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  1. Stefan,

    On surface temp reconstructions, there has been a whole slew of blogger-driven efforts by Tamino, Nick Stokes, Jeff Id/Roman M, myself, and others to create their own global land temp reconstructions. I reviewed them recently over here, and noted how similar their results are: http://rankexploits.com/musings/2010/comparing-global-land-temperature-reconstructions/

    Its a good example of good blog science, and hopefully will make spatial analysis and anomaly tools more widespread and available to dispel some of the sillier arguments out there (like the one in Spiegel, or that terrible Fox News article on GISSTemp last week).

    Comment by Zeke Hausfather — 7 Apr 2010 @ 4:01 PM

  2. Nicely written, Stefan.

    You can see that things are beginning to come to a head. More people are becoming aware that the deniers have nothing substantive to bring to the table; they can only nibble away at the edges of the science, and for them it’s really all about the politics.

    Also, the behind the scenes funding of those conservative ‘think tanks’ by the oil and coal conglomerates is being outed, and it’s always the same names/lobbyists that keep popping up. Funny that, huh?

    Comment by Steve in Dublin — 7 Apr 2010 @ 4:03 PM

  3. God bless you for standing up for Phil Jones. The bullying this man has undergone simply for telling the truth is almost unbelievable.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 7 Apr 2010 @ 4:05 PM

  4. Thanks, Stefan, and nicely done. The post covers a lot of ground, although it would probably need to be at least three times longer to correct all of the errors and misrepresentations in the article.

    I wanted to add a couple of specifics and then make a request. First, this old chestnut rears its head in Part 3:

    “For instance, scientists had long claimed that 1998 was the warmest year in the United States since temperatures were first recorded — until McIntyre discovered that it was even warmer in 1934.”

    As long-time RC readers will know, this factoid is a near-complete distortion of reality. The worst of it is that it makes it sound as if McIntyre’s “auditing” is something like doing science rather than just checking for arithmetic errors.

    In Part 4 McIntyre homie and economist Ross McKitrick’s idea that the measured temp increase is largely due to urban warming gets uncritical treatment. Deep Climate and Deltoid have current threads demonstrating once again why this is a complete crock.

    Also in Part 4 are a series of quotes from respected climate scientist Peter Webster (apparently) criticizing the CRU temp record. Given the problems with rest of the article I don’t want to assume even that the quotes are accurate, but under the circumstances I think it’s appropriate for Peter to make a careful statement of his views on the matter. RC would be a good place to do it.

    Comment by Steve Bloom — 7 Apr 2010 @ 4:24 PM

  5. I would like to propose that we form a “Phil Jones Devotional Circle”, and put a nice logo on our personal and organisational websites, linking through to a page here at RealClimate (or elsewhere) that extols the virtues of said Phil Jones, and catalogues his many great achievements.

    That, at least, could warm Phil Jones’ heart, in letting him know how much we value and support him. If those suffering from septicaemia choose another target, we should have a “We Love…” page for them as well. I think it’s about time we had a page explaining just how much we venerate and adore Michael Mann, for example. And James Hansen. And Malte Meinshausen. And Tom Wigley… There’s such a long list…

    Over Easter, I was reflecting on the work of J. S. Bach in his Johannespassion, based on Chapters 18 and 19 of the Gospel of John. So many parallels to the campaign to denigrate, humiliate and crucify Phil Jones…including that immortal, mocking question “What is truth ?”…

    We could perhaps entitle our Phil Jones page “Der Jonespassion” ? Or “Stations of the Climate” or somesuch ? Or is that going a tad too far ?

    Comment by jo abbess — 7 Apr 2010 @ 4:26 PM

  6. I’d like to second the sentiments above. I’m afraid I didn’t have the fortitude to wade through more than part I of the Spiegel series. That was quite enough to show me that they weren’t overly concerned with accuracy. (Sadly.)

    I hope Dr. Jones is finding some relief these days!

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 7 Apr 2010 @ 4:27 PM

  7. The Sunday Times had a large spread for a piece by Jonathan Leake, “Arctic ice recovers from the great melt” (April 4, 2010). He says

    IF you thought it was cold in Britain for the time of year, you should see what is happening around the North Pole. Scientists have discovered that the size of the Arctic ice cap has increased sharply to levels not seen since 2001.

    (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7086746.ece)

    This claim comes two months after the graph on the NSIDC website showed ice cover at its lowest level for millenia.
    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2010/040610.html

    The “recovery” is thin ice the NSIDC points out

    “As sea ice extent approaches the seasonal maximum, extent can vary quite a bit from day to day because the thin, new ice at the edge of the pack is sensitive to local wind and temperature pattern.”

    Jonathan is on thin ice calling this thin ice a recovery.

    He also repeats the scientists-got-storms-wrong-argument

    Scientists have made mistakes over other short-term trends such as increases in tropical storms. In 2004-5 an increase in the number and severity of storms, including Hurricane Katrina, prompted some researchers to suggest a link with global warming — but this was then followed by a decline in storms.

    Are these just a simple mistakes?

    Comment by Geoff Beacon — 7 Apr 2010 @ 4:28 PM

  8. I seems to me to show how desperate deniers have become – their ‘arguments’ are so repetitive that even I can dismantle them without doing additional research.

    Shame on them for their personal attacks on climate scientists. It’s clear that it’s their last resort, having effectively lost the scientific debate, but these attacks are nothing short of disgusting.

    Thank for the good work.

    Comment by Bioluminescence — 7 Apr 2010 @ 4:36 PM

  9. “Climate Scientist Bashing”????? — oh, you mean against guys like John Christy, Richard Lindzen and such.

    My, what a one-way street some insist on.

    Comment by DVG — 7 Apr 2010 @ 4:57 PM

  10. The Washington Post yesterday had a strange column about climate models, as you are no doubt aware.

    The article quotes Gavin Schmidt, and extensively from one Warren Meyer, doubtless to present “the other side of the story”.
    Meyer is not in your data base. He has a degree in dynamical systems and says the case for rests on feedback mechanisms, which aren’t stable. According to him, the direct forcing alone is large enough to produce catastrophic change.

    He clearly plays hokey games. He presents early 20th century temperature data side by side with late 20th century data to show that the rising pattern is the same. Showing no values of temperature, leaving the overall impression that actual rise in temp was the same.

    So I was wondering, how much of the climate model results depend on feedback? I can’t figure out how to get the straight scoop by googling. If the WaPo is going to quote him, I guess I’d like to know more about him.

    Comment by veritas36 — 7 Apr 2010 @ 4:59 PM

  11. Re Prof. Jones there is another snide article by Mombiot in the UK Guardian .The attack now is based round FOI where it seems that there is some bad blood between this journalist and the UEA .It seems that in Mombiots opinion Prof Jones should resign over the FOI story !

    Comment by M Roberts — 7 Apr 2010 @ 5:03 PM

  12. It’s sad to see Der Spiegel, whose fact checkers once rivaled the old New Yorker’s, descending into the counterfactual kulturkampf of the post-Murdoch WSJ Ed Page.

    Sadder in fact, as Redaktion still has science editors on call.

    Comment by Russell Seitz — 7 Apr 2010 @ 5:08 PM

  13. In the department of selectively sanctimonious commentary, see George Monbiot’s latest:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/ commentisfree/ 2010/ apr/ 06/ climate-change-emails-science-humanities

    Monbiot has of late modified his complaints about CRU. Now he’s all in a lather about how clueless scientists have jeopardized the freedoms journalists have worked so hard to gain.

    Faced with discerning whether CRU or ClimateAudit were the primary abusers of FOI, Monbiot manages to maintain his mandatory hermetic ignorance of how CA barraged with CRU w/synthetically divided portions of one single FOI request. Thus, of Dr. Jones’ exhausted patience with Steve McIntyre’s band of pranksters Monbiot purports to be entirely baffled:

    None of it made sense: the intolerant dismissal of requests for information, the utter failure to engage when the hacked emails were made public, the refusal by other scientists to accept that anything was wrong.

    Monbiot’s another journalist who has ascended what at first glance looked like the moral high ground, but has belatedly discovered himself “up” with no elegant way of getting down from what’s proven a faulty position. The last thing he can do at this point is squarely address ClimateAudit’s misuse of FOI, not without saying “oops, maybe I was wrong about Jones.”

    Monbiot goes on to analogize climate scientists with perverted priests and police officers too fond of their batons:

    We all detest closed worlds: the Vatican and its dismissal of the paedophilia scandals as “idle chatter”; the Palace of Westminster, whose members couldn’t understand the public outrage about their expenses; the police forces that refuse to discipline errant officers.

    Shameful.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 7 Apr 2010 @ 5:14 PM

  14. Here’s Joe Bastardi bashing climate science on yesterday’s Colbert Report: Science Catfight – Joe Bastardi vs. Brenda Ekwurzel.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 7 Apr 2010 @ 5:23 PM

  15. You show a graph of all the temperature data bases basically agreeing. But I read an article by Dr. Roy Spencer who I believe manages much of the UAH data set and he argued that most of the warming since 1973 was spurious,. He states that Jones treatment of the data base shows 20% more warming than his computations. So here is a fellow climate scientist who disagrees. I am curious what you have to say about his temperature graphs shown http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/ISH-US-temps-lowest-pop-density-class-vs-CRUTem3.jpg and his article his article is here http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/02/spurious-warming-in-the-jones-u-s-temperatures-since-1973/ and on what basis Jones treatment is better than Spencer’s.

    [Response: There is some merit in using databases of high resolution temperature data instead of the monthly means available via WMO or GHCN. However, there are no panaceas, and no reason to expect that these data are less affected by inhomogeneities than the monthly data. AFAIK Spencer has not looked at that, and so claims that everyone else has got it wrong are very likely to be somewhat premature. Once he has a proper paper outlining exactly what was done, and how the known issues have been dealt with, we might be in a better position to judge - but for now, this is merely curious, not definitive. - gavin]

    Comment by Jim Steele — 7 Apr 2010 @ 5:38 PM

  16. @GeoffBeacon (#7)

    >
    > Jonathan [Leake] is on thin ice calling this thin ice a recovery.
    > …
    > He also repeats the scientists-got-storms-wrong-argument
    > …
    > Are these just a simple mistakes?
    >

    No. He’s doing it deliberately, apparently, and Tim Lambert at Deltoid has supposed evidence (with a bunch of investigative reports) :-

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/global_warming/leakegate/

    Jonathan Leake appears to be abusing his position of large-audience publishing privilege to swing bats at Science and Scientists.

    Or, alternatively, it might be that he doesn’t believe the seemingly unresearched, unverified stuff he writes, but he is bound to do the will of his employers in writing what looks like untenable guff, and so apparently shows resistance by writing in a vein so as to possibly ignite opposition…

    But that’s a bit convoluted…and such a strategy could backfire in terms of losing his employment…so I won’t plump for that possible explanation.

    He has allegedly claimed he is not a Climate sceptic, but it sure looks like he is one.

    Comment by jo abbess — 7 Apr 2010 @ 5:58 PM

  17. #4
    Steve Bloom points out that McKitrick is back with more “contamination” nonsense (and I thank him for the pointer to my post).

    But McKitrick’s latest is more than that – it’s an outrageous, whining attack against the IPCC and science journals for having the audacity to tell him his work is not up to snuff. He actually claims that the only reason he is having trouble getting published is because he is pointing out “errors” in the IPCC “consensus”. He even claims that the IPCC treatment of his work is based on “fabricated evidence”.

    Needless to say, his case for his own work and version of events is less than compelling.

    http://deepclimate.org/2010/04/05/mcclimategate-continued-mckitrick-wrong-on-ipcc/

    So far only one media outlet is biting – the Washington Times.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/apr/07/global-warmings-unscientific-method/

    Interestingly, they repeat McKitrick’s claim:

    “Mr. McKitrick has spent the past two years attempting to publish a scientific paper that documents a fundamental error in the 2007 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.”

    But they then claim that McKitrick and Michaels (2007) was excluded from AR4, when in fact the “error” McKitrick complains of is a statement about that very same paper!

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    Unfortunately this blather about censorship and gatekeeping in the peer reviewed journals from McLean et al and now McKitrick is just the beginning, I’m afraid. I expect a whole lot more as AR5 gets going.

    Comment by Deep Climate — 7 Apr 2010 @ 6:04 PM

  18. I have not looked at Der Spiegel for many years, my impression back then was that it was a reputable magazine.

    How the mighty have tumbled. I think the folks at Der Spiegel need to be reported to the German Press Council or their equivalent. The defamed scientists, e.g., Jones, would also be on solid ground to take them to task legally. Although is is probably not up for that right now. Maybe someone else can step up and take them on.

    The folks at Der Spiegel really do need to take some of their own advice and “look in the mirror”– calling others on alleged (and fallacious) inaccuracies, yet getting very few, if any, right themselves. Their hypocrisy and double standard is astounding.

    DVG @9: First, the ‘bashing’ of Lindzen et al., you will note, is primarily from their peers who are qualified to critique and take issue with their work. That is not the same as the media (TV, print and internet) attacking Jones and Mann et al. Second, there is another important difference, some of the contrarians have actually been shown to be fudging and cherry-picking data, subverting the peer-review system and/or engaging in extremely weak science. Third, such stern critique of contrarian scientists are not manufacture scandals based on stolen information as is the case of the attacks on science and scientists by those in denial about AGW. Nobody is calling for the contrarians to be “drawn and quartered”, or to commit hari kari or to be flogged in public.

    The fact that you cannot discern the difference between how reputable scientists like Gavin and Stefan deal with and resolve conflict or scientific disagreements and how the denialists do is both telling and worrisome.

    Dr. Jones, if you are reading this, stay strong.

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 7 Apr 2010 @ 6:05 PM

  19. Re #15: Gavin delicately neglects to mention it, but Roy Spencer has a long history of making mistakes with his data and then defending those errors to the bitter end, to the point that his scientific credibility is in tatters. Search for Spencer’s name on this site for a good sampling of the mistakes.

    Comment by Steve Bloom — 7 Apr 2010 @ 6:06 PM

  20. “Do for example economists, on whose advice many political decisions depend, disclose their raw data and the computer codes of their models?” Yes, at least to publish in top journals economists have to make their data sets available online(if you look at the website of the American Economic Review, for example, you will find for each empirical paper the data set used). But that does not mean that everything can be published. For example, raw data that could identify individuals (as generated in economic experiments and survey research cannot be made available easily due to issues of protection of personal data). Disclosure is also problematic when proprietary data sets are used (as in the CRU case). Full disclosure of everything is not necessarily the best or most ethical policy – and the best policy will depend on the kind of data involved. “We are much better at disclosure than those economists” is therefore not a really good argument. What is relevant is that all the data to replicate and check the work in climate science is available – despite of the political noise to the contrary. No need to bash economists to make that point.

    [Response: Thanks for making this point. I actually asked a leading economist about this before I wrote it, and he said that some computer codes of economic models are available (e.g. by Bill Nordhaus), but this is the exception rather than the rule. It wasn't meant to "bash" economists, the point was just that climate science should not be held to higher standards than any other policy-relevant science. -stefan]

    Comment by Kai-Uwe Kuhn — 7 Apr 2010 @ 6:06 PM

  21. Is there any way we can show our support, confidence and thanks to Professor Jones (without flooding him with mail)?

    Perhaps we can call on UEA to reinstate Jones? Demand of those media outlets we consider not totally beyond redemption to issue a formal apology to Jones for their shocking and misdirected treatment of the story?

