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  1. “The Forbush decrease is usually observable by particle detectors on Earth within a few days after the CME, and the decrease takes place over the course of a few hours. Over the following several days, the solar cosmic ray intensity returns to normal.”
    CME=coronal mass ejection from the sun.
    A few days is weather.

    ” solar forcing a global warming is 7 ± 1% for the 20th century” 7% of what kind of degrees? Kelvin? That seems large to me. I can’t see your whole article. Please expand on this.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 9 Mar 2010 @ 2:55 AM

  2. Hi Rasmus

    The 11 years cycle involves a 0.1K (from min to max) global temperature variation.
    To explain it, we need an amplification factor of the solar radiative forcing.
    This solar RF is only 1W/m2*0.25*0.7 = 0.175W/m2.
    So with modeling thermal inertia (a sort of oceanic diffusive model) this amplification factor must be about 3.
    This doesn’t change very much the solar influence in the current warming (about 10-15%) but how can we explain this amplification factor?
    You say that there is no slowdown of climate warming during the last years.
    It isn’t true.
    There is really a slowdown, and the decreasing of solar activity, with the solar amplification coefficient, may explain an important part of this slowdown (with ENSO,…)between 2003 and 2009.
    I don’t understand why you are so blind…

    Comment by meteor — 9 Mar 2010 @ 3:15 AM

  3. I’ve only read a few papers on the solar reconstructions, including Solanski & Fligge (1998). Everyone works out quite detailed reconstructions – we all want to know TSI over the past 100, 300, 1000 years. But as Solanski & Fligge note, their reconstructions all rely on the assumption that the measured relationships have remained unchanged over more than a century. And in reading other papers similar caveats seem to apply.

    Pre-1978 can we really place much confidence on the estimated TSI values? Or only say “so long as recently measured relationships haven’t changed in the past” which to some might say “very confident” and to others might say “pick your own number”?

    Comment by Steve Carson — 9 Mar 2010 @ 3:20 AM

  4. Thank you for good post. These are really good examples how the science community contributes to the understanding of the behavior of nature.

    I have hoped such new findings rather than the confusion of academic society (IoP) which might again harm the reliability of science.

    Comment by MR SH — 9 Mar 2010 @ 3:24 AM

  5. rasmus: When you wrote, about Judith Lean’s choice of HadCRUT3 data, “The choice may in particular be relevant for the discussion of the temperatures after 1998,” were you referring to the fact that HadCRUT3 is biased high after 1998 due to the change in the source of their HADSST2 data in 1998? That change created a shift that appears in no other SST dataset. Here’s the difference between global HADSST2 and HADISST for example.
    http://i45.tinypic.com/f3e5vo.png
    The 1998 shift occurs if one compares HADSST2 to ERSST.v2 or to ERSST.v3b or to OI.v2 SST datasets.

    Comment by Bob Tisdale — 9 Mar 2010 @ 5:25 AM

  6. “Her estimate of the solar contribution to the global warming over past century – 10% or less – is in good agreement with the figure Gavin and I got in our analysis”

    I’m still perplex concerning the first warming period in the XXth century, namely the 1900-1940 period. What has been the solar contribution to this warming ? what was the weight of other possible contributions? As a matter of fact, people around 1940 would have been entitled to say the same kind of things as us : the warming is unprecedented, this is the warmest decade of the whole instrumental period, proxies show that such a warming is exceptional in the last millenium, etc, etc…..

    Comment by Gilles — 9 Mar 2010 @ 5:29 AM

  7. Aw, heck! I rely on multiple regression for most of my analyses!

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 9 Mar 2010 @ 5:31 AM

  8. meteor,

    The slowdown is not statistically significant. It takes 30 years to establish a climate trend.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 9 Mar 2010 @ 5:35 AM

  9. Nice discussion of the papers, thanks. Good to get back to the science after all the defence against propaganda attacks.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 9 Mar 2010 @ 5:37 AM

  10. meteor says:

    “You say that there is no slowdown of climate warming during the
    last years. It isn’t true. There is really a slowdown, and the
    decreasing of solar activity, with the solar amplification
    coefficient, may explain an important part of this slowdown
    (with ENSO,…)between 2003 and 2009″

    I wonder whether some of this apparent ‘slowdown’ is due to accelerated melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets (Velicogna 2009)? Presumably if some of the energy in the climate system is going into melting ice then there will appear to be less warming, if measured as global average temperature, but the total energy content of the climate system will not necessarily show such a slowdown.

    Comment by Icarus — 9 Mar 2010 @ 6:19 AM

  11. The interesting part seems to be that the early century warming seemed to take place mostly in the northern hemisphere high-latitudes, whereas the warming since 1980 is more uniform over all latitudes. Any theory explaning both these periods ought to account for this difference. -rasmus

    Comment by rasmus — 9 Mar 2010 @ 7:28 AM

  12. I mainly had the differences in the global mean temperature in mind: http://www.realclimate.org/wp-content/uploads/global_t2m.jpg

    Comment by rasmus — 9 Mar 2010 @ 7:31 AM

  13. > We demonstrate that naive application of linear analytical methods
    > such as regression gives nonrobust results.
    (from your paper)
    I hope a competent statistics blogger picks this up and does some tutoring, it would be interesting to watch.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Mar 2010 @ 8:20 AM

  14. Not had chance to read those papers yet but is the reference to solar proton events (SPE) to do with ground level events? Some of the larger SPE (sometimes known as solar energetic particle events – SEPs – as they contain more than protons) are have sufficient high energy fluxes to be detected on the ground in cosmic ray detectors as ground level events.

    Thus if the SPE on 20 Jan 2005 was sufficiently large (I’d have to check) it would skew any estimates of cosmic ray flux for that period. I think I am right in saying that the highest energies tend to peak towards the start of the event and most proton events precede the geospace effects of the CME as they move significantly faster through the solar wind. No time to dig out references now but will try to supply some later if anyone wants them (otherwise google is your friend).

    Comment by Kav — 9 Mar 2010 @ 8:33 AM

  15. Re: 2 meteor says: 9 March 2010 at 3:15 AM
    “There is really a slowdown, and the decreasing of solar activity, with the solar amplification coefficient, may explain an important part of this slowdown (with ENSO,…)between 2003 and 2009.”

    A strong La Niña, stratospheric water vapor and the low ebb in the sunspot cycle did indeed contribute to the cool winter of 2008. But with the highest
    global land surface temperature being in 2005 and 2009 being the second highest as the world emerged out of the low ebb in the solar cycle and the Na Niña, how does this infer we’re seeing a cooling trend?

    The past year was a small fraction of a degree cooler than 2005, the warmest on record, putting 2009 in a virtual tie with a cluster of other years –1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, and 2007 — for the second warmest on record.

    Natural variability doesn’t go away with aghg climate forcing. The temperatures of the last decade never averaged less than or even equal to the temperatures of the previous decade. The lowest temperature of the last decade was about equal to the highest low temperature of the previous decade.

    No matter how you twist and squirm with the facts greenhouse gases are keeping temperatures elevated at an elevating rate. There is no cooling trend.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 9 Mar 2010 @ 10:02 AM

  16. In your opinion, does any of the information in these articles explain the melting of the polar ice caps on Mars, or is that merely due to dust storms on the Red Planet?

    Comment by Scott W. Somerville — 9 Mar 2010 @ 10:09 AM

  17. Barton

    I don’t speak really about a trend.
    We must not focalize on this.
    I repeat that the consensus appears to be 0.1K (between solar maxi and mini)
    How can you see this?
    How can you see ENSO influence?
    If not in studying global temperature.
    So, between 2003 and 2009 there is ABOUT +0.15K/dec *7 = +0.1K from GES
    at least -0.1K for solar influence.(at least because a very deep minimum in 2008-2009 so it’s more likely between -0.1K and -0.15K)
    For this period we can consider that solar influence, at least, counterbalances the anthropogenic influence.
    OK there is also other climatic variability. (ENSO for example)

    Now, when you look at the “trend” (sorry) (NASA-GISS for 2003-2009) you get 2009 (the end of the linear regression) 0.02K colder than 2003.(the beginning of the linear regression)
    This is not too bad.
    But my question to Rasmus was “Why 0.1K for only 0.175W/m2 of solar forcing without a amplification solar coefficient?”
    Have you, or no, an idea on this, Rasmus?

    Comment by meteor — 9 Mar 2010 @ 10:51 AM

  18. Sorry, GES = Gaz à Effet de Serre = GHG in English

    Comment by meteor — 9 Mar 2010 @ 11:00 AM

  19. Scott W. Somerville,
    There is a global climate model for Mars. Dust storms are one of the most critical factors and are the main explanation of the differential melting of the Maritan polar caps.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 9 Mar 2010 @ 11:09 AM

  20. #16:

    see this from 2005:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/10/global-warming-on-mars/

    Comment by Lamont — 9 Mar 2010 @ 11:15 AM

  21. Scott, the problem is your question is so vague it can be answered, but the only way to answer it with less than an essay is to answer it with something that is accurate but worthless.

    If the sun had done something different, the melting would have been different.

    Worthless as an answer, though.

    A better question would be:

    “I’ve read about melting ice caps of Mars and wonder whether the changes in the sun from these articles are sufficient to explain why they are melting, or are they overwhelmed by, for example, the dust storms on Mars?”

    That starts with the predicate, the axiom you’re working from (the ice caps are melting on Mars).

    It then proposes a postulate (does this explain the melting, or is it something else).

    Your question doesn’t actually have any postulate.

    Answering it doesn’t tell you anything more than you knew before it, unless the change in mars is contrary to the changes the sun is introducing.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 9 Mar 2010 @ 11:29 AM

  22. It seems to me the uncertainty in solar radiation is fairly great. The study by Willson indicates the underlining radiation may be going up by as much as 0.05% per decade. Over 100 years it may account for a 0.5% increase. At (1366 watts/meter^2)(0.005) this could account for 6.83 watts/meter^2 or nearly 2C of warming. I did this fairly roughly as I try to concentrate on concepts not details so perhaps my math is severly in error or I have made some other fundamental mistake?

    Comment by stevenc — 9 Mar 2010 @ 11:45 AM

  23. CFU, _look_ at the guy’s website before taking that bait further. Please.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Mar 2010 @ 11:56 AM

  24. 22: stevenc . Using your numbers the stefan boltzmann law implies:

    (T+dT)^4/T^4 = (1+dT/T)^4 ~= 1+4dT/T = 1373/1366=1.005

    T is the equilibrium temperature without the 7W/m^2 additional forcing and T+dT is the equilibrium temperature with the additional 7W/m^2 of forcing.

    In any event we find: dT/T ~= .00125

    Pick the unperturbed T however your want within reason say 250K, 300K whatever. You don’t get a dT of 2C. You get a dT of around .2-.3K.
    You’re off by a factor of 10. “Details” matter.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 9 Mar 2010 @ 12:22 PM

  25. stevenc

    What study by wilson? In which peer reviewed journal?

    Kevin

    Comment by Oxford Kevin — 9 Mar 2010 @ 12:23 PM

  26. Is the “cooling trend” having a rough year?

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 9 Mar 2010 @ 12:26 PM

  27. Or, indeed, Lamont (#20).

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 9 Mar 2010 @ 12:45 PM

  28. John Pearson, thank you, I thought there was probably something wrong with what I did to come up with such a high value. I understand details matter and I usually avoid engaging in them for the reason just illustrated.

    Comment by stevenc — 9 Mar 2010 @ 12:48 PM

  29. Kevin, I read that in a press release from NASA dated 20 March 2003. It stated the study would be continuing at least 4-5 years into the future so I am not sure the study has even been completed yet.

    Comment by stevenc — 9 Mar 2010 @ 1:01 PM

  30. @ stevenc (#22)

    I’m just an amateur, but I think, you have to divide 1366W/m^2 by a factor 4 or so before. Think of the “dark side” of earth and other angular corrections.

    Could anybody respond to #17? I think, it’s a good question.

    Comment by andreas — 9 Mar 2010 @ 1:04 PM

  31. Pete Dunkerberg, 26:

    Looked in past at this… yes 2010 is cooking on AMSU, BUT, select 4400 mtr alt (Ch 5), 1999, 2005, 2007,2010 + 20 year hi/low/record than hover over any data point or hold mouse button for a pop up box of temps for the date. Something wrong with the 1999 values or the 1999 curve.

    Comment by Sekerob — 9 Mar 2010 @ 1:08 PM

  32. Oh wait, duh, the temp scale is negative :O

    Comment by Sekerob — 9 Mar 2010 @ 1:11 PM

  33. what was supposed to come before 27 got et.

    Hank, what about Ray? Don’t you care about him too?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 9 Mar 2010 @ 1:41 PM

  34. Reply to stevenc:

    Willson himself says that compared to greenhouse gasses “Solar forcing would provide only about one-fourth as much warming, if the solar trend persists over the same period,” Willson said. “Solar forcing could be significant, but not dominant.”

    Further, I looked at Willson’s presented graphs of TSI, and he rejects the PMOD corrections to TSI despite the preponderance of evidence that PMOD is likely more correct than ACRIM. See http://www.skepticalscience.com/acrim-pmod-sun-getting-hotter.htm

    Willson’s graphs also (so far that I can find) seem to stop short of the recent relatively deep minimum. So his analysis is as “pro solar” as one can get, probably overstates the solar case, and he still says it’s a quarter the effect of greenhouse gases.

    Comment by GFW — 9 Mar 2010 @ 1:43 PM

  35. The Feulner and Rahmsdorf link takes me to a members page, not to the paper.

    Comment by Philip Lloyd — 9 Mar 2010 @ 1:44 PM

  36. Just looking it up, that’s probably:
    Wilson: Secular total solar irradiance trend during solar cycles 21-23
    cited by 86; skimming, I don’t see any big excitement about this. Experts?
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&lr=&cites=16571146405157424025&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=YZmWS6iXD4_SsgOWrO0_&sa=X&oi=science_links&resnum=4&ct=sl-citedby&ved=0CBcQzgIwAw

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Mar 2010 @ 1:58 PM

  37. Paywalled at AGU:

    Feulner, G., and S. Rahmstorf (2010),
    On the effect of a new grand minimum of solar activity on the future climate on Earth, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2010GL042710, in press.
    [PDF] (accepted 5 February 2010)

    Some info here:
    http://solveclimate.com/blog/20100219/sunspots-and-climate-change-study-shows-humans-still-play-key-role

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Mar 2010 @ 2:09 PM

  38. http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20100121/ Though I do not always agree with Hansen’s predictions, we cannot argue with the warmer 2009, or more importabtly a continuation of the warming trend.

    Comment by Jacob Mack — 9 Mar 2010 @ 2:15 PM

  39. Thanks for the excellent summary of these new papers. I’m curious, given the apparent relative contribution of solar influences vs. GHG, how much role did fact of that the last solar minimum ended last year and the the sun is heading upwards to the next solar max play in the Met office predicting that 2010 will be the warmest year on record? What I’m getting at, is suppose we were in a waning solar cycle, heading toward a solar minimum, would the Met Office still have been so sure of the record warmth for 2010?

    Comment by R. Gates — 9 Mar 2010 @ 2:21 PM

  40. I referred to Judith Lean’s paper approvingly a couple days ago. It’s nice as far as it goes.

    It seems that for solar and GHG influences, the earth’s response lags behind the forcing: the full effect of the GHG increase of the 150 years has not yet occurred, and the measures of solar activity that correlate most with earth temperature change are integrated measures (areas under the solar activity curve) of years past. For these reasons, I think that the vector autoregressive analyses (regression on lagged variables) will prove, eventually, to be better for making predictions than the multiple linear regressions on contemporaneous measures. The best to date seems to be the non-linear vector autoregressive analysis by Beenstock and Reingewertz (previously discussed here at Real Climate), but it hasn’t passed peer review yet. If they do publish it in Nature they will put their data and code on line, and we shall be able to examine it all in detail.

    For both the solar theory and the AGW theory without solar, the (partial, reduced, whatever) warming of the last 15 years is within the range of uncertainty of the imprecise predictions, so neither is rejectable with high confidence (or a low statistical significance.) As has been frequently asserted, decades more data are necessary to determine what apparent trends of recent decades are going to persist.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 9 Mar 2010 @ 2:30 PM

  41. I meant to write “AGW theory with or without solar”. Sorry.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 9 Mar 2010 @ 2:33 PM

  42. Gilles (6) and others — The so-called 1910-1940 anomolous warming shows up clearly in the AMO:
    http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/d2m_shift/amo_fig.php
    and using about 1/3 of the decadal average of the AMO together with CO2 gives very good agreement with GISTEMP:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/02/whatevergate/comment-page-23/#comment-164509
    My (poor) understanding is that AMO is an index for MOC rate, mostly, but all frocings not contributing to the removed linear trend are there as well.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 9 Mar 2010 @ 3:15 PM

  43. Breaking! “—–X—–” shows a cooling trend since its last maximum! Yet mysteriously, each decade is overall warmer than the last.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 9 Mar 2010 @ 3:16 PM

  44. 11 rasmus: You wrote, “The interesting part seems to be that the early century warming seemed to take place mostly in the northern hemisphere high-latitudes, whereas the warming since 1980 is more uniform over all latitudes.”

    The Zonal Mean linear trends for the latitudes of 65S to 20N are remarkably similar for the periods from 1910 to 1940 and from 1980 to 2009. It’s above 20N and 65N that they diverge.
    http://i39.tinypic.com/261p2tu.png

    Data through the GISS map making webpage:
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/maps/

    But, yes, it is interesting.

    Comment by Bob Tisdale — 9 Mar 2010 @ 3:21 PM

  45. From what I understand, the paleoclimatic record supports the view that solar changes could not be causing the climate change we are observing.

    The geological era spanning the last 65 million years is called the Cenozoic. Over that time, the sun’s output has increased by 0.4%. This corresponds to an increase of about 1 watt since the dinosaurs died out. Over this time period, the planet has actually cooled considerably: with mean global temperature more than 8°C higher at the end of the time of the dinosaurs. This, despite the increased solar output.

    Over this timespan, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 has ranged from between 1,000 and 2,000 ppm during those hot years of the early Cenozoic and as little as 170ppm during recent ice ages. This range corresponds to a climate forcing of about 12 watts: at least ten times more than the forcings from the sun and from changes in the configuration of continents. As James Hansen says: “It follows that changing carbon dioxide is the immediate cause of the large climate swings over the last 65 million years.”

    Comment by Milan — 9 Mar 2010 @ 3:37 PM

  46. re #17, how to fool yourself about trends

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/
    “… here are four different trend-lines you can get from the same data (UAH temperature) just by choosing your periods carefully”

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/mean:12/plot/uah/trend/plot/uah/from:2003/trend/plot/uah/from:1997.5/trend/plot/uah/from:1992/to:1999/trend

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/notes.php#trends

    http://hot-topic.co.nz/keep-out-of-the-kitchen/ and page down to the slider, move it back and forth to see what trend you get with different timespans.

    Shorter timespans are less reliable at finding a _real_ trend in the noise.
    Statistics 101 teaches this lesson; thereafter the world looks different.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Mar 2010 @ 3:40 PM

  47. Hurray! We’re back to science!

    Comment by Frank Giger — 9 Mar 2010 @ 3:58 PM

  48. #30
    > Could anybody respond to #17? I think, it’s a good question.

    I’m not convinced it is. Picking out specific signatures in global temperature trends is a pretty hairy business (not that that’s stopped all the various have-a-go statisticians from trying over the years). Part of the problem is that you can’t simply expect the rate of change of the surface temperature products to follow the sum of the radiative forcing components at any one moment in time, even if you do allow a nominal lag for the oceans etc. If it was that simple, they wouldn’t need the hellishly complicated GCMs that they have.

    Comment by JamesA — 9 Mar 2010 @ 4:16 PM

  49. Septic Matthew (40) — Well, instead use the known physics and some estimates of future global warming (so-called greenhouse) gases and other forcings.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 9 Mar 2010 @ 4:47 PM

  50. 48A: JamesA said maybe it isn’t such a good question.

    I agree. Anyone who thinks it is a needs to read (and understand) Gavin’s “Climate Change Commitments” thread.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/03/climate-change-commitments/

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 9 Mar 2010 @ 4:48 PM

  51. JamesA

    The radiative TOA forcing determines the warming of what is under TOA.
    So, if you take a given climate sensitivity and a model of ocean, with the knowing of TOA forcings, you can easily reproduce the surface trend.
    Anybody can do it, I do it many times, and it works very well.
    To sophisticate a little you can introduce ENSO, if you want,and it is quasi-perfect.
    You need not “hellishly complicated GCMs” for that.

    For the solar forcing it seems that I speak in the desert and it is a problem that Rasmus never answers the questions.

    The 0.1K response of solar 11 years cycle is very often cited by Lean or Hansen, or others.
    And if I remember there is little lag, so the forcing must be greater than 0.175W/m2.
    Maybe there is another atmospheric process which explains it.
    But to warm the surface you must warm the ocean and you need heat.

    Comment by meteor — 9 Mar 2010 @ 4:50 PM

  52. > Meteor
    Sorry, my French isn’t adequate to understand your website and you’re not citing your sources here, so I can’t follow what you’re trying to say or tell if these are opinions or comments from research papers. Can you cite sources?

    I tried to find recent papers using terms from your posts and found these:

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Staff/Fasullo/refs/Trenberth2010etalGRL.pdf
    “The main changes in SSTs throughout the tropics are associated
    with El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events in which
    the dominant changes in energy into an atmospheric column
    come from ocean heat exchange through evaporation, latent
    heat release in precipitation, and redistribution of that heat
    through atmospheric winds. These changes can be an order
    of magnitude larger than the net TOA radiation changes,
    and their effects are teleconnected globally, and especially
    into the subtropics. Atmospheric model results are explored
    and found to be consistent with observations….”

    High frequency climate variability of the Norwegian Atlantic Current during the early Holocene period and a possible connection to the Gleissberg cycle
    http://hol.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/20/2/245

    “… Constrained by the observed SSST changes and diatom assemblages, short-term SSST changes with a periodicity of 80—120 years are observed, and the length of this period might indicate a possible connection to the solar Gleissberg cycle…. the century-scale variability of 80—120 years cannot explain the large-scale variability during the early Holocene, but is of importance for understanding the underlying small-scale oscillations….”

    http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a919320463&db=all
    Climate-model evaluation of the contribution of sea-surface temperature and carbon dioxide to the Middle Miocene Climate Optimum as a possible analogue of future climate change

    “The Middle Miocene Climate Optimum (MMCO), which occurred at about 15 Ma, is the most recent global warming episode. Given the fact that no dramatic tectonic movement had taken place, this historical warming episode mirrors the present warming event induced mostly by human activities. Proxy data indicate that the MMCO had a global mean surface temperature of ∼3-4°C higher than the present, equivalent to the warming predicted for the next century by the mid-range scenarios of the IPCC Fourth Report (AR4). With this comparable magnitude of warming, it is therefore of scientific interest to examine whether or not the present warming is similar to the MMCO warming. Since the MMCO boundary conditions such as paleogeography and paleobathymetry were not greatly different from today, contentious scientific issues on possible forcing mechanisms can be assessed…. [details of models run] …
    This may explain why the Arctic warms much more than the Antarctic in the MMCO and the decoupling of CO2 with temperature as determined by the proxy SST.”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Mar 2010 @ 5:13 PM

  53. R. Gates #39:

    … suppose we were in a waning solar cycle, heading toward a solar minimum, would the Met Office still have been so sure of the record warmth for 2010?

    Possibly not. Natural variability on a short-term time scale is likely to overwhelm the long-term warming trend, depending who you talk to, of 1.3-1.6K per century, i.e., about 0.015K per year. On the other hand ENSO can cause swings of a few tenths of a degree over a year or two, the sunspot cycle a little less. That’s why it’s silly to get excited about the trend supposedly “slowing” for a few years.

    Look at this the other way around: is it not surprising that in the deepest solar minimum for nearly 100 years, we are still at or near record maxima?

    Look for 1913 on the record of sun spots and on the GISS or CRU temperature record.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 9 Mar 2010 @ 5:41 PM

  54. Would someone please give us non-techies a few sentences on the conclusions of these articles? Like, do the papers all conclude that solar radiation is insufficient to account for the global warming we are seeing? Thanks.

    Comment by Texas Reader — 9 Mar 2010 @ 5:52 PM

  55. 49, David B. Benson: instead use the known physics

    Those predictions will be good enough if the known physics is known with good enough accuracy and if the unknown physics is unimportant enough. If I had to bet on one single prediction I would bet on the prediction of the Beenstock and Reingewertz model, but with knowledge as it is I prefer to hedge my bets.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 9 Mar 2010 @ 5:54 PM

  56. meteor,

    I hope you’ll forgive me for being sceptical, but claims of finding problems with big models based on work with small models are cheap to make and don’t exactly have a particularly good hit rate in the grand scheme of things. From what you describe, it sounds like you’ve just kept feeding a 0D model with arbitrary parameters until the lines look like they match up, which doesn’t inspire much confidence.

    Comment by JamesA — 9 Mar 2010 @ 6:58 PM

  57. the “izle” spambot copied from 44 Bob Tisdale and posted a crap link in 65.
    Avoid. Watch out for this bot, it’s changed its name recently.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Mar 2010 @ 7:08 PM

  58. Texas Reader (54) — It is primarily CO2 which is driving the warming experienced over the last 130 years. See the comment linked below for instance.

    Septic Matthew (55) — The known physics accounts for almost everything; see Rasmus’s essay beginning this thread for example. The paper you mention includes none of the physics known since Arrhenius first worked in out in 1896 CE; his approximate formula is still in use; for example see IPCC AR4.

    Now I’m willing to make a short range prediction (+-0.25 K) based just on the Arrhenius formula (almost everythng) and AMO (sight adjustment for other factors):
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/02/whatevergate/comment-page-23/#comment-164509
    I don';t go further than the 2010s because I’m not prepared to make up various forcing scenarios nor guess where AMO might go. But in any case, some climatologists are so willing. Also if you have questions about my simple conceptual model, do ask.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 9 Mar 2010 @ 7:24 PM

  59. Philip Machanick #53 response:

    “Look at this the other way around: is it not surprising that in the deepest solar minimum for nearly 100 years, we are still at or near record maxima?”

    I guess “surprising” to whom? Depends on what side of the fence you stand on in the AGW issue. I think the AGW skeptics will be really scrambling to explain away the record warmth in the years ahead, but now of course they can just claim the data is flawed or corrupted.

    Thanks for your response–very to the point. I agree of course the longer term trend is the only important issue here. Not being a trained scientist, I was just wondering how much the solar cycle factored into the Met forecast. With cycle 24 starting to get active and the solar minimum behind us, and with the El Nino still hanging around, it seems reasonable to predict the likelyhood of record global warmth in 2010…and if not, then certainly in the next few, before the next solar minimum rolls around. The trend is clear.

    And in regards to your statement above

    Comment by R. Gates — 9 Mar 2010 @ 8:03 PM

  60. Texas reader, you’re right, any known change in solar radiation is insufficient to account for the global warming we are seeing. Go back to the last paragraph of the top post. But also note that ultraviolet solar output is not known within close bounds.

    In general we get more energy from the sun when there are more sunspots. These increase and decrease in an eleven (give or take a year) cycle. The most recent solar sunspot minimum lasted longer than usual so these have been cool years on the sun. The newly started solar cycle is not expected to reach a strong maximum. See
    http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/
    http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/SunspotCycle.shtml
    and also space weather http://spaceweather.com/
    which says that today there are zero sunspots.

    I think that the decline of the sunspot numbers since 2002 or so could have countered about 6 or 7 years worth of CO2 emissions at current rates. If the sun stops cooling and warms a bit as predicted I expect a scorcher El Niño around 2014, 15 or 16. Then very few people will still say there is no problem. El Niño and La Niña just redistribute energy. An El Niño year is not global warming, but the heat available for redistribution will be impressive I expect.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 9 Mar 2010 @ 8:09 PM

  61. your quote

    “I find it ironic that some people still rely on the cosmic rays argument as their strongest argument against AGW – it does involve poorly known clouds physics!”

    Are you kidding . What do you know about poorly known clouds physics ?

    nothing or something explain

    Comment by paul — 9 Mar 2010 @ 8:27 PM

  62. “Over this time period, the planet has actually cooled considerably: with mean global temperature more than 8°C higher at the end of the time of the dinosaurs. This, despite the increased solar output.

    Over this timespan, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 has ranged from between 1,000 and 2,000 ppm ”

    So this gives 8°C for about 8 times the preindustrial concentration, so 3 doublings, and a sensitivity of 2.6 °C/doubling , right ? with climate inertia, is it right that with such a value, we won’t be over 2°C if the CO2 concentration stays below 560 ppm ?

    Comment by Gilles — 10 Mar 2010 @ 1:28 AM

  63. the gatesphere seems to believe that AGW theory is falsified say if a certain glacier does not recede, etc, so is it true to say that AGW theory starts and ends in itself with the physics and the prediction of temperature rise associated with doubling of co2,
    that everything else, eg , more storms , glacier loss etc are theories that
    are based on but not part of the actual AGW scientific theory ,
    i know that this is a simple interpretation but does seem to cause lots of confusion

    Comment by john — 10 Mar 2010 @ 2:35 AM

  64. re 63: And? So are you going to say 2C is not significant?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 10 Mar 2010 @ 3:47 AM

  65. “55
    Septic Matthew says:
    9 March 2010 at 5:54 PM

    49, David B. Benson: instead use the known physics

    Those predictions will be good enough if the known physics is known with good enough accuracy and if the unknown physics is unimportant enough.”

    So prove that those conditions do not hold, SM.

    Prove it likely that the unknown physics is not unimportant enough.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 10 Mar 2010 @ 3:49 AM

  66. David A. Benson,

    I just sent a paper to J. Climate identifying the AMO as the second strongest influence on the temperature record after greenhouse gases. I used Granger causality tests and Cochrane-Orcutt iteration to show that it wasn’t a spurious regression. I doubt the AMO itself can be a direct cause of global temperatures, but I speculate that for some reason, it closely reflects how much energy is being transferred between air and ocean globally.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 10 Mar 2010 @ 5:59 AM

  67. The time lag for solar activity is between 6-12 years (The oceans of the Earth are a huge heat sink). Solar cycle 23 peaked from 1999-2003. The sea warmth of the current El Nino is probably related to this peak. The sun has been quite quiet since with cycle 23 considered long and cycle 24 slow to get going. I note that there have been no sunspots for the last few days. We will see the cold from this dip in solar activity in 6-12 years. Unfortunately instead of the scorcher El Nino predicted by Pete Dunkelberg (61) in 2014-16 we may instead experience cooler conditions. I have read some predictions of a repeat of the Dalton minimum during the 2010’s. I hope they’re wrong.

    Comment by votenotokyoto — 10 Mar 2010 @ 7:03 AM

  68. Gee, voteno, it would appear that the climate response doesn’t know about your 6-12 year delay, as it has followed the solar cycle pretty closely with a much shorter delay going back as far as we have data.

    Yes there’s a big heat reservoir. There’s also an atmosphere that responds on a timescale of a year.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 10 Mar 2010 @ 9:08 AM

  69. Question: Is it possible and maybe even likely that climate will become more instantly/immediately sensitive to solar forcings than is usual (for a climate in relative equilibrium), because simultaneous forcings are additive while the ocean’s (temporal) capacity as a heat sink is limited (with respect to how much in how short a time)?

    That is, if CO2+feedbacks are adding/trapping X energy per decade, which is already a rate above that which the oceans can absorb and “hide,” will the time lag for solar activity vs. observed temperature impacts shorten, and so will the apparent correlation between solar forcings and observed temperatures increase?

    To put it another way, is a climate under stress temporarily more sensitive to minor and short term variations in radiative forcings, particularly positive ones?

    Comment by Bob — 10 Mar 2010 @ 10:16 AM

  70. “Would someone please give us non-techies a few sentences on the conclusions of these articles? Like, do the papers all conclude that solar radiation is insufficient to account for the global warming we are seeing? Thanks.”

    From what I gather, solar variance is a nudging factor in the climate. It has influence on the Big Blue Ball, but usually not the final say.

    When it becomes really important is when one reaches the upper bounds of climate change limits (both sides – cooling and heating).

    The movie analogy (a greatly exaggerated one for effect here) is the car balanced on the edge of the cliff, the protagonist bug-eyed as he realizes any change will cause it to fall over the edge. Solar variance is the squirrel/dog/bird on the trunk.

    If a second bird lands, the car tilts towards safety. If the first flys off, it plummets.

    Human nature is to blame the bird for the car falling over the cliff; we do this all the time with nudging effects. If the monthly budget is blown, we blame the tire we had to replace versus the other expenses, even though it represented the smallest percentage of the bills.

    Normally, of course, a bird on the trunk of a car is meaningless to the overall weight of a vehicle, and nobody cares.

    Again, this is a greatly exaggerated analogy about nudging effects.

    Comment by Frank Giger — 10 Mar 2010 @ 10:38 AM

  71. Bob, the model Tamino treats here is instructive wrt your question.

    Basically, you can think of the oceans as an integrator that tends to smooth things out with a timescale of 30 years. They’ll continue to do that–for warming or cooling.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 10 Mar 2010 @ 10:41 AM

  72. “CFU And? So are you going to say 2C is not significant?”

    if it’s addressed to my 62 (not 63) post, I would say that I think it is very unlikely that we can avoid them if the CO2 sensitivity is this one. So, whether significant or not, the best is to prepare adaption. Personally I don’t think that adaption to 2 degrees is that hard. I think a lot of people have done worse in the past, simply by moving in other countries (actually France has experienced a one degree warming in 10 years in the 80’s http://www.univers-nature.com/images/actu/rechauffement-global-terre.jpg , but I can’t say people really worry about it – i mean KNOW about it : the difference between North and South of this 1000 km wide country is already 4 or 5 °C :)).

    BTW it’s rather bizarre that you seem to assume that mankind would easily adapt to a strong decrease of fossil fuel consumption, but would be unable to adapt to a variation of 2°C. I can’t see any know fact supporting this idea – actually those I am aware of rather show the opposite.

    Comment by Gilles — 10 Mar 2010 @ 11:12 AM

  73. Ray, yes, that’s I guess exactly my point… if you think of the ocean as a smoother, or better yet, a shock absorber… if you’re already pounding it beyond its limits, can you expect it to continue to behave the same way, or have you overwhelmed it so that it doesn’t work as well as it normally would? Or is it so massive that it isn’t being and couldn’t be overwhelmed, and will continue to be an effective 30-year-smoother?

    Also: Please clarify your reference to “the model Tamino treats here.” I don’t see anything such in the text of the RC post, or the comments trail. Did you mean to include a link?

    Comment by Bob — 10 Mar 2010 @ 11:34 AM

  74. BTW it’s rather bizarre that you seem to assume that mankind would easily adapt to a strong decrease of fossil fuel consumption, but would be unable to adapt to a variation of 2°C. I can’t see any know fact supporting this idea – actually those I am aware of rather show the opposite. – Gilles

    I suggest you read the reports of AR4 WGII (impacts) and WGIII (mitigation), which deal with precisely these questions. France, of course, is a rich country: it is thus well-placed to adapt to climate change. Africa, most of south and south-east Asia, and much of Latin America, are much less so – and of course changes in where and when rain falls and the number of extreme weather events are more important than simple changes in mean temperatures. Nonetheless, it is not being asserted that adaptation to this amount of change is impossible, only that it will be very costly and hit the poor hardest – something those urging inaction and weeping crocodile tears over the effects of reducing fossil fuel use on the poor always ignore. The era of cheap fossil fuel is in any case coming to an end – there is plenty of coal and tar sands and shales, but the possibility of poor countries developing industrially on the cheap oil the rich countries have been able to use does not exist.

    Your calculations @62 are in any case faulty: you ignore the fact that the sun has indeed brightened considerably over the last 60 million years; without that, the fall in temperature would have been considerably greater. You also ignore the large uncertainties in measuring both temperatures and CO2 concentrations that far back in time.

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 10 Mar 2010 @ 11:42 AM

  75. 65, Completely Fed Up: So prove that those conditions do not hold, SM.

    You can not prove that what you don’t know does not matter. Usually the burden of proof in science is on those who claim to know. The engineers who designed the Golden Gate Bridge and Tacoma Narrows Bridge knew a lot about building bridges but not a lot about wind. In one case that ignorance (compared to what is known now) of wind did not matter, and in the other case it did matter. It could not be proved beforehand which was which.

    Analogously, physicists’ claim that there was no energy source sufficient to power continental drift turned out to be false, though Wegener was never able to prove that it was false. It just turned out that way.

    The test (“proof” in one sense[“the proof of the pudding is in the taste”, “proving ground”], but not in the mathematical sense) will be in the predictions covering the next 30 years.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 10 Mar 2010 @ 11:48 AM

  76. Giles, with the warming so far, more than one meter higher sea level is predicted by 2100 or sooner, and time and tide don’t stop in 2100. Where do you propose to put Miami? How much weaker and impoverished from the expense of pulling back from our coasts do you favor, since you seem to advocate doing nothing special about global warming?

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 10 Mar 2010 @ 12:11 PM

  77. #72 Gilles: “BTW it’s rather bizarre that you seem to assume that mankind would easily adapt to a strong decrease of fossil fuel consumption, but would be unable to adapt to a variation of 2°C. I can’t see any know fact supporting this idea – actually those I am aware of rather show the opposite.”

    That is not the point at all. No action means adaptation to some 5°C of warming, or probably more as some imperfectly known thresholds will be passed. And much more if a longer time horizon is considered.

    Comment by Pekka Kostamo — 10 Mar 2010 @ 12:35 PM

  78. “75
    Septic Matthew says:
    10 March 2010 at 11:48 AM

    65, Completely Fed Up: So prove that those conditions do not hold, SM.

    You can not prove that what you don’t know does not matter.”

    Yes you can.

    A box contains 1kilo of stuff after I’ve poured in 100 9.8g cubes.

    I don’t know what else is in the box, nor what it is made of, but I DO know that whatever else is in there doesn’t take up much weight, if any.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 10 Mar 2010 @ 12:37 PM

  79. “72
    Gilles says:
    10 March 2010 at 11:12 AM

    “CFU And? So are you going to say 2C is not significant?”

    So, whether significant or not, the best is to prepare adaption.”

    What about stopping something that will take us another 2C?

    What if mitigation means we have 80 years to “adapt” and BAU means 30 years?

    Mitigation is itself an adaption: you adapt to the ghg nature of fossil fuels by NOT BURNING THEM.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 10 Mar 2010 @ 12:39 PM

  80. Gilles, 72–

    Your metal model of adaptation as analagous to a personal move is faulty, I’m afraid.

    In the case of a move, the availability of ecological services does not change: though you may be (for example) in Algeria rather than France, the local ecosystems in both places still operate as they have, and large-scale factors (say, the primary productivity of the Mediterranean, as another random example) remain unchanged as well.

    With global warming, every place becomes “a stranger to itself”–every ecology must adapt, and in many cases it is reasonably foreseeable that some adaptations may be difficult or impossible.

    As to the relative difficulty of adapting to temperature change or the disuse of fossil fuels, I’d ask you to consider that, although the economy depends on a functioning ecology, the reverse is not true. I’d even say that the reason that we do not do a good job of valuing environmental “externalities” is precisely that economies have (with rare and local exceptions) always existed in the presence of functioning ecosystems. (And some of the exceptions, like Easter Island, should give us pause.) Thus, the ecological services are “assumed” (as you seem to do prospectively in the case of AGW)–or perhaps “taken for granted” would be a better term.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 10 Mar 2010 @ 12:59 PM

  81. Bob, Sorry the model is here:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/08/17/not-computer-models/

    I guess my question would be, how do you take a thermal reservoir beyond its limits unless:
    1)you get a phase change (ain’t gonna happen)
    2)you somehow break down the circulation–e.g. by shutting down the thermohaline conveyor. (probably unlikely)

    I’d expect future behavior to be at least comparable.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 10 Mar 2010 @ 1:07 PM

  82. Analogously, physicists’ claim that there was no energy source sufficient to power continental drift turned out to be false, though Wegener was never able to prove that it was false. It just turned out that way.

    SM appears to be one of those that doesn’t realize that Wegener’s proposed mechanism *was* physically impossible, and that plate tectonics is an entirely different mechanism?

    Comment by dhogaza — 10 Mar 2010 @ 1:19 PM

  83. I can’t wait to see the results from the CLOUD at CERN experiment.

    What are you going to say when the physics of the GCR/cloud is established?

    Comment by HarryDinPT — 10 Mar 2010 @ 1:36 PM

  84. Septic Matthew:

    Your argument has a flaw. It is not time-specific. We already have 30 years (and more) of strong evidence, with nothing to contradict it.

    What is to stop you from demanding, in 30 years time, that you need 30 more years (or a hundred), and that the 60+ years of rising temperatures could be just a coincidence?

    You throw around words like “proof of the pudding” and “those who claim to know” – yet you are silent when it comes to terms such as “Occam’s Razor” and “hedging bets”. You are also silent when it comes to quantifying unknowns. Yes, there are things we don’t know. But we can put bounds on these things that we don’t fully understand yet, and plan accordingly.

    Scientists already have estimates for the high and low forcings from cloud effects. The gap is very large, but even if we take the best case, it doesn’t help us. Therefore, nothing much will change when scientists add to our understanding and pin down the exact numbers more precisely.

    We can’t afford to wait around for the unknown unknowns. We have to do what we can with what we know, and what we know we don’t know.

    Comment by Didactylos — 10 Mar 2010 @ 1:53 PM

  85. SM: “The test (“proof” in one sense[“the proof of the pudding is in the taste”, “proving ground”], but not in the mathematical sense) will be in the predictions covering the next 30 years.”

    They’ve already shown that proof in the past 40 years:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/12/updates-to-model-data-comparisons/

    What’s to say you won’t repeat the same thing in another 30 years?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 10 Mar 2010 @ 2:32 PM

  86. Um, Miami stays where it is. One does not move cities.

    The people, OTOH, will relocate. We can handle it – there is plenty of land. Similarly, one can’t say it would be all negative economic impact.

    Similarly, it isn’t like one day everyone is going to wake up underwater.

    Comment by Frank Giger — 10 Mar 2010 @ 2:55 PM

  87. > predictions covering the next 30 years

    Why would you want to specify 30 years?

    Let’s call it, oh, 34 years. Surely that’s convenient for you.

