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  1. From the frontline :
    I’m having an interesting conversation at Klimazwiebel, where one particularly hyperbolic statement by the Heartland from their Fundraising document (the K-12 curriculum) is still ‘defended’ denial-style by many posters by placing strawmen and throwing red herrings.

    I got to the point where Hans von Storch himself attempts to diffuse the issue :

    http://klimazwiebel.blogspot.com/2012/02/heartlandgate.html?showComment=1330589491017#c7309536042200044253

    I would not mind if some of you guys here at RC would join in this conversation, since some reason and rational thought would help.

    Comment by Rob Dekker — 1 Mar 2012 @ 4:20 AM

  2. The public poll shows that Republicans are more sceptic than Democrats. Other polls have shown that meteorologists are more sceptical than other scientists. Does this mean that most meteorologists are Republicans, or do they know something that Climatologists don’t?

    Cheers, Alastair.

    Comment by Alastair McDonald — 1 Mar 2012 @ 4:37 AM

  3. My understanding is that GCMs are run several times with known forcings (as far as we can determine them) but random natural variability (e.g. ENSO), so the end result is an ‘ensemble’ of model runs characterised by mean, standard deviation etc. rather than following precisely the year-to-year variations of global temperature. Is it not possible to reproduce the observed natural variability in the model as well, to see how accurately that matches the actual variability of global temperature, ocean heat content etc? Would that not be a useful and more immediate test of how well a model is reproducing reality?

    [Response: Obviously people have thought of this and there are a number of ideas that are being tested – but none of them really give what it wanted (i.e. predictions that will reproduce the interannual ups-and-downs that you could compare directly to the obs). For instance, a lot of work is being done on initialised predictions where you take the ocean state for the last few years, attempt to synchronise the various ‘oscillations’ and then run it forward. This shows some skill for a few years in something like the AMO, but can’t give realistic ENSO forecasts longer than the specialised ENSO forecasting systems (i.e. 6 months or so). So the interannual short-term variability doesn’t seem to be predictable. There are also big issues with drift in these runs, which makes even the multi-year trends someowhat difficult to interpret. Another idea is run multiple ensembles for short periods, pick the one that is closest to reality and continue the next set of ensembles from that one and so on. But this only produces a plausible hindcast that is attuned to the actual interannual variations, not a prediction. The fundamental issue is that it is likely to be very hard (if not impossible) to predict ENSO phase 5 or 10 years ahead of time and that puts a real limit on how good any short term predictions can be.- gavin]

    Comment by Icarus62 — 1 Mar 2012 @ 7:07 AM

  4. New Paper by Nichols et al
    Hydroclimate of the northeastern United States is highly sensitive to solar forcing
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2011GL050720.shtml
    it is stated :
    We propose that the Arctic/North Atlantic Oscillation (AO/NAO) can amplify small solar fluctuations , producing the reconstructed hydrological variations. The Sun may be entering a weak phase, analogous to the Maunder minimum, which could lead to more frequent flooding in the northeastern US at this multidecadal timescale.

    No clear mechanism of amplification is proposed, but whatever it is, it is unlikely to be based on the TSI since the Arctic is in darkness for 3 months of the year, and most of the temperature rise happens in the winter:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CETsw.htm
    Based on the CET (to which GISS is well correlated) it is not so much of a ‘global warming’ as ‘reduction in the global cooling’.
    I’ve looked into the available data relating to the Arctic and the North Atlantic, the suggested amplification appears to be non-existent , but what does exist it is a clear physical process linking the solar activity with the two major indices the AMO and the NAO.
    Mechanism with full data (plotted in red) available here:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-NVa.htm
    with the last graph in the above link showing synchronisation of the events if a suitable delay is introduced.

    Comment by vukcevic — 1 Mar 2012 @ 7:20 AM

  5. I’m struck by the numbers of folks who cite personal experience as the main reason for their evaluation of the reality (or otherwise) of warming. I put considerable value on my personal experience, too, but surely it’s not that hard to grasp that it’s a big planet, with lots of different weather going on at all times, and lots of ‘randomness?’

    Yet this does mean that skepticism will fail in the face of climate change–albeit slowly. Too slowly?

    On the other hand, I notice that opposite ‘recollections’ are part of the picture; one observer says that winters aren’t as cold as they used to be, while another says the opposite. Are they both right, in the sense that they are accurately reflecting their different local experiences? Or does memory deceive? In the latter case, skepticism will fail more slowly, as there will be a ‘memory gap.’

    Lastly, I note with interest that of all the ‘weather events’ (using the term loosely) to affect the perception of warming, loss of ice appears to be the most effective. It appears that my intuition (and that of other commenters here)–that the crash of the Arctic sea ice is helping people to understand the reality of what is happening to planetary climate, and will likely do so yet more dramatically over the next decade–may well be valid.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 1 Mar 2012 @ 7:42 AM

  6. I found William Nordhaus’s article a little frustrating only because he comes so close to scratching an itch of climate skeptics but doesn’t quite manage it.

    The “global warming stopped in 2005″ argument comes in two forms.

    It can firstly be debunked by showing the temperature trend up to the present day and show increase, by admitting that indeed they haven’t increased at the rate they did in the 1990’s, explain that there is a lot of noise in the results and finally that some quite well understood non-human caused forcings such as el-nino can cause temporary amplifications or suppressions of the global temperature. It is best to step back and look at a longer term trend than concentrate on a single decade.

    The second argument is that it is claimed that computer models are now powerful and accurate enough to replicate temperature given the inputs of greenhouse gas forcing and natural forcing (this is what Nordhaus shows in footnote 4) a graph with both is much more accurate than with just natural forcing.

    I think the graph I would like to see is if we told the model that produced that graph the forcings from 2005 – 2012 and let it calculate the temperatures and then compare those temperatures with the actual ones measured.

    Comment by Steve Jones — 1 Mar 2012 @ 7:52 AM

  7. Nordhaus’ piece was cogent, and necessary for the record, but of course we should not be having this “debate” with the likes of Koch and Boyce at all.

    The time has come for scientists and those who understand their work to act forcefully in the public sphere to see that the evidence of near future climate convulsions is quite clear. If this effort continues to fail, the moneyed interests that are obstructing it need to be called to account.

    Tools should include humor and humiliation. Calm presentation of the data has failed. Those who continue to take positions that are likely to lead to the inability of the biosphere to support sentient life must be publicly called to account.

    Many of them, such as David Koch and Rex Tillerman (the ones behind the scenes of the WSJ piece) are quite aware of the hard evidence of climate science. Their actions to hide the incline constitute criminal negligence and public endangerment. Public communications need to recognize this fact. Since the media won’t do it, other means of communication must be developed.

    Comment by Mike Roddy — 1 Mar 2012 @ 8:31 AM

  8. From the survey linked above:

    “Is there solid evidence that the average temperature on Earth has been getting warmer over the past four decades?” Yes: 62% No: 26% Not Sure: 12%

    I’m more than a little disappointed that near 100% didn’t agree that it’s warmer now than it was in 1972; obviously [climate] history is not interesting to a lot of people. There’s tons of solid evidence that’s it’s warmer now than it was in the ‘70’s and that the 1970’s were warmer than the 1870’s; how anyone wouldn’t know this is beyond me, it’s like not knowing water’s wet.

    Of the 62% of people that aren’t completely isolated from reality: 28% believe scientists are overstating the evidence about “Global Warming” and 34% believe the media is overstating the evidence about “Global Warming”.

    So, before we even start getting into whether it’s man-made or dangerous we’re already at less than half the population that believe its happening and not exaggerated, according to this survey.

    These results, however, do not jive with my personal experience. I find that most (~90%) people I know are aware that the world has warmed this century. Schisms start over whether the anthropogenic component is negligible, significant, or dominant and whether the long term effects are beneficial, benign, inconvenient, hazardous, or cataclysmic.

    Comment by John West — 1 Mar 2012 @ 9:12 AM

  9. Noted climate change denier Andrew Breitbart died last night of natural causes.
    http://bigjournalism.com/lsolov/2012/03/01/draft/

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 1 Mar 2012 @ 9:42 AM

  10. The Nature Climate change paper by Swart and Weaver about the impact of the oil/tar sands on climate made quite a splash in Canada.

    http://www.nature.com/news/canadian-oil-sands-defusing-the-carbon-bomb-1.10110

    It generated a number of headlines, many along the lines of “Oil sands not so bad after all”. It seemed at first to disagree with an earlier Real Climate post on the subject

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/11/keystone-xl-game-over/

    but I get the impression on reading it again there is not that much disagreement. Perhaps it would be worth expanding on this. Much of the coverage and political reaction seemed to spin the Swart and Weaver work into some sort of vindication of oil sands development when they are clearly on record opposing expanded development.

    The timing certainly was interesting. A week before, Weaver was criticizing the Canadian government for muzzling government scientists. That was largely ignored. But not the Nature paper. This was followed by having the European Union’s vote on the fuel directive classifying the oil sands as “dirty” end in a stalemate, all mixed in with the ongoing discussions about the Keystone XL and Northern Gateway pipelines.

    Comment by S. Elieff — 1 Mar 2012 @ 9:52 AM

  11. Alastair McDonald @ 1: You need a reference for your statement about meteorologists. I’m sure you were not thinking of the American meteorological Society.
    http://www.ametsoc.org/policy/2007climatechange.html

    As to your point about Republicans, perhaps there is too much of this going on.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 1 Mar 2012 @ 9:59 AM

  12. Some potentially good news from Blighty.

    Government ignores or sidelines its scientific advisers, says Lords report

    The committee examining the role and function of chief scientific advisers (CSAs) found that expert advice was sometimes blocked, dismissed or not sought early enough to influence the decisions they made.
    […]
    A report by the committee, chaired by Lord Krebs, says CSAs must sit on the boards of their departments, be consulted “early and throughout” policymaking, have a right of access to ministers, and crucially be required to sign-off on fresh policies.
    […]
    …Lord Krebs told the Guardian. “Policy in many areas, and probably most, is better policy if it’s fully informed by scientific advice.”

    Comment by J Bowers — 1 Mar 2012 @ 11:36 AM

  13. A question that I have been wanting to ask. I am sure the answer is out there, but I have not come across it and would appreciate someone filling me in.

    I have a habit of checking the Mauna Loa and Barrow CO2 readings. I notice that Barrow is always a few ppm higher than Mauna Loa. Is this because the samples are taken at different elevations? Mauna Loa at approx 12,000 ft and Barrow at about sea level?

    [Response: No. It’s related to the latitudinal gradient – most of the emissions are in the north. – gavin]

    As long as I am here I may as well comment I guess. Alistair I suspect that part of the answer is that weathermen, as a general rule, have a pretty limited background in science (at least as evidenced by what comes out of the mouths of those on CNN and the various news stations around DC) and expecting them to be able to explain what is causing climate change would be sort of like expecting an EMT to explain brain surgery.

    Kevin. I know a number of farmers who have no science education at all. Most of them readily admit or state that the climate has changed a lot from when they were younger, but most of them also parrot the meme that Climate Change is some sort of hoax. I am not certain where that leads, but my hope is that once a perception changing event occurs (like an end of melt season ice free Arctic) we will finally see meaningful movement towards curbing CO2 emissions. If an ice free Arctic is not enough to prompt change then we probably have to wait some time before something more alarming happens that turns the tide.

    Comment by Wyoming — 1 Mar 2012 @ 12:16 PM

  14. Alastair Macdonald writes:

    Other polls have shown that meteorologists are more sceptical than other scientists. Does this mean that most meteorologists are Republicans, or do they know something that Climatologists don’t?

    What it means is that most meteorologists don’t understand the difference between weather and climate.

    Comment by Chris Crawford — 1 Mar 2012 @ 12:27 PM

  15. There was a “workshop on Mathematics in the Geosciences” held at Northwestern University on october 3 – 6.
    i was hoping for some informed commentary on the presentations made by michael ghil and blake Mcshane (is any of this new?)

    conference site is here

    Mcshane pdf presentation here (no video available)

    Ghil pdf presentation here
    video link here

    Comment by oarobin — 1 Mar 2012 @ 12:47 PM

  16. The Brookings Institution survey that you link to makes sobering reading for scientists. When those who “believe global warming is occurring” were given a list of ten reasons for their belief, “Computer models that indicate the earth is getting warmer” and “Reports from the IPCC” were 9th and 10th respectively. Combining the answers from other questions, 47% of all respondents believe “that scientists are overstating evidence about global warming for their own interests”.

    By coincidence I today came across a newspaper article which discussed the Dunning-Kruger effect on politics. Wikipedia summarises the effect as “a cognitive bias in which the unskilled suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average”. A corollary of this is that ‘unskilled’ are unable to distinguish between the competing claims of those who are ‘more skilled’. As David Dunning put it ‘Very smart ideas are going to be hard for people to adopt, because most people don’t have the sophistication to recognize how good an idea is’. Could this explain some of the survey’s findings?

    As a foot note, the Wikipedia article I cited has an interesting quote from Bertrand Russel used by Dunning and Kruger: “One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision”

    Comment by Ron Manley — 1 Mar 2012 @ 1:46 PM

  17. Can somebody with a background in statistics and climate modelling how warm it will have to be until a republican presidential candidate is chosen who says he believes global warming is happening?

    Comment by Martin — 1 Mar 2012 @ 2:15 PM

  18. General question: being familiar with computational fluid dynamics in the combustion world, I would like to know a few general details of the climate models. We model systems on the scale of centimeters using control volumes on the order of fractions of millimeters and time steps on the order of fractions of a second. Are there “typical” control volume sizes and/or time step scales used in the climate models? It seems to me that climate models are very accurate even though they probably have very large control volumes and time scales. Just curious.

    Comment by Vince Belovich — 1 Mar 2012 @ 2:40 PM

  19. Today is march 1st, not April 1st. So what’s Romm up to?

    American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity Seeks New President … On Craigslist
    Clean coal

    By Stephen Lacey on Mar 1, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    ===
    Pollutocrat Deniers Charles And David Koch File Suit To Take Over The Cato Institute

    Cato & Koch together.

    :)

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 1 Mar 2012 @ 2:54 PM

  20. “Tools should include humor and humiliation”

    But you’re not funny. Being pathetic, doesn’t count. Plus some people tried humor with an attachment in the climategate emails.
    That got them in a little trouble. Humor is a tool of “outsider.” If you are in power the only humor that works is self deprecation.
    Ask Reagan. Now, on occasion you can say funny things, but you cannot use humor as a primary tool. I’m not saying that you are incapable
    of being funny. You do many things people laugh at. But, you can’t use it as a communication tool to effectively attack skeptics.
    Trying Co-opting a few key ones.

    Comment by steven mosher — 1 Mar 2012 @ 2:58 PM

  21. A few questions:

    1. Have any of you seen the Kidder and Worsley GSA Today paper [doi:10.1130/G131A.1]? If so, thoughts?

    2. I saw in Mike’s book that he mentioned his belief that anthropogenic warming might push ENSO towards a more persistently negative phase, which I assume he inferred from and/or informed his take on the MCA, which shows something like this. I haven’t seen much mention of the Power and Kociuba Climate Dynamics paper [doi:10.1007/s00382-010-0951-7] which shows a strengthening SOI in response to anthropogenic warming. Has anything much changed on this front?

    3. I know the AR5 has moved away from economic storylines to radiative forcing scenarios, but I’ve read a decent amount of criticism that the SRES storylines were almost all far too optimistic/demand-side focused on plausibly recoverable fossil carbon. A number of recentish papers have put the maximum conventional fossil fuel limit topping us out at ~560ppm. However, these almost all seem to ignore unconventionals, carbon cycle feedbacks, or both. Is there a generally-respected, plausible upper limit on how much CO2 we could emit absent some sort of unforseen technological or economic turn of events? Not the “burn everything” 5000Gt upper limit, but taking supply-side limits into account.

    Thanks!

    Comment by thingsbreak — 1 Mar 2012 @ 3:06 PM

  22. I tried to ask back on the trees that didn’t bark thread but must have done it too late.

    It makes a lot of sense to me that if trees sometimes don’t produce an annual ring because of temperature that sudden drops wouldn’t be recorded.

    But what I’d love to know is how we can tell that no ring was generated some particular year?

    Comment by David Miller — 1 Mar 2012 @ 3:58 PM

  23. Kevin McKinney @5. You say:

    “that the crash of the Arctic sea ice is helping people to understand the reality of what is happening to planetary climate”

    Many folks know from history that Arctic Ice was as low if not lower than it is today in the early part of the 19th century. Russia built ports on the northern coast of Siberia and established shipping up until the early 1950’s when the freeze returned and the routes and ports were closed.

    How do I know?

    I was around at the time. I also have encyclopedias. My ‘Book of Knowledge” (Waverley press 1952) gives me the whole story of the Russian development starting arounsd 1910. I was very much alive when the big freeze came in in the early 1950’s.

    Perhaps it’s because these facts are not widley discuused that folks get a little nervous about trusting the current alarmism when all they have experienced is a cyclic pattern.

    Just an observation from actual experience.

    Comment by Titus — 1 Mar 2012 @ 4:16 PM

  24. I this worth a comment by Gavin?

    http://www.outlookseries.com/A0993/Science/3974_Roger_Davies_University_Auckland_Cloud_height_changes_may_lower_global_temperature_Roger_Davies.htm

    Comment by Shelama — 1 Mar 2012 @ 4:19 PM

  25. Commentary on the Canadian government’s ‘war on climate science':

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2012/03/01/f-vp-bob-mcdonald-pearl-closure.html

    Like some in the American Congress, the Harper government doesn’t want to know, and doesn’t want us to know.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 1 Mar 2012 @ 4:23 PM

  26. It seems as though the WSJ-16 piece is proving largely counterproductive to its intended utility; acres of debunking have been spawned by single misbegotten op-ed piece.

    Nordhaus’ rejoinder is particularly portable, comprehensive and useful.

    Comment by dbostrom — 1 Mar 2012 @ 4:26 PM

  27. …. Does this mean that most meteorologists are Republicans, or do they know something that Climatologists don’t?

    You’re maybe talking about the US meteorologists who last fall boldly predicted western/coastal Canada would have the “coldest winter in decades”, likely based on 2 La Nina winters in a row, without attending to temperature trends. Obviously hoping to establish their “expertise”.

    Comment by flxible — 1 Mar 2012 @ 5:07 PM

  28. #10: the Globe and Mail (a major Canadian paper) has been running a whole series of rah-rah stories about fossil fuels in the past few weeks.

    I didn’t really understand the Nature paper. It ignores the energy used during production — but that’s the major issue with oil sands versus other sources.

    Comment by numerobis — 1 Mar 2012 @ 5:09 PM

  29. Is there any validity in the idea of measuring relative carbon emissions for a country on the basis of a per area measurement rather than a per capita measurement? Does it make any difference for instance if say India produces more carbon emissions per KM^2 than the U.S.A.?

    It seems to me that doing carbon emissions on a per capita basis for developing countries ignores the elephant in the room of increasing population size. Surely it would be good to give incentives for countries to control both population and carbon emissions as you can have decreasing carbon emissions per capita for instance completely wiped out or worse by increasing population.

    Perhaps future agreements on carbon reduction could take into account both area and population density in order to find the right balance which enables the greatest reduction in carbon emissions?

    Comment by Richard Watts — 1 Mar 2012 @ 5:15 PM

  30. Here is just one sceptical response to Nordhaus:
    1) “The finding that global temperatures are rising over the last century-plus is one of the most robust findings of climate science and statistics.”
    -What makes this period of time statistically significant in terms of climate (which is simply average of weather over time)? Restricted to the last 1000 years of climate, the period would be significant, but even then the problem of significance is not resolved…..it remains undefined. Certainly in the context of interglacial cycles, a hockey stick graph is not an outlier. Result: NS
    2) “In reviewing the results, the IPCC report concluded: “No climate model using natural forcings [i.e., natural warming factors] alone has reproduced the observed global warming trend in the second half of the twentieth century.””
    – Interglacial cycles are the largest and most significant climate changes because they are defined. No climate model can predict the next cycle. The most ‘meaningful’ climate defined periods are unresolved. Since it is unclear how ‘natural forcing’ produces these interglacial cycles, one really must wonder why one would care that one cannot reproduce an undefined insignificant period of the record with ‘natural forcing factors’.
    3) “In short, the contention that CO2 is not a pollutant is a rhetorical device and is not supported by US law or by economic theory or studies.”
    -Anything that doesn’t ‘belong’ is a pollutant. Warm water discharge from a factory into a cold stream is pollution. Again, it’s about impact.
    4) “The idea that climate science and economics are being suppressed by a modern Lysenkoism is pure fiction.”
    -There is no suppression. Suppression is not the problem. It is simply the ‘interest’ and ‘enthusiasm’ towards any research which questions AGW. Period.
    5) “Academic advancement occurs primarily from publication of original research and contributions to the advancement of knowledge, not from supporting “popular” views.”
    Yes, but are you going to challenge the theory? You would be unwise to leave that task to skeptic think tanks. Can the diverse range of Real Climate contributors list any recent publications which question ANY aspect of AGW? If science is just a bit of speculation / imagination / do what ever you want / academic freedom / blah blah, then where are the papers which question this AGW? Why is there such an intense bias towards ‘warming papers’? Why leave it to a hand full of hacks to research negative feedbacks? And then you come down them like a ton of bricks, where are the papers where you guys made a big mistake in theory? If they don’t exist then I can only come to the likely conclusion that you are completely wrong.
    6) “The claim that cap-and-trade legislation or carbon taxes would be ruinous or disastrous to our societies does not stand up to serious economic analysis.”
    After the GFC, I doubt anyone cares what economists think.

    Comment by Isotopious — 1 Mar 2012 @ 6:51 PM

  31. I think this article appeared first today <A HREF="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marvin-meadors/why-do-meteorologists-dis_b_1289630.html"Why Do Meteorologists Dismiss Climate Change Science? but Googling for “meteorologist climate change” pretty well brings up only hits for denial.

    But these Google hits seem mainly to be referring to weather presenters rather than graduate meteorologists. But I am sure there was a survey of scientists which showed meteorolists and geologists as more sceptical than others.

    Comment by Alastair McDonald — 1 Mar 2012 @ 7:14 PM

  32. Any comment on this paper by Roger Davies
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120222114358.htm
    Which claims that cloud heights (from satellite observation) have gotten lower, and this has enhanced the ability of the planet to cool itself.

    Comment by Thomas — 1 Mar 2012 @ 9:00 PM

  33. Kevin McKinney @5. You say:

    “that the crash of the Arctic sea ice is helping people to understand the reality of what is happening to planetary climate”

    I’m assuming that you mean by this that this is all quite a natural cycle.

    I am old enough to know that the Russians developed a shipping trade across northern Siberia in the early 19th century. They developed thriving ports and it was open for many months of the year. The ice extent was even less than we have today. However, by the early 1950’s the ice returned and this all closed down.

    I can reference my encyclopedia “The Book of Knowledge” published by Waverley 1952 to know that I’m remember it right.

    This appears to be more cyclic and I do not see this history taken into account in press releases and media news.

    This is based on observational and hard copy documents of actual events. Hence to you’re opening sentence:

    “I’m struck by the numbers of folks who cite personal experience as the main reason for their evaluation of the reality (or otherwise) of warming”

    Looks like I’m striking you:)

    Comment by Titus — 1 Mar 2012 @ 9:43 PM

  34. News from Canada: Climate Change Denial in Carleton University Course Exposed by National Science Team (http://scientificskepticism.ca/content/climate-change-denial-carleton-university-course-exposed-national-science-team), with coverage elsewhere in the Guardian and the Ottawa Citizen.

    Heartland expert Tom Harris had his course on climate change thoroughly audited by the Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism. In just 12 lectures, there were 142 errors or misrepresentations of climate science.

    The course has been going on for several years, but according to the university, not anymore. One hopes it won’t be coming back.

    Comment by KB — 1 Mar 2012 @ 9:45 PM

  35. For David Miller; I’m no expert, but you asked about how to tell if a tree ring on a particular tree is missing. Turns out there can be extras, too, just skimming the results of a search is a quick way to see what answers are available. It’s a sub-level of “how do we tell any particular date on a bunch of different tree rings” — patterns.

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=tree+ring+missing+year

    (I’m trying anything but Google for a while)

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 1 Mar 2012 @ 9:51 PM

  36. On the Davies paper, there’s little doubt that if high cloud cover decreases in height, that can serve as a negative feedback mechanism.

    But in general, it’s worth keeping in mind that cloud feedbacks inferred from regressions of cloud properties on surface temperature changes that are driven by short-term variability (e.g. ENSO) is not necessarily a useful analog to global warming. Even more, the Davies paper only looks at 10 years of data (with sampling times at just one time in the local morning) and doesn’t capture some clouds such as thin cirrus that may also be important.

    Note also that the global warming trend has not been terribly strong over the last decade, so inferring a negative feedback to surface temperature change is a bit odd to me, particularly when the feedback would have to be very sensitive.

    Comment by Chris Colose — 1 Mar 2012 @ 10:13 PM

  37. Curry gave a talk…

    http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/berac-curry-talk.pdf

    Headvise necessary, and Gavin I think that you should engage on this one…

    Comment by Rattus Norvegicus — 1 Mar 2012 @ 10:32 PM

  38. #32 Thomas

    I can here it now over at wuwt… another groundbreaking study (of a short-term change) that will overturn the body of climate science with results that “have potential implications for future global climate”… How novel.

    Context is key.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 1 Mar 2012 @ 10:36 PM

  39. Titus posted twice (more recently at #33), alleging that pre-1950s sea ice levels were even lower than today, based on a 1952 encyclopedia article.

    Yes, really.

    Titus, no offence to your old encyclopedia, but there is more solid information available than that:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/10/16/history-of-arctic-and-antarctic-sea-ice-part-1/

    Note that this draws upon published professional literature; it’s the best information we have. And you are not even close to correct. Today’s levels are far below anything seen during the warming of the 1930s.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 1 Mar 2012 @ 10:49 PM

  40. Titus said:”I am old enough to know that the Russians developed a shipping trade across northern Siberia in the early 19th century. They developed thriving ports and it was open for many months of the year. The ice extent was even less than we have today. However, by the early 1950′s the ice returned and this all closed down.

    I can reference my encyclopedia “The Book of Knowledge” published by Waverley 1952 to know that I’m remember it right.”

    The IPCC said:”Ice extent data from Russian sources have recently been published (Polyakov et al., 2003), and cover essentially the entire 20th century for the Russian coastal seas (Kara, Laptev, East Siberian and Chukchi). These data, which exhibit large inter-decadal variability, show a declining trend since the 1960s until a reversal in the late 1990s. The Russian data indicate anomalously little ice during the 1940s and 1950s, whereas the Nordic Sea data indicate anomalously large extent at this time, showing the importance of regional variability. ”

    Consistent with what you said, but showing why your argument is invalid. Total sea ice has plummeted in the past few years, as Kevin said.

    Comment by t_p_hamilton — 1 Mar 2012 @ 10:52 PM

  41. Tituse @ 23,

    your evidence for Arctic ice concentration similar in extent or lower than current is 1) your personal experience 2) a 1952 ecyclopedia entry describing changing sea ice cover for one region of the Arctic.

    Do you understand why these lines of evidence might not be immediatley persuasive?

    If you do not have a problem with more modern and comprehensive examinations of the historic ice cover, then I hope the following is useful to you.

    Seasonal concentration from 1900 time series.

    You can look up the data set for the above (and get some analysis) from here.

    A very comprehensive data set from various sources in the following paper.

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/staff/mholland/papers/Polyak_2010_historyofseaiceArctic.pdf

    If you have posted as Brutus in the past, then you might already be familiar with that paper.

    (I played Saturninus in Titus Andronicus recently. We dealt with the violence, and consequently the play, in a Tarantino-esque fashion. I’d never seen the play ‘work’ before this version)

    Comment by barry — 1 Mar 2012 @ 11:29 PM

  42. Titus you say
    “I am old enough to know that the Russians developed a shipping trade across northern Siberia in the early 19th century. They developed thriving ports and it was open for many months of the year. The ice extent was even less than we have today. However, by the early 1950′s the ice returned and this all closed down.”
    And
    “This appears to be more cyclic and I do not see this history taken into account in press releases and media news.”

    Well I can not see anything cyclic on this graph or a time the ice was as low or lower than now. So maybe that is why you do not see it in press releases.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seasonal.extent.updated.jpg

    Also

    http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/essay_untersteiner.html

    Sorry but I will need more than a book from 1952 and “I am old enough to know” to convince me of your statements.

    Comment by rogert — 1 Mar 2012 @ 11:47 PM

  43. Mr. Isotopius bestows upon us a set of rebuttals to Mr. Nordhaus’ excellent piece. His statements:

    1. He questions the time scale over which climate is defined, arguing that there is no defined time scale. While he is correct that no scientific body has declared any particular duration of time long enough to define a change in climate, some simple physical calculations demonstrate that the lower limit is around several decades. Mr. Isotopius seems to be suggesting that the 100+ years of good temperature data that we have is insufficient to define a change in climate. In this he is incorrect. He concludes with the declaration “NS”, which I believe is an acronym for “Nutritional Sulfurization”, but which I do not understand the significance of in this context.

    2. Next, Mr. Isotopious responds to a statement about natural forcings by bringing up interglacial cycles. If he can use interglacial cycles to address the role of natural forcings in explaining the recent increases in temperature, then I propose to use black holes to refute his point about interglacial cycles. After all, fair is fair.

    3. Next Mr. Isotopious quibbles over the significance of the term ‘pollutant’, failing to notice that Mr. Nordhaus was addressing the claim that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Apparently, Mr. Isotopious agrees that the 16 authors of the Wall Street Journal piece were incorrect in declaring that CO2 is not a pollutant. Thank you, Mr. Isotopious — but I think that Mr. Nordhaus’ explanation was more illuminating.

    4. Here Mr. Isotopious insinuates that there is an evil pattern of ‘interest’ and ‘enthusiasm’ towards research that questions ACC. I would suggest that he explore the possibilities of chakras from evil scientists beaming negative energy towards honest scientists who would like to disprove ACC. It might also be profitable to explore the influences of the IPCC on the astral plane. Period.

    5. Mr. Isotopious demands to know why there haven’t been any papers published that oppose ACC. It seems that Mr. Isotopious has not considered the possibilities that either a) few such papers have been submitted for publication; or b) no such papers have survived the peer review process. There is of course the alternate theory that a secret cabal of evil scientists out to dominate the universe have launched a series of orbiting mind control lasers with which they can control the minds of countless editors and reviewers to insure that no such papers are ever published. My question is, if they really did have such a network of orbiting mind control lasers, why wouldn’t they use them to get people to send them large gifts of cash, or perhaps to bring about world peace? It really seems odd that such a powerful conspiracy would use its vast powers for so trivial an objective.

    6. Mr. Isotopius dismisses the opinions of economists as worthless. Presumably he would rather have the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank replaced by the leader of his local Lions Club, or the Secretary of the Treasury replaced by his Aunt Myrna, who has always had a good head on her shoulders. We don’t need no stinkin’ experts.

    Comment by Chris Crawford — 2 Mar 2012 @ 12:16 AM

  44. > Titus … encyclopedia
    I recall this being brought up a while back. Sources more recent than the 1950s differ. The USSR was working on its image a bit, you know.

    “Increased navigation during Soviet times
    During Soviet times the Laptev Sea coastal areas experienced a limited boom owing to the first icebreaker convoys plying the Northern Sea Route and the creation of the Chief Directorate of the Northern Sea Route. Tiksi had an active airport and Nordvik harbor further west was “a growing town,” though it closed in 1956…..” http://www.tititudorancea.org/z/laptev_sea.htm

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Mar 2012 @ 12:27 AM

  45. Kevin McKinney @39. Thanks for the link.

    Just eyeballing the graph and it looks Arctic sea ice has been on the decline for over a 100 years with a recovery mid way through.

    Seems in broad agreement with my personal recollections and old encyclopedia.

    It would be good to sight some of these actually observed findings more broadly so folks like me can engage and not feel we are losing it like you seem to infer.

    Comment by Titus — 2 Mar 2012 @ 12:45 AM

  46. Alastair @ 31

    Meteorologists may be more skeptical than climate scientists, but it doesn’t mean the majority of meteorologists are skeptics.

    American Meteorological Society (AMS) is on the list I have, of professional science societies that agree with the IPCC

    Also on the list

    Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society

    Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society

    Royal Meteorological Society (UK)

    Comment by frflyer — 2 Mar 2012 @ 12:59 AM

  47. t_p_hamilton @40. You say

    “Consistent with what you said”

    Thank you for your gracious response. I appreciate it. I just wanted to input personal experience for all you’re deliberations.

    Comment by Titus — 2 Mar 2012 @ 1:16 AM

  48. I’d like to present you all with the latest nefarious plot by evil scientists. As you might have learned if you went to an evil public school (as opposed to enlightened home schooling), so-called scientists have long claimed that the earth is composed of a relatively thin crust floating on what is more-or-less bubbling hot lava with a molten iron core at its center. But that is ALL WRONG.

    As it turns out, the earth is hollow. One reason we know this is that there is a large, hard to hide opening at the North Pole. However, thanks to the science-conspiracy, the global climate sensing satellite known as AMSR did not fail last October due to its age (9 years, it was only designed for 6 years operation). Rather, it was intentionally shut down to “hide the truth.” You see, that big white sheet of plastic over the North Pole that hid the entrance to the Hollow Earth got blown away by the wind. So “they” had to shut down the satellite, or else we would have seen the entrance on the satellite photos.

    Anyway, without further ado, I present you with The Truth. The Hollow Earth:

    The Hollow Earth

    Please watch the entire video. Watch it and weep.

    Comment by Candide — 2 Mar 2012 @ 2:02 AM

  49. Rattus Norvegicus says:
    1 Mar 2012 at 10:32 PM
    Curry gave a talk…

    http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/berac-curry-talk.pdf

    Headvise necessary, and Gavin I think that you should engage on this one…

    The community of climate modelers is relatively small. I wonder how many were actually interviewed in the process of creating a startling list of boldly definite prognostications on the current state, future evolution and applicability of GCMs:

    • Predictions can’t be rigorously evaluated for order of a century
    • Insufficient exploration of model & simulation uncertainty
    • Impenetrability of the model and formula on process; extremely
    large number of modeler degrees of freedom!
    • Lack of formal model verification & validation, which is the norm
    for engineering and regulatory science
    • Circularity in arguments validating climate models against
    observations, owing to tuning & prescribed boundary conditions
    • Concerns about fundamental lack of predictability in a complex
    nonlinear system characterized by spatio-temporal chaos with
    changing boundary conditions
    • Concerns about the epistemology of models of open, complex
    systems

    Etc.

    That is to say, they -look- bold and definite at first glance, but if history is any guide each challenge will gradually melt away into “Wait a minute, what did you say? I thought we were talking about…”

    One interlocutor and a recording secretary assigned to each claim might work.

    Trying to find nature of PPT requirement, found this:

    OilPrice.com: The IPCC May Have Outlived its Usefulness – An Interview with Judith Curry

    which contains:

    “The climate is always changing… There is certainly some contribution from the greenhouse gases, but whether it is currently a dominant factor or will be a dominant factor in the next century, is a topic under active debate…I absolutely think that more effort is needed in determining the effect of the sun on our climate…Because of the IPCC and its consensus seeking process, the rewards for scientists have been mostly in embellishing the consensus…an increasing number of scientists are becoming emboldened to challenge some of the basic conclusions of the IPCC… we have only been considering one policy option (CO2 stabilization), which in my opinion is not a robust policy option given the uncertainties in how much climate is changing in response to CO2…I agree that there is lack of accountability in the whole climate enterprise…”

    Which sounds like an arriving stampede of very naive philistines but was instead all said by Dr. Curry. Mystifying, really.

    Comment by dbostrom — 2 Mar 2012 @ 2:22 AM

  50. In the spirit of inquiry I read the following to an experimental human subject (sorry, no IRB, none at hand, handcuff me):

    “The climate is always changing. There is certainly some contribution from the greenhouse gases, but whether it is currently a dominant factor or will be a dominant factor in the next century, is a topic under active debate. Because of the IPCC and its consensus seeking process, the rewards for scientists have been mostly in embellishing the consensus. An increasing number of scientists are becoming emboldened to challenge some of the basic conclusions of the IPCC. We have only been considering one policy option (CO2 stabilization), which in my opinion is not a robust policy option given the uncertainties in how much climate is changing in response to CO2. I agree that there is lack of accountability in the whole climate enterprise…”

    The experimental subject was then asked a single question: “Who said it?”

    Subject response: “Romney? Santorum?”

    Comment by dbostrom — 2 Mar 2012 @ 2:38 AM

  51. “Mr. Isotopius seems to be suggesting that the 100+ years of good temperature data that we have is insufficient to define a change in climate”

    No. I just meant that a thousand year period of stable temperature which happens to have a rapid warming trend at the end of the series is absolutely nothing out of the ordinary with regards to ‘other’ thousand years periods in the Holocene.

    That’s why scientists use statistics, to show that they are wrong, rather than right. The IPCC bent over backwards to try and argue just the opposite, that recent warming is an outlier. They are wrong, unless of course they can prove that 1000 years is somehow significantly defined as some type of climatic cycle within a parallel universe /blackhole? Let me know when you find the data!

    Comment by Isotopious — 2 Mar 2012 @ 2:53 AM

  52. re: 50.

    You are completely ignoring the causes in effect in the time scales you are referring to. In other words, we know the natural causes that affected global temperatures over the 1000 years. What you are not considering are the additional forcings from man-made greenhouse gases over the past 30+ years. Warming since then can not be explained simply by natural causes. Read the science. And the “start here” at the top of the page here.

    Comment by Dan — 2 Mar 2012 @ 5:42 AM

  53. I’d really like to understand why we can’t plug in the forcings (both natural and GHG’s) for 2006 -2011 into the models quoted by Nordhaus

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/mar/22/why-global-warming-skeptics-are-wrong/#fn-4

    and then see what temperatures they would have predicted and then compare those predictions with the actual temperatures measured.

    Anyone?

    Comment by Steve Jones — 2 Mar 2012 @ 5:50 AM

  54. Mosher – Plus some people tried humor with an attachment in the climategate emails. That got them in a little trouble. Actually, Steve, some might say it got you into trouble. In this piece still online, you publically accused Phil Jones of malfeasance:-

    One scientist, Phil Jones, even suggested changing the dates on papers to hide the misdeed.

    Turns out this was a private joke about a misprint. Which you now know as you attempted to repeat the libel here at RC and Gavin corrected it for you. In other words, you used a private joke in an illicitly-obtained internal mail to falsely smear a scientist. The smear is still online, yet you feel able to lecture others about the inappropriate use of humour. Post-modern irony?

    PS While we’re on the subject of climate humour, the assertion ‘I am requesting this information as part of my academic research’ that you attached to the CRU FOI spam never fails to make me smile….. ;-)

    Comment by Phil Clarke — 2 Mar 2012 @ 6:25 AM

  55. 50 Isotopious — “No. I just meant that a thousand year period of stable temperature which happens to have a rapid warming trend at the end of the series is absolutely nothing out of the ordinary with regards to ‘other’ thousand years periods in the Holocene.”

    It does if you take the forcings into account, i.e. the science, not just the numbers. As Judith Curry’s student said of Climate Audit in 2006, “Some people hang onto statistics like a drunken man hangs onto lampposts for support.”

    Comment by J Bowers — 2 Mar 2012 @ 7:42 AM

  56. #50–“The IPCC…are wrong.”

    Why don’t you publish that, Isotopius?

    Of course, it might need a little fleshing out.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 2 Mar 2012 @ 8:03 AM

  57. #47–“Read it and weep”

    I laughed instead. “Reptars,” indeed!

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 2 Mar 2012 @ 8:04 AM

  58. Isotopious would rather we forget about such inconveniences as Conservation of Energy–e.g. where the energy causing the current warming is coming from. Instead, he wants us to focus on all the squiggles in the Holocene temperature reconstructions. The current warming epoch has seen about 0.6 degrees C of rise during 30 years–~0.2 degrees per decade. Now let’s look at the Holocene. Let’s be charitable and assume that the reconstruction that shows the most extreme swing of the most extreme reconstruction is correct–this shows only about 0.05 degrees of warming per decade. Not remember that is the most extreme variation from the most extreme reconstruction. If instead we look at the average of the reconstructions, we get at most a factor of 10 smaller than this!

    I find that when Isotopious makes a claim, it is usually a good idea for me to do the math myself. Likewise, if he tells me it is raining, I know that I can leave my umbrella in its place on the shelf.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 2 Mar 2012 @ 9:03 AM

  59. The community of climate modelers is relatively small. I wonder how many were actually interviewed in the process of creating a startling list of boldly definite prognostications on the current state, future evolution and applicability of GCMs

    Zero, I’d say.

    The whole argument about formal verification and validation has been put forward in the past by a handful of self-proclaimed software engineering experts and, of course, is just silly. It’s meant to cast doubt on the abilities of people writing research code while elevating the supposed expertise of those making the argument. I’m sure Curry got it from people in McIntyre’s crowd.

    Formal verification and validation is performed for an incredibly small percentage of software, such as those used for fly-by-wire and another aviation systems, military systems, etc.

    Commercial software is rarely formally verified or validated, and no open source software has been, to my knowledge, yet is happily used by those complaining that people who write GCMs are really horrible at their job.

    Windows isn’t formally V&V’d.

    Mac OS/X isn’t.

    Linux isn’t.

    I could write a list that would fill the disk storage of whatever server is running the Real Climate site.

    This doesn’t mean that such software isn’t subjected to a quality assurance process. It’s just that the expense of formal V&V measured against the results of other kinds of Q/A is deemed not worth it, not to mention that there are those who argue that V&V doesn’t bring nearly as much value to the table as V&V proponents claim.

    Anyway, the whole argument is just a smear against those who work on models like NASA GISS Model E. It’s a form of ad hom dressed up in the cloak of authority.

    The odds of a earth sciences prof coming up with the formal validation and verification theme on her own is quite literally zero percent. She’s parroting about something she knows nothing about (software engineering), using authoritative-sounding word salad.

    What is she doing on that advisory committee? That’s my question. Hopefully its influence on actual research policy is miniscule.

    Comment by dhogaza — 2 Mar 2012 @ 10:12 AM

  60. Here’s another breathtaking example of Heartland’s dishonesty (and this is not from the “leaked” documents):

    From the Heartland-sponsored web-site: http://www.globalwarmingclassroom.info/teachers.htm

    Massive Data Fraud in NOAA and NASA: Segment 4 of Global Warming, The Other Side. The data used by NOAA and NASA is shown to have excluded temperature data from northern latitudes and high elevations since 1980 which automatically shows greatly increased temperatures that supposedly shows great man-caused global warming. Also discusses Britain’s Climate Research Unit’s (CRU) massive data manipulation called Climategate.

    This is the old, easily debunked (and many-times debunked) “dropped stations” claim pushed by Anthony Watts, John Coleman, etc. The fact that Heartland wants to serve this s**t to students tells all we need to know about what kind of outfit it is.

    Something else to think about — In spite of all the nonsense/provocations that so many climate-scientists have had to deal with over the past decade or two, only one has “stepped over the line” in response to those provocations. That says a lot about the integrity of the scientific community.

    Comment by caerbannog — 2 Mar 2012 @ 10:17 AM

  61. 23 Titus sez: “Many folks know from history that Arctic Ice was as low if not lower than it is today in the early part of the 19th century. …
    How do I know? … I was around at the time. … Perhaps it’s because these facts are not widley discuused that folks get a little nervous about trusting the current alarmism when all they have experienced is a cyclic pattern.

    Just an observation from actual experience.”

    Riiiiiiiggggghhhhhht.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 2 Mar 2012 @ 10:38 AM

  62. steven mosher @ 20

    “But you’re not funny. Being pathetic, doesn’t count. Plus some people tried humor with an attachment in the climategate emails.
    That got them in a little trouble. Humor is a tool of “outsider.” If you are in power the only humor that works is self deprecation.
    Ask Reagan. Now, on occasion you can say funny things, but you cannot use humor as a primary tool. I’m not saying that you are incapable
    of being funny. You do many things people laugh at. But, you can’t use it as a communication tool to effectively attack skeptics.
    Trying Co-opting a few key ones.”

    A bit surly. And humorless, but at least consistent in that respect. Nor does it recognize the range and usages of humor. In this context that it can be used as a fetching supplement to cogent argument. I don’t think it was suggested otherwise.

    Which is not to say we should forget the dictum; Dying is easy, comedy is hard. It’s an art. If you’re artless, by all means stick to the science.

    Please.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 2 Mar 2012 @ 10:53 AM

  63. Isotopious (#50) argues that the hockey stick (a thousand years of stable temperatures followed by a rapid rise) does not constitute evidence of climate change, that it is in fact ‘absolutely nothing out of the ordinary’. He does not offer us any other cases of hockey sticks, so it’s rather difficult to establish the meaning of “ordinary” for a single case. His vague mention of the Holocene does not jibe with the evidence available. I challenge Mr. Isotopious to present us with the temperature graph for any period in the Holocene showing a temperature rise of similar abruptness.

    Perhaps you are confused over the difference between the rapid warmings that occasionally took place in the midst of the Ice Ages and the current rapid warming. These two phenomena are in no wise comparable. In the first place, the evidence suggests that the Ice Age warmings were local, not global, and were counterbalanced by cooling in the other hemisphere. In the second place, the absolute temperatures at which the warmings took place are quite different. An increase in global average temperature from 12ºC to 13ºC takes place under very different climate dynamics than an increase from 5ºC to 6ºC.

    By the way, I’d like to compliment you for having the integrity to return; many of our deniers are drive-by commentators. They pop in, drop their load, and disappear. At the other extreme, of course, are those who stubbornly repeat the same old stuff parrot-like. I hope you can find the golden mean.

    Comment by Chris Crawford — 2 Mar 2012 @ 10:59 AM

  64. Contrarians, particularly scientist anti AGW contrarians, have lost their marbles. In this case they can afford to do so, they have a plushy cushion to fall on…. I would avoid placing any credence to Curry’s latest attack as part and parcel of the same repetition of nothing. Claiming models incapable of perfection is already known. A growing number of scientists disagreeing with IPCC flies in the face of a noticeably growing body of evidence absolutely negating all this talk with literally unprecedented Arctic sea ice melting along with any Arctic glaciers or permafrost you can pick. Talk is cheap, I want Judith to explain why Arctic sea ice is going down, she was here, she should have some insight, Facts have a price if neglected, its not scientific when doing so, is more like politics.

    Great to read you Alastair, most meteorologists I know are OK with AGW, some are extremely knowledgeable about it, as they should be. I must point out that the practice of meteorology can completely neglect AGW calculations ( except for models), it is something they are aware about especially with the warming planet. Most geologists don’t dare predict earthquakes, although they should try, climatologists have predicted this latest warming period, geologists are more paleo-climate experts than AGW.. You are right about the presenters. I’d like to see them point out the obvious, known by millions, for instance when tulips grow in January and bees are flying during mid-winter. THey purposely disconnect themselves with reality, just showing lows and highs flying about here and there…..