    Comment by Didactylos — 7 Apr 2010 @ 6:20 PM

  22. Jim Steele,

    Those posts referred to U.S. data, where Dr. Spencer discovered that raw ISH data differs from adjusted Hadley data. His ISH data for the U.S. does agree quite well with raw USHCN data, though he didn’t highlight that. Its well known that USHCN adjustments for the U.S. increase temps a fair bit to correct for cooling biases due to TOB changes, MMTS sensor transitions, and other factors, so showing that raw data (ISH in this case) runs cooler than adjusted data (Hadley) isn’t particularly novel. I looked at the issue in a bit more detail over here: http://rankexploits.com/musings/2010/uhi-in-the-u-s-a/

    Interestingly enough, Spencer’s reconstruction of global temps using ISH agrees almost perfectly with HadCRU: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/02/new-work-on-the-recent-warming-of-northern-hemispheric-land-areas/

    He remarked that,

    “I’ll have to admit I was a little astounded at the agreement between Jones’ and my analyses, especially since I chose a rather ad-hoc method of data screening that was not optimized in any way. Note that the linear temperature trends are essentially identical; the correlation between the monthly anomalies is 0.91.”

    Comment by Zeke Hausfather — 7 Apr 2010 @ 6:36 PM

  23. There goes another cherished illusion: that it is only English-language media which are clueless and criminal.

    Clearly Der Spiegel has been taking lessons in infamy from English-language media.

    Comment by calyptorhynchus — 7 Apr 2010 @ 6:54 PM

  24. Jim Steele @15, please note that, whatever it’s merits, Spencer’s argument concerns only the contiguous 48 states of the US (ie excluding Alaska and Hawaii).

    The contiguous states are only 1.6% of the Earth’s surface.

    Comment by Garry S-J — 7 Apr 2010 @ 7:11 PM

  25. Not sure of journalists like those who produce stories like this are stupid or evil. They for sure are not acting in the tradition of their profession. I worked with anti-apartheid journalists in South Africa in the late 1980s, where the invention of the low-cost laser printer and easy to use Macs made it possible for journalists of principle to go after the real story in a police state. It makes me cringe to think that these people are categorised along with the idiots who wrote this stuff.

    Didactylos #21: you could sign my petition. Even if you don’t 100% agree with the wording you can post your correction as a comment.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 7 Apr 2010 @ 7:12 PM

  26. It is an odd article. The deniers love it, but it also says that
    “in only 20 years, snow could become a thing of the past in Germany.”

    So, in twenty years, the deniers (if there are any then) will point to this article as an example of AGW alarm-ism any time there is a snow flurry in Germany.

    Comment by Mike — 7 Apr 2010 @ 7:12 PM

  27. Jim Steele #15: I wonder if Spencer is switching focus to UHI because the latest satellite data is unmistakeably on warming trend that can’t be explained away by ENSO or the solar cycle. While this is short-term data, and something could change it, maybe he’s running out of options for making the satellite record inconsistent with AGW?

    Correcting for UHI by using population density assumes that population density is the only reason an area may be warming faster than average. Given that human settlement patterns are non-random, this is a dodgy assumption. For example, if human settlement is more likely at relatively low altitudes and near a large body of water, are such locations more likely to warm even in the absence of urbanisation?

    In any case, if you max out the UHI correction and end up with the US getting cooler, you have to wonder how this accounts for warming in the Arctic. My suspicion is that all the beat ups over UHI have resulted in over-correcting for the effect — much as the beat ups over sea level rise lead the IPCC to leave out most of the land-based ice melt contribution in 2007.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 7 Apr 2010 @ 7:31 PM

  28. Here’s an example in that Der Spiegel article of a brazen, outright lie.

    Per the Der Spiegel article, in reference to Chris Landsea:

    “Last month Landsea, together with top US hurricane researchers, published a study that finally disproves the supposed link between hurricanes and global warming. The study concludes with the assessment that ‘tropical cyclone frequency is likely to either decrease or remain essentially the same.’”

    The article didn’t provide a reference for that quote, but it comes from a paper co-authored by Landsea and published in Nature Geoscience in February (2010) titled “Tropical cyclones and climate change”:

    http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Landsea/knutson-et-al-nat-geo.pdf

    Here’s the quote in its proper, larger context:

    “Improvements have encouraged us to raise our confidence
    levels concerning several aspects of cyclone-activity projections.
    These include our assessment that tropical cyclone frequency is
    likely to either decrease or remain essentially the same. Despite this
    lack of an increase in total storm count, we project that a future
    increase in the globally averaged frequency of the strongest tropical
    cyclones is more likely than not — a higher confidence level than
    possible at our previous assessment.”

    Which is to say, the Der Spiegel article lied by omission when it cherry-picked the frequency quote but omitted the immediately-following severity quote “Despite this … we project that a future increase in the globally averaged frequency of the strongest tropical cyclones is more likely than not.”

    The authors of the Der Spiegel article moreover outright lied when they asserted:

    “Last month Landsea, together with top US hurricane researchers, published a study that finally disproves the supposed link between hurricanes and global warming.”

    To the contrary, that study of course supports the opposite conclusion with respect to the “supposed” link between hurricanes and global warming.

    I know it probably shouldn’t at this point, but the audacity of global warming deniers like the authors of this Der Spiegel article can still amaze me.

    Until now I had also been under the impression that Der Spiegel’s standards were higher – or at least that Der Spiegel had standards. Obviously, no one at Der Spiegel had bothered to fact-check this denier propaganda.

    Comment by Publicola — 7 Apr 2010 @ 9:19 PM

  29. @10 The WaPo piece on climate models quoted Warren Meyer to counterbalance Gavin. I audited Meyer and found much strangeness at http://www.climate-skeptic.com and even more at http://www.bmocbook.com/. BMOC seems to be the title of a novel by Meyer about the evils of tort lawyers. He also runs CoyoteBlog, dedicated to the evil procurement practices of the Obama admin. A real all-rounder. I sent a message to David Fahrenthold, author of the WaPo piece, pointing out Meyer’s brief experience in climatology and expressing the hope that Fahrenthold would have an early opportunity to ameliorate the mischief his article is causing. Meyer is trumpeting his exposure on Climate-skeptic and the comments are worth reading. If I hear back from Fahrenthold, I’ll let you all know. He’s a regular contributor to the Post’s science section and generally pretty careful.

    Comment by Dan Lufkin — 7 Apr 2010 @ 9:32 PM

  30. Great catch by Publicola.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 7 Apr 2010 @ 9:44 PM

  31. For a little over 1-year now I have been reviewing all of the various comments, blogs and reports regarding the renewable and clean energy discussion. Anyone that is truly interested in advancing the use of alternative energies needs to understand that it can actually happen if and only if, they start appealing to individual’s “common sense”.
    When spoken about from a Political tone or even from a Social and Environmental voice, people tend not to want to listen. The fact is most people are disgusted with the political overtures thrown around the country. Once they get a sense that a politician is speaking of the subject, whether it be for the good or not, they tune out and the movement goes nowhere. The same rings true if spoken by an environmental activist type. The fact here is, most people do not want to be thought of as some “environmental greenie” type. Although, if the discussion were framed as an appeal to one’s “common sense” such as: 1) do you think we should STOP buying/importing oil from overseas…? Everyone spoken to would without a doubt answer emphatically YES! 2) Mention, are you aware that the U.S. uses 25% of the world’s oil but, can only produce 2% – so unless we do something else, we cannot stop importing the oil needed to survive. 3) Ask, are you aware that the U.S. Government, especially the military are currently using all sorts of renewable and clean energy to conduct their various businesses. 4) Express to the U.S. public that in China, only 1% of the population owns a car, yet the Chinese Government is aggressively pushing with big incentives its’ citizens to purchase automobiles, and that China’s population of course, is 3-times the size of ours – then ask, where do you think gasoline prices are going once their driving citizens get onboard? 5) Explain how by going renewable your electric bills will decrease. Of course however, if there is not a great demand for the renewable energy source, the prices are initially higher to the consumer but, if the demand were to arrive, prices would ultimately decrease, alas the way of “flat-screen televisions”.
    The tone of the conversation must change if there is to be any headway made in the advancements of renewable energy. EVERYBODY would welcome the change if and only if, the texture of the discussion was different. Take a peek at a new site I discovered online, http://www.reepedia.com
    It is my understanding that they are trying to change the texture of the discussion. Good for them, but better for the American people because, the current dialog hasn’t and isn’t getting us anywhere.

    Comment by Curtis Grinn — 7 Apr 2010 @ 9:46 PM

  32. I add my support for Prof Jones and all the other scientists who’ve been wrongfully savaged and libelled in the media.

    It’s appalling to me to see the depths to which journalists will stoop, including those who work for what I previously thought of as mostly ethical publications, such as Der Spiegel, the Times, the Guardian, and the Australian. Even though I haven’t always agreed with the political slant, I hadn’t until recent months put them in the same category as gutter tabloids.

    Comment by Sou — 7 Apr 2010 @ 10:19 PM

  33. I was reading this novel (!) and the mom is looking at her kid’s (6-year-old?) drawings. He keeps drawing her, the mom, over and over, much like his dad paints “her,” over and over. And over.

    She asks the young artist [Stoney] what this thing is, appended to her hand, in every drawing. Like a ring or something, but much larger. A stick with a half moon shape attached.

    “It’s your wine glass.”

    “He thinks it’s part of you,” one of her older kids says.

    ***

    What’s Stoney’s ontology, I wonder.
    My own–ours–seems surreal, with climate scientists, apparently, made for bashing.

    Comment by paulina — 7 Apr 2010 @ 10:25 PM

  34. Here, Chesapeake Bay compared to Juneau, in recent years:
    http://web.vims.edu/physical/research/TCTutorial/tidaldatum.htm

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 7 Apr 2010 @ 11:29 PM

  35. To Jim Steele and others, about Dr Roy Spencer:

    I went to his website (drroyspencer.com) the other day and was quite astounded at the articles.

    What can one say when they alternate between:

    “The global-average lower tropospheric temperature continues to be quite warm: +0.65 deg. C for March, 2010. This is about the same as January. Global average sea surface temperatures (not shown) remain high.

    and

    Direct Evidence that Most U.S. Warming Since 1973 Could Be Spurious: INTRODUCTION
    My last few posts have described a new method for quantifying the average Urban Heat Island (UHI) warming effect as a function of population density….

    Waitaminit here. His own analysis of satellite data shows a .65C warming and yet he turns around and says that measured global warming is a function of population density at temperature measuring stations?

    The only way for this to be logically congruent is if the population density problem he’s investigating somehow affects the satellite data. Somehow I doubt the UHI reaches that far into space….

    Comment by David Miller — 8 Apr 2010 @ 12:42 AM

  36. a horrible article.

    i was deeply shocked by the “vikings and wine” quote. this is about as low as journalism can sink. directly quoting the denialist talking points.

    i read the article about one week later, so it already knew about the Phil Jones parliamentary report when i read the spiegel bashing him.

    a good example of completely one sided reporting. it would be good, if the magazin would be forced to retract some of the worst claims, gfor example the landsea one?

    Comment by sod — 8 Apr 2010 @ 1:11 AM

  37. David Miller (#34) writes about dr. Roy Spencer: “His own analysis of satellite data shows a .65C warming and yet he turns around and says that measured global warming is a function of population density at temperature measuring stations?”, and concludes that this is not logically congruent.
    I suppose that David Miller has often enough read about the difference between short-term and long-term observations. Even if the satellite measurement for March 2010 would have indicated a 6.5 degree warming, then still it is quite possible that temperature measurements at the earth surface between 1973 and 2010 have been influenced by the Urban Heat Island effect. And the UHI effect itself is not even the main topic of dr. Spencer’s document: it’s about the possible link of UHI and population density. I am not saying that dr. Spencer is right or wrong, but his remarks about the period 1973-2010 are certainly not disproven by an isolated temperature measurement in March 2010.

    Comment by wilt — 8 Apr 2010 @ 3:25 AM

  38. DVD mentioned deniers who are climate scientists: “John Christy, Richard Lindzen and such”.

    It’s hard to put a name to a third one.

    Comment by Geoff Beacon — 8 Apr 2010 @ 3:31 AM

  39. @DougBostrom (#13)

    George Monbiot appears to have compounded his error at The Guardian again today, so I have written a little about it :-

    http://www.joabbess.com/2010/04/08/george-monbiot-wrong-call/

    This anti-Science of Climate Change campaign by Steve McIntyre and the other various Mc’s has been going on awhile, and George Monbiot seems unaware of it. Maybe we should do some research to help him find the truth path of enlightenment.

    I did not keep a record of it, sadly, but I have a distinct (hopefully not false) recollection of having been in a very unproductive e-mail conversation with Steve McIntyre, sometime before 2003. I asked William Connelly, (who I think I was also in contact with around that time) about whether he had any records, but he did not. Who is William Connelly ?

    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2010/03/lovelock_goes_emeritus.php
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:William_M._Connolley

    If the CRU UEA hackers got e-mails going back 13 years, then they might have found e-mails from me in there, as I made several enquiries, I believe, regarding the Media around the 1998 temperatures and the Science behind it. But sadly, I did not keep a record of that, either, so I cannot confirm or deny it.

    I do remember my general conclusions from interaction with actual Climate Change Scientists – that the denier-sceptics were completely out of step with the facts, and should be ignored. Unfortunately, we now have to deal with them, their deliberate obstruction and their bad behaviour, as they have managed to acquire a larger profile.

    Is there anybody out there with the research capacity and the kind of record-keeping, say, somebody in the military or intelligence agencies, who can help provide evidence of Climate Change sceptic-denier malpractice over the course of 15 years to help us put this whole sorry narrative into context ?

    Comment by jo abbess — 8 Apr 2010 @ 4:11 AM

  40. jo abbess (5),

    May you never be in a position where people all over the world are suddenly accusing you of crimes just for doing your job.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 8 Apr 2010 @ 4:30 AM

  41. DVD (9),

    The old “deniers are being persecuted” line is garbage. The intimidation has been all the other way. Climatologists have been threatened with everything from being fired to having their children “brutally gang-raped” and being burned alive by lynch mobs. Andrew Breitbart called for James Hansen to be executed; Rush Limbaugh also said climate scientists should be executed. Phil Jones received so many death threats he had to receive police protection.

    Deniers are not being suppressed. Lindzen, Christy, et al. routinely get articles published in peer-reviewed journals. They can chatter about their nonsense 24/7 on the internet. Their books are best-sellers. They OWN right-wing talk radio. Best of all, they managed to sink Phil Jones and the CRU and derail Copenhagen. The persecution and intimidation are all the other way.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 8 Apr 2010 @ 4:41 AM

  42. @Jim Steele
    As far as dr Spencer is concerned, please take into account the following: as you can see in the version 5.2 of his analysis:

    http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.2

    the anomalies for Jan/Feb are, respectively, 0.721 and 0.721. However, newer version 5.3:

    http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.3

    shows 0.603 and 0.653 respectively. I’m sure dr Spencer has valid reasons for these corrections, but can you even start imaging the public uproar that could be caused by a similar, off-hand modification in another temperature record by a TENTH of a degree in the OTHER direction?