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi?id=wa07100z

    Wang et al. 1976

    Wang, W.-C., Y.L. Yung, A.A. Lacis, T. Mo, and J.E. Hansen, 1976: Greenhouse effects due to man-made perturbation of trace gases. Science, 194, 685-690, doi:10.1126/science.194.4266.685.

    Anthropogenic gases may alter our climate by plugging an atmospheric window for escaping thermal radiation.
    Download PDF

    Of course, by demanding endless refinement of the predictions, you can continue to move the goalposts at a steady distance into the future.

    Your unspoken assumption there is that the future will be the same as the present, with no regrets.

    Pretty strong assumption, given the facts observed to date.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Mar 2010 @ 3:17 PM

  88. Barton Paul Levenson (67) — Good! After looking through the NOAA AMO web site, I speculate that AMO is, in part, an index of MOC rate. If so, it is a reasonable index for internal variability at decadal scales.

    Septic Matthew (75) — We already have sufficient data and theoretical understanding to understand that it is CO2 and almost nothing else. Another 30 years, given a 130 year instrumental record and given a great amplitude of paleoclimate studies, won’t make any difference.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 10 Mar 2010 @ 3:18 PM

  89. “Frank Giger says:
    10 March 2010 at 2:55 PM
    Um, Miami stays where it is. One does not move cities.

    The people, OTOH, will relocate. We can handle it – there is plenty of land. Similarly, one can’t say it would be all negative economic impact.

    Similarly, it isn’t like one day everyone is going to wake up underwater.”

    Let’s pose a hypothetical. Let’s suppose you own a nice house and a business in Miami.

    One day, it becomes irrefutable to all but the most dense and fanatical of denialists that Miami will be going underwater and will be threatened enough by storm surges and high tides to make the city nigh uninhabitable in a few years.

    Most of your personal funds are tied up in your business and home. How much do you think they are now worth to anyone? And so you must sell for pennies on the dollar and relocate.

    Now multiply that out by a few million people (just for Florida alone, not including all the others along the coastal US that may be in the same position, or globally for that matter). See the problem yet?

    Comment by Witgren — 10 Mar 2010 @ 5:06 PM

  90. CO2 in atmosphere, measured at Mauna Loa this February, makes big jump to 389.9 ppm, +2.5 ppm year-on-year: http://bit.ly/MaLoMon

    Comment by Kees van der Leun — 10 Mar 2010 @ 5:09 PM

  91. Frank Giger says: 10 March 2010 at 2:55 PM

    A slow and painful death of Miami is what we’ll see, like New Orleans but with variations. Both places are particularly vulnerable thanks to sitting in the statistical bulls-eye for hurricane paths and accompanying storm surges. Both will see recurring catastrophic damage gradually becoming unaffordable to repair, with various sections of each city abandoned to nature as we discover we can’t shovel fast or cheaply enough to maintain the border between artifacts and entropy.

    Other places will face different arrangements of the same challenge and features. Here’s a nice article on Rhode Island and dawning recognition, from NOAA:

    http://www.climatewatch.noaa.gov/2009/articles/rhode-islands-rising-tide

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 10 Mar 2010 @ 5:30 PM

  92. 85, Completely Fed Up: What’s to say you won’t repeat the same thing in another 30 years?

    It depends on what happens between now and then. Tsonis’ model predicts 20 more years of relatively little warming like we have had in the last 10 years, whereas Latif’s model predicts only 5. The polynomial cointegrated model of Beenstock and Reingeweertz makes only “conditional” predictions, based on the changes in the CO2 and solar activity, but we will be able to see how its predictions pan out (with and especially without parameter updates.) Those predictions may not be discernibly different from the straight line with autocorrelated error, but most likely at least one will be a discernibly worse fit to the data.

    In the meantime, don’t forget that I support investment in alternative energy supplies and CC&S. Thirty years of continuous investment in those technologies will make a great difference. If the Brazil model with sugar ethanol is any guide, biofuels including cellulosic ethanol will be cheaper than gasoline, unless petroleum consumption drops and OPEC collapses. I expect that by then the US will be CO2 negative (there is a debate about whether it is already, and there is the complication that the US imports goods that produced CO2 in their manufacture.)

    88, David B. Benson: Another 30 years, given a 130 year instrumental record and given a great amplitude of paleoclimate studies, won’t make any difference.

    That is a testable prediction, and we’ll see how well it does.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 10 Mar 2010 @ 6:01 PM

  93. This is off topic but it might interest you: the Caltech-Harvey Mudd math contest for high school students.

    http://chmmc.caltech.edu/problems.html

    no physics, just math. answers not posted yet.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 10 Mar 2010 @ 6:25 PM

  94. Frank Giger says, “The people, OTOH, will relocate. We can handle it – there is plenty of land. Similarly, one can’t say it would be all negative economic impact.”

    Spoken like a man who hasn’t thought things through. You do realize that we’ll have about 1.5 times as many people on the planet by then…that much of the population growth will occur precisely in coastal and low-lying areas…that aquifers will be polluted with salt water…that the land inundated will be among the most productive and valuable on the planet. And the thing is, if the warming happens, WE cannot handle it. We are foisting it off on our progeny.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 10 Mar 2010 @ 6:59 PM

  95. The mind boggles. For those who don’t want the cost and government intrusion of a program to reduce GHGs, imagine the cost and government involvement of relocating or sea-proofing multiple cities along the coast of the US. Seriously, I bet orders of magnitude more on both accounts.

    And we’re talking about just one of the impacts of global warming! And then there are all the other countries. Bangladesh, anyone?

    The idea of dismissing action on global warming because of the cost is just ludicrous.

    –Martin

    Comment by MartinJB — 10 Mar 2010 @ 8:47 PM

  96. Frank Giger says, “The people, OTOH, will relocate. We can handle it – there is plenty of land. Similarly, one can’t say it would be all negative economic impact.”

    In addition to what Ray Ladbury says, have you thought about the political consequences of moving tens or hundreds of millions of people across national boundaries? Look at the political hysteria and xenophobia generated today by the resettlement of a relative handful of refugees. Multiply that by a couple of orders of magnitude and it looks ugly in the extreme.

    Comment by quokka — 10 Mar 2010 @ 9:11 PM

  97. The other point is that we will get getting off fossil fuels within a geologic instant in any case. The only thing that matters is whether it bacuse we run out of them or because we voluntarily got off then sooner. The difference in time span of BAU for both of these potential scenarios is only two of three decades at the most. But the difference in how much continuing adaptation will be needed by those seven generations (or seventy) from now will be very substantial.

    Besides the easiest and earliest steps to take, which mainly involve energy efficiency more than pay for themselves.

    Comment by Thomas — 10 Mar 2010 @ 10:35 PM

  98. > March 9 … zero sunspots

    March 10, two new sunspots, at the moment: 1054 and 1055
    http://www.solarcycle24.com/pictures/spots.jpg

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 Mar 2010 @ 12:25 AM

  99. HarryDinPT said this in comment#83:
    I can’t wait to see the results from the CLOUD at CERN experiment.
    What are you going to say when the physics of the GCR/cloud is established?

    Too bad you can’t wait, because you’re probably going to have to. It’s been over 3 years since the 2006 experimental run and the paper was published only in 2009. As of now, if CERN hasn’t put this thing on the back burner they have their priorities seriously screwed up.
    About that 2006 run, it seems that the experimental design wasn’t quite up to par.
    Eli has looked into the paper, the referee’s interactive comment is quite interesting:
    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2009/10/punching-bag-unnoticed-in-recent-pile_28.html

    Even if some physical mechanism was uncovered, its significance in the real world remains to be shown. The lack of correlation turning up in other-than-Svensmark works suggests it is likely not significant.

    Comment by Philippe Chantreau — 11 Mar 2010 @ 12:43 AM

  100. > sunspots
    Did nobody bother to re-refute the ‘votenotokyo’ poster’s claims about sunspot cycles controlling El Nino?
    Well, http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/04/05/stalking-the-elusive-solar-cycletemperature-connection/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 Mar 2010 @ 12:50 AM

  101. Hank Roberts: “I hope a competent statistics blogger picks this up and does some tutoring, it would be interesting to watch.”

    Multiple regression analysis is actually quite a wide area and to really know what you’re doing you would have to cover more ground than I’ve seen in any blog; however there are very good texts which really help a lot. For people that don’t have much statistics background, you have to start there, my favorite recommendation would be Bickel and Doksum’s ‘Mathematical Statistics’ (the old 1977 edition – considered by many the best introduction to the subject every). However whatever text your local statistics department uses for the first semester graduate course in mathematical statistics will get you off the ground. Then you are in a position to build your understanding with the many topics that arise. But if you beat your way through Bickel and Doksum, you will have the basic tools and language to find the handle on most situations.

    Comment by Andrew — 11 Mar 2010 @ 12:57 AM

  102. #90. Nice! It’s accelerating?

    Comment by Garrett — 11 Mar 2010 @ 1:19 AM

  103. #86

    “The people, OTOH, will relocate. We can handle it – there is plenty of land. Similarly, one can’t say it would be all negative economic impact.”

    Actually, the RICH people will relocate. The poor people will be left to fend for themselves, glug, glug. I can see how this is all going toplay out now.

    Comment by Garrett — 11 Mar 2010 @ 1:21 AM

  104. Pekka “No action means adaptation to some 5°C of warming, or probably more as some imperfectly known thresholds will be passed.”

    No, I did the calculation with the known reserves of FF, for which only 2°C or so are predicted (see below).

    Nick :”I suggest you read the reports of AR4 WGII (impacts) and WGIII (mitigation), which deal with precisely these questions. France, of course, is a rich country: it is thus well-placed to adapt to climate change. Africa, most of south and south-east Asia, and much of Latin America, are much less so – and of course changes in where and when rain falls and the number of extreme weather events are more important than simple changes in mean temperatures.”
    Nick, I’m not sure you read carefully the AR4 : have you noticed that for climate events to become extreme, we need to burn a lot of fossil fuels, and that these fuels must be burnt by people through a constant economic growth? so it shouldn’t be impossible to help these people become richer , approximately as rich as we are now. On the other hand, France is rich because it burns a lot of energy, including a fair share of fossil fuels. So in a way you confirm what I’m saying : availability of FF is much more important than temperature to determine the standard of living.

    CFU :”What about stopping something that will take us another 2C?
    What if mitigation means we have 80 years to “adapt” and BAU means 30 years?”

    My calculation was that with known reserves, we shouldn’t be over 2°C, and I doubt we can do less. I doubt also that stopping the current use of FF would do less harm that avoiding these 2°C, which seems to be a herculean task, probably possible only through the complete collapse of industrial civilization. I don’t really see the advantage..
    Now avoiding an extra 2 ou 3°C is very simple , but curiously rarely proposed : just forbid the exploration, mining, and extraction of unconventional resources. This is the easiest thing to do, since we didn’t really start to exploit them.But that’s another debate.

    “Mitigation is itself an adaption: you adapt to the ghg nature of fossil fuels by NOT BURNING THEM.”
    Possible only if we can avoid completely to use them, which is very unlikely. I can insure you that we will burn them all up to the last drop, the only question is how much is economically extractable. I think that it much less that what you think, and so the results will be obtained not by our smartness and will, but by natural constraints. And as I said, as we probably can’t power the industrial society without them, it will be very likely quite painful, much more than the 2°C warming. Now I know you don’t share my opinion, but I’m confident that this will be confirmed much sooner than the sensitivity to CO2, since peak oil is around us just now.

    Kevin :”With global warming, every place becomes “a stranger to itself”–every ecology must adapt, and in many cases it is reasonably foreseeable that some adaptations may be difficult or impossible.”

    Kevin , every place HAS became a “stranger to itself” since the beginning of the XXth century through industrialization , the life is nowhere like before. The warming is possible only through another considerable economic growth. So in ANY CASE, the all day life will be very different in all these countries. Now do you contend that the 0.7°C warming since the beginning of the century has had a profound influence on the all day life ? I’m quite unable to know which was the average temperature 100 years ago (actually some of my ancestors came from Poland where it was probably very different), and guess what : I don’t care.. again the major cause of change has been the use of fossil fuels in the past, and will be their exhaustion in the future. Just wake up….

    Comment by Gilles — 11 Mar 2010 @ 2:08 AM

  105. “In addition to what Ray Ladbury says, have you thought about the political consequences of moving tens or hundreds of millions of people across national boundaries?”

    I had no idea there were that many people in Miami, or that they would suddenly migrate to Canada, Mexico, Peru, or any other country. Chances are more likely they’ll move to Orlando, Charlotte, Atlanta, or any number of places in the USA.

    I know quite a number of folks from New Orleans that aren’t moving back because they found better jobs and opportunities in other cities. They still say they’re from New Orleans as a point of pride, but in reality they’ve made new roots in another city.

    I like Miami – it is a great city – but one can’t move it. To say one could – or, rather to ask where it could be moved to – is poor rhetoric.

    We know how to build cities quickly; Birmingham, Alabama was a blank spot in 1870 and a metropolitan city by 1900. I wouldn’t underestimate the American people’s ability to adapt and adjust, or our economy; history is not on the side of the doomsayer.

    Comment by Frank Giger — 11 Mar 2010 @ 2:15 AM

  106. 87, Hank Roberts

    At first reading, that paper by Wang is impressive. It has a 0.79K temp increase in response to a CO2 increase by a factor of 1.25, which is pretty accurate as a real prediction. It then says that it isn’t yet (namely, in 1976) known whether CO2 is a major factor, which somewhat dilutes its “prediction”. Still, I repeat that it is impressive. It’s pretty good.

    Thanks

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 11 Mar 2010 @ 3:07 AM

  107. 64
    Completely Fed Up says:
    10 March 2010 at 3:47 AM

    re 63: And? So are you going to say 2C is not significant?

    Less significant and less implications than a 2C degree drop, especially for northern hemisphere populations. so thank god that’s not happening.

    Comment by John — 11 Mar 2010 @ 3:52 AM

  108. 89
    Witgren says:
    10 March 2010 at 5:06 PM “See the problem yet?”

    Whatever the reason, man has adapted, migrated survived or died since time began. What has changed is our modern, over crowded, dependent, static society.

    Lets say the world pulls together, stops burning fossil fuels (which will kill millions in the process) and starts a decline in C02 levels while planting a ton of trees again.

    Result, we return to the natural cycle and future generations are having to migrate to escape glacial advance and lessening aridity, instead of sea level rise and heat.