    Comment by wayne davidson — 2 Mar 2012 @ 11:17 AM

  65. Steve Jones above asked at response #6
    > if we told the model that produced that graph the forcings
    > from 2005 – 2012 and let it calculate the temperatures
    and asked again at #53

    > why we can’t plug in the forcings (both natural
    > and GHG’s) for 2006-2011 …and then see what
    > temperatures they would have predicted …

    and asked the same again at response 53.

    Steve, look at #3 where someone else asked the same question.
    Gavin came by later and answered that inline (the green text right below #3).

    Watch the right sidebar list of inline responses — it may take several days before one of the Contributors comes by and they may not notice every place that a question has been asked.

    Your question is asked a lot. I think it’s because people hear “model” and think “clockwork” as though it runs the same way every time unless you go in and adjust something.

    Read Gavin’s inline explanation, see if that helps.

    You’re asking why stuff doesn’t always come out exactly the same way — why you can’t go into the internals and make precise changes that alter the output in predictable ways.

    Does this help?
    http://javaboutique.internet.com/BallDrop/
    — if you run this simulator once, you can only roughly say about where the balls end up.
    — if you run this over and over, you get about the same result each time, more or less.
    — if you wanted to make the result slightly different in a predictable way, what would you change in the internals of it?

    And that’s a very simple ‘model’ you can see the innards of.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Mar 2012 @ 12:10 PM

  66. Ray,
    You are averaging the entire 10C warming as if it occurred over a 2000 year period. Research shows that the warming occurred in two much more rapid bursts. Some research indicates that the warming during the Bolling-Allerod period and the end of the younger dryas may have been as high as 10C over the course of 50 years or less. Much higher than the average value 0.05/decade.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379104003245
    http://www.pnas.org/content/97/4/1331.full
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/074.htm

    [Response: These are not global numbers. But you know that. – gavin]

    Comment by Dan H. — 2 Mar 2012 @ 12:11 PM

  67. Further to the comments above on Arctic Sea Ice. A recent paper from Georgia Tech suggests that reduced sea ice is linked to increased snow cover in parts of the northern United States, North-western and central Europe, and northern and central China. The data (back to 1979) suggest that snow cover has not been declining at the rate of sea ice and this study could be an explanation of that. Typically sea ice varies through the year from around 5 to 15 million km2 and snow from 2.5 to 40 million km2. The critical thing is the impact on albedo and hence the energy balance. I’ve done a quick analysis, taking account of seasonality, sun angle and latitude. This appears to show the extra snow has done little or nothing to compensate for the loss sea ice as far effective albedo is concerned.

    Comment by Ron Manley — 2 Mar 2012 @ 12:43 PM

  68. Anti-science site wins another ‘Best Science or Technology Weblog’ award

    In a tiresome repeat of past years, climate-science denialist site, Watts Up With That? has again won a “best science blog” award. Also notable is Climate Audit, which was deeply involved in provoking the manufactured “Climategate” affair, as “Best Canadian Weblog”.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 2 Mar 2012 @ 12:53 PM

  69. Va. Supreme Court tosses Cuccinelli’s case against former U-Va. climate change researcher

    The Virginia Supreme Court said Friday that Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II does not have the authority to demand records related to a former University of Virginia climate researcher’s work.

    In 2010, Cuccinelli (R), a global warming skeptic, issued a civil investigative demand, essentially a subpoena, for documents from the state’s flagship university.

    He sought five grant applications prepared by former professor Michael Mann and all e-mails between Mann and his research assistants, secretaries and 39 other scientists from across the country.

    The University & Mike Mann fought back and won a round.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 2 Mar 2012 @ 2:06 PM

  70. #63–Chris, “Isotopius” comes and goes–rather like ENSO fluctuations, except he only ‘cools.’

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 2 Mar 2012 @ 2:19 PM

  71. On another topic, seems Cuccinelli lost again, albeit on slightly less embarrassing grounds this time:

    http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/virginia-politics/2012/mar/02/11/va-supreme-court-rules-against-cuccinelli-uva-clim-ar-1735035/

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 2 Mar 2012 @ 2:31 PM

  72. Virginia court rejects sceptic’s bid for climate science emails

    “The two-year legal pursuit of the climate scientist, Michael Mann, by Virginia’s climate-sceptic attorney general ran into a dead end at the state supreme court on Friday.

    The court rejected Ken Cuccinelli’s demand for Mann’s email, research notes, and even handwritten memos from his time at the University of Virginia, ruling that the official did not have the legal authority to demand such records.

    The decision was seen as a victory for academic freedom, and a personal embarrassment for Cuccinelli, who had hoped to use his high-profile campaign against the climate scientist to raise his political profile ahead of a run for governorship.”

    A chance for Cuccinelli to distinguish himself as sufficiently inadequate to be chosen for a current GOP candidacy. When you’re making up your own narrative and don’t have to worry about facts there’s no such thing as failure so this “embarrassment” shouldn’t really be a problem; Cuccinelli can simply reweave his story to include “activist judges” and other plot devices.

    Comment by dbostrom — 2 Mar 2012 @ 2:49 PM

  73. Judy Curry’s blog posted an item on a Richard Lindzen presentation that included the claim that aerosol forcing is adjusted to make climate projections match observed temperature trends. A number of us referred to Gavin’s 2010 collide-a-scape exchange with Judy as a refutation of that claim, but the argument kept going. If it’s not too late before the weekend to catch Gavin’s attention, perhaps he would want to comment further or even venture into the Lindzen thread on Judy’s blog to reaffirm the points we have been attributing to him

    [Response: sorry, but I’m in workshops for today and next week. Time for repeating myself for people who don’t want to listen is therefore limited. If it helps the idea that any of the CMIP3/5 modellers have directly changed their aerosols based on their 20th century trend is nonsense – both for scientific and practical reasons. if they had, the trends would be much closer to obs. – gavin]

    Comment by Fred Moolten — 2 Mar 2012 @ 3:39 PM

  74. Renewable energy: The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund

    CSLDF just pulled a grade, time to recharge it…

    Comment by dbostrom — 2 Mar 2012 @ 3:39 PM

  75. Kevin, to the contrary, I think that Cucinelli lost of very embarrassing grounds. This time the VA Supreme Court told him that he could not bring a CID against UVa because the statue did not cover and was not intended to cover actions by his office against state agencies. The fact that it was dismissed “with prejudice” says “go, and never darken our doors with this nonsense again”.

    Comment by Rattus Norvegicus — 2 Mar 2012 @ 4:02 PM

  76. The Wall Street Journal (rhymes with) is not exactly the best place for reasoned discussion. One can understand it best by examining its important sponsors (the corporations) …

    “In The Corporation, the corporation is compared against the WHO’s psychopathic diagnostic checklist. Corporations meet the criteria.”

    http://www.thecorporation.com/index.cfm?page_id=46

    These are the “people” who control not just the WSJ but also the USA…

    Which is why the Journal (rhymes with) is such a pesthole of denialist fantasies. It isn’t bad enough that they do this, but they have so manipulated the conversation as to make THEIR experiment on OUR climate THEIR right to do unless we prove it is unsafe.

    Morally and ethically and in most countries LEGALLY, it is the responsibility of the person making changes to prove that they do not pose an undue risk to their neighbors.

    They need to prove that what they are doing ( in terms of the re-release of as much CO2 as was sequestered in the last 3 million years in the last 150, at rates 50 times faster than we see in any of the Ice records ) is safe. They don’t think they have to do this because they DO in general meet the clinical definition for a Psychopath. Want the rights of a person, take the responsibilities.

    If there is doubt, it has to be laid at their door and be measured against THEIR arguments. Not the scientists.

    We all live in Bhopal now. The plant operators are still not listening to our complaints about their safety procedures. We cannot move away. What are our rights compared to theirs?

    BJ

    Comment by bjchip — 2 Mar 2012 @ 5:16 PM

  77. #75–Perhaps you are right; I certainly hope so! (To me, on a quick reading, the result sounded like more of a technical one than a substantive one, as opposed to the lower court’s ruling that C. had failed to make an understandable case that any infraction had occurred, or might have occurred.)

    Glad it was dismissed with prejudice, as you say. ‘Without merit’ doesn’t even begin to cover it, in my opinion–FWIW.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 2 Mar 2012 @ 6:18 PM

  78. Rattus is correct. This is a great day!

    Comment by Snapple — 2 Mar 2012 @ 7:04 PM

  79. WRT 54:

    Phil. If you were to follow my comments you would see that

    1. I acknowledge that error repeatedly.
    2. I credit Gavin with pointing it out.
    3. I made another mistake with respect to Briffa. I acknowledged that, produced private emails, and took my well deserved lumps.

    So, yes, for the record I got that wrong. Gavin was right. I thank him for the correction. WIth respect to the Briffa error I got that wrong, Arthur Smith was right, I thank him for the correction.

    It’s not that hard to understand

    Comment by steven mosher — 2 Mar 2012 @ 7:16 PM

  80. 62. get back to me when you have a cogent argument. If you search the records here you will find that we have had this discussion about the uses of humor before. I’ll repeat my advice: I don’t think humor is your best tool.
    Fell free to explain why you think differently. Pointing out that I am not funny does not count as an argument. Pointing out what kind of humor you think will work is a start. Pointing out examples of it actually working to change peoples minds is what you are looking for.

    Comment by steven mosher — 2 Mar 2012 @ 7:27 PM

  81. The memo must have developed a durable crust, leaving idle sponging mouthparts to find other amusement.

    Comment by dbostrom — 2 Mar 2012 @ 8:06 PM

  82. I have a question about Richard Lindzen’s online lecture at
    http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02148/RSL-HouseOfCommons_2148505a.pdf:

    Lindzen says that the Faint Young sun paradox can be resolved by adding clouds to the Earth and that this is evidence of a negative feedback. Can someone explain how this works? He also mentioned that climate sensitivity is determined by a equation (change in Temp)/(1-f). I’d like to know where that came from since I found it interesting. How does one determine what f is and I found his point interesting that if f becomes too large the system blows up, and this would have happened sometime in 4 billion years if there was strong positive feedback?

    Comment by Anthony C — 2 Mar 2012 @ 10:06 PM

  83. A well written personal account on gardening in Oklahoma in recent years.

    On comments there was a question about the temperature where photosynthesis stops.
    Two
    references of where to start looking.

    Rubisco is the enzyme that binds CO2 to plant material, on higher temperatures all the energy received goes into regenerating the photosynthesis complex of which rubisco is one part. I know there’s a good summary article on the deactivation of photosynthesis through heat stress of various plant types, but I’d prefer if someone had a link to it.
    I remember it had the temperature response measured from 0C to 60C (a bit useless for the highest part of the range, but some C3s and algae begin to photosynth at 1-3 degrees), it checked the three plant types C3, C4 and some desert CAM-plant. There was also some discussion on the effect of water balance on the photosynthesis of the studied plants.

    My bad for not saving the link, but as I’m not doing science for living, why should I?

    Comment by jyyh — 3 Mar 2012 @ 12:06 AM

  84. steven mosher @ 79

    Heh. Well setting aside the various other ironies of your comment, I think it an exercise in futility to proffer samples of humor to the humorless.

    Whether it changes minds… hard for me to say. Do you catch more flies with honey? Does a spoonful of sugar help the medicine go down? Perhaps getting closer to your point, do the commentaries of, say, John Stewart influence people? Conversely would poking someone in the eye with a sharp stick make them more adverse to your position on a given topic? I think you’d agree that it would, even though there are probably not many sharp stick studies quantifying changes of opinion on climate change v. pokes in the eye. Some things you just figure out as you grow up.

    Anyway this is an area of art more than of science. If you want to get technical, humor spans the gamut from subtle tone to outright hilarity. You can be good humored (and consequently attractive, i.e., not a sourpuss) without being outright funny. “Funny”, if it comes to that, involves a delivery system for a surprise that is at some level thought provoking. Sort of a rocket propelled humor nugget. Carl Sagan could do both on occasion.

    All of which leaves me wondering why you’re so threatened by humor that you want everyone to dispense with it as a tool — leaving humiliation of the two tools actually mentioned in Mike Roddy’s original comment @7.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 3 Mar 2012 @ 12:13 AM

  85. Current theory says there will steady increase in average global temperatures over the longer term (30+ years). In the short term though (10+ years) there has been a levelling off. What is the maximum number of years of no increase that still does not challenge the theory or prompt a rethink ?

    Comment by Florrie — 3 Mar 2012 @ 1:09 AM

  86. Mike Mann, congratulations on a tinpot inquisitor quashed.

    On a more lasting and positive note, congratulations on a very good book that not only sets the record straight on the hockey stick, but also provides a handy and authoritative guide to several other manufactured controversies, and generally tells it like it is about the campaign to defame scientists. For my own part, I was particularly delighted to find the comparison to Gould’s takedown of Spearman’s g in the discussion of PC#1 reification. Your book will be joining his on my shelf of writers who put the “science” back in “conscience”.

    [Response: Thank you so much CM for these most kind comments. Means a lot. -mike]

    Comment by CM — 3 Mar 2012 @ 2:08 AM

  87. I have a question about the relation between global average sea level and ENSO that has bothered me for a while.

    We know that during El Niño years sea level rises in the eastern Pacific and falls in the western Pacific, whereas in La Niña years the opposite is true.

    So why is it that overall during El Nino events global average sea level goes up and during La Nina event sea level goes down ?

    If ENSO is just redistributing heat in the ocean, why is sea level affected at all ?

    Comment by Rob Dekker — 3 Mar 2012 @ 2:56 AM

  88. I read a post on one of the lists that I haunt, in which the poster touts the idea that earth will be getting colder for the next few decades, because the sun will be off the barycenter by the maximum amount for some of that time (a little over 2 solar radii). That would be about 1% of the distance from the sun to earth, but I can’t find anything about how that wobble affects the distance from the sun to earth. How much does this change the maximum distance from the sun to earth?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Solar_System_Barycenter_2000-2050.png

    Comment by Martin Smith — 3 Mar 2012 @ 7:57 AM

  89. I read a post on one of the lists that I haunt, in which the poster touts the idea that earth will be cooling for a few decades now, because the sun is wobbling off the barycenter and will be off by the maximum amount (about 2 solar radii) for some of that time. That would be about 1% of the distance from sun to earth, but I can’t find something that explains how this wobble affects the maximum distance from sun to earth.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Solar_System_Barycenter_2000-2050.png

    Comment by Martin Smith — 3 Mar 2012 @ 8:05 AM

  90. Re: humor and humiliation; good humor and bad humor (s mosher et al, esp @83)

    Talking about humor can take all the fun out of it. But, is important to distinguish goals, when humor is the tool.
    Successful humor binds the joker and the audience, strengthening the group. The goal may be to keep the target(s) in the group, allow them to join. Or humor may be used to exclude the target(s) as “not us”, which can bind more tightly those who stay behind to enjoy the joke.

    In the complicated world of climate change, opinions require expertise, experience, showing your work. Questions are welcome here, and misguided notions are gently corrected in newcomers (with acres of supporting resources to catch you up, and lots of folks willing, for those who want help).
    It helps if you are nice, and have a good sense of humor.

    People who post challenges on this list out of ignorance, get offered education. Those who can’t or won’t learn the science, or the need to “show their work”, may be teased a bit at first. But not for long. After all, we got a hockey stick with a longish blade, and if you look like a puck, there is still a little ice out there…

    recaptcha – certainly nhotni

    Comment by Phil Mattheis — 3 Mar 2012 @ 8:37 AM

  91. Martin Smith (#87), I don’t think that there’s much significance to the solar motion around the solar system’s barycenter. The trick here is that the sun’s motion is much slower than the earth’s. So we can make a reasonable simplification by assuming a stationary sun relative to a moving earth. The earth circles the barycenter. Half the time, the earth is closer to the sun than the barycenter, and half the time the earth is farther away. This doesn’t precisely balance out because of the inverse square law. When the earth is 1% closer to the sun, it receives 102.010% of the radiation that it receives at normal distance; when it is 1% farther away, it receives 98.010% of the radiation. The difference is +0.02%, which means that the net insolation the earth gets INCREASES when the sun is far from the barycenter, which in turn means that the earth will get warmer. Your denier poster got it backwards (although perhaps there might be something I’m missing here). However, the net effect in terms of forcing is only about 0.27 W/m^2 — much less than greenhouse gas forcing.

    Comment by Chris Crawford — 3 Mar 2012 @ 10:50 AM

  92. Rob #85, good question. You’re probably referring this.

    Note that the variation in sea level due to ENSO is only a few mm, really small compared to both the longer-term anthropogenic trend and to the local variations in sea level in the Pacific which can be even decimetres in places.

    Two causes come to mind:

    1) storage of water on land (this seems to be behind the recent dip)
    2) Water is a special sort of stuff: its coefficient of expansion depends highly nonlinearly on temperature. This means that, e.g., if heat moves from the tropical surface water (temp about 25C) to surface waters at lower temps, the net effect is a subsidence of sea level — even without any change in total heat content. One should not expect a precise cancellation.

    Note also that when you do a PCA decomposition of the total sea level field (as done, e.g., in Church and White), the ENSO effect goes mostly into the next-in-line PCA (their number 1) and its EOF, which indeed looks like an ENSO type pattern (their figure 2 top right). Compared to this, the effect of ENSO on global mean sea level (their PCA number 0) is second-order really.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 3 Mar 2012 @ 11:18 AM

  93. #87–I offer this diffidently, as I haven’t looked into the matter in detail, but:

    The guy’s a frickin’ loon.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 3 Mar 2012 @ 11:20 AM

  94. Martin Smith #87:

    …but I can’t find something that explains how this wobble affects the maximum distance from sun to earth.

    No, I’m sure you cannot :-)

    Really, the Earth orbits the Sun, not the barycentre… all this is very well understood.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 3 Mar 2012 @ 11:43 AM

  95. > Florrie says: 3 Mar 2012 at 1:09 AM
    > Current theory says there will steady increase

    Not quite correct; ups and downs are expected

    > in average global temperatures over the longer term (30+ years).
    > In the short term though (10+ years) there has been a levelling

    Nope, wrong in several ways, see below

    > off. What is the maximum number of years of
    > no increase

    Same mistake there, ‘no increase’ is wrong

    > that still does not challenge the theory or prompt a rethink ?

    You’ve missed a basic concept about how statistics is used to look at something that varies and say whether there’s a slow change over time, or just variation around some constant amount. (Where did you get those ideas?)

    The link below is to a blog written at high school math level.
    That linked page explains how your question can be answered — the answer depends on which data set you want to evaluate.

    It’s basic ‘Statistics 101′ arithmetic. He gives examples of how to decide:

    http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/2009/01/results-on-deciding-trends.html

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 3 Mar 2012 @ 11:45 AM

  96. re humor:

    I was looking for an old favorite by Marc Roberts of Throbgoblins on the “trick”. Found it, and a whole lot of other good points, made through humor (when stating the obvious fails, cartoons sometimes get through) at Climatesight:

    http://climatesight.org/image-collection/

    It covers a lot of important points where verbal exposition doesn’t get through the fog, ad nauseam.

    For example, at the movies: an inconvenient truth vs. a reassuring lie

    Here’s a link for the “trick” one which all too often gets pasted without attribution:
    http://throbgoblins.blogspot.com/2009/12/devil-in-details.html

    Seems clear the dislike of humor is partly the dislike of its ability to get over the footlights with the message.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 3 Mar 2012 @ 12:00 PM

  97. Florrie @ 84: “Current theory says there will [be] steady increase in average global temperatures over the longer term”

    Except current theory does not say that there will steady increase in average global temperatures.

    What is the maximum number of times this must be pointed out that still does not prompt a rethink of the question?

    Comment by Jim Eager — 3 Mar 2012 @ 12:53 PM

  98. Martin Vermeer #92, unless age has addled my brains overmuch, I believe that you are incorrect in stating that the earth orbits the sun. I believe that it orbits the barycenter of the solar system, as do all other objects in the solar system, including the sun. If the earth did not orbit the barycenter of the solar system, how would we account for the gravitational perturbations of Jupiter, Saturn, and the other objects in the solar system?

    Comment by Chris Crawford — 3 Mar 2012 @ 1:18 PM

  99. Mosh Phil. If you were to follow my comments you would see that … I acknowledge that error repeatedly.

    Steve – if you want to be known as a reliable witness then the place to acknowledge that you misinterpreted a private joke is in the same place that you did so. People should not have to read every one of your subsequent emissions to discover that Jones was joking, not dissembling.

    As for climate humour, I also liked this …

    The issue of “the world is warming” is not one that climate skeptics question, it is the magnitude and causes. by Mr Watts. However someone of the same name also apparently believes that

    leading meteorological institutions in the USA and around the world have so systematically tampered with instrumental temperature data that it cannot be safely said that there has been any significant net “global warming” in the 20th century.

    Will the real Anthony Watts please stand up? ROFL.

    Comment by Phil Clarke — 3 Mar 2012 @ 1:35 PM

  100. Or, if you prefer one-liners…

    I actually don’t believe men of honour publish correspondence without permission.

    Tom Fuller

    Comment by Phil Clarke — 3 Mar 2012 @ 2:24 PM

  101. Some links on planetary motion and climate — this stuff isn’t big news; the effects are extremely small and change very slowly, compared to the rate of CO2 increase from fossil fuel use.

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/f546880v4q757702/referrers/

    It’s like the effect of lighting a candle inside a house. Yes, if the candle lasted long enough over enough time it would warm the house. But the house is on fire at the moment.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 3 Mar 2012 @ 2:44 PM

  102. Anthony (#81)-

    Cloud solutions to the Faint Young Sun paradox are not compelling. There’s been different flavors of how this could work, either by reducing the albedo in the early Archean (e.g., Rosing et al 2010) or increasing the greenhouse effect (Rondanelli and Lindzen, 2010).

    The latter paper involves an unwarranted extrapolation of the IRIS hypothesis to early Earth (i.e., a negative feedback between temperatures and high clouds), a hypothesis which is highly controversial even in the modern day and has convincingly been shown to be highly exaggerated. For the early Earth, Goldblatt and Zahnle have done a good job showing that you need a number of implausible changes to clouds (such as 100% tropical cloud cover, thicker, and higher/colder clouds to make this solution a plausible one). This might be important, but there is no robust physical explanation as to why this should be a dominant factor, though I think anyone in the early Earth community would agree that a much better handle of cloud dynamics is necessary to answer these questions with high confidence.

    The other problem for an Earth with 0.75-0.8x modern solar irradiance is that it is extremely prone to a snowball state because of ice-albedo and water vapor feedbacks (and not trivial to escape from that state, this is a problem even for the Neoproterozoic global glaciation, let alone an earlier one). The Lindzen solution would suggest it is more practical for temperatures only exceeding the freezing point by small amounts (or having only tropical areas ice free). I do not believe this is a tenable solution to a faint young sun at Earthlike orbit. There’s some more compelling negative feedback relations between temperature and CO2 (via silicate weathering) over geologic time.

    I should also mention that there is still debate between geologists and planetary scientists concerning ancient (Archean) CO2 levels. No one has unequivocally shown that CO2 couldn’t have been much higher than today, though it’s probably not the only think going on. Methane, or even a different background pressure of gases like N2 (which are not GHGs in the modern atmosphere) that helps broaden the absorption features of the other GHG molecules may have been important.

    Regarding the equation dT being proportional to 1/1-f, you can find this in a number of papers (see Roe, 2009 for a more recent mathematical overview of feedback analysis). With regard to the argument that there is a low probability that feedbacks could be strongly positive and yet somehow never having exceeded f=1 in 4+ billion years, this really isn’t true either. f almost certainly did exceed one in the transition into or out of snowball states, and it’s possible Earth had other such bifurcations in its history. This could also happen locally, such as with the the demise of a Greenland ice sheet after it reaches a certain critical volume. See here for an overview of positive feedbacks and how this doesn’t imply a runaway scenario.

    Comment by Chris Colose — 3 Mar 2012 @ 2:48 PM

  103. Chris Crawford #96, no, you have to look at the relative size of the Earth orbit and the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn — over five times larger. It’s the latter planets that are mostly responsible for the difference between Solar centre and barycentre. And their periods are over ten times longer than the Earth’s.

    This means that it is approximately correct to model the motion of the Earth and inner planets as “satellites of the Sun”, where the differential attraction of Jupiter and Saturn on the Sun and its satellites can be modelled as tidal perturbation. And there are no large long-periodic perturbations of the semi-major axis — if there were, you would see variations in the length of the year according to Kepler’s third law :-)

    I have some difficulty finding documentation of that on the Internet, but here is one place. The first column is time before present in kyrs, the second, Earth orbit semi-major axis. As you see, variations of order 1:100000. Time resolution is poor, but it makes the point. Documentation in the README here.

    > as do all other objects in the solar system, including the sun

    Eh, the moons of Jupiter? Just being facetious :-)

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 3 Mar 2012 @ 4:15 PM

  104. Florrie @84 — I recommend reading “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart, first link in the science section of the sidebar here.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 3 Mar 2012 @ 7:30 PM

  105. Martin, you’re certainly right when you write: it is approximately correct to model the motion of the Earth and inner planets as “satellites of the Sun”. However, it is more correct to model the motion of the Earth and inner planets as orbiting around the barycenter of the solar system. The difference really is tiny, but it’s real. In any case, the significance of this to climatology is, as I pointed out, tiny.

    Comment by Chris Crawford — 3 Mar 2012 @ 8:14 PM

  106. Further to Phil Clarke, it also goes without saying that those complaining of Heartland’s documents being wrongly leaked have of course not actually read those documents themselves.

    We wouldn’t knowingly buy goods from a fence.

    Right?

    Comment by dbostrom — 3 Mar 2012 @ 9:46 PM

  107. To Vince Belovich (#18). I’ve recently started reading the textbook Climate Change and Climate Modeling by J. David Neelin. He addresses cell and time step size and handling sub-grid processes at the beginning of Chapter 5. I highly recommend this book for learning about how fiendishly difficult it can be to predict what a stratified rotating spherical fluid sitting over a mixture of land and sea will do over time.

    Comment by Chett Mitchell — 3 Mar 2012 @ 10:24 PM

  108. A father-son team has recently authored Global Climate Change: A Primer. The father, Orrin Pilke has been co-editor or co-author of 43 books. Reviews of many may be found @
    http://wsm.wsu.edu/extra/pilkey

    Comment by David B. Benson — 4 Mar 2012 @ 1:48 AM

  109. 85 CM is correct. Congratulations are due to Mike Mann from all at RC on winning in the Virginia Supreme Court with prejudice. An article in celebration is recommended.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 4 Mar 2012 @ 1:52 AM

  110. Hank 3 Mar 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Yes obviously I realise there are ups and downs. You’ve somehow missed the essential point though, which is that over 30+ years, the current theory says the trend should be up.
    To qualify as being scientific, it must be clear how a theory would be falsified. So how many years of a non-increasing trend would it take to prompt a rethink? Or is the theory not quite scientific yet?

    (The sideways trend of the last ~10 years I’ll leave for another time).

    Comment by Florrie — 4 Mar 2012 @ 1:54 AM

  111. The president of the AGU needs to write another sternly worded message, this time to the Heartland Institute, firmly yet politely asking them to stop helping to sue climate scientists in New Zealand.

    As we know– despite the unnecessarily desperate tactics of a few– a simple but clear request is all that is needed to help the Heartland Institute remember that they live in a world of full transparency and that eagle-eyed politicians ever on the lookout for the public welfare will put a swift stop to Heartland’s activities if they don’t do so themselves.

    Besides, the Heartland Institute is just naturally good-hearted. Indeed, Bob Carter’s sworn affidavit to the court in which he’s testifying against the NZ climate scientists that the $1667/month he receives from Heartland is not related to his testimony and that in fact he doesn’t actually receive that money at all despite what our lying eyes and Heartland’s own documents* may tell us is proof that this is all some sort of innocent mistake.

    We have only to look to our C02 concentration successfully stabilized at less than 400ppm to know that Heartland will instantly heed and obey the AGU president.

    Any thoughtlessly rude, insensitive and completely pointless acts committed against Heartland will be punished to the full extent available to the AGU.

    *If you do not like acts of desperation, just pretend you didn’t read about any $1667/month paid to Bob Carter by the Heartland Institute. And don’t think of an elephant.

    Comment by dbostrom — 4 Mar 2012 @ 2:57 AM

  112. Looking for input: two recent papers on cloud effects.
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2011GL050506.shtml

    talks about a negative feedback based on reduced cloud heights.

    Graeme Stephens talks about low cloud feedback here:
    http://gewex.org/images/G.Stephens_Feb2010GNews.pdf

    and suggests that models overestimate the albedo of low clouds by a factor of two.

    Can someone who knows this area come up with a synthesis?

    Comment by Dave123 — 4 Mar 2012 @ 4:00 AM

  113. #109 Florrie. As a layman I suppose a commonsense answer might be “Every year have a look at the most recent 30-year trend and ask your question again if and when it goes negative”. Maybe that will be soon; but again, maybe it won’t. Time will tell.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 4 Mar 2012 @ 5:33 AM

  114. Chris #104:

    Do the Galilean moons of Jupiter orbit the Solar system barycentre too?

    Just asking.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 4 Mar 2012 @ 5:35 AM

  115. @Alastair McDonald:

    I’d like to see the reference for that too. I’ve seen anecdotal / web stories about this, and it appears that its _weather_presenters_, primarily in the U.S., that are sceptical, rather than professional forecasters.
    But a solid reference would be good.

    Basically, professional meteorologists typically have a background in science, and a fuller understanding of the science; either a BSc/ MSc in meteorology. Weather presenters, in the US at least, are more likely to have a shorter few-week course, being primarily presenters rather than scientists. They are taught to not trust the (NWP) models after a few days, rather than having a background in the difference between weather and climate models and the science involved (this is less so in Europe where the presenters are more likely to be meteorologists from the national weather services than being hired as presenters.

    Comment by Alastair McKinstry — 4 Mar 2012 @ 5:48 AM

  116. #109–Florrie, as I expect you know, the 30-year trend IS up. If I’m not mistaken, the trend for every span ending at the present and beginning with a year prior to 1998 is up. And the trend, last I heard, is statistically significant to 95% confidence from 1995 on back.

    There is no set number of years automatically “falsifying the theory”–after all, the laundry list of radiative forcings has about a dozen terms, so the hypothetical lack of warming you propose would raise the question of just which factors were involved. However, I recall reading recently–but was unable to find the reference, unfortunately–that it generally takes about 17 years of global temperature data to reach that 95% level.

    If you’d like a more in-depth reference looking at this question, there’s this:

    http://www.spot.icess.ucsb.edu/asr/liebmann.2010.bams.global.temp.trends.pdf

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 4 Mar 2012 @ 6:54 AM

  117. RE. #53,#65

    I really don’t think that IS what I’m asking.

    Watch this 2min video of Peter Cox and David Attenborough.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbPcjORj4Pw

    All I’m really saying is why not re-do what peter cox has done, and ,in fact, re-do it every single year?

    Comment by Steve Jones — 4 Mar 2012 @ 7:19 AM

  118. Florrie,
    Go here:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1967/to:1977/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1977/to:1987/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1987/to:1997/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1967/to:1997/trend

    We’ve plotted the trend from 1967-1977, 1977-1987, 1987-1997 and 1967-1997. So three contiguous negative trends give rise to a positive trend. Clearly seeing fluctuations in noisy data is not all that exceptional.

    Your idea of falsification is somewhat oversimplified. You have to look at all the data and pick the theory that best explains it. If you have something you don’t understand, that is certainly an opportunity to improve the theory. However, when the theory explains a mountain of data, it is unlikely that you will radically alter it based on a single discrepancy of questionable statistical significance. Tweaking is a lot more likely than radical alteration.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 4 Mar 2012 @ 9:07 AM

  119. And Florrie has somehow missed the essential point that CO2 is not the only forcing of climate, and that CO2 is not the only thing that has varied over the last x years (pick what ever time period you like for x).

    Comment by Jim Eager — 4 Mar 2012 @ 9:51 AM

  120. @85…
    The book is not out where I am until this week. As a student of some luminaries in the fields of cognitive psychology and modern factor analysis, I have some exceptions to Gould’s “takedown” depending on how this takedown is described. Gould had some points that were sensible and cogent but a number of others that absolutely were not in his 1981 book. He really didn’t understand how the rise of cognitive psychology and related fields changed some of his arguments with respect to the measuring cognitive abilities, in my opinion.

    Comment by jgnfld — 4 Mar 2012 @ 10:38 AM

  121. Florrie wrote: “… it must be clear how a theory would be falsified …”

    My theory is that you are here to recite talking points, and not to learn about climate science.

    That theory can be falsified by evidence that you are studying the material to which other commenters have helpfully referred you, and gaining thereby a better understanding of the science involved — rather than ignoring that information and continuing to repeat the same ill-informed talking points.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 4 Mar 2012 @ 11:26 AM

  122. Also for Florrie:

    As I and several others pointed out, you came in with bad information (I am curious where you read the things you assumed were true that are wrong). If you come back and read any of this, please do say more. There’s nothing wrong with being fooled — there’s lots of bad info out there. What matters is learning how to check this stuff for yourself.

    As Jim Eager points out, there are other factors besides CO2 that affect climate. Those can be dropped out statistically, as is done in this paper:
    https://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/the-real-global-warming-signal/

    “increased precision enables us to establish the statistical significance of a warming trend using a shorter time span than with unadjusted data. All five data sets show statistically significant warming since 2000.”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 4 Mar 2012 @ 11:30 AM

  123. Also for Florrie — here’s the paper that found “17 years” needed — looking at several different data sets, figuring out how variable they are and so how many years you need to look at to drop out the natural variability, and see if there’s a trend over time.

    Separating signal and noise in atmospheric temperature changes: The importance of timescale

    View as HTML

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 4 Mar 2012 @ 11:36 AM

  124. 8 John said, “Of the 62% of people that aren’t completely isolated from reality: 28% believe scientists are overstating the evidence about “Global Warming” ”

    It’s worse than that, John. They said “scientists are overstating the evidence about Global Warming for their own interests”. Perhaps the respondents didn’t think the question through, but at first glance it seems that 44% of the USA believes climate scientists as a group are not just wrong or biased, but committing grievous scientific misconduct which if revealed would devastate or end a career.

    22 David Miller asked, “how we can tell that no ring was generated some particular year?

    I’m no expert, but I’d guess that they use rings from different species and/or locations to cross-check. For example, since they often use trees near the cold edge of their range, they could sample trees from warmer areas, where missed rings should show up. It would take minimal sampling, as detection would be the only goal.

    Comment by JimLarsen — 4 Mar 2012 @ 11:41 AM

  125. Jim Eager:

    And Florrie has somehow missed the essential point that CO2 is not the only forcing of climate, and that CO2 is not the only thing that has varied over the last x years (pick what ever time period you like for x).

    Jim beat me to it.

    Florrie, your mischaracterization of climate science is immediately falsifiable, no need to wait. You’re right that your mischaracterized theory “isn’t quite scientific”, because it’s not a theory that exists in science at all.

    Climate science does not posit that CO2 and only CO2 affects climate.

    So I suggest you go away and learn what climate science tells us before posting again. None of us want you to look foolish in public, after all.

    Comment by dhogaza — 4 Mar 2012 @ 12:23 PM

  126. #113 Martin Vermeer “Do the Galilean moons of Jupiter orbit the Solar system barycentre too?”

    The barycentre of the solar system varies “slightly” with changing planetary positions. I should say that the Galilean moons of Jupiter can indeed be said to orbit the solar system barycentre (while simultaneously orbiting the barycentre of the Jupiter+moons system) just as the earth’s moon does if we consider it as part of the earth+moon system (and around whose barycentre the moon also orbits). If our moon had been sufficiently large (so that the earth+moon barycentre was in space rather than within the earth itself) we could have said that the earth orbited the earth+moon barycentre while orbiting the solar system barycentre. I imagine the barycentre of the solar system is well within the sun itself and not far removed from the sun’s centre of mass, but I don’t know this for sure. But if so the point about whether the planets orbit the sun or the solar system barycentre is pedantic for most purposes. BTW I’ve never understood why the the angular momentum of the solar system is possessed mainly by the orbiting planets while its mass is concentrated in the sun. How can this have come about?

    Comment by simon abingdon — 4 Mar 2012 @ 12:24 PM

  127. Do the Galilean moons of Jupiter orbit the Solar system barycentre too?

    By proxy.

    If you set out to model the climate of any of those moons, you would need to get their movement with respect to the sun nearly correct, and motion around the solar system barycentre would be part of that. Approximating the solar system barycentre as the center of the Sun would not be exactly right, but it make a smaller difference than it does for Earth. Of course they also move around the Jovian system barycentre.

    Comment by llewelly — 4 Mar 2012 @ 12:41 PM

  128. Martin Vermeer: Do the Galilean moons of Jupiter orbit the Solar system barycentre too?

    Indeed they do. They If you plot their positions in the solar system’s frame of reference, you’ll find them tracing an ellipse around the sun, with tiny epicycloids representing their motion around Jupiter. If you plotted them even more closely, you’d see perturbations from Saturn, and if you increased the resolution even more, you’d see perturbations from all the other planets.

    Comment by Chris Crawford — 4 Mar 2012 @ 1:06 PM

  129. But the big question is, how bad was Michael Mann’s hangover yesterday? ;) Many congratulations. And how many hockey sticks are there out there, now?

    Comment by J Bowers — 4 Mar 2012 @ 1:07 PM

  130. Mike @85,

    thank you for hanging in there.

    jgnfld @118,

    I’m prepared to be put straight on that, but I didn’t mean to start an off-topic discussion of IQ and such. Perhaps you should comment here when you’ve read the book, if you think (i) that Gould’s argument is flawed and Mike Mann’s own argument suffers from the same flaws, or (ii) Mann’s is valid but he doesn’t do it any favors with the Gould comparison, or (iii) both are valid as far as the comparison goes and I can relax.

    The book is available on Kindle (I was being metaphorical about the shelf).

    Comment by CM — 4 Mar 2012 @ 2:31 PM

  131. Simon Abingdon (#124), the barycenter of the solar system is usually outside the sun, but by only by about the radius of the sun. Because the planets are constantly shifting their relative alignments, the distance of the sun from the barycenter is variable. I believe that in an earlier post, Martin provided a link to a map of the solar motions for the next few decades.

    The angular momentum of the solar system is carried mostly in the planets because angular momentum equals mass times distance times linear velocity. Thus, Jupiter has more of the solar system’s angular momentum because the product of its values is 2*10^27 kg * 8*10^11 m x 1*10^4 m/s, or about 2 *10^43 kg-m^2/s.

    Even if we assume that all the mass of the sun is at its surface on the equation (I’m too lazy to carry out the 3-dimensional integration over variable density), the solar angular momentum is 2*10^30 kg x 7*10^8 m * 1*10^3 m/s, or about 1.5*10^41 kg-m^2/s — about a hundred times less than Jupiter’s.

    Comment by Chris Crawford — 4 Mar 2012 @ 2:38 PM

  132. Florrie, you’re getting bad info somewhere. What source are you relying on for the statements you’re making?

    Spencer Weart’s book (right sidebar) will get you past the “falsified” problem with radiation physics. The physics explains lasers, the greenhouse effect, and a lot about how stars work.

    People know a lot of stuff that’s wrong about this area.
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/4336k243rh5u46wr/

    Seriously — ask yourself where you’re getting your information, and if it’s a reliable source. Test it. Do a simple search, look at the results.
    Let us know what you find where you’ve been looking, if you care to.

    For example: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=climate+change+radiation+physics

    Take the same key words and search with Scholar and see how different the results are.

    For example: http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=climate+change+radiation+physics

    Think about the difference in the results.

    You won’t learn anything if you just take stuff that looks clever from someone else’s blog and paste it in here as a challenge. There’s a lot of bad info out there — work on it, think about it, see what the science says.

    People here will try to help. But show you’re making the effort.

    We get a lot of visitors in here who just act like tubes, carrying stuff from elsewhere they haven’t thought about at all. Regular readers like me and some of the others try to answer the often repeated stuff to save the real scientists the bother of repeating the same answers over and over.

    You’ll also see some short-tempered responses; some people don’t pretend to be patient with the tubes. Some of us try to.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 4 Mar 2012 @ 3:13 PM

  133. Spencer Weart’s ‘Discovery of Global Warming’ book
    is this link in the right sidebar:
    AIP:Discovery of Glob. Warm.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 4 Mar 2012 @ 3:19 PM

  134. Richard Alley was quite funny when he told Rohrabacher, “Your brightness is the sun…”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2m9SNzxJJA

    Comment by aphillips — 4 Mar 2012 @ 3:46 PM

  135. #129 Chris Crawford. Thanks for your response.

    My puzzlement over the solar mass v. angular momentum question is not that I didn’t know the meaning of the terms but that I had always understood it had been accepted that the solar system must have condensed from a rotating mass. Your figures only confirm the mystery of why the solar angular momentum is so much less than its mass would suggest were the condensing rotating mass theory correct.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 4 Mar 2012 @ 4:37 PM

  136. I really don’t get it…the Brookings Report seems trivial. By my understanding, very few scientists and those who follow the issue closely will deny that the planet is getting warmer. And that’s all they asked. all the detail is related to “belief”, nothing else. Nice for a political scientist, but hardly helpful for someone wanting to make an informed judgement about the science.

    the real issue is cause-effect relationships and differences over policy issues. Right?

    i’m left thinking “so what?” after looking over the Brookings Report.

    what am i missing?

    Comment by john — 4 Mar 2012 @ 5:41 PM

  137. For Simon Abington:
    “It has long been known that angular momentum must be lost.”
    http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?bibcode=1974MNRAS.168..603L&db_key=AST&page_ind=0&data_type=GIF&type=SCREEN_VIEW&classic=YES

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 4 Mar 2012 @ 6:44 PM

  138. “Many folks know from history that Arctic Ice was as low if not lower than it is today in the early part of the 19th century. Russia built ports on the northern coast of Siberia and established shipping up until the early 1950′s when the freeze returned and the routes and ports were closed.
    How do I know?
    I was around at the time.” Titus — 1 Mar 2012 @ 4:16 PM

    Unprecedented low twentieth century winter sea ice extent in the Western Nordic Seas since A.D. 1200, Fauria et al, Climate Dynamics, DOI 10.1007/s00382-009-0610-z
    http://www.gcess.cn/UserFiles/File/john-Macias-Fauria_2009_ClimDyn.pdf

    “3. The twentieth century sustained the lowest maximum sea ice extent values since A.D. 1200.
    4. Low maximum sea ice extent also occurred over periods of some decades (e.g., mid-seventeenth and mid-eighteenth centuries, early fifteenth and late thirteenth centuries), with absolute values in some cases as low as the twentieth century ones, but these periods were in no case as persistent as in the twentieth century.
    ..
    10. The presently low maximum sea ice extent in the Western Nordic Seas is unique over the last 800 years, and results from a sea ice decline started in late-nineteenth century after the Little Ice Age.”

    Reconstructed changes in Arctic sea ice over the past 1,450 years, Kinnard et al, Nature, doi:10.1038/nature10581
    http://gizmo.geotop.uqam.ca/devernalA/Kinnard_et_al_nature_2011.pdf

    “Two episodes of markedly reduced sea ice cover also occurred in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries (T2 in Fig. 3). However, by the mid-1990s the observed decrease in sea ice cover had exceeded the lower 95% confidence limit of these prehistorical minima. Our findings support a previous study suggesting that the impact of anthropogenic climate warming on Arctic sea ice became detectable from the early 1990s onwards(19). The present decline in sea ice is occurring at a pace seen in earlier episodes, but the sustained trend (now nearly 50 years long) is unprecedented in the 1,450-year reconstruction period presented here.”

    There is a difference between peaks and valleys in noisy processes (1998 surface air temperature, 2007 record minimum ice, or shipping at a few small areas on the edges of the Arctic ocean) and CO2 forcing driven trends, especially when different measures. proxies, and baselines introduce other variability

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 4 Mar 2012 @ 6:51 PM

  139. @128…

    I use kobo in Canada and have to wait till Tuesday.

    Re. where Gould goes wrong from a psychologist’s POV, an article by John Carroll shows some of the problems.

    http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/users/reingold/courses/intelligence/cache/carroll-gould.html

    Comment by jgnfld — 4 Mar 2012 @ 7:15 PM

  140. “…make an informed judgement about the science.” “the real issue is cause-effect relationships…”

    Unfortunately, if you are setting policy, or voting for those who set policy, based on your belief that the cause-effect relationships between CO2 and AGW are debatable, or that science is irrelevant to policy decisions because we can “make our own reality”, actual reality will eventually prove you foolish. And the impacts of foolish decisions (about tar sands, or “clean coal”, or offshore drilling, or whether AGW driven weather extremes will have trivial impacts on Texas & Australian droughts, Mississippi & Mekong floods), don’t just adversely affect the policy makers.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 5 Mar 2012 @ 2:06 AM

  141. #135 Hank Roberts. Thanks for the interesting reference. The complete quote is “Were angular momentum conserved this would lead to ridiculous spin rates, so it has long been known that angular momentum must be lost”(!) One can’t help wondering where it went.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 5 Mar 2012 @ 2:48 AM

  142. Isolating the relevant responses from the noise, it would appear that 17 years of non-increasing temperature data trends would be enough to prompt a rethink of the current CO2-knob temperature theory. And perhaps 30 years would be needed for a more thorough falsification.

    Comment by Florrie — 5 Mar 2012 @ 2:51 AM

  143. > simon … where it went
    doi:10.1088/0034-4885/73/1/014901

    Personally, I think the missing angular momentum migrated to the Internet as spin. But that’s just a guess based on the quantity observed.

    > Florrie
    Nope. “It would appear” and “perhaps” aren’t used in statistics.
    Specify a data set; look at the natural variability in the data; remove what can be explained. Do the math. You haven’t specified a data set yet. Did you look at Robert Grumbine’s page yet? He’ll walk you through how the arithmetic is done.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Mar 2012 @ 6:19 AM

  144. Chris Crawford #126, I see. We want to split hairs now, do we? But, don’t you agree that the primary orbital motion of the moons of Jupiter is around Jupiter, and the rest is perturbations — in a common-sense sense? And don’t you agree that the same applies for the Earth orbit around the Sun?

    My point is that the choice of origin relative to which to describe the equations of motion is arbitrary — and transformation between them readily possible –, but some choices are “nicer” than others. If all you’re interested in is the motions of the Galilean moons, you choose the Jovian barycentre for origin, because then everything will be nice. Numerically, but certainly from a conceptual-understanding viewpoint.

    In the description of the DE200 planetary ephemeris, it is pointed out that, contrary to all the other objects in the computation which use the Solar system barycentre, the orbit of our own moon is computed relative to the Earth-Moon barycentre, because then, the orbit integration will behave nicer numerically — which is good, as the Moon is an object of special interest. I would add that this also corresponds better to our conceptual understanding.

    Looking at computing the orbits of the inner planets heliocentrically vs. barycentrically, you don’t see any difference in numerical behaviour. This is because orbit integration is nowadays done using advanced integrators (like Adams-Moulton) in rectangular state-vector components. These orbital elements change rapidly all the time anyway, no matter where you place the origin.

    Now, if you were to transform these to Keplerian elements, you would see that the heliocentric elements are almost constant: they change at most slowly, with secular changes over tens of thousands of years. If, instead, you would look at barycentric Keplerian elements, you would see them change hundreds of times faster, but most of that would be oscillations at the orbital periods of the outer planets like Jupiter and Saturn. And if you were to remove these oscillations, you would be back at the slowly changing heliocentric Keplerian elements.