    Comment by gs — 8 Apr 2010 @ 5:41 AM

  43. Excellent article and I too am very disheartened by the current tone of the debate, which seems to have declined into an unholy slanging match over the last two or three years. As a beginner it has been a struggle to find rational discussion of real science among all the politically inspired rants.

    Just a small point:
    Do for example economists, on whose advice many political decisions depend, disclose their raw data and the computer codes of their models?

    Actually, in the UK, they do. The UK Treasury model is available to outside bodies and is used by one or two of the major “think-tanks” to run parallel studies of the UK economy with whatever inputs they deem appropriate. I think it is an example of good practice that could be copied in climate science.

    On the point about Phil Jones, I have lots of sympathy for him personally – and I feel he has been left to hang out to dry by his political masters.

    It is clear that he was seriously under-resourced given the reliance being placed on his data by the world’s climate community in informing major economic and political decisions. His research should have been used to inform the collection and analysis of the data – with a directly funded body like the Met Office collecting and verifying the actual data, thankfully something that they have now taken on since the collapse of the CRU. Hopefully when this has all blown over and he has recovered his health the Met Office can find a role for him in future work. I do hope so as his enforced absence appears to be a real loss to climate science, particularly in the UK.

    Sometimes when we are under pressure we don’t scream “help!” when we should. With hindsight he probably should have done so when deluged by the FOI requests that he says he could not handle. If he had then he might not now be in this pickle. A lesson to be learnt there I suspect.

    Comment by Matthew L — 8 Apr 2010 @ 5:43 AM

  44. Wasn’t it Der Spiegel which was taken in by those faked Hitler diaries?

    Comment by Russ H — 8 Apr 2010 @ 6:31 AM

  45. The real wonder is what has happened to Der Spiegel? It used to be and in most aspects still is some of the best German language has to offer when it comes to thoughtful, investigative journalism, but with Traufetter it reads increasingly like the Wall Street Journal on climate issues. The sad thing is that it is not blatantly political as the WSJ, but simply presents the standard “Climategate” narrative and the accusations of scientific obstruction and manipulations as true. With Hans von Storch as their “concern troll”:

    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2010/02/betroffenheitstroll.html

    apparently being their prime source for climate information, I am afraid that the average reader of Der Spiegel will be left with the impression that the mainstream climate science is trying to distance itself from Phil Jones and the CRU data. Surely, that is the message James Delingpole is purporting. Quite sad, indeed.

    Does anybody know if Traufetter has “a chicken to pick” (Ein Hühnchen zu rüpfen – I do not know if that is the correct Englisch translation) with mainstream climate science?

    Comment by Christoffer Bugge Harder — 8 Apr 2010 @ 6:37 AM

  46. I went to his website (drroyspencer.com) the other day and was quite astounded at the articles.

    What can one say when they alternate between…

    Creationists such as Roy Spencer who do science are, of necessity, capable of highly compartmentalizing their lives.

    On the one hand you see the results of his primary scientific work, i.e. the UAH product.

    On the other hand, you see his political beliefs at work and the effect of compartmentalization, i.e. the UHI shows that warming could be spurious despite the fact that, of course, the satellite that provides the data he analyzes is a very long distance from the International Space Station … :)

    Comment by dhogaza — 8 Apr 2010 @ 6:56 AM

  47. With reference to “IPCC-Figure of global mean temperature 1850-2005 (Fig. TS6)” and in particular the “5%-95% Error bars” – it appears that a significant number of the “Annual Mean” data points are outside this range? Taking this at face value would it not be expected that only 10% of the data points would infact be outside? I am not necessary doubting the statistic – but this is something that could easily be “latched” upon as an issue of “credibility” by any skeptics which I am guessing “lay-person” would struggle to understand.
    Unfortunately for whatever reasons this topic has now “moved” to such an extent that not only are scientific facts required but these must be presented in such a way that a “lay person” can easily understand and except them.
    Not just because of the issues with climate change but the general public no longer take the words of the scientist community for granted.

    [Response: Read the label: they are decadal error bars, not annual error bars. Variability of the annual values is much larger, of course. - stefan]

    Comment by Neil — 8 Apr 2010 @ 7:10 AM

  48. Jo (#5), just in case you’re being serious, yes, I think you’re going overboard. Let’s keep veneration, adoration and other religious feelings for where they belong, and let’s rather respect those who do cutting-edge scientific work, admire them when they show civic courage under political fire, and take what opportunities exist to show our support when they’re being bullied (I’ve signed Philip’s online petition).

    Comment by CM — 8 Apr 2010 @ 7:46 AM

  49. #34 David Miller,
    Actually I think this is perfectly reasonable scientific enquiry. He is not talking about the UHI effect on the satellite record (clearly ludicrous) but on the weather station record. It is an interesting and valid approach to the subject. It is a shame he does not put enough effort into these papers to get them into peer reviewed journals – albeit that this point is a very minor one that probably does not warrant a full paper.

    What puzzles me is presumably he has enough data of his own to publish what the satellite says the temperature over the USA has actually been. The easiest way for him to prove or disprove the UHI effect is to compare his satellite temperature record for the USA with the weather station record.

    I suspect that if he does he will find them in close agreement – which would make his other research totally pointless!

    Maybe somebody else can do this for him. I wonder how easy it would be to get the UAH data? I see an FOI request in the offing! ;-)

    Comment by Matthew L — 8 Apr 2010 @ 7:50 AM

  50. And VS has been bashing Tamino.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 8 Apr 2010 @ 7:55 AM

  51. #43 dhogaza,
    I have noticed a very subtle change in Spencer’s blog over time. The frequency of his posts is reducing and the tone is less stridently sceptical.

    He has taken to reporting every monthly temperature change – something he started to do in the early noughties when temperatures were not rising as fast as they appear to be now. But of course he has created a rod for his own back! It will become very difficult as time goes on for him to continue to report a rising temperature trend while also blogging his sceptical views.

    Comment by Matthew L — 8 Apr 2010 @ 8:04 AM

  52. @BartonPaulLevenson (#37)

    >
    > jo abbess (5),
    >
    > May you never be in a position where people
    > all over the world are suddenly accusing you
    > of crimes just for doing your job.
    >

    You got me wrong. I’m on-side. I seriously believe that Phil Jones is a hero, and that The Guardian (and the rest) should praise him instead of tear him down.

    And I have been in that “position where people all over the world are suddenly accusing you of crimes just for doing” my thing. Just Google my name…It’s not pretty, it feels horrible, and that’s why I have an warmed-up ocean of sympathy for what Phil Jones is going through.

    As I keep trying to remind people, Science will win, and Scientists should be treated with the highest of respect.

    Comment by jo abbess — 8 Apr 2010 @ 8:05 AM

  53. “The UK Treasury model is available to outside bodies and is used by one or two of the major “think-tanks” to run parallel studies of the UK economy with whatever inputs they deem appropriate. I think it is an example of good practice that could be copied in climate science.”

    So two points from this:

    1) This behaviour isn’t widespread

    2) Other climate areas do exactly this

    Also note: the FOI requests were for far, FAR more than the UK treasury gives out that you posit as a good practice to be copied in climate science (whilst forgetting that this is already practice in climate science).

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 8 Apr 2010 @ 8:09 AM

  54. “Not just because of the issues with climate change but the general public no longer take the words of the scientist community for granted”

    They have absolutely no problem taking Hannity’s word for granted.

    Or any bloke on a blog.

    Why is that?

    It isn’t skepticism, because they would not be taking their word for granted either.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 8 Apr 2010 @ 8:12 AM

  55. #42: “A chicken to pick”–English idiom would be “bone to pick.” Same basic metaphor, I think. I always appreciate the variance between languages in such idioms.

    Another hen/bone/nit-pick–Spencer’s UHI theory is relative only to the US–not global–temps. Probably helps a bit with the “compartmentalization” mentioned in #43, as it renders the mismatch with what UAH data are showing merely noncongruent, as opposed to flatly contradictory.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 8 Apr 2010 @ 8:41 AM

  56. Thanks you Stefan. What utter trash this article is. The worst of it are the character attacks on climate scientists, especially Phil Jones. Does anyone know what is behind this article? Who is being paid off to produce such garbage?

    The truth, of course, will eventually be known. But I have no doubt that the same creeps behind this kind of thing will find a way to blame the scientists for not warning them.

    Comment by Ron Taylor — 8 Apr 2010 @ 8:52 AM

  57. If Spencer is correct, why on earth would trees be budding out sooner in the spring or glaciers be melting? Why would the Jet Stream be moving northward? Why are the seas expanding? We keep seeing phenomena that makes sense if they are associated with warming. If they’re just happening randomly then we live in very strange world.

    Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 8 Apr 2010 @ 9:14 AM

  58. Neil #44: the error bars are decadal (as it says in the legend), the dots annual.

    Sorry for rubbing it in :-)

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 8 Apr 2010 @ 9:26 AM

  59. Simon Abingdon says, “And VS has been bashing Tamino.”

    Simon, be sure to give VS our love–and hey ask him how he’s enjoying that brand new and fully functional orifice Tamino ripped him!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 8 Apr 2010 @ 9:44 AM

  60. Neil #44 / Martin 58#

    Excellent and valid point!

    ;-)

    Comment by Neil — 8 Apr 2010 @ 10:02 AM

  61. #53 CFU
    Hey man, chill, peace… I’m on your side.

    1) This behaviour isn’t widespread
    I have no idea whether it is or isn’t, just stating what I know about the UK.

    2) Other climate areas do exactly this
    Thanks for letting me know. I know that NASA / GISS does it, no idea about anybody else.

    I feel like a child having its ankle chewed by the family’s pet Rottweiler!

    Comment by Matthew L — 8 Apr 2010 @ 10:28 AM

  62. Wilt, #37 talks about weather and climate.

    Wilt, what you say is true. However, the UAH satellite chart shows a very clear warming trend. Perhaps I wasn’t sufficiently verbose? I simply pointed to an article whose theme was “wow, it’s really warm” and expected people to look at the article if they wanted to disagree.

    There WAS a significant error in my post, and that’s that he’s only looking into UHI correlations for the US while the satellite record is for the world. Matthew L pointed this out before I had a chance to correct it myself. As has been pointed out numerous times, the contiguous US is 1.5% of the world and so really doesn’t matter much where global temps are concerned.

    So that leaves me with a couple of thoughts. The first is that the whole study is much ado about naught – even if there were no actual warming in the US it would say virtually (98.5%) nothing about global warming as a whole. “why bother” comes to mind.

    The other thought, as Matthew pointed out, is that Spencer (presumably) could just look at satellite temperatures for the US and confirm or destroy his whole UHI argument. If the satellite record shows that the US ISN’T warming we have a whole lot of other questions to ask, like why ice-out dates are earlier, record highs beat record lows, and glaciers are vanishing in Glacier National Park.

    Question for those who know: do satellite data have high enough resolution to analyze temperatures by (large) country?

    Comment by David Miller — 8 Apr 2010 @ 10:38 AM

  63. In the part about Tropical storms, the recent article in Nature Geoscience is discussed (http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n3/pdf/ngeo779.pdf), and Real Climate was so kind to quote some relevant lines from the abstract. Unfortunately, one crucial sentence from the abstract was omitted: “Therefore, it remains uncertain whether past changes in tropical cyclone activity have exceeded the variability expected from natural causes.” It seems to me that this conclusion is different from what the IPCC-report was saying: “It is more likely than not (>50%) that there has been some human contribution to the increases in hurricane intensity”.

    Comment by wilt — 8 Apr 2010 @ 11:06 AM

  64. The real underlying issue here is that for journalists, freedom of information (as exemplified by FOI laws) is inviolate.

    Hence they turn against anybody whom they perceive as having shown possible non-compliance with FOI law. In this case, they’ve turned against climate scientists, and having taken a position against the scientists, they must find evidence to support it – in this case the “evidence” is coming from the denialist blogs.

    This was of course entirely predictable, and it’s possible that some denialists even sent out with their FOI requests with the hope of triggering the type of sequence of events that have indeed subsequently occurred.

    In the short-term, obviously a damage limitation exercise is necessary in order to counteract the denialist talking points.

    However in the longer term, I think the same thing will eventually happen again, unless plans are put in place to stop this happening again.

    Perhaps it is possible to find different ways of working, or alternatively to push for legislative reform, so that climate scientists can be exempted from FOI laws. They are simply too busy, and the issues of climate change are too important, to waste scientists’ time in dealing with FOI requests or releasing their data sets to denialists.

    Comment by Green Marauder — 8 Apr 2010 @ 11:20 AM

  65. “I am not saying that dr. Spencer is right or wrong, but his remarks about the period 1973-2010 are certainly not disproven by an isolated temperature measurement in March 2010.” wilt — 8 April 2010 @ 3:25 AM

    True, we need 30 years of measurements to show his belief that “Most U.S. Warming Since 1973 Could Be Spurious” is not supported by the facts.

    “Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.”
    John Kenneth Galbraith

    It seems to me that skeptics cognitive dissonance is their belief that there can be an anthropogenic UHI effect, but they can’t understand that this must cause AGW – even if you only heat one side of a pot of soup, eventually the whole pot gets warm.
    Maybe they believe that Arctic sea ice melt and accelerating glacier loss are God’s “fair and balanced” use of “natural fluctuations” which counter UHI and prevent AGW.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 8 Apr 2010 @ 11:35 AM

  66. Green Marauder says: 8 April 2010 at 11:20 AM

    If journalists really care about their FOI and FOIA tools, they’ll come down like a ton of bricks on folks such as McIntyre and CEI’s Chris Horner. These guys remind me of the time I discovered somebody using my best Klein pliers to squash a penny, pounding a framing hammer on the jaws of the pliers to help the process along.

    I took my pliers and hammer away from the offending party. Similarly, FOI/FOIA tools will be revisited and maybe locked up if they’re consistently abused.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 8 Apr 2010 @ 12:27 PM

  67. David Miller (#62), what you are saying now makes sense. And yes, I realize that the US is only about 1,5% of the planet’s surface. But if the UHI efect does matter for US temperatures, it will probably be at least as important for countries like Russia and China. Those countries are (much) larger, so the total percentage “at risk” would be considerably than 1.5% (more like about 6%). Still, it would not have a dramatic effect on the final global outcome, so I think there are more important topics to focus on.

    Comment by wilt — 8 Apr 2010 @ 12:28 PM

  68. Question… the Der Spiegel article starts out by painting a picture of Dr. Jones as a frail and destroyed shell of what he once was, and several commenters on this site have posted their support as if this sad Dorian Gray caricature of his current state is accurate.

    Given the sorry lack of truth in the rest of the article… is this in fact the case? I mean, I’m sure the guy is greatly hurt and stressed by events. He’d be superhuman not to be. But is the whole thing (for him) as bleak as Der Spiegel describes, or is he holding up just fine and doing his job (albeit under cruel and unnecessary stress)?

    For any suffering whatsoever, my sincere sympathies, well wishes, and hope that “justice will prevail.”

    For any implied suffering that doesn’t actually exist… it’s one more reason to despise modern journalism as realized through outlets like Der Spiegel.

    I only hope that when the time comes, all three culprits in this have their toes held to the global fire; the arrogantly outspoken deniers themselves, the elements of the fossil fuel industry that support and promote them, and the journalists that are utterly and completely failing in their responsibility to the readership which represents their democratic populations, and so influences the course of human events.

    Comment by Bob — 8 Apr 2010 @ 12:49 PM

  69. Brian Dodge (#64), all I did is make a correction with respect to a remark from David Miller, and from his response (#62: Wilt, what you say is true) I conclude that he agrees with me on that point. So I don’t think that your remarks about ‘cognitive dissonance’, and about what I would or would not believe about topics like Arctic sea ice fit in here.
    As for dr. Spencer, I think he aims (as we all should) at a temperature record that is as precise and reliable as possible. If measured land temperatures are not completely accurate because of an UHI effect they should be corrected. Personally I don’t think any such correction (if needed) will have much effect on the global data.

    Comment by wilt — 8 Apr 2010 @ 12:52 PM

  70. wilt, the two statements are consistent. IPCC says more likely than not, > 50% which still has a truckload of uncertainty. The threshold of uncertainty is < 5%, not < 50%.

    Comment by t_p_hamilton — 8 Apr 2010 @ 1:10 PM

  71. The timing on your discussion about global warming versus tropical cyclones coincides nicely with CSU’s spring hurricane forecast update by Gray & Klotzbach: http://typhoon.atmos.colostate.edu/forecasts/2010/april2010/apr2010.pdf. The authors address CO2 and SST increases with respect to tropical cyclone activity starting on page 25. I understand the frustration and annoyance of countering deniers who know nothing about science; but, the CSU guys are real scientists who have made significant contributions to meteorology. I sense Gray has an axe to grind with atmospheric modelers, but his arguments against global warming impacting tropical cyclone strength or number are compelling. Thanks and keep up the fight!

    Comment by GW Shaughnessy — 8 Apr 2010 @ 1:15 PM

  72. Granted that RC itself should not be held to strict journalistic standards, it is still ironic to read such hyperbole as:

    “Cynically and inhumanely the article sets off with remarks on our British colleague Phil Jones. The authors extensively revel in sentences like this:

    ‘He feels a constant tightness in his chest. He takes beta-blockers to help him get through the day. He is gaunt and his skin is pallid.
    Jones is finished: emotionally, physically and professionally. He has contemplated suicide several times recently.’”

    But what actually is the extent of “sentences like this”? Sure, we learn that McIntyre has “thinning gray hair” at one point, but the tight-chest sentence stands alone, and I don’t know where “revel” comes in.

    DS reports that Jones has contemplated suicide. Well, the Sunday Times reported the same thing, and their source was their interview with Jones. From the Times Online: “The incident has taken a severe toll on his health. He has lost more than a stone in weight and disclosed he is on beta-blockers and using sleeping pills. He said the support of his family, and especially the love of his five-year-old granddaughter, had helped him to shake off suicidal thoughts: ‘I wanted to see her grow up.’”

    It’s impossible not to be sympathetic to Jones’ plight, but let’s not forget who said to Parliament, “I’ve obviously written some really awful e-mails”. And let’s also not forget that the DS article states that “global warming can no longer be stopped,” hardly a skeptical view as far as AGW is concerned, even if one could quibble over its assessment of mitigation prospects.

    It strikes me as shooting the messenger to accuse DS of other than reporting the bad news of Climategate’s fallout. Those exposed e-mails certainly did not help the cause, did they?

    Comment by Walter Manny — 8 Apr 2010 @ 1:44 PM

  73. Walter Manny,
    When the messener is lying, the perhaps do not deserve to be shot, but certainly a bit of “correction” is in order.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 8 Apr 2010 @ 2:15 PM

  74. re#57; a stable long surface temp record like CET shows a March temp in 2010 identical to that from 1732,so without cherry picking I wouldn’t panic…
    Also after a long cold winter ,the coldest for either 50 or > 100yrs, depending on where you live…
    Also, the spring buds are the late…
    Lets keep an unbiased perspective.

    Comment by Bill — 8 Apr 2010 @ 2:24 PM

  75. Bill (#75), it’s very nice that CET is the same as 1732.

    But what do you think the global value in 1732 would have been, could we have derived UAH-style data back then? But UAH is at record or near-record levels.

    It’s rather foolish to obsess over US data wrt to global temps, as the US is about 1.6% of the global surface. How much larger is that than the coverage area of CET?

    If I’m charitable, I’d say you are being naive.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 8 Apr 2010 @ 3:03 PM

  76. Ray, which lie is the worst? Presumably, it’s not: “Scientists already estimate that average temperatures will rise by another half a degree Celsius by 2030.” If this article truly is a lack of pies (apologies to Spooner), which ones are you talking about? I see the thing as reporting the post-EAU bad news for climate mitigation advocacy and the less-than-favorable perception of scientists more generally. Whether or not it is fair — much of the fallout seems unfair to me — I don’t see why Spiegal gets it in the neck for reporting the way things have gone in the last few months. Have they gone well, do you think?

    Comment by Walter Manny — 8 Apr 2010 @ 3:09 PM

  77. Bill@74 “Also after a long cold winter, the coldest for either 50 or 100yrs, depending on where you live…
    Also, the spring buds are the late…”

    Or also after the warmest winter in 50 or 100 years, depending on where you live – ie: in the PNW, where the spring buds are as much as a month early, indeed you should keep an unbiased perspective :)

    Comment by flxible — 8 Apr 2010 @ 3:16 PM

  78. re #75. Maybe its good to be called naive, its a cheap shot anyway. I think your response exactly outlines why our message is not being understood by the policy makers or indeed the public at large.

    Comment by Bill — 8 Apr 2010 @ 3:21 PM

  79. > Walter Manny

    Please reread:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/04/climate-scientist-bashing/comment-page-1/#comment-169648

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 8 Apr 2010 @ 3:25 PM

  80. I did read that article with dismay and thought just how much effort would be required to untangle their snide mess. Thank you RC for taking on this media sounding board wilderness of mirrors echo chamber.

    I’ve downgraded Der Spiegel to the German equivalent of the Daily Mail.

    Comment by Mike Donald — 8 Apr 2010 @ 3:32 PM

  81. re#77. So, as I’ve said before, its regional, not global , by definition !

    Comment by Bill — 8 Apr 2010 @ 3:41 PM

  82. #44 @Russ H
    No. It was the Stern who published the forged Hitler diaries.
    I’d keep your criticism to their climate publishing policy.

    Comment by Martin — 8 Apr 2010 @ 3:42 PM

  83. Hank, read it already. From #28:

    “Which is to say, the Der Spiegel article lied by omission when it cherry-picked the frequency quote but omitted the immediately-following severity quote.”

    From the DS article:

    “The study concludes with the assessment that ‘tropical cyclone frequency is likely to either decrease or remain essentially the same.’ Top wind speeds could increase somewhat, says Landsea, but the changes would “not be truly substantial.”

    So it turns out #28 is the omitter, not DS. Is he/she a liar? Of course not. Would I be a killjoy to suggest that perhaps we could tone down the use of “lie” and “liar”? We could save it maybe for when people actually lie, as opposed to when they disagree with us, overstate their case or interpret events differently than we do.

    Comment by Walter Manny — 8 Apr 2010 @ 3:51 PM

  84. Bill wrote in #78: “I think your response exactly outlines why our message is not being understood by the policy makers or indeed the public at large.”

    Who is this “our” that you speak of?

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 8 Apr 2010 @ 3:57 PM

  85. re#84, AGW !

    Comment by Bill — 8 Apr 2010 @ 4:17 PM

  86. No Walter @83, DS misrepresented Knutson et al’s findings. Why do we not simply follow the link provided @28?

    And I quote from Knutson et al. (2010). I should not have to repeat this here b/c had you read the article by Eric, you would have seen this:
    However, future projections based on theory and high-resolution dynamical models consistently indicate that greenhouse warming will cause the globally averaged intensity of tropical cyclones to shift towards stronger storms, with intensity increases of 2–11% by 2100. Existing modelling studies also consistently project decreases in the globally averaged frequency of tropical cyclones, by 6–34% . Balanced against this, higher resolution modelling studies typically project substantial increases in the frequency of the most intense cyclones, and increases of the order of 20% in the precipitation rate within 100 km of the storm centre.

    DS, chose to focus on the decrease. They also do not note that the increases might sound small but Emanuel’s power dissipation index is proportional to the velocity cubed, not to mention the increased storm surge form lower central pressure, and increased flooding from increased precip. The DS article was very careful to understate the impacts of AGW, and this was exemplified by their discussion of tropical storms.

    And their opening line about “Last month Landsea, together with top US hurricane researchers, published a study that finally disproves the supposed link between hurricanes and global warming”

    is a gross misrepresentation and distortion of Knutson et al’s findings; some might even feel justified in calling that statement a lie.

    Knutson et al. state that:

    “Therefore, it remains uncertain whether past changes in tropical cyclone activity have exceeded the variability expected from natural causes.”

    That does not equate to ” finally disproves the supposed link between hurricanes and global warming”.

    Yet you seem to be defending them and even partaking in the distortion. And I would argue that their widespread distortion of the facts and events is not entirely innocent. One or two mistakes perhaps yes, but DS misrepresented the science and scientists throughout their series. That is unprofessional and smacks of bias and agenda on their part. Please, let us not be naive or worse, pretend to be naive.

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 8 Apr 2010 @ 5:32 PM

  87. @Walter Manny, re- your comment #83

    Again the assertion that Landsea’s study “finally disproves” the link between hurricanes and global warming is an outright lie, pure and simple.

    And with respect to how “substantial” the increase in storm severity is projected to be, the quote that the top wind speed increase would “not be truly substantial” is not found in that study. What IS found in that study, however, is the following (from the study’s abstract):

    “Higher resolution modelling studies typically project substantial increases
    in the frequency of the most intense cyclones, and increases of the order of
    20% in the precipitation rate within 100 km of the storm centre.”

    Again the assertion that that study “finally disproves the supposed link between hurricanes and global warming” is a brazen, outright lie – there is no way that the authors of that Der Spiegel article could have missed that study’s clear and unambiguous support for the connection between hurricanes and global warming.

    Comment by Publicola — 8 Apr 2010 @ 5:40 PM

  88. This too is from the study’s abstract:

    “Future projections based on theory and high-resolution dynamical
    models consistently indicate that greenhouse warming will cause the
    globally averaged intensity of tropical cyclones to shift towards
    stronger storms, with intensity increases of 2–11% by 2100.”

    http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Landsea/knutson-et-al-nat-geo.pdf

    Again there is no way that the authors of that Der Spiegel article could have missed that study’s clear and unambiguous support for the connection between hurricanes and global warming.

    They lied, pure and simple.

    Comment by Publicola — 8 Apr 2010 @ 5:46 PM

  89. Is Climate Science Bashing ok when it is against someone who disagrees?

    dhogaza “Creationists such as Roy Spencer who do science are, of necessity, capable of highly compartmentalizing their lives.”

    J. Davis asks “If Spencer is correct, why on earth would trees be budding out sooner in the spring or glaciers be melting?” That argument is not much better than growing grapes for the MWP.

    I have done research on bird populations in the Sierra Nevada for over 20 years and have no evidence earlier budding on trees or shrubs.

    And glacial melt is not just affected by global temperatures but precipitation as well as changes in shortwave radiation that can be due to change of cloud cover. If you look at the Swiss Alps, the percentage of advancing glaciers have 2 peaks in 1920′s and 1980′s each followed by an increase in retreating glaciers like we see now. Those changes correlate very well with the PDO and no correlation with rising CO2. A recent paper has suggested glaciers retreating in the 40′s was due to shortwave radiation.

    A recent paper by , Huss, M., M. Funk, and A. Ohmura (2009), Strong Alpine glacier melt in the 1940s due to enhanced solar radiation, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL040789.shtml,
    states “Snow and ice melt was stronger in the 1940s than in recent years, in spite of significantly higher air temperatures in the present decade. An inner Alpine radiation record shows that in the 1940s global shortwave radiation over the summer months was 8% above the long-term average and significantly higher than today, favoring rapid glacier mass loss.

    Likewise for the retreat of Kilmanjaro a 2004 Internationa Journal of Cimatology paper by Kaser et al (http://www.geo.umass.edu/faculty/bradley/kaser2004.pdf ) argued that, like the Swiss Alp glaciers, the evidence suggested once again that short wave radiation, not long wave radiation was melting the glaciers of Kilamanjaro”

    “Today, as in the past, Kilimanjaro’s glaciers are markedly characterized by features such as penitentes, cliffs, and sharp edges, all resulting from strong differential ablation. These features illustrate the absolute predominance of incoming shortwave radiation and turbulent latent heat flux in providing the energy for ablation (Kraus, 1972). A considerably positive heat flux from either longwave radiation or sensible heat flux, if available, would round-off and destroy the observed features within a very short time, ranging from hours to days. On the other hand, if destroyed, the features could only
    be sculptured again under very particular circumstances and over a long time. Thus, the existence of these features indicates that the present summit glaciers are not experiencing ablation due to sensible heat (i.e. from positive air temperature). Additional support for this is provided by the Northern Icefield air temperature recorded from February 2000 to July 2002, which never exceeded −1.6 °C,”

    Shouldn’t we be discussing the merit of his methods instead of denigrating via pseudo psychologic analysis ?

    My first take is his analysis “while the Jones dataset is based upon daily maximum and minimum temperatures, I am computing an average of the 4 temperature measurements at the standard synoptic reporting times of 06, 12, 18, and 00 UTC” had merit and would minimize need for TOB adjustments. I am curious what others know about how adjustments have been made by Jones’ and others to help explain his statement “since I have made no adjustments for increasing urban heat island (UHI) effects over time, which likely are causing a spurious warming effect, and yet the Jones dataset which IS (I believe) adjusted for UHI effects actually has somewhat greater warming than the ISH data.”

    So maybe Spencer’s analysis is based on scientific merit. As other have noted he reports the satellite data whether or not it supports his skepticism. From what I can tell those warming months or driven by warmer sea surface temperatures. And like the arguments against the MWP the recent warming has been regional not global. Even the arctic sea ice as returned to normal http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/observation_images/ssmi1_ice_ext.png

    Comment by Jim Steele — 8 Apr 2010 @ 5:50 PM

  90. #86 Dear Sir/Madam:

    I think we’re quibbling, and you don’t need to worry about my doing the reading in this instance, though I appreciate the rhetorical barb. I actually suggested on a different thread that RC pursue the Spiegal article, though that correlation does not confirm causation.

    Spiegal (not a science journal) substituted Landsea’s quotation, “Top wind speeds could increase somewhat, etc.” for the more substantive, “a future increase in the globally averaged frequency of the strongest tropical cyclones is more likely than not,” or it appears it did, and the authors do overstate the case by saying “finally disproves”. Is that as bad as Gore’s overstatement in the other direction and the popular press’s endorsement of it? I would say yes, but again I don’t see the need to say that either Spiegal or Gore are “liars”.

    Comment by Walter Manny — 8 Apr 2010 @ 6:12 PM

  91. Apologies for a nit-pick in such a context, but is the Figure 1 caption right: “RSS and UAH … provide two different analyses based on the same microwave raw data. These measure the temperature of the middle troposphere.” The links and plotted data are lower troposphere anomalies, no? Or do I misunderstand something (again) … like what the microwavers mean by “lower” not being very low?

    Comment by GlenFergus — 8 Apr 2010 @ 6:22 PM

  92. @ Walter Manny:

    How, in your mind, could the following quote from the Landsea study’s abstract in any honest way translate to meaning that the link between global warming and hurricanes has been “finally disproven”?

    “Future projections based on theory and high-resolution dynamical
    models consistently indicate that greenhouse warming will cause the
    globally averaged intensity of tropical cyclones to shift towards
    stronger storms, with intensity increases of 2–11% by 2100.”

    This isn’t a rhetorical question – please answer, thanks.

    Comment by Publicola — 8 Apr 2010 @ 6:37 PM

  93. Jim Steele says: 8 April 2010 at 5:50 PM

    “Even the arctic sea ice has returned to normal…”

    If by normal you mean some 1 million square kilometers less than it was 30 years ago, sure. Your post was intriguingly original, right up until you ruined it by blurting out a ridiculous talking point of the very shallowest variety. Surely you can do better?

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 8 Apr 2010 @ 7:07 PM

  94. Doug Bostrom 93. I don’t understand your criticism. I am just reporting what the Arctic Roos website has shown, that the ice has reached the average for this time of year. Go to their site and tell them they are ridiculous. But I think NSDC also show the same increase in ice extent. I mention it because it speaks to natural variation again not increased CO2. And change in sea ice like glaciers is not due only to global average temperature but wind patterns that can collect or disperse the ice. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/22/wind-sea-ice-loss-arctic

    Comment by Jim Steele — 8 Apr 2010 @ 7:56 PM

  95. I find it telling that the deniers made such a song and dance about an email expressing indifference to the death of some denier, but now seem to be taking pleasure in the ill-health of Jones driven, in part by their agenda-driven bullying

    Comment by Fran Barlow — 8 Apr 2010 @ 8:02 PM

  96. The Landsea arguments using various snippets are curious. But Landsea’s resignation letter from the IPCC show unequivocally that he believed the IPCC overstated the hurricane connections

    “I found it a bit perplexing that the participants in the Harvard press
    conference had come to the conclusion that global warming was impacting
    hurricane activity today. To my knowledge, none of the participants in that
    press conference had performed any research on hurricane variability, nor
    were they reporting on any new work in the field. All previous and current
    research in the area of hurricane variability has shown no reliable,
    long-term trend up in the frequency or intensity of tropical cyclones,
    either in the Atlantic or any other basin. The IPCC assessments in 1995 and
    2001 also concluded that there was no global warming signal found in the
    hurricane record.”

    http://premium.fileden.com/premium/2009/6/11/2474018/Landsea.pdf

    [Response: You're timing is very confused. The IPCC report had barely begun to be drafted when Landsea loudly resigned. His concerns over the IPCC language was completely misplaced given the eventual text - which was very close to the WMO consensus statement and the recent Knutson et al review. - gavin]

    Comment by Jim Steele — 8 Apr 2010 @ 8:05 PM

  97. Jim Steele: http://mustelid.blogspot.com/2005/01/landsea-contrasts.html
    Who are you relying on for the notion the letter could “show unequivocally” his opinion of something that hadn’t yet occurred? Some other blog?

    Searching here will find you contemporary info, like the link above.

    Searching either Google _or_ Scholar, on this topic, finds an astonishing load of stuff — World Climate Report and SEPP are both near top of Scholar’s first page of hits!
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=landsea+resignation+letter+context

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 8 Apr 2010 @ 8:26 PM

  98. In #90 Walter Manny declared:

    “Spiegal (not a science journal) substituted Landsea’s quotation, ‘Top wind speeds could increase somewhat, etc.’ for the more substantive, ‘a future increase in the globally averaged frequency of the strongest tropical cyclones is more likely than not,’”

    Again, that “Top wind speeds could increase somewhat” quote attributed to Landsea is NOT in the study – which not incidentally the Der Spiegel article does not make clear and the lay reader could thus easily be mislead into thinking that quote is in the study.

    What is in the study are several statements clearly supporting a positive link between global warming and hurricanes, including the following:

    * “Future projections based on theory and high-resolution dynamical
    models consistently indicate that greenhouse warming will cause the
    globally averaged intensity of tropical cyclones to shift towards
    stronger storms, with intensity increases of 2-11% by 2100.”

    * “Higher resolution modelling studies typically project substantial increases
    in the frequency of the most intense cyclones, and increases of the order of
    20% in the precipitation rate within 100 km of the storm centre.”

    - and –

    * “We project that a future
    increase in the globally averaged frequency of the strongest tropical
    cyclones is more likely than not — a higher confidence level than
    possible at our previous assessment.”

    So I ask you again, Walter Manny: How, in your mind, could one in any honest way interpret that set of statements – which again unlike the quote attribute to Landsea are actually IN the study – to mean that the link between global warming and hurricanes has been “finally disproven”?

    Again please answer, thanks.

    Comment by Publicola — 8 Apr 2010 @ 8:43 PM

  99. GISTEMP 12-month running mean is at record high (+0.6345 K) now (Apr 2009 – Mar 2010). Previous maxima were +0.6211 K (Jan 2005 – Dec 2005) and +0.6199 K (Aug 2006 – Jul 2007). Most likely, the 12-month running mean will increase for at least 2 more months because Apr/May 2009 were still rather cold and El Niño (peaked in Dec 2009) will reach its maximum influence on global temperature. The calendar year 2010 may be colder than 2005 because a La Niña may be developing soon.

    Comment by Andreas — 8 Apr 2010 @ 8:49 PM

  100. Jim Steele says: I have done research on bird populations in the Sierra Nevada for over 20 years and have no evidence of earlier budding on trees or shrubs.

    If you have any doubts about climate-driven changes in biological cycles, check out my collection of phenology stories.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 8 Apr 2010 @ 9:02 PM

  101. Gavin 96 and Hank 97, What are you arguing? I am repeating what Landsea said. How is my timing confused? or saying that it hadn’t happened? Read his resignation from the link. Most of his anger was against the press conference that Trenberth held and was introduced the IPCC lead author. I hear arguments that Landsea overstated his case because Trenberth was talking as an individual not for the IPCC. But that is a bit disingenuous, as Trenberth’s importance to warrant a press conference was due in part to his IPCC status. I can’t comment on Landseas recent paper not having read it. But other evidence led me to believe the DS was more or less correct about AGW not being correlated to increased cyclone activity. And Hank your link to the Stoat’s take on Landsea was nothing more than “bashing a scientist” simply because he is a skeptic. Please lets talk evidence.

    To put my argument in context, I had gone to the IPCC site to see their exact wording on cyclones, etc. but when I searched for hurricanes or cyclones, and although the drop down menu suggested 100+ document, the search said there was no match. So if anyone has a link to the hurricane section I’d appreciate it, or post the IPCC’s statement. The more common belief and the one which I am assuming, is that AGW predicts more hurricane activity and more intense hurricanes.

    But measures of that activity such as the ACE index http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/tropical/ have shown the the ACE index is at a 30 year low. Ryan Maue also states the number of major TCs during the 1980s was 149, 1990s was 179 and 2000s was 165. The overall trend is not significant during the past 30-years. ” It doesn’t take much to see that there is no correlation of ACE and increasing CO2. So whether the IPCC predicted more cyclone activity or less, neither prediction seems relevant as there is neither a positive or negative correlation with ACE index. Now may be some models make different predictions but the observational evidence contradicts any association with CO2. So I can easily see why DS made such an interpretation. If anyone has evidence that shows a significant correlation with CO2 I’d love to see it. If DS ignored that evidence then I will agree they are liars.

    And from another skeptic so bash away, but Pielke Jr posted a 2006-2009 summary of hurricane damage which is way below historic averages. http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2009/11/evaluation-of-rms-hurricane-dmaage.html So I am skeptical for a reason.

    Comment by Jim Steele — 8 Apr 2010 @ 10:34 PM

  102. 86, 87, 88, 92, 99

    Let’s say you’re writing and/or editing the DS article. Clearly, you should not write “finally disproves” to substitute for the scholarly, “these improvements have encouraged us to raise our confidence levels concerning several aspects of cyclone-activity projections. These include our assessment that tropical cyclone frequency is likely to either decrease or remain essentially the same…” (from the conclusion of the study, not the abstract).

    Nor should you write, “However, future projections based on theory and high-resolution dynamical models consistently indicate that greenhouse warming will cause the globally averaged intensity of tropical cyclones to shift towards stronger storms, with intensity increases of 2–11% by 2100. Existing modelling studies also consistently project decreases in the globally averaged frequency of tropical cyclones, by 6–34%.”

    You are writing for DS readers, not scientists, so you substitute for the 6-34%, “The study concludes with the assessment that “tropical cyclone frequency is likely to either decrease or remain essentially the same.” To cover the 2-11%, you then quote the controversial Landsea (more interesting to the lay audience given he quit the IPCC), “Top wind speeds could increase somewhat, says Landsea, but the changes would ‘not be truly substantial.’”

    I can understand, then, why the passionate RC reader, well-informed in many cases, doesn’t like the DS treatment of science, reducing an already reduced abstract or conclusion from a formal paper, giving it a brief paraphrase and trying to fit it into a more general narrative. I can even understand the urge to state, “They lied, pure and simple.” But nothing in this subject is pure, nor is it simple, satisfying though it would be if it were the case. Calling people liars is fun, but not particularly illuminating.

    Comment by Walter Manny — 8 Apr 2010 @ 10:35 PM

  103. Do the climatologists at Real Climate agree with the following statements in the der Spiegel article: 1) “The IPCC should openly admit its mistakes and correct them. It is imperative that trust in the work of the IPCC be restored as quickly as possible” (German Environment Miniter Norbert Rottgen on page 3), 2) “Unfortunately, there are more and more scientists that want to be politicians” (Reinhard Hutti on page 3), 3) “When you adjust for the growth in new buildings, road and factories being built in hurricane regions, there is no longer any evidence of an upward trend” (in hurricane activity with increasing global temperatures) (Roger Pielke Jr on page 9), 5) “All computer models show that nothing will change at all outside the tropics. (in terms of the strength of storms). In the future, we will see neither more nor stronger storms gathering over our heads” (Jochem Marotzke on page 9), 6) “The two degree (limit) is not a magical limit – it’s a political goal. The world will not come to an end right away in the event of stronger warming, nor will we be definitely saved if warming is not as significant. The reality, of course, is much more complicated” (Hans Joachim Schellnhuber on page 12), 7) “The 2 degree target has little to do with serious science. It’s no coincidence that all the mistakes that became public always tended in the direction of exageration and alarmism. Fearmongering is the wrong way to go about it. Climate change is not going to happen overnight. We still have time to react” (Hans von Storch on pages 12 and 13).

    [Response: OK, I'll bite. First, (1) Yes, of course. This is a straw man thought, because no one has ever said that IPCC should not do this. (2) WHo are these scientists that want to be politicians? This is simply made up. (3) I think you are misquoting Roger -- he was probably talking about the *impacts* of hurricanes, which is his expertise; in any case many people disagree with him so on balance NO; (5) Nope. Not true. (6) Of course. So what? Who ever said "2 degrees was 'magical'? (7) Nope. Lots of reasons that it is 2 degrees and not 3. We can all agree that fearmongering is wrong. The question is who is doing the fearmongering here?. Saying 'climate change isn't gong to happen overnight' is dramatic, but meaningless. How can a gradual process happen 'overnight'. I agree with von Storch here, but again it is a straw man, because the mainstream community is not saying that.

    Summary: I didn't see a #4, so out of those 6 items, I would say that 5.5 of them are misleading at best, wrong at worst. Not a very good batting average.--eric]

    Comment by RaymondT — 8 Apr 2010 @ 11:11 PM

  104. Stefan-

    There are 3 errors of fact in the following:

    “Roger Pielke “tried to find out where the graph had come from” and “traced it” to Robert Muir-Wood. This must have been hard indeed, given that Muir-Wood, who provided the graph, is named by the IPCC in the figure caption. The only difficult thing is to find this graph (which incidentally is correct but not very informative) at all: other than DER SPIEGEL claims, it is not in the IPCC report itself but only provided as “supplementary material” on its website, where the IPCC publishes such background material.”

    1. The reference provided by IPCC to Muir-Wood et al. 2006 was not where the graph came from. The IPCC intentionally miscited the graph, as Muir-Wood has admitted.

    2. The graph is not “correct.” Several IPCC reviewers correctly identified it as “misleading.” Muir-Wood has explained that the graph should not have been included for this very reason and it has never appeared anywhere (peer reviewed or grey literature) other than in the IPCC report.

    3. The supplementary material was indeed included with the hard-copy of the report (inside the back cover) and was referenced in the main text. To say that it is only on the website is simply incorrect.

    You may view these issues as insignificant, but you should at least report them accurately.

    [Response: Roger,

    1. I did not say the graph came from that paper; I merely pointed out that Muir-Wood is named in the figure caption, so that finding out about the origins of the graph would have required nothing more than an email to him. By the way, there are other graphs in the IPCC report where references point to the data sources while the graph itself is original to the report. I just don't see any reason to get excited about that, as long as the data are graphed correctly.

    2. Someone finds it potentially misleading, but does this mean it is incorrect? As far as I know the graph shows two data curves which show the data correctly - at least I have not heard anyone claim that the curves don't show the data correctly. The concern that it could be "misleading" appears to be due to the fact that some people might interpret the two data curves being shown together as a proof of a causal link between the two. However, in order to be misled in this way one would have to (a) know nothing about the subject and (b) not read the accompanying IPCC text. I think that is unlikely for anyone who penetrates as far into the subject as to look at the supplementary material.

    3. Thanks for pointing this out; I did not know the WG2 supplementary material was also in the printed volume. I'll correct that in the post as soon as I'm back in the office to confirm it.

    Stefan]

    Comment by Roger Pielke, Jr. — 8 Apr 2010 @ 11:21 PM

  105. Jim Steele, the Arctic sea ice has not “recovered”. Please look at these maps,

    Trends March extent:
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/n_plot_hires.png

    The Arctic ice extent in January and February 2010 were also lower than the extent in 2008 and 2009, and December 2009 was lower than 2008. Anything but a recovery.

    Additionally, extent is misleading, what really counts is the extent (and volume) of thick multi-year ice and whereas that covered about 35 % of the basin in the early 80s, in 2009 less than 10% of the basing had multi-year ice (2 years or older).

    Like the temperature record, the Arctic extent displays marked interannual variability. Do not expect a monotonic decrease.

    The paper the Guardian reported on, if I recall correctly, failed to point out that the authors stated that weakened and thinner ice on account of years of much above normal temperatures had preconditioned the ice, so when a number of factors came together in 2007 the stage was set for dramatic loss. So the ice is less robust than it used to be and is susceptible to dramatic losses should the wind regime etc. be unfavourable. This map shows the impact of warming on the number of melting days in the Arctic warm season, not the dramatic increase– temperatures/warming definitely play a role,

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=42456

    The fact that winds also play a significant role in modulating interannual and even intra-annual variability in the Arctic sea ice is nothing new.

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 8 Apr 2010 @ 11:32 PM

  106. Post Scriptum. Of course in my last comment in 3) I meant “there is no longer any evidence of an upward trend IN NORMALIZED PROPERTY LOSSES due to increasing global average temperature”. By the way stefan, how significant is an increase of 2-11% in tropical storms given the uncertainty of the climate models ?

    Comment by RaymondT — 8 Apr 2010 @ 11:40 PM

  107. Walter, we are not quibbling. This is pretty serious stuff and not to be taken lightly. I sense some desperation when you start making a straw man argument like “Well Gore did it”. This has nothing to do with Gore, it is about Der Spiegel. And the DS series comes on the heels of reporters like Leake, Rose, Pearce, Corcoran etc. brutalizing the science and defaming scientists. So scientists, understandably, have had enough of their research being distorted and manipulated. Contrarians neglect to mention that the IPCC was too conservative on important metrics such as Arctic sea ice loss, ice loss from EAIS and Greenland, and sea level rise.

    If you don’t already know Landsea and Knutson don’t exactly see eye to eye. The fact that they published this paper together is remarkable, and it also probably means that some of the deductions were tempered towards the conservative side. For example, several studies (using satellite data) have found an increase in the number of strong (cat 4 and 5) tropical storms globally (e.g., Webster et al. 2005, Science; Hoyos et al. 2006, Science). That does not mean every year will have more activity than the previous year, or that there will not be periods when activity slumps b/c of internal climate variability.

    Walter this is still pretty early days yet in this experiment and there are already fairly dramatic changes evident in the biosphere. That said, people expect the scenarios for 2100 to be being realized now, yesterday even.

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 8 Apr 2010 @ 11:51 PM

  108. Jim G 3100,

    Let me first say that I think humans have altered the landscape and have taken a heavy toll on many biological species. Hunting, overgrazing and disruption of the natural hydrology would top my list. I see the biggest issue to confront is wetlands and stream channelization and have worked to have a watershed restored in the Sierra Nevada.

    But your collection of “climate driven” changes are nothing more than a lot of “just so “ stories. Yes species respond to changes in temperature and climate, they have evolved to live in varying climatic conditions. You might say that evolution has put a premium on dispersal be it wings or the pappus of a dandelion, because climate is naturally changing. That is different than attributing it to rising CO2.

    One article on a paper in Oikos about birds evolving smaller due to global warming just made me laugh. First of all, of all the measurements, wing chord is the most variable. It depends on how you press down on the wing, and the angle of the wing. There has been a trend for banders to use the relax wing chord where before people use to push down on the wing. Weight measurements have changed from using spring loaded Pesolas to digital. Wind can cause measurement to fluctuate by several grams. So first I want to see how much variation was measured and what the standard errors were.

    Conditions during molt, which happens just before migration in most species, can effect feather length. A meadow that is drying out may lack the food supply to promote full feather growth. And a lot of meadows are drying out, not due to CO2 warming, but channelization from other human activities.

    Second most of that banding records mentioned came from migration monitoring stations. Changes in weather and pressure systems can move populations hundreds of miles off course. So you have no control over what populations are being measured at migratory stations. If the studied used breeding sites it would be more robust. My 19 years of data at breeding stations shows no such trend.

    Finally to attribute these questionable changes in birds wing length to warming caused by CO2 is another can of worms. Your article simply mentioned Bergman’s rule and then assume causation.

    Changes in snow pack, precipitation, as well as human caused changes in hydrology can change phenologies as much as if not more than 1 degree average warming. In the Sierra I have observed quite a bit of variability and I highly doubt this varying climate can generate any directional selection. Using the global average temperature in many cases is a misapplication.

    I also looked to see if your collection included the Edith Checkerspot, and I am glad it didn’t. Amazingly the California Academy has it on display as an example of butterflies moving north due to warming. It is a species that has been touted as proof of warming because a few populations were extirpated in southern California. Statistically this moved them north. If you read Parmesan’s explanation for their extirpation, it is clear was caused more by cold and drought than AGW.

    “The first catastrophe occurred in 1989 when very low winter snowpack led to an early and unusually synchronous adult emergence in April (as compared to the usual June flight). So early, in fact, that flowers were not yet in bloom and most adults died from starvation. Just one year later another relatively light snowpack again caused adults to emerge early. Adult butterflies,
    adapted to summertime conditions of warmth and sun, suffered many deaths during a “normal” May snowstorm. Each of these events decreased the population size by an order of magnitude. The finale came but two years later in 1992 “when (unusually low) temperatures of −5°C on June 16, without insulating snowfall, killed an estimated 97% of the Collinisa (host) plants. . . . The butterflies had already finished flying and left behind young (caterpillars) that were”

    http://www.agci.org/dB/PDFs/Publications/05S2_BAMS_TerrestrialBiota.pdf

    If your collection is meant to just create despair, so be it. If you want to generate critical examination, I suggest you post the methods and statistics that go with those just so stories.

    Comment by Jim Steele — 8 Apr 2010 @ 11:53 PM

  109. Thanks eric for your reply to my question. Why do you disagree with: 1) Roger Pielke Jr about increased normalized property losses with increasing global temperatures, 2) Jochem Marotzke about storm intensity outside the tropics, 3)Hans von Storch about 2 degrees not being critical ?

    Comment by RaymondT — 9 Apr 2010 @ 12:02 AM

  110. Jim Steele says: 8 April 2010 at 7:56 PM

    Jim, this year’s ice extent has reached and passed its maximum and is now declining as per the usual schedule, having undershot the typical level of 30 years ago by some 1 million square kilometers or about 6%. No “Victory in the Arctic” has been won this year. I’m fairly certain the very fact you’ve piped up here tells us you already knew that.

    Regarding the paper you mention investigating how winds influence ice extent, I’m also fairly sure you’re aware that it ascribes something like 1/3rd of the missing ice to variability having to do with weather and makes a point assigning the bulk of missing ice to other factors, specifically highlighting climate change.

    If you’re not aware of those things, you should step back into the line of rejectionista recruits bearing wooden rifles and put some more bootblack and wax on your weapon as it’s not presenting a very convincing illusion at this moment.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 9 Apr 2010 @ 12:17 AM

  111. Stefan,

    Your article is very comprehensive with two figures showing regression lines. My question is: have you taken into account the fact that there is a significant auto-correlation in climate anomaly data (as Tamino is so fond of reminding me)? Therefore what regression type did you use to provide those regression lines or if you did not generate them, did you verify that auto-correlation was taken into account from the originating publisher of those figures.

    Secondly, have you taken into account any breakpoints in the time series (David Stockwell has verified numerous breakpoints [http://arxiv4.library.cornell.edu/pdf/0907.1650v3] as have I). The existence of breakpoints makes the validity of long time series regressions problematic as they may be influenced by factors other than just temperature change due to GHGs.

    Comment by Richard Steckis — 9 Apr 2010 @ 1:33 AM

  112. Stefan, TYPO:

    “The grey shading shows regions with statistically significant results.” in figure of “Temperature difference between the middle ages …” should surely be, “The grey shading shows regions without statistically significant results.”

    A most useful article. Thanks.

    [Response: I meant grey hatching if this is right word; sorry. stefan]

    Comment by Slioch — 9 Apr 2010 @ 2:02 AM

  113. “El Niño (peaked in Dec 2009) will reach its maximum influence on global temperature. The calendar year 2010 may be colder than 2005 because a La Niña may be developing soon.” (Andreas #99)
    A question for Andreas, and others: I notice that the 2009-2010 El Nino did not peak very high but lasted rather long, about a year. When compared to a shorter El Nino with higher peak value (e.g. 1997-1998) would one expect more effect on global temperature, or less, or about the same? In other words is intensity the major factor, or duration, or “area under the curve”?

    Comment by wilt — 9 Apr 2010 @ 2:19 AM

  114. “101
    Jim Steele says:
    8 April 2010 at 10:34 PM

    Gavin 96 and Hank 97, What are you arguing? I am repeating what Landsea said. ”

    How about trying to understand, rather than just repeat?

    After all, if you’re just repeating, how can you be argued against? You’re just accepting what he said and repeating it.

    Might as well repeat what the IPCC say. After all, what THEY have said is the consolidation of thousands of papers, rather than just one.

    So go ahead, repeat what the IPCC say.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 9 Apr 2010 @ 2:38 AM

  115. “So maybe Spencer’s analysis is based on scientific merit. As other have noted he reports the satellite data whether or not it supports his skepticism.”

    But the headline and the take-home point at the end refuses to report what the satellite data says and instead confirms his skepticism.

    This is still lying.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 9 Apr 2010 @ 2:41 AM

  116. Previous comment:

    “Perhaps it is possible to find different ways of working, or alternatively to push for legislative reform, so that climate scientists can be exempted from FOI laws.”

    That is the funniest thing I’ve read at RC in a month. Nobody here disagrees with this?

    Here’s a way: Don’t take public money, and don’t publish in journals that require disclosure. but then don’t act surprised if people are skeptical of what you claim.

    Requiring disclosure upon request for the entity that is funding your research is not unreasonable. There seems to be a prevailing attitude with some that they owe nothing to the public taxpayer, and that this is an entitlement.

    NASA just received $2.5B of funding for climate research. Your welcome. (as if anyone was thankful…)

    Comment by TomS — 9 Apr 2010 @ 2:43 AM

  117. “If measured land temperatures are not completely accurate because of an UHI effect they should be corrected. ”

    Problem is the denialotropes then bleat on about how the data has been fudged and therefore PROVES AGW is a hoax.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 9 Apr 2010 @ 2:44 AM

  118. This abysmal low point of science reporting at the Spiegel does not come as a surprise to anyone inside. It is caused by three structural problems that have a history going back many years, one of which Rahmstorf has correctly identified in his article.

    1. Der Spiegel has a long-standing anti-renewables stance, caused by its long-time chief editor owning a horse farm outside Hamburg where he did not like the view spoilt by wind turbines on the horizon. Two of the best Spiegel journalists resigned in protest over this in 2004, Gerd Rosenkranz and Harald Schumann. We never recovered from this blow.

    2. Der Spiegel for many years has relied mainly on one frustrated scientist who at 60 is approaching the end of his career without having made it into the first tier of climate science, and whose media claim to fame is not based on scientific achievements but on increasingly shrill political statements.

    3. Olaf Stampf.

    Comment by Sebu — 9 Apr 2010 @ 3:41 AM

  119. wilt (67),

    re the UHI:

    Böhm, R. 1998. “Urban bias in temperature time series: A case study for the city of Vienna, Austria.” Climatic Change 38, 113–128.

    Changnon, S.A. 1999. “A rare long record of deep soil temperatures defines temporal temperature changes and an urban heat island.” Climatic Change 42, 531–538.

    Hansen, J., Ruedy, R., Sato, M., Imhoff, M., Lawrence, W., Easterling, D., Peterson, T., and Karl, T. 2001. “A closer look at United States and global surface temperature change.” J. Geophys. Res. 106, 23947–23963.

    Jones, P.D., et al. 1990. “Assessment of urbanization effects in time series of surface air temperature over land.” Nature, 347, 169–172.

    Kalnay, E., and M. Cai. 2003. “Impact of urbanization and land-use change on climate.” Nature 423, 528–531.

    Karl, T.R., H.F. Diaz, and G. Kukla 1988. “Urbanization: Its detection and effect in the United States climate record.” J. Clim. 1, 1099–1123.

    Parker, DE. 2004. “Large-scale warming is not urban.” Nature 432, 290.

    Parker, DE. 2006. “A Demonstration That Large-Scale Warming Is Not Urban.” Journal of Climate 19, 2882-2895.

    Peterson, Thomas C. 2003. “Assessment of Urban Versus Rural In Situ Surface Temperatures in the Contiguous United States: No Difference Found.” J. Clim. 16(18), 2941-2959.

    Peterson T., Gallo K., Lawrimore J., Owen T., Huang A., McKittrick D. 1999. “Global rural temperature trends.” Geophys. Res. Lett. 26(3), 329.

    Pa04: “Controversy has persisted over the influence of urban warming on reported large-scale surface-air temperature trends. Urban heat islands occur mainly at night and are reduced in windy conditions3. Here we show that, globally, temperatures over land have risen as much on windy nights as on calm nights, indicating that the observed overall warming is not a consequence of urban development.”

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 9 Apr 2010 @ 4:03 AM

  120. Re #89,

    They’ve been keeping records of when the cherry trees blossom in Kyoto since 832 AD. Want to take a look?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 9 Apr 2010 @ 4:10 AM

  121. In reply to
    RaymondT (#103), Eric says

    Saying ‘climate change isn’t gong to happen overnight’ is dramatic, but meaningless. How can a gradual process happen ‘overnight’. I agree with von Storch here, but again it is a straw man, because the mainstream community is not saying that.

    Eric’s answers suggest that he is not one to be intimidated but one of my biggest worries is that the pressure from deniers is preventing considered judgements on dangers that lie ahead, which are not just “known unknowns” but “unknown unknowns”.

    Dangers are not certainties but we pay household fire insurance on risks that are far less likely than really bad things happening with the climate.

    We need a collective judgement mechanism for climate similar to the bets placed on stocks and shares – or even horse racing – so that we can put “our money where our mouths are” to use an old-fahioned phrase.

    I have just found http://www.theclimatebet.com – We need something like that but better and covering more topics, particularly ones that can be assessed in the short term – theclimatebet.org has just one bet which is decided in eight years time.

    The Sunday Times piece, “Arctic ice recovers from the great melt”, mentioned above suggests that the summer ice extent will not be near the recent minimums. I would like to bet it will be in the lowest three.
    But I can’t find any bookies that would take the bet.

    Comment by Geoff Beacon — 9 Apr 2010 @ 4:13 AM

  122. Tom S. says, “NASA just received $2.5B of funding for climate research. Your welcome. (as if anyone was thankful…)”

    Gee, ever read a science paper? Thought not. In said paper, you will find a section labeled Acknowledgements. Here you will find a “Thank You” along with the grant under which the research was performed.

    Also, you speak as if the government or American people were doing the researchers a favor by giving them research money. Last I saw, the American people seemed to be quite happy with all of the technology, added safety, etc. that was the result of that research. I am only sorry that you cannot appreciate the irony of using the Internet as a medium for broadcasting your ignorance.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 9 Apr 2010 @ 5:07 AM

  123. “That is the funniest thing I’ve read at RC in a month. Nobody here disagrees with this?”

    Well the scientists job isn’t to answer FOI requests.

    Neither can you FOI GSK’s email trails, despite government aid.

    Nor the banks.

    Or ISPs.

    When the law is being abused, then the law is broken.

    Or do you disagree and insist we keep a law that can and is being abused?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 9 Apr 2010 @ 5:13 AM

  124. Jim Steele,
    When an otherwise competent researcher chooses to ignore massive amounts of evidence and even well established science, it is perfectly natural to look for an answer in their psychology. The fact that Spencer is content to look at 1.5% of the globe’s surface while ignoring what is going on in the other 98.5% of the planet is certainly curious, particularly when that other 98.5% would give him a very different answer.

    You also seem eager to dismiss “Just So” stories, and half a dozen or so independent temperature records and a couple of trillion tons of melted ice. I’d say we are right to wonder about your motivations as well.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 9 Apr 2010 @ 5:14 AM

  125. Jim Steele says …

    But your collection of “climate driven” changes are nothing more than a lot of “just so “ stories.

    The ‘”just so” stories’ phraseology is a poach from the creationist world, used to describe in essence all evolutionary explanations of biological phenomena.

    I must say, Mr. Steele, that I’m immediately suspicious and put off by such phraseology.

    But your collection of “climate driven” changes are nothing more than a lot of “just so “ stories. Yes species respond to changes in temperature and climate, they have evolved to live in varying climatic conditions. You might say that evolution has put a premium on dispersal be it wings or the pappus of a dandelion, because climate is naturally changing. That is different than attributing it to rising CO2.

    No one suggests that these so-called “just so” stories attribute warming to rising CO2. Rather these so-called “just so” stories are additional evidence that the world is warming, as predicted by physics. Warming’s a prediction, we seek observations to support that prediction, we find such observations in the natural world as well as our own instruments, the physics underlying the prediction is vindicated.

    So much for your “just so” refutation of the world of science.

    Comment by dhogaza — 9 Apr 2010 @ 5:24 AM

  126. CM #48 : I thought Jo’s post was ironical and that it only intended to show how ridiculous the general atmosphere of praising and admiring all these marvelous climate scientists has become (each new topics here is generally followed by a succession of posts celebrating how great their work is and so forth..). Well I have nothing against climate scientists and I really think most of them are honest (if it is necessary to precise it). But generally speaking, all honest scientists in the world try to do their best on complex issues. The state of science is such that a great part of what they say is hypothetic, with statistically poorly significant data, and will reveal eventually to be wrong. I stress that it is NOT a criticism of climate science but a general analysis of ALL modern science , from biology to particle physics. Just because all facts easy to interpret and all basic theories have been established a long time ago now and all issues that remain to be solved are complex and ill known. That’s life. Fitting data with linear regressions and simple differential equations is NOT a very complicated thing to do with modern computers : it’s rather funny to see bloggers, who are not climate scientists by themselves, reproducing all the basic elements of temperature curves with rather simple models , and then claiming that non special-ists are not allowed to criticize the “official science”.

    As far as I can judge, there is no revolutionary theory that has been invented by climate scientists (no theory of general relativity or quantum mechanics), there is no spectacular confirmation of their theories (no Halley comet, no deviation of light by the sun, no electron diffraction pattern), and the general quality of data is poor because of incomplete temporal and spatial coverage, and doubtful calibration methods. Again, this is not a fundamental criticism, they probably do their best with what they have. But generally speaking, this is more a (more or less) honest simulation of a very complex system with rather simple physics, with a lot of approximations, than the greatest scientific adventure of the XXth century. It has become the center of attention ONLY because of its political consequences – the same work on Venus or Saturn would have attracted much less passion of course.

    So now they are crying that they are criticized with political arguments. But that is the price to pay of having sought for political support in their core activity. They have slipped from a pure scientific study to an economico-political endeavor aiming at changing the whole behavior of mankind – no surprise that the answer has been : are you so reliable and perfect to dare formulate such a demand ? you can’t claim both being entitled to ask people changing their life, and being protected from -sometimes rude, and maybe even unfair- inquiries to know if you really deserve it.

    Comment by Gilles — 9 Apr 2010 @ 5:42 AM

  127. 107 Sir/Madam:

    “I sense some desperation when you start making a straw man argument like ‘Well, Gore did it’.”

    Well, I’m hardly desperate, but I concede that Gore has nothing to do with this. While it is ironic to note that when he was distorting the science the press ate that up and few RCers complained about it because he “had the basics right”, that does not justify DS following suit with any overstatements of their own. Students at my school will not be required to read the article, though they were required to see the film. In both cases, though, I still think “lies” is off target.

    Comment by Walter Manny — 9 Apr 2010 @ 6:03 AM

  128. # 116 TomS

    “Requiring disclosure upon request for the entity that is funding your research is not unreasonable. There seems to be a prevailing attitude with some that they owe nothing to the public taxpayer, and that this is an entitlement.”

    Speaking as a UK taxpayer, I resent my tax money being wasted following up FOI requests for data that is already publicly available, and FOI requests that are used purely as a time/resource wasting tactic by those who have no intention of doing anything remotely useful with the data. FOI legislation is a good thing, but let us not forgot that there around those who will abuse FOI legislation.

    ““NASA just received $2.5B of funding for climate research.”

    Source please.

    Comment by Paul A — 9 Apr 2010 @ 6:23 AM

  129. Barton Paul Levenson (#119) published a long list of articles arguing against the UHI effect, in response to a previous comment I made (#67). This is remarkable, since I had written that if there was any UHI effect it would be limited to only a small percentage of the planet’s surface and would therefore not have a dramatic effect on the final global outcome. But now that he has taken the trouble to provide the publication list, let me briefly comment on one of those articles, Jones et al. Nature 1990 (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v347/n6289/abs/347169a0.html). It is remarkable that this one is included in the list, because there is serious doubt about the location or even the existence of many of the Chinese weather stations used for this publication. This issue has also been discussed in several quality newspapers in the UK, for instance the Independent and the Guardian:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/climategate-scientist-hid-flaws-in-data-say-sceptics-1886487.html
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/01/leaked-emails-climate-jones-chinese

    Even more remarkable in this context is that Jones himself in a later article in JGR (2008) has written that “Urban-related warming over China is shown to be about 0.1°C decade−1 over the period 1951–2004” (http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2008/2008JD009916.shtml).

    Comment by wilt — 9 Apr 2010 @ 6:47 AM

  130. Regarding “The Times” Everybody has to understand that it along with “The Wall Street Journal” and many others form part of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. If they want a job the journalists probably dont have much choice. Mr Murdoch has a record of being a “Hands on” owner especially of Newspapers. Murdochs papers are most probably cross subsidised from his other media enterprises because they remain politically influential.

    Comment by David Kidd — 9 Apr 2010 @ 6:52 AM

  131. #89 having studied bird populations in the Sierra Nevada for 20 years – you should be aware of the effect global warming has has on bird populations:

    http://210.193.216.98/cps/rde/papp/techAdvice:techAdvice/http://www.pnas.org/content/106/suppl.2/19637.full

    Comment by Dappled Water — 9 Apr 2010 @ 7:17 AM

  132. Ray Ladbury (#124) apparently thinks that Jim Steele is ignoring evidence, and of course he is entitled to have his own opinion. But then he adds: “it is perfectly natural to look for an answer in their psychology”, and later on “I’d say we are right to wonder about your motivations as well.” Now I suppose that Jim Steele is perfectly capable of defending himself. But I want to propose that in this discussion we focus on scientific arguments and interpretations, and leave the psychology out of it. I do not suppose that mr Ladbury or any of the other discussants here has any training as a psychologist, and even if he did it is very doubtful that he could make a long-distance diagnosis based on a comment that someone makes at a blog. So, let’s talk science again!

    Comment by wilt — 9 Apr 2010 @ 7:18 AM

  133. Walter Manny sez …

    While it is ironic to note that when he was distorting the science the press ate that up and few RCers complained about it because he “had the basics right”

    More than the basics. AIT deserves a good A- grade, nothing to sneeze at.

    Unlike your own misrepresentations which would lead to a failing grade …

    Comment by dhogaza — 9 Apr 2010 @ 7:25 AM

  134. Walter,
    The only things that is correct for the article in Der Speigel are the page numbers. This represents the shoddiest excuse for science journalism I’ve seen. They’ve single-sourced most of their contentions and those from scientists representing a minority view.

    I’d be surprised if something like this would even make it through the Wall Street Urinal editorial board! Sorry, Dude, but trying to write this off by arguing that “Al Gore is fat,” ain’t gonna wash.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 9 Apr 2010 @ 7:37 AM

  135. Walter Manny @ 72 says:

    It’s impossible not to be sympathetic to Jones’ plight, but let’s not forget who said to Parliament, “I’ve obviously written some really awful e-mails”.

    Who hasn’t written some awful emails? I have noticed that electronic forms of communication, lacking as they are in non-verbal forms of communication that we have evolved to rely on, tend to bring out the worst in most of us from time to time. I suspect driving does much the same thing for the same reasons (i.e. depersonalization). I have both sent and received emails with contents that neither party concerned would ever have uttered face to face. You only need to look at a few blogs to realize that electronic forms of communication tend to be rather more “robust” than real life. There is also the point that flippant comments (“redefining peer review”) are a lot more easily detected verbally than in writing (even if emoticons are used). Let he who is without sin cast the first stone?

    If you think Prof. Jones has earned even a tiny fraction of the persecution (and that is exactly what it is) for having written a few harshly-worded, sometimes flippant PRIVATE emails under provocation, then I think your perspective is a little ill-calibrated.

    I watched the hearing on-line and the “I’ve obviously written some really awful e-mails” line stood out not for what Prof. Jones said, but for the fact that the person asking the question cut him off at that point, when it seemed clear that he (Jones) had intended to continue. It seemed to me deeply unfair, rude and disrespectful to cut someone off mid-sentence, when apparently expressing some regret and/or contrition and admitting their own faults (which I would classify as minor compared to say orchestrating a flood of vexatious FOI requests). The difference between science and rhetoric has rarely been made so apparent.

    Comment by Dikran Marsupial — 9 Apr 2010 @ 7:41 AM

  136. “While it is ironic to note that when he was distorting the science”

    In what way was there distortion?

    Please give examples.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 9 Apr 2010 @ 7:45 AM

  137. A medida que nos acercamos a tomas de decisiones (COP16)aumentan los ataques a la ciencia del clima.
    As we approach decision-making (COP16) will increase attacks on climate science.

    Comment by José Larios — 9 Apr 2010 @ 8:05 AM

  138. Given Stefan’s remark,

    It is obvious that DER SPIEGEL does not care about science. This really is about politics. This year will decide about the future of the German climate policy:

    the following quote becomes relevant and on topic.

    A photographer who claims to have worked for the magazine, Pavel Kassin, accused the magazine of propaganda and of taking a pro-American stance on the 2008 South Ossetian war. Kassin said he sent 29 pictures showing the devastation left by the Georgian military in South Ossetia to the magazine’s Hamburg headquarters, but was shocked to find that none of them appeared in the issue released the following Monday. Kassin had been working there for 18 years and had never before had any problems getting his photographs published. “Could it be that the most liberal, democratic and independent magazine has gone down the road of ideological one-sided propaganda?” he said. “In my view this is one of the rare cases when Spiegel has taken a pro-American stance.”[2]

    I am not concerned here with that particular piece of history, but to observe what this reveals about the standards which prevail in political journalism as practiced by der Speigel.

    [edit - OT and liable to derail the whole thread. Sorry]

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 9 Apr 2010 @ 8:27 AM

  139. wilt@113 “I notice that the 2009-2010 El Nino did not peak very high but lasted rather long, about a year. When compared to a shorter El Nino with higher peak value (e.g. 1997-1998)”
    You might wait until this seasons ENino is over before “noticing” how long it lasts, which will likely be just about the same length as 97-98, which is about average length for a Nino, one year – it’s actually the LaNinas that sometimes last “rather long”

    Comment by flxible — 9 Apr 2010 @ 9:22 AM

  140. > You might say that evolution has put a premium on dispersal

    In the current great extinction, with current rates of change, there’s nowhere to go. Adaptation fails. That’s why the ecologists are so worried.

    > leave the psychology out of it

    Wilful ignorance is the biggest part of the problem. Ignore that?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Apr 2010 @ 10:04 AM

  141. > Dappled Water says: 9 April 2010 at 7:17 AM
    > #89 having studied bird populations in the Sierra Nevada for 20 years –
    > you should be aware of the effect global warming has has on bird populations:
    > … http://www.pnas.org/content/106/suppl.2/19637.full

    That’s really good. Rate of change, illustrated.
    I hope we keep hearing from more biologists and ecologists here.
    This is key information many people don’t understand.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Apr 2010 @ 10:32 AM

  142. Re : #111 Autocorrelation.

    This is not my subject, but are you sure that you are not confusing the problem of estimating the trend line with estimating the error bars to be associated with it?

    Unless I have misread Tamino, his corrections for autocorrelation make very little difference to the estimated rate of warming of the trend line itself. This is especially the case considering that the modified error bars are large enough to swamp the slight changes in slope of the trend lines:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/03/22/autocorrelation/

    Wouldn’t the wording of the article i.e.

    Whether the global warming trend was 0,15 or 0,17°C per decade in the past decades is of no relevance to any practical concerns.

    actually be strengthened by a discussion which increases the size of the error bars?

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 9 Apr 2010 @ 10:40 AM

  143. Why is it that some make claims about hurricane intensity based upon ACE values for three or four years?

    Variability, folks! You’re just not going to be able to tell anything about the long term trend based on such a short time.

    Almost as foolish as fussing over the recent spike in Arctic sea ice extent. (And it makes some look–well, naive at best–when they were at great pains to insist that 2007 was a “wind-driven event.” Apparently the only one ever!) It’s interesting weather. It was unexpected.

    But it isn’t a “recovery.” And the events of coming years will confirm or refute the WMO hurricane study.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 9 Apr 2010 @ 10:51 AM

  144. ray #124″ You also seem eager to dismiss “Just So” stories, and half a dozen or so independent temperature records and a couple of trillion tons of melted ice. I’d say we are right to wonder about your motivations as well.
    dhoagza #125 “The ‘”just so” stories’ phraseology is a poach from the creationist world, used to describe in essence all evolutionary explanations of biological phenomena.”

    Obviously I am a skeptic. I provided my evidence on glacial melt in the Alps as well as other scientists research. I looked at two stories attributing CO2 warming to ecological and evolutionary changes. You chose to ignore the evidence set forth, or the analysis put forth based on my own expertise. Instead you choose to “bash me” by saying I used a “creationist phrase” or I ignored evidence. Please I have taught evolution for 30 years! It is you who chose to ignore both the evidence and rationales I provided. So why is that?

    Comment by Jim Steele — 9 Apr 2010 @ 10:54 AM

  145. Re my last comment:

    Line 5 up was ambigous. It should be ‘conclusion’ not ‘wording’

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 9 Apr 2010 @ 11:09 AM

  146. Mike Donald nr. 80..

    >I’ve downgraded Der Spiegel to the German equivalent of the Daily Mail.

    I think the frustrating part of hyped hack gate is the complete failure of the so called “quality newspapers”.

    The Guardian? failed
    Der Spiegel? failed
    Monbiot? failed

    This is all very disappointing as i expected them to do better..

    but Daily Mail level?

    Naah..
    The Daily mail is in a bottom league of their own..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eBT6OSr1TI

    Comment by Harmen — 9 Apr 2010 @ 11:26 AM

  147. I find it an indictment of this site, which purports to be scientifically and not belief based, to be unable to have a reasoned and thoughtful discussion without significant name-calling and seems to lack even basic graciousness in the dialog. Please note the contrast in this article and posts on a blog that most of you seem to absolutely despise:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/08/nsidcs-walt-meier-responds-to-willis/

    Notice that while there is great disagreement on the science, for the most part there is a graciousness to the discussion which those of us who are NOT scientists appreciate very much. Sure, in any open group of more than a couple people there will be idiots, but any objective observer will notice a stark contrast to the tone of the discussion versus what takes place here.

    Is that because reasoned debate does not help your cause but rather exposes the soft underbelly? If your science can stand on its own two feet then you have absolutely no need for vitriol and you have only succeeded in turning people like me away in droves by this sort of conduct. If you don’t have time to deal with the “ignorance” then why are you blogging in the first place since the purpose of blogging is to change minds? You certainly have changed minds but maybe not in the way you intended.

    [Response: I'm pretty sure that I'm reading the same websites as you, but if you think we are 'vitriolic' in comparison to WUWT, there is very little we can do. - gavin]

    Comment by Steve Newton — 9 Apr 2010 @ 11:33 AM

  148. Aside — pardon the geek interlude. Might be cautionary.

    In the post by ‘Dappled Water’ the link includes a weird string:
    210.193.216.98/cps/rde/papp/techAdvice:techAdvice/http://www.pnas.org/content/106/suppl.2/19637.full

    I truncated it to link directly to the correct PNAS paper when I quoted it.

    Looking into the weird part:
    Google finds the string cps/rde/papp all over the place:

    Results … about 10,300 for cps/rde/papp/

    Some of those links appear to take people to advertising sites.

    Dunno if it’s a bug or malware, but be a little careful; always look at the links (this is why I hate the practice of hiding links behind hilighted words, it makes it harder to see when there’s something weird in there)

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Apr 2010 @ 11:45 AM

  149. Well, it is somewhat ironic that a magazine whose name translates to “The Mirror”, hasn’t taken a good hard look at its own standards.

    Then again the article was published on April first… ;-)

    Comment by Fred Magyar — 9 Apr 2010 @ 11:46 AM

  150. Steve Newton,
    There is no science on WUWT. Any scientific fact that ventured into that dark domain would curl up and die of loneliness.
    In contrast, the purpose of this site is education. It’s where you come to learn the science.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 9 Apr 2010 @ 11:52 AM

  151. Re : #146

    They have been tried in the balance and found wanting

    If it ever finishes , then who is going to write a book devoted to a fair account of this story? No, not one from the press or its allies.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 9 Apr 2010 @ 12:00 PM

  152. Jim Steele says: But your collection of “climate driven” changes are nothing more than a lot of “just so” stories. … I suggest you post the methods and statistics that go with those just so stories.

    I don’t know what you mean by “just so stories.” Whenever possible, I post summaries of peer-reviewed research. For example, see the following.

    Timing of Flowering in Greenland, 1996-2008
    Eric Post, et al., Ecological Dynamics Across the Arctic Associated with Recent Climate Change, Science, 11 September 2009: Vol. 325. no. 5946, pp. 1355 – 1358 DOI: 10.1126/science.1173113

    Global warming shown to cause early butterfly emergence
    Michael R. Kearney, et al., Early emergence in a butterfly causally linked to anthropogenic warming, Biology Letters, March 17, 2010, doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.0053

    Climate change threatens migratory birds
    North American Bird Conservation Initiative, U.S. Committee, 2010. The State of the Birds 2010 Report on Climate Change, United States of America. U.S. Department of the Interior: Washington, DC.

    And so forth. Enterprising readers are always encouraged to go the source paper and examine methods.

    As for the Oikos paper, you should submit a critique!

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 9 Apr 2010 @ 12:07 PM

  153. Jim Steele,
    Interesting, you consider the articles you cited to be evidence… of what exactly? They show that glaciers can melt due to causes other than warming due to CO2. And you contend that current warming is “regional” even though 1)most areas on the globe are warming; and 2)the “regional” patterns we see are what are expected from a greenhouse mechanism.

    If the goal of your research into climate change is merely to find a few comforting factoids you can cleave to as a security blanket, it would appear you have achieved your goal. If you want to really look at the science, perhaps you might care to look at some of the other evidence–beginning with the fact that about half a dozen independent temperature records continue to show consistent warming trends going into their 4th decade, that oceans are acidifying, that this is beginning to place many fragile ecosystems under stress, that the added environmental stress comes in a century when human populations will likely reach 10 billion. I would call those FACTS cause for concern, but if you prefer your factoids, feel free.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 9 Apr 2010 @ 12:07 PM

  154. > Jim Steele
    > I have taught evolution for 30 years
    You mean you’re a biology teacher? Where, please?

    Are you this guy? If not, it’d be good to know.
    http://spectator.org/blog/2009/11/24/climate-gate-development-cei-f
    “Jim Steele| 11.26.09 @ 11:48AM
    Is this Godfather III: “The higher I go, the crookeder it becomes.” ?
    … I would try to have discussions with the scientists at RealClimate but they would selectively delete any posts that they couldn’t dismiss. … these scientists would manipulate a public website … what would they do behind closed doors.
    … I wonder how high this whole climate gate will go. There is a strong effort to play this down as if nothing has happened but clearly there have been attempts by the major players in climate science to exert tyrannical control over the scientific process….”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Apr 2010 @ 12:11 PM

  155. In #102 Walter Manny responded to my question with:

    “Let’s say you’re writing and/or editing the DS article. Clearly, you should not write…

    Nor should you write…

    You are writing for DS readers, not scientists, so you substitute for…

    Calling people liars is fun, but not particularly illuminating.”

    Circumlocution is fun, but not particularly illuminating.

    You didn’t answer my question, Walter – I didn’t ask you what you thought what one “should” do when writing for a lay audience.

    I asked you, instead, how in your mind characterzing statements including the following:

    “Future projections based on theory and high-resolution dynamical
    models consistently indicate that greenhouse warming will cause the
    globally averaged intensity of tropical cyclones to shift towards
    stronger storms, with intensity increases of 2–11% by 2100.”

    could in any HONEST way translate to meaning that the link between global warming and hurricanes has been “finally disproven.”

    Please answer the question I that asked you, thanks.

    Comment by Publicola — 9 Apr 2010 @ 12:23 PM

  156. @Jim Steele: “You might say that evolution has put a premium on dispersal be it wings or the pappus of a dandelion, because climate is naturally changing.”

    For someone who claims to be a biologist who has taught evolution for 30 years, you are remarkably ignorant of underlying forces in evolution, particularly sexual reproduction. Evolution put a premium on mobility because it increases genetic variability in a population. Since climate change occurs over huge geographical area and over a long time span, the evolutionary changes that occur are much more likely to involve adpatations to the new environment rather than migration. Those species that cannot adapt fast enough go extinct. While the fossil records shows that dinosaurs species are no longer with us, that some evolved into today’s birds. Both are quadrapeds, many dinosaurs had feathers, and even had wings. So wings and feathers did not evolve in response to climate change.

    Comment by Jim Metzger — 9 Apr 2010 @ 12:25 PM

  157. Jim, I suspect that people are getting frustrated with you because, knowingly or not, you are the one ignoring the body of evidence.

    The Austrian glaciers are not doing well. See here:

    http://austrianindependent.com/news/General_News/2010-04-09/2050/Austrian_glaciers_are_shrinking

    Regardless, those data are for just one location, right? Well, the World Glacier Monitoring Service is finding a similar trend from glaciers monitored from around the globe. And while some of the loss in certain regions may be attributable to increases in SWR, it would be very dangerous to extrapolate that and assume it to apply globally. I need to look at those papers your cited in more detail.

    You might also want to look at this image of global downwelling LWR from sites across the globe– see Wang and Liang (2009, JGR). Note that the downwelling LWR has increased pretty much at all of the surface-based monitoring sites, incl. Austria.

    These data and findings have been corroborated by:

    Lean (2010) showed that TSI has been flat since the fifties, and the last solar minimum was unusually long.

    and from Skeptical Science:

    That less heat is escaping out to space is confirmed by surface measurements that find more infrared radiation returning to earth. Several studies have found this is due to an increased greenhouse effect (Philipona 2004, Wang 2009). An analysis of high resolution spectral data allows scientists to quantitatively attribute the increase in downward radiation to each of several greenhouse gases (Evans 2006). The results lead the authors to conclude that “this experimental data should effectively end the argument by skeptics that no experimental evidence exists for the connection between greenhouse gas increases in the atmosphere and global warming.”

    Also read Harries et al. (2001; Nature)

    The planet has been in a net positive energy imbalance since the fifties (Murphy et al. 2009, JGR-A), and one of the primary reasons for that has been the rapid increase in GHGs (CO2, N20, CH4) from anthro activities (including deforestation etc.).

    You might not realise this, but these fora are often frequented by people who claim to have looked at “all” the evidence, or worse give one or two examples as evidence for having refuted the theory of AGW. It all gets rather tiresome.

    The scientific building blocks for the theory of AGW have been around for over 100 years. Thus far, the skeptics (and here I mean true skeptics) have been unable to offer an alternate credible theory which has withstood the test of time.

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 9 Apr 2010 @ 12:30 PM

  158. In 52 years of Mauna Loa measurements, human-added atmospheric CO2 more than tripled: +211% from 316-280=36 ppm (March 1958) to 391-280=111 ppm (March 2010); http://bit.ly/MaunaLoa. Would be quite a miracle if that had no effect on climate.

    Comment by Kees van der Leun — 9 Apr 2010 @ 1:15 PM

  159. Jim Steele wrote: “Obviously I am a skeptic.”

    With all due respect it is not at all “obvious” that you are a “skeptic”.

    On the contrary — you seem to be very gullible. You seem ready to unquestioningly and unskeptically accept any assertion or claim that denies the scientific reality of anthropogenic global warming, and to obstinately defend such claims when they are shown to be false and/or irrelevant, and also to obstinately reject any information that contradicts your a priori beliefs.

    Such is not the way of a “skeptic”.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 9 Apr 2010 @ 1:18 PM

  160. RE: Vikings

    “It’s much too dry,” [a Greenland farmer] says. “If I don’t get the irrigation going, I’ll lose my harvest.”
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,434356,00.html

    RE: Wine

    “I noticed the harvest was getting earlier before anybody had a name for it,” said 59-year-old Mur?, the 11th generation of his family to produce wine from the clay and limestone slopes of the Vosges Mountains near the German border. “When I was young, we were harvesting in October with snow on the mountaintops. Today we’re harvesting in August.”

    Throughout the wine-producing world, from France to South Africa to California, vintners are in the vanguard of confronting the impact of climate change. Rising temperatures are forcing unprecedented early harvests, changing the tastes of the best-known varieties of wine and threatening the survival of centuries-old wine-growing regions.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/01/AR2007090101360_pf.html

    English wine production is bigger than ever before. Scientists can debate climate change and some politicians can deny it’s happening, but it’s a fact that England’s vineyards produced 50% more wine last year. The vines are budding earlier each year, and this year Denbies Wine Estate, the biggest single estate vineyard in Britain, reported the first bud on April 14th, the earliest ever recorded. The vines normally only bud at the end of April.
    http://england-travel.suite101.com/article.cfm/global_warming_boosts_english_wine

    Comment by Ron Broberg — 9 Apr 2010 @ 1:35 PM

  161. After that Spiegel article here’s a gem from Paul Krugman.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/11/magazine/11Economy-t.html?pagewanted=10&ref=science

    “A carbon tariff would be a tax levied on imported goods proportional to the carbon emitted”

    Hat tip to Eli Rabbet and his simple plan…

    “without the Gulf Stream, Western Europe would be barely habitable”

    That seems to me pushing it a bit. A bit tin foil hat but what would the UK climate be without the Gulf Stream? ~Muscovite? Say if Britain had a Moscow climate rougher sure, if I can wear the TF hat, but not barely habitable?

    “climate modelers have sharply raised their estimates of future warming in just the last couple of years.”

    By how much may I ask?

    Comment by Mike Donald — 9 Apr 2010 @ 2:20 PM

  162. “..There is no science on WUWT. Any scientific fact that ventured into that dark domain would curl up and die of loneliness.
    Comment by Ray Ladbury”

    Clearly your blatant prejudice has prevented you popping over there this week – and noting that a long and carefully argued pro AGW case by Walt Meier of NSIDC has been courteously received and debated at length.

    I guess hell will freeze over (AGW not withstanding) before we se the converse here.

    Comment by DavidC — 9 Apr 2010 @ 2:36 PM

  163. Gilles (#126),

    I agree with your first paragraph. You didn’t think I was singling out scientists in the climate field as deserving of more respect than other scientists doing their best to make sense of complex problems, did you?

    But I don’t agree with any general statement that climate scientists are on a political mission, that they’re telling people to change their lives. It’s much more accurate to say that they report on how people are changing their lives (and their children’s, and their grandchildren’s…) by perturbing the carbon cycle and the planetary energy balance. And clarifying the choice or rather the various trade-offs people have between changing their lives one way or the other, by cutting down on emissions or by ramping up the heat.

    Of course the implications are public issues, political issues. That doesn’t make the science a political campaign. And since the stakes are high, of course the work attracts scrutiny. It should. Proper scrutiny of the data and analysis. Not this tabloid mudslinging.

    Comment by CM — 9 Apr 2010 @ 2:41 PM

  164. Ray Ladbury @150
    There is no science on WUWT

    Thank you for the reply but I think you have made my point. There is clearly science at WUWT, it’s simply science with conclusions or approaches that differs from what you currently accept so saying it is “not science” is false. Add to that your next sentence and you demonstrate that contrary to this site being where you come to learn the science, it is where you come to hear consensus and to ridicule those with whom you disagree which sounds a whole lot more like religion than science. I’ve learned much more science reading on WUWT than here, although I’ve learned in both places since I’ve worked in software development for 20+ years and not in the natural sciences so have much to learn, particularly in climate science. It has also become apparent to me that even the scientists working in this arena have much to learn.

    Have you read the piece I linked to, written by Dr. Walt Meier who believes in AGW, and in particular, all the comments? I would love for you and others to address the many issues raised by commenters who disagree with Dr. Meier, though in professional manner, so we could have a productive discussion of the issues. There needs to be real discussion which addresses the questions raised on these complex issues and not comments like you just made. If you intend simply to make snide remarks then please stay away as that will benefit no one.

    Comment by Steve Newton — 9 Apr 2010 @ 2:44 PM

  165. More on Vikings:

    On the way back to the pier, we discover large blood stains in the snow. Here was slaughtered cattle recently.The meat will be of some station employees, loaded on a boat, it will be sold in Qaqortoq.Since the Greenland government is investing in the expansion of agriculture, more and more young people interested in this area, so Aqqalooraq Frederiksen. Livestock breeding is the main source of income for about 50 farmers, the Greenland is today.
    Google Translation

    Auf dem Rückweg zum Bootsanleger entdecken wir große Blutflecken im Schnee. Hier wurde vor kurzem Vieh geschlachtet. Das Fleisch wird von einigen Stationsmitarbeitern auf ein Boot geladen; es soll in Qaqortoq verkauft werden. Seit die grönländische Regierung in den Ausbau der Landwirtschaft investiert, interessieren sich immer mehr junge Leute für diesen Bereich, so Aqqalooraq Frederiksen. Die Viehzucht ist die Haupteinnahmequelle der rund 50 Landwirte, die Grönland heute zählt.
    http://www.arte.tv/de/Klimagipfel-Kopenhagen/2965384,CmC=2971998.html

    Comment by Ron Broberg — 9 Apr 2010 @ 3:02 PM

  166. Well, let’s look at the facts:

    1. Since mitigating AGW saves money and is good for the economy (even if AGW is not happening, which it is), we have to rule out the economic motive for this level of denialsm and out-and-out lying and evil.

    2. Since AGW harms would surely thrust us into political chaos — I’m thinking both anarchy and totatitarianism (people selling their souls to the despots and warlords to keep the barbarians outside the gates) — we can rule out people’s desire for freedom.

    3. Since AGW will kill off a lot of life, including human life, we can rule out the “will to live” or at least “the will to have one’s progeny live.”

    4. Well, there are those receiving short term gains by Exxon, Koch, and other frankencorp denialist funding, but that only explains denialism among those folks, and not the broad-based denialism by people not receiving such funding. And you’d think even those receiving such funding might be concerned about 1, 2, & 3. I mean, what are they going to do with their money, find another planet? Good luