attempts at trying to maintain this fragile balance.
These people can use whatever language they like I suppose, but they’re not fooling this old coot.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Chris Nisbet
March 27, 2021 1:45 pm

Weasel words! My apologies to any weasels that are offended by being likened to humans!

Phil Rae
March 27, 2021 12:14 pm

It’s always a delight to read your contributions, Willis. Your ability to illuminate complex problems with simple language and explanations is a gift. Please keep up the good work.

Rick C
March 27, 2021 12:19 pm

As usual, very clear and interesting refutation of an alarmist exercise in confirmation bias. That said I was struck by this sentence.

This increase has been due to a combination of rising concentrations of well-mixed greenhouse gases and recent reductions in aerosol emissions.”

That got me to thinking: they don’t quantify how much of the change is due to GHGs vs aerosols. Clearly the reduction in aerosols is the result of better control technology along with switching from coal to gas in power production. So, what if someone demonstrates conclusively that it is the reduction in aerosol pollution that is primarily responsible? Would that mean that alarmist would switch to advocating for more aerosol pollution to stop catastrophic climate change? Or perhaps they’d discover that a couple of degrees of warming over a century wouldn’t be so bad after all.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rick C
March 28, 2021 6:48 am

“So, what if someone demonstrates conclusively that it is the reduction in aerosol pollution that is primarily responsible?”

Noone has ever demonstrated such a thing. There are lots of claims, but no evidence. Just like everything else to do with alarmist climate science.

Abolition Man
March 27, 2021 12:35 pm

Another interesting read; but I am left with two questions.
Did you leave emergent phenomena out of the 17 bullet points because they don’t add or remove energy from the atmosphere; they just move it around?
Looks like beautiful mahogany on your guit-fiddle but I couldn’t discern the make. My old Guild (bought used in 1974) is an arched back with maple back and sides, while my Martin is the generic spruce top/mahogany construction. Isn’t that Peavey a little much for an acoustic?

Abolition Man
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 27, 2021 1:36 pm

Sounds like a great mix!
I always wanted a Gibson 335; Bob Weir being my idol back in high school. I bought a Guild Starfire IV while in college, but that and a Tex-Mex Strat have sadly left me due to lack of attention.
Maybe I’ll get a Les Paul someday, but for playing and singing old time cowboy and Western songs the acoustics are all I need.
Keep pushing the emergent phenomena; between that and Jim Steele’s climate dynamics and cycles we’ve got any recent climate weirding pretty fully covered!

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 27, 2021 3:21 pm

Willis, love your writing and analysis.

Thanks for linking to your gorgeous ex-fiancee. It’s the first time I looked at your links to her. Her smile made my day.
I, too, have a gorgeous ex-fiancé – with a similar smile.
All the best!

March 27, 2021 12:58 pm

This is a Steven Goddard video, introducing a new method of determining Holocene temperatures at high northern latitudes.

Note that temperatures varied considerably, during the Roman warm period and the Little Ice Age, before any influence of extra CO2. The Holocene maximum high temps was caused by high axial obliquity, but this did not cause the Roman era warming.

Ergo, there are many aspects of the climate that remain unexplained by this so-called ‘settled science’.


Reply to  ralfellis
March 27, 2021 12:59 pm

Sorry, here is the video.


Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  ralfellis
March 27, 2021 1:39 pm

I just watched it- the scientist doesn’t explain how temperature is obtained from the ice. This method is probably well known to most of you but not to me. He makes it seem as if he just puts a thermometer down into the hole at different depths and gets a temperature to extreme accuracy. It can’t be that way. So, how is it done?

also, that web site is run by Tony Heller- I believe that’s his real name, not Steve Goddard, a name he used for some obscure reason I can’t recall- I’m a big fan of that site- I watched it for a long time before discovering this site