    This is also easy to see by evaluating the dominant perturbations in each case:

    * in the heliocentric frame, the dominant perturbation is due to Jupiter. Say, it has a mass of 1/1000 of that of the Sun, and is at a distance of 5x that of the Earth. Then, its attraction will be 1/25000 of that of the Sun; its differential attraction between Sun and Earth, i.e., perturbing acceleration, will be 1/125000 of the Solar attraction.

    * In the barycentric frame, the dominant perturbation is that of the Sun not being in the origin: 1/200 of the Solar attraction, i.e., over 600 times as strong.

    My concluding point: in explaining things to people, use the heliocentric viewpoint. It is “nicer”. Don’t bring up the barycentric viewpoint unless you’re in the company of aspiring celestial mechanicists — or if you (not you, but you know who I mean) want to obfuscate things.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 5 Mar 2012 @ 6:36 AM

  145. Florrie #140: how many seconds of bird flight would make you re-think gravitation? How many more to falsify it more thoroughly?

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 5 Mar 2012 @ 6:40 AM

  146. #140–It is also relevant that “Climate science does not posit that CO2 and only CO2 affects climate.” (Dhogaza @ #123.)

    So it concerns me to hear the phrase “the current CO2-knob theory”–a control knob usually exerts a unique ‘forcing’ on whatever it may control. CO2 does not; the continuous increase in concentration, driven by human emissions, is powerful because it is unidirectional. But it is far from the only forcing.

    So if you are looking for climate ‘control knobs,’ you need a bunch more than just one for CO2. (For instance, Gavin just gave 14+ as a common number of ‘knobs’ used in modeling 20th century climate.)

    Flossie, I apologize if this was already clear to you; but it didn’t seem to be from your comment.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 5 Mar 2012 @ 7:58 AM

  147. @ 140 Florrie

    What non-increasing 17 year temperature trend?

    Comment by J Bowers — 5 Mar 2012 @ 8:24 AM

  148. Florrie,
    It appears that you are not reading the responses. Seventeen years would be sufficient to indicate a problem with the theory–that certainly would not mean that we abandon the idea of CO2 as a greenhouse gas, and it likely would not mean that we abandon the idea of substantial positive feedback in the climate energy balance. The changes would depend on precisely HOW the theory failed.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 5 Mar 2012 @ 8:55 AM

  149. I’ve been told by a friend that James Hansen once said that albedo changes from melting the arctic sea ice would capture as much additional heat as doubling CO2.

    That sounds very high to me, even before discounting for the seasonality of missing ice and heavy cloud cover. He can’t provide a reference and I couldn’t get a straight answer out of google.

    Does this ring any bells with anyone?

    Thanks

    Comment by David Miller — 5 Mar 2012 @ 9:01 AM

  150. Isolating the relevant responses from the noise, it would appear that 17 years of non-increasing temperature data trends would be enough to prompt a rethink of the current CO2-knob temperature theory.

    But of course, when known sources of natural variation (“noise”) are removed, the trend becomes even more, not less, apparent. Come back when we hit a 17 year stretch where this isn’t true, and you may be on to something.

    heck, even if you don’t remove known sources of natural variation, the trend is obvious

    Again, I beg of you, quit making a fool of yourself in public.

    Comment by dhogaza — 5 Mar 2012 @ 9:24 AM

  151. Yet more for Florrie.
    On my web site I have plotted 30-year trends for the three major temperature data series and for a 23-model ensemble. I leave it you to estimate ‘how long is long enough.’

    Comment by Ron Manley — 5 Mar 2012 @ 9:56 AM

  152. Martin (#142), I agree with you that computationally and heuristically it is easier to use the simplification of a heliocentric system. My point is that, in terms of the actual physics, it’s the barycenter that matters. Can we just leave it at that?

    Comment by Chris Crawford — 5 Mar 2012 @ 10:28 AM

  153. #143 Hank. Thanks :)

    Comment by simon abingdon — 5 Mar 2012 @ 11:14 AM

  154. #144 Martin Vermeer. Reminds me of the student who asked his professor what the sun would look like if it went round the earth, to be told “much like the moon, only brighter”.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 5 Mar 2012 @ 11:24 AM

  155. re orbital computations and rent seeking astrophysicists.

    The inaccurate models of planetary motion are so primitive that they can’t even deterministically solve a theoretical three body problem over the long term. With the multibody gravitational attractions of the solar system at work, to claim that there is some “model” that shows that the Earth, or the moons of Jupiter “orbit” around some fictive “barycenter” is complete poppycock; to extend this to suggesting it has any predictive power over Earth’s “climate” is utter foolishness. The only certain way to know where the planets are, or what the weather is like, especially as regards policy decisions, is to look out the window. Anyone who suggests otherwise, especially when they want a grant for a bigger, newer, shinier supercomputer is part of a global conspiracy to feather their nest and inflate their ego.

    sarcasm off &;>)

    If we could magically divide the sun into six equal pieces, and insert them into orbit, sixty degrees apart, at the distance from the barycenter where Venus orbits, would the orbit of Jupiter change? Would Mercury orbit the barycenter? What if we replaced the solar mass with an equal mass shell of unobtanium whose diameter is the same as Venuses orbit; Where would mercury go then?

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 5 Mar 2012 @ 11:30 AM

  156. Chris #152: I’m certainly willing to stop here. It’s way off topic anyway (but interesting!)

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 5 Mar 2012 @ 11:51 AM

  157. #150–Dhogaza, I fear the ‘noise’ she intended was *us,* helpfully expanding upon this and that. She just wants to know how long the imaginary non-increasing trend would have to be.

    Period.

    (Not that that stopped me expanding upon what I thought important.)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 5 Mar 2012 @ 12:10 PM

  158. Kevin:

    #150–Dhogaza, I fear the ‘noise’ she intended was *us,* helpfully expanding upon this and that.

    Oh,[edit], you’re right, I didn’t read closely enough.

    Well, no point in responding to any more “Florrie” posts. Obviously responses are falling on deaf ears.

    Comment by dhogaza — 5 Mar 2012 @ 1:30 PM

  159. David Miller @149

    It sounds very much like a misquoting of yet another Dr James …,
    Just the melting of all the floating ice in the arctic ocean, will add as much heat to the earth, as all the Co-2 we put in the atmosphere to date.” Dr. James Lovelock BBC Interview.
    http://climateforce.net/2012/01/11/bbc-james-lovelock-interview-2011/

    This lower figure is however still too high. Lovelock implies a forcing of 1.88w/sq m or about half that of 2xCO2. But a totally ice-free Arctic Ocean would add 0.7w/sq m & 0.3 w/sq m for an ice-free summer, according to this ref.
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2011JD015804.shtml

    Comment by MARodger — 5 Mar 2012 @ 2:00 PM

  160. Survey piece on the “Fluoride Wars” at the Knight Science Journalism Tracker is intriguing in the comparisons it invites to the climate change fiasco.

    Squint and swap nouns and it’s all very familiar, including odd inconsistencies, refusal to acknowledge facts, etc. I suppose one twist may be that fluoridation probably enjoys overwhelming water treatment industry support?

    Comment by dbostrom — 5 Mar 2012 @ 2:06 PM

  161. Brian Dodge (#155): Arg!!! The question you raise has a complicated answer. I do have a fairly good dodge in the fact that such a system would be stable only under the most contrived circumstances; any perturbations would start the solar fragments oscillating around their equilibrium points, and the oscillations would grow in amplitude until they broke out of their arrangement.

    However, that’s a dodge. If we indeed contrive our circumstances (say, by reducing the mass of all the other bodies in the solar system to negligible values, so that we need not concern ourselves with the effects of their gravitation on the solar fragments), then I don’t know what the motions of an object inside the orbit of the solar fragments would be. Objects many orbital radii away (and confined to the plane of the solar fragment orbit) would orbit the barycenter in the normal fashion. However, the motions of the objects outside the orbital radius by only a small amount would again behave in a fashion I cannot theoretically explain. My guess is that their orbits would be some sort of crazy epicyclic shape. I know that there have been tons of simulations of all manner of weird arrangements, and you can get lots of beautiful patterns when you arrange the masses just right. There have even been lots of simulations in which the exponent varies from 2.

    Comment by Chris Crawford — 5 Mar 2012 @ 2:22 PM

  162. Phil Jones said in his BBC interview, “So, in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other.”

    What I’m confused about is that I’m under the assumption that the rate of global warming is increasing at a faster rate but Jones figures indicate they’ve been pretty even. What am I missing?

    [Response: you are missing the fact that attribution and projections are not based on linear trend analysis of a single variable. – gavin]

    Comment by Stranger — 5 Mar 2012 @ 2:26 PM

  163. Thanks Gavin. I’ve found a couple articles on attribution here so I’ll read up and see how much it fills in the cracks.

    Also, could anyone give me approximations on how long peer review usually takes and then how long it is until it’s published?

    Comment by Stranger — 5 Mar 2012 @ 3:13 PM

  164. Chris Crawford says: My guess is that their orbits would be some sort of crazy epicyclic shape. I know that there have been tons of simulations of all manner of weird arrangements, and you can get lots of beautiful patterns when you arrange the masses just right.

    Sounds like an ideal candidate for an Xscreensaver hack…

    Comment by dbostrom — 5 Mar 2012 @ 3:44 PM

  165. 148 Ray Ladbury says:
    Seventeen years [of a non-increasing trend] would be sufficient to indicate a problem with the theory

    OK, that’s a straight answer, thank you.

    –that certainly would not mean that we abandon the idea of CO2 as a greenhouse gas
    Indeed not, that bit of the physics isn’t disputed anywhere as far as I am aware.

    , and it likely would not mean that we abandon the idea of substantial positive feedback in the climate energy balance.
    That of course is highly disputed.

    The changes would depend on precisely HOW the theory failed.
    By long-enough-term temperature trends failing to move (or move enough) with CO2 concentration. You’d then surely want reconsider the positive feedback issue.

    ( The “CO2-control-knob” is not my term. And since it is being mistaken for implying a belief that CO2 is the only forcing, I will drop it).

    Comment by Florrie — 5 Mar 2012 @ 5:54 PM

  166. And one or two posters have made the argument that when you remove “known” natural forcings, in the current 10+ years of flat temperatures, the residual anthro effect is still seen to be upwards.

    This though just assumes what needs to be proven – ie that the positive feedback and natural forcing calculations are correct. And if the 10 flat years go to 17, or 30, or … what would you then say ?

    Comment by Florrie — 5 Mar 2012 @ 6:09 PM

  167. > approximations on how long peer review usually takes
    Each journal will have their own answer, but if you use Scholar, some papers shown at journal sites will show dates when they went through various steps.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Mar 2012 @ 6:13 PM

  168. (I apologize if this has already been posted – I cannot tell if I was previously successful. If so, please feel free to delete my duplicate efforts.)

    This paper appears to state that if we continue to use all of the coal-fired generation in the world (1 TWe), it will result in 0.3 degree mean temperature increase in 100 years.

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/1/014019/pdf/1748-9326_7_1_014019.pdf

    http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2012/03/01/428764/ddrop-in-warming-requires-rapid-massive-deployment039-of-zero-carbon-power-not-gas/

    Is 0.3 degrees in 100 years the mainstream understanding? (With additional increases due to additional coal generation.) If so, it seems like we could focus on meeting new demand with carbon-neutral generation, instead of trying to replace current coal, with all of the political backlash that this effort would bring.

    Comment by Anonymous — 5 Mar 2012 @ 6:27 PM

  169. Florrie:

    This though just assumes what needs to be proven – ie that the positive feedback and natural forcing calculations are correct

    No, it's not circular. You could begin by recognizing that observations aren't model calculations. Do you really think a tautological approach would've been published?

    Please, quit digging yourself in deeper. We really *don't* want to laugh at you.

    You're undoubtably smart enough to research this stuff and learn on your own. Give up the notion that you're smarter than the thousands of professional climate scientists.

    Comment by dhogaza — 5 Mar 2012 @ 8:14 PM

  170. Florrie: “That of course is highly disputed.”

    Actually, it is not. It is extremely difficult to construct a model that looks Earthlike and doesn’t have a significant amount of positive feedback. Indeed, you cannot get 33 degrees of warming over and above the blackbody temperature without positive feedback. You don’t get the minor changes in insolation from Milankovitch cycles causing glacial-interglacial cycles.

    What is more we know with certainty that there are significant positive feedbacks–water vapor, decreased albedo, etc.

    It appears that you believe that it would be easy to construct a model without positive feedback and no significant warming from CO2. Ask yourself: why hasn’t this been done, then? Such a model would certainly be of great theoretical interest whether or not it was useful. And yet, none of the couple dozen models has these characteristics. You are getting some bad information about how cimate models work and are constructed.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 5 Mar 2012 @ 8:36 PM

  171. For Florrie: http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n1/full/ngeo1327.html

    Try to find a least common denominator on the science, rather than trying to convince people the physics is arguable.

    You can for example agree with Spencer

    on the basic physics — he still thinks the future may turn out better than most scientists studying this.

    But – he’s clear that the basic radiation physics is understood — which explains your laser printer, your CD player, and global warming.

    Try to follow him and get clear about what’s not arguable. You should find him copacetic: Dr. Spencer is “the official climatologist of the Rush Limbaugh show” — but that stuff is his politics.

    He can explain the basic physics.

    More Musings from the Greenhouse

    There is the reality we share — the basic physics. No extrapolation, no modeling, no hypotheses. Just how the world works. Including your laser printer and CD player.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Mar 2012 @ 8:38 PM

  172. Hey, I’ve got an idea, let’s discuss the Younger Dryas!

    Didn’t think so.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 5 Mar 2012 @ 8:42 PM

  173. Anonymous, the Myhrvold-Caldiera paper is calculating only the extra warming that is specific to replacing coal plants with 1 TW of alternative energy. In other words, replacing coal with natural gas will not have much benefit until far down the road because building extra infrastructure requires energy which is currently supplied by carbon-intensive sources.

    Comment by t_p_hamilton — 5 Mar 2012 @ 8:44 PM

  174. Florrie-
    And one or two posters have made the argument that when you remove “known” natural forcings, in the current 10+ years of flat temperatures, the residual anthro effect is still seen to be upwards. This though just assumes what needs to be proven – ie that the positive feedback and natural forcing calculations are correct. And if the 10 flat years go to 17, or 30, or … what would you then say ?

    Actually, for attribution studies you need to go beyond the global mean surface temperature and see how the resultant forcings leave their fingerprint in both time and space. The consistency between modeled and observed temperatures is nice, but there’s a number of possible solutions that are all consistent with the modern climate when you factor in aerosol forcing uncertainty, uncertainty in the rate of ocean heat uptake, as well as in the ‘true’ equilibrium climate sensitivity.

    Attribution results therefore go beyond modeling uncertainties and are impacted also on observational uncertainties, and indeed positive attribution can be biased toward well-sampled regions. You can also account for possible errors in the amplitudes of the external forcing and the model response by scaling the signal patterns to best match the observations without influencing the attribution from fingerprinting methods, and this provides a more robust framework for attributing signals than simply looking at the time history of global temperature in models and obs and seeing if they match up or not.

    Comment by Chris Colose — 5 Mar 2012 @ 8:49 PM

  175. Florrie @166 — The climate system contains some positive, i.e., enhancing feedbacks. There is no dispute or uncertainty. There are many fine textbooks which will explain the relevant physics to you. Alternatively, listen/watch David Archer’s videotaped lectures; available on his website.

    If you then need more, dig into Ray Pierrehumbert’s “Principles of Planetary Climate”.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 5 Mar 2012 @ 10:25 PM

  176. Florrie (#166) if the 10 flat years go to 17, or 30, or … what would you then say ?

    I believe that it was the Athenians who sent a written warning to Sparta with stern warnings about what would happen if Sparta failed to satisfy Athenian demands. The letter threatened that, if Sparta refused to comply, they would send a large army, and lay waste to Spartan lands, pillage Spartan towns, kill the men and enslave the women.

    The Spartans sent back a letter containing one word:

    “If”

    Comment by Chris Crawford — 5 Mar 2012 @ 11:45 PM

  177. #170 Ray Ladbury. “decreased albedo”? Global cloud cover varies but is typically 60-70% of the earth’s surface area (or so it seems). What makes you sure that increasing CO2 emissions will not make more water vapour available for subsequent cloud formation to increase albedo?

    Comment by simon Abingdon — 6 Mar 2012 @ 1:25 AM

  178. Clovis comet is back:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120305160814.htm
    I opine this eevidence looks fairly solid.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 6 Mar 2012 @ 2:04 AM

  179. Brian Dodge #155:

    If we could magically divide the sun into six equal pieces, and insert them into orbit, sixty degrees apart, at the distance from the barycenter where Venus orbits,

    Not doable. Even accepting the magic, and rods connecting the pieces rigidly, you wouldn’t be able to move the centre of mass of the Sun (i.e., now the common centre of mass of the six pieces) to the barycentre and expect that to sit still — remember the definition :-)

    Alternatively, you could put the pieces orbiting the old location of the Solar centre, which in turn wiggles around the barycentre. Then, you could say that the Solar pieces also “orbit” the barycentre, but only in the trivial sense of shining on it from all sides… the barycentre is just a point in space (actually, a geodesic on spacetime), not a physical centre of attraction.

    would the orbit of Jupiter change?

    Yes, a little. You’re replacing a central force field with one having strong zonal harmonics. That will cause at least additional precession of the line of apsides and the line of nodes.

    Would Mercury orbit the barycenter?

    Eh, Mercury would be in big trouble :-)

    The only way I see to make Mercury orbit the barycentre, in a real, physical sense, is to steer the planet to well outside the orbit of Neptune. In the limit for large distances the barycentre becomes an effective centre of attraction, of the Solar system as a whole.

    What if we replaced the solar mass with an equal mass shell of unobtanium whose diameter is the same as Venuses orbit; Where would mercury go then?

    Mercury would transit from its orbital ellipse into a straight line and crash into the shell from the inside, as gravitation inside a hollow shell vanishes.

    Again assuming as above that the shell is centred on the current Solar location, Jupiter’s orbit in this case would be unaffected (assuming the Sun to have a spherically symmetric mass distribution).

    BTW a correction to my earlier comment,

    will be 1/125000 of the Solar attraction … 1/200 of the Solar attraction

    rather, 2/125000 part, 2/200 part, maximum values. Left as an exercise for the reader :-)

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 6 Mar 2012 @ 3:16 AM

  180. #176 Chris Crawford. Forgive my saying so but it wasn’t “if Sparta refused to comply” but rather the Spartans responding to Philip II’s threatening message “If I enter Laconia, I will raze Sparta”, with their eponymously laconic reply “If”.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 6 Mar 2012 @ 5:17 AM

  181. Anonymous @168
    To be a bit clearer (or perhaps just more complicated) than t_p_hamilton @173 & to answer your question with a few added numbers:-
    Burning coal is effectively burning just carbon so it is more CO2 intense than oil or gas. It is responsible for about 40% of our CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use (about 33% of total emissions) but gives less than 30% of the (primary) power. Coal emissions are not far off 4,000mtC pa. Back-calculating I make that very roughly 2TW deliverable electric (but not all coal is used for electric generation) or 5TW primary power.

    The idealised model from Myhrvold & Caldeira is looking a 1TW of deliverable electric which is “the order of magnitude of the global electrical output currently generated from coal.
    When modelling the effect on global temperature, they are using the equivilant of 3.18 deg C equilibriom sensitivity which is par for the course.
    Their 0.325 deg C in 100 years (from fig 3) is thus only for the contribution of part of (about half) of our coal burning as of today. And it also ignores oil & gas & non-power sources any increases which will occur in at least in the near future.
    You could use these numbers to calculate a 100 year constant-emissions-scenario global temperature rise (which does look perhaps a tad low at 1.95 deg C) but it is of the correct order of magnitude & give the numbers I’m offering here as inputs, that is certainly all you can ask. (And it also assumes I’ve not made any arithmetical gaffs here.)

    Comment by MARodger — 6 Mar 2012 @ 6:23 AM

  182. #177–And what makes you sure that any increase in cloud won’t be predominantly at higher altitudes, resulting in a *positive* net forcing? And come to think of it, why would we even expect clouds to increase, given that relative humidity is actually declining slightly over land, and staying constant over the oceans (as AR4 informs us?)

    There is an observed trend of increasing specific humidity. Is there an observed trend in cloudiness? How does it scale with humidity, if so?

    Unfortunately, Norris and Slingo (2009) say: “Previous investigators have documented multidecadal variations in various cloud and radiation parameters, but no conclusive results are yet available.” (That’s because we don’t yet have suitable measurement capabilities.)

    Consequently, as they say slightly earlier in the abstract: “At present, it is not known whether changes in cloudiness will exacerbate, mitigate, or have little effect on the increasing global surface temperature caused by anthropogenic greenhouse radiative forcing.”

    Obviously, this is an uncertainty that one wishes remedied. But as Ray has repeatedly pointed out, uncertainty means that we are not able to bound the risks that we are (IMO) recklessly assuming.

    AR4 on humidity trends:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-4-2-1.html

    Norris & Slingo:

    http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/02_Norris_and_Slingo.pdf

    However, there is a lot of work on clouds ongoing: here is the list of CLOUDSAT-related journal articles from 2011, for example:

    http://cloudsat.atmos.colostate.edu/publications/2011

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 6 Mar 2012 @ 8:19 AM

  183. It appears to be a considerably smaller comet this time around, though. Several hundred meters, certainly sub kilometer. They really had to dig, but it appears they took the time to address the previously aired complaints. I would think that the sample preparation techniques themselves can be considered as an advance.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 6 Mar 2012 @ 9:16 AM

  184. Simon Abingdon, I was referring mainly to decreased albedo at the poles. However, we also have strong evidence from multiple independent lines of data that CO2 sensitivity is between 2 and 4.5 and at some compelling evidence that net feedback due to clouds is positive.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 6 Mar 2012 @ 9:27 AM

  185. Simon Abingdon (#180) Yes, thanks for correcting my faulty memory. I should have known that my recollection was faulty, because my version doesn’t have much punch.

    And the correct version sharpens the point for Florrie.

    Comment by Chris Crawford — 6 Mar 2012 @ 10:21 AM

  186. Simon,
    That is the main unanswered question in the entire debate. The increased water vapor will almost certainly result in increased cloud formation, thereby, increasing the albedo – negative feedback. Some contend that the temperature increase will result in decreased cloudiness, thereby further increasing temperatures – positive feedback. Which of these processes dominate will determine the net feedback. I tend to agree with your post that the albedo will increase.

    Comment by Dan H. — 6 Mar 2012 @ 10:57 AM

  187. Climate modellers often fail since they look at a far too short time period, do not take fully into the account role of the North Atlantic’s importance to the global temperature movements, and finally do not have sufficient knowledge of the reasons for the Atlantic Oscillations.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CGNh.htm
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GNAP.htm

    Comment by vukcevic — 6 Mar 2012 @ 11:03 AM

  188. #182 Kevin McKinney, #183 Ray Ladbury. I was interested not so much in the forcing effect of clouds themselves so much as the change in albedo which might result from a change in the overall extent of global cloud cover.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 6 Mar 2012 @ 11:15 AM

  189. (I may have double-posted this again. If I did, please feel free to delete the duplicate.)

    t_p_hamilton @173 and MARodger @181 – Many thanks for the clarification. If I understand MARodger and the the Myhrvold-Caldiera paper correctly, approximately 1 TW of coal is used globally to generate electricity, which if continued to be used unabated, will be responsible for approximately 0.325 deg C in 100 years. (The remainder of coal’s contribution is attributable to its use for non-electricity generating purposes.)

    I guess that I am just somewhat surprised, because I thought that it would be larger.

    How does this square with the goal to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050? If I understand the above calculation correctly, it would seem that, in the electricity sector, we could mostly concentrate on meeting additional demand with efficiency and carbon neutral generation (and avoid some of the fights associated with replacing existing coal generation plants); but if we need to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050, then I am not sure whether this makes sense.

    In sum, I am confused by how to think of the contribution of current global coal electricity generation to global warming.

    Comment by Anonymous — 6 Mar 2012 @ 11:35 AM

  190. [edit – please stay substantive]

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 6 Mar 2012 @ 12:36 PM

  191. Dan H.,
    I notice you conveniently forget that clouds keep things warmer at night. Now why would that be?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 6 Mar 2012 @ 12:38 PM

  192. Dan H @185:

    The increased water vapor will almost certainly result in increased cloud formation

    Well, that is Lindzen’s assertion, but so far his evidence is, shall we say, rather unconvincing.

    And where will this increase in clouds take place, Dan?

    As the lower atmosphere warms what will happen to the mean altitude of nucleation and condensation?

    And what will be the net change in radiative forcing at the surface beneath those clouds?

    If the answers to these questions is uncertain, then “almost certainly” is a very poor choice of words indeed.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 6 Mar 2012 @ 1:15 PM

  193. Interesting article supporting impact theory for Younger Dryas

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120305160814.htm

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 6 Mar 2012 @ 1:38 PM

  194. #190 Ray Ladbury. “clouds keep things warmer at night”. We disagreed over this before. Clouds absolutely don’t “keep” things warmer at night, because everything cools inexorably at night, albeit at a slower rate if there is cloud cover. You can’t keep a corpse warm with a blanket.

    [Response: Please leave the semantic arguments at home. Clouds at night lead to warmer temperatures than if there were no clouds – i.e. they warm. Move on. – gavin]

    Comment by simon abingdon — 6 Mar 2012 @ 1:49 PM

  195. #187–“I was interested not so much in the forcing effect of clouds themselves so much as the change in albedo which might result from a change in the overall extent of global cloud cover.”

    And yet, Simon, you were responding to a set of comments which were about climate sensitivity, for which radiative forcing would be a much more relevant metric–and you responded in a fashion which gave no suggestion that you were changing the topic. It seems odd (and confusing!) to ask ‘how someone knew’ something if you weren’t interested in the point they were discussing in the first place.

    #185–“The increased water vapor will almost certainly result in increased cloud formation…” I’d be very interested in your source for this suggestion, Dan. I didn’t find much to support it–or contravene it, for that matter. So a cite would be very welcome.

    I did find one paper saying that Arctic clouds increase during summer and fall as the 21st century continues, according to a particular selection of GCM runs studied. That does not, of course, imply a global increase. Nor, as I indicated in my reply to Simon, does that imply that the cloud feedback will necessarily be negative.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 6 Mar 2012 @ 1:55 PM

  196. #193 Kevin McKinney “And yet, Simon, you were responding to a set of comments which were about climate sensitivity, for which radiative forcing would be a much more relevant metric–and you responded in a fashion which gave no suggestion that you were changing the topic.”

    Sorry, I had no idea I was “responding”. I was just interested in the earth’s albedo.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 6 Mar 2012 @ 3:13 PM

  197. > aerosols

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Mar 2012 @ 3:34 PM

  198. Kevin,
    Here is one citation for increased cloud cover.

    http://cgcs.mit.edu/research/focus-areas/convection-atmospheric-water-vapor-and-cloud-formation/

    Ray,
    Yes, clouds help keep nights warmer. They also help to keep days cooler. These are separate from the albedo effect.

    Comment by Dan H. — 6 Mar 2012 @ 3:44 PM

  199. > clouds … warmer
    You can get an infrared thermometer for $15 now from Amazon.
    No excuse for not checking this stuff out yourself.

    Measuring the Temperature of the Sky and Clouds – My NASA Data …
    http://mynasadata.larc.nasa.gov/P18.html

    Why does it get colder on clear nights than on cloudy nights?
    http://littleshop.physics.colostate.edu/tenthings/IRThermometer.pdf
    The crucial piece is the infrared thermometer. … You will see a much higher temperature—the cloud is warmer, …

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Mar 2012 @ 3:49 PM

  200. > one citation for increased cloud cover

    What do you suppose they mean?

    “… CGCS researchers have constructed a new and significantly improved representation of cumulus convection. A comprehensive and systematic series of tests of this new scheme are now being performed …. Sensitivity of atmospheric water vapor content to the parameters of this new representation of convection is also being evaluated through use of the so-called adjoint of the scheme.”

    No “will almost certainly result in” claim; Dan’s pointed to a press release about some research they have started doing, looks like.

    Fail. Try again?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Mar 2012 @ 4:57 PM

  201. Dan H @198
    That’s a strange “citation” you link to. Zero authorship, zero references, zero date & a graphic that is off-topic, it looks to me very much like an academic prospectus for a MIT CGCS research programme. And as a prospectus, it’s a pretty vague account. That makes it little more than somebody’s wish list.
    Perhaps if you examine the publications that CGCS so helpfully list out, you might be able to find a proper “citation.”

    Comment by MARodger — 6 Mar 2012 @ 5:35 PM

  202. And Hank, one must remember that the group being cited is Lindzen’s group. Maybe not the best source. I also question the statement about observations — I was under the impression that we currently are unable to diagnose the sign of the cloud feedback from the observations.

    Comment by Rattus Norvegicus — 6 Mar 2012 @ 5:51 PM

  203. Simon Abingdon: “You can’t keep a corpse warm with a blanket.”

    Well, then I guess all your zombee arguments will have to resign themselves to the cold.

    Oh, and Simon. You’re wrong. It all depends on the relative temperature of the corpse and the environment.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 6 Mar 2012 @ 5:57 PM

  204. At least in the USA the record of science denial is very grim. The Gallup poll has numbers online that show how consistently, for decades, a large chunk of the American public has said that they don’t believe in evolution and that another large chunk believe evolution is guided by God to make sure humans are the top animal (my sarcastic wording).

    Comment by R. W. Gort — 6 Mar 2012 @ 6:18 PM

  205. Dan H:”Yes, clouds help keep nights warmer. They also help to keep days cooler. These are separate from the albedo effect.”

    Clouds have albedo!

    And no, the change in clouds and the resulting forcing is not known.

    Comment by t_p_hamilton — 6 Mar 2012 @ 6:27 PM

  206. Simon Abingdon: “You can’t keep a corpse warm with a blanket.”

    But you can fool the coroner.

    Comment by dbostrom — 6 Mar 2012 @ 6:46 PM

  207. vukcevic @186 — Granger causality runs from global temperature to the AMO.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 6 Mar 2012 @ 7:17 PM

  208. #197 Dan H.

    That’s why scientists measure these things including physics and observations.

    It’s not a guessing game, as you might think.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 6 Mar 2012 @ 8:08 PM

  209. > the group being cited is Lindzen’s group.

    D’oh. Missed that. Dan H. is a very clever guy at what he does, isn’t he?

    I did search for publications for that area of research.
    None were listed at their website. I wonder what their results were?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Mar 2012 @ 8:14 PM

  210. John,
    Exactly! However, there are those who would prefer to “guess” as to what the outcomes will be without actually doing any measuring. The same people then try to rationalize why the observations and measurements are not matching their “guesses.”

    Comment by Dan H. — 6 Mar 2012 @ 9:50 PM

  211. MA,
    Since you did not like my previous citation, here is a link to journal article which measures (local) increases in both water vapor and clouds during warming.

    http://www.rsmas.miami.edu/users/pzuidema/zuidema08_arcticssmi.pdf

    Comment by Dan H. — 6 Mar 2012 @ 10:17 PM

  212. #210 Dan H.

    Who are you talking about? Who is guessing? Certainly you can’t mean the climate science community?

    Do you know that there is a difference between what the data indicates, and a guess?

    And my all accounts, you are married to guessing. You have ignored the science in context at so many turns it is difficult to count.

    Why you are obsessed with obfuscation is a much more pertinent question.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 6 Mar 2012 @ 10:34 PM

  213. Dan, not a matter of ‘liking’ your citation or not. The question is, what did it say? The closest to a statement about cloud trends I could find–and I read the thing twice–was this:

    “In existing climate models about one third of the predicted warming due to increasing CO2 arises because of the predicted cloud changes.”

    Never says what they are, or how the warming ‘arises!’

    The second link is interesting. I don’t see that it really supports your idea that global cloud will ‘almost certainly’ increase in a warming world. The Arctic–which is what the study is about–is rather a special case due to the comings and goings of sea ice; so its applicability is questionable. Still an interesting (if tough) read, though, so thanks.

    “The major trends over time are a wintertime WVP
    and LWP increase south and southwest of Greenland also
    seen in precipitation, consistent with modification of continental
    air flowing out over increasingly warmer waters. The
    Barents and surrounding seas, site of much of the recent
    winter sea ice loss, have experienced some WVP increases
    during all four seasons and a recent winter LWP increase
    (Figures 8 and 13), despite the relaxation of the NAO index
    to more neutral values in recent years. Much of the recent
    sea ice loss is attributed to warmer sea surface temperatures
    with southerly wind anomalies a contributing cause [Francis
    and Hunter, 2007; Sorteberg and Kvingedal, 2006], with
    thermodynamic coupling leading to associated increases in
    atmospheric moisture.”

    So the sea-ice goes, the south wind blows, and you get clouds! Makes sense.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 6 Mar 2012 @ 11:14 PM

  214. Oh, I should, in quoting from the Zuidema paper, have noted that “LWP” is the term to watch: it denotes “Liquid water path,” and refers to the sensor “path.” Basically, cloud. “WVP” is, correspondingly, “water vapor path.” (Or ‘vapour,’ if you prefer.)

    [And Captcha says “path ivacywor.” Cryptic, but fortuitously apt.]

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 6 Mar 2012 @ 11:17 PM

  215. #195 Kevin McKinney. I would like to get this straight. As I understand it the issue of whether the feedback of clouds is positive or negative has nothing whatsoever to do with the contribution clouds make to the earth’s albedo. If this is so, let me ask this simple question: what is the more dominant contributor to the earth’s albedo, the 60-70% cloud cover or the various areas of snow/ice?

    Comment by simon abingdon — 6 Mar 2012 @ 11:33 PM

  216. I am interested in comments or corrections from the readers of this blog to a talk I have written on the physics of climate change. My presentation is designed to give a lay audience a good understanding of how greenhouse gasses work, and why we know the value of climate sensitivity. My impression is that most of the explanations for the lay audience skip over a bit too much the physical arguments, leaving the audience less persuaded than they might be.

    If any of you have the time to view the video and comment I would much appreciate it. (You can leave comments at youtube.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xf9aw5nlMGg

    Thanks.

    Comment by Mitch — 7 Mar 2012 @ 12:21 AM

  217. > As I understand it … If this is so …

    Whoah, there, you leaped from a misunderstanding to an assumption to an argument. That’s a debataing ploy.

    I refute it thus:
    http://http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=cloud+albedo+feeedback

    Don’t just look for what you wish were true.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 7 Mar 2012 @ 12:26 AM

  218. Simon said:”As I understand it the issue of whether the feedback of clouds is positive or negative has nothing whatsoever to do with the contribution clouds make to the earth’s albedo.”

    It has everything to do with it. But there are other things to consider –
    greenhouse effect from cloud vapor, type of cloud, and location (height and latitude).

    ” If this is so, let me ask this simple question: what is the more dominant contributor to the earth’s albedo, the 60-70% cloud cover or the various areas of snow/ice?”

    Albedo is the fraction of incoming (visible) light reflected back upwards. The key concept is how much light gets reflected, not its fraction. The latitude affects the intensity coming in, which also affects the amount reflected.

    I suppose one could do back of the envelope calculations. The average albedo is 0.3 and the snow albedo is 0.8. The average ice area is 18 million sq km. The total surface area of the earth is 510 million sq km.
    Assume equal distribution of light (this favors ice since polar regions actually receive less light per unit area). Total reflected is 510*0.3*constants. This is equal to ice reflected 18*0.8*constants + cloud reflected. Clouds are way more important for total light reflected.

    Comment by t_p_hamilton — 7 Mar 2012 @ 12:59 AM

  219. #217, #218.

    Hank, thanks for the (intended) link. I had wrongly assumed that the term “cloud feedback” was generally used to refer exclusively to the greenhouse effect.

    tph, thanks for correcting me. I think I now have my terms right.

    Notwithstanding my confusion, tph has answered the question I asked, the bottom line being:

    “Clouds are way more important [than snow/ice] for total light reflected”.

    I find the overwhelming importance of clouds and our far from complete understanding of their consequences disquieting.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 7 Mar 2012 @ 3:38 AM

  220. Dan H @211
    You really are struggling with this one. You talk of “…(local)…” and well you might, although it is not a parethesised term I would have sneaked in so casually here. I think most would agree that the peculiarities of the (local) Arctic atmosphere are not much applicable to the vast majority of the planet mainly due to the presence of sea ice!
    Further, your talk of “increases in both water vapor and clouds during warming” is wholly misplaced. The inter-annual trends discussed are primarily due to loss of sea ice etc, not due to ‘warming’ as you assert.

    Through your inability to locate a citation to suit your needs, you are beginning to dispprove your own assertion quite convincingly.

    Comment by MARodger — 7 Mar 2012 @ 4:36 AM

  221. I noted the WSJ response by Kevin Trenberth and others was titled, “Check With Climate Scientists for Views on Climate”. It was great up until they started to offer views on the economy: “the transition to a low-carbon economy will not only allow the world to avoid the worst risks of climate change, but could also drive decades of economic growth”. I think it’s time that climate scientists don’t offer views on the economy. This was clearly an off the cuff, unresearched, remark. Economic growth is pretty much in its death throes, for many reasons. Switching from a high quality set of energy sources to a much lower quality set is unlikely to drive economic growth for decades. We are hitting all sorts of “limits to growth” and switching energy sources isn’t going to suddenly make it all better.

    This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t decarbonise; we should. But it’s a bit more complicated that their off the cuff remark implies.

    Comment by Tony Weddle — 7 Mar 2012 @ 5:16 AM

  222. #215, 218–tp hamilton I think provided a useful answer to your ‘simple question,’ Simon. But let me expand a bit on the larger point, about the relationship between albedo and cloud feedback.

    Put plainly, the albedo effect of clouds is a major component of cloud feedback. As you know, it’s a negative component–the albedo effect tends to cool. Opposing that effect is the greenhouse effect of clouds–they radiate to the surface quite a bit more powerfully than you might think–a fact first entering the scientific literature back in 1814. (I’m working on an Skeptical Science piece about that last.)

    Moreover, the net greenhouse effect of clouds can vary a lot, depending upon altitude and other factors–high, cold cloud radiates upwards less efficiently, while still intercepting radiation from below, and so tends to warm more than lower cloud. So, clouds both warm and cool, and their overall effect upon climate depends upon the balance between albedo cooling and greenhouse warming.

    It’s even tougher to figure because not only are the results affected by cloud characteristics, they are affected by insolation–most obviously, as has been pointed out above, cloud tends to warm at night, since the albedo effect isn’t in play. In the Arctic, to take an important sub-case, it’s very possible that heavy low-level cloud in June will cool, while the same cloud in early September will warm.

    So you can see that this cloud puzzle is a big, tough one. But people are gnawing away at it.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 7 Mar 2012 @ 8:13 AM

  223. In Relationships between Water Vapor Path and Precipitation over the Tropical Oceans, Bretherton et al showed that although the Western Pacific warmer surface waters increased the water in the atmosphere compared to the Eastern Pacific, rainfall was lower in the Western Pacific compared to the Eastern Pacific for equal amounts of water vapor in the atmospheric column – e.g., about 10mm/day in the Western Pacific, versus ~20mm/day in the Eastern Pacific at 55mm water vapor, the peak of the distribution of water vapor amounts.

    When they compared rainfall to relative humidity, the differences between the warmer Western Pacific and cooler Eastern Pacific were much less.

    By analogy, a warmer world wouldn’t be rainier (or cloudier); it’s an imperfect analogy, because rain isn’t absolutely correlated with cloudiness, and lateral transport of energy by ocean, air, and latent heat currents in and out of the E & W Pacific Ocean areas won’t scale to global warming

    In Relative humidity changes in a warmer climate, Sherwood et al teach us that:

    “Finally, subtropical drying trends predicted from the warming alone fall well short of those observed in recent decades. While this discrepancy supports previous reports of GCMs underestimating Hadley cell expansion, our results imply that shifts alone are not a sufficient interpretation of changes.”

    “It is now widely known that the water vapor feedback in general circulation models (GCMs) is close to that which would result from a climate‐invariant distribution of relative humidity [Soden and Held, 2006], as long anticipated before the advent of such models [e.g., Arrhenius, 1896; Manabe and Wetherald, 1967].” What’s that I hear about climatology being a “young science”?-BD.

    “Thus changes in the pattern of R could directly influence that of precipitation, regardless of any impact on the global mean radiation budget.”

    and,
    “The observed drying well exceeds that predicted in any of the GCMs as a consequence of warming, even though we have not accounted for the impact of UT/LS moistening on the UTH signal. Either most of the actual drying was not caused by warming per se, or the models are all significantly underestimating a key aspect of climate change (see section 7) even though many of them are getting the spatial gradients in today’s climate about right.”

    GCM’s have underestimated (misunderestimated?) subtropical drying and Hadley Cell expansion, in addition to Arctic Sea Ice loss – take that, Texas drought!

    If you download 1998-2009 cloud cover here, and sea surface temperatures here, you can see that, except for a cloud band from ~0 to 10 degrees N, cloudiness is generally less where SST is warmer, though there are lots of details and spatial variation that lessen the correlation. Large patches N & S from the equatorial band haw lower cloudiness, and the SST falls and clouds increase as you move towards the poles. Also, cooler SST’s on the South American coast have higher cloudiness than the warm patch of SST along the Mexican coast.
    If you download cloudiness and SST from the cooler period 1950-1962 here and here, the spatial patterns are the same, but the overall cloudiness is more in the cooler period.

    Is this statistically significant? Right now, we’re in the same position as Phil Jones when he said that the warming wasn’t statistically significant. However, the data shows that cloud feedback may be positive, and is unlikely to be negative enough to keep from frying our bacon.

    The Republican denialist approach to this problem? From the ICOADS home page – “Public Notice: Termination of ICOADS Development Due to NOAA Budget Cuts”

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 7 Mar 2012 @ 8:44 AM

  224. Got a question for model experts about winter near surface inversions. Do they always show them?
    Is there a variance in lapse rates incorporated or do they tend to be fairly standard?

    I have observed greater variations in Arctic Inversions lately, the tendency is towards less steep inversions,
    this is expected when the Arctic lower atmosphere warms during winter, if the models maintain a stronger inversion while its observed weakening this may explain why sea ice models fail, strong boundary layers appear to be collapsing. This is seen 2 ways, by larger high elevation sun disks during cold weather and lesser refraction diurnal variations causing sun disks to shrink less near the horizon.

    If the models capture this phenomena, I ‘ll go back to chalk board, ie the sky!

    Comment by wayne davidson — 7 Mar 2012 @ 10:38 AM

  225. MA,
    Let me ask you this: Since you think that an increase in water vapor will lead to decreased cloud cover, can you point to a citation to support your view?

    To show that this relationship is not confined to the Arctic, similar results have been found in the Amazon.

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/11/3021/2011/acp-11-3021-2011.pdf

    To quote from the results, “CF [cloud fraction] and CWV [column water vapor] are understandably highly positively correlated, as water vapor is one of the principal [misspelled] components required for cloud formation.”

    Comment by Dan H. — 7 Mar 2012 @ 10:39 AM

  226. #225–Only had time for the abstract, but will return to the paper.

    (NB–“principal”–ie., “main,” or “major”–is correct. “Principle” means something quite different–eg., “The first principle of climate modeling is. . .”)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 7 Mar 2012 @ 11:47 AM

  227. Dan H. — MA didn’t say what you claim.
    He pointed out you couldn’t cite your claim.

    You assert that he argued the exact opposite of your claim.
    He didn’t do that.
    It’s not a debate.
    He pointed out your overly broad simple claim isn’t supported.
    That doesn’t mean an opposite, equally overbroad claim _is_ supported.

    You pretend he’s arguing the opposite of what you’ve been saying.
    You’re just playing with this site like it’s a video game.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 7 Mar 2012 @ 12:07 PM

  228. No comments on the YD impact thing yet? I guess that’s too hot to handle right now, better to just let that thing cool off for a while.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 7 Mar 2012 @ 12:17 PM

  229. Hank, you are one of the many here with the patience of saints. I have profited greatly through the years from your comments and explanations as well as from those of our intrepid climate scientists and all the other regulars.

    I am not nearly as mature.

    Dan H, I stopped allowing you to waste my time weeks ago and look forward to the day when I shall only find your comments in the Bore Hole; not that I’ll be checking…

    Comment by Gordon Cutler — 7 Mar 2012 @ 1:09 PM

  230. #221 Kevin McKinney. Thank you for your helpful response. However I can’t help feeling rather surprised when you finish by saying “So you can see that this cloud puzzle is a big, tough one”. I read that as saying that we don’t yet know whether the resultant feedback is going to turn out positive or negative.

    Your earlier #182 was equally disconcerting where you quoted Norris and Slingo (2009) saying “At present, it is not known whether changes in cloudiness will exacerbate, mitigate, or have little effect on the increasing global surface temperature caused by anthropogenic greenhouse radiative forcing.”

    I think that Joe Public would be quite shocked that there is still so much apparent uncertainty in such a fundamental aspect of climate science, given the huge disruption already being caused by what may turn out to be premature attempts at mitigation.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 7 Mar 2012 @ 1:47 PM

  231. Simon may or may not be seeing the problem with uncertainty:”I find the overwhelming importance of clouds and our far from complete understanding of their consequences disquieting.”

    Yes, overall change in clouds may be a positive feedback, rather than a negative feedback assumed from simple ideas like more water -> more clouds -> cooling. The “more water” is clearly seen, and the sensitivity from water vapor plus greenhouse gases is about 3 degrees C per doubling. Cloud changes have the potential to increase or decrease that number.

    Comment by t_p_hamilton — 7 Mar 2012 @ 1:57 PM

  232. Dan H @225
    It is as Hank Roberts @227 says, I solely criticise here the imbalance between your assertiveness and your scholarship.
    ‘Temperature/cloud albedo’ – “That is the main unanswered question in the entire debate,” is your comment @186. Of course somewhere in the process, discussion of ‘temperature/cloud albedo’ turned into discussion of the narrower ‘water vapour/cloud formation,’ which may not have been your intention. I think you now are trying to prove something that (as Ten Hoeve et al say) is quite ‘understandable’ and something that at a basic level nobody would disagree with (certainly while relative/specific humidity remains outwith the discussion).

    So we’ve nailed the Arctic after a fashion & Rondonia for three months of the year, both instances with quite extreme increases in water vapour. So where next? The Indian subcontinent in June? Or how about the tropics between 0600hrs & 1400hrs?

    Comment by MARodger — 7 Mar 2012 @ 3:29 PM

  233. Simon as a member of Joe Public?:”I think that Joe Public would be quite shocked that there is still so much apparent uncertainty in such a fundamental aspect of climate science, given the huge disruption already being caused by what may turn out to be premature attempts at mitigation.”

    Joe Public can’t tell good arguments from bad, good information from bad, good sources from bad. PR experts take advantage of poor Joe Public, misleading him with arguments such as science is uncertain, therefore the only risk to think of is risk of “huge disruption”. What are you doing to help Joe Public see that this argument is deceptive?