    Both “extremes” have the same basic outcome – migration and mass mortality.

    Comment by John — 11 Mar 2010 @ 4:09 AM

  109. “And we’re talking about just one of the impacts of global warming! And then there are all the other countries. Bangladesh, anyone?”

    Bearing in mind that for the last 200 recorded years Bangladesh has suffered catastrophic flooding, what makes you think reducing C02 will lessen that?

    Can you produce a study that shows that catastrophic, ie above normal (40% + land surface) flooding has occurred in the past 30 years compared to the previous 170?

    Comment by John — 11 Mar 2010 @ 4:14 AM

  110. “92
    Septic Matthew says:
    10 March 2010 at 6:01 PM

    85, Completely Fed Up: What’s to say you won’t repeat the same thing in another 30 years?

    It depends on what happens between now and then. ”

    No, it depends on why you’re ignoring 130 years we have so far.

    Why are you holding out for 160 years when 130 is enough?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 11 Mar 2010 @ 5:54 AM

  111. CFU: So prove that those conditions do not hold, SM.

    SM (75): You can not prove that what you don’t know does not matter.

    BPL: Surprisingly, sometimes you can do just that. It’s called analysis of variance, and if you can account for most of the variance in whatever you’re studying, you’re often (not always) in a position to say that, yes–WHATEVER the other influences are, known or unknown, their influence has to be minor.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 11 Mar 2010 @ 6:15 AM

  112. HarryDinPT (83): What are you going to say when the physics of the GCR/cloud is established?

    BPL: That it can’t have been driving the recent global warming because the GCR flux hasn’t changed very much for 50 years.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 11 Mar 2010 @ 6:19 AM

  113. Frank Giger (86): it isn’t like one day everyone is going to wake up underwater.

    BPL: Cities do not have to be underwater to be made uninhabitable by sea level rise. The sea need only rise far enough to seep into aquifers and back up sewers. Without fresh water, and sewage disposal, a modern city becomes uninhabitable on a time scale of days to weeks.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 11 Mar 2010 @ 6:20 AM

  114. quokka, Thomas, and Hank:

    I briefly discuss the geopolitical impacts of climate change on one of my blog posts that is aimed toward trying to convince conservatives that they need to care.

    Comment by Scott A Mandia — 11 Mar 2010 @ 6:22 AM

  115. John: “Less significant and less implications than a 2C degree drop, especially for northern hemisphere populations. so thank god that’s not happening.”

    Proof, please.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 11 Mar 2010 @ 6:31 AM

  116. Gilles: “My calculation was that with known reserves, we shouldn’t be over 2°C, and I doubt we can do less.”

    How is this calculation done?

    Or did you just decide that CO2’s effect after 500ppm is irrelevant? If so, please explain Venus.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 11 Mar 2010 @ 6:32 AM

  117. Garrett: “Actually, the RICH people will relocate. The poor people will be left to fend for themselves, glug, glug. I can see how this is all going toplay out now.”

    And here you see the reason for people to be against AGW mitigation.

    The cost of failure is not borne by them, but the cost of trying is.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 11 Mar 2010 @ 6:34 AM

  118. John,

    Lets say the world pulls together, stops burning fossil fuels (which will kill millions in the process) and starts a decline in C02 levels while planting a ton of trees again.

    No, a planned decline in fossil fuel use will not kill millions. It would mainly affect the rich, who burn most of the fossil fuels, and for them, it would mean somewhat fewer consumer goodies. Incidentally, burning fossil fuels, coal in particular, does kill many people, because of the toxins emitted.

    Result, we return to the natural cycle and future generations are having to migrate to escape glacial advance and lessening aridity, instead of sea level rise and heat.

    When denialists resort to this kind of nonsense, you know they’ve run out of arguments. Glacial advance is not expected for at least 20,000 years.

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 11 Mar 2010 @ 6:46 AM

  119. Re BPL reply to HarryDinPT:

    Someone (never can remember who) mentioned the La Champs Excursion some 40k yrs BP, so went to read… loads of 10Be, but no discernible change in temperature per the proxy records. How much GCR does HarryDinPT want when our nearest magnetic field collapsed for hundreds of years?

    Comment by Sekerob — 11 Mar 2010 @ 7:22 AM

  120. To Hank Roberts (100) – I don’t think you understood my point which was following up an earlier post (60). I never claimed that sunspot cycles controlled El Nino. Clearly the El Nino/La Nina cycle is quite a lot shorter than the sunspot cycle. It also has much more influence on sea temperature than the solar cycle. But the effects can add or detract from each other. At present sea temperatures are warm because of an El Nino while we are near the bottom of a solar cycle. My point is that the temperature effect of a solar cycle on sea temperatures lags the solar activity much like the way peak arctic ice lags mid winter by a few months. This point is also made in the paper you cited which makes the point that the length of a solar cycle is about the same length as the time it takes for effect to occur which will smooth the effect. But if a solar cycle were a lot weaker than its predecessors as were cycles 5 and 6 around the time of the Dalton minimum there is an effect on climate. Cycle 24 may be similarly weak, which in my opinion makes a scorcer El Nino in 2014, 15 or 16 unlikely.

    The sun influences global temperature. Ocean current cycles influence global temperatures. UHI effect influences reported global temperatures. And to a slight extent greenhouse gas concentrations influence global tempertures. But all of these influences do not properly account for all warming. So should we
    a) Continue to investigate the causes,
    b) Double check all of the records,
    c) Declare the science as settled. [edit]

    [Response: Cutting and pasting ridiculous lists of hyped nonsense is not conducive to conversation here. None of those claims have anything to do with us, and indeed even your first claim that we (working scientists remember!) have declared that all science is settled is completely undermined by the fact that we have declared the complete opposite. It is easy to make up strawman opponents with no ethics or principles and then present yourself as the man of reason, but that is posturing, not dialogue. – gavin]

    It is nice to read a discussion of the science. It is clear to all reasonable observers that solar activity can not by itself explain global temperature changes. It is equally clear to anyone with a good understanding of heat transfer that increased CO2 in the atmosphere can not explain all global warming. What we need is a better understanding of the science. We do not need a panicked reaction into economically damaging and very probably futile actions to limit or make more costly the use of fossil fuels when there aren’t enough practical alternatives. Even some AGW believers accept this.

    Comment by votenotokyoto — 11 Mar 2010 @ 7:36 AM

  121. Re: #87 Hank (Wang et al,1976)

    Useful and interesting.
    1. It warned that the chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s or Freons) would become a significant cause of global warming if they were to increase by an order of magnitude. This was quite a possibility considering the rapid rate of growth of their use. This paper must have been read and ignored by the campaign to deny their other bad effect, ozone hole destruction, of the Freons.

    The same lobbyists were involved in trying to rubbish both global warming science and ozone hole science. There is a passage in Channel 4’s anti-documentary the ‘Great Global Warming Swindle’ which ridicules those early environmentalists for campaigning against the use of CFC’s.

    2. Relative humidity not likely to be constant in the stratosphere.
    As far as I know , I did not receive an answer to this question :

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/01/the-wisdom-of-solomon/comment-page-6/#comment-158081

    It turns out that this 34 year old paper has a comment on it.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 11 Mar 2010 @ 8:01 AM

  122. Frank Giger says, “…history is not on the side of the doomsayer.”

    No, but math and science are. Do you understand that the only things that kept Malthus from being right were
    1)Mass migration to the new world
    2)the discovery that we could turn petroleum into corn and soy beans?

    And you do understand that there are now no new continents for people to migrate to and that the oil is almost gone, and that there are nearly 7 billion people, with 9-10 billion expected by mid century, don’t you? You are obviously not paying attention.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 11 Mar 2010 @ 8:27 AM

  123. John and Frank Giger,
    Isn’t it interesting that those who understand the least about the current situation humanity finds itself in are those who are most sanguine, optimistic and complacent.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 11 Mar 2010 @ 8:30 AM

  124. Ray: “Frank Giger says, “…history is not on the side of the doomsayer.””

    Uh, those who said “the banking system will crash” are, historically, doomsayers and, again historically, proven right.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 11 Mar 2010 @ 8:32 AM

  125. HarryDinPT,
    I will also be fascinated to see the results of CLOUD. If the results are positive, it could be an important piece to understanding the variation of temperatures over the solar cycle.

    What it will not do is invalidate the known physics of CO2–which is constrained by many separate lines of evidence. What is more, given that GCR fluxes have not changed significantly in 50 years based on neutron data–and certainly not in 30-40 years as shown in satellite data, and since cloud condensation nuclei are not a limiting factor in cloud formation, it is extremely unlikely that it accounts for current warming.

    I certainly wouldn’t bet the farm on it–though you seem to not mind betting the future of mankind on a 20:1 longshot.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 11 Mar 2010 @ 8:39 AM

  126. have you noticed that for climate events to become extreme, we need to burn a lot of fossil fuels, and that these fuels must be burnt by people through a constant economic growth? so it shouldn’t be impossible to help these people become richer , approximately as rich as we are now. – Gilles,

    Have you noticed that we are burning a lot of fossil fuels? Have you noticed the vast gap in wealth between rich countries and poor ones? Have you noticed that there will be 2-3 billion more people in the world by 2050? Have you noticed that if the rest of the world were to become as rich as France by burning fossil fuels the resultant rise in temperature would be far more than 2 degrees? Have you noticed that according to the best available estimates, a reduction in GHG emissions of at least 80% by 2050 is needed if we are to avoid a disastrous rise in temperature?

    My calculation was that with known reserves, we shouldn’t be over 2°C

    Have you noticed that your calculation was complete rubbish, even with your unjustified assumption that CO2 levels would not exceed 550ppm, because you had not taken into account the fact that the sun has got considerably brighter in the last 60,000,000 years, and there is a lot of evidence that medium-term climate sensitivity is around 3 degrees C? Have you noticed that while the era of cheap oil is probably ending, there is plenty of natural gas, coal, and unconventional oil sources?

    Finally, have you noticed that you are simultaneously arguing that the whole world can become as rich as France by burning fossil fuels, and that we are on the point of running out of them?

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 11 Mar 2010 @ 8:40 AM

  127. I’m paying attention. I’m just not throwing my hands up and running in circles while screaming.

    The interesting thing is this quote:

    “Garrett: ‘Actually, the RICH people will relocate. The poor people will be left to fend for themselves, glug, glug. I can see how this is all going toplay out now.’

    And here you see the reason for people to be against AGW mitigation.

    The cost of failure is not borne by them, but the cost of trying is.”

    It is telling in a lot of ways, particularly the slur against being part of the First World. I won’t apologize for my standard of living.

    Second, the poor in my Miami will literally drown due to sea level rise? Really? “Glug, glug” indeed.

    [Response: What do think the socio-economic profile of people killed by Katrina was? – gavin]

    I’m all for reducing emissions and pollution – but haven’t seen anything really worthwhile politically to that end. We are far better off putting our resources into adapting to climate change (and the geopolitical fallout) than pursue less effective courses.

    I can’t find it written down anywhere that the West (and the USA in particular) really does have to feed and house the world.

    [Response: Actually, this was written down over a century before the founding of the republic. – gavin]

    Comment by Frank Giger — 11 Mar 2010 @ 8:40 AM

  128. Voteno says: “We do not need a panicked reaction into economically damaging and very probably futile actions to limit or make more costly the use of fossil fuels when there aren’t enough practical alternatives.”

    Well, I certainly agree that we don’t want to act on panic. However, if that is the case, then is it not better to act now, before the worst effects of climate change manifest and cause panic?

    And as to raising the cost of fossil fuels, shouldn’t fossil fuels reflect their true cost–including damage to the environment? I would have thought that such costing would be essential to the efficient functioning of a free market.

    Does it really make sense to send raw materials halfway around the globe to China, have them build our furniture and then ship it back halfway around the globe to us when there are unemployed furniture workers in North Carolina?

    Does it make sense that I can buy tropical fruits like durian and jackfruit in the US more cheaply than I can buy locally grown apples and pears (if I can even find the latter)?

    Overly cheap energy costs distort the global economy and do so to the detriment of the US. It is time for that–and for the free ride given to environmental rapists–to end…NOW.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 11 Mar 2010 @ 8:50 AM

  129. There’s also the example of the insightful and intelligent “doomsayer” H.G. Wells, who by 1902 predicted massive air attacks on civilians as a defining characteristic of 20th century history. Of course, he thought it would take until about 1950, so perhaps you could say he was insufficiently pessimistic.

    Kind of like the IPCC–based on recent trends in areas such as sea ice, glacier melt (well, except the Himalaya goof) and sea level rise.

    http://hubpages.com/hub/Global-Warming-Science-And-The-Dawn-Of-Flight

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 11 Mar 2010 @ 8:52 AM

  130. CFU : “Gilles: “My calculation was that with known reserves, we shouldn’t be over 2°C, and I doubt we can do less.”
    How is this calculation done? Or did you just decide that CO2’s effect after 500ppm is irrelevant? If so, please explain Venus.”

    Known reserves + Bern absorption models. Can be done on a excel worksheet. Gives between 500 and 600 ppm, given uncertainties in the reserves. To exceed largely 2°C, we need a considerable amount of unconventional resources (2 or 3 times known reserves). It’s enough to forbid their exploiting to solve most of the problem – but my opinion is that we don’t need forbidding, they will just be too expensive and difficult to extract.

    Comment by Gilles — 11 Mar 2010 @ 9:02 AM

  131. “Known reserves + Bern absorption models”

    Known reserves allow well over 1000ppm.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Phanerozoic_Carbon_Dioxide.png

    It isn’t destroyed, you know. Just put out of the way somewhere, like under a trillion tons of rock…

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 11 Mar 2010 @ 9:13 AM

  132. “127
    Frank Giger says:
    11 March 2010 at 8:40 AM

    I’m paying attention. I’m just not throwing my hands up and running in circles while screaming.”

    You are, rather.

    At least in the same way as others here are doing that.

    “It is telling in a lot of ways, particularly the slur against being part of the First World. I won’t apologize for my standard of living.”

    An example of throwing your hands up, running in circles and screaming “I WANT MY MTV!!!!”.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 11 Mar 2010 @ 9:15 AM

  133. Gilles,
    Known reserves of what? Known reserves of recoverable coal are around 900 Gt; burning this would produce over 2 Tt of carbon dioxide. This in itself, taking no account of unquantified and unknown reserves, of oil and natural gas, or of other greenhouse gases, would already make a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees from pre-industrial levels likely.