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
March 27, 2021 2:03 pm

The ice core ‘temperature’ is inferred from water isotope ratios, especially d18O, but also ‘heavy’ deuterium water with light ‘normal’ d16O. The heavier the water molecule, the warmer it was for heavy water to be significantly present in the snow that originally fell. Since the lightest water (H2d16O) is preferentially evaporated cause needs less heat energy. The ratios are lab experiment determined by calibrated temperature seawater evaporative conditions. The ratios are ‘simple’ to sort using mass spec on the ice core samples. Well established reliable method for several decades.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Rud Istvan
March 27, 2021 2:32 pm

OK, thanks- glad to know it’s good science. I’ll probably show that video to some of the alarmists here in Massachusetts where they are as common as fleas. :-}

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
March 27, 2021 3:55 pm

Fleas aren’t really all that common where I live. It must be something about Massachusetts that attracts fleas!

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Rud Istvan
March 27, 2021 2:44 pm

I just read many of the comments on that video on Tony Heller’s site. One person pointed out that the results are only for Greenland, so it can’t be useful for the entire planet. Just asking.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
March 27, 2021 3:11 pm

Tony posted Greenland. But there are lots of equivalent results for Antarctica ice cores at various resolutions. Greenland is high resolution simply because it snows there a lot each winter. antarctica, depends on the location. Antarctica is colder and so dryer.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
March 29, 2021 8:44 am

I have had problems many times with this argument from Alarmists (“The MWP was a local phenomenon”).

Abolition Man
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
March 27, 2021 4:37 pm

Tony used the nom de guerre of Steve Goddard to avoid being burned at the stake as a climate heretic! He does great videos with music, and spends a lot of time and effort uncovering data that has been altered or “adjusted!”

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
March 28, 2021 4:13 am

This is a novel technique, not using the standard oxygen isotope method.

Yes, they actually measure temperatures in the borehole, to the nearest 1,000th of a degree. And they assume (have demonstrated) that the archaic temperatures are STILL represented in the layers of the core.

I presume this is because ice is a good insulator, so the temperature if each layers is not smeared and merged into the nexts. It would be nice to have a good explanation, of how those layer-temperatures can be maintained for 8,000 years.


Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  ralfellis
March 28, 2021 4:25 am

I’ll have to presume it’s good science- but it sounds impossible- that the temperature of a thin strata of ice would remain stable for long. It would be nice to see the proof of this principle. At least the method Rud Istvan mentioned sounds like solid science. But I like the results- now we just have to understand that it’s real. Or, is it April 1 yet? :-}

March 27, 2021 1:38 pm

Thanks, Willis! I was hoping you’d work on this analysis.
I keep wondering if anyone has accounted for waste industrial heat? We burn fossil fuels to produce work, but waste almost all of the heat produced into the atmosphere. This seems to be non-trivial, but with the exception of some argument over a heat island effect, I’ve never heard of an attempt to measure the value of heat “pollution.”

Rud Istvan
Reply to  dk_
March 27, 2021 2:10 pm

Not Willis, but covered in several essays in my ebook Blowing Smoke. Short answer is ‘heat pollution’ is de minimus in the global energy budget, except when exhausting locally onto a temperature monitor (surface stations project).
UHI is not caused by heat pollution, but rather by urban surfaces that absorb and retain daytime heat from sunlight. Blacktop, concrete,…

In short, Earth is heated by sunlight, not volcanos or fossil fuel combustion. Earth is a really big place.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
March 27, 2021 3:41 pm

Thanks, Rud, I will look it up. It does seem counterintuitive that at (WAG approx) 40 MJ/kg expended at the mean rate of billions of kg/day over the course of a couple centuries that the effect would be so much less than the marginal forcing that is described here. And seems contrary to experience where I can physically sense urban – suburban temperature differences, before dawn, during winter, with little exposed surface and following daytime overcast skies. Not many years ago, it was seemed commonly assumed that there was such a thing as a local industrial microclimate with demonstrable effects on weather, but perhaps that is now considered passe.