    Comment by t_p_hamilton — 7 Mar 2012 @ 4:31 PM

  234. Hmm. Stepping back and looking at the big picture, observations so far seem to indicate that clouds are not kicking in to protect us to the degree necessary for us to feel entirely happy. Those of us keen on confirmation by observation should fit that into their mental models.

    Comment by dbostrom — 7 Mar 2012 @ 4:46 PM

  235. simon abingdon wrote: “given the huge disruption already being caused by what may turn out to be premature attempts at mitigation”

    What in the world are you talking about? What “huge disruption” is “already being caused”? What “premature attempts at mitigation”?

    “Joe Public” has experienced NO “disruptions” whatsoever from any “attempts” to mitigate anthropogenic global warming.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 7 Mar 2012 @ 4:54 PM

  236. Tony Weddle wrote: “Switching from a high quality set of energy sources to a much lower quality set is unlikely to drive economic growth for decades.”

    What on Earth are you talking about?

    Solar and wind are a MUCH “higher quality set” of energy sources than fossil fuels. Not to mention a vastly greater set of energy sources — indeed, a limitless set of energy sources on any time scale that’s meaningful to human civilization.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 7 Mar 2012 @ 4:59 PM

  237. Electronic Arts to bring SimCity back in 2013

    The game franchise that first defined the city-building genre in 1989 will be re-released next year as a multi-player online computer game, developed by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts Inc.

    This time, however, SimCity has an environmental theme, a la “An Inconvenient Truth,” the 2006 documentary about Al Gore’s campaign to educate the public about global warming. In SimCity, a fetish for coal burning plants in one city can spread smog and sickness in adjacent cities run by other players, for example.

    “For the first time in SimCity, players’ decisions will have consequences that will extend beyond their city limits,” said Lucy Bradshaw, senior vice president of Maxis. “It’s up to the players to decide whether to compete or collaborate to shape the world of tomorrow — for better or for worse.”

    Comment by dbostrom — 7 Mar 2012 @ 8:01 PM

  238. Dan H. has long held (in classic denier fashion) that the climate feedbacks are too uncertain to accurately constrain the climate sensitivity to the values that the IPCC has determined are the consensus opinion. He sometimes fills the conversation with minutiae and vague jargon. He posts links of varying degrees of quality that frequently don’t say what he claims that they say (but which one has to read to figure that out). He sometimes claims that his opponent has said something that they didn’t actually say, which must then be refuted, wasting time and energy. The result is confusion and delay, and that’s the point.

    Dan has yet to acknowledged is that the fossil record clearly shows that the best value of the known feedbacks, whatever their “exact” values may be, are included in the IPCC’s approximate estimate of the climate sensitivity, and that this is strongly supported by the GCMs. A very simple and straightforward explanation can be seen here:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/james_hansen_why_i_must_speak_out_about_climate_change.html

    So Dan – with what about this lecture do you disagree? Can you state your disagreement without misquoting the source and by referencing peer-reviewed studies that actually support your opinion? Go ahead – give it a shot! But remember: at this web site, there are lots of people who can see through any BS.

    Comment by Craig Nazor — 7 Mar 2012 @ 11:40 PM

  239. Well, I hope “Joe Public” wouldn’t take it amiss that difficulties (such as measuring cloud feedbacks) are honestly stated, as they have been all along. Likewise, I would also hope that Joe wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that that means we don’t have good reason to think that warming will a) continue, and b) become quite problematic for our health, wealth, and well-being in the future.

    For one, paleo-climate proxies for the present situation shed some light on the question of what might happen in the near future. They help provide a useful constraint on climate sensitivity.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 8 Mar 2012 @ 12:18 AM

  240. This solar storm that’s about to reach earth, it took two days for it to get here. That means the particles are traveling at much less than the speed of light. Are these particles still referred to as cosmic rays? Or, is there a speed below which a particle is just a particle?

    Comment by Martin Smith — 8 Mar 2012 @ 4:55 AM

  241. Craig Nazor @238
    …values that the IPCC has determined are the consensus opinion.” You could have strengthened this sentence by adding “.., a consensus branded “alarmist” by Dan H who considers the IPCC as being unrepresentitive of most scientists.

    Comment by MARodger — 8 Mar 2012 @ 6:07 AM

  242. Simon says #230

    > … what may turn out to be premature attempts at mitigation

    My link. They’ll never forgive the scientists for being right

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 8 Mar 2012 @ 7:10 AM

  243. Martin Smith,
    We generally refer to the particles from the Sun as “solar particles,” or solar-event particles, while the flux of extremely high-energy particles from outsde the solar system are referred to as “galactic cosmic rays” (GCR). Solar event particles tend to be much lower in energy, and both particle type and energy of the particles varies considerably from one event to another.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 8 Mar 2012 @ 8:55 AM

  244. Craig,
    I tend to dismiss those who people call alarmists or deniers, because their views tend to be outside the views of most scientists; however I did listen to the entire video.

    There was little presentation on climate sensitivity, except to mention that weak solar changes can result in a large CO2 feedback loop that can enhance temperature increases. We have already mentioned recent paleo work which estimates long term climate sensitivity to be ~2.3, with a range from 1.6 – 3.0. This was discussed at length last fall, referencing other studies which calculated both higher and lower ranges.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/11/ice-age-constraints-on-climate-sensitivity/

    The only specific with which I would disagree is his claim of accelerating sea level rise, which could reach 5m this century. The current rate of SLR would yield less than 0.3m of rise by 2100, and has shown a slight deceleration recently.

    http://www.imageuploading.com/ims/pic.php?u=22799866u9&i=135957

    Hansen talks repeatedly about “deniers” who would dismiss the fact that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, which causes planetary warming. His implications is that there are two groups of people; those that think the climate sensitivity is near zero, and those who think it is 3+! He appears to neglect an entire group of scientists in between. I tend to agree most closely with the APS statement of 1-3C / doubling, although I fell that this is too constraining. With the uncertainty in clouds and surface albedo, I would add another 0.5 to each end.

    You must remember that the IPCC values are only the consensus opinion of the IPCC, and not the greater scientific community.

    A recent survey by the AMS found that 52% of respondents thought that human activity was mostly to blame for global warming. While 15% though it was all natural or equally manmade and natural, 25% were uncertain about the cause or if warming has occurred.

    http://www.ametsoc.org/boardpges/cwce/docs/BEC/CICCC/2012-02-AMS-Member-Survey-Preliminary-Findings.pdf

    Comment by Dan H. — 8 Mar 2012 @ 9:22 AM

  245. http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/rt_plots/Proton.gif

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 8 Mar 2012 @ 11:35 AM

  246. “You must remember that the IPCC values are only the consensus opinion of the IPCC, and not the greater scientific community.”
    HUH?? Please explain the difference between the IPCC and “the greater scientific community”.

    Comment by flxible — 8 Mar 2012 @ 12:03 PM

  247. Dan H wrote: “… the IPCC values are only the consensus opinion of the IPCC …”

    Can your clumsy lies about the IPCC have any purpose except to amuse yourself with your ability to annoy people?

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 8 Mar 2012 @ 12:15 PM

  248. A recent survey by the AMS found

    Scientific insight doesn’t come from surveys, and consensus is meaningless to people who have already made up their minds, and are never going to change it.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 8 Mar 2012 @ 12:39 PM

  249. Guys, you’re asking Dan H. to keep posting stuff now.
    He’s succeeded, when he has an audience asking for more.
    He’s posted a 2nd order polynomial trend
    — without linking to the source
    — without attaching any explanation;

    it’s more bait for responses, quite typical of him.

    The caption suggests it’s a fairly old file from here:
    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/search/node/trend

    Their explanations might be worth a look.

    If you ask him for more, he’ll give you more.
    Of the same.
    Stuff.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 8 Mar 2012 @ 12:53 PM

  250. Ack, Dan H. is doing a Wegman/Lindzen now, the stuff he’s posting isn’t even his own work and he hides the source he took it from — because it’s bad info.
    Looks like he got it from a tricky chart somebody posted in a comment thread
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/decelerating-sea-level-rise.htm#61272

    Next mole, please.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 8 Mar 2012 @ 12:58 PM

  251. #242 Martin Vermeer. Thank you for your reference to this very moving essay, so very redolent of the related yesterdays of my childhood in the immediate postwar years. But as an exemplar of where we are today it is inapt. Our future Martin, is not yet our past.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 8 Mar 2012 @ 1:29 PM

  252. #242 Martin Vermeer. Thank you for your reference to this most moving essay, so very redolent of the related stories of my own remembered childhood in the immediate postwar years. As an exemplar of where we are today however, it is inapt. Our own future Martin, is not yet our past.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 8 Mar 2012 @ 1:44 PM

  253. Craig asked that Dan H view a James Hansen lecture, and then,
    “Can you state your disagreement without misquoting the source and by referencing peer-reviewed studies that actually support your opinion?”

    Dan made his answer quite clear, again: “nope, I won’t”.

    Why should he? Narcissism is so much fun… with all of us feeding his needs. (oops)

    Comment by Phil Mattheis — 8 Mar 2012 @ 2:09 PM

  254. If you ask him for more, he’ll give you more. Of the same. Stuff.

    I think Dan H. should lend us his insightful thoughts on the Younger Dryas.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 8 Mar 2012 @ 2:39 PM

  255. Dan H.,
    If you look at the studies of climate sensitivity, the average value is 2.85. Only 2 studies from the current millennium give a value less than 2, where the average over the same period is 2.8. This is the consensus of the data, not of any particular group. If you find yourself in disagreement with this consensus, I would suggest that your quarrel is with reality.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 8 Mar 2012 @ 2:57 PM

  256. SecularAnimist #236, responding to Tony Weddle #221, objects that solar and wind are far higher-quality energy sources than current ones, meaning fossil fuels.

    Since this is not principally an energy blog, I chime in only occasionally on this, but please SA, your objection is either wrong or meaningless, depending on your definition of high quality. Your own observation that solar energy is effectively limitless makes this clear. Of course it is, in toto, but it’s spread out and hard to gather, which is why we so far use so much less of it than FFs. We will succeed in running an advanced civilization on solar etc only if and when we can build and maintain infrastructure and transportation with FF consumption diminishing toward zero. So far we are not doing this fast enough to stay ahead of the need for investment before FFs run low and/or lay us low via climate changes.

    I have pointed several times to The Oil Drum and its many links, which anyone would do well to ponder for several months at least before making glib assumptions in this forum. The newer blog Do The Math, by physicist Tom Murphy, is a wonderful introduction to energy usage and prospects, and will be catnip to readers comfortable reading RealClimate and interested in energy.

    Comment by Ric Merritt — 8 Mar 2012 @ 3:04 PM

  257. your objection is either wrong or meaningless, depending on your definition of high quality.

    From an straight out quantitative entropy and/or exergy analysis of fixed infrastructure non mobile applications – solar, wind and hydro are vastly superior to anything out there. Sorry, but that is the definition of quality.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 8 Mar 2012 @ 3:38 PM

  258. #255 Ray Ladbury. I shall overlook your failure to express climate sensitivity in the appropriate units. But when you say “Only 2 studies from the current millennium give a value less than 2″ I just weep. It’s only 2012 Ray; we haven’t had the other 988 yet.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 8 Mar 2012 @ 4:24 PM

  259. Now that I think about it, just putting a solar panel on the roof of your car to augment or replace the alternator is a huge step up in quality.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 8 Mar 2012 @ 5:39 PM

  260. Tom Harris, Heartland and the 2007 Bali open letter to the U.N.

    Today I’ll take a close look at the beginning of the Harris-Heartland connection in 2007, based on Heartland’s publicly available 2007 tax declaration and December 2007 press releases, as well as the illuminating full recorded interview of Harris by Suzanne Goldberg of the Guardian. Taken together, these provide compelling evidence that Heartland funded Tom Harris’s Natural Resource Stewardship Project right around the time that Harris was organizing the Bali contrarian petition attacking climate science, part of a broader attempt by Heartland to disrupt the December 2007 UNFCCC conference.

    National Post financial editor Terence Corcoran essentially provided Harris the sole (but very powerful) PR channel for the petition, while hiding Harris’s involvement, a fact that the Post has never publicly acknowledged to this day. Now that it turns out that the effort was likely funded by the Heartland Institute, the Post’s credibility has been compromised even further.

    See also:

    Bali 2007 Revisited

    Comment by Deep Climate — 8 Mar 2012 @ 6:44 PM

  261. “… it is impossible for anyone to
    begin to learn that which he
    thinks he already knows.”

    — Epictetus, Book II, ch. 17
    https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Epictetus

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 8 Mar 2012 @ 7:22 PM

  262. Tom Harris, Heartland and the 2007 Bali open letter to the U.N.

    Today I’ll take a close look at the beginning of the Harris-Heartland connection in 2007, based on Heartland’s publicly available 2007 tax declaration and December 2007 press releases, as well as the illuminating full recorded interview of Harris by Suzanne Goldberg of the Guardian. Taken together, these provide compelling evidence that Heartland funded Tom Harris’s Natural Resource Stewardship Project right around the time that Harris was organizing the Bali contrarian petition attacking climate science, part of a broader attempt by Heartland to disrupt the December 2007 UNFCCC conference.

    National Post financial editor Terence Corcoran essentially provided Harris the sole (but very powerful) PR channel for the petition, while hiding Harris’s involvement, a fact that the Post has never publicly acknowledged to this day. Now that it turns out that the effort was likely funded by the Heartland Institute, the Post’s credibility has been compromised even further.

    See also Bali 2007 Revisited

    Comment by Deep Climate — 8 Mar 2012 @ 7:35 PM

  263. simon abindon writes: “It’s only 2012 Ray; we haven’t had the other 988 yet.”

    I’m starting to call things like this, “Skeptic Scrabble”. When legitimate discussion of the science doesn’t serve you, make word play instead. Use technical terms with vernacular meanings (“it’s just a theory”), use professional jargon in an out-of-context way (“Mike’s Nature trick”), and focus on a playful turn of phrase instead of the substantive science (as if it wasn’t blatantly obvious that Ray was referring to a substantial body of work from the past decade plus). Skeptic Scrabble.

    Comment by Unsettled Scientist — 8 Mar 2012 @ 7:35 PM

  264. simon abindon writes: “It’s only 2012 Ray; we haven’t had the other 988 yet.”

    I’m starting to call things like this, “Skeptic Scrabble”. When legitimate discussion of the science doesn’t serve you, make word play instead. Use technical terms with vernacular meanings (“it’s just a theory”), use professional jargon in an out-of-context way (“Mike’s Nature trick”), and focus on a playful turn of phrase instead of the substantive science (as if it wasn’t blatantly obvious that Ray was referring to a substantial body of work from the past decade plus). Skeptic Scrabble.

    PS – messed up on recaptcha, sorry if this is a dupe post

    Comment by Unsettled Scientist — 8 Mar 2012 @ 7:36 PM

  265. Thomas Lee Elifritz @228 — I already mentioned that the evidence for the YD impactor looks quite solid. On Real Climate there have been (at least) two earlier threads on this topic. I’m pleased that what now appears to be solid evidence has been found.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 8 Mar 2012 @ 8:17 PM

  266. Ric Merritt: “We will succeed in running an advanced civilization on solar etc only if and when we ……
    accept that growth must end, in “economic” activity, all energy use, and particularly human population.

    Comment by flxible — 8 Mar 2012 @ 8:45 PM

  267. flxible,
    That depends on how we define growth. Certainly,human population and resource consumption cannot grow indefinitely. Human knowledge (as well as human stupidity) do not seem to be in danger of encountering limits just yet. Electronics have grown exponentially more powerful even as they require fewer resources (Moore’s Law). And every dollar of GDP consumes less energy than it did the year before (Rosenfeld’s law). Growth based on these trends may be sustainable. Let us hope so, as the prospect of developing an economy with no growth is daunting.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 8 Mar 2012 @ 9:31 PM

  268. Re: YD impact.

    I was referring to the Younger Dryas Chronozone. The YD itself was already contentious enough without an impact, so surely you must be aware of the problems a technically verifiable moderate impact presents for a detailed analysis? If you could present something of substance that would be great.

    I’ve already commented extensively on this subject, I’m interested in ideas.

    Thanks in advance.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 8 Mar 2012 @ 10:09 PM

  269. …. the prospect of developing an economy with no growth is daunting.
    Yes indeed, and not facing that challenge is what put us in the pickle we’re in, there is no techno-fix, and shuffling economic paper ala Rosenfelds observations of the results of inflation won’t bail you out.

    Ray, you should follow Ric’s pointer to this blog and see if you can counter his figures that it’s “easier said than done”, especially in the posts of the first section “Growth and Sustainability”.

    Comment by flxible — 8 Mar 2012 @ 10:26 PM

  270. Thomas Lee Elifritz @266 — I have no idea what YD Cronozone is supposed to mean. The evidence for YD is abundant; I know of no substantive contention. The Clovis comet [just the name for the bolide(s)] resolves issues regarding metafaunal extinctions in North America and also the abrupt wnd of Clovis culture for the archaeologists. I’m unsure what problems it creates byond the fact that the understanding could be more complete.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 9 Mar 2012 @ 12:27 AM

  271. 257&9 Thomas Lee Elifritz: Quality is a measure of the standard deviation in the output of a factory. “Quality” has too many definitions to be a useful word without further qualification. What you mean is “Temperature” not “Quality.” Sunlight is photons, which are the “purest” form of energy.
    Go ahead and remove the alternator from your car and install a solar panel on your car roof. I double dare you. You won’t get far, but you may learn something about the word “practical.”

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 9 Mar 2012 @ 1:33 AM

  272. Dan, I want to get this right. Your first statement @244 appears to imply that you believe that Hansen is an “alarmist,” and therefore someone you “tend to dismiss.” Is that a correct assumption?

    Hansen’s brief presentation on the climate sensitivity (including feedbacks) clearly showed that the consensus value (as stated by the IPCC) is supported by many thousands of years of proxy data. The RealClimate article to which you linked is only for data back to the last glacial maximum (21,000 years), and includes these caveats: “However, there are reasons to think that the result may well be biased low, and stated with rather more confidence than is warranted given the limitations of the study.” Your implication that the slightly lower climate sensitivity estimate was somehow accepted by all as a new consensus is false.

    Your disembodied graph that you appear to believe shows that sea level rise has slowed down has been thoroughly debunked at SkepticalScience. This is not peer-reviewed science, at any rate, which is what I requested. In fact, your link includes insufficient information to determine anything about its source or its accuracy. Was that intentional, or merely necessary for some kind of credibility?

    I think Hansen was very clear about whom he considered to be “deniers” and what he considered were the very real dangers of their arguments. I believe that he would include you among them.

    Your personal opinion about the value of the climate sensitivity is not the consensus, but then you deny the consensus as stated by the IPCC by claiming that the IPCC, which was set up to determine the consensus, somehow is either deluded or lying about how they determined their results. Why would all the scientists who contribute to the IPCC permit that to happen?

    The AMS only requires 20 hours of college courses “in atmospheric or related science” and 3 years of “professional experience” in the past 5 years to be a member. Out of over 7,000 members, 26% responded. Are you seriously claiming that to be a better determination of a scientific consensus than the IPCC?

    Comment by Craig Nazor — 9 Mar 2012 @ 3:52 AM

  273. Chronozone – a slice of time beteen two events or junctures. The Younger-Dryas would certainly start with an ‘event’ if it was the result of an asteriod/comet impact.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronozone
    (Am I detecting a Mexico connection with these asteroid/comet impacts? Lake Cuitzeo, Mexico. Chicxulub crater, Yukatan, Mexico. Spooky.)

    Comment by MARodger — 9 Mar 2012 @ 4:17 AM

  274. To all those who might want to dismiss or ignore Dan H – yes, debunking Dan can sometimes be a bit like shooting fish in a barrel. I have been doing it for 3 years (mostly at another blog, and he was under a different alias). But I actually owe Dan a debt of gratitude – he has shown me the true extent of the time and money amassed across the Web supporting the effort to prevent strong action to address anthropogenic global climate change. There are bloggers in the deniersphere supported by the dirty carbon industry who are being paid full time to disseminate doubt. There are restricted websites where deniers meet to share all these bogus arguments, doctored charts, and denier “studies” that proliferate regularly. If you try to ban these bloggers (or ignore them), they will just come back under a different alias, and you will have to rediscover them all over again. They WILL NOT go away. By making Dan explain and defend himself here and now, we keep him too busy to confuse more gullible posters elsewhere, and force him to at least defend his alias. And you can bet your last dollar that this website, perhaps more than any other, is closely watched by the real Saurons of the denier world. Engaging all comers lets them know that if they want to win this one, they have a real fight on their hands.

    There are some incredibly knowledgeable and articulate (not to mention funny) people on this website. And who knows? Maybe someday Dan will come to his senses, before it is too late. I would hope that those here with the time and energy would keep up the great work defending science and debunking ignorance (and worse!). The planet is literally depending on it.

    Comment by Craig Nazor — 9 Mar 2012 @ 4:30 AM

  275. Quality is a measure of the standard deviation in the output of a factory.

    We were discussing energy. Epic fail on your part. I apologize that I am not willing to discuss these topics any further with you. When you get up to speed maybe I might reconsider. The definitions and extensive discussion of exergy and entropy are widely available for your perusal. As is the definition and discussion of the YD Chronozone. Thanks for your consideration.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 9 Mar 2012 @ 8:49 AM

  276. 272 Thomas Lee Elifritz: Read the rest of my comment.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 9 Mar 2012 @ 10:25 AM

  277. Ric Merritt wrote that solar energy is “spread out and hard to gather, which is why we so far use so much less of it than FFs.”

    The fact that solar energy is “spread out” — which is to say, ubiquitous, and plentifully and reliably available most places on Earth — is one of the key reasons it is “higher quality” than fossil fuels, which are concentrated in relatively few places, and often have to be transported long distances to be burned.

    As for solar energy being “hard to gather” I don’t have the slightest idea what you are talking about. Human civilization has depended on our ability to “gather” solar energy through photosynthesis for millennia — this is called “agriculture” — and today’s solar thermal and photovoltaic technologies make it VERY easy to gather solar energy for electricity, water and space heating, etc.

    flxible wrote that “running an advanced civilization on solar etc only” can only happen if we “accept that growth must end, in ‘economic’ activity, all energy use, and particularly human population”.

    I certainly agree that “growth” defined as “more and more humans consuming more and more physical resources per capita” must end at some point. However, there are certainly forms of “economic activity” that don’t require either human population growth, or increased use of physical resources.

    As for “all energy use”, the energy available from the world’s commercially exploitable wind and solar energy resources far exceeds the energy available from fossil fuels. The solar energy that reaches the Earth’s surface in one hour is more than human civilization in its entirety uses in year. There is plenty of solar and wind energy to run an advanced civilization — and even to increase energy use per capita above today’s levels.

    More importantly, in my opinion, there are hundreds of millions of human beings on Earth who desperately and urgently need MORE energy — particularly access to electricity, which millions have never had — if they are to have any hope of participating in what readers of this blog like to think of as “advanced civilization”. And by far, the cheapest, fastest, safest and best way to electrify rural areas of the developing world, where this need is greatest, is with cheap, mass-produced, widely distributed solar PV technology.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 9 Mar 2012 @ 11:06 AM

  278. Re: Lake Cuitzeo

    I don’t think the implication is that Cuitzeo is an impact crater, that’s just where they obtained the core samples. The core actually sampled a lot deeper than the YD chronozone. And of course, the contention is not whether the YD chronozone happened or not. It does appear that the existance of an impact at the YD transition is now a lot less contentious than it was, though.

    The questions now are of impact type, magnitude, location and effects. There is a crater in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, but that appears to be a more or less direct hypersonic impact with a 4 km crater. Now one could argue that an impact of that sort, onto either the open waters of the St. Lawrence or the Laurentide ice sheet, could have vaporized a good deal of water and ice, thus creating a large tsunami that funneled up the St. Lawrence and then broke through to glacial Lake Vermont, and then set off a chain of events that lead to the draining of Lake Vermont and Lake Agassiz, and that could very well satisfy the proxy evidence in the Younger Dryas boundary layer.

    One can also hypothesize that the environmental effects of the impact was simply another additive stress to hydrogeologically induced climate change and paleoindian predation as well. There are a lot of things that could have happened, are physically realistic, but that doesn’t mean they did.

    Also, the reduction of sample preparation and analysis to the nanoscale level alone here is a relatively useful addition to the state of the art. What I would like to see is another YD transition core analyzed to this level by another group in order to provide some unambiguous confirmation, although one can certainly argue that this result is fairly solid. What is still contentious is what the result implies for the YD climate change and the megafaunal extinctions, incorporating the ideas of both the broad large scale cometary debris impact scenario at low grazing angles, and the direct asteroidal impact into water and ice covered surfaces, and all that implies with the ice sheet disruptions, megatsunamis and the ozone layer and atmospheric effects and disruption that are possible in these events.

    Thank you for your time.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 9 Mar 2012 @ 11:08 AM

  279. Read the rest of my comment.

    I did. Your comments are simply not up to my standards of ‘quality’ to motivate me to continue to discuss them with you. Again, my apologies.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 9 Mar 2012 @ 11:39 AM

  280. Thanks to those who at least took notice of my #256, even those who didn’t like it. I don’t see the point in an unlimited exchange with rapidly diminishing returns of insight, though I am not ducking a specific question if anyone truly thinks this is the right forum and I am the right interlocutor.

    It does very much need to be said that the truculent comments of Thomas Lee Elifritz and the earnest determination of SecularAnimist to avoid all the hard questions are far below the sophistication displayed by many of the regulars at The Oil Drum, and by all of Tom Murphy’s posts at Do The Math. Clueless climate opinion spewers are constantly being told here to go quiet for a while and read. The same advice applies to energy matters.

    The ubiquity of sun and wind is obvious and undisputed. So is the current unavailability of, for example, PV factories built without fossil fuel involvement. If you can’t think of a half dozen examples of brawny infrastructure components in 60 seconds, you aren’t trying. (How about monster container ships and huge mining equipment. We could go on.) Waving a hand at the sun and wind won’t create these things. All the hardest questions are at the systems level. The systems are world-spanning, and chock full of feedbacks. Some of the feedbacks run through the murky territory of psychology, sociology, and politics.

    I try to speak up once in a while when the assumptions and avoidance pile up too high for my tolerance. Most of the time I just shut up and read.

    Comment by Ric Merritt — 9 Mar 2012 @ 12:58 PM

  281. simon abingdon: “But when you say “Only 2 studies from the current millennium give a value less than 2″ I just weep. It’s only 2012 Ray; we haven’t had the other 988 yet.”

    OK, that was bizarre. Is it supposed to be news to us that the millennium started in 2001? (And if we’re going to be picky, it would be more nearly accurate to say “the other 11 yet,” since most of 2012 is still ahead.)

    Or is simon trying to suggest to the unwary that the publication dates during this millennium imply that data from the last was not used?

    Given the progress of the field, summarizing studies of 2001 and later–however this span is labeled–seems reasonable.

    “Skeptic Scrabble” indeed–or maybe “Mad-libs.”

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 9 Mar 2012 @ 1:22 PM

  282. My #278–“…the other 11…” Clearly, that should have been “the other 989.”

    So annoying to make a dumb petty error when you’re avowedly “being picky.”

    [Headslap.]

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 9 Mar 2012 @ 1:47 PM

  283. Ric Merritt wrote: “Waving a hand at the sun and wind won’t create these things.”

    I don’t know what you mean by “waving a hand” at the sun and wind.

    I do know that solar and wind are the fastest-growing sources of new electricity generation in the world, growing at record-setting double-digit rates every year.

    I do know that the USA alone installed over 1 Gigawatt of new grid-connected PV in the first three quarters of 2011 bringing the USA’s total installed grid-connected PV capacity to 3.1 GW, which is ten times what it was in 2005. I do know that the USA has numerous utility-scale solar PV and solar thermal power plants already approved and/or under construction, in many cases with long-term power purchase agreements already in place.

    I do know that India’s grid-connected PV capacity grew from 18 Megawatts in 2010 to nearly 3 Gigawatts in 2011, with another GW due to come online in 2012, while India is already exceeding the goals of its national plan to install 20 GW of solar power within ten years.

    I do know that over 40 GW of new wind power capacity was brought online globally in 2011, bringing the cumulative total to over 238 GW.

    I do know that last year, investment in renewable electricity generation (wind, solar, wave and biomass) exceeded investment in coal, gas and oil-fired generation for the first time ($187 billion vs. $157 billion), and investment in renewables is expected to double within eight years.

    None of this was accomplished by “hand waving”. It was accomplished by human ingenuity, industry and smart investors who see that these technologies are the basis of a new industrial revolution.

    I do know that prices for wind turbines and solar PV panels are plummeting which will spur even more rapid deployment. I do know that as powerful as today’s mature solar and wind technologies are, there are new technologies now being commercialized that will be even more powerful.

    As for The Oil Drum, with all due respect, I have observed that most commenters there are rather myopically focused on fossil fuels and hold opinions about solar and wind that seem to be not well informed by knowledge of what is actually happening with those industries today.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 9 Mar 2012 @ 2:07 PM

  284. So is the current unavailability of, for example, PV factories built without fossil fuel involvement. If you can’t think of a half dozen examples of brawny infrastructure components in 60 seconds, you aren’t trying. (How about monster container ships and huge mining equipment. We could go on.) Waving a hand at the sun and wind won’t create these things. All the hardest questions are at the systems level.

    Below the systems level is the entropy and exergy level. Don Lancaster style ramblings aside, the goal of humanity with respect to the intrinsically intertwined environment and biosphere that created it, should be the goal to MINIMIZE entropy production where appropriate and possible, rather than maximizing it in the manner that nature does. That takes intelligence and knowledge, whether encoded in DNA or white paper or electronic states. Nobody says that silicon donor acceptor solar energy conversion and the factories that produce it is free of fossil fuels, but they certainly do minimize its use, while producing products that further minimize its use. Neither is donor acceptor semiconductor technology and lead acid batteries the final word on energy conversion technology.

    In America, Rik, you are free to cut up a piece of insulating polystyrene foam with a gas powered chain saw, or paint a piece of terra cotta with lead based paint, but I prefer to use a sharp knife and no paint at all.

    No amount of lipstick is going to beautify your pig, sorry. More fossil fuel powered civilization if going to solve your fossil fuel powered civilization problem. You need to open your mind and wrap it around that. If you want to continue the path you are taking, you need to move it out into space. I don’t see people like you doing that as well, and carbon based energy conversion technology isn’t going to help you out there anyways. I will certainly help get you there, though. Don’t waste it.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 9 Mar 2012 @ 2:47 PM

  285. More fossil fuel powered civilization IS NOT going to solve your fossil fuel powered civilization problem. Sorry. Certainly better efficiency will help, but we either need to radically scale back, or leave this planet entirely, if we want anything that even vaguely biologically resembles what it was like when we arrived.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 9 Mar 2012 @ 3:10 PM

  286. #279 Kevin McKinney. My heartfelt sympathy. #258 was intended as a lighthearted teasing of Ray’s absurd use of a thousand years backdrop for two recent publications (but perhaps Ray’s intention was itself tongue-in-cheek). Whatever, forgive me for having enjoyed unworthy amusement at your own contribution to the exchange.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 9 Mar 2012 @ 4:22 PM

  287. Something dramatic to argue over:

    Ice cover on North America’s Great Lakes has decreased by 71% over the past four decades

    [Response:Keep in mind that ice covers were probably on the high side 4 decades ago however, relative to a few decades before that.–Jim]

    Comment by dbostrom — 9 Mar 2012 @ 4:42 PM

  288. dbostrom,

    As we were discussing a few weeks back, Lake Erie has been particularly affected this year. Since posting about this last, I have received some more news from friends and family on the southern shore of Lake Erie near Cleveland, Ohio.

    As a child, in the 1950’s, 60’s, and early 70’s, Lake Erie ALWAYS froze to some extent. Some years it only froze out about a half mile or so; other years, it froze out to the horizon. This year, my contacts have told me that Lake Erie has been without ice all winter. There has not even been any ice buildup on the numerous breakwaters on the shoreline. This has surprised everyone, and it is changing the opinion of many local skeptics about anthropogenic global climate change.

    [Response:It’s not been completely ice free but it has been a very low year, no question about it. The long term trend for the central basin (Vermillion OH to Erie PA) and the lake as a whole, from 1900-2000 is indeed downward, but there is a lot of high freq variability in the data. The western basin (Toledo to Vermillion) does not show the same long term trend, which makes some sense given how shallow it is. However, these trends could be over-estimated because they are based on an ice duration model that does not include the deterrent effect of high winds on open water. Data is here and associated paper is here–Jim]

    Comment by Craig Nazor — 9 Mar 2012 @ 8:34 PM

  289. Further to Craig:

    Observed decreases in the Canadian outdoor skating season due to recent winter warming

    I remember some years ago waking up during a flight across the country from Montreal to (??), looking out the window and being quite confused to see nothing but ice below, as though doing a transpolar trip. It took a few seconds of coming fully awake to realize this was one of the Great Lakes. Maybe something I’ll not see again?

    Comment by dbostrom — 10 Mar 2012 @ 12:22 AM

  290. Pat Michaels ran into a bit of a buzz saw the last few hours when he posted a column at the on-line Forbes site criticizing the Chevy Volt. The article was up to the usual Michaels standard that our Mike Mann and others have come to know so well.

    Anyway, ol’ Pat has managed to cheese off a dozen or so Volt owners, who have all chimed in to the comment section to rip his article apart. If you’d like to read what Michaels and the Volt owners have to say, look at

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickmichaels/2012/03/08/maybe-it-should-be-called-the-chevrolet-vote/

    Comment by WVhybrid — 10 Mar 2012 @ 2:43 AM

  291. There were a few comments on the Free Speech & Academic Freedom thread about ‘positives v. negatives’ due to AGW.
    There’s also been a few comments about Leaf Area Index, with one area listed as having increeasing LAI ( http://www.springerlink.com/content/y214469777l4678k/ ) being the “South Sahara” or the Sahel.
    There has also been a lot of talk about the dire scholarship from deniers, including Lindzen who is on the Academic Advisory Council of the GWPF.
    Combining GWPF & dire scholarship with the Sahel & alleged ‘positive impacts‘ from AGW, I have a swipe at one of the GWPF’s Briefing Papers over at DeSmogBlog. http://www.desmogblog.com/debunking-gwpf-briefing-paper-no2-sahel-greening

    Comment by MARodger — 10 Mar 2012 @ 4:43 AM

  292. The climate change denialist John O’Sullivan (3-4-12), who claims he is a legal expert, has fabricated a statement and attributed it to Chicago FBI Special Agent Royden Rice. I know this is a fabricated quote because official FBI statements for the media don’t make partisan attacks or speculate about charges. No FBI official would ever say anything so ludicrous. Not only that, Mr. Rice sent me what he states is his most recent statement on March 5, 2012. I posted it on my blog with his permission. That is why I know that Mr. O’Sullivan fabricated the quote he attributes to Mr. Rice in his March 4, 2012 article. Notice that Mr. Sullivan does not provide a link to Mr. Rice’s apocryphal statement.

    The lunatic John O’Sullivan (3-4-12) writes:

    QUOTE
    Other experts share my opinion that there is sufficient probable cause to follow through with a thorough in-depth federal investigation into the Gleick ’Fakegate’ case to see how far the ‘post-normal’ climate cancer has spread. Certainly, Peter Gleick should be offered a plea bargain deal if he rats out the other racketeers.

    Apologists for climate criminals will not be curbed until the leaders of this ‘post normal’ academic cult are jailed. But whether the Obama government has the stomach to follow through and permit such prosecutions remains to be seen, as Chicago FBI agent, Ross Rice hinted:
    “Whether Gleick, a member of the U.S. intellectual elite and a former student and coauthor with John Holdren, Obama’s Science Adviser, is ever charged is a different issue than whether his acts meet the elements of 18 USC 1343.”
    UNQUOTE

    It appears that the Chicago FBI is getting a little taste of what climate scientists have to deal with every day.

    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2012/03/water-expert-dr-peter-gleick-takes-fall.html

    Comment by Snapple — 10 Mar 2012 @ 7:50 AM

  293. Simon Abingdon,
    Do you disagree that climate sensitivity estimates have improved over time? I merely took 2000/2001 as an appropriate cutoff data. Arbitrary, true. However the mean for the 1990s is the same, and it is little changed even back into the 80s. The fact is that Sensitivity estimates are convergng to about 2.8 degrees per doubling. I don’t expect this to change during the remaining 988 years of the current millennium even in the unlikely event that human civilization persists in a form sufficiently advanced to undertake such efforts. This is a mature field.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 10 Mar 2012 @ 9:17 AM

  294. #279–It’s OK; my ears only rang for about half an hour.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 10 Mar 2012 @ 9:36 AM

  295. #285, 286–“…nothing but ice below, as though doing a transpolar trip. It took a few seconds of coming fully awake to realize this was one of the Great Lakes. Maybe something I’ll not see again?”

    Maybe; the trends are startling. But though the future will be a warmer one, I’d think that a winter such as we saw in the Balkans this year still wouldn’t be out of the question for the Great Lakes region sometime over the next couple of decades. In that case, I suppose you’d be well-advised to take a flight to go see a frozen Lake Ontario, if you particularly wanted to do so. Further opportunities might be very rare indeed.

    “Climate dice.” It’s important to understand that weather is a (loaded) gamble. I suspect those ‘local skeptics’ may not understand that. Will they change once again, should next winter be cold? “We are the world,” perhaps–but our individual backyards are not, though we might feel otherwise in our hearts. Personal experience is important, but can’t replace looking at the big picture with real data and real analysis.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 10 Mar 2012 @ 9:58 AM

  296. Hmm. Seems “cr@pshoot,” which I’d written for “gamble,” is proscribed by the spam filter. FYI–

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 10 Mar 2012 @ 10:00 AM

  297. #290 Ray Ladbury. “Do you disagree that climate sensitivity estimates have improved over time?” Ray, I am only an interested bystander with very limited knowledge and I am surprised at your pausing to ask me such a question. However I do not think that even the climate cognoscenti have an informed opinion on the subject. Even the sign of cloud feedbacks is not yet determined and the temperature measurements of recent years suggest to me little confidence that sensitivity itself can be closely bounded. And again, what untold secrets will the abyssal depths of the oceans continue to withhold? You say “This is a mature field”. A sad reality seems more likely. As science I’m afraid it may increasingly be seen as a futile and quixotic endeavour.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 10 Mar 2012 @ 12:09 PM

  298. Simon Abingdon,

    If you would stop assuming that the scientific commenters herein are interested in verbal jiujitsu, which seems to be your forte, and realize they are actually interested in science, and use your mind to follow the material, you might understand what part of the science is “mature”.

    I am probably more of an amateur than you, but with the advantage of a vast acquaintance with science and scientists and a brief foray into science itself (biochemistry). They are honest to a fault.

    Please please, try to understand instead of behaving like an incurious or hyperkinetic child with a tower of toy bricks: “see, it’s easy to knock it down, now you build it up for me again.”

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 10 Mar 2012 @ 1:22 PM

  299. Even if the total effect of clouds has not been nailed down yet, it is obviously a small effect compared to the rest of the forcings and feedbacks in the system. The 20th century is pretty well modeled.

    Comment by Gator — 10 Mar 2012 @ 1:55 PM

  300. Simon: “As science I’m afraid it may increasingly be seen as a futile and quixotic endeavour.”

    OK, now I’m sorry, Simon. However, that is just dumb. I cannot figure out whether you are totally unfamiliar with progress in the field or whether your ideology blinds you to progress in the field. I suppose that it doesn’t matter. However, if you have even a tiny vestige of curiosity in your mind, I urge you to actually go to the “START HERE” button and start reading.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 10 Mar 2012 @ 2:10 PM

  301. Simon:

    I am only an interested bystander with very limited knowledge … Even the sign of cloud feedbacks is not yet determined and the temperature measurements of recent years suggest to me little confidence that sensitivity itself can be closely bounded.

    Given your admission of limited knowledge, why should anyone care if you think that sensitivity can be closely bounded? Which, BTW, is an imprecise term, some would argue that the 2.5-4C range typically cited isn’t particularly “closely bounded”, which, despite your insinuations, isn’t supportive of complacency or inaction.

    Comment by dhogaza — 10 Mar 2012 @ 2:26 PM

  302. Gator: The 20th century is pretty well modeled.

    Plus it happened. Clouds don’t seem to have imposed much of a cooling effect, so far.

    Comment by dbostrom — 10 Mar 2012 @ 3:40 PM

  303. #293 Ray Ladbury. “about 2.8 degrees per doubling. I don’t expect this to change during the remaining 988 years of the current millennium”. I like your confidence Ray. But does John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) agree with you?

    Comment by simon abingdon — 11 Mar 2012 @ 4:39 AM

  304. Wind definitely has something to do with the apparent ice coverage on Lake Erie on the south shore, where I lived. I remember one winter (it must have been between 1967-69), we had an extended cold spell with a strong north wind. Ice blew in from Canada, and where the ice packs met out about a half mile, the northern pack was forced above the costal pack. A high school friend of mine and I walked out to this huge pile of jumbled ice, and there was a giant, thick piece of ice that was a beautiful color of blue that thrust 20 feet above the ice plain. I understand that this blue color is the result of how the ice was formed. I will always remember it because it was so cold, windy, remote, and beautiful.

    Oh yes, and very dangerous. A snowstorm blew up, and visibility was reduced to about 5 feet. We almost didn’t get back. But what a memory!

    Comment by Craig Nazor — 11 Mar 2012 @ 5:23 AM

  305. Jim,

    Thanks for the links about Lake Erie ice cover – the chart is very interesting, as is the paper. One thing not included in the paper is ice buildup along the breakwaters along the shore, something that was very noticeable to a kid who made a game out of trying to walk on them without sliding into the frigid water. In November, the storms would blow spray onto these breakwaters, and ice would form, sometimes producing very bizarre sculptures, as well as treacherous footing. This ice would form before any ice on the lake, and would usually last until the spring thaw. The reports I have gotten for this winter (and my friend was very clear about this) is that no ice to speak of formed along the shore or on the breakwaters all winter.

    It sure would have been nice if I had written down a few systematic observations all those years ago! I was always walking along the lake, so I actually MADE the observations, I just didn’t write them down.

    [Response:Yes, and there was very little open water ice as well, essentially all in the western basin, and it was very ephemeral and unanchored. It was just too warm. You might be interested in this site–Jim]

    Comment by Craig Nazor — 11 Mar 2012 @ 5:52 AM

  306. > (it must have been between 1967-69), we had an extended cold spell

    lordy lord lord lord, I was in college 30 miles south of Lake Erie and I remember that winter, a Southern boy completely unprepared for such cold.

    You can’t trust Lake Erie; ever hear about this?
    http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=3401&nm=1882-Lake-Erie-Mystery-Wave

    Sounds like the Even Younger Dryas …

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 Mar 2012 @ 7:50 AM

  307. Simon,
    The favored value for sensitivity has not changed as the error range has narrowed significantly. That is exactly what is expected in a mature field. At a certain point you simply have to accept that we “know” something. We have known the rough magnitude of sensitivity for 116 years.

    Are you similarly skeptical of the existence of atoms–where the evidence is even younger?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 11 Mar 2012 @ 8:02 AM

  308. WRT Great Lakes, chasing a niggle found this at Earth Observatory, among other materials (EO had nothing more relevant on Lakes):
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=76115

    Aqua satellite took this image on October 9, 2011, a little more than a week after a persistent mid-latitude cyclone moved out of the region. The storm brought strong winds to the Great Lakes region, and the resulting sediment first became visible on October 1 as the storm clouds started to move away.

    Some of the pale blue in Lake Erie may be sediment, but the green is an extremely large algal bloom. The algae may have initially spread across the western side of the lake because of windy weather, but calm weather and warm temperatures after the storm allowed green scum to build on the surface … The bloom now covers much of the western half of the lake. “This is considered the worst bloom in decades,” says Stumpf. The green in Saginaw Bay is probably an algal bloom as well.

    Though satellite imagery cannot tell us what type of algae is growing, direct measurements of the water show that the bloom in Lake Erie is mostly microcystis aeruginosa, a toxic algae. Stumpf, whose research group monitors blooms in Lake Erie, measured extremely high concentrations (1,000 micrograms per liter) of microcystin in Lake Erie during the summer. Microcystis aeruginosa produces microcystin, a liver toxin that harms mammals.

    It’s another wing to the whirligig.

    http://www.great-lakes.net/envt/pollution/toxic.html#gen
    There was a lot about contamination; in many cases that is not related to climate science, just one of the many hazards of overexploitation in an interconnected world.

    Nice figure on page 5 here:
    http://www.miseagrant.umich.edu/downloads/research/papers/GLSEDI.pdf
    2002, so just within the millenial bar set by the silly season above.

    I was at the U of R in ’67 (first college try) and well remember multicolored sunrise over those giant ice monster clifflike things – deformed under pressure as described above – “5,000 light years from home” …

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 11 Mar 2012 @ 1:42 PM

  309. https://bridge8.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/screen-shot-2012-01-18-at-6-30-59-pm.png?w=660&h=370

    “… a series of six critical thinking animations …. forms part of an education resource which covers basic logic, faulty arguments and the developing critical thinking skills. It’s designed for year 8-10 …. The accompanying education resource is found here: https://education.technyou.edu.au/critical-thinking

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vjaqM4yd_RA

    hat tip to Metafilter

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 Mar 2012 @ 3:48 PM

  310. Christopher Monckton spawns another organization: The Lord Monckton Foundation.

    The LMF’s objectives are characteristically modest:

    “The Lord Monckton Foundation stands as the wall of the West, the redoubt of reason, the sentinel of science, the fortress of freedom, and the defender of democracy. By this Charter, the Governing Council is directed to obtain and to deploy whatever resources may be necessary for the energetic furtherance of the ambitions and activities of the Foundation, which shall conduct research, publish papers, educate students and the public and take every measure that may be necessary to restore the primacy and use of reason in science and public policy worldwide, especially insofar as they may bear upon the rights of the people fairly and fully to be informed, openly and freely to debate, and secretly by ballot to decide who shall govern them, what laws they shall live by and what imposts they shall endure.”

    Overexposure to alliteration turns off our internal anti-bullshit firewalls; if you are susceptible to hypnosis, be careful when reading The Monckton Mission. Also, be sure not to stare too long at Monckton’s psychedelic mandala of crowns, irresponsibly placed on his website where the unwitting might accidentally become fascinated by its charms.

    Bear in mind that, unfortunate conjunctions with Monckton are innocent errors and should be overlooked.

    Monckton is presently at-large in North America. Be advised.

    Comment by dbostrom — 11 Mar 2012 @ 5:25 PM

  311. #310–Evidently, TMF is also an important Advocate of Alliteration. With Monckton, conjunctions aren’t the only unfortunate parts of speech…

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 11 Mar 2012 @ 8:15 PM

  312. A science question on an open thread.

    A friend was recently wondering why Hansen et al talked so much about silicate rock weathering as a geologic time way of removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

    According to this gentleman, carbonic acid would weather the rocks, and carbon bicarbonate and assorted ions (Ca2+ among them) would wash to the sea. That’s OK so far as it goes…

    His take, which he believes is informed by Lovelock, is that once in the ocean it must be biologically assimilated before it can be removed. If the ocean is too hot for life to fix calcium carbonate, or lacking in nutrients, saturation of bicarbonate will result and the process will equilibrates back toward gaseous CO2.