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 11 Mar 2010 @ 9:25 AM

  134. John does not get the point about Bangladesh:”Bearing in mind that for the last 200 recorded years Bangladesh has suffered catastrophic flooding, what makes you think reducing C02 will lessen that?”

    Raising CO2 will raise sea levels, a little different from rain caused floods in source of water, type of water and permanence.

    Comment by t_p_hamilton — 11 Mar 2010 @ 9:30 AM

  135. It is telling in a lot of ways, particularly the slur against being part of the First World. I won’t apologize for my standard of living.

    It’s not a “slur against being part of the First World”. It’s aprotest against selfishness and greed.

    I can’t find it written down anywhere that the West (and the USA in particular) really does have to feed and house the world. – Frank Giger

    How about a responsibility not to impose vast environmental change on the rest of the world by changing the climate and acidifying the oceans?

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 11 Mar 2010 @ 9:31 AM

  136. “Did nobody bother to re-refute the ‘votenotokyo’ poster’s claims about sunspot cycles controlling El Nino?”

    Isn’t the correct term “re-bunking” now? Where did I see that?

    Comment by Lotharsson — 11 Mar 2010 @ 9:53 AM

  137. Response: What do think the socio-economic profile of people killed by Katrina was? – gavin

    also, not forgetting the soc-econ differentiation of impact that was exhibited after Andrew’s landfall

    http://www.amazon.ca/Hurricane-Andrew-Ethnicity-Sociology-Disasters/dp/0415168112

    Comment by Hasis — 11 Mar 2010 @ 10:44 AM

  138. John,

    How do you arrive at your conclusion that “[if] the world pulls together, stops burning fossil fuels (which will kill millions in the process) and starts a decline in C02 levels while planting a ton of trees again.”

    Why does stopping the burning of fossil fuels equate with the death of millions?

    Comment by Witgren — 11 Mar 2010 @ 10:44 AM

  139. “Frank Giger says:
    11 March 2010 at 2:15 AM
    “In addition to what Ray Ladbury says, have you thought about the political consequences of moving tens or hundreds of millions of people across national boundaries?”

    I had no idea there were that many people in Miami, or that they would suddenly migrate to Canada, Mexico, Peru, or any other country. Chances are more likely they’ll move to Orlando, Charlotte, Atlanta, or any number of places in the USA.”

    This feels like stating the bleeding obvious, but Miami is far from the only populated coastal area on the planet. Those people will need to go somewhere, and there may not be either room or opportunities for them within their own countries.

    “I know quite a number of folks from New Orleans that aren’t moving back because they found better jobs and opportunities in other cities. They still say they’re from New Orleans as a point of pride, but in reality they’ve made new roots in another city.”

    There are also people who are worse off than they were. People that owned houses that are now renting, people who had good jobs that now have lower incomes, people who had to replace other lost property. People who have never recovered and are still unemployed or marginally employed.

    It’s easy to handwave away such effects when you are personally feeling them. Are you volunteering to take in a Miami family or give them employment when the time comes?

    “I like Miami – it is a great city – but one can’t move it. To say one could – or, rather to ask where it could be moved to – is poor rhetoric.”

    You’re arguing semantics here – the point is the population of Miami – and its suburbs and hinderlands – will have to go somewhere.

    “We know how to build cities quickly; Birmingham, Alabama was a blank spot in 1870 and a metropolitan city by 1900. I wouldn’t underestimate the American people’s ability to adapt and adjust, or our economy; history is not on the side of the doomsayer.”

    It may surprise you to learn that there are not so many “blank spots” on the map anymore – the most desirable locations are already long taken. In 1870 the US population was 38.5 million. Today it’s estimated that it’s fast approaching 310 million and could already be past that. The rate of increase has been bouncing around the 10-15% rate between censuses in recent decades, if that pattern continues to hold true by 2050 we’ll be over 450 million assuming the low end of that growth holds – if it’s higher the U.S. could easily be over 500 million.

    Also, it’s again easy to be blase about the economy “adapting and adjusting” when it is not you personally having to be part of that adapting and adjusting. Mankind “adapted and adjusted” to the Black Death and two World Wars, but on a personal level it was catastrophic for individuals, families, and communities.

    Comment by Witgren — 11 Mar 2010 @ 11:05 AM

  140. Known reserves + Bern absorption models”

    Known reserves allow well over 1000ppm”

    I meant PROVED reserves.
    “Known reserves of what? Known reserves of recoverable coal are around 900 Gt; burning this would produce over 2 Tt of carbon dioxide. This in itself, taking no account of unquantified and unknown reserves, of oil and natural gas, or of other greenhouse gases, would already make a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees from pre-industrial levels likely.”

    A realistic (Hubbert-type) curve wouldn’t give 900 burnt before 2100, because there would be still some left after this date. Anyway I think it is unlikely that we will burn less than proved reserves : it would mean that at some date, we would have a ZERO fossil extraction rate, whereas there is still a fair amount reachable under the ground? very unlikely, unless we have found a way of replacing them entirely- which is again only wishful thinking.

    Comment by Gilles — 11 Mar 2010 @ 11:15 AM

  141. Feulner and Rahmstorf address a speculation stated by Lean: the possibility of solar forcing countering anthropogenic global warming. Their paper examines the effect a solar grand minimum (low solar activity similar to that inferred for the Maunder Minimum) would have on the global mean temperature by 2100. By accounting for a corresponding reduction in forcing for the future in a climate model study, they conclude that the effect is negligible (less than 0.3K compared to 3.7 – 4.5K if the SRES A1b or A2 emission scenarios were assumed).

    .

    I think that's the sort of conclusion that someone taking an HONEST look at that area of the science could agree with — a Grand Minimum would delay warming, which would the resume with a vengeance once solar activity returned to normal. SC24 is much weaker, thus far, than either SC22 or SC23, and I have to believe that the failure to produce a new record high year since 1998 (HadCRUT is my hero …) has been caused, in no small part, by the wind down from SC23 and the anemic startup with SC24. But eventually, we'll get to SC25, and then SC26 and then much warmer, with a new record high year certainly by 2014, if not 2012 or 2013.

    So what can we learn from these articles? What we see is how science often works – increases in knowledge by increments and independent studies re-affirming previous findings, namely that changes in the sun play a minor role in climate change on decadal to centennial scales. After all, 2009 was the second-warmest year on record, and by far the warmest in the southern hemisphere, despite the record solar minimum. The solar signal for the past 25 years is not just small but negative (i.e. cooling), but this has not noticeably slowed down global warming. But there are also many unknowns remaining, and the largest uncertainties concern clouds, cloud physics, and their impact on climate. In this sense, I find it ironic that some people still rely on the cosmic rays argument as their strongest argument against AGW – it does involve poorly known clouds physics!

    I think that if it hadn’t “noticeably slowed down global warming” there would be a lot less “Global Cooling” chatter in the blogosphere. That kind of statement strikes me more as “Neener, neener, are not!” wishful thinking. Rather, “The solar signal for the past 25 years is not just small but negative” followed by “and HadCRUT is flat, not strongly downward”. You can throw in any statements you’d like about GISS, but ignoring the flatness of the past 12 years ain’t making the denialosphere shut up.

    At any rate, I’m definitely excited about the next two or three years as we ramp up into SC24 and we hit a new record high — I definitely think that will put a kink in the whole “Global Cooling” mess. I don’t see the late 90’s kind of run up repeating itself for another 10 to 15 years, but we’ve still got SC25 to wait for!

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 11 Mar 2010 @ 11:34 AM

  142. FCH, I can’t follow the logic. If a ‘grand minimum’ lowers warming only slightly compared to increase from greenhouse gas, why would you ‘have to believe’ that the much smaller variation in solar forcing would explain so much of what’s happened?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 Mar 2010 @ 11:58 AM

  143. Much to my dismay I’ve found the contact page on my website crashed just when I needed it most. Apparently ISP the server crashed and the backup was incomplete.

    Everyone replying to my requests for images, etc who used it did so to no avail. If you replied to the following message, or if you didn’t notice it earlier, the contact page works now.

    Please try again.

    The Climate Summit http://www.theclimatesummit.org/ needs photographic images of various examples of the impact of global warming and climate change as well as images of places which will be impacted.

    We need leads for:

    Madagascar has been recommended by one of us here as instructional regarding the loss of elevation due to deforestation I believe.

    (Thanks Ray, I see you responded to the Climate Summit people.)

    The destruction of rain forests and boreal forests world wide impact climate change in a big way. Pictures of the Amazon and palm tree plantations in Indonesia would be good…

    Glaciers in South America are receding rapidly and pictures before and after will have impact. As will pictures of those in Alaska, Greenland, Europe, the Himalayas, and Antarctica…

    Pictures of coal fired power plants and traffic jams interspersed with these pictures could have dramatic effect. Clear cut forests and desertification due to agriculture …

    Alberta tar sands mining pictures would depict how we just won’t stop. Pictures of drilling rigs in the far north would indicate how Exxon and others want to drill in the Arctic
    as sea ice recedes…

    Melting tundra and permafrost, buildings tumbling into sinkholes, methane bubbling out of thaw lakes in Siberia, drunken trees, pine bark beetle infestations, eroding coastal
    Eskimo and other endemic native village lands all are phenomena we need pictures of.

    Pictures of the aftermath of violent weather would be instructive. Floods and snowfall potentially derived by way of evaporation of warming seas. People retreating from rising water.

    Anyone having ideas or examples of other effects of current warming are welcome to submit suggestions. Links and photos as well as permission to use photos would be helpful.

    A picture is worth a thousand words. Anything you think may be related to climate change would be useful. Of course the image will be appropriately used to describe a real world situation and not ascribe all extreme weather phenomena to climate change but used to point to an increasing potential for more severe effects arising from a warming climate.

    If you would like to submit material or leads, or have positive suggestions, please contact me here or via my website or The Climate Summit website. http://www.theclimatesummit.org/

    Comment by Tim Jones — 11 Mar 2010 @ 12:13 PM

  144. Frank Giger says: 11 March 2010 at 2:15 AM
    ‘We know how to build cities quickly; Birmingham, Alabama was a blank spot in 1870 and a metropolitan city by 1900. I wouldn’t underestimate the American people’s ability to adapt and adjust, or our economy…’
    Global warming doesn’t just affect America, or doesn’t the rest of the world matter?

    Comment by Louise D — 11 Mar 2010 @ 12:16 PM

  145. “140
    Gilles says:
    11 March 2010 at 11:15 AM

    Known reserves + Bern absorption models”

    Known reserves allow well over 1000ppm”

    I meant PROVED reserves.”

    You said Known.

    And those PROVEN reserves become added to because of the Known Reserves being the Only Reserves to exploit.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 11 Mar 2010 @ 12:27 PM

  146. Gilles, The 900 GTonne IS proven reserves. Bullshit, much?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 11 Mar 2010 @ 12:39 PM

  147. I doubt if this will see the light of day but you really need to watch hypocricy.

    In editing my article 120 in which I had listed some suspect AGW behaviours [edit – no he did not, and the topic is OT]

    Gavin rightly deleted it and said

    [Response: Cutting and pasting ridiculous lists of hyped nonsense is not conducive to conversation here. None of those claims have anything to do with us, and indeed even your first claim that we (working scientists remember!) have declared that all science is settled is completely undermined by the fact that we have declared the complete opposite. It is easy to make up strawman opponents with no ethics or principles and then present yourself as the man of reason, but that is posturing, not dialogue. – gavin]

    But then in response to Frank Giger said (130)
    [Response: What do think the socio-economic profile of people killed by Katrina was? – gavin]

    This implies that global warming causes hurricanes. I thought that the science showed that warming temperatures did not cause an increase in such extreme weather events. Couldn’t this type of comment be considered posturing? But he is the moderator.

    [Response: Don’t be so obtuse. The point was merely that in a disaster the people that get left behind are not those with private jets or three-car garages. – gavin]

    Comment by votenotokyoto — 11 Mar 2010 @ 12:52 PM

  148. Stopping production by international agreement of the worst of the chlorofluorocarbons, remember, halted growth in that huge greenhouse gas forcing, though what’s up there (and what’s still being produced and into the atmosphere) are continuing problems. That’s another prediction confirmed, for the record.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/98/26/14778.full

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 Mar 2010 @ 12:58 PM

  149. How to stick your head in the sand. Or, if we don’t know about it, maybe it isn’t happening.
    This is pretty unbelievable. Looks like Freddy Hutter’s work is paying off.
    Think there will be an outcry?

    Funding dries up for Canada’s polar climate lab
    http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2010/03/11/11/
    03/11/2010

    Because the Canadian government has not provided additional funding for the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory on Canada’s Ellesmere Island, the remote climate change research facility will be forced to close by next year, researchers said during a conference call earlier this week.

    Researchers said the decision by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government not to fund the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences demonstrates skepticism about climate change. They said forcing the research facility to close will stifle climate research that might support action to prevent global warming.

    “It’s quite clear we have a government that says they believe this is an issue but really don’t care about it,” said Andrew Weaver, a climatologist at the University of Victoria. “They’re basically saying, ‘We don’t want your science anymore.'”

    The climate science foundation received $110 million in funding about 10 years ago, but that money will run out by early next year. Environment Minister Jim Prentice said the government remains committed to climate research but wants to check that the funding has been put to good use before it chooses to provide more.

    “We think it is appropriate that the foundation report to the government on the progress it has made, how those dollars were invested and what we’ve learned from the research that was done,” he said (Shawn McCarthy, Toronto Globe and Mail, March 9). — GN

    Comment by Tim Jones — 11 Mar 2010 @ 12:59 PM

  150. Oh, good grief, how many threads is Gilles empowered to shut down by rebunking?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 Mar 2010 @ 1:00 PM

  151. How much do ocean currents influence the perception of a warming climate? Is there information describing how warm and cool sea water gives off and absorbs heat in pulses? Is there information describing how many simultaneous patches of cool water make for a record of cooler SSTs? How much does an apparent lessening or accelerating of the rate of warming have to do with the interaction or appearance of warming and cooling ocean currents worldwide?

    We’ve seen how ENSO, sunspot cycles and stratospheric water vapor are all parts of natural variability that influence the record of surface temperatures. Do variabilities in ocean currents do so as well?

    Comment by Tim Jones — 11 Mar 2010 @ 1:19 PM

  152. RE: (#127)[Response: Actually, this was written down over a century before the founding of the republic. – gavin]
    Thank you for the uplifting verse. How inspiring to glimpse the Renaissance vision whilst down in the weeds. Your wit is singular.

    Comment by J Gradie — 11 Mar 2010 @ 1:36 PM

  153. TimJones@149
    The current Canadian govt has long shown an inclination to allow other countries [read US] to carry the ball on many topics, explicitly citing the fact that the Canadian economy is so entwined with the US that all that can be done is follow their lead on anything that may have effects on it – economics just happens to be the area of “expertise” of the current Prime Minister – who also happens to be from Alberta, where tar sands are considered the driving force for all Canada.

    Of course, the PM also has made noise about demonstrating “sovereignty” in the Arctic and hasn’t put much funding there either.

    Comment by flxible — 11 Mar 2010 @ 2:46 PM

  154. Tim@149,
    Actually, I think that given where Harper’s head is buried, he would be very uncomfortable if there were sand there, too.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 11 Mar 2010 @ 2:56 PM

  155. 111, Barton Paul Levenson: SM (75): You can not prove that what you don’t know does not matter.
    &&&
    BPL: Surprisingly, sometimes you can do just that. It’s called analysis of variance, and if you can account for most of the variance in whatever you’re studying, you’re often (not always) in a position to say that, yes–WHATEVER the other influences are, known or unknown, their influence has to be minor.

    You need to review design of experiments. You can not prove with ANOVA on extant data that increasing the level of one of the factors, or adding an additional factor, would have no effect in a future experiment that has not yet been done. I refer you again to the physicists’ persistent claim that there was no source of energy sufficient to power continental drift. Only after the drift had been sufficiently demonstrated on the evidence did they look for a mechanism. It is one thing to aver that we know enough to act prudently, and another thing to aver that nothing can occur which would show us to be wrong in our current beliefs.

    143, Tim Jones: The destruction of rain forests and boreal forests world wide impact climate change in a big way. Pictures of the Amazon and palm tree plantations in Indonesia would be good…

    This is worthy of elaboration. Regrowth of N. American forests has sequestered a significant fraction of N. American industrial CO2. Although deforestation of Central and S. American forests continues, there is substantial regrowth of forests cut down in past decades, even in the Amazon where, in the 1970s, there were warnings that the deforested areas of the Amazon could not naturally reforest. If you buy CO2 credits you can (you have to be careful, caveat emptor) contribute to reforestation in Malaysia, Indonesia, Ecuador, Mexico and other places. One of the reasons that I am (regrettably) smug is that I pay for more CO2 sequestration than the CO2 I generate. The oil palm plantations are ambivalent: in some places they are an improvement, and in other places they are a degradation. EU nations can earn CO2 credits by investing in oil palm plantations.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 11 Mar 2010 @ 3:35 PM

  156. Septic Matthew (92) — Yes, it is tritely obviious that in 30 years we will have 20 more years of data. The point is we have vastly more than enough to understand that CO2 is a mian driver of climate during the instrumental period and into the future.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 11 Mar 2010 @ 3:40 PM

  157. John (109) said:
    “Bearing in mind that for the last 200 recorded years Bangladesh has suffered catastrophic flooding, what makes you think reducing C02 will lessen that?

    Can you produce a study that shows that catastrophic, above normal (40% + land surface) flooding has occurred in the past 30 years compared to the previous 170?”

    You are kidding, right? Much of Bangladesh is a river delta, thus the flooding. Raise sea-levels by 1m and not only will a lot of land be permanently flooded, but salt-water incursion will cause additional agricultural land to be lost. And periodic flooding will get a lot worse. Do you really need a published paper to tell you this? Really?

    OK: Ali, A (1996). “Vulnerability of Bangladesh to climate change and sea level rise through tropical cyclones and storm surges”. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution 92 (1–2): 171–179.

    Comment by MartinJB — 11 Mar 2010 @ 10:06 PM

  158. Frank Giger (105):
    ‘“In addition to what Ray Ladbury says, have you thought about the political consequences of moving tens or hundreds of millions of people across national boundaries?”

    I had no idea there were that many people in Miami, or that they would suddenly migrate to Canada, Mexico, Peru, or any other country. Chances are more likely they’ll move to Orlando, Charlotte, Atlanta, or any number of places in the USA.’

    Wow. That’s a pretty narrow view. You do know that Miami’s not the only coastal city in the US vulnerable to rising sea level, right? And that there are other countries besides the US? Some of them will face rather worse impacts than the US and have a lot less capacity to mitigate those impacts. I very much doubt that my favorite example, Bangladesh, will be able to internally relocate most of those displaced by rising sea level and increased flooding. And the displaced of Bangladesh will be competing with the displaced of India and Burma. Won’t that be fun!

    I suspect that a lot of the countries that will face the most stress from a warming world are rather less culpable of causing global warming than the US. Maybe that doesn’t bother you. It bothers this American. Which is why I believe we have to lead in combating global warming. This is very much a moral issue. Our military and intelligence services also consider it a security issue.

    Comment by MartinJB — 11 Mar 2010 @ 10:34 PM

  159. “Germany has plan for an “integration contract” that new immigrants must sign. The contract lays out services and assistance available to immigrant communities and also explains what “we expect from them,” as Germany’s integration commissioner. Included among these expectations are knowledge of the German language and acceptance of gender equality and freedom of speech.
    Worldfocus special correspondent Martin Seemungal reported late last year on the rising Christian-Muslim tensions in Cologne, Germany — home to 120,000 Muslims — where the city’s first official mosque is in construction.” http://worldfocus.org/blog/2009/11/23/germany-to-require-immigrants-to-sign-integration-contracts/8548/

    “The Netherlands today held municipal elections in hundreds of cities and towns across the country.
    The Freedom Party, a populist, anti-Muslim and anti-immigration party led by Geert Wilders, ran in just two of those elections.
    In one city, it came in first, and in the other city, the Hague, it came in second. The party wants to outlaw Muslim headscarves in Holland.
    What should be done about growing anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment in Europe?” http://worldfocus.org/blog/2010/03/04/far-right-dutch-party-makes-big-gains-in-local-elections/9950/

    “While many Americans can’t get jobs because of the recession, some are questioning giving jobs to illegal immigrants. Is it moral to give illegal immigrants jobs when Americans are vastly unemployed?”
    “… this comes at a time when 15 million Americans can’t find work. More than 32 million Americans now live on food stamps. This, he goes on, is a serious time for the nation and the question about illegal immigrants taking American jobs is one I’m number of people are asking these days.”
    “While the border states of Texas, California and Arizona are in critical financial shape, Mexico receives $25 billion in cash transfers when illegal immigrants send money back to Mexico from the United States.”
    “In addition to the problems of job competition, Wooldridge quotes Edwin Rubenstein, an economist, as saying American taxpayers give $346 billion annually for medication, education and incarceration of illegal immigrants and their children. So there is a drain on the economy from the social obligations.” http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/273883

    “ROME, February 14, 2010 (AFP) – The stabbing death of an Egyptian youth in Milan sparked fresh anti-immigration calls Sunday that were immediately slammed by the left-wing opposition ahead of regional elections in Italy. Roberto Calderoli, a minister of the anti-immigration Northern League, said the incident ‘confirmed that we are paying for a mistaken ideology of the past… the policy of open doors for all.'”
    http://www.javno.com/en-world/stabbing-sparks-fresh-anti-immigration-calls/294248

    I welcome the prospect of new immigrants moving into my neighborhood, providing many opportunities for me to learn about new cuisine, social customs, and religious practices. However, I don’t think that the newly elected Raleigh NC anti diversity policy school board chairman, (who said into a microphone he didn’t know was live, “Here come the animals out of the cages” about pro diversity protesters at a recent meeting) will have the same feelings. If illegal immigration is already costing 371 billion dollars a year just in the US, It won’t be any cheaper than it will be fun.

    “The people, OTOH, will relocate. We can handle it – there is plenty of land.” Do we have plenty of jobs? Or water(5 of the last 10 years my town has had summer water restrictions)? Or roads? Or public transportation? Or housing? Or money to pay for the things we don’t have in surplus(like tolerance)?

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 11 Mar 2010 @ 11:15 PM

  160. voteno (120): It is equally clear to anyone with a good understanding of heat transfer that increased CO2 in the atmosphere can not explain all global warming.

    BPL: No, just 76% of it over the last 130 years.

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Correlation.html

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 12 Mar 2010 @ 5:55 AM

  161. SM,
    While I agree that you can never eliminate the possibility of some new factor coming into play in the future, between what we know of current forcings (including CO2) and the paleoclimate data, the likelihood of this is effectively infinitesmal. There is no credible candidate, no suggestion of evidence for such a factor and considerable evidence to suggest such a factor is not extant.

    This is not a situation where we choose between action and inaction. Inaction is not an option. Chooding BAU is an action–not a viable action given the decreasing supply of fossil fuels–but an action nonetheless. The real choice is between creating a new energy infrastructure based on coal–only to have to create another infrastructure in less than 100 years when the coal runs out–or creating a new energy infrastructure that, once and for all, is sustainable. Climate change just tips the scales further. Time to choose.

    [cue Jeopardy Music]

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 12 Mar 2010 @ 5:57 AM

  162. Rasmus,

    Thanks for the regular updates on solar-climate research. Much appreciated.

    Regarding Calogovic on Svensmark and “why such proton events would disturb the measurements”, Calogovic et al. also reference Mironova et al. (2008), who note:

    An increase of the concentration of sulfate or nitrate aerosol was found on the second day after the solar energetic particle event in the south magnetic pole region with the maximum penetration of anisotropic solar cosmic rays.

    But it’s still not clear how this by itself would affect the conclusions of Svensmark et al. (2009) who included the January 2005 event in their sample. If the solar proton event generated increased aerosols, that would — if anything — weaken Svensmark’s evidence by countering the postulated drop in aerosols after the Forbush GCR decrease, at least in the first days, wouldn’t it?

    Laken et al. say the event was unusual in other respects (structure of the Forbush decrease, atmospheric electric activity).

    Comment by CM — 12 Mar 2010 @ 6:08 AM

  163. Yes, SM, if something totally unforeseen and incredibly unlikely happened, it could account for more climate change variance in the future. For example, if the Martians started bombarding us for heat rays.

    Similarly, if the Venusians use their cold rays on us…

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 12 Mar 2010 @ 6:37 AM

  164. From Science News (March 11 2010):

    Magnetic flows cause sunspot lows, study shows

    Newly reported observations of gas flows on the solar surface may explain why the sun recently had such an extended case of the doldrums.

    http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/57180/title/Magnetic_flows_cause_sunspot_lows%2C_study_shows

    Comment by Mike — 12 Mar 2010 @ 10:02 AM

  165. 161, Ray Ladbury: This is not a situation where we choose between action and inaction.

    Perhaps you have not been reading my posts in which I advocate continued R&D and deployment of new energy technologies and CC&S. But if I lived on the Pacific Rim, also called the “Ring of Fire” for the active volcanoes, I would not rank AGW as the highest potential threat. Analogously, Bangladesh and the US Gulf Coast will continue to suffer from flooding and wind damage, so putting all their money into anti-AGW will be improvident; the US Midwest will always have alternations of tornadoes, droughts, floods and ice storms. I think that prudence requires what I have been calling “hedging bets”. In the meantime, recall that the IPCC AR4 predicted that with AGW fewer people will suffer increased water stress than suffer decreased water stress. Also, BAU is fairly dynamic: it produced the energy industry that we have today, and modern transportation. We don’t have BAU anyway: in response to fuel worries, even the Republican Bush administration started to support new energy, and the Democratic president Obama has stood by his pledge to support nuclear power.

    But back to science: While I agree that you can never eliminate the possibility of some new factor coming into play in the future, between what we know of current forcings (including CO2) and the paleoclimate data, the likelihood of this is effectively infinitesmal.

    You can only believe that after an anti-intellectual dismissal of Beenstock and Reingewertz (and a bunch of other work that uses integrated measures of solar activity.) There is lots of evidence that we don’t know some things (what caused pre 1970s warming and cooling; the increased energy stored by photosynthesis due to increased primary productivity in Boreal forests; the quantitative effects of the soot deposited on glaciers and arctic ice.) To say that we know that all those sources of ignorance will prove in the future to be negligible strikes me as premature at best. Historically, scientists have been corrected by new information repeatedly — it isn’t a rare occurrance, much less infinitesimal. A good history in particle physics is by Abraham Pais, titled “Inward Bound”. Right now, there is more observable gravitation in the observable universe than can be accounted for by the observable mass. And the Wegener example should not be forgotten.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 12 Mar 2010 @ 12:57 PM

  166. Incidentally, I wrote to Beenstock and Reingewertz, requesting clarification of whether and when their paper will be published, and if in Nature.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 12 Mar 2010 @ 1:03 PM

  167. Septic, the Beenstock and Reingewerts paper is utter bullshit.

    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2010/03/idiots-delight.html

    It is what happens when people who don’t understand physics try to do physics.

    SM, the fact of the matter is that Wegener was wrong. His proposed mechanism for continental drift did not exist. It was not until we had learned a whole lot more about the high-pressure behavior of rock that we could develop a mechanism. So, I ask: what predictive capability was lost by geologists not accepting Wegener’s theory? None. How would the history of geology have been different? It wouldn’thave.

    Your argument seems to be: some scientist was wrong somewhere, sometime, so therefore I don’t have to believe any science if I don’t want to. Sounds suspiciously like the arguments coming out of the Discovery Institute, if you ask me. The situation in climate science is very different form that in cosmology or in geophysics–where we don’t have direct measurements of the entire system.

    By any reasonable measure, climate science has been very successful at explaining Earth’s climate. It also has an excellent track record of predictions. There is no evidence that there is anything significantly wrong with the models. And yet you are saying “Oh wait! We don’t know enough yet!” And you are proposing nothing constructive. That is at the very least an unscientific if not anti-scientific attitude.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 12 Mar 2010 @ 3:03 PM

  168. Here’s a strange one, predicted temperature increases due to land-based wind turbines:

    http://nextbigfuture.com/2010/03/mit-researchers-say-using-wind-turbines.html

    It’s only one study, so it shouldn’t be believed on its own, but what if it’s true? Perhaps a moratorium on wind farms until we find out? I don’t know. I think nuclear power is probably better anyway, but I support wind farms in part because I don’t know what technologies will be best 5-10 years from now, and I don’t think any one should be forced out of the mix yet.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 12 Mar 2010 @ 3:04 PM

  169. “It’s only one study, so it shouldn’t be believed on its own, but what if it’s true? Perhaps a moratorium on wind farms until we find out? I don’t know. ”

    What if it isn’t? Should we stop replacement of expensive and polluting power generation with clean and local power generation just because a paper was wrong?