Reply to  dk_
March 27, 2021 8:59 pm

The Sun is so much bigger than anything humans do, so-called Waste Heat is negligible. As an engineer I object to the use of the phrase Waste Heat. Heat costs money, and as a rule we prefer not to waste it.

nw sage
March 27, 2021 1:53 pm

Thanks Willis – I presume from your analysis that the authors/publishers of the ‘study’ did NOT include you as one of the technical reviewers? Or perhaps they decided to not incorporate your comments on the issues raised??

March 27, 2021 2:09 pm

That is well inside the margin of error of solar wind input that I calculated to be a total of 34w per square meter of silhouette at 4.9 protons and 330km/s. It is laughably bad to even try to present it.

Curious George
March 27, 2021 2:57 pm

“if a dataset has high long-term persistence, it acts like it has fewer observations than it actually has.”
Thanks, very enlightening, I did not see it in these terms.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Curious George
March 27, 2021 3:28 pm

CG, a minor qualification from a PhD level econometrician. ‘Acts like’ is with reference only to statistical certitude of, not trend. In probability theory based statistics, the more the tries the more certain a result—e.g. binomial theorem and law of large numbers. What autocorrelation does is reduce the ‘actual’ number of tries, thereby increasing uncertainty. The Hurst correction {effN=N^(2-2H)} corrects for the effective number of probabilistic mathematical ‘tries’.
BTW, aced both probability theory and econometrics at my U as an undergrad. So been there, done that. Know this stuff cold, apparently unlike most ‘climate scientists’

Charles Higley
March 27, 2021 3:08 pm

I have a question.

How does the absorption of energy by photosynthesis during the day and the release of heat during night-time respiration figure into this?

I seems to offset when and how much IR is released by photosynthetic/respiratory processes. As the planet is greening quite nicely, this should also be considered.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Charles Higley
March 27, 2021 5:47 pm

That is a good question to which ‘climate scientists’ do not have an answer. Consider three separate large parts.

  1. Photosynthesis obviously converts some incoming SWR energy to chemical energy. So ceterus paribus, must reduce SWR warming.
  2. Ocean photosynthesis (e.g. cocolyphs) also covert CO2 to Ca CO3. So reduce the GHE warming by forming limestone from SWR energy.
  3. Vegetation produces aerosol isoprenes (deciduous) turpenes (coniferous), and (ocean algae) dimethyl sulfides. All increase cloud nucleation, so on average increase albedo, so cool. There is an aerosol reason the Great Smokey Mountains are just that in summer… mountain level Isoprene cloud nucleation.
Richard M
Reply to  Charles Higley
March 28, 2021 10:04 am

As an adjunct to that question, why is the CO2 absorption band located right next to the radiation window? Seems an all knowing universe designer might have had other options or a reason.

The answer seems obvious. It was done intentionally for precisely the reason you mentioned. Life requires energy and water. By grabbing some extra energy from the radiation window, life is fueled by the energy required for enhanced convection, photosynthesis and other energy consuming processes.

March 27, 2021 3:21 pm

Who says this is not the premier science blog? Not only do you learn new things all the time, but you find useful stuff. I’d never heard of Ruseoleum Wipe-New.


Abolition Man
Reply to  OK S.
March 27, 2021 4:49 pm

I don’t know about the Rustoleum product you cite; but only an ignoramus would argue with your characterization of WUWT! Many days I learn as much from the comments as the posts, and find myself laughing frequently at the wit and humor on display in both!

Clyde Spencer
March 27, 2021 3:42 pm

They are claiming to diagnose an almost invisible change in downwelling longwave, in a very chaotic, noisy, and imperfectly measured system.

Furthermore, had Kramer or NASA reviewers used the proper protocol for reporting a measurement, they would have cited 0.5 ± 0.1 instead of 0.53 ± 0.11 W/m2. They are implying that they measured the downwelling to an order of magnitude greater precision than is justified by the rules of the use of significant figures.