    I looked around some and didn’t find any published account requiring biotic fixing. One has to wonder, though, why all the calcium ions and bicarbonate ions don’t form calcium carbonate and precipitate out.

    So, one inquiring mind would like to know whether the biotic fixing is required or not. It seems like the ocean of the future – more acidic, warmer, fewer nutrients available due to stratification – would be much less able to support carbonate fixing life.

    Comment by David Miller — 11 Mar 2012 @ 9:39 PM

  313. Interesting to note that for purposes of domain name registration the Lord Monckton Foundation shares its address with “The Climate Sceptics Party” of Australia, w/the same fellow in charge of the Monckton Foundation domain name as well as financial reports for the CSP.

    Comment by dbostrom — 12 Mar 2012 @ 12:28 AM

  314. Sad news–Dr. Sherwood Rowland has passed away:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2012/03/12/rowland-ozone0obit.html

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 12 Mar 2012 @ 10:19 AM

  315. Monckton’s mission “to restore the primacy and use of reason in science and public policy worldwide” rather explicitly states that reason is not used in science. If Monckton would use science and help restore the use of science in public policy, that would be a big help, but I’m not holding my breath.

    Comment by bibasir — 12 Mar 2012 @ 10:28 AM

  316. I saw this release from Judith Curry. I have not read the report, so I don’t know if she attributed the decline in Arctic Ice to AGW.

    “Our study demonstrates that the decrease in Arctic sea ice area is linked to changes in the winter Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation,” said Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech. “The circulation changes result in more frequent episodes of atmospheric blocking patterns, which lead to increased cold surges and snow over large parts of the northern continents.”
    The study was published on Feb. 27, 2012 in the online early edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research was supported by NASA and the National Science Foundation.

    Comment by bibasir — 12 Mar 2012 @ 10:39 AM

  317. SecularAnimist #283. Nice rhetoric. Some good points, but drastically insufficient. Doesn’t address any of my core points.

    Thomas Lee Elifritz #285. You don’t address my points either. I don’t get your reference to Don Lancaster, though we have a Toyota dealership in town under that name. Wikipedia and Google don’t immediately turn up anything relevant. You seem to be addressing someone advocating more FF-powered civilization, a position you couldn’t have found even a hint of in my modest comments. I’m not sure what the reference to space was about. Meaning colonies off Earth??? An impossibility I don’t spend any time thinking about. If you disagree, the onus is on you to prove me wrong by building them.

    Nobody shows any sign of having read the Do the Math blog (best to read all the posts in order). Your ignorance is showing. Go over there and contribute politely to the dialog opened up by the gracious host. Or if you are over your head, just read.

    Nuff said, I’ve made my point. Anybody who really wants a last word, have at it.

    Comment by Ric Merritt — 12 Mar 2012 @ 11:33 AM

  318. Not surprisingly, ClimateProgress puts Sherwood Rowland into modern day context, does a nice job of it.

    From the CP article:

    Nearly 40 years ago, Rowland and post-doctoral student Mario Molina made a shocking discovery: a single chlorine atom byproduct from aerosol hair sprays, deodorants and other popular consumer products could chew up 100,000 ozone atoms in the stratosphere. The stratospheric ozone layer, 12 to 30 miles above Earth, protects life on the planet from harsh solar radiation.

    “Mario and I realized this was not just a scientific question, but a potentially grave environmental problem involving substantial depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer,” Rowland said later. “Entire biological systems, including humans, would be at danger from ultra-violet rays.”
    They decided they had to advocate for a ban on consumer products that were earning billions annually. Industry representatives fought back: At one point Aerosol Age, a trade journal, speculated that Rowland was a member of the Soviet Union’s KGB, out to destroy capitalism. Even some fellow scientists grumbled that he was going overboard with a hypothesis.

    Nobel Committee: “It was to turn out that they had even underestimated the risk.”

    Later:

    By 2008, Rowland was warning that given humanity’s apparent inaction on climate, “his best guess for the peak concentration of carbon dioxide” was a staggering “1,000 parts per million.”

    What’s going to stop that? Punctilious observation of an imaginary firewall between science and public policy?

    Comment by dbostrom — 12 Mar 2012 @ 12:30 PM

  319. Anybody who really wants a last word, have at it.

    It’s a very difficult erg substitution problem, not to be lightly dismissed?

    Leaving aside “peak oil,” Hubbert’s remarks about hydrocarbon molecules being our slaves are helpful. Hubbert of course has been excoriated in various quarters for not believing in magic but if you’re with him and rooted solidly in the material world, better get to work constructing new slaves.

    Comment by dbostrom — 12 Mar 2012 @ 12:47 PM

  320. Rik, Do The Math ultimately means calculating the number of accessible states in a system, and then constructing a model of its structure and your desired evolution of it, and then comparing, usually through approximation, the amount of entropy created as you apply various transformations to it. Then minimize or maximize or optimize away.

    I’m sorry if that conflicts with your worldview. This is how large complex systems function from a mathematical point of view, systems far more complex than ordinary global climate models. You can simplify where appropriate or necessary, or make it as complex as you want. I suggest you start here, but there is a lot of literature out there on this subject :

    Kay, J. “The relationship between information theory and thermodynamics: the mathematical basis” (90K PDF file)

    That is, if you can still find this document. Remember, on this planet we are dealing with some very well understood prexisting biological and environmental conditions, and our knowledge of hard science is evolving.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 12 Mar 2012 @ 3:15 PM

  321. Hello. Just wondering what people’s favorite online weather services are. Do any stand out from the rest?

    I have saved links to Jeff Masters wunderground, accuweather and intellicast. There are also various downloadable programs on the net. I stopped looking at weather.com years ago because it’s annoying bouncing, jouncing java ads, popups, popunders and loads of other advertising combined with it’s piles of cookies kept slowing down and otherwise crashing my computer. I try to avoid sites where marketing is the obvious goal.

    In any case, I’m struck by the divergent forecasts I’ve often gotten from them in the past. Probably part of the reason is the use of different stations. Sometimes though the forecasts are so conflicting you wonder if they are looking at the same sky.

    Anyway is there an, “official” or otherwise, reliable and readable weather forecasting service or program by real experts?

    Thank you.

    Comment by Ron R. — 12 Mar 2012 @ 4:34 PM

  322. Are there problems with the “Understanding the forecast” Climate Science 101 registration page? When I “Create my new account”, it returns me to the form I’ve filled in, with no error messages; and it doesn’t send me an email. Using a different browser yielded the same result.
    http://forecast.uchicago.edu/moodle/login/signup.php

    Comment by Anna — 12 Mar 2012 @ 5:01 PM

  323. dbostrom, a very informative Lindzen link in #354, new to me too. Lindzen weaves RealClimate into his web of nefarious plotting and exaggerated influence. In his telling, this website was founded by Environmental Media Services, and its contributors were recruited (careful use of passive voice here) by shadowy PR and lobbyist characters. The passive voice neatly sidesteps any direct statement that might be contradicted, but the implication is quite clear. On the friendly side, he does credit the contributors with being actual real scientists, so one wonders (well, not really) why he has to use scare quotes for “authoritative” and “truth”.

    And apropos of dbostrom #361, illuminating the deep fear of loss of individual freedom that drives Lindzen, Fred Singer, and so many others: note that in practice this means the freedom to add another billion people every 15 years, to dig up anything we possibly can and turn it into stuff we like to consume, and to protect multinational corporations from interference in their pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. Even if the climate, unexpectedly to most of us here, turns out about the way Lindzen expects and not as that nasty IPCC would have you believe, other global limits will close in. There are many, and they are interdependent. Those now young will see more and more of their effects over a lifetime. The preference for individualism and libertarianism, healthy in many contexts, leads to failure when it ignores reality.

    Comment by Ric Merritt — 13 Mar 2012 @ 1:26 PM

  324. Well, here’s a nasty tradeoff. Suppose at a wild extreme that the world gave up red meat
    https://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/health/research/red-meat-linked-to-cancer-and-heart-disease.html

    Remove all the climate forcings — land use, methane emission, transportation and refrigeration costs, etc.) — associated with red meat agriculture.

    Would the reduction in greenhouse gas forcing balance the increase in longevity and added cost of supporting a larger older population?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 13 Mar 2012 @ 5:48 PM

  325. New topic, don’t know if this would be of interest to any of you. Ain’t our satellites wonderful (long may they live!).

    It’s from Earth Observatory’s Tohoku Earthquake page, you have to choose the most colorful image, 7 across in thumbnails below the picture here:

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Gallery/tsunami.php?src=eoa-features

    The 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan had so many potent effects, but one of the most unusual is the one it had on the upper atmosphere. The ripples moving through the landscape and the seascape created ripples in the ionosphere, a layer above 85 kilometers (50 miles) in altitude where molecules are broken into electrons and ions by the Sun’s radiation.

    This image—a still-frame from an animation (linked here)—shows how waves of energy from the earthquake and tsunami propagated up to the edge of space and disturbed the density of the electrons in the ionosphere. The image is based on sophisticated modeling of the distortion of radio signals between Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites and ground receivers. The map shows changes in the Total Electron Content (TEC) in the ionosphere.

    The earthquake created acoustic and Rayleigh waves that moved up into the ionosphere within 10 minutes after the quake. Similarly, the motion of the tsunami also disturbed the atmosphere, creating gravity waves that took 30 to 40 minutes to reach the ionosphere. The gravity waves matched the horizontal speed of the tsunami, roughly 200 to 300 meters per second. Provoked by both the quake and the tsunami, these atmospheric gravity waves traveled over and to the west of Japan, while the tsunami was stopped by the coast.


    Ric Merritt@~323, that’s fascinating and worth remembering. Goes with Lindzen article.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 13 Mar 2012 @ 9:24 PM

  326. Hank question: Would the reduction in greenhouse gas forcing balance the increase in longevity and added cost of supporting a larger older population?

    Doubtosphere, never alarmed: “Alarmists say we must all become vegans, submit to death panel judgement. Vote GOP.”

    Comment by dbostrom — 13 Mar 2012 @ 10:42 PM

  327. Snarkosphere: the higher on the hog your cohort eats, the sooner they and their values pass away.

    That’s true, you know. The lords get the turnips, the serfs get the turnip greens — plus a scrap of fatback which reduces mixing of oxygen during boiling, protecting the vitamins. Or so I learned decades ago.

    Maybe a discount coupon program could be arranged for those who see high on the hog as their proper position in life.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 13 Mar 2012 @ 11:02 PM

  328. To borrow a phrase, another nail in the coffin of flattened warming.

    ” Global climate change results from a small yet persistent imbalance between the amount of sunlight absorbed by Earth and the thermal radiation emitted back to space1. An apparent inconsistency has been diagnosed between interannual variations in the net radiation imbalance inferred from satellite measurements and upper-ocean heating rate from in situ measurements, and this inconsistency has been interpreted as ‘missing energy’ in the system2. Here we present a revised analysis of net radiation at the top of the atmosphere from satellite data, and we estimate ocean heat content, based on three independent sources. We find that the difference between the heat balance at the top of the atmosphere and upper-ocean heat content change is not statistically significant when accounting for observational uncertainties in ocean measurements3, given transitions in instrumentation and sampling. Furthermore, variability in Earth’s energy imbalance relating to El Niño-Southern Oscillation is found to be consistent within observational uncertainties among the satellite measurements, a reanalysis model simulation and one of the ocean heat content records. We combine satellite data with ocean measurements to depths of 1,800 m, and show that between January 2001 and December 2010, Earth has been steadily accumulating energy at a rate of 0.50±0.43 Wm−2 (uncertainties at the 90% confidence level). We conclude that energy storage is continuing to increase in the sub-surface ocean.”

    Comment by dbostrom — 14 Mar 2012 @ 2:00 AM

  329. db,
    In other words, since we cannot find the missing heat, it must be in the deep oceans.

    Comment by Dan H. — 14 Mar 2012 @ 7:53 AM

  330. Dan,
    Gee, that’s a really creative way to interpret that paper, since they are saying that in fact they did find the heat. More Dan H. doublespeak?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 14 Mar 2012 @ 8:50 AM

  331. > More Dan H. doublespeak?

    Nope. Google his phrase; it’s a talking point also found at Watts’s, Spencer’s, Freerepublic, joannenova, tallbloke, and omniclimate.

    And that’s just the first page of the search results.

    Dan’s acting as a tube, transporting stuff from elsewhere to here.
    _______________________
    Anyone believe Recaptcha is an AI oracle? Its choice:
    “certainly offitYo”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 Mar 2012 @ 10:07 AM

  332. In other words, since we cannot find the missing heat, it must be in the deep oceans.

    Quite likely some of it in the deep ocean but more to the immediate point also now a component is a bit more likely to be found in the upper ocean, as you’ll notice if you actually read the abstract.

    Sadly we’re not going to find all the “missing heat” in one dramatic swoop. It takes a whole bag of little nails fully pounded in to firmly close a coffin; hammering on one 40d nail only to see it bending and zinging off into eternity and then immediately moving on to another nail at another part of the lid won’t see the job done properly.

    See Trenberth’s informal comments on this paper for insight into how many nails are needed and the skill with which the hammer must be wielded. Fun stuff for spectators!

    Comment by dbostrom — 14 Mar 2012 @ 11:16 AM

  333. Most excellent interview with Mike Mann on the CBC today – reluctant public advocate for science or not you present the situation well Michael, thank you. [And thanks to the always skilled interviewer.]

    Comment by flxible — 14 Mar 2012 @ 12:08 PM

  334. Iceland:
    “… the current decade has experienced the largest warming over the past 60 years.”
    PDF: Gridding daily temperature in Iceland

    P Crochet, T Jóhannesson – 2011

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 Mar 2012 @ 1:53 PM

  335. David Brin writes:

    “Michael Sterzik, an astronomer at the European Southern Observatory in Santiago, Chile, looked for biosignatures in Earthshine — the sunlight that’s been reflected off of Earth to the dark portion of the Moon’s face and then back to our planet. “The state of polarization contains a lot of information that hasn’t been used very often,” Sterzik says. Once the planetary component is thus separated, it can be analyzed for spectral components like water, methane, or even chlorophyll.

    Hm… actually, this sounds like reason to call up my old UCSD physics Masters Thesis. While my doctorate provided the modern explanation for comets (covered in a dusty, insulating layer), the earlier work was an advance in the theoretical treatment of polarized light passing through inhomogeneous, unevenly absorbing media… in other words, planetary atmospheres. …”

    http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2012/03/potpourri-eavesdropping-surveillance.html

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 Mar 2012 @ 3:34 PM

  336. I just saw a denier post this link. The link is the usual denialist chaff invoking PDO and citing the Oregon Petition and what ever to explain Alaska’s temperature rise and to claim the raise is not out of the ordinary. The interesting thing is that it is on a NOAA web site belonging to the Alaska office of NOAA.
    Anyone know what gives?

    Comment by Trent1492 — 14 Mar 2012 @ 4:46 PM

  337. hm.

    “one of the ways we can attempt to make some sense of data, is accomplished by approximating those graphs with a mathematical function…. such as … Fourier analysis …. I preformed this type of analysis on November through March temperature data for 11 sites across Alaska. The results clearly show that there is roughly a 20 to 30 year cycle in the temperature data, which corresponds to the PDO cycle.”

    “preformed” (sic) opinion piece, apparently.

    “Recommended WebSites:

    + Western Region Climate Center (good place for temp and precip data)
    http://www.wrcc.dri.edu

    + Global Warming
    http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p36.htm
    http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/globalwarming
    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/paelo/globalwarming/what.html

    oy.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 Mar 2012 @ 5:00 PM

  338. “any number or curve can be split into a multitude of different components, most of which will not have any physical meaning.”
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/08/an-exercise-about-meaningful-numbers-examples-from-celestial-attribution-studies/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 Mar 2012 @ 5:07 PM

  339. Hm.

    “Wavelet analysis shows that this relative urban warming trend was primarily manifested in the form of multi- decadal and interseasonal cycles that are likely attributable to gradual increased winter heating in Ottawa (heat island effects) associated with population growth. We estimate that the 1°C increase in the Ottawa temperature is equivalent to an increase in population size of ~400,000. In contrast, interannual variability correlates well between rural and urban areas with about the same temperature amplitudes.”

    Application of Wavelet and Regression Analysis in Assessing Temporal and Geographic Climate Variability: Eastern Ontario, Canada as a Case Study
    Andreas Prokoph1* and R. Timothy Patterson2

    http://fossil.earthsci.carleton.ca/%7Etpatters/pubs2/2004/prokoph2004atmos-ocean42_201-212.pdf

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 Mar 2012 @ 5:13 PM

  340. Hello, I’ve been talking with some chaps over at Climate Skeptic. One of them has challenged the current understanding of water vapor amplification. He uses some insulting language, and I apologize for that, but below is his comment and the link this poster provides:

    “The alarmist cause is dependent upon amplification by water vapor.

    “Since water vapor has gone down since 1950 the theory must be wrong mustn’t it ?

    http://climate4you.com/images/NOAA%20ESRL%20AtmospericRelativeHumidity%20GlobalMonthlyTempSince1948%20With37monthRunningAverage.gif

    Is this a correct understanding of the amplification? Does Real Climate have some threads or links to papers or paper titles which answer this question?

    Thank you.

    [Response: Water vapour hasn’t gone down. The chart you have been pointed at is a model result from the original NCEP reanalysis. Changes in what data are assimilated into that system over time, and changes in the quality of the radiosondes has created a false and non-climatic trend. In newer and more sophisticated reanalyses, this effect is not seen (rather the opposite is seen), and that is coherent with direct measurements – at the surface, via satellite and in the upper troposphere. People who show you this without mentioning any of the rest are guilty of serious misrepresentation. Take the rest of what they say with a great pinch of salt. – gavin]

    Comment by Waldo — 14 Mar 2012 @ 7:02 PM

  341. “Since water vapor has gone down since 1950 the theory must be wrong mustn’t it ?

    A favorite. Try What does the full body of evidence tell us about humidity and/or Climate cherry pickers: Falling humidity

    Comment by dbostrom — 14 Mar 2012 @ 7:36 PM

  342. #340–Well, probably someone more knowledgeable will have something to say about this, but in the meantime–

    First, water vapor is just one feedback, but it is definitely a major one.

    So–note that the bottom curve seems to have rising relative humidity, while the upper one has falling? And the middle one seems to fall early, then stabilize? Those curves, as the legend makes plain, show the evolution of relative humidity over time at different altitudes in the atmosphere. The bottom is near surface–the air you and I breathe–the top is around 9 km, and the middle curve is somewhere, well, in the middle.

    Guess where the mass of the atmosphere is concentrated?

    Right–near the ground, in the near-surface layer. So the rising trend in the lower curve is going to represent much more water vapor added to the atmosphere than the declining top curve represents as leaving it.

    Now, a proper analysis of this would involve actually doing the sums, not ‘eyeballing it’ as I’ve done here. You’ll find that the pros have done that–unlike your unmannerly interlocutor. Perhaps someone has a specific reference? I’d look, but I’ve got to go see if the noodles are done yet.

    (Yes, really.)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 14 Mar 2012 @ 7:54 PM

  343. Trent,
    You may be interested in other work by John Papineau.
    http://www2.gi.alaska.edu/~bhatt/Teaching/ATM693.Climate.JC/spring_10/papineau.pdf

    Comment by Dan H. — 14 Mar 2012 @ 8:29 PM

  344. Thank you. Any additional insights would be greatly appreciated.

    Comment by Waldo — 14 Mar 2012 @ 9:34 PM

  345. Waldo, another way to look at this is to think what would happen if this actually were true, and absolute humidity would be approximately constant when the climate warms up. It would mean that relative humidity would go down by some 7% for every degree of warming. And it is relative humidity that controls the formation of clouds and precipitation.

    Clouds form when locally, relative humidity exceeds 100%. Lower relative humidity means less clouds; how much less, I couldn’t tell; clouds are tricky and also the big unknown in current models. But less clouds means a lower albedo, bringing in though the back door a positive feedback again… and about precipitation, we as a society are much more dependent upon that than upon constant temperature. Summa summarum, the (fortunately counterfactual) absence of the water vapour feedback would concern me more, not less.

    Note also that going back to the ice ages, the glacial-interglacial temperature swing cannot be explained without full water vapour feedback on top of both the ice sheet albedo and CO2 effects. Fortunately, because with constant absolute water vapour, relative humidity would be some 5×7%=35% higher than today, and the last glacial maximum would be (counter to what we think we know) a foggy, soggy place…

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 15 Mar 2012 @ 12:58 AM

  346. Trent1492 –

    I can’t see anything particularly wrong with the text in the link. I think it’s worth understanding that the author is assessing climate variability from an entirely regional perspective, a scale at which the global warming signal is much harder to detect. That’s especially true in places like Alaska where interannual variability is large. At this scale circulation changes likely do have a considerable impact, perhaps even on a multidecadal timescale.

    The inclusion of the OISM link is curious but the timing – about 2002 by the looks of it – may provide some understanding. OISM sent their stuff out to many scientists working in meteorology around this time and Papineau may have mistaken it for a legitimate reference, not having much of a background in global climate change himself.

    Comment by Paul S — 15 Mar 2012 @ 5:34 AM

  347. Papineau links–

    I agree with Paul. The views seem mildly skeptical, but not outrageous for someone focusing on monthly anomalies on a regional scale, and who is clearly very interested in various ‘cycles.’ They may be convenient for denialist propaganda, but they are also real, relevant, and worthy of honest study.

    But I do wonder why one would focus on regional work more than a decade old now? What would a more contemporary analysis of Alaskan data show?

    Let me look–

    OK, a simple powerpoint presentation from a Corps of Engineers official:

    http://www.climatechange.alaska.gov/docs/afe10/1_R-Menge.pdf

    Then there’s the Arctic report card, 2011, though of course that’s not limited to just Alaska:

    http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/temperature_clouds.html

    Or, in the scholarly literature per se, there’s this analysis:

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/1804324055080856/

    And, in the realm of methods, a caution that trend analysis in Alaska may not be robust wrt methodological choices:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2010JD014289.shtml

    Biological impacts:

    http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/nrc/cjfr/2010/00000040/00000007/art00002

    Pan-Arctic information; if you can get past the paywall, I think you’d find Alaska in context:

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00081.1?journalCode=clim

    Somewhat similar:

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2010EGUGA..12.8342M

    Elapsed time: maybe a half hour.

    So why are we concentrating on work that may be worthy, but is somewhat obscure and quite definitely dated?

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 15 Mar 2012 @ 7:56 AM

  348. So why are we concentrating on work that may be worthy, but is somewhat obscure and quite definitely dated?

    Because some contrarian stumbled upon it and its obscurity and regional nature makes it fodder for “the cause”. It appears to be data analysis specifically for improving/ understanding regional forecasting.

    Note the link is from a National Weather Service page at a regional weather center with unofficial Alaskan climate info and analyses, including other docs by the same person, and that the site generally is for weather forecasting and analysis, not climatology.

    Comment by flxible — 15 Mar 2012 @ 10:17 AM

  349. Question: Is the Meinshausen et al graph (down in here (link)) still considered an accurate reflection of what’s known and projected?

    Comment by Anna Haynes — 15 Mar 2012 @ 12:41 PM

  350. Anna,
    In short, no. The rapid acceleration in CO2 emissions depicted is seen as worst case, and highly unlikely. Although technically, this could have happened if we did not start the small switch to alternative sources.

    The projected warming is also based on high-end climate sensitivity. Again, while technically possible, this is becoming less likely. The combination of two high-end predictions, skews the graph to the high end.

    [Response: While you might wish this was true, it is not. The Nature paper this is based on is clearer. While the CO2 growth rate in the figure is based on A1F1 – a high end emission scenario yes, but not one that can be easily ruled out as impossible – the response uses a wide range of climate sensitivities that span the possible range. The probabilities of exceeding 2 deg C as a function of different emission paths is spelled out in the paper (i.e .fig 3) and show that regardless of the scenario, it is highly unlikely we will stay below 2 deg C (above PI temperatures) without climate mitigation. See also our commentary on the paper. – gavin]

    Comment by Dan H. — 15 Mar 2012 @ 6:16 PM

  351. http://blogs.sciencemag.org/newsblog/2009/02/climate-change-worst-case-scen.html
    Findings – The *Science* Magazine News Blog

    “February 14, 2009
    Climate Change Worst-Case Scenarios: Not Worst Enough

    The news on climate change seemed bad enough in 2007, when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announced in their fourth assessment report that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal,” that humans were “very likely” to blame, and that if we keep pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, climate will “very likely” change much more than it did in the 20th century. But researchers reported today that, in the 2 years since the report was released, the news has gotten even worse….”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 15 Mar 2012 @ 7:14 PM

  352. “…the small switch to alternative sources.”

    Wait–wasn’t the use of alternative sources going to create instant economic Armageddon, or some such?

    Well, hey, if it’s just a small switch, and we already did it…

    ;-)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 15 Mar 2012 @ 8:08 PM

  353. Just caught Michael Mann at Politics & Prose in DC, and my compliments to him for coming off as a natural at public outreach. I have to echo somebody else’s sentiment that we’re lucky he’s the one to get picked for harassment. He expressed the need for somebody to pick up Sagan’s job for being science’s human face — sir, I’m afraid you’ve been drafted!

    Comment by afeman — 15 Mar 2012 @ 8:20 PM

  354. Given the foofaraw about British vineyards in Roman times, this study of Australian vineyards over the past several decades is rather a nice counterpoint:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120315095803.htm

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 15 Mar 2012 @ 8:33 PM

  355. #348–flxible:

    I’m shocked–shocked!

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 15 Mar 2012 @ 8:35 PM

  356. The Meinshausen 2009 Nature paper is available here (pdf): https://www1.ethz.ch/iac/people/knuttir/papers/meinshausen09nat.pdf

    Comment by Rick Brown — 15 Mar 2012 @ 9:17 PM

  357. Interview with Mike Mann here:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-15/climate-scientist-slams-orchestrated-assault-on/3892958

    It was a good interview, but in my opinion mike needs to be a little bit more clear as to way his UK colleagues did not include the tree ring data which diverged from temperature.

    In science, data that does not agree should not be thrown away (or hidden). This was the impression you gave in the interview unfortunately. You need to have a better explanation…maybe the trees were waterlogged, etc.. You mentioned pollution as a possible cause, but unless you know for sure….your UK friends need to include that data.

    Comment by Isotopious — 16 Mar 2012 @ 12:17 AM

  358. A prattler from upthread, polluting minds with rubbish:

    The rapid acceleration in CO2 emissions depicted is seen as worst case, and highly unlikely.

    Alternatively, somebody who knows the subject:

    The news on climate change seemed bad enough in 2007, when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announced in their fourth assessment report that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal,” that humans were “very likely” to blame, and that if we keep pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, climate will “very likely” change much more than it did in the 20th century. But researchers reported today that, in the 2 years since the report was released, the news has gotten even worse.
    Climate scientist Chris Field of Stanford University relayed the first bit of bad news to a sober audience during his talk, “What is New and Surprising since the IPCC Fourth Assessment.” According to a paper his group published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2007, humans are now pumping out climate-warming gases nearly three times faster than the IPCC authors anticipated in their worst-case scenario. Specifically, Field described how carbon emissions had been increasing at 0.9% per year through the 1990s, but accelerated to 3.5% per year growth between 2000 and 2007.

    Climate Change Worst-Case Scenarios: Not Worst Enough

    (thanks, Hank.)

    A graph of reality is here. The curve tells us how we’re behaving in the world outside the space between the prattler’s ears. Crucially, the direction of the curve tells us that whatever we say we’re going to do, we’re accelerating the process of messing up our only habitable sphere.

    But what about the economic slowdown? Nope, not enough, as usual we have to count -all- years:

    Global emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil-fuel burning jumped by the largest amount on record last year, upending the notion that the brief decline during the recession might persist through the recovery.

    Emissions rose 5.9 percent in 2010, according to an analysis released Sunday by the Global Carbon Project, an international collaboration of scientists tracking the numbers. Scientists with the group said the increase, a half-billion extra tons of carbon pumped into the air, was almost certainly the largest absolute jump in any year since the Industrial Revolution, and the largest percentage increase since 2003.

    The increase solidified a trend of ever-rising emissions that scientists fear will make it difficult, if not impossible, to forestall severe climate change in coming decades.

    Carbon Emissions Show Biggest Jump Ever Recorded”

    Comment by dbostrom — 16 Mar 2012 @ 12:48 AM

  359. Thank you Rick,
    While the Meinshausen report uses the A1F1 scenario as Gavin described, CO2 concentrations have been increasing at a rate more closely following the A1B scenario.
    http://www.ipcc-data.org/ddc_co2.html

    This would result in year 2100 atmospheric CO2 concentrations of 700 ppm, not 1000, as presumed by Meinhausen.

    [Response: The difference in 2012 between scenarios is small, and certainly can’t be sensibly extrapolated for the next 89 years. – gavin]

    Secondly, the Meinshausen paper shows the 2100 temperature rise a full 1C above the IPCC AR4 projection for the A1F1 scenario.
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/spms3.html

    [Response: Note the range not just the mean or median. Small differences are likely due to the carbon cycle model used and the trends in additional forcings. It is not due to higher climate sensitivities. – gavin]

    Comment by Dan H. — 16 Mar 2012 @ 6:32 AM

  360. Isotopious,
    The divergence between reconstructed and measured temperature in the late 20th century was neither hidden nor glossed over. When the measurements and reconstruction diverge for a small portion of where we have both, it makes sense to put in the measurements. The measurements are not in doubt–even by denialists at BEST.

    The only thing the divergence calls into question is the fidelity of the reconstruction to actual temperatures–and as we have independent measures of this that are in accord, that is not an issue. That’s how science works–never rely on a single measurement or source for anything important.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 16 Mar 2012 @ 7:42 AM

  361. Gavin,
    Let me understand your conclusion. Are you claiming that small differences in CO2 emissions and the carbon cycle model are responsible for the differences between the Meinshausen range of 3.5-8C temperature increase and the IPCC likely range of 1.7-4.4C in 2100?

    [Response: Read the Meinshausen paper. The varied a large number of things around reasonable ranges – the emissions, sensitivity, carbon cycle parameters, while optimising against observed data. The median and range of their results is different to what the IPCC derived using a single model tuned to sensitivities from the GCMs. I think it is likely that the dominant difference is the carbon cycle feedback in a rapidly warming world which was not included in the IPCC figure you linked. But all the code and output from Meinshausen et al is available – you could do something useful and actually work it out instead of just assuming an answer that you find pleasing. – gavin]

    Comment by Dan H. — 16 Mar 2012 @ 9:38 AM

  362. Regarding the CERN/CLOUD results suggesting an aerosol nucleation link with cosmic-rays, I was wondering why the focus is always on clouds? Wouldn’t an increased/decreased aerosol burden associated with GCR changes also have a direct scattering or absorbing effect?

    Comment by Paul S — 16 Mar 2012 @ 10:05 AM

  363. Dan H. ‘cites’ a link at the IPCC as the source for his claim about the difference between two trends. It’s a picture with a single dashed line that shows nothing at all.

    I’m reminded of the investigation by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle about which Conan Doyle wrote:

    “The evidence was so complete and detailed, with such good names attached to it, that it was difficult to believe that it was false; but, being by nature of a somewhat sceptical turn, I felt that something closer was needed before I could feel personal conviction …. I am adding nothing by way of explanations or theories of my own ….”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Mar 2012 @ 10:20 AM

  364. Conan Doyle’s evidence: http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/cof/img/04900.jpg

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Mar 2012 @ 10:21 AM

  365. 312 David Miller wondered: “So, one inquiring mind would like to know whether the biotic fixing is required or not. It seems like the ocean of the future – more acidic, warmer, fewer nutrients available due to stratification – would be much less able to support carbonate fixing life.”

    Well, sitting on the kindle on my “smart” phone is a really great book by some guy named David Archer: The Global Carbon Cycle. If I had actually read this book I could probably attempt to answer your question. As it is I can only recommend that you read it! The kindle version is about $15 on amazon.

    In any event, pretty early on in the book (a bit after box 2.2 , “The World According to Oxygen Isotopes”) he says: that cores taken from “Intermediate depths in the ocean … show warming of perhaps 5C” and that this warming was caused by CO2 the source of which is still controversial. I believe that the reduction in atmospheric CO2 after the palocene was due to weathering, so even with the warm acidic oceans apparently some sequestration mechanism operated. But don’t take my word for it. Read “The Global Carbon Cycle”!

    Comment by John E Pearson — 16 Mar 2012 @ 11:39 AM

  366. A nicely-written story on CO2 monitoring:

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/in-the-curve-monitoring-rising-carbon-emissions

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 16 Mar 2012 @ 12:13 PM

  367. This looks to be pretty up-to-date on emissions vs. SRES scenarios. Looks to be an individual effort, worked up from published data.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Global_Warming_Observed_CO2_Emissions_from_fossil_fuel_burning_vs_IPCC_scenarios.jpg

    At the moment we’re a bit closer to A2 than A1F1, but we’re definitely on the high side of things.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 16 Mar 2012 @ 12:21 PM

  368. Wiley coverup: The great Wegman and Said “redo” to hide plagiarism and errors

    I had thought the saga of climate science critic Edward Wegman and the various allegations of misconduct in his recent work could not possibly get any more bizarre, especially in the wake of manifestly contradictory findings in two recently concluded investigations at George Mason University.

    But in a shocking new development, it turns out that two problematic overview articles by Wegman and his protege and congressional report co-author Yasmin Said in Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Computational Statistics (WIREs CS), have been completely revised. Those revisions saw the removal or rewriting of massive swathes of copy-and-paste scholarship, as well as correction of many errors identified by myself and others. In each case, the comprehensive revisions came “at the request of the Editors-in-Chief and the Publisher”, following complaints to Wiley alleging wholesale plagiarism. But Wegman and Said also happen to be two of the three chief editors of WIREs CompStat, thus raising compelling concerns of conflict of interest, to say the least.

    In fact, it is very clear that Wiley’s own process for handling misconduct cases was egregiously abused in favour of a face-saving “redo” manoeuvre. And this latest episode raises disturbing new questions about the role of the third WIREs CS editor-in-chief (and “hockey stick” congressional report co-author) David Scott, and indeed Wiley management itself, in enabling the serial misconduct of Wegman and Said.

    More here

    Comment by Deep Climate — 16 Mar 2012 @ 12:53 PM

  369. Deep Climate says:
    16 Mar 2012 at 12:53 PM
    Wiley coverup: The great Wegman and Said “redo” to hide plagiarism and errors

    An amazing narrative; unless the evidence was there for all to see it’d be unbelievable.

    Pity the author or reader relying on that journal for concrete citations; published articles in Computational Statistics are susceptible to imperceptible melting and reformation between the time they’re originally published and then used for subsequent work.

    Perhaps a note could be added to submission guidelines elsewhere: Authors citing articles in Computational Statistics are advised to provide an MD5 hash for such works in references.

    Comment by dbostrom — 16 Mar 2012 @ 2:13 PM

  370. Speaking of nominating Mike Mann for more legal hijinks, I note with distress that the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund has only garnered a meager $25,000. Anybody?

    http://climatesciencedefensefund.org/
    https://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/823/p/salsa/donation/common/public/?donate_page_KEY=7935

    Some of you have been kind enough to ask about PW. He has donated …

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 16 Mar 2012 @ 6:35 PM

  371. From the link
    http://blogs.sciencemag.org/newsblog/2009/02/climate-change-worst-case-scen.html posted by Mr. Roberts:

    From Amy Cazenave:
    “For reasons that Cazenave says are not understood, water stopped expanding, perhaps temporarily, a few years ago. But sea level kept rising, which means that the water had to come from land”

    The table at
    http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=kt167nb66r&chunk.id=d3_4_ch03&toc.id=ch03&brand=eschol

    suggests the heat into the ocean is now going into colder and fresher water, whose expansion coefficient is smaller than warmer and more saline water, resulting in smaller contribution to sea level rise.

    Also I have some doubts that the frequently used Boussinesq approximation might compound the issue. But that is probably a result of my own ignorance.

    sidd

    Comment by sidd — 16 Mar 2012 @ 9:06 PM

  372. Hudson bay images:
    http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?project=other&subset=HudsonBay.2012076.terra.1km
    looks like the coastal leads have started to form, good luck to anyone moving about with snowmobiles.

    Comment by jyyh — 17 Mar 2012 @ 4:36 AM

  373. On Friday, March 16, 2012, the famous paleoclimatologist Dr. Michael Mann spoke to all the students and faculty at Bishop O’Connell High School, a very large Catholic high school in Arlington,VA. Dr. Mann explained the science of climate change and the possible consequences of not addressing the problem. He showed pictures from his book “Dire Consequences: Understanding Global Warming.”

    The students, who are studying climate change in science, asked a lot of questions that impressed Dr. Mann. The science teachers were really proud of the thoughtful questions the kids asked.

    The Ecology Club all had their pictures taken with Dr. Mann. They were smiling like they were standing next to a rock star!

    Just so everyone knows, Catholic educational institutions teach the peer-reviewed science and follow the lead of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which includes scientists who have helped write the IPCC Assessments.

    Thanks to Dr. Mann, Bishop O’Connell students will be able to continue studying real science if they attend a secular state university in Virginia.

    Comment by Snapple — 17 Mar 2012 @ 6:47 AM

  374. Power supply nerds will be interested in this special report from Canada’s CBC. Nice overview, regional coverage, and a cool interactive feature:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/features/power-switch/index.html

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 17 Mar 2012 @ 7:09 AM

  375. Here’s the link to the above.
    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2012/03/climate-scientist-dr-michael-mann.html

    Comment by Snapple — 17 Mar 2012 @ 7:15 AM

  376. Regarding the sciencemag link (which I note is 3 years old now), it seems to me the the Ellard comment makes some pretty hairy assumptions about the relationship between water temperatures and surface temperatures . . .

    Comment by ozajh — 17 Mar 2012 @ 8:23 AM

  377. Oh, and early climate science buffs may want to check out (ahem!) my debut SkS article, an examination of the work of William Charles Wells, who observed backradiation from cloud in–wait for it!–1811:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Shorter_Wells.html

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 17 Mar 2012 @ 9:30 AM

  378. > citing articles in Computational Statistics

    A quite serious question — is there a way to cite the original vs. the changed papers?

    I see the journal has given up paper printed publication entirely as of this year, which facilitates such post-publiation revision.

    A proper way to refer to text in the original vs. the revised paper, for academic purposes, is needed for the original to be distinguished.

    How would a history of science paper discuss this, say if Dr. Weart were writing about the events?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 17 Mar 2012 @ 11:04 AM

  379. Hank – You can always try the way back machine
    [spaminator won’t let me post the link?? ]

    Comment by flxible — 17 Mar 2012 @ 11:58 AM

  380. Hank: …is there a way to cite the original vs. the changed papers?

    I see the journal has given up paper printed publication entirely as of this year, which facilitates such post-publiation revision.

    Which makes expedient, silent morphing of papers easier but simultaneously makes the employment of a hash function to assure integrity easier.

    The first people to use email saw it as an entirely beneficial thing, until the invention of spam. Here’s another emergent effect from good intentions; electronic publication is unalloyed awesomium until we notice that not everybody acts in good faith.

    So far this is just a joke. :-)

    Comment by dbostrom — 17 Mar 2012 @ 2:41 PM

  381. http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-03-weird-weather-twisters-250k-tons.html

    Weird weather: heat, twisters, 250K tons of snow

    climate scientist Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria says: “When you start to see the extreme events become more common, that’s when you can say that it is a consequence of global warming.”

    Comment by wili — 17 Mar 2012 @ 3:39 PM

  382. Just wanted to add my congratulations to Prof. Mann on the book. I read it in a sitting this afternoon. As an admittedly armchair climate geek I was familiar with a lot of this material but to see it laid out calmly and factually and in sequence in one place was at times, frankly shocking. A point I made in a short review on the Amazon UK site, which ended:

    “This is not a technical book on climate change, as others have said, however if you want your opinion on the AGW debate to be an informed one or are interested in the political forces even now shaping the future global climate, this is essential reading.”

    Comment by Phil Clarke — 17 Mar 2012 @ 4:19 PM

  383. > citing
    No, I know about the Wayback Machine (don’t know if they have copies of the original Computational Statistics paper, but as it’s paywalled, it’s unlikely).

    I’m asking hoping one of the readers here is someone like Spencer Weart — academic librarian or science historian — who might need to cite to the original vs. the altered version of that Computational Statistics paper.

    As paper goes away and links rot — and years go by — people will need references to the original paper, and to the revision.

    Not looking for the pointer to Deepclimate blog, or for opinions about how this might or could or should be done.

    I’m fishing for an answer from an actual librarian or science historian, trying to bait one to rise up and respond.

    It’s my standard research method (grin):

    “Glendower: I can call the spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them?”

    Just hoping one of the readers here is a real reference librarian or historian of science — wanting to ask how a professional handles this sort of cite.

    ——

    on weird weather, this is new:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2012GL051000.shtml

    Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes
    doi:10.1029/2012GL051000
    17 March 2012

    Enhanced Arctic warming reduces poleward temperature gradient
    Weaker gradient affects waves in upper-level flow in two observable ways
    Both effects slow weather patterns, favoring extreme weather

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 17 Mar 2012 @ 4:50 PM

  384. @369, @380: Please do not employ raw hash functions to authenticate documents. Most raw hash functions (including especially MD5) are vulnerable to a message-extension attack. In this attack, a person who has document D and hash H(D) can formulate additional text T, such that when it’s appended to D, the hash of the resulting document H(D || T) == H(D).

    Use an HMAC instead of a raw hash, or (if you must) provide both H(D) and length(D), and tell your readers to check both.

    And don’t use MD5 for anything to do with authentication.

    Comment by Meow — 17 Mar 2012 @ 5:26 PM

  385. Hope this in’t considered too far out there for Unforced Variations. It’s a bit Twilight Zoneish:

    I’ve often wondered about why so many people are self-destructive even in the face of evidence of impending hazard. For example we know a large percentage of the population is part of a political party that is pretty much officially anti-environmental even though we need the environment in order to survive. Die-hard climate change skeptics far into this category.

    What could explain this mass insanity? Could it be something as simple as a “single-celled parasite in the protozoan family”?
    On a Hypothesis for Self-Destructive Behavior or A Possible Explanation for Climate Skeptics and other Nature Haters. (my title)

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1969/12/how-your-cat-is-making-you-crazy/8873/?google_editors_picks=true

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11580990

    http://schizophreniabulletin.oxfordjournals.org/content/33/3/757.full

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuopJYLBvrI

    Comment by Ron R. — 17 Mar 2012 @ 8:31 PM

  386. I was just waiting for somebody to point out the fallibility of MD5. :-) One (me, for instance) wonders about the probability of creating text such that it fulfills the function of revising erroneous content of the original while also meeting the requirement of producing a hash collision with same but nonetheless it’s quite true that later hash functions don’t sport the potential for manipulation of that kind at all.

    Hank’s question is a good one. Surely there’s protocol for this?

    Comment by dbostrom — 17 Mar 2012 @ 9:14 PM

  387. 259 Thomas L E said, “From an straight out quantitative entropy and/or exergy analysis of fixed infrastructure non mobile applications – solar, wind and hydro are vastly superior to anything out there. Sorry, but that is the definition of quality.”

    “Quality” has many meanings and can be (has been here) linked to “energy”, “energy source”, “set” (as in SA’s original contention), or the implied whole system of power production, so I’m sure there are plenty of valid opinions. I won’t address hydro in this post except to say it’s of highly variable quality (the Mississippi has tons of energy but good luck harnessing it) and has both positive and negative externalities. Your analysis seems to exclude externalities, but I’d guess SA included them. I’ll exclude them here, especially since they could dwarf everything else in a BAU scenario.

    In descending rank:

    For natural resources, quality generally means concentration. Solar and wind are diffuse and intermittent, which makes them low quality. I think this is what Tony Weddle was referring to in his original post, which would make this the “correct” definition.

    Energy returned on energy invested is another measure of quality. Using this metric (and this random chart), wind is about like oil but far worse than coal, and solar sucks.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:EROI_-_Ratio_of_Energy_Returned_on_Energy_Invested_-_USA.svg

    For energy, quality often means convertibility. I don’t accept your exclusion of mobile applications, because they are the primary convertibility issue! Using this definition, solar and wind are low quality.

    Efficiency is a measure of quality. Solar cells can be ~10-15% efficient and wind 30%, but fossil fuel plants can be 60%. For heating applications, fossil fuels often exceed 90% efficiency.

    Longevity is an issue. Solar and wind can’t touch a coal power plant. Coal plants built with 1920s technology are still running. How long would you estimate a new one will last?

    Finally, last but perhaps first, economics. Currently, wind and solar are not widely competitive without subsidies. In niche markets, they make economic sense without subsidies.

    Your “quantitative entropy and/or exergy analysis” may trump all that. Would you explain it? Thanks.

    Comment by Jim Larsen — 18 Mar 2012 @ 1:04 AM

  388. Thanks for that link, hank.

    Apologies if this has already been linked:

    http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2012/03/17/446621/blow-out-march-heat-wave-meteorologist-masters-this-is-not-the-atmosphere-i-grew-up-with/

    “2012 Heat Records Demolish Cold Records 14-to-1″

    Here in Minnesota we’re having weeks of weather with highs and lows dozens of degrees above normal, records not just being broken, but blown completely out of the water. And similar extremes are being experienced across the continent.

    How exactly is this different from what we would expect if there had been a massive methane release from the Arctic?

    Just sayin’

    Comment by wili — 18 Mar 2012 @ 9:08 AM

  389. > how exactly is this different
    location, location, location, and it’s weather not climate.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Mar 2012 @ 10:15 AM

  390. #390–OK, like Ostro, I’m near Atlanta, and it is remarkably warm. In fact, most of North America is remarkably warm. And it’s going to be happening much more frequently, because we can’t seem to stop dumping combustion by-products into our atmosphere.

    But–

    This is largely weather.

    Remember last month?

    BTW, my fearless “denialism forecast” for the next month is for declining mentions of surface temperature trends, 30-50% chance of more scientist bashing, and sporadic outbreaks of ‘Arctic sea ice recovery’–at least until the melting season gathers some steam. (Right now extents are relatively high, though not in the Atlantic sector, and some brave Wattsian will probably try to make something of that. He/she will then look very foolish in about a month, and will have to change the subject again, quickly.)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 18 Mar 2012 @ 12:59 PM

  391. Speaking of sporadic outbreaks of sea ice recovery:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/18/sea-ice-news-volume-3-2/

    Of course reading the NSIDC monthly report on why this is happening leaves one feeling considerably less sanguine.

    Comment by Rattus Norvegicus — 18 Mar 2012 @ 1:58 PM

  392. @386: It’s not clear how practical (at present, mind you!) it is to attack an arbitrary document D “protected” by a raw MD5 hash.

    Attacks so far have focussed on an attacker creating multiple documents D1, D2, … such that H(D1) == H(D2) == …. See, e.g., Stevens et al, “Chosen-prefix Collisions for MD5 and Applications” (2008?), where the authors describe the creation of “12 different PDF documents with a common MD5-hash, where each document predicts a different outcome of the 2008 US presidential elections”, using “less than 2 days” of computation on a single PC per document, and add that “[s]ince we performed those computations our methods have improved as described in this paper, so this attack would now run much faster.”

    Given that we generally intend a document protected by an authentication method to remain protected indefinitely, it seems prudent to avoid using methods (such as raw-hash authentication) and hash algorithms (such as MD5) that have been found to be subject to other practical attacks, or that might be subject to practical attacks given foreseeable advances in computing power, advances in cryptanalysis, etc.

    Again: Please use an HMAC to authenticate documents, not a raw hash. And don’t use MD5 for anything related to authentication.

    Comment by Meow — 18 Mar 2012 @ 2:41 PM

  393. #391–If only the ice were as predictable as WUWT & co….

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 18 Mar 2012 @ 3:56 PM

  394. I have made a dissertation on my blog about this past winter existing and exiting with a mighty whimper. As always these events fall into the crack between meteorology and climatology, neither can be explained properly without the other. Suffices to say, in simple words, the reason why the jet stream is so far up North is because the North ain’t as cold as it use to be. I find it extraordinary that websites like WUWT are not shutting down out of shame for being so wrong about nearly every prognostication that they do. But the problem is more endemic to mega weather centers still attributing to the “all is cycles” bubble machine. Finally I must add, the best possible warning that global warming is taking a very strong footing, is perhaps by being gentle, making winter almost disappear. Is better than massive tornadoes and or hurricanes. Nature seems to be appealing for reasoning kindly, the other ways din’t make a dent. http://eh2r.blogspot.ca/

    Comment by wayne davidson — 18 Mar 2012 @ 4:28 PM

  395. “It’s weather, not climate”

    “It’s largely weather”

    Let’s amend those to “It’s weather, likely influenced by climate change”

    Or do we think Stu Ostro with his “While natural factors are contributing to this warm spell…there is a hivh probability that global warming is having an influence upon its extremity” is just full of it?

    http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2012/03/17/446621/blow-out-march-heat-wave-meteorologist-masters-this-is-not-the-atmosphere-i-grew-up-with/

    Comment by wili — 18 Mar 2012 @ 4:56 PM

  396. An individual month, in a single state, in one country, is weather.
    Develop enough of a trend, and it’s climate.
    If there’s a methane catastrophe, it will be different.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Mar 2012 @ 7:40 PM

  397. Hank, this time its bigger, many a people from a huge area have never lived March so warm. It is weather caused by a different climate. At its core is the science who predicted this to happen, and unfortunately for those who couldn’t see it coming, a science not applied but scoffed at. Lets invite contrarians to behold, go outside, see what you don’t believe in.

    Comment by wayne davidson — 18 Mar 2012 @ 10:13 PM

  398. Thanks, hank. But the record smashing temps are not just in one state, much less in one country. This heat wave seems comparable to the killer heat wave in Europe in 2003, in its extreme departure from anything close to the range of expected highs. And iirc that event is generally set out as one of the clearest examples of an occurrence that we can say pretty confidently would not have happened without GW.

    The low in International Falls yesterday almost exceeded the previous record HIGH temp for that day. And these extremely warm temps extend well into Canada and across much of the north and east US.

    Of course, it is not as deadly, since high temperatures in March mean something close to usual summer temps.

    Comment by wili — 18 Mar 2012 @ 10:25 PM

  399. It’s weather, of course, but strongly influenced by climate change. The case of Marquette, on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, is interesting. Yesterday’s high was 75F, today’s 78. The previous record (back to 1948)for March was 71. Previous to 2012, there were only two days in March to reach 70, both since 2000. If you assume that climate isn’t changing, such an event is wildly improbable. It was facilitated by a SSW wind that avoided a fetch off of cold Lake Superior. However, that would not have been enough if it weren’t for the absence of snow to melt further south, the product of a mild winter and an early spring.

    To take it another step, this shouldn’t have been a mild winter. La Nina should have produced a cold winter from the upper Plains to the western Great Lakes. http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/ENSO/composites/EC_LNT_index.shtml
    Is AGW undoing the previous ENSO modulation of U.S. winters?

    One more step: The unprecedented early snowmelt in the north is an extra source of heat, which helps enhance a high pressure ridge aloft. This should also enhance the rex block pattern which is forcast to nearly stall a closed upper low over the south central/central U.S. http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/medr/5dayfcst500_wbg.gif
    resulting in excessive rainfall and flooding across parts of the south central U.S. in the next few days.
    http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/qpf/day1-3.shtml

    Comment by John Pollack — 18 Mar 2012 @ 11:49 PM

  400. > wili
    As Kevin wrote above: Remember last month?
    I’m not arguing with your beliefs, just saying, the science takes a while. Proclaiming beliefs on a science blog kind of misses the point of science.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Mar 2012 @ 12:16 AM

  401. Agree with this assessment of Archer’s article on methane. Bottom water above 0C… kilometer-wide seeps… parabolic decline curves… Precautionary principle. Yup.

    http://arctic-news.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/rebuttal-imminent-collapse-of-arctic.html

    Comment by Killian — 19 Mar 2012 @ 2:33 AM

  402. My local NOAA weather page, at the moment, reports that because two models used give rather different longrange results, the forecast is:

    “… A COMPROMISE BETWEEN THE TWO. GIVEN THIS UNCERTAINTY…THE PRECIPITATION FORECAST RELIES UPON CLIMATOLOGY. DANG”

    Dunno if that’s the writer’s initials or an expletive …

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Mar 2012 @ 4:02 AM

  403. Wayne,
    Did you correctly predict that the 2011-2012 winter would be the 2nd coldest of the 21st century? Your blog seems to state otherwise, claiming that it would be much warmer. While winter is not officially over yet, the only major index that does not rank 2012 the 2nd coldest of the 21st century is RSS, which places it first. Although early indications from March, would bump 2012 closer to the middle of the pack. You may also want to read up on blocking patterns concerning the record warmth and cold.

    I agree with those above who claim that this is just weather, not climate. I contend that people should not point to the recent extreme warmth as evidence of global warming any more than they should point to the extreme cold of February as proof against. The same can be said in statements about the recovery of Arctic sea ice (Rattus).

    Comment by Dan H. — 19 Mar 2012 @ 7:04 AM

  404. This is an open question for anyone. NOAA has posted a 1955-present time series for ocean heat content in the 0-2000 m zone (see http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/basin_data.html). Does anyone know how they did OHC for the pre-ARGO era (1955 to ~2003)? Did they simply assume it was equal to the OHC in the 0-700 m zone? Or model it in some way?
    Thanks.

    [Response: I’m not sure what they actually did – but it isn’t that there wasn’t any information on 700-2000m ocean temperatures, rather it is that the information is sparse in space and time. Whether that information is enough to suggest significant global anomalies (with respect to the 0-700m OHC) in the earlier period will depend very much on the details. – gavin]

    Comment by Owen — 19 Mar 2012 @ 8:11 AM

  405. 403. That’s one way to frame it. Another way, according to GISS, is that the past Dec-Feb stretch is the 13 warmest for the NH and the 14th warmest globally since 1880.

    Dan H. has a gift for putting lipstick on a pig.

    Comment by Walter Pearce — 19 Mar 2012 @ 8:35 AM

  406. > those above who claim …
    > just weather
    > not climate

    Dan H. misstates advice (do the math, wait for the science, do the work of attribution):
    — inserting words “just” and “not”
    — attributing the misstatements to others
    — pretending he’s agreeing with others
    — rebunking his talking point.

    Textbook quality debate, isn’t it?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Mar 2012 @ 9:10 AM

  407. Are the moderators keeping Dan H. around as, like, some sort of pet?

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 19 Mar 2012 @ 9:34 AM

  408. Jim Larsen wrote: “For natural resources, quality generally means concentration. Solar and wind are diffuse and intermittent, which makes them low quality.”

    I think that’s wrong-headed thinking of exactly the sort that created the problem we face today.

    I’d point out that humanity has always depended on what you call a “low quality” energy source for all of our food — which is solar energy transformed into chemical energy by photosynthesis.

    However, if you are really in love with concentrated energy sources that require energy to be distributed over long distances and wide areas to get it to users, then I give you — solar and wind energy.

    Because concentrating solar thermal power plants on only five percent of the USA’s desert lands could generate more electricity than the entire country uses. And the same is true of the wind energy resources of only four midwestern states.

    And those energy resources have “qualities” that fossil fuels lack — such as being inexhaustible and non-polluting.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 19 Mar 2012 @ 9:44 AM

  409. Walter,
    My point was that those claiming the recent warmth is unprecedented need to put those number in perspective.

    Yes, the globe has warmed. Yes, it is still warming. Hence, we are more likely to see record high temperatures today than a century ago. However, the overall rate of warming has not changed since 1880. While periods of increased and decreased warming exist over the 132-year period, the linear rate is still ~0.6C/century, and the most recent monthly GISS values fall right on the linear trend (the linear trend value for the Feb. 2012 temperature anomaly is +0.38C, while the last two months have been +0.35 and +0.40C.)

    The average GISS anomaly for the DJF period over the past 30 years is +0.39C, while the most recent DJF stretch is +0.40C. Over the most recent 30 years, this past winter was the 14th warmest and the 17th coldest.

    Comment by Dan H. — 19 Mar 2012 @ 9:51 AM

  410. 403 Dan H I predicted a very warm and wet winter, as opposed to major Met organizations pointing the opposite direction, it is not an easy thing to go against everyone except, over the years the Major Met outfits regularly fail, especially those which preclude AGW. Numerically it is easy to always say it will be top ten, again this is based on other factors. RSS has trouble in the lower latitudes, the Arctic Upper air warmed a great deal because also there was more ozone, a trace gas much more a trace than CO2. Have you noticed NASA GISS all time Arctic highs?

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2012&month_last=2&sat=4&sst=1&type=anoms&mean_gen=02&year1=2012&year2=2012&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=1200&pol=reg

    Your blocking pattern always happens , except this time the jet stream is way NORTH because its warmer up here, welcome to the surreal world…

    Comment by wayne davidson — 19 Mar 2012 @ 10:33 AM

  411. While winter is not officially over yet, the only major index that does not rank 2012 the 2nd coldest of the 21st century is RSS, which places it first.

    Winter in the broader context:

    –The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the December–February period was 0.41°C (0.74°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.8°F), making it the 17th warmest such period on record and the coolest December–February since 2008.

    –The December–February worldwide land surface temperature was 0.59°C (1.06°F) above the 20th century average, the 20th warmest such period on record. The global ocean surface temperature for the same period was 0.33°C (0.59°F) above the 20th century average and was the 15th warmest such period on record.

    –The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the January–February period was 0.37°C (0.67°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.8°F), making it the 20th warmest such period on record.

    –The January–February worldwide land surface temperature was 0.43°C (0.77°:F) above the 20th century average, the 33rd warmest such period on record. The global ocean surface temperature for the year to date was 0.34°C (0.61°F) above the 20th century average and was the 14th warmest such period on record.

    Comment by dbostrom — 19 Mar 2012 @ 10:47 AM

  412. the linear rate is still ~0.6C/century

    You are quite the fool aren’t you.

    Why should we continue to respond to your nonsense, Dan?

    In fact, why are you even allowed to post this nonsense here over and over?

    It’s obvious to everyone that your goal is only to misinform.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 19 Mar 2012 @ 10:54 AM

  413. Owen if you’re wondering about instrumentation, see XBT as described by NOAA. More at Wikipedia.

    Comment by dbostrom — 19 Mar 2012 @ 10:56 AM

  414. “… over the past 130 [years], the phenology of 10 bee species from northeastern North America has advanced by a mean of 10.4 ± 1.3 [days]. Most of this advance has taken place since 1970, paralleling global temperature increases….”

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

    Climate-associated phenological advances in bee pollinators and bee-pollinated plants

    http://www.pnas.org/content/108/51/20645.short

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Mar 2012 @ 11:11 AM

  415. Ron R. @ 385

    Or incidentally self-destructive, perhaps something akin to moral panic?

    A moral panic is the intensity of feeling expressed in a population about an issue that appears to threaten the social order. According to Stanley Cohen, author of Folk Devils and Moral Panics (1972) and credited as creator of the term, a moral panic occurs when “[a] condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests.” Those who start the panic when they fear a threat to prevailing social or cultural values are known by researchers as “moral entrepreneurs,” while people who supposedly threaten the social order have been described as “folk devils.”

    reCAPTCHA: egoation ascents,

    Comment by Radge Havers — 19 Mar 2012 @ 11:11 AM

  416. 409. Well, this is inconsistent if not contradictory to your post 403. “…this is just weather, not climate” contrasted with “…we are more likely to see record high temperatures today than a century ago.”

    Knowing the denialist tendencey to cherry pick, it would be incredibly boring to engage more deeply with you on the rate of change issue, so I’ll simply point out that according to the NAS, “about 1.0 °F (0.6 °C) of this warming occurring over just the past three decades.”

    –America’s Climate Choices, The National Academies Press. 2011. p. 15.

    Comment by Walter Pearce — 19 Mar 2012 @ 11:22 AM

  417. Secular Animist: “I’d point out that humanity has always depended on what you call a “low quality” energy source for all of our food — which is solar energy transformed into chemical energy by photosynthesis.”

    Well, yes and no. Yes, photosynthesis felies on a diffuse energy source (sunlight). However, modern agriculture is very dependent on fossil fuels–consuming nearly 1 calorie of fossil fuel in the field per food calorie produced–and over 3 calories per food calorie delivered. This is just for “locally” produced food. Well traveled food is correspondingly energy intensive.

    The relative increase in food security the world experienced from the 40s through the ~80s, was partially attributable to the energy input from fossil fuels. It led to a more relaible food supply short term, but at great environmental cost.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 19 Mar 2012 @ 11:35 AM

  418. HADCRUT latest revision demotes 1998 to third warmest year, and 2010 to warmest. BBC LINK (AGU link behind a paywall)

    Comment by J Bowers — 19 Mar 2012 @ 11:38 AM

  419. “However, the overall rate of warming has not changed since 1880.”

    Maybe–if you define a linear trend over the whole period, in which case the point is tautological.

    Back in the real world, changes of sign extending over up to a couple of decades would be considered “changes in the rate of warming.”

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/global/global-land-ocean-mntp-anom/201001-201012.gif

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 19 Mar 2012 @ 11:45 AM

  420. SecularAnimist @407
    Your comment about the land required to provide all US energy requirements reminds me of a quip made a few years back. (Dramatised from a report from ‘Environment American’, an organisation I am not familiar.)
    “If 10,000 sq miles of Texas was given over to solar thermal it would supply the total US energy requirement”, the green campaigner quips.
    “Rediculous!” replies the opponent. “Do you know how big an area 10,000 square miles is?”
    “That I do,” retorts the green campaigner. “It’s pretty much the area of US land that’s been so far stripped bare by open-cast coal mining.”

    Comment by MARodger — 19 Mar 2012 @ 11:53 AM

  421. > why … allowed to post this nonsense here over and over?

    Just guessing, I’d guess our hosts are aware this is polished, professional-grade bunking that people need to recognize is done.

    Not guessing whether he’s getting paid or just a very good volunteer, I dunno about that, but his work is certainly up there with the paying positions.

    I first saw this in 1966 at college, where the Biology Dep’t had brought in a young postdoc researcher to speak about his work on bird eggs and DDT. Du Pont was chasing biology speakers around with a smooth gray-haired friendly uncle guy, routinely asking for equal time in college forums, and got it.

    At the end of what had become framed as a public debate, the Du Pont guy got a rousing ovation from the oh-so-liberal college student audience.

    At our dinner table that evening, the biologist was still as upset and shaky as the Du Pont guy had gotten him to be in his public appearance, saying over and over “He was lying! he was just lying!!”

    He hadn’t had practice with this kind of stuff.

    We need the practice.

    Dan H. gets to polish his you know what.
    We get to learn to recognize you know what.

    You know what?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Mar 2012 @ 12:29 PM

  422. 411 SG Bolstrom, I am observing a particular trend unlike the recent past, whereas the Arctic air profiles are leaning more adiabatically during winter, this means a whole lot of confusion with respect to temperature trends, namely the high Upper Air should cool as the surface warms, and the reverse, the Upper air warms when heat from the lower atmosphere is transferred upwards. There is great value in GT’s but they are not a complete picture of what is going on. I would complement the GT’s with a super computer addition, which would be upper air profile trends averaged out from most stations per region. Then a better understanding of climate would be seen. A sign of winter dying would be the disappearance of boundary layers.

    Comment by wayne davidson — 19 Mar 2012 @ 12:57 PM

  423. 418. J Bowers, does this mean the warming hasn’t stopped?

    Comment by Walter Pearce — 19 Mar 2012 @ 12:58 PM

  424. Dan H – However, the overall rate of warming has not changed since 1880. While periods of increased and decreased warming exist over the 132-year period, the linear rate is still ~0.6C/century

    If you plot a linear trend it will give you an unchanging rate of increase. This is simply the definition of ‘linear’. The rate of warming ‘has not changed since 1880′ and ‘is still ~0.6C/century’ because you’ve chosen to plot a linear trend through the data and that’s the slope of it. There is no significance to this information whatsoever. It’s a tautology.

    In 1980 the linear rate was ‘still’ 0.4C/century. In 2000 the linear rate was ‘still’ 0.5C/Century. In ten years time will you be here to say that the linear rate of warming has not changed from ~0.7C/century since 1880?

    Comment by Paul S — 19 Mar 2012 @ 1:03 PM

  425. Kevin,
    Yes, I did mention that there were periods of increased and decreased warming in the real world. Three periods of increased warming; ~1850-1880 (+0.09C/decade), 1910-1940 (+0.16), and 1970-2000 (+0.18), and interspersed with periods of decreased warming; ~1880-1910 (-0.02), 1940-1970 (-0.02), and 2000- (-0.02). Granted, we cannot say that the remaining two decades will continue on the recent trend.

    While Walter is correct in saying that 0.6C of warming occurred over three decades, it would also be correct to say that 0.4C of warming occurred over the past six decades. Choosing neither the high end (1970-2000) nor the low end (2000-present) adequately depicts the whole truth, yet that does not prevent those from using either timeframe in order to bolster their own case.

    Comment by Dan H. — 19 Mar 2012 @ 1:08 PM

  426. Dan,

    It has been shown to you over and over again that the best fit for the global temperature trend is not linear (I can provide links). Stating a “linear rate” makes no sense. The results from such an analysis are worthless at projecting future temperatures. Your “estimate” is therefore misleading to someone who is unaware of that information. (Fortunately, I doubt think that many here fit that category.) Your “perspective” appears to me to be a twisted faux-educational equivalent of “let the buyer beware.”

    Comment by Craig Nazor — 19 Mar 2012 @ 1:50 PM

  427. Hank:

    I first saw this in 1966 at college, where the Biology Dep’t had brought in a young postdoc researcher to speak about his work on bird eggs and DDT. Du Pont was chasing biology speakers around with a smooth gray-haired friendly uncle guy, routinely asking for equal time in college forums, and got it.

    A bit OT but you started it :)

    Oregon’s recently taken the bald eagle of the state endangered list (it’s been off the national list for awhile). At one point down to about 400 nesting pairs in the lower 48, there are now about 570 in Oregon alone.

    I’m sure the gray-haired friendly uncle guy would claim “it’s the sun, stupid!” or somesuch …

    Comment by dhogaza — 19 Mar 2012 @ 1:55 PM

  428. Walter,
    Dan is a “lukewarmer”. It is a point of pride with them that they only deny SOME of the science.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 19 Mar 2012 @ 2:28 PM

  429. And ya know, they never quit fooling people — look at these search results:
    http://www.bing.com/search?q=DDT+eggshell+1966

    How myths can kill – Eco-Imperialism – Green Power. Black Death …
    DDT never caused eggshell thinning and or bald eagle deaths by Steven Milloy … would not adversely affect eagles or their eggs, according to a 1966 … http://www.eco-imperialism.com/content/article.php3?​id=209

    Facts versus fears – DDT – D. W. Brooks Site
    Additionally, the evidence regarding the effect of DDT on eggshell … the decline of peregrine falcons in Britain had ended in 1966 even though DDT …
    dwb4.unl.edu/…/CHEM869ELinks/www.altgreen.com.au/Chemicals/​ddt.html

    100 things you should know about DDT
    Experiments associating DDT with egg shell thinning involve doses much higher than … [Stickel, L. 1966. Bald eagle-pesticide relationships. Trans 31st N Amer …
    http://www.tysknews.com/Depts/Environment/​ddt_​100.htm

    DDT induces a Decrease in Eggshell Calcium. JOEL BITMAN, HELENE C. CECIL, SUSAN J. HARRIS & GEORGE F … Walker, C. H., J. Appl. Ecol., Suppl., 3, 213 (1966… http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v224/n5214/abs/​224044a0.html

    Bald Eagle-DDT Myth Still Flying High | Fox News
    Jul 06, 2006 · … adversely affect eagles or their eggs,” according to a 1966 … other feeding studies on caged birds indicate that DDT isn’t associated with egg shell … http://www.foxnews.com/story/​0,2933,202447,00.html

    Eco-Imperialism – Articles -How myths can kill
    DDT never caused eggshell thinning and or bald eagle deaths by Steven Milloy … would not adversely affect eagles or their eggs, according to a 1966 … http://www.eco-imperialism.com/content/printview.php3?​id=209

    The Ban of DDT: Science That Wasn’t. « What The Crap?
    Jul 03, 2007 · Egg-shell thinning. DDT was alleged to have thinned bird egg shells. Many … The decline in British peregrine falcons ended by 1966, though DDT was as …
    whatthecrap.wordpress.com/2007/07/03/​the-ban-of-ddt-science-that-wasnt

    Ecological Knowledge and Environmental Problem-Solving: Concepts …
    Eggshell thinning also was caused by food-chain accumulations of DDE, which was … Sladen, W. J. L., C. M. Menzie, and W. L. Reichel. 1966. DDT residues in Adelie … http://www.nap.edu/books/0309036453/html/​358.html

    Eggshell Thickness in Pheasants Given Dieldrin

    1966. Up- take of p,p’-DDT and its post-mortem break- down in the avian … A relationship between DDT in the diet and eggshell thickness in birds of prey has … pubstorage.sdstate.edu/wfs/19-W.pdf · PDF file
    SPECULATION ON DDT AND ALTERED OSPREY MIGRATIONS

    The fact that species from several avian orders exhibit the thin eggshell syndrome … Atlantic Naturalist, 19:15-27. 1966. DDT residues in the eggs of the Osprey in the … elibrary.unm.edu/sora/jrr/v004n04/​p00120-p00124.pdf · PDF file

    ——

    Yes, that’s “Bing” not Google Scholar. That’s what most people see.
    Mostly lies, with a couple of science cites, on the first results page.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Mar 2012 @ 3:30 PM

  430. 408 SA,

    I failed to communicate. I started my analysis with a caveat, that I was excluding externalities, while also saying that externalities could dwarf all other considerations. I noted that you probably included them. Excluding externalities and such factors as renewability, solar and wind are fair sources of energy, and will probably mature into wonderful ones. Adding in externalities and renewability, I agree with you. Fossil fuels are poisonous. How quickly we should wean off them is debatable, but we’ve got to do it soon.

    So, excluding externalities and renewability, how do you rate current commercially available solar? Wind?

    Comment by Jim Larsen — 19 Mar 2012 @ 3:37 PM

  431. As previously mentioned Monckton is a large in the US once more. He’s appearing before the California state legislature. What? How? Why? Words fail.

    Comment by dbostrom — 19 Mar 2012 @ 3:45 PM

  432. Jim Larsen wrote: “how do you rate current commercially available solar?”

    Not sure what you mean by “rate” and “commercially available solar” covers a lot of territory from 5 KW residential rooftop installations to gigawatt-class utility-scale power plants (both PV and thermal) — but the cost of electricity from rooftop PV is approaching parity with the retail cost of grid electricity, and that’s the point at which distributed PV will explode like cell phones and personal computers did. And of course utilities all over the country are investing in larger-scale solar power plants.

    The scalability of solar energy technology is indeed one of its best “qualities” — along with the ubiquity and inexhaustibility of the energy source.

    I think it’s entirely possible that within a much shorter time frame than most people imagine possible, the overwhelming majority of the electricity consumed in the USA will be generated at the point of use, and large, centralized power plants will be a much less important part of the mix than they are today.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 19 Mar 2012 @ 4:03 PM

  433. Craig,
    Exactly! As I pointed to you previously, a sinusoidal curve superimposed on a linear trend is best. In the long run, the linear trend still exists, it just oscillates over ~30-year intervals.

    Comment by Dan H. — 19 Mar 2012 @ 4:08 PM

  434. #425. “…0.6C of warming occurred over three decades.” I didn’t pick that time span, Dan H. did in 409.

    There’s already been robust discussion here regarding the reliability of 10-year, 17-year and 30-year spans. Dan H. will have a hard time finding a comparable 30-year period to the most recent one.

    Comment by Walter Pearce — 19 Mar 2012 @ 4:56 PM

  435. Hank:

    the decline of peregrine falcons in Britain had ended in 1966 even though DDT

    This is cute and relevant because it’s very much like the “polar bears have increased in the last decades so global warming can’t be a threat to their future” argument.

    Polar bears have increased because regulated hunts have replaced wanton killing in much of their range.

    The UK government systematically killed peregrines in WWII to protect carrier pigeons. For a very long time, gamekeepers used to wantonly shoot peregrine falcons and other raptors that prey on grouse and the like in the UK. Indiscriminate and indeed they’d seek out nests and destroy eggs, etc.

    In 1954 most raptors gained full protection by law.

    Connect the dots :)

    Comment by dhogaza — 19 Mar 2012 @ 6:37 PM

  436. Walter,
    As mentioned previously, the 1910-1940 time period was similar to the 1970-2000 (0.16C/decade compared to 0.18C/decade based on GISS data). Not so hard really.

    Ray,
    I do not object to that term, as it does seem to be applicable. I feel your second statement is inaccurate. It is not a question of denial, but rather disagreement concerning the feedback loops. This is not really surprising, as it constitutes the greatest area of uncertainty.

    Comment by Dan H. — 19 Mar 2012 @ 7:00 PM

  437. Dan H.: “In the long run, the linear trend still exists, it just oscillates over ~30-year intervals.”

    And you’ve analyzed this periodicity over precisely how many complete periods?

    Time for my usual example again, Dan–and apologies to those who are getting tired of it.

    Dan, what is the periodicity and amplitude of the following series of (x,y) pairs:

    1,2
    2,7
    3,1
    4,8
    5,2
    6,8
    7,1
    8,8
    9,2
    10,8

    Is this series periodic? NO. The y values are the digits of the base of Napierian logarithms, while the x values are thier ordinal position. Therefore it cannot be periodic. So unless you have a buttload of data or you have a periodic driver known to be operating, you do not have a periodic series. You have bupkes.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 19 Mar 2012 @ 7:23 PM

  438. Dan said:

    “Exactly!”

    Well, I’m glad that we finally both agree that your analysis is worthless for projecting future temperatures.

    That’s an example of what I call a Dan H assumption.

    A Fourier analysis would show that global temperature averages over the past 200 years would EXACTLY MATCH the sum of a finite number of sign waves far more accurately than your “sinusoidal curve superimposed on a linear trend.” So why not just assume that there are a conveniently appropriate number of “sinusoidal” forcings that are fortuitously giving us the observed results? That would be a far better match than your analysis – oh, yeah, and equally as meaningless.

    We know, from the fossil record, that temperature trends are not linear. We also know something about the strong relationship between atmospheric CO2 levels and temperature. But in your analysis, you ASSUME that the temperature trend is linear and not strongly associated with atmospheric CO2, and then ASSUME that there is some completely unexplained periodic forcing that is operating in conjunction with that assumed trend to yield the specific results that you want to see.

    That is feeble logic, and damn strong denial. But, hey, Dan, we go back a long way, and anything less would be substantially out of character!

    Comment by Craig Nazor — 19 Mar 2012 @ 9:57 PM

  439. Are there any moderated blogs on climate that require/demand a modicum of math and science knowledge as a prerequisite to participation? e.g. passing a test that asks to find the stationary points for a simple polynomial ? Or small problem based on newtonian laws of motion ? Instead of a glorified OCR ? Reading enough of a comment from the innumerate or worse yet, the illiterate, before deciding to skip is very tedious.

    I do admit that our gracious hosts do a good job of weeding out the loonies.

    I suppose the ultimate answer is to limit oneself to the peer reviewed literature.

    sidd

    Comment by sidd — 19 Mar 2012 @ 10:44 PM

  440. So why not just assume that there are a conveniently appropriate number of “sinusoidal” forcings that are fortuitously giving us the observed results? That would be a far better match than your analysis – oh, yeah, and equally as meaningless.

    Meaningless? C’mon, an infinite number of sky fairies can dance on the head of a pin. Just when did science disprove that sky fairies dance on pins?

    Dan H will continue to assert – correctly – that it is impossible to disprove the sky fairy hypothesis …

    Comment by dhogaza — 19 Mar 2012 @ 10:44 PM

  441. Hank Roberts @402 — I think Dang is a name of oriental origin.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 20 Mar 2012 @ 12:57 AM

  442. New Russian data from the Arctic makes 2010 the warmest year on record:
    http://www.clickgreen.org.uk/news/international-news/123326-history-of-climate-change-re-written-with-release-of-russian-data.html

    And of course none of the denialists who claimed that warming peaked in 1998 or that warming has leveled out make a peep about being wrong…again.

    Sadly, none of the mainstream media will likely pick up on this news.

    Comment by Dan — 20 Mar 2012 @ 4:50 AM

  443. dhogaza,
    Is that the same sky fairy that is consuming the excess CO2 that is being pumped into the atmosphere?

    Craig,
    Why do you ASSUME that the temperature is following a particular trend? It would be better to analyze the data, and determine the appropriate trend. That has been a problem lately; too few people are actually using data in their anaylses.

    Comment by Dan H. — 20 Mar 2012 @ 5:32 AM

  444. “Dan H will continue to assert – correctly – that it is impossible to disprove the sky fairy hypothesis …”

    In between pointing out that hypotheses must be falsifiable. Or was that someone else?

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 20 Mar 2012 @ 6:57 AM

  445. Dan H.,
    I am glad to hear you are not in denial of the science. Now, perhaps you can explain to us how you get 33 degrees of greenhouse warming over blackbody temperatures without significant contributions from positive feedback. And perhaps you can explain how tiny changes in insolation in the course of Milankovitch cycles give rise to glacial/interglacial cycles without significant positive feedback. Then there are the excursions due to volcanic eruptions–that’s another tough one if don’t believe in positive feedback.

    The consensus theory of Earth’s climate explains all of these phenomena and much more. I look forward to your attempt.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Mar 2012 @ 7:54 AM

  446. For your entertainment, I’d like to give you a short break and a long passage of Hume. It might sound eerily familiar. From the Discourses Concerning Natural Religion:

    There is indeed a kind of brutish and ignorant scepticism…which gives the vulgar a general prejudice against what they do not easily understand, and makes them reject every principle which requires elaborate reasoning to prove and establish it. This species of scepticism is fatal to knowledge, not to religion; since we find, that those who make greatest profession of it, give often their assent, not only to the great truths of Theism and natural theology, but even to the most absurd tenets which a traditional superstition has recommended to them. They firmly believe in witches, though they will not believe nor attend to the most simple proposition of Euclid.

    Comment by Jeff Rubinoff — 20 Mar 2012 @ 8:40 AM

  447. Hume continues, and these two quotes IMO contrast “fake sceptics” and scientific scepticism perfectly:

    But the refined and philosophical sceptics fall into an inconsistence of an opposite nature. They push their researches into the most abstruse corners of science; and their assent attends them in every step, proportioned to the evidence which they meet with. They are even obliged to acknowledge, that the most abstruse and remote objects are those
    which are best explained by philosophy. Light is in reality anatomised. The true system of the heavenly bodies is discovered and ascertained. But the nourishment of bodies by food is still an inexplicable mystery. The cohesion of the parts of matter is still incomprehensible. These sceptics, therefore, are obliged, in every question, to consider each particular evidence apart, and proportion their assent to the precise degree of evidence which occurs. This is their practice in all natural, mathematical, moral, and political science.

    Note also that since Hume wrote that, the “nourishment of bodies by food” is no longer at all mysterious, and we’re not doing too badly on “the cohesion of the parts of matter,” either. (This is also assuming that the voice of “Cleanthes” is meant to reflect Hume’s own views, which I think is very likely.)

    Comment by Jeff Rubinoff — 20 Mar 2012 @ 8:45 AM

  448. @ 423 Walter Pierce. Hmmm, not sure.

    Melting Alaska permafrost prompts landfill concerns

    Comment by J Bowers — 20 Mar 2012 @ 9:23 AM

  449. Swiss soil reveals climate change in mountain ecosystems

    Comment by J Bowers — 20 Mar 2012 @ 10:31 AM

  450. Wonderful new take on Monckton who is all geared up to do more harm (the anti-physician – “first, do harm”).

    http://hot-topic.co.nz/prat-watch-4-foundation-and-empire/

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 20 Mar 2012 @ 11:44 AM

  451. That has been a problem lately; too few people are actually using data in their anaylses.

    [edit – We have no wish to encourage these people to start spamming the comment threads here. Let it just be recognised that there are fringes beyond which we have no desire to go]

    Comment by dbostrom — 20 Mar 2012 @ 12:14 PM

  452. I posted this in another thread and was advised to post here.. I hope someone can answer.

    Hi,
    I’m a professor of physics at a leading European University. I mention this not to establish any type of authority. Rather it should be taken to mean that I can grasp a fairly technical explanation if it is appropriately phrased for a scientist working in a different field.

    I consider myself to be a sceptic of all research (including my own). However, there are certain areas of research in which working theories of nature have been established and can be relied upon to an extremely high degree to predict future experimental results. Examples include general and special relativity, and quantum mechanics. These theories gained acceptance because they passed “classic” scientific tests. They made predictions which would have allowed them to be falsified and discarded. And they passed these tests. We still test these theories today because we know they are not the “final word” and we hope that through any discrepancies with data we can learn more.

    When it comes to climate science its difficult for me find the equivalent of, eg the general relativity tests of mercury’s perihelion or binary pulsar motion. Have there been any “classic” tests of climate models that would falsify the hypothesis of large warming over the long term ? I ask this question since I’m more than fed up with hearing about a consensus. I don’t doubt that one exists but its not an argument that I would use to argue for the correctness of general relativity or quantum mechanics. Instead I would describe the numerous experimental tests which could have falsified these theories. Is there a series of experimental tests which could have falsified the climate models which presently imply drastic long term warming i.e. X degrees over Y years or something similar whereby X and Y would have been defined at the time of the test and would correspond to substantial long-term warming ? By “falsified” I mean that a paradigm shift would be needed rather than further model optimisation.

    Thanks,
    Dave

    Comment by Dave — 20 Mar 2012 @ 1:46 PM

  453. Holy cr@p! TVMoB is a birther!

    “I have watched Sheriff Arpaio’s press conference in AZ and have examined some of the evidence directly. It is clear – as Alex Jones rightly said on the day when Obama first put up his faked “long-form birth certificate” on the White House website – that a fraud has been committed, and that, absent a valid official record of Obama’s birth or a very good explanation of the anomalies in the published version, he is not qualified to stand for re-election as President.[…] This is beginning to look like a widespread, high-level fraud.” – from Susan Anderson’s link in 450

    Comment by MartinJB — 20 Mar 2012 @ 2:33 PM

  454. MartinJB:

    Holy cr@p! TVMoB is a birther!

    That’s rather funny seeing as how TVMoB has falsely claimed to be a member of the House of Lords for so many years …

    Comment by dhogaza — 20 Mar 2012 @ 4:48 PM

  455. Dave @452 — I’m not quite sure what you are looking for. But to begin, note the physical chemistry of tri-atomic atmopspheric molecules; pass optical bands and absorb/emit IR. Therefore the (poorly named) greenhouse gas effect is real. As for how much effect, will correlating CO2 concentration with a global temperature product do? If so, visit Barton Paul Leveson’s web site where the exercise is completed.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 20 Mar 2012 @ 9:53 PM

  456. Dan H @443,

    You’ve got to be kidding.

    Assume: Suppose to be the case, without proof.

    I am not assuming – there is overwhelming evidence (from copious data, much of which can be found on or linked to from this web site) that global temperatures are rising at a rate that may soon seriously disrupt human civilization, and that the best explanation for the cause of that projection (based on even more data) is human-driven, rising atmospheric CO2 levels. You just deny this, and then complain: “too few people are actually using data in their analyses,” without providing any support whatsoever for that statement.

    So who is assuming?

    Comment by Craig Nazor — 21 Mar 2012 @ 1:50 AM

  457. Dave,
    The short answer currently is “no.” That is largely due to the nature of the test that is required; the earth’s response to increasing levels of greenhouse gases. No experiment can mimic that outcome, so validation of the theories will require time. In all likelihood, optimization of parameters will occur, rather than falsification. Although, we can never be truly sure until the test is actually run.

    Comment by Dan H. — 21 Mar 2012 @ 5:40 AM

  458. @David
    Thanks but that’s not quite what I’m looking for. The underlying principles are well grounded. My questions concern specific falsification tests of the quantitative long term predictions of global temperatures i.e. is it possible to do now with a range of observables ?

    [Response: Well of course it’s possible if you wait long enough – and there is plenty of confirmation (stratospheric cooling predicted in the 1960s, not observable until the 1980s, confirmed; ocean heat content increases predicted in the 1980s, not really observable until the 2000s, confirmed; etc.). However, the central question in climate is deciding in what is likely to happen before it actually does. Thus one has to have a different strategy – predicting things that may have already happened but that you either didn’t know about, or for which the data have not yet been analaysed. There are also plenty of examples where models have correctly suggested that different data sets were inconsistent (satellite vs. surface in the 1990s, tropical ice age ocean temperatures vs. land temperatures in the 1980s etc.) which were resolved in favor of the models. One just needs to be more creative in looking for interesting tests. – gavin]

    Comment by Dave — 21 Mar 2012 @ 5:54 AM

  459. The “Updating the CRU and HADCRUT…” article reminded me of a question that might be slightly off-topic there, so I ask it here.

    1998 seems to have been remarkably warm, seemingly much warmer than any preceding year and only {tied or barely exceeded – take your pick} since. Is there a general agreement on what factors caused 1998 to be so warm? What were the factors?

    Comment by Charlie H — 21 Mar 2012 @ 9:27 AM

  460. #459–“Is there a general agreement on what factors caused 1998 to be so warm?”

    It’s generally ascribed to an unusually strong El Nino.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 21 Mar 2012 @ 10:52 AM

  461. > The short answer …

    “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” — H. L. Mencken

    Search using Dave’s phrase
    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=specific+falsification+tests+of+the+quantitative+long+term+predictions+of+global+temperatures
    shows these words often used at wattsup and the like, but the search will also find some interesting work, e.g.

    https://apps.who.int/peh/burden/wsh00-7/Methodan6-7.htm

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Mar 2012 @ 10:52 AM

  462. Dave,
    As you have moved to the open thread, perhaps you didn’t see my query as to your research specialty. It would help us to understand how much your background might allow you to comprehend of climate science.

    As an analog to your question, one could ask what tests might cause us to radically reassess the atomic theory of matter or nucleosynthesis as the model for energy generation in stars? Once a field is fairly mature, evolution of the model is much more likely than is a complete revolution.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 21 Mar 2012 @ 10:55 AM

  463. #460, Kevin McKinney: Thanks.

    Comment by Charlie H — 21 Mar 2012 @ 12:42 PM

  464. Craig,
    Here is a plot of the GISS data. This is the data that I used for my analyses. If you are using other data, or arrive at a different conclusion, please explain.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/plot/gistemp/trend

    Comment by Dan H. — 21 Mar 2012 @ 12:50 PM

  465. I have a question regarding the recent claims of future sea level rise.

    Many recent studies (e.g. Hansen & Sato) have claimed that future rise in global average temperature (GAT) will create a much greater effect on sea level than IPCC AR4 predicts. They use paleo proxies to make comparisons with the present. For example, Hansen & Sato argued that since GAT during the Eemian (last interglacial before the present) was only slightly higher (less than 1 degree C) and sea levels 4-6 meters higher, a 2 degree rise in GAT in the near future will result flooding very quickly.

    The Eemian warming was due to higher solar insolation than today ( 13%) on the high northern latitudes during NH summer (SH winter). A recent study on the GIS melt during the Eemian argues that temperature rise alone produced 55% of the melt and the rest was caused by higher solar insolation and feedbacks. See link below:

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v4/n10/full/ngeo1245.html

    However, increase of solar insolation in the high latitudes did not warm the tropics and so GAT rose relatively little. Most studies argue that there was tropical cooling compared to the present.

    Today the situation is different since we have less solar insolation up north in the summer but more on low latitudes. Furthermore, CO2 is supposed to warm the planet more uniformly so will get temperature increases also on lower latitudes and the equator. GAT will probably rise much more than during the Eemian.

    Despite these differences in forcings and their latitudinal distribution, studies continue to argue that the past ratio of arctic temperature rise and GAT, as well ice sheet melt rates, will also be valid in the future. See the link below:
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379110000405

    What’s your take on this?

    Btw, this is my second try to post this. First time failed for some reason

    Comment by Jarmo — 21 Mar 2012 @ 12:59 PM

  466. > evolution of the model

    For example — when I took physics four decades ago, the environment around an atom wasn’t mentioned as affecting nuclear decay (heck, the physical/ microwave environment around molecules wasn’t discussed as affecting chemical reactions)

    Nowadays? Hm.

    Perturbation of nuclear decay rates during the solar flare of 2006
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S092765050900070X

    So would past variations in our local star — or a long-ago local supernova — produced a pulse of warming? Detectable eventually at the surface of the planet? And how big, compared to what we know CO2 produces?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Mar 2012 @ 1:10 PM

  467. Reminder — don’t revise everything or proclaim proof “it’s the Sun” quite yet; work continues:
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&sciodt=0%2C5&q=&cites=5260791989684362645&as_sdt=2005

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Mar 2012 @ 1:22 PM

  468. 432 SA said, “The scalability of solar energy technology is indeed one of its best “qualities” — along with the ubiquity and inexhaustibility of the energy source.

    I think it’s entirely possible that within a much shorter time frame than most people imagine possible, the overwhelming majority of the electricity consumed in the USA will be generated at the point of use, and large, centralized power plants will be a much less important part of the mix than they are today”

    I’d add solar’s lack of externalities and its matching of peak power demand to its best “qualities”. Wind, hydro, biomass, and solar thermal all work best when centralized, so I think centralized power plants will be the dominant sources for a long time. Now, if PV drops to a penny a kwh…

    Comment by Jim Larsen — 21 Mar 2012 @ 1:23 PM

  469. 434 Walter said, “Dan H. will have a hard time finding a comparable 30-year period to the most recent one.”

    The “alternative” view is that it’s a 60 or longer year cycle with huge underlying longer cycles, so we’re at the peak. As predicted, temperatures crested over the last decade, and are poised to fall as the cycle inevitably follows its course. Some think these cycles overlay a small (<1C/doubling) increase from man. Some think there's a natural warming in the background from an ongoing recovery from the little ice age. All rely on 1998 being the peak.

    Should, by some miracle, temperatures start to rise again, their theories all become instant rubbish. Seriously. This is the end of logical debate amongst non-scientists. Either it's a cycle and we're cresting, or it's a linear trend and we're about to warm significantly. Zealots do what zealots do, but assuming that the weather over the next five years is median, the backlash should make things perfect for beginning a massive buildout of renewables. By then, hopefully, batteries will be solved and wind and solar will be truly competitive. We'll certainly know a lot more about smart grids. Maybe technology and public opinion will come together over the next five years to enable the beginning of a well-planned rebuild of our energy infrastructure.

    Comment by Jim Larsen — 21 Mar 2012 @ 2:06 PM

  470. Jim Larsen,
    Ah, but when temperatures continue to rise, all the denialists will do is hallucinate another “cycle” with a slightly longer period. After all, they have no evidence for their 60-year period cycle. Why should any be required for an 80-year cycle? See that’s the wonder of Fourier series: You can match any data series except near the endpoints. Just keep moving the endpoints and the fun never ends.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 21 Mar 2012 @ 2:17 PM

  471. > Dan H. … if you used …

    If you read:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/notes

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/notes#trends
    “… trend-lines … can be fairly dangerous…. Depending on your preconceptions, by picking your start and end times carefully, you can now ‘prove’….
    … If you look at the trend data, you can see the current trends in °C, between 0.14-0.16°C/decade, or, if it continues at the same rate, between 1.4 and 1.6°C per century.”

    And most recently added to the Notes there:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/mean:60/plot/best/trend/plot/best/last:360/trend
    “The trends from the data dump are as follows:”

    Source—-Trend °C/century
    BEST—-2.79
    GISTEMP DTS—-2.06
    CRUTEM3—-2.25
    RSS-land—-2.25
    UAH-land—-2.01

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Mar 2012 @ 2:24 PM

  472. 437 Ray said, “Is this series periodic? NO. The y values are the digits of the base of Napierian logarithms, while the x values are thier ordinal position. Therefore it cannot be periodic.”

    That there happens to be a precise “solution” to a set of hypothetical temperatures is irrelevant. A periodic plus other natural variation can certainly achieve the series you proposed. The first number is time in six month intervals, and the second is temperature in unspecified units.

    Maybe it’s me (I’m often dense), but even though your posts are usually clear and right on, this one seems clear and wrong…. explain?

    Comment by Jim Larsen — 21 Mar 2012 @ 2:26 PM

  473. Monckton is coming to town.

    From comments here: (Rabbet)
    http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=16612221&postID=1081042826664764649&isPopup=true

    http://octeapartyblog.com/event/lord-monckton-at-university-of-san-diego/

    Monckton will be giving a presentation at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice Theatre, 5998 Acala Park, University of San Diego, Saturday Mar 24 at 7PM.

    Followup re: Monckton in San Diego.

    On-line reservations here: lordmonckton.eventbrite.com

    Total auditorium capacity is about 300 — currently about 113 seats left.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 21 Mar 2012 @ 2:49 PM

  474. #471–Amusingly enough, Dan’s Woodfortrees graph confirms what I thought he had done–simply fitted a linear trend to the entire timespan.

    Of course, the fact that this is possible to do says nothing whatever about whether that trend is the best fit to the data (or even a moderately good one.) Thus–as many here know, possibly including Dan?–you can’t use that linear trend by itself to conclude anything in particular about the internal temporal structure of the time series.

    As, for example, “the trend has not changed…”

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 21 Mar 2012 @ 3:04 PM

  475. 470 Ray said, “See that’s the wonder of Fourier series: You can match any data series except near the endpoints. Just keep moving the endpoints and the fun never ends.”

    I’m not an expert, but I assume it works by huge and/or ever-increasing numbers of waves of very large timeframes. Given that not just one endpoint, but the vast majority of the data (paleoclimate) is constricted (it wasn’t boiling anytime in the last billion years), and the number of waves at huge magnitudes is strictly constrained by believability, I don’t think math is going to save deniability.