    And have a look at the stats. Compare the size of the affected area with the size and magnitude of, say, the Urban Heat Island.

    Do we level all our cities? I mean, we shouldn’t take that option out of the mix, should we…

    And check the “proofs” there. There is none. A Big Scary Number of power generation and no context. How much power per sq m? 10^12W/10^14m2 = 0.01W/sq m. Compare to the 4W that CO2 gives per doubling and this is 400x bigger. If 0.01W/sq m gives 0.15C rise, then the doubling of CO2 gives us 60C warming!!!

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 12 Mar 2010 @ 3:47 PM

  170. Ray Ladbury …

    SM, the fact of the matter is that Wegener was wrong.

    Harumph. Septic Matthew – I pointed out that Wegener was wrong when you first brought him up, why did you repeat it?

    Comment by dhogaza — 12 Mar 2010 @ 4:03 PM

  171. RE #168–

    Highly preliminary.

    Also note that cooling over oceans is predicted, raising the possibility of balancing out heating by deploying turbines over oceans.

    That’s presuming this is valid at all.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 12 Mar 2010 @ 4:19 PM

  172. SM, please try looking this stuff up for yourself first.
    Many of the “but what about this” items are longtime, familiar, brought here over and over by people who don’t think or check first. For example:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=climate+change+warming+wind+turbines
    http://xkcd.com/687/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 12 Mar 2010 @ 4:43 PM

  173. 170, Ray Ladbury and dhogaza: Harumph. Septic Matthew – I pointed out that Wegener was wrong when you first brought him up, why did you repeat it?

    Wegener was right about the movement of the continents, but wrong on his guess of the source of the energy. Wegener did not originate the hypothesis of continental drift, but he began the systematization of the biological, geological, and paleontological evidence in support. Legions of scientists followed up on his work for generations, working despite the disrespect of physicists who asserted that the drift was impossible. “Drift” is misleading if you interpret it as “random”, but things can drift on currents, as the tecta do.

    169 Completely Fed Up and 172, Hank Roberts. I Can’t tell whether you are in agreement. You guys seem to be “antinomialists”, presuming to know the only complement or contradiction of a statement, and posing questions as extremes with no variation.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 12 Mar 2010 @ 6:51 PM

  174. I hope this isn’t too far OT for this discussion. Last week’s news reported AccuWeather’s prediction of a “strong” Atlantic hurricane season with multiple U.S. landfalls. Part of the forecast’s basis appears to be a “rapidly weakening El Nino.” Does the RC readership happen to know if that (rapid weakening) is a generally accepted view of ENSO for 2010? (I’ve seen Indian forecasts accepting that this El Nino’s activity would persist until June, but I don’t know if that’s in the “normal” timeframe or if that implies ‘rapid weakening.’) I wonder if El Nino’s receding enough/soon enough to allow conditions favoring Atlantic landfall hurricane formation would change suppositions made in 2009 about 2010 global temps, or if it would make much difference.

    Comment by ghost — 13 Mar 2010 @ 9:41 AM

  175. ghost@174 – As someone who watches the NOAA El Nino advisories because it always has an effect on my left coast location, I don’t think “rapid weakening” is an accurate description, but I expect it’s weather influence to be much less significant by the end of April, and return to “neutral” looks to be about as expected by historical comparison [end June]. Effect on the hurricane season is another question for those on the wrong coast.

    Comment by flxible — 13 Mar 2010 @ 11:35 AM

  176. > SM
    > antinomialists

    No, I’m a proscholarist. I recommend you check out notions often found posted repeatedly on blogs. Compare what you find with Google and with Scholar.
    Make the minimum effort yourself to think. Assertions of ideas like windmills changing climate come back over and over. You can look them up.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 13 Mar 2010 @ 11:48 AM

  177. Re:175 flxible says: 13 March 2010 at 11:35 AM
    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory/ensodisc.html

    Much of hurricane development has to do with SSTs and wind shear. It’s too nice a day to do much of this, but, since you seem to have your ear to the ground regarding the consequences of the current El Niño, what do you see coming by way of hurricanes this Autumn? And then, are glt’s going to replicate or exceed what we saw in 1998 this summer?

    Comment by Tim Jones — 13 Mar 2010 @ 1:09 PM

  178. 176, Hank Roberts: . Assertions of ideas like windmills changing climate come back over and over.

    I cited a particular recent study, an addition to the scholarship.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 13 Mar 2010 @ 3:55 PM

  179. TimJones – It’s what we up north call a “useable day” here too – after a couple months of mostly gray, EL Nino is releasing us from it’s grip :)

    I haven’t been watching ENSO in relation to hurricane activity, but I’m ready to be completely UNsuprised by the coming summer producing more record temps, including rising SST’s, which I suppose would mean the liklihood of increased hurricane activity or intensity – my view of the various climate associated weather events is that they will, and can only, “worsen”, and more rapidly as time is wasted by our “overlords”. For a view of ENSO and SST from the other side, Australia has a good report which may have more relevence to hurricane activity.

    Comment by flxible — 13 Mar 2010 @ 4:28 PM

  180. SM: “I cited a particular recent study, an addition to the scholarship.”

    You didn’t approach it with skepticism, though, did you ***Septic Matthew***

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 14 Mar 2010 @ 5:10 AM

  181. “You guys seem to be “antinomialists”, presuming to know the only complement or contradiction of a statement, and posing questions as extremes with no variation.

    Comment by Septic Matthew”

    Funny how you attribute THREE options from me as the “only complement or contradiction”.

    Can’t count?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 14 Mar 2010 @ 5:13 AM

  182. 127 Frank Giger: “We know how to build cities quickly; Birmingham, Alabama was a blank spot in 1870 and a metropolitan city by 1900. I wouldn’t underestimate the American people’s ability to adapt and adjust, or our economy; history is not on the side of the doomsayer.”

    Can these new cities be reliably supplied with fresh water on a constant basis? There are reasons why homo sapiens sapiens has always congregated at specific locations and flourished. It’s not by random chance.

    Comment by J Bowers — 14 Mar 2010 @ 1:20 PM

  183. 180, CFU: You didn’t approach it with skepticism, though, did you ***Septic Matthew***

    It’s only one study, but it is worth consideration.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 15 Mar 2010 @ 5:48 PM

  184. And did you consider it all the way through? Know the net effect?
    I’m just asking, are you bothering to _read_ this stuff before plopping in in here as an issue for others to spend time on? Because that’s what people keep doing, posting ‘Oh Noes it will warm the planet one degree’ because they read that on some blog about some news story about the press release, all by people who didn’t read the paper.

    You can read the paper. Did you read it? What does this mean, do you think?

    “The warming caused by the wind turbines is limited to the lowermost atmospheric layers (Fig. 3). Above the planetary boundary layer, a compensating cooling effect is expected and observed in many regions, because the turbulent transfer of heat from the surface to these higher layers is reduced. This should be contrasted to the relatively uniformly distributed warming throughout the troposphere induced by rising greenhouse gases (IPCC, 2007).”
    http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/49852

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 15 Mar 2010 @ 7:47 PM

  185. Hank Roberts @ 142:

    FCH, I can’t follow the logic. If a ‘grand minimum’ lowers warming only slightly compared to increase from greenhouse gas, why would you ‘have to believe’ that the much smaller variation in solar forcing would explain so much of what’s happened?

    I’m not sure I understand what it is that you’re not following.

    The 90’s warmed significantly faster than the 00’s. I don’t think anyone can, or would — including the denialists — deny that. I also don’t think that anyone would deny — including the folks who run this blog — that we’re in the midst of the deepest solar minimum in over 100 years.

    This has happened before in the recorded history of the solar cycle, and whenever there has been a grand minimum, the result has been cooling, of some sort. That’s a bit more controversial of a statement. But what can’t be denied, except perhaps “Correlation isn’t causation”, is that SC22 was a major cycle, and SC23 wasn’t all that weak.

    My argument is that SC22 and SC23 =are= responsible for some amount of amplication of global temperature change, just as the wind down from SC23, and the anemic start of SC24 is responsible for no new HadCRUT record in over a decade. If my argument is correct, we’ll see a new HadCRUT record as SC24 gets up to whatever level is needed for that to happen.

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 15 Mar 2010 @ 11:13 PM

  186. > deepest solar minimum

    Well, we’re not in the midst of it now, it’s gone by.
    http://www.sec.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/f10.gif
    http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/images/ssn_predict_l.gif

    At the very lowest spikes, TSI was down to something like 1360, down from 1368, watts/sq. meter — but got nowhere near that low on average. Charts here up through 2009:
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/1001/1001.5078v1.pdf

    If that’s the best the Sun can do, it’s not going to save us from ourselves.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Mar 2010 @ 12:29 AM

  187. “183
    Septic Matthew says:
    15 March 2010 at 5:48 PM

    180, CFU: You didn’t approach it with skepticism, though, did you ***Septic Matthew***

    It’s only one study, but it is worth consideration.”

    You’re not considering it, though. You’re accepting it uncritically.

    You.
    Are.
    No.
    Skeptic.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Mar 2010 @ 4:05 AM

  188. As you say there are many 2010 papers on the possible role of solar variability on cloud cover. Here are three more.

    Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 72(2010)19–25

    Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 72(2010)151–156

    Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 1577–1584, 2010

    All three suggest that clouds may be affected by changes in the sun at specific regions of the earth. This may not be inconsistent with Kulmala finding no relationship in their locality. It may also be the reason no statisitically signficant link has been found on the global level.

    Comment by HR — 16 Mar 2010 @ 5:11 AM

  189. Sorry for the incomplete references the spam blocker was being too efficient.

    Comment by HR — 16 Mar 2010 @ 5:12 AM

  190. Hank Roberts @ 186:

    I said nothing about TSI. Read the link for my name.

    Also, wait for the blue line to be posted for the sunspot count. The big snooze will be over when Hathaway’s current prediction — which has been revised downward more than once — is below the observations, not when a month or two is above his prediction. As the climate guys like to say “that’s weather” — you can look back at SC23 and SC22 and see months that were far above the smoothed average, just as you can see them that are well below.

    The last thing I’d like to see is someone — pick you — saying “The SSN-related cooling trend is now over”, and it isn’t, and people use that to attack the validity of CO2-related warming. The question that needs to be answered, that the Sun is being so kind as to provide us the data needed to answer the question, is the relative contribution of SSN and CO2 to climate.

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 17 Mar 2010 @ 6:28 AM

  191. Re :: an old post suggesting climate scientists and astrophysicists get together..

    Here’s a scholarly fellow proposing an unusual hypothesis about the sun’s role in all this. He’s a nuclear chemist.
    http://www.omatumr.com/abstracts2005/The_Suns_Origin.pdf

    Quote: “” Thus, Earth’s climate has never, EVER been static. Our climate changes as planets move around the Sun, accelerating and deceleration of the Sun in its orbit about the centre-of-mass of the solar system. and changing the depth of the Sun’s energetic neutron core. “””

    There’s a 179 year mechanical resonance that overlays our little ice ages.
    http://www.griffith.edu.au/conference/ics2007/pdf/ICS176.pdf

    He claims the sun’s core is isotopically quite different than previously believed and the “solar tides” thicken and thin the outer layer of hydrogen, affecting not only the intensity of solar radiation but its spectral makeup; hence it’s nonlinearity as a climate forcer.

    Quote “” SCAFETTA and WEST (2006a) and (2006c) estimate that the sun contributed as much as
    40 to 50 per cent of the 1900 to 2000 global warming and 25 to 35
    per cent of the 1980 to 2000 global warming. Their methodology
    implies that their solar output index is a proxy of all solar output,
    not only of the sun’s electromagnetic radiation. However, their
    methodology does not take account of relationships between the
    sun’s gravitational force (and its interaction with solar output) and
    climate. BUTLER and JOHNSTON (1994) concluded that their data
    strongly support the contention that solar variability has been the
    principal cause of temperature changes over the past two
    centuries. Reports prepared for the South Florida Water
    Management Authorityxiv highlight that ‘high solar activity is
    often associated with wetter periods, while lower levels of solar
    activity are associated with drier periods’. THEJLL, CHRISTIANSEN
    and GLEISNER (2003) found that only since 1973 has solar activity,
    as measured by the geomagnetic index, appeared to have a
    significant impact on the stratosphere and sea-level pressures.
    TOBIAS and WEISS (2000) have shown there is a significant
    resonant amplification between solar periodicities and climate
    periodicities. They argue that during the last few years there has
    been a shift in understanding about the dominant role of the sun on
    the earth’s climate throughout the last 11,000 years and especially
    over the last 60 years. They wrote: The IPCC dismissed any
    significant link between solar variability and climate on thegrounds that changes in irradiance were too small. Such an
    attitude can no longer be sustained. BURROUGHS (2003)
    concluded that developments about the role of the sun in climate
    change published between 1990 and 2002 could not be dismissed
    so easily as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    (IPCC) had done.
    Variations in the strength of the sunspot cycle are accompanied
    by variations in the sun’s emission of radiation, dispersal of
    matter, the strength of the sun’s electromagnetic field and the
    strength of the heliosphere together with now increasingly welldocumented
    changes to the earth’s climate arising directly from
    these variations………. “”””

    The guy was my freshman chemistry professor in 1964 and one of the best teachers i ever had. He studied under one of Japan’s ‘Manhattan Project’ physicists (they had one too, in N Korea) so i don’t dismiss him lightly.

    Some of you may find the linked articles interesting.

    old jim himself

    Comment by old jim hardy — 3 Apr 2010 @ 6:28 PM

  192. “… the Iron Sun … O. Manuel …”
    “IV. THE SUN IS A “CLOTHED NEUTRON STAR” formed by accreting iron-rich material on the pulsar (spinning neutron star) made at the supernova core [5, 6].”

    Not particularly unusual; Plimer is another fan of the notion, I recall.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 4 Apr 2010 @ 12:34 AM

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