It isn’t a lot, but I think that it plays right into the bad habit of trying to exaggerate the situation in order to scare people.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
March 27, 2021 9:10 pm

Incidentally, Kopp (2011):

The most accurate value of total solar irradiance during the 2008 solar minimum period is 1360.8 ± 0.5 W m−2

Therefore, Kramer is claiming a precision in the anthropogenically-induced increase in radiative forcing to be order of magnitude greater than what is accepted for the total solar irradiance. Additionally, the magnitude of the claimed increase is identical to the uncertainty in the total solar irradiance. That seems to me to be a very weak case for anthropogenic influence!


Gary Ashe
March 27, 2021 4:38 pm

Averaging an intensive quality like solar radiation from a 12 hour period over a 24 hour period is as worthless and stupid as averaging testicles and tits over a whole population, where everybody has one tit and one bollock..

Its the very basic foundation of the radiative greenhouse effect con, a cold sun.

Reply to  Gary Ashe
March 27, 2021 7:54 pm

Everyone, on average, has a little less than one tit (mammary gland) and a little more than one bollock. More men then women being the reason. The ratio is apparently 63 men to 62 women. Really not even a rounding error, but rounding errors are the data on which the AGW folly is built. WUWT is a scientific site. We must maintain the integrity of the science.

Reply to  Gary Ashe
March 29, 2021 8:46 am

Magnificent – I’ll remember that analogy!

David Dibbell
March 27, 2021 5:15 pm

Nicely done, Willis. Thank you. I had been hoping to see something from you on this. I think I will express NASA’s concluding imbalance as 530 +/- 110 milliwatts per square meter, to draw attention to how tiny this quantity is in the global scheme of things, and how little sense it makes to state it so precisely.

March 27, 2021 7:05 pm

[[The paper, sadly paywalled, is entitled “Observational evidence of increasing global radiative forcing” by Kramer et al., hereinafter Kramer2021. It claims that from 2003 through 2018, human actions increased the downwelling longwave infrared radiation from the atmosphere by 0.53 ± 0.11 watts per square meter (W/m2).]]

When is this sick U.N. IPCC hoax going to die?

First, only the Sun heats the Earth’s surface. The atmosphere only cools it. It also acts as a blanket, slowing cooling, but it can never raise the surface temperature higher than the Sun did, any more than a real blanket can raise your body temperature higher than your metabolism did. This even applies to an Obama blanket with an IR-reflective surface.

Second, the IPCC picked the wrong getaway driver for their planned trillion-dollar heist. Atmospheric CO2’s only radiation absorption/emission wavelength of 15 microns has a Planck radiation temperature of -80C, colder than dry ice, which can’t melt an ice cube. CO2 allows all of Earth’s real surface radiation in the range of -50C to +50C to pass by untouched. Even if it returned 100% of the -80C radiation to the surface, it would have no effect because it couldn’t raise the temperature higher than -80C.

Take my free Climate Science 101 course and learn to laugh off all of the beehive of IPCC lies:


March 27, 2021 7:37 pm


Are the “whiskers” in Figure 3 in proportion to the partial graph shown? The left axis does not start at 0.

March 27, 2021 7:38 pm

They are backing out their fractions of a few watts for use as “direct observations”…
How quaint.

It was such a success when trenberth and others did it with Earth’s energy budget.
Claim to be omniscient regarding knowing everything involved and their exact quantities to “back out”.
Then a little sleight of hand, sleight of mind to enable their legerdemain sleight of numbers…

Voila! A new number they can claim that man causes global warming.

Willis effectively dissects Kragen’s follies in detail and with it, NASA’s fraud.
Thank you, Willis!

Jeff Alberts
March 27, 2021 8:55 pm

So, the REALLY BIG question here is, why is a NASA study paywalled? Didn’t US taxpayers already pay for it?