    Sure, there will be people who will believe it’s all natural until they die, but if 90% of the population is convinced, policy will change drastically.

    Comment by Jim Larsen — 21 Mar 2012 @ 3:06 PM

  476. Hank,
    Yes, those are the land-only trends. I was referring to global trends.

    Comment by Dan H. — 21 Mar 2012 @ 3:20 PM

  477. Hm, the “trend data” and “data dump” links only work from inside the woodfortrees site — to get those click the links above them.

    The “last:360/trend” refutes Dan H.’s attempt to be the explainer.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Mar 2012 @ 3:31 PM

  478. Jarmo says: 21 Mar 2012 at 12:59 PM

    “… studies continue to argue that the past ratio of arctic temperature rise and GAT, as well ice sheet melt rates, will also be valid in the future. See the link below:
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379110000405

    Well, is Jarmo right? Click the link read it — it’s

    “suggesting that Arctic warming will continue to greatly exceed the global average over the coming century, with concomitant reductions in terrestrial ice masses and, consequently, an increasing rate of sea level rise.”

    Jarmo, where did you get that idea and fake cite for it?
    Searching for the key words:
    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=studies+continue++argue+past+ratio+arctic+temperature+ice+sheet+melt+rates+valid+future

    The top two hits are septic sites. It may be that you were misled.

    Be skeptical, do actually read what they claim as a source.
    Don’t be fooled again.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Mar 2012 @ 3:43 PM

  479. Dan H:

    In addition to the comments about a “linear trend” that I and others have mentioned, I noticed that you used LOTI data. NASA has this to say about LOTI data:

    “Note: LOTI provides a more realistic representation of the global mean trends than dTs below; it slightly underestimates warming or cooling trends, since the much larger heat capacity of water compared to air causes a slower and diminished reaction to changes.”

    So I suppose that is why you used it – because, in addition to the falllacy of a linear trend being meaningful, the LOTI data will underestimate that trend… ?

    No bias there!

    Comment by Craig Nazor — 21 Mar 2012 @ 5:15 PM

  480. Jim Larsen,
    Sorry the post was obtuse. The y values of the series are the first 10 digits of e=2.7182818284…, the base of Napierian logarithms. This number is transcendental, like pi. It has no repeating patterns and so cannot be periodic. This is an example I use to illustrate that unless you have several periods of data or a known periodic forcing of the system, it is simply silly to attribute periodicity to the system.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 21 Mar 2012 @ 5:43 PM

  481. Jarmo (#465)- Interesting question. The conclusion that the Greenland ice sheet melting was significantly enhanced by the increased N. Hemispheric insolation during the Eemian affects projections of future (near term) sea level rise insofar as Greenland melt contributed to the Eemian sea level rise.

    Estimates of the Greenland contribution generally require a significant fraction of the total from Antarctica: The Greenland contribution is variously estimated:
    2.7 – 4.5 m out of 5 – 6 m
    4 – 5.5 m out of ? (“more than 5 m”)

    McKay et al. conclude that “…4.1 to 5.8 m of sea level rise during the Last Interglacial period was derived from the Antarctic Ice Sheet.”

    Regarding the ratio of arctic to global average temperature, your last link presents evidence that it was not affected by the distribution of insolation during LIG. That paper gives a good discussion, thanks.

    Hank (#477) – Miller et al. really don’t say much about sea level rise, beyond the bit you quoted.

    Comment by Pat Cassen — 21 Mar 2012 @ 6:55 PM

  482. Craig,
    You are correct, there is no bias in my analysis.

    Comment by Dan H. — 21 Mar 2012 @ 7:03 PM

  483. Dan H.: “You are correct, there is no bias in my analysis.”

    And no sense either.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 21 Mar 2012 @ 7:31 PM

  484. For DanH and others interested in warming trends and linear fits, y’all might want to consider this, or this, (Figure 5.9). There’s also this,
    Partitioning Recent Greenland Mass Loss, van den Broeke et.a,lScience, 13 November 2009: Vol. 326 no. 5955 pp. 984-986; DOI: 10.1126/science.1178176
    “A quadratic decrease (r2 = 0.97) explains the 2000–2008 cumulative mass anomaly better than a linear fit (r2 = 0.90). Equation S1 implies that when SMB-D is negative but constant in time, ice sheet mass will decrease linearly in time. If, however, SMB-D decreases linearly in time, as has been approximately the case since 2000 (fig. S3), ice sheet mass is indeed expected to decrease quadratically in time.”

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 21 Mar 2012 @ 7:44 PM

  485. 462 Ray said about reassessing old physics:

    “what tests might cause us to radically reassess the atomic theory of matter or nucleosynthesis as the model for energy generation in stars?”

    SPot on. What tests would lead us to overthrow O18/O16 as a determinant of temperature. What test would lead us to throw away our understanding of cosmic ray physics on which rides C14 statistics. What tests would lead us to conclude that the Navier-Stokes equations were fundamentally flawed? What tests would lead us to conclude that the consensus view of the absorption spectra of CO2 and H2O is fundamentally flawed? Etc etc etc. Yawn.

    Comment by John E Pearson — 21 Mar 2012 @ 8:31 PM

  486. #482–Yes. And an exponential fit is best for Arctic sea ice volume, as well, per Piomass.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 21 Mar 2012 @ 8:34 PM

  487. Pat, this is the comparison I made:

    Jarmo claimed the paper supports this: “the past … ice sheet melt rates, will also be valid in the future.”

    The paper says this “… concomitant reductions in terrestrial ice masses and, consequently, an increasing rate of sea level rise.”

    Jarmo: past … rates, will also be valid in the future
    Paper: an increasing rate

    Jarmo’s stated a claim that isn’t in the paper he cites for support.

    I’m curious where he got the claim and cite.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Mar 2012 @ 9:21 PM

  488. Ray,
    As Jim pointed out, unless you have enough data to prove otherwise, the premise cannot be refuted. Obviously, two periods are not enough to prove periodicity. However, should this oscillation continue for another cycle, one would have to seriously consider its applicability, especially in light of the steadily increasing CO2 emissions. The data is more involved than just the first ten digits of e; it comprises 1350 months of temperature data.

    Comment by Dan H. — 21 Mar 2012 @ 9:41 PM

  489. Dan H., there is no “analysis” in what you wrote.

    If you ask yourself:

    1) Are there time series which cannot be fit with a linear trend?
    2) Are all time series unvarying over their length?

    …then you might be approaching the fringes of analysis.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 21 Mar 2012 @ 9:57 PM

  490. I understand that it takes some time to crunch the numbers to determine whether a particular major weather event (or long-lasting and widespread series of events, in this case) can be attributed with high probability to GW. Who does these determinations? How long before someone can give a definitive statement on this spring’s extreme weather across much of the US and Canada?

    Comment by wili — 21 Mar 2012 @ 10:12 PM

  491. Ray:

    Dan H.: “You are correct, there is no bias in my analysis.”

    And no sense either.

    Nor honesty … call it what it is. He knows what he’s doing.

    Comment by dhogaza — 21 Mar 2012 @ 10:40 PM

  492. John E Pearson @484 — Well, for the d18O proxy the tests have been performed and the proxy is deficient in that it also depends upon sea level. See, for example, chapter 1 in Ray Pierrehumbert’s “Principles of Planetary Climate” for a summary.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 21 Mar 2012 @ 11:58 PM

  493. > Dan H.
    > land-only

    nope, not true for most of the data sets.

    You use the guy’s site the way he warns readers to be wary of — to distort what’s there, to pick points to claim it shows what you wish were true.

    Woodfortrees shows you different takes on global data.

    Pick another set:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp-dts/mean:60/plot/best/trend/plot/best/last:360/trend

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Mar 2012 @ 1:01 AM

  494. PS for anyone coming new to the site — start with the explanation.
    It helps to get it first hand from the site, not second or third hand:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/examples

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Mar 2012 @ 1:09 AM

  495. Dan,

    Since you seem unable to appreciate sarcasm: you have supplied no evidence that a linear trend is a best fit. This web site is FULL of evidence that historic temperature change in relationship to forcings is not linear.

    Those who produce the LOTI data have clearly stated that it underestimates warming or cooling trends.

    These are both evidence that your statement is biased at best, likely irrelevant, and that your continued denials and evasive responses suggest dishonesty. One has to wonder why.

    Comment by Craig Nazor — 22 Mar 2012 @ 3:36 AM

  496. Re 487,

    When I try to quote papers my posts end up spam. Too many spam words, the computer says.

    Anyway, the papers I mentioned included recent Hansen and Sato paper on paleoclimate and future warming where they argued that since the Eemian was less than one degree warmer (GAT) than today and had 4-6 meters higher sea levels, the set 2 degree limitation for future warming was too little. 2 degrees would mean almost Pliocene warmth and 20 meter sea level rise.

    The Miller paper actually has a graph (Figure 4) where past interglacials, their warming, and Arctic warming were plotted on a chart. 1 degree GAT warming will result 3-4 times more Arctic warming was the message.

    However, the third paper modelled GIS melt during the Eemian and concluded that 45% of the melt was due solar forcing, 55% due temperature rise. They claimed that GIS melt in the future would be less than thought because of smaller solar forcing today.

    In summary, the Eemian solar insolation increase in high northern latitudes produced pronounced Arctic warming and some GIS melt. However, the tropics cooled and hence GAT increased only little.

    Today the solar insolation is less up north and more elsewhere. CO2 will warm the planet more uniformly and also warm the tropics.

    On the basis of this, unless CO2 produces dramatic Arctic warming and tropical cooling (or no change)in the future, the future GAT will rise more than during the Eemian but will not have proportionally similar Arctic temperature or ice melt increases as during the Eemian. I

    Comment by Jarmo — 22 Mar 2012 @ 5:04 AM

  497. Craig,
    I you even read my posts, you will know that I have said that a linear trend is not the best fit to the data. However, the data does appear to oscillate about the linear increase. But don’t take my word for it, read was others have to say:

    http://arxiv.org/pdf/1105.3885.pdf

    http://berkeleyearth.org/pdf/berkeley-earth-decadal-variations.pdf

    http://tenaya.ucsd.edu/~cayan/Pubs/57_Biondi_J_Clim_2001.pdf

    http://www.crikey.com.au/wp-content/uploads/media/docs/Zh/Zhen-Shan–Xiuan-MeteorAtmosPhys-2007-d1227bc1-3183-456f-a935-69c263af1904.pdf

    Comment by Dan H. — 22 Mar 2012 @ 6:22 AM

  498. 480 Ray said, “unless you have several periods of data or a known periodic forcing of the system, it is simply silly to attribute periodicity to the system.”

    But it’s also unreasonable to rule it out. Since the things which show that this isn’t the crest of a cycle are complicated and perhaps need caveat, we’re performing an experiment. It’s taken 14 years so far, but when warming (instead of cooling) cranks up again, the Monoskeptics will shed membership and prestige. Given that by then we’ll have three(?) more years of science, cohort replacement, and ice melt, odds are that enough of the public will “go AGW” to initiate a big push to reduce carbon emissions. This mind-shift will be enhanced as renewables drop towards or below parity – it’s nice to save money by saving the world.

    So I’m cheering for some nice warm weather over the next few years. We’ll get the message across!

    “AGW works mostly in winter. This is what winters are going to be like!”

    Comment by Jim Larsen — 22 Mar 2012 @ 7:51 AM

  499. > the data does appear to oscillate about the linear increase.

    Ah, “does appear” — such careful language.

    Anyone can claim something appears to be there.

    Dan H. presumes a linear increase, and presumes an oscillation.

    Neither presumption holds up — those aren’t in the data.

    Tamino, last November, quoted Dan H.’s misstatements about this, and did the math.

    Readers should examine those ideas closely.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Mar 2012 @ 8:29 AM

  500. > examine those ideas closely
    https://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/berkeley-and-the-long-term-trend/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Mar 2012 @ 8:29 AM

  501. Dan H.,
    Shall we list the other hypotheses we do not have sufficient evidence to rule out:

    1)Invisible Martian heat ray
    2)Invisible pink uniforms rubbing their little hooves toghether very fast
    3)Angels doing river dancing really fast on the heads of an uncountable number of invisible pins.

    Dan, the greenhouse effect + natural variability explains the data quite well–as the recent analysis by Foster and Rahmstorf showed. There is no need to posit mysterious mechanisms giving rise to mysterious oscillations.

    I do not think that you are sufficiently stupid not to realize what you are doing. The harmonic functions sine and cosine form a complete set of functions–add enough together, you can approximate any series, except at the edges. Change the period or add more sines and cosines, and you can keep playing this game indefinitely. And you will. Your goal is not to understand anything. Your goal is to obfuscate and forestall understanding, because you know as soon as kitchen light comes on, you’d better skitter for a dark corner.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 22 Mar 2012 @ 8:42 AM

  502. Dan H. @497
    I would suggest it is particularly discourteous to paste so many irrelevant links into a comment as you do here.
    …the data does appear to oscillate about the linear increase. But don’t take my word for it, read was others have to say:” you say. The casual reader would be expecting links to corroborating references, but what do you provide?
    (1) A paper discussing trend plus wobble. It’s all about astrology but I enjoy a good laugh now and then.
    (2) BEST talks of small wobbles and no mention of linear trend. Irrelevant!
    (3) Reconstructing ancient PDO. No linear trend! Irrelevant!!
    (4) Curve-fitting. No linear trend!! Irrelevant!!!

    If you find references for your linear trend to be this elusive, perhaps you should take that situation on board and reappraise you ideas on the subject. Take it from me, the idea of some underlying linear trend is risible in the extreme.

    Comment by MARodger — 22 Mar 2012 @ 9:17 AM

  503. I can’t help but think Dan H. is rehearsing arguments that will impress more on sites where the audience is less capable of checking his assertions (they can hardly be called arguments when they fail to hold up at all). This is sad and dangerous. I also agree with those who say it’s time to stop dancing so delicately around the “L” word.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 22 Mar 2012 @ 9:35 AM

  504. Ray,
    I am not positing any mysterious mechanism. I do not know where you are getting that idea.

    The data could just as easily be described as a large increase, following by a slight decrease, another large increase and slight decrease, a recent large increase, and most recently, a slight decrease. While quite wordy, this describes the temperature data just as well.

    Theory dictates that an exponential rise in atmospheric CO2 levels will result in a linear temperature rise, but I think you know that already. During the 20th century, atmospheric CO2 levels followed a rough exponential curve, therefore, it would not be unreasonable to expect a linear response. The fact that temperatures fluctuated in the matter observed may be due to the many natural variations you mention. You can deny these fluctuations all you like, but they are still present in the data. It may well be that natural variability coincidently occurred in roughly 60-year cycles. Why are you so quick to dismiss this possibilty?

    I have no idea what MA was getting at.

    Comment by Dan H. — 22 Mar 2012 @ 10:10 AM

  505. It is sad to see this potentially very valuable site devolve into tail chasing. We are having some to the most extreme weather on record, with records not just being broken but totally obliterated. Can we talk about the implications of that instead of obsessing over a certain poster’s idiocies?

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2057

    Michigan has temperatures five standard deviations beyond normal–that’s something like a one in 5000 year event.

    How many such are needed before we can determine that something beyond normal fluctuations in temps is involved here?

    Comment by wili — 22 Mar 2012 @ 10:14 AM

  506. Slate reviews The Hunger Games in the context of dystopian effects of climate change in young adult fiction.

    Slate – Climate Change in The Hunger Games

    Comment by J Bowers — 22 Mar 2012 @ 11:08 AM

  507. > Dan H. is rehearsing arguments

    And improving his simulation.

    I wonder where he’s applying what he learns here.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Mar 2012 @ 11:13 AM

  508. Good pointer, thank you Susan Anderson; here’s the image and and excerpt:

    http://icons.wxug.com/hurricane/2012/mar20_sigma.png

    “… The result is an image showing how far from average the temperatures are. Yesterday, the analysis showed that Michigan experienced temperatures that were 4 – 5 climatological anomalies warmer than average (4-sigma to 5-sigma), the type of extreme that occurs between once every 43 years and once every 4779 years. Of course, using 30 years of data to estimate extreme events with a return period of centuries is a sketchy proposition. However, keep in mind that had we used a century-long climatology instead of using the past 30 years, yesterday’s warmth would have been classified as much more extreme, since the climate has warmed considerably in the past 30 years. It is highly unlikely the warmth of the current “Summer in March” heat wave could have occurred unless the climate was warming.”
    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2057

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Mar 2012 @ 11:17 AM

  509. 504 — Thanks for that Wili.

    If Dan H. had any intellectual honesty he’d have come clean here about what he learned from his PDSI adventure. Send the bore to the Bore Hole!

    Comment by Walter Pearce — 22 Mar 2012 @ 11:24 AM

  510. correction, thank you to Wili for the Wunderblog pointer.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Mar 2012 @ 11:32 AM

  511. Folks, to put it bluntly and frankly, Dan H. is a bullshit artist.

    Why the moderators don’t consign his comments to the Bore Hole, and why people continue to engage with his stupid and blatantly dishonest troll games, is beyond me.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 22 Mar 2012 @ 11:55 AM

  512. Dan H.,
    A cyclic behavior requires a cyclic forcing. You certainly haven’t proposed any such mechanism–or any mechanism whatsoever that I can see. So if there is no forcing mechanism and insufficient data to suggest an oscillatory behavior, why the hell are we even discussing it?

    What I’m suggesting, Dan, is that we try to do science. Look at the observations. Look at the KNOWN forcings and other influences and see how much of the data they explain. Positing endless unknown mechanisms of varying characteristics to explain the data is not science. It is anti-science. It is worse than wrong. It is bullshit. Does that make my position any clearer?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 22 Mar 2012 @ 11:58 AM

  513. #504 et seq.–Yes, it’s remarkable–definitely worth noting.

    The map seems to indicate that it’s not just Michigan, it’s also all of southwestern Ontario and most of New York, nearly all of Vermont, significant chunks of Massachusetts and Maine–and I mustn’t forget the Eastern three-fifths or so of Wisconsin.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 22 Mar 2012 @ 12:17 PM

  514. Wili,
    Yes, many of us here in Michigan are enjoying these four sigma above normal days – it is a real rare event for us to be this warm this early. On the flip side, my dad in Arizona is two sigma below normal. They received snow, while we were basking in warmth. As Jeff explained on his site, all this is due to blocking events, which are causing the jet stream to dip down into Mexico, and rise northward dramatically into Ontario.

    Very little research has been conducted in his area, with no trends observed to date.

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/b73513p824856326/

    Comment by Dan H. — 22 Mar 2012 @ 12:27 PM

  515. > very little

    = about 4500 papers since 2010

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=blocking+atmosphere+jet+stream+climate

    ————

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21614-damage-to-oceans-will-cost-2-trillion.html

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Mar 2012 @ 1:09 PM

  516. Dan H. @504
    No idea? If you consider a plea of ignorance to be an excuse for continued discourtesy, perhaps you should toddle off and learn some manners.

    Comment by MARodger — 22 Mar 2012 @ 2:00 PM

  517. DanH said:”Wili,
    Yes, many of us here in Michigan are enjoying these four sigma above normal days – it is a real rare event for us to be this warm this early. On the flip side, my dad in Arizona is two sigma below normal.”

    4 sigma 2 x 10^-8
    2 sigma 5 x 10^-3

    Not even close to the same. The number of record highs is increasing, the number of record lows is decreasing. The odds of that being just due to chance, and not a shift in the distribution, are google sigma.

    Comment by t_p_hamilton — 22 Mar 2012 @ 2:09 PM

  518. Dan H. counters the 4-sigma heat in Michigan by referring to 2-sigma cold in Arizona as “the flip side.” Your homework assignment, Dan: look up the probability of a normal-distribution variable exceeding 2-sigma, and of its exceeding 4-sigma. Compare and contrast.

    Then Dan says “all this is due to blocking events.” There have been heat waves caused blocking events before — plenty of them — but not like this one. That’s the point.

    Casually dismissing the astounding record-shattering weather as “blocking events” requires either dishonesty, or an ability for self-delusion that buggers belief.

    Comment by tamino — 22 Mar 2012 @ 2:31 PM

  519. tamino wrote: “Then Dan says ‘all this is due to blocking events’.”

    Which is somewhat like telling the lifelong chain smoker that the bloody sputum in his bathroom sink is due to coughing.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 22 Mar 2012 @ 2:48 PM

  520. OK Tamino, I’ll bite.
    How do you explain the record warmth?

    Comment by Dan H. — 22 Mar 2012 @ 6:46 PM

  521. “Dan H. …. Let’s examine those ideas closely, shall we?”
    https://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/berkeley-and-the-long-term-trend/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Mar 2012 @ 7:32 PM

  522. Once upon a time, there was a man named “Dan H.” He loved antique cars, and his favorite was an old roadster which he enjoyed taking on long trips. The only problem was that its cooling system wasn’t very good, so it would often overheat, especially on a long extended drive. He would then have to wait quite a while before it would run again. But these overheating episodes didn’t seem to cause any permanent damage, so he didn’t worry about them. He even had a pet name for his long extended drives — he called them “blocking events.” Whenever his car would overheat, “It’s all due to blocking events,” he would say.

    One day he decided to take a long trip to southern Nevada. He had his favorite roadster flown in from home because he wanted to drive across the famous “Death Valley.” Along the way, his car overheated. But this time, it didn’t just overheat, it reached record high temperature and the engine exploded.

    After having it towed (rather a long way) he was discussing the prognosis with a skilled mechanic, who informed him that the beloved roadster would never run again. “When I drive it in my home state, it overheats all the time!” he protested. “But it’s never exploded before. How could this have happened?”

    “Where do you live?” asked the mechanic. “Barrow, Alaska,” replied Dan H. “That’s your problem,” said the mechanic. “Sure, the long drive is what caused it to overheat, but what made it record-breaking heat was the change in climate between Alaska and Death Valley.

    “Nonsense!” ejaculated Dan H. “Climate change had nothing to do with it. It’s all due to blocking events.”

    The mechanic gave him an odd look, then said, “Do you have any idea how ridiculous you sound?”

    Comment by tamino — 22 Mar 2012 @ 8:26 PM

  523. #513–Dan, I really don’t want to pile on here.

    But I really struggle to explain to myself how it is that you write blithely that “Very little research has been conducted in his area, with no trends observed to date,” offering in support a link with an introductory literature review citing papers back to the 1924, using the phrase “early blocking studies, like Rex (1950),” and not actually getting to the present century before the end of the sample page (which is all that’s on offer for this link.)

    Oh, and saying nothing whatever about trends to this date or any other.

    Are you just throwing random stuff out to see if you can make people read it? It sure doesn’t look as if you read it yourself.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 22 Mar 2012 @ 9:09 PM

  524. Kevin,
    Did you download the paper? Otherwise, you seem to be implying that a paper published in 2010, with data within the last few years does not meet your approval for recent? If you have reasons to believe that the authors were incorrect in drawing their conclusion, please state your reasoning. It seems to me that some people just automatically deny that which is inconvenient to their own belief system.

    Comment by Dan H. — 22 Mar 2012 @ 11:31 PM

  525. #519 Dan H.

    Ever heard of ‘Global Warming’? It’s a theory now substantiated by physics and observations regarding total radiative forcing and sensitivity, and in our current case of warming attributable to increased forcing agents form human/industrial means we are experiencing a change in trends pertaining to weather events driven by total change factors.

    You should look into it sometime. It’s pretty interesting stuff.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 22 Mar 2012 @ 11:44 PM

  526. “Theory dictates that an exponential rise in atmospheric CO2 levels will result in a linear temperature rise,… ”

    I really don’t want to pile on, but lurkers need to be warned off this slippery slope.

    There is no such theory. Climate theory allows for all the various forcings, responses and feedbacks involved in climate. By definition, this means that there cannot possibly be any such ‘linear’ temperature rise. Why not? Because the temperature drop after just one major volcanic eruption would destroy such a simplistic, not to say mindless, proposition.

    Anyone with further questions should move on to Foster & Rahmstorf.

    Comment by adelady — 22 Mar 2012 @ 11:57 PM

  527. He’s having y’all on, probably. Repeating the person’s name is a mistake; quote if you must but don’t attribute. Naming the stink in the room doesn’t make it smell better.

    Comment by dbostrom — 22 Mar 2012 @ 11:57 PM

  528. Blocking has long been a topic of interest to statistical and dynamical meteorlogy, but the climatological literature, if it exists, has been very hard for me to find. I’d appreciate any better pointers.

    Currently, I am of the opinion that the trends to extreme and sustained blocking meridional flow events, notably like the present anomaly and the similar Russian event of two years ago, are not predicted by theory or models.

    I tentatively would put this more under “unpleasant surprises in the greenhouse” rather than “told ya so”. It would be very interesting to see any predictions of such events increasing from before the Russian event, even informal ones. As far as I know there are none.

    Comment by Michael Tobis — 23 Mar 2012 @ 12:44 AM

  529. Here’s a relevant piece from ClimateCentral:

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/global-warming-increased-odds-of-march-heatwave-experts-say/

    “Global Warming May Have Fueled March Heat Wave Odds”

    It will take careful modeling to determine exactly how large a part GW had on this heat wave, but that usually-reticent scientists are willing to proclaim that GW likely played a role even before doing the fine-grained studies to absolutely prove it speaks volumes to me.

    Here’s Trenberth’s take:

    “Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said he views the situation somewhat differently. “Indeed [greenhouse gas-driven] warming is not dominant, but I suspect when all the evidence is in we will find that the event likely would not have occurred without global warming, the odds will be so low,” he said.”

    Comment by wili — 23 Mar 2012 @ 5:57 AM

  530. Dan H.

    It seems to me that some people just automatically deny that which is inconvenient to their own belief system.

    Oh, the irony …

    Comment by dhogaza — 23 Mar 2012 @ 8:06 AM

  531. [REPOST – SERVER ERROR?]

    I don’t think RC guys have commented on this. So I’d be interested on their take.

    Do you see any significance to the recent US warming as further confirmation of anthropogenic C02 induced heat signal, or are we all just getting excited by weather?

    I think this is confined to the US. Other regions are normal/cool (?).

    Also if theoretically, we had a few weeks of exceptionally cold weather in the US, would this be confirmation of the exact opposite?

    The statement “one cannot attribute any particular weather event to AGW, but in a warming world this certainly what would expect” I interpret as No but Yes. Something a little clearer (for want of a better word) would be helpful. Thanks

    Comment by GSW — 23 Mar 2012 @ 8:37 AM

  532. Kevin M. @552
    He almost got the hang of using the appropriate form for his replies back @504 but its going to take a lot of training apparently.

    Proforma reply comment, Dan H. for the use of.

    ——————————————————————–
    I have no idea what ……….* was getting at.
    *Insert commenter name and comment number.

    ————————————————————————-

    Comment by MARodger — 23 Mar 2012 @ 9:03 AM

  533. 528 will, not a chance for this heat wave to have happened without the Arctic being so warm throughout this past winter. If this Arctic winter was expansive deeply southwards, bi-continental in size, on Eurasian and North American side at once, no way it would have materialized. Its simple, winter was much smaller in extent, mimicking directly the lesser volume of Arctic sea ice. Therefore its a matter of explaining why the Arctic, during great dark winters…. is warmer! AGW is without a doubt the answer, greenhouse gases operate 24 hours a day anywhere in the world especially at any time, in particular the numerous penetrations of southern in origin cyclones were another sign that sea ice is no longer very thick. Calculating probabilities of the heat wave is a secondary complement to reasoning. I find the dynamical meteorological explanations rather trivial when the Arctic is not commented about, describing winter without the Arctic is like describing summer without the higher sun at noon, the distances between regions often block meteorologists from seeing us.

    Comment by wayne davidson — 23 Mar 2012 @ 9:10 AM

  534. Thanks, wayne. Pretty much what I think. One caution, though: An increasingly ice-free Arctic Ocean can (and I think has in the last few years) lead to increased precipitation as snow across much of the Northern Hemisphere, the albedo of which can mean longer winters. But the same water vapor can/does act as a blanket to keep the Arctic and surrounding area much warmer, and this, as you say, can spread to other parts of the NH. The places that did get snow this year in North America (parts of Alaska) really got dumped on.

    I don’t think we really have a good idea yet of what a newly open ocean at the top of the world will mean for global climate. This is a vast experiment where the observations are outpacing the theory (as discussed in a different context in the Rowland thread).

    Meanwhile, ClimateProgress has another post on the situation:

    http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2012/03/22/448839/march-madness-unprecedented-event-modern-us-weather-records-began/

    As McKibben put it: “The weather this week, I think, is demonstrating that we better start making some choices. The temperature across America in March, as we come out of winter, the temperature is—it’s not just off the charts, it’s off the wall that the charts are tacked to.”

    http://www.democracynow.org/2012/3/22/bill_mckibben_record_setting_winter_heat

    Comment by wili — 23 Mar 2012 @ 10:13 AM

  535. > 504 … Dan H.

    It’s more bunk, as though he’d never heard tell that he’s wrong.

    Dan bunks > Theory dictates …
    Dan bunks > an exponential rise in atmospheric CO2
    Dan bunks > … will result in
    Dan bunks > a linear temperature rise …
    Dan bunks > … you know that …

    He repeats false claims.
    He repeatedly claims falsely that others support his false claims.

    Dan, if you’re not being paid for this public relations work, you’ve missed your calling in life, because you’re truly working at a professional level.

    Tamino among others pointed out specifically to Dan H.:

    https://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/wet-is-dry-and-dry-is-wet/#comment-59546

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Mar 2012 @ 10:15 AM

  536. Michael Tobis@~527, good way to put it. Though it’s a long shot, several of us check water vapor animations (h/t Tenney Naumer), and over time the increase in WV and energy is, we think, noticeable. This is a lay comment, but I believe the evolution of activity is visible over time. I agree with Wayne Davidson (now 532) that one must include the evolution of the Arctic area as an input to the forces at work.

    Rutgers has a nice selection of satellite visuals; the northern hemisphere one is particularly powerful, if hyperactive, and sometimes CONUS gives a better big picture of the contiguous US. I’m linking the NH WV animation here; useful menus at top of page there:
    http://synoptic.envsci.rutgers.edu/site/sat/sat.php?sat=nhem&url=../imgs/wv_nhem_anim.gif

    This one is easier to use:
    http://weather.unisys.com/satellite/sat_wv_hem_loop-12.gif

    GSW@~531, it is not difficult to check weather anomalies and information globally, any weather service provides this information, and most of the larger news organizations. It doesn’t take any knowledge of climate science to track global developments. All you have to do be curious and take a look for yourself. This gives the picture in a nutshell:
    http://www.climatecentral.org/blogs/131-years-of-global-warming-in-26-seconds/

    (From NASA) Following through by taking a look, a brief item on how solar flares are not going to destroy us, which educated my ignorance. Such fun!
    “2012: Killer Solar Flares Are a Physical Impossibility”
    http://www.nasa.gov/home/index.html

    GSW, if you were paying attention to the Arctic you would see that the Barents sea is hugely covered with one-year ice while other areas are losing area. Just as parts of the US and northern Europe/western Asia have had some cold. It’s all about the entire picture, not selected bits of it.

    Hank Roberts, I thank Wili too, did wonder. I look at Masters Wunderground almost every day for the meterological expertise and visuals in the comments (larded with mishigass to skip over).

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 23 Mar 2012 @ 10:21 AM

  537. This is a little silly but: In
    516-517 t_p_hamilton and Tamino in responding to a poster’s disingenuous nonsense (in which it was implied that there was little difference between a two sigma event and a 4 sigma event) mentioned the probability of being some sigmas away from the mean (of a normally distributed random variable). t_p’s numbers are off and Tamino said to “look it up”. I point out here that one can estimate such probabilities in your head, probably in less time than it takes to look it up or load your favorite software. This at least gives the right order of magnitude and usually one significant figure. I personally find it useful to be able to do quick and dirty estimates w/out software and/or looking stuff up. That way you know if the answer your software gives is in the right ballpark.

    P = probability of being more than m sigma above the mean (of a normal distribution).

    P = Errfc(m/sqrt(2))/2 is exact . “erfc” is the complementary error function.

    FOr “large m” (i.e. m >=~2)

    P ~= 1/sqrt(2 pi m^2) x exp(-m^2/2)

    is a good approximation. The approximation improves with increasing m but it’s already pretty good at m=2

    Anyway exp(-m^2/2) ~= 10^(-m^2/4.6) (because log(10)=2.3).

    For m=2, 10^(-m^2/4.6)~=0.1 and sqrt(2 pi m^2) ~=5 so P~=.02.

    For m=4, sqrt(2 pi m^2)~=10 and P~=10^(-(4.6+m^2)/4.6) = 10(-20.6/4.6) ~=10^(-4.5)=10^.5 10^-5 = 3×10^-5 .

    2 sigmas: P= .02
    4 sigmas: P= 3 x 10^-5

    Comment by John E Pearson — 23 Mar 2012 @ 10:53 AM

  538. #530 GSW

    http://ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/weather-v.-climate

    For something more clear, think about it this way. Humans have increased the total energy trapped inside our climate system. This means that all weather is now occurring on a new forcing path.

    http://ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/attribution

    It’s all about the trends and the forcing.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 23 Mar 2012 @ 11:10 AM

  539. Response to inline comment 353: Yes, you did miss something. It’s a spambot! Just google the first line, and the original shows up here:
    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/is-that-skunk/video-baby-skunks/4566/#comment-5634

    [Response:OK. I fail to see why someone would quote from a Nature show on skunks, but then there’s a lot I don’t understand–Jim]

    Comment by Marco — 23 Mar 2012 @ 11:43 AM

  540. #533 holowanie poznań

    That’s a bot spam for a car add that made it through the captcha. Delete.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 23 Mar 2012 @ 11:54 AM

  541. @John, Susan,

    Appreciate the responses from you both. ;)

    It isn’t actually what I was curious about though. Just to reiterate,

    Is it valid to take a few weeks of anomalous temperatures in a region as confirmation, either way, of the ‘signal’ of an anthrogenically warmed planet?

    I get the impression from many of comments that it is indeed being interpreted this way, I was interested the views of the Climate Scientists however? (as much as possible avoiding the usual “No but Yes” reponse)

    Should some caution be advised?

    Comment by GSW — 23 Mar 2012 @ 12:01 PM

  542. Yeah, some spambots defeat reCaptcha — a
    search for holowanie poznań
    finds: About 2,090,000 results

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Mar 2012 @ 12:10 PM

  543. PS — the spambot’s goal is to insert the clickable link (to mg-auto, behind the name) into the site so it shows up as connected to RC in later search results; the posted text may be random or copied from earlier in the thread, and is just to delay the site owner breaking or deleting that link to mg-auto )

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Mar 2012 @ 12:14 PM

  544. #541 GSW

    When isolated the validity drops off because without the trend and the attribution you simply don’t have anything other than it is warm, or cold out.

    In context of current increased forcing and in consideration of all relevant natural and forced events and time scale, it is valid to say that this is expected in a warming world.

    It is also valid to say this particular warming event is occurring in a world where the forcing has been increased by human activity and ‘all’ weather is now occurring on this new forcing path which is warming biased.

    http://ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/attribution

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 23 Mar 2012 @ 12:16 PM

  545. #505 Wili. “Michigan has temperatures five standard deviations beyond normal–that’s something like a one in 5000 year event.

    How many such are needed before we can determine that something beyond normal fluctuations in temps is involved here?”

    Retrospectively you can find any number of individually very improbable events.

    Try predicting just one.

    [Response:Actually you will find the very low number defined by the pdf, more or less, assuming a sufficient observation time. With a probability density you are predicting the overall distribution, not the individual events themselves. That’s the whole point of creating it in the first place.–Jim]

    Comment by simon abingdon — 23 Mar 2012 @ 12:35 PM

  546. #523–No, Dan, I would have to subscribe to be able to download the paper. I’d do it in a heartbeat if I had unlimited funds, but sadly that is a counterfactual.

    And as for “implying that a paper published in 2010, with data within the last few years does not meet [my] approval for recent”, try reading for comprehension. The point I made was that, whereas you said there was “very little research conducted in this area,” there was an extensive literature review documenting relevant work back to 1924, and work specifically on blocking from 1950.

    If your context for “this area” was specific to something further on in the body of the paper–to which most readers here will not have access–then may I suggest you should have been a little more specific in stating that context?

    You just make yourself look foolish when you say something which appears to be directly at odds with the source you cite.

    [Response:His goal of course is just to not look foolish to those who can’t discern the foolishness. When those who can point it out, he’s up against it. Classic SOP for denialists–Jim]

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 23 Mar 2012 @ 12:46 PM

  547. #534 Will Arctic Ocean dynamics are somewhat more complex, the models need input x ,y, z, soon x will be filled. Precipitable water over a colder ocean is nowhere as great over sea water 10 degrees warmer. There was a theory I heard long ago, claiming the Arctic Ocean was open giving the mega continental glaciers of our paleo past. I disagree essentially by the observation record, of which when the channels here were open late in the fall there was not much snow on the ground. The Arctic has consistently very little precipitation except for summers of late when surface temperatures exceed +10 degrees C.

    Susan, Dr Masters is one of the greatest online meteorologists doing excellent live contributions, he dishes out what I call modern meteorology which encompasses huge swats of the world, as opposed to your local TV presenter focusing on a State or provincial area, the presenters are hopelessly outmatched and outclassed by recent events and need to go global, as does Masters, they should do likewise. When they keep the narrow focus they get inspired by absurdity and create blogs like WUWT.

    Comment by wayne davidson — 23 Mar 2012 @ 1:34 PM

  548. GSW:

    I think the 131 years in 26 answers your query. I’m assuming you are not here to debunk.

    It’s not “yes but no”. It’s a way of putting things in proportion. One can’t go on forever ignoring all the detail when the detail continues to pile up. You need to be able to hold both things in your mind. Fact is, at this point no weather is uninfluenced but no single event is “evidence” in a court of law sense; you can’t isolate it but when a whole season is out of whack we’re human and note it confirms the loaded dice impression. Extreme events are particularly difficult to pin down, but if you leave them out you are biasing the overall picture even more. Insisting on 100% certainty is a way of preventing effective response until it’s too late. Stephen Schneider’s “Science as a Contact Sport: Inside the Battle to Save the Earth’s Climate” goes into the formation issues with descriptions of certainty at the IPCC.

    We are all human, and you mustn’t blame climate scientists, who are on the whole quite conservative, for the rash statements that some of us make in comment sections. Our hosts include us as they include you.

    I can’t help wondering if you were asking scientists to do your homework for you. I’m not a scientist but a follower and appreciator, and fascinated by world weather which I’ve been collecting for over a decade (think Russia, Africa, Pakistan, China, South America). I’m not young and enjoy complexity and paradox, so don’t mind a little uncertainty. You mustn’t isolate any of it – in the end it paints a clear picture. You might even enjoy fiddling with my water vapor links addressed to MT if you want to boggle your mind with the overall earth circulation and coriolis forces in action.

    As to the basic physics, that’s as close to certain as you can get, and has not been in question for almost four decades.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 23 Mar 2012 @ 3:08 PM

  549. GSW, sorry, specifically, no, you can’t isolate a few weeks locally. But you can’t leave it out either.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 23 Mar 2012 @ 3:12 PM

  550. To finish the thought, if an extreme weather event, wind, flood, drought, fire, and its concomitants famine, disease, and war, takes a life, a house, a livelihood, that is indelible. Masters pointed out that at this point 4 out of 5 households in the US have been influenced by extreme weather events recently though not necessarily to this life-altering extent. This is not something one can ignore or explain away.

    The personal and societal catastrophe represented in this simple statement is mindboggling, and in our human struggle to make sense of it or get past it we make choices that are not necessarily evidential. Scientists are trained to look past this and to take the long view.

    Some scientists are what is called “reductionist” – that is, they don’t admit things they can’t prove or study exist. Climate science crosses this boundary in that it *must* include the real world which is complex beyond description, hence models and all the study and hard work to bring into them as much real-world information and understanding as possible. Only the “higher”-level theoreticians, particularly in math and physics, have the luxury of dealing in “pure” science. We can only hope these dedicated professionals do the best job possible, which is why all the unnecessary sniping and political wrangling is so wrong.

    [Response:Just to clarify a little, reductionism is more of a philosphical strategy of how to approach a problem by decomposing it into its component parts and studying them in detail. It doesn’t imply a disconnection from the real world, nor does it necessarily serve as some boundary between theoretical and applied science.–Jim]

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 23 Mar 2012 @ 3:25 PM

  551. Thanks Jim, error admitted. I still think climate science is uniquely difficult because it has to incorporate both theory and reality in an incredibly complex and critical discipline, but “reductionism” was the wrong tag and certainly I didn’t know nearly enough about what I was talking about!

    P.W.Anderson used this idea in … 1972, ‘More is different’ to expose some of the limitations of reductionism. The limitation of reductionism was explained as follows. The sciences can be arranged roughly linearly in a hierarchy as particle physics, many body physics, chemistry, molecular biology, cellular biology, physiology, psychology and social sciences. The elementary entities of one science obeys the laws of the science that precedes it in the above hierarchy. But, this does not imply that one science is just an applied version of the science that precedes it. Quoting from the article, “At each stage, entirely new laws, concepts and generalizations are necessary, requiring inspiration and creativity to just as great a degree as in the previous one. Psychology is not applied biology nor is biology applied chemistry.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductionism

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 23 Mar 2012 @ 4:07 PM

  552. 511 Ray says, “Dan H.,
    A cyclic behavior requires a cyclic forcing. You certainly haven’t proposed any such mechanism–or any mechanism whatsoever that I can see.”

    The AMO is often suggested. Here’s a site dealing with the 60 year cycle question. It’s the #1 result for “60 year climate cycle”.

    540 GSW said, “Is it valid to take a few weeks of anomalous temperatures in a region as confirmation, either way, of the ‘signal’ of an anthrogenically warmed planet?”

    I wonder the same. According to GISS, January and February were relatively cool globally. That the USA happened to be warm seems like a demonstration of variance in distribution, if anything. Are these events – European heatwave, Moscow warming hole, and spring-replaces-US-winter, measures of anything “changing” at all? Can we just ignore them and work with global temperatures, or are there actually larger deviations from the norm at the regional level in a warming world?

    Comment by Jim Larsen — 23 Mar 2012 @ 6:00 PM

  553. Jim Larsen,
    Unfortunately the math doesn’t work out. See

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/amo/#comment-47729

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/03/02/8000-years-of-amo/

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/decadal-variations-and-amo-part-i/

    among others

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Mar 2012 @ 6:58 PM

  554. A response to what Michael A. Lewis, PhD says in a new topic at
    23 Mar 2012 at 7:07 PM

    (Responding with a pointer to here to avoid disrupting the topic there; I should’ve done that right away, my bad for saying anything there in reply.

    He writes there:

    > I hope this is not a site promoting the idea that only
    > human activity influences climate change.

    Not at all.

    Beware that strawman — you’ll find it at denier sites, and people do show up here who’ve been fooled into thinking that. It’s a “let’s you and them fight” trick tried to set people who care about multiple ecology issues against each other.

    It won’t work on you if you read what’s actually here; the basics (the “Start Here” link at the top is helpful) explain much.

    On specific details — there are lots of misconceptions people bring. Usually they just distract from a new topic if someone won’t read the basics and persists in asking the same questions we longtime readers (and the real scientists too) have answered over and over.

    I did try to get an idea of what you believe following links from the home page you posted behind your name; this seems to find a lot of misunderstandings:
    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Ahayduke2000.blogspot.com+%22climate+change%22

    (Hayduke’s been one of my fictional heros, along with the real ones like Abbey, Sigurd Olsen, and many other writers so I followed those up)

    Take just one misunderstanding from your blog — we know the increase in CO2 is from fossil fuel use; that’s been known for decades, and Spencer Weart among others explains it well in his book; the link’s in the right sidebar.

    A search finds it equally well:
    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=%22spencer+weart%22+fossil+carbon+CO2+isotope

    RESULT:
    The Carbon Dioxide Greenhouse Effect – The American Institute …History of research on how CO2 affects climate … oil is so old that it entirely lacks the radioactive isotope. Therefore emissions from burning fossil fuels would add only plain carbon … copyright © 2003-2011 Spencer Weart & American Institute of Physics
    aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm&nbsp

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Mar 2012 @ 7:49 PM

  555. Simon Abingdon quotes the IPCC out of context (Quel surprise!). The rest of the quote is:

    “Rather the focus must be upon the prediction of the probability distribution of the system�s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive and requires the application of new methods of model diagnosis, but such statistical information is essential.”

    Note that while Simon throws up his hands, the real scientists roll up their sleeves and get to work on a difficult problem. Note also, that what the sceintists are calling for is prediction based on understanding the system, not a simple “prediction” by a single model.

    Simon, Susan embodies the spirit of the scientific enterprise much more fully than timid cowards like you.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Mar 2012 @ 8:15 AM

  556. Here is a graph relevant to DanH’s cycle plus trend discussion. Random noise (weather), run through a low pass filter (ocean thermodynamics?), plus a trend(CAGW-20,000 excess deaths from European/Russian heatwaves alone), matches observations.

    When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail; when you’re a Fourier transform, everything looks like a cycle; when you’re too reductionist, the answer to everything is 42.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 24 Mar 2012 @ 8:21 AM

  557. Readers of and contributors to posts on Skeptical Science should be aware that the site was hacked a little while ago.

    Anyone with an account there would be well-advised to log on and change their details as quickly as possible.

    Comment by Bernard J. — 24 Mar 2012 @ 10:06 AM

  558. 551: Jim Larson wrote: “Can we just ignore them and work with global temperatures, or are there actually larger deviations from the norm at the regional level in a warming world?”

    What do you mean “work with?” Do you mean: ignore the variations in temperature and then argue that a 3C increase in temperature is no big deal ?

    The obvious answer is of course there are variations that are larger than the change in the mean. The mean temperature during the last glacial maximum was something like 7C colder: 5C colder in the tropics and as much as 23C colder in Greenland. http://web.me.com/uriarte/Earths_Climate/9._The_Last_Glacial_Maximum.html

    https://www.ipcc.unibe.ch/publications/wg1-ar4/faq/wg1_faq-11.1.html
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch11.html

    Comment by John E Pearson — 24 Mar 2012 @ 10:13 AM

  559. I’ve scanned some of Michael A. Lewis’s articles that he wrote and co-wrote with Anthony Watts

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/author/hayduke/

    Mostly argument from naiveté and ignorance. It seems he really has not looked at the wealth of evidence and there is a good possibility, based on the manner and substance of his writing on the subject, that he has been getting most of his info form denialist sites rather than directly from the science itself.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 24 Mar 2012 @ 11:28 AM

  560. Here’s a nice summary of the weather anomaly from the recent heat wave:

    http://www.climatecentral.org/blogs/more-records-broken-as-rare-march-heat-wave-continues/

    I see one obvious criticism: the heat wave was moving, so integrating over a week is going to understate its effect at the margins. For example, here in Montreal we got the heat wave just like everyone, but on the map we show up average because it warmed up on March 14, meaning there’s only one or two days included in the picture. How could we plot it better?

    The other question: this is using land surface temps. Much of the continent was snowed in at the start of the heat wave. I’m having trouble figuring out which way to expect this to affect the anomalies.

    And then there’s the thing about using the warmest decade on record as the baseline, but that’s not a huge effect compared to the magnitude of the anomalies.

    [Response: The 7 or 10 day average is what it is. You need to use a different time window if you want to capture a particular area. The bigger issue that a lot of these analyses seem to be overlooking is that this heat wave is a culminating event after an exceptionally mild winter across much of the affected area. I want to see the anomalies for the entire winter in this area. And a large part of that area was definitely not snow covered when this thing hit. It has accordingly had a very large impact on soil temperature and hence, productivity. The entire phenological timeline appears to be set forward by 4 to 6 weeks. It’s truly phenomenal.–Jim]

    Comment by numerobis — 24 Mar 2012 @ 11:41 AM

  561. Skeptical Science hack is causing me some grief. This isn’t my login handle there, since I don’t want to draw attention to my account, but the login name I used leads to other accounts, and the general password I used there can open a couple of other non-critical accounts. Unfortunately, some of these accounts contain a lot of personal information. I have been going through my accounts and changing login information.

    John Cook says that the passwords were encrypted, but given enough time, the passwords could be broken.

    Comment by Paul K2 — 24 Mar 2012 @ 12:00 PM

  562. #554 Ray Ladbury. As a commander of jet transports with over 14000 hours in his logbook, landing a Boeing 767 with 300 trusting passengers on board at night with a gusting crosswind in heavy rain and poor visibility on a short wet runway with no ILS and a raging approaching thunderstorm in close proximity was for me sometimes a daunting reality. Though it was just a job, it did need unflinching concentration. During my career it’s probable that I have been personally responsible for the lives of over half a million passengers. To the best of my knowledge nobody ever suggested the description “timid coward” until now. But perhaps you’re right Ray. I was never faced with a situation that really frightened me.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 24 Mar 2012 @ 12:39 PM

  563. I’m not convinced a global time window works: I suspect you really want an adaptive time window per point in the plot, otherwise you pick up the background to a different extent depending on location — but then there’s the question of how to pick out the proper time windows. I assume some field has properly analyzed this question somewhere.

    I’m also interested in knowing how to reason about the effect of snow cover on temperature anomalies, just for its own sake.

    As you say, it’s academic compared to the remarkable winter we’ve had. But I’m an academic by training, it’s how I roll!

    (PS: another phenological point — mass protest season is much earlier than usual this year.)

    Comment by numerobis — 24 Mar 2012 @ 12:59 PM

  564. 557 John asked, “What do you mean “work with?” Do you mean: ignore the variations in temperature and then argue that a 3C increase in temperature is no big deal ?”

    No. I’ll try again: We had a regional extreme during a globally cooler season. Is this a marker of a warmer world? I’ve read that night to day and equator to pole variations will diminish, but are there are more temperature extremes in a warmer world (to go with the precipitation extremes)?

    Comment by Jim Larsen — 24 Mar 2012 @ 1:14 PM

  565. “As I look at my nation, I am generally impressed by the physical courage of its citizenry but distressed by the lack of intellectual or moral courage. I think this is important because most quotes about bravery refer to physical courage. Yet if my nation is to go down the tubes, I suspect it will be more because of a deficit in its intellectual bravery.”
    ~ M. Scott Peck

    “It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.”
    Mark Twain

    Comment by Radge Havers — 24 Mar 2012 @ 1:22 PM

  566. #561 simon abingdon

    Then why are you apparently too afraid, timid, or cowardly, to post your real name?

    Why are you afraid to admit the real potential for serious economic consequences from human induced global warming?

    I highly suggest you read my book Exposing The Climate Hoax: It’s All About The Economy.

    And don’t be afraid of what the evidence indicates. You’re a pilot, and so am I though hardly with as many hours. Pilots have excellent training in methodology and handling emergencies without fear, but rather process and checklists. There is no room for fear in a cockpit when split second decisions determine the outcome.

    Use your pragmatism wisely and just as in the cockpit, look at all the potential scenarios regarding what kind of landing we are in for based on our decisions as a global community.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 24 Mar 2012 @ 2:14 PM

  567. Brian,
    Have you tried plotting the temperature against a sine wave with a 60-yr period? That might give a better representation of 6 x 7 than the one you presented.

    Comment by Dan H. — 24 Mar 2012 @ 2:21 PM

  568. Any comments on this article?
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X12000659

    It’s a paper on the temperature record in Antartica showing a MWP.

    I expect it to explode pretty soon in the denial sphere.

    Comment by Dave123 — 24 Mar 2012 @ 3:27 PM

  569. #561–I’m glad you have that history behind you, Simon. It must be gratifying when faced with life’s petty frustrations. And I’m grateful (as someone who has traveled by air a few times) that the pilots who held my life in their hands were (I presume) just as professional and skilled as you.

    And I’m also glad that no-one called you a liar merely because you were an airline pilot; that no-one sent you death threats (I presume) because you were an airline pilot; that no-one subpoenaed your e-mails because you were an airline pilot; that no-one claimed that you as a pilot were attempting to tear down our culture and civilization at the behest of a shadowy cabal with incomprehensible (but evil) motives.

    I’m looking forward to a time when I can say the same about our hosts at this site. After all, our lives may well be in their hands, too, albeit less immediately and directly so.

    Who else is going to help us chart a reasonable course into the future?

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 24 Mar 2012 @ 3:37 PM

  570. I, too, am glad to hear Simon’s an experienced airline pilot.

    As a professional airline pilot, I wonder how he’d react if a climate scientist without so much as a private pilot’s license were to barge into the cockpit during a landing approach and shove Simon aside proclaiming “I know more about flying than you, I’m going to land this airplane with its 300 passengers!”?

    Given his willingness to proclaim expertise in climate science I’m sure he’d get up and walk back into the passenger cabin, eh?

    Comment by dhogaza — 24 Mar 2012 @ 4:37 PM

  571. Sorry OT but important! Heads up from Open Mind, Tamino’s site! The Skeptical Science website was hacked. If you post there you might want to give this some immediate attention! http://www.skepticalscience.com/Skeptical-Science-hacked-private-user-details-publicly-posted-online.html for details….
    [moved]

    Comment by Tokodave — 24 Mar 2012 @ 6:51 PM

  572. Following up on my response above to Michael Lewis: I am quite fond of E.O. Wilson’s perspective; I grew up in the rural South long, long ago — not quite as long ago nor quite as far south as he did. And I understand what it’s like to try to talk about ecology and saving biodiversity to people whose favored aim in life is across the barrel of a hunting rifle or shotgun and only become active in protecting nature once they understand that they as a group can affect it. For those who only are used to thinking of their own individual impact, even seeing themselves as part of a group is a stretch at first. Being an individual feels like freedom; being part of a group feels — different to different people.

    But our individual impacts add up. We might as well learn to add.

    As I said earlier, one of the favorite tactics of the exploiters is “let’s you and them fight” — setting up one environmentally aware group against the others, by making up strawman arguments, pretending to be them, and encouraging people to believe their enemies are their friends and vice versa.

    “Just because you’re on their side doesn’t mean they’re on your side” — as the host of Making Light wrote years ago.

    “… the war between environmentalists and exploiters, local and national, is far from over…. During the past forty years the United States has come to understand that it is a major player in the deterioration of the global environment.” http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2007/09/eo_wilson_on_rachel_carson_1.html
    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2007/07/what_can_i_do.html

    I don’t agree wholeheartedly with many people, if any. But I’m determined to find where agreement can exist about leaving life on the planet in better shape than we’re doing right now.

    Y’all come.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Mar 2012 @ 8:50 PM

  573. One more essay at inclusion, and I’ll sit back and listen a while.

    From “The Mad Farmer Liberation Front” by Wendell Berry

    Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
    vacation with pay. Want more
    of everything ready-made. Be afraid
    to know your neighbors and to die.
    And you will have a window in your head.
    Not even your future will be a mystery
    any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
    and shut away in a little drawer.
    When they want you to buy something
    they will call you. When they want you
    to die for profit they will let you know.

    So, friends, every day do something
    that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
    Love the world. Work for nothing.
    Take all that you have and be poor.
    Love someone who does not deserve it. …

    and

    Phil Plait: “THIS is why we invest in science. This.
    “… The standard line extinguished a set fire in a living room in 1 minute and 45 seconds using 220 gallons of water. The [new] system extinguished an identical fire in 17.3 seconds using 13.6 gallons — with a hose requiring only one person to manage….”

    and

    “I think the key to understanding why advanced social behavior has been so rare, even though it’s highly successful when it happens, is that going from that first step over the threshold is difficult. It has to go through a period in which group selection is powerful enough to overcome this residual, individual level of selection, which is the main form of selection that’s been going on for countless numbers of generations before. Within groups, selfish individuals win and between groups, altruistic groups beat groups of selfish individuals.”
    E.O. Wilson … on Human Nature

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Mar 2012 @ 10:05 PM

  574. Here’s something going around the denialsphere — climate sensitivity is much lower than previous thought…

    Most abstracts below have their lower sensitivity, except the Aldrin on, so I’ve included the Knappenberger direct quote from the paper:

    “Lower Climate Sensitivity Estimates: New Good News”
    by Chip Knappenberger, March 19, 2012
    http://www.masterresource.org/2012/03/lower-climate-sensitivity-estimates/

    Aldrin, M., et al., 2012. Bayesian estimation of climate sensitivity based on a simple climate model fitted to observations oh hemispheric temperature and global ocean heat content. Environmetrics http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/env.2140/abstract;jsessionid=38E88DBEDFC0F5214703FE5877A722A3.d03t03?systemMessage=Wiley+Online+Library+will+be+disrupted+17+March+from+10-14+GMT+%2806-10+EDT%29+for+essential+maintenance&userIsAuthenticated=false&deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=
    [from the Knappenberger piece: “The [climate sensitivity] mean is 2.0°C… which is lower than the IPCC estimate from the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC, 2007), but this estimate increases if an extra forcing component is added, see the following text. The 95% credible interval (CI) ranges from 1.1°C to 4.3°C, whereas the 90% CI ranges from 1.2°C to 3.5°C.”]

    Gillett, N.P., et al., 2012. Improved constraints on 21st-century warming derived using 160 years of temperature observations. Geophysical Research Letters, 39, L01704, doi:10.1029/2011GL050226.
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2011GL050226.shtml

    Olson, R., et al., 2012. A climate sensitivity estimate using Bayesian fusion of instrumental observations and an Earth System model. Journal of Climate, 24, 5521-5537, doi:10.1175/2011JCL13989.1.
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2011JD016620.shtml
    Padilla, L. E., G. K. Vallis, and C. W. Rowley, 2011. Probabilistic estimates of transient climate sensitivity subject to uncertainty in forcing and natural variability. http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2011JCLI3989.1

    Schmittner, A., et al., 2011. Climate sensitivity estimated from temperature reconstructions of the Last Glacial Maximum, Science 9 December 2011:Vol. 334 no. 6061 pp. 1385-1388, DOI: 10.1126/science.1203513 http://www.sciencemag.org/content/334/6061/1385.abstract

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 25 Mar 2012 @ 12:20 PM

  575. New paper:

    Rowlands, D.J. et al. (2012) Broad range of 2050 warming from an observationally constrained large climate model ensemble. Nature Geoscience, advance online.

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/ngeo1430.html

    Comment by SteveF — 25 Mar 2012 @ 1:12 PM

  576. Lynn:

    Most abstracts below have their lower sensitivity, except the Aldrin on

    Actually Olson et al’s abstract states “Our results are consistent with most previous studies” and “The mode of the climate sensitivity estimate is 2.8°C, with the corresponding 95% credible interval ranging from 1.8 to 4.9°C” (which supports the first quote). So, I’m not sure why that paper would make their list. Except for the fact that the lukewarmer tactic has been to suggest they believe that sensitivity lies “just a bit under 3C” (Tom Fuller some time back accepted 2.5 < CS < 3.0 IIRC), implying that the mainstream "CAGW" position is for much higher sensitivity. They can then argue against that strawman without looking entirely ridiculous regarding the science.

    Comment by dhogaza — 25 Mar 2012 @ 2:46 PM

  577. In case people missed it, SteveF’s post serves (intentionally or not) as a response to Lynn’s post. Here’s the crucial line from the abstract cited:

    “We find that model versions that reproduce observed surface temperature changes over the past 50 years show global-mean temperature increases of 1.4–3 K by 2050, relative to 1961–1990, under a mid-range forcing scenario.”

    That’s up to 3 C within a mere 38 years under a MID-range scenario.

    “Julian Hunt, emeritus professor of climate modelling at University College London…said the higher range of the prediction was looking “increasingly likely”, but for three particular reasons:

    * release of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, from seabed and land
    * “massive changes” in reflection of light at some places on the Earth’s surface
    * reducing air pollution in Asia that will reflect less solar energy back into space.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17488450

    Meanwhile, Trenberth has this to say on extreme weather events and GW:

    http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2012/03/25/451347/must-read-trenberth-how-to-relate-climate-extremes-to-climate-change/

    “The answer to the oft-asked question of whether an event is caused by climate change is that it is the wrong question. All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be”

    Comment by wili — 25 Mar 2012 @ 3:16 PM

  578. RE #573, And here is how I responded, but what do I know, so if you have better responses, let me know ((Excuse my hypens in weird places, I have some spam word)):

    I’d love to know for sure that there is absolutely nothing to be concerned about re AGW (for the sake of all those who would be harmed or dying from it), and I sincerely hope these low sensitivity claims stand the scrutiny of further science.

    However, I’d still continue to mitigate AGW, since there would still be some level (somewhat higher) at which dangerous warming could occur. Plus everything I’m doing has some other p-ay-offs, fin-anc-ial and/or mitigating other problems and/or living a life of material sim-plic-ity. Hope for the best…..but expect the worst & strive to prevent it, is my motto.

    Here’s my take on these articles (which are only individual studies, open to further scru-tiny):

    The Aldrin abstract doesn’t give their sensitivity, but using the Knappenberger piece:

    “The [climate sensitivity] mean is 2.0°C… which is lower than the IPCC estimate from the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC, 2007), but this estimate increases if an extra forcing component is added, see the following text. The 95% credible interval (CI) ranges from 1.1°C to 4.3°C, whereas the 90% CI ranges from 1.2°C to 3.5°C.”

    Even if this does pan out (and I’d love for even a lower sensitivity to pan out), 2C still puts us in trouble, considering the very high levels of GHGs we are emitting. As the Padilla abstract suggests, it would only raise the ppmv level at which we would expect dangerous warming….giving us a bit more time to turn this big Titan-ic ship around. And it says nothing about the equi-lib-rium warming.

    The Gillet article gives 1.3–1.8°C for data going back to 1850, but since proxies are in question (as you are so want to point out), so is his data.

    Olson article – their mode is 2.8, very close to the 3 suggested by other scientists, and when you consider the long tail in the positive direction, the mean would probably be a bit larger, maybe 3 or more.

    The Padilla article states (with important caveat in caps): 90% confidence the response will fall between 1.3 and 2.6 K, and it is estimated that this interval may be 45% smaller by the year 2030. The authors calculate that emissions levels equivalent to forcing of less than 475 ppmv CO2 concentration are needed to ensure that the transient temperature response will not exceed 2 K with 95% confidence. THIS IS AN ASSESSMENT FOR THE SHORT-TO-MEDIUM TERM AND NOT A RECOMMENDATION FOR LONG-TERM STABILIZATION FORCING; THE EQUI-LIBR-IUM TEMPERATURE RESPONSE TO THIS LEVEL OF CO2 MAY BE MUCH GREATER.

    The Schmittner abstract has the median at 2.3….which again with the long positive tail could mean a mean of something higher….maybe even 2.6 (the upper end of the Padilla claim, and he suggested 475 ppmv CO2 would be the tipping point into danger, I suppose for his mean or median, which should be lower than 2.3).

    SOME IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS:

    – 475 ppmv CO2 is also something to be concerned about, only a bit less concerned about than the 350 ppmv that has been suggested by some scientists. And note that the earlier claims (I believe also in the IPCC) were that 450 ppmv was the tipping point into danger, so 475 ppmv is not that far off from earlier claims.

    – The main issue is that our actual GHG emissions have pretty much exceeded or are in the “worse-case” scenarios projected in the past. That is the other factor we need to be concerned about, not just sensitivity.

    – It is the equi-lib-rium temp response that’s most important – which (I guess Padilla means) would include carbon feedbacks from the warming, such as from melting hydrates and permafrost, or perhaps the lag time for the climate to adjust to all the GHGs in the atmosphere. In this regard Ramanathan & Feng’s article suggest that we already have a 2.4 warming in the pipes just from existing GHGs in the atmosphere, even if we were to go to zero emissions tomorrow (see http://www.pnas.org/content/105/38/14245.full )

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 25 Mar 2012 @ 3:21 PM

  579. Good points, Lynn. At current rate of increase of atmospheric CO2 of about 3ppm/year, that would only be pushing the supposed tipping point out about 8 years.

    On the topic of the Trenberth article just cited, this passage jumped out at me:

    “in the United States, extremes of high temperatures have been occurring at a rate of twice those of cold extremes (Meehl et al. 2009), and this has accelerated considerably since June 2010 to a factor of 2.7, and in the summer of 2011 to a factor of over 8″

    So we’ve gone from 2 to 2.7 to 8 in just three years. This lead to me to wonder what the next number in that sequence might be. Knowing that hank would (rightfully) chide me if I just asked the question here without doing some searching first myself, I found this:

    “For the year-to-date, there have been 14,737 warm temperature records set or tied, compared to 1,296 cold records — a ratio of about 11-to-1.”

    http://www.climatecentral.org/blogs/heat-wave-sends-temps-soaring-into-uncharted-territory/

    I’m expecting that this number will go up further this year, though I hope I am wrong here.

    In any case, these stats certainly suggest a climate situation rapidly spinning completely out of whack.

    Thoughts?

    Comment by wili — 25 Mar 2012 @ 3:51 PM

  580. The passage that particularly struck me was:

    “in the United States, extremes of high temperatures have been occurring at a rate of twice those of cold extremes (Meehl et al. 2009), and this has accelerated considerably since June 2010 to a factor of 2.7, and in the summer of 2011 to a factor of over 8″

    So from 2 to 2.7 to 8 in just the last few years! What is the next number in this sequence?

    Answer (so far this year):

    “For the year-to-date, there have been 14,737 warm temperature records set or tied, compared to 1,296 cold records — a ratio of about 11-to-1.”

    http://www.climatecentral.org/blogs/heat-wave-sends-temps-soaring-into-uncharted-territory/

    I can’t help but get the sense from these numbers that things are spinning out of whack even faster than even I anticipated.

    Comment by wili — 25 Mar 2012 @ 3:54 PM

  581. So, another way to deal with troublesome data: stop collecting?

    http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674canadas_pearl_of_arctic_research_hit_with_funding_freeze/

    Comment by Phil Mattheis — 25 Mar 2012 @ 4:28 PM

  582. @ 578 wili

    The bit that caught my eye:

    ““In fact, the jet stream has been displaced well north of its typical position since the middle of last year,” the NWS stated.”

    IIRC, that’s akin to the precursor to the Great Dust Bowl.

    Comment by J Bowers — 25 Mar 2012 @ 4:45 PM

  583. Lynn Vincentnathan @573 & @577

    Knappenberger reads a bit like desperate propaganda to me.

    Do be mindful that the references he makes present two different forms of sensitivity – equilibrium sensitivity & transcient sensitivity or transcient cllmate response (TCR). TCR is a smaller value. The tiny IPCC graph (on page linked below) would convert Gillett et al’s 1.3-1.8 TCR into something like 2.0-3.0 equilibrium.& Padilla’s 1.3-2.6 into 2.0-5.0 equilibrium. These are hardily what you’d call low figures.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-5-2.html

    Of the rest, Schmitter et al was being praised by deniers a few months back for chopping of the “fat tail” from sensitivity estimates. It was not greatly ‘low’ other than that. Chopping the long fat tail is an exercise Knappenberger tries to join in on but gives no supporting evidence for it.
    Olson is not lower than the IPCC. That leaves Aldrin et al giving 1.1-4.3. The lower end of the range may be low but note the quote via Knappenberger “..but this estimate increases if an extra forcing component is added, see following text.” The ‘following text’ would perhaps be worth reading before judgement is made. Knappenberger presumably did but says squat.

    As I said ‘desperate propaganda.’

    Comment by MARodger — 25 Mar 2012 @ 4:48 PM

  584. Get a headvise. If you thought the usual Daily Mail was bad, check out the scan of the Scottish Daily Mail’s “reality check” on Education Scotland’s rundown of global warming.

    ***!!! PUT YOUR COFFEE DOWN FIRST !!!*** You have been warned.

    Scottish Daily Mail, 24 March 2012… ‘Myth and Reality of Climate Changes’

    Must have been written by one of the usual UK Delusionals. Not even wrong. My eyes are bleeding from the rubbing.

    H/T to Leo Hickman.

    Comment by J Bowers — 26 Mar 2012 @ 11:43 AM

  585. Could someone who knows, please recommend the best climate science or policy textbooks in comments here at Less Wrong (link)?

    Comment by Anna Haynes — 26 Mar 2012 @ 4:10 PM

  586. Anna, see here

    Comment by flxible — 26 Mar 2012 @ 7:27 PM

  587. RE #77 & “The answer to the oft-asked question of whether an event is caused by climate change is that it is the wrong question. All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be”

    I’ve been saying that for a long time, but sort of in a reverse-science way, as in we live in a globally warmed world, so the null hypothesis should be that. Then the alt hypothesis is AGW is not happening, and we should only accept it if the null — that AGW is a reality — is rejected bec it reaches .05 or less probability ((but we’d still be wise to continue mitigating an extremely unlikely AGW since it saves us so much money and most measures also help solve so many other problems.)) :)

    I also thought of this when reading Stephan’s recent post, “Extremely Hot”:

    Possibly in the situation with warming, the soil has dried out over the previous months because of that extra 1 °C. So now you lost evaporative cooling, the incoming sunlight turns into sensible heat rather than a large fraction going into latent heat. That is a non-linear feedback, and not an imagined one. Detailed studies have shown that this may have played an important role during the European heat wave of 2003 (Schär et al. 2004).

    Now, I know that this “reverse null hypothesis” thing is not how science is done, but it should be how laypersons and policy-makers think about the situation….avoiding the false negative (or rather their false positive should be the scientists’ false negative).

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 26 Mar 2012 @ 8:33 PM

  588. Re: #587 (Lynn Vincentnathan)

    You may well be right that “AGW is happening” is the scientifically correct default assumption, and that this “should be how laypersons and policy-makers think about the situation.” However, there’s a very good reason that statistics uses the null hypothesis it does, which seems not to have been appreciated in discussions of “reversing the null hypothesis,” namely, that the usual null hypothesis actually enables us to compute probabilities.

    Consider a coin flip, for example. Perhaps you already have compelling evidence the coin isn’t fair. That’s great — but it makes a lousy null hypothesis unless you know how much it’s not fair, i.e., the true probability of flipping “heads.” If you don’t, then you can’t compute the probability of whatever data you happen to have observed. The “obviously wrong” null hypothesis of a fair coin at least enables you to compute it.

    All of which argues rather persuasively that in such situations one should consider a Bayesian approach to the statistics.

    Comment by tamino — 26 Mar 2012 @ 11:10 PM

  589. Lynn,
    What Tamino said. People generally have a poor understanding of what is meant by a null hypothesis. It is not your “going in” hypothesis. You never “prove” your null. You never accept your null. It’s sole purpose is to serve as a comparison to your hypothesized model/hypothesis, because statistical techniques are inherently comparative rather than absolute. Statistical significance is a matter of saying that your hypothesis fits the data better than some random idea different from your hypothesis.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 27 Mar 2012 @ 8:33 AM

  590. Hmm. Perhaps something like “obviously wrong” should be part of the popular vocabulary. Not sure how to make that work though…

    Anyway, thank you Tamino, Ray, and Lynn. That was informative.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 27 Mar 2012 @ 10:14 AM

  591. “Have you tried plotting the temperature against a sine wave with a 60-yr period?” DanH

    Why 60? Why not 66(3X the 22 year Hale cycle), or 70(third harmonic of the 210 year Suess/DeVries cycle) years? What should the phase be, and why not 30, 60, 90 degrees earlier or later? Why not 180 degrees out of phase, showing that it’s negatively correlated to a 60 year cycle?

    In a pendulum, all the energy at the top of the swing is stored gravitational potential energy; at the bottom of the swing, the energy is kinetic; and in between, the energy is transferring smoothly between modes. Where is the energy stored in the climate system, what are the reactive mechanisms that transfer that energy between states, and how much is dissipated in each “60 year” cycle?

    Why a sine wave? why not a sawtooth, characteristic of a relaxation oscillator, where something (voltage on a capacitor, ice sheet thickness) accumulates until it reaches a tipping point(neon lamp trigger voltage, basal warming), then suddenly the state changes? Does this process run freely, or is it synchronized to some other forcing – like Huybers & Wunsch propose for ice ages in “Obliquity pacing of the late Pleistocene glacial terminations”?

    Is 60 years just an artifact of misanalysis of weather noise?

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 27 Mar 2012 @ 11:37 AM

  592. #589 Ray Ladbury. Ray you’re confused and you’re probably confusing Lynn. You say “You never “prove” your null. You never accept your null”. Of course you do Ray, that’s how it becomes your null. The null hypothesis is the accepted (“proved”) hypothesis until further evidence modifies or replaces it to become a new null hypothesis, for example geocentrism being superseded by heliocentrism, or the space-time continuum superseding the previously accepted Newtonian account, or determinism at the atomic level being replaced by quantum theory. The null hypothesis is always a reflection of our current understanding of how the world works based on the evidence we have managed to unearth so far. Did not Copernicus “prove” that the earth revolved about the sun and Einstein “prove” that the speed of light was invariant? Our personal null hypotheses are what we think science has so far proved. Lynn thinks that the case for AGW is sufficiently convincing to adopt it as her null hypothesis. That is her new starting point in understanding climate. David Bohm’s own null hypothesis was that determinism was a fact which was explained by “hidden variables”, but this idea was later overthrown by John Bell and confirmed by Alain Aspect to become the now accepted null hypothesis of the Standard Model. Tomorrow science may allow us to lift yet another “corner of the great veil” to establish a further generally accepted null hypothesis. Lynn’s null hypothesis of AGW stands firm unless and until climate science says otherwise.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 27 Mar 2012 @ 12:57 PM

  593. Simon. Bullshit.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 27 Mar 2012 @ 1:31 PM

  594. Simon Abingdon (#592) completely misunderstands the statistical meaning of “null hypothesis.” The null hypothesis is most definitely not “the accepted (“proved”) hypothesis until further evidence modifies or replaces it.” It’s any convenient hypothesis which both allows us to compute probabilities, and for which we believe that contradicting it will be meaningful or useful.

    The real problem is that non-statisticians think of the null hypothesis the way Simon Abingdon does — as the prevailing belief. If you want to talk about that, call it what it is: the “prevailing belief” or “consensus” or “most likely situation.” Don’t call it the “null hypothesis” — that’s just a misuse of terminology.

    Comment by tamino — 27 Mar 2012 @ 3:04 PM

  595. The null hypothesis is…..null (without value, effect, consequence, or significance. 2. being or amounting to nothing; nil; lacking; nonexistent.)

    ….goose egg, nada, naught, nil, nix, nothing, zero, zilch, zip, zippo, aught, cypher, cipher

    ….bugger all, f$%k all, sweet Fanny Adams

    ….invalid, useless, void, worthless, ineffectual, valueless, inoperative

    I declare this discussion null and void, but don’t take my word for it.

    Comment by Isotopious — 27 Mar 2012 @ 4:40 PM

  596. #594 tamino. Thank you tamino. I find this most interesting. You say “[The null hypothesis is] any convenient hypothesis … for which we believe that contradicting it will be meaningful or useful”.

    In other words any proposed hypothesis does not have to have a unique null hypothesis (its antithesis perhaps), but rather what can be regarded as a null hypothesis is any of a set of hypotheses which are meaningful (semantically logical) and useful (refer to relevant real world objects or ideas) and which can be shown to contain a contradiction.

    If our hypothesis was “the earth goes round the sun” then a possible null hypothesis might be “the earth goes round Saturn” which when proved false might not however satisfy the criterion of usefulness any more than black cabs confirm the hypothesis that all swans are white.

    I have not so far been able to think of an example hypothesis which would be supported by confounding an apparently unrelated null hypothesis which satisfies your two criteria of meaningfulness and usefulness. I shall try again in the morning and perhaps it will dawn on me what you’re saying.

    In the meantime perhaps you might care to give me an everyday example which illustrates your point.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 27 Mar 2012 @ 4:57 PM

  597. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Null_hypothesis

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 27 Mar 2012 @ 5:28 PM

  598. @simon abingdon (#592), you are very confused about the history of science. Copernicus did not prove that the Earth revolved around the Sun, nor did Galileo for that matter. When Copernicus published his work his contemporary astronomer’s didn’t even accept it. Further, Galileo did not prove it either. He simply showed flaws in some of geocentrism’s tenets, like perfect heavenly bodies (the sun has spots, the moon has craters) and that not everything revolved around the Earth (Jupiter has moons). It wasn’t until a couple centuries later, with the observation of parallax for star 61 Cygni, that we had direct evidence for the Earth going around the Sun. Yet long before this direct evidence, heliocentrism was the accepted scientific theory. Let this be a lesson to all who demand some perfect proof of modern scientifically accepted theories.

    Comment by Unsettled Scientists — 27 Mar 2012 @ 5:47 PM

  599. “I have not so far been able to think of an example hypothesis which would be supported by confounding an apparently unrelated null hypothesis which satisfies your two criteria of meaningfulness and usefulness. I shall try again in the morning and perhaps it will dawn on me what you’re saying.”

    He didn’t specify that it had to be unrelated. Just that it’s not the same thing as prevailing view.

    Comment by Utahn — 27 Mar 2012 @ 6:21 PM

  600. Seems to me people bring up the null hypothesis to make themselves look clever and/or other people look less clever. Sad. Thanks to those who actually know what they’re talking about and provide some education.

    Earth Observatory sent out their weekly summary and I’m still bolluxed by this image of Lake Erie (posted earlier as well) and the potential it represents:
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=77506&src=eoa-iotd

    Newest New Yorker has article on water which appears to have used Dr. Gleick extensively – despite the kerfuffle, his work as shown here is worthwhile. Does not mention global warming much:
    http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/10/23/061023fa_fact1?currentPage=all

    Don’t know if moderators really want this brought up; our persistent distractors have a long way to go to hit bottom:

    caerbannog at 19:21 PM on 25 March, 2012
    OK folks, I took one for the team and went to see Monckton do his thing.

    Drove up to the USD campus (where Monckton was speaking), parked the car and started looking around for the auditorium — when I spotted a parked car with a “Show Us Your Birth Certificate” bumper-sticker, I knew that I was close.

    Saw some other (ahem) “interesting” bumper-stickers, including a variation on the ecumenical “Coexist” bumper-sticker. But instead of being spelled out with various religious symbols in an inclusive manner, the “Coexist” letters were formed from various types of automatic weapons.

    Well, when I got to the auditorium, I very quickly found myself in a parallel (no, make that *orthogonal*) universe. There might have been as many 500 people there (300-seat auditorium and a big overflow room) – can’t say exactly, but there were way more people than could fit into the auditorium.

    The event was MC’d by California GOP assemblyman Brian Jones, and he was not shy about serving up plenty of full-strength Koolaid.

    There were references to the UN, “Agenda 21″, evil, lying scientists, etc. etc… The global conspiracy against America is truly far-reaching, nebulous, and ill-defined.

    Based on the reactions to the MC’s dog-whistling, it didn’t take me very long to realize that many of the people sitting around me were completely unhinged — we are talking tinfoil-hatville to the max.

    Monckton served up plenty of “red meat” during his presentation — he did not hesitate to dish out hate and bile directed at the scientific community — he singled out Naomi Oreskes for special attention, referring to her as “that monstrous woman”, and then he said something along the lines of “We in the UK are working to decertify the University of California as a legitimate academic institution”. This California crowd then erupted into loud applause.

    I knew that the tea-party types are a bit “off”, shall we say — but the paranoia and conspiracy-mongering were even more than what I was expecting. It’s really a bit more than spooky, when I come to think of it. When I was a kid, people like these would be seen handing out leaflets at airports — now, they call the shots in a major US political party.

    And as for Potholer54, all I can say is that as much as I appreciate his efforts and love his videos, Monckton has tapped into such a lucrative “mother lode” of American loonery that he can simply ignore the good Potholer. Any refutation of Monckton’s claims, no matter how well documented and presented, will simply be folded into the right-wing paranoid conspiracy narrative. From what I saw tonight, I would have to say that most of the people who attended the Monckton show are very unlikely to be moved by appeals to evidence and logic.
    Source: Skeptical Science (http://s.tt/18395)

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 27 Mar 2012 @ 9:21 PM

  601. Simon,

    Two key words here which probably shouldn’t be glossed over too quickly, statistics and Bayesian. He gave the example of a coin toss.

    I may be talking out of turn here, but what I’m getting is that it’s perhaps more appropriate to think of the null hypothesis in terms of mathematically testing a numerical consruct that’s difficult to normalize rather than as logically (and discursively) organizing a summary of outcomes (does that make sense?).

    From tamino @ 588:

    “You may well be right that “AGW is happening” is the scientifically correct default assumption, and that this “should be how laypersons and policy-makers think about the situation.” However, there’s a very good reason that statistics uses the null hypothesis it does… “

    Comment by Radge Havers — 27 Mar 2012 @ 10:07 PM

  602. Simon Abingdon, without denigrating your physical or moral courage in your profession, I suggest you have the intellectual courage to carefully read the Wikipedia link on Bayesian statistics and follow that line of thought until you understand it – that is, continue past the article. (from Tamino@~588)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayesian_statistics

    Don’t be afraid to ask questions that reveal what you don’t know rather than making assertions that do it for you and are embarrassing on both sides. Not knowing is not shameful, but pretending you know is. A teacher cannot work with a pupil who thinks they know what they don’t know until they face that lack of knowledge; there is nothing embarrassing about not knowing and there is tremendous growth in the admission.

    People use words to communicate, not to obfuscate, and it seems intellectually shallow to use them to create confusion instead of understanding. On the whole, it seems to a good number of people here who know what they are talking about that you are not making the effort to understand. Since this is a place where wanting to understand things comes naturally and people work hard at it, it looks lazy and does not help.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 27 Mar 2012 @ 10:27 PM

  603. To add a little to what Ray and Tamino said about the null hypothesis: essentially in statistical testing you are saying ‘Assuming my null hypothesis is true, what is the probability of getting, just by chance, the results that I observed?’ If the probability is low (conventionally, 0.05 or less) then the null hypothesis is taken to be false. If the probability is higher, then you have not shown that the null hypothesis is true, you have merely failed to demonstrate that it is false (perhaps your sample was not large enough).

    The null hypothesis is frequently that there is no change or that the treatment had no effect, but it need not be so. For example, your null hypothesis could be that the rate of global warming is 0.13°C per decade. You could then compare the observed rate of warming for the last x years with the null hypothesis to determine whether there has been a significant drop in the rate of warming (to my knowledge, none of the so-called skeptics has done this).

    I hope that helps.

    Comment by Richard Simons — 28 Mar 2012 @ 12:40 AM

  604. #598 Unsettled Scientists. You say “Copernicus did not prove that the Earth revolved around the Sun”. No, but he did prove to be correct in the light of modern understanding. (That is why I said “prove” in inverted commas). Copernican theory eventually became the default position (the new “null hypothesis”) against which any further revolutionary theory would need to be pitted. But if that is not what the term “null hypothesis” means I stand corrected, and I offer my apologies and thanks to tamino for clarifying.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 28 Mar 2012 @ 1:59 AM

  605. I have always considered ‘The Null Hypothesis’ a particularly unhelpful concept when discussed so distantly from the nitty-gritty of the subject at hand. If folk are struggling to cope with the logic of some statistical analysis, they are hardily going to gain enlightenment by adding an extra philisopical dimension to the discussion. And a quick perusal of this thread illustrates my point quite well, I reckon.

    The one gripe I have w.r.t. ‘The Null Hypothesis’ is the way the ‘definite article’ is always affixed to it. Calling it ‘A Null Hypothesis’ would be a big help.

    The particular aspect of Null Hypothesis that has likely attracted blogosherical AGW combatants to it is the idea that a/the Null Hypothesis cannot be (with available data) proven. (If it can be proven, why enact the/a Null Hypothesis.) ‘AGW cannot be proven so it is the Null Hypothesis,‘ says one side. ‘No,‘ rejoin the other, ‘it is the counter-AGW theories that cannot be proven. They should be treated as the Null Hypothesis.

    And thus countless trillions of electrons fly about the globe tweeking tiny diodes as they go. Somebody somewhere may believe this is all very meaningful or useful but I would tend to disagree strongly.

    Comment by MARodger — 28 Mar 2012 @ 4:10 AM

  606. @598, Unsettled Scientists (Re simon abingdon),

    Hear hear, apt name and apt description. Those who seem to have the impression that science navigates from absolute falsehoods to absolute truths, or that new theories completely replace old ones, I like to refer to Isaac Asimov’s “The Relativity of Wrong”. Because even long before the formal introduction of the “null hypothesis”, this was not how things went.

    A very interesting essay by an author I admire. For those not willing to read it wholly, it may be summarised by this quote:

    “John, when people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.”

    Comment by Steven Franzen — 28 Mar 2012 @ 7:08 AM

  607. simon @596

    tamino stated that a null hypothesis is “..any convenient hypothesis which both allows us to compute probabilities, and for which we believe that contradicting it will be meaningful or useful.”

    simon says: “I have not so far been able to think of an example hypothesis which would be supported by confounding an apparently unrelated null hypothesis which satisfies your two criteria of meaningfulness and usefulness.”

    but why would you want to think of such an example, simon? Why would anyone want to confound “an entirely unrelated null hypothesis”? The whole point of the null hypothesis is that it allows us to compute probabilities (by performing multiple measurements or observations) by which the null hypothesis might or might not be rejected (at some level of statistical significance). There’s no point in selecting a null hypothesis that isn’t relevant to the question explored in the analysis. As tamino says a useful null hypothesis is one whose contradiction will be meaningful or useful. Why pretend tamino’s sentence might mean something it doesn’t?

    Comment by chris — 28 Mar 2012 @ 7:52 AM

  608. Simon Abingdon,
    As Richard Simons says above, the null is there to guard against adopting a hypothesis based solely on chance occurrences. It is there, as I said above, because probabilistic methods are inherently comparative. We never know if we have the “correct” model, just whether one model is better than another.

    Let’s look at an example. Let’s say we toss a coin and get 3 heads in 3 tosses. We wish to know if the coin is fair. Our null is that it is fair. The chances of getting 3 heads in 3 tosses is 0.125. We could not reject the null at the level of 10% significance. However, we wouldn’t accept the null, either. Indeed the evidence is against the truth of the null–we don’t even know yet if it’s possible to get a tails with this coin.

    The null hypothesis should be relevant to the problem at hand and at least plausible. In the example above, we wouldn’t a probability of 0 for heads, for instance.

    Also, dude, my PhD thesis was in particle physics. I’ve read Bohm and Bell. How smart is it to try to bullshit a physicist about quantum mechanics?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 28 Mar 2012 @ 8:22 AM

  609. Question about estimating climate sensivitity:
    Using the code from Foster&Rahmstorf 2011, I replaced time in the regression with log(co2) for the GISTEMP data. This gives an lower AIC value for the model.
    From the regression coefficient for log(co2) I then use the equations from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiative_forcing
    to estimate the climate sensivity.
    The regression coefficient for CO2 is: b_co2 = 3.771365 K/year
    from which I estimate a warming from doubled CO2 to be 2.6 K.
    I guess this is an estimate of the equillibrium climate sensivitity?
    Since I have ignored all other greenhouse gases this estimate is probably not correct, but I can’t figure out if this makes the estimate too low or too high? Comments welcome

    Comment by SRJ — 28 Mar 2012 @ 9:12 AM

  610. SRJ,
    My guess is that we are likely a long way from equilibrium–which would make your estimate low.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 28 Mar 2012 @ 11:32 AM

  611. Steven #606,

    I liked the Asimov essay. Asimov’s flat-earther, correctly pointing out that the curvature of the Earth over the distance of a mile is not significantly different from zero, prefigures the flat-tempers we get here with their ten-year trends. Hm, what would be the flat-earther equivalent of “no significant warming for the past 15 years”? I.e. the maximum distance you could go across the surface of the Earth without the curvature attaining statistical significance? Or is the question ill-posed? (Martin V., are you out there?)

    Comment by CM — 28 Mar 2012 @ 1:40 PM

  612. And don’t forget Occam’s razor, which “is a principle urging one to select among competing hypotheses that which makes the fewest assumptions and thereby offers the simplest explanation of the effect.”

    So in the case of the sun as the center:

    “Galileo was able to observe Venus going through a full set of phases, something prohibited by the Ptolemaic system (which would never allow Venus to be fully lit from the perspective of the Earth or more than semi-circular). This observation essentially ruled out the Ptolemaic system, and was compatible only with the Copernican system and the Tychonic system and other geoheliocentric models such as the Capellan and Riccioli’s extended Capellan model.”

    The Tychonic system is very cool, but is fails the ‘Keep It Simple Stupid’ test above all else.

    Comment by Isotopious — 28 Mar 2012 @ 5:17 PM

  613. If interested in climate, one should also read this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overfitting

    Comment by Isotopious — 28 Mar 2012 @ 5:41 PM

  614. CM:

    I think it’s hard to apply the term “statistical significance” in such a case. Perhaps it’s better to view it as an “observable/measurable improvement” over the existing explanation. Statistics is after all a tool that aids us in making that decision in cases where many measurements are required, because any single one would never be accurate or conclusive enough.

    Believers in a Flat Earth still exist today, so we can actually see how they maintain their theory in the face of evidence to the contrary. Warning: the Poe effect may be frequently encountered while reading this material. Their ways of reasoning are very similar to those listed at SkS. For example, I did not have to look beyond the FAQ to find:

    Q: “Why do the all the world Governments say the Earth is round?”
    A: It’s a conspiracy

    This I think is the core element, it MUST be present in order to mentally separate beliefs from actual scientific findings. Subsequently, any inconvenient evidence can simply be discarded as fabrications by opponents, frequently posing monetary gains as the only motivation. Misrepresentation is also highly favoured; since climate science is statistical in nature, its denialists employ the same tool of statistics to misrepresent it. Here is how the Flat Earthers handle Eratosthenes (emphasis mine):

    It’s a common misconception that Eratosthenes was measuring the circumference of the Round Earth in his shadow experiment. Eratosthenes had simply assumed that the earth was a sphere in his experiment, based on the work of Aristotle. He was actually measuring the diameter of the Flat Earth (distance across), which is a figure identical to the circumference of the Round Earth (distance around).

    How convenient! Of course they carefully tread around Eratosthenes’ additional assumption that rays of sunlight are parallel, which would of course make his observations impossible in the first place. To give you something of an answer, we can explore the cranked up version of his argument:

    Syene and Alexandria are two North-South points with a distance of 500 nautical miles. Eratosthenes discovered through the shadow experiment that while the sun was exactly overhead of one city, it was 7°12′ south of zenith at the other city.

    We might approximate the sun as a point source located at 1.5e8 km away from us. Doing so, at 500 nmi (926 km) north of zenith on a flat planet, we would find a tiny angular difference of atan(926/1.5e8) or about 3.5e-4 degrees: 0°0’1.2″. Either that, or the two cities were about as far apart as 1.5e8 * tan(7°12′): 18.4e6 km, more than 40 times the Moon’s apogee. I would say these are significant shortcomings of the flat earth theory.

    Comment by Steven Franzen — 30 Mar 2012 @ 8:47 AM

  615. CM:

    I think it’s hard to apply the term “statistical significance” in such a case. Perhaps it’s better to view it as an “observable/measurable improvement” over the existing explanation. Statistics is after all a tool that aids us in making that decision in cases where many measurements are required, because any single one would never be accurate or conclusive enough.

    Believers in a Flat Earth still exist today, so we can actually see how they maintain their theory in the face of evidence to the contrary. Warning: the Poe effect may be frequently encountered while reading this material. Their ways of reasoning are very similar to those listed at SkS. For example, I did not have to look beyond the FAQ to find:

    Q: “Why do the all the world Governments say the Earth is round?”
    A: It’s a conspiracy

    This I think is the core element, it MUST be present in order to mentally separate beliefs from actual scientific findings. Subsequently, any inconvenient evidence can simply be discarded as fabrications by opponents, frequently posing monetary gains as the only motivation. Misrepresentation is also highly favoured; since climate science is statistical in nature, its denialists employ the same tool of statistics to misrepresent it. Here is how the Flat Earthers do it with Eratosthenes (emphasis mine):

    It’s a common misconception that Eratosthenes was measuring the circumference of the Round Earth in his shadow experiment. Eratosthenes had simply assumed that the earth was a sphere in his experiment, based on the work of Aristotle. He was actually measuring the diameter of the Flat Earth (distance across), which is a figure identical to the circumference of the Round Earth (distance around).

    How convenient! Of course they carefully tread around Eratosthenes’ additional assumption that rays of sunlight are parallel, because that would have made his observations impossible in the first place. To give you something of an answer, we can explore the cranked up version of his argument:

    Syene and Alexandria are two North-South points with a distance of 500 nautical miles. Eratosthenes discovered through the shadow experiment that while the sun was exactly overhead of one city, it was 7°12′ south of zenith at the other city.

    We might approximate the sun as a point source located at 1.5e8 km away from us. Doing so, at 500 nmi (926 km) north of zenith on a flat planet, we would find a tiny angular difference of atan(926/1.5e8) or about 3.5e-4 degrees: 0°0’1.2″. Either that, or the two cities were about as far apart as 1.5e8 * tan(7°12′): 18.4e6 km, more than 40 times the Moon’s apogee. I would say these are significant shortcomings of the flat earth theory.

    Comment by Steven Franzen — 30 Mar 2012 @ 3:51 PM

  616. visualization of wind across continental US, very nicely done:
    http://hint.fm/wind/

    “The wind map is a personal art project, not associated with any company.
    If the map is missing or seems slow, we recommend the latest Chrome browser.

    Surface wind data comes from the National Digital Forecast Database.
    These are near-term forecasts, updated once per hour. So what you’re seeing is close to live data. (See the NDFD site for precise details; our timestamp shows time of download.) And for those of you chasing top wind speed, note that
    maximum speed may occur over lakes or just offshore.
    We’d be interested in displaying data for other areas; if you know of a source of detailed live wind data for other regions, or the entire globe, please let us know….”

    hat tip to: http://alterslash.org/#article-2757939

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 31 Mar 2012 @ 11:11 AM

  617. A Message from a Republican Meteorologist on Climate Change (Paul Douglas)

    ““You’re obsessing,” my wife of 28 years complained recently. “People don’t like having this rammed down their throats.” Fair enough. I’m genuinely concerned, because I’m in touch with America’s leading climate scientists. They are beyond concerned; bordering on apoplectic. We fiddle while Rome burns.”

    http://www.shawnotto.com/neorenaissance/blog20120329.html

    Comment by John E Pearson — 31 Mar 2012 @ 5:44 PM

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