March 27, 2021 9:07 pm

Thanks for another excellent presentation.
On your figure 2, Dr.Roy Spencer explains the position succinctly on the Earth’s energy budget in one of his recent books,”Global Warming Skepticism for busy people”-
“Many scientists claim the diagnosis of the cause of global warming is obvious and can be found in basic physical principles.If basic physical principles can explain all of the global-average warming, as the climate consensus claims, then how do we account for the following?
All of the accumulated warming of the climate system since the 1950s,including the deep oceans, was caused by a global energy imbalance of 1 part in 600; yet modern science does not know,with a precision approaching 1 part in 100 ANY of the natural inflows in and out of the climate system. It is simply assumed that the tiny energy imbalance – and thus warming-was caused by humans.”

Pat Frank
March 27, 2021 9:35 pm

Really excellent, Willis.

It is scientific insanity to suppose they know all those other variables to an accuracy that allows extraction of a 0.53 W/m^2 perturbation.

The 0.53 W/m^2 is also very convenient, because it’s exactly what one calculates from the average annual increase in forcing from CO2, over 2003-2018 = 15 years.

The annual average increase in forcing calculated from CO2 emissions is 0.035 W/m^2/yr. Times 15 = 0.53 W/m^2. Dead right on what the consensusistas would want to see. Imagine that.

Also problematic is that the TOA radiative balance isn’t known to better than ±4 W/m^2. And yet, somehow, they can detect a shift in radiative balance 7.6 times smaller than the uncertainty.

It must be that ol’ consensus modeler magic of taking the anomaly and having all the error just subtract away.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Pat Frank
March 28, 2021 7:19 am

What’s the old saying, “Precise but not accurate”?

Coach Springer
March 28, 2021 5:47 am

Perhaps we’ll know when we’ve reached the “correct” balance point when everyone stops whining. /s

Mark Pawelek
March 28, 2021 6:01 am

Someone’s paywall does not work. I found it using the usual method. Google search for PDF + DOI number. The 2nd link.

Roger Taguchi
March 28, 2021 6:04 am

You “calculated” the Hurst exponent. Which method did you use? R/S, DFA, Peridogram, aggregated variances, local Whittle, or wavelet analysis?
Are you aware all of these are estimators, and not hard calculations?

Roger Taguchi
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 28, 2021 11:48 am

“We have heuristic methods to estimate it, but they are just estimations based on experience, without theoretical underpinnings.”

The exponent is an “estimator.” You forgot to include the error bounds of said estimator.
Using heuristics in a statistical argument is like using tree rings.

March 28, 2021 6:48 am

This means that there is so much long-term persistence that the Effective N is only 3 data points … which in turn means that the apparent trend is not statistically significant at all. It may be nothing more than another of nature’s many natural trends.

This passage makes it sound like your application of the Hurst exponent is simply not useful for evaluating trends in the TOA IRF, since you would need to come at the problem with an understanding of the underlying physics, which we already have.

Mark Pawelek
March 28, 2021 7:02 am

Their justification for using models: radiative kernels, will be that everything’s already a model anyway! For example, when we read a thermometer our optic system is already a kind of model. Make it an electronic thermometer and we have 3+ things in the way: the sensor, electronics and our optic system. Make it a satellite, and there are at least 4 models in the way of direct experience. In fact: there’s no direct experience! They think they’re clever when they use this kind of argument; ignorant that it goes all the way back, at least, to Plato’s shadows reflected on the cave wall. It’s another way to argue everyone has their ‘own truth’. It elides the fact that some models are validated and others not. It confuses their own activists, and it confuses the person who originates the idea. They are forever eliding and avoiding validation and falsification attempts. Where’s the validation of radiative kernels, oh, and the falsification criteria?

Roger Taguchi
March 28, 2021 10:16 am

What is interesting about the results of this study is how well they agree with other observational studies of CO2 caused downwelling radiation: http://asl.umbc.edu/pub/chepplew/journals/nature14240_v519_Feldman_CO2.pdf

Roger Taguchi
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 28, 2021 11:51 am

Autocorrelation is not at issue with spectral emissions of CO2. The agreement is really good considering that “all sky” has the nasty effect of H20 as a green house gas, so one would expect a slightly higher number.

And in fact they are both measuring downwelling IR.

Roger Taguchi
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 28, 2021 12:54 pm

Both measurements agree well, in fact they overlap at .42 w/m2/16y inside their error bounds.

Next, there is no physical way downwelling IR in 2010 affects it in 2011. If you disagree, please tell me where in quantum physics, a photon emitted in 2010 can impact a photon emitted in 2011. Using your heuristic estimator the Hurst exponent would be exactly equal to 0.5

You say: “Next, autocorrelation definitely affects all time series statistics.” This is false in the case of H=0.5

Roger Taguchi
Reply to  Roger Taguchi
March 28, 2021 1:03 pm

Lastly, your statement: ” It also affects the “SEM”, the standard error of the mean of any sequential series of measurements.”
This is also blatantly false. If I have a set of 1000 rulers, and use each one to measure the width of my left front tire, the SEM is unaffected by autocorrelation because H=0.5

Roger Taguchi
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 28, 2021 4:56 pm

“that kind of bullshit nitpicking”

And that, Mr. Eschenbach is why you are incapable of submitting an acceptable paper to reputable journals. You are not interested in the nitpicking DETAILS that makes science what it is. More proof that your “amateur” status can’t be overcome.

Roger Taguchi
Reply to  Roger Taguchi
March 28, 2021 5:00 pm

Pity your inflated ego gets in the way when your errors in logic and methodology get pointed out. Playing fast and loose with the words “any” and “all” in logic is a serious problem you have. Not to mention that in addition to you being an amateur in science, you are a neophyte with respect to statistics.

Roger Taguchi
Reply to  Roger Taguchi
March 28, 2021 5:12 pm

If CP/M is a computer language, then so is Windows. Have you written any “Windows” programs?

Richard G.
March 28, 2021 4:42 pm

Another humdinger Willis.
“Not only that, but to give an accurate result regarding human influence, the “radiation kernels” have to include all of the factors that go into the radiation balance. From Figure 2 above, we can see that these include the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the atmosphere (including the clouds), the sensible heat lost by the surface, the latent heat lost by the surface, and the longwave radiation emitted by the surface.”
You include a nice list of variables to which I suggest a Kernel to address the absorption and conversion of solar radiation into high energy chemical bonds by plant photosynthesis of polysaccharides and lignins that have no sensable heat value. I have never seen this addressed. Dependent variables would include human land use changes, irrigation, precipitation distribution changes and CO2 fertilizer effect.
Rock on.

March 30, 2021 1:06 am


At one point you conclude that…

They are claiming that they can measure the human contribution to the nearest hundredth of a W/m2, which is far beyond either the accuracy of the instruments or the uncertainty of the measurements involved. 

… but they do not claim to have that accuracy, there’s a sentence in the doc document “supporting information” that says:

“While CERES has well documented uncertainty in the magnitude of the TOA radiative flux measurements, our work to estimate the IRF is conducted in anomaly space, where uncertainty in absolute fluxes is irrelevant.”

So, again, they use “anomalies” and not real absolute values, so that they can deceive the readers.
Preposterous conclusions at best.

March 30, 2021 1:11 am

Hello again, dr Eshenback:

I forgot one link, possibly interesting, same authors:


March 30, 2021 4:03 am

Great post Willis and a good lesson in autocorrelation.

Mark - Helsinki
March 30, 2021 4:50 am

“Certainty Laundering”

Take much uncertain data to make certain claims by intentionally misleading.

What is a must for this kind of “science” is observation data that is not so accurate, as it presents an opportunity to produce such papers as the one cited by W.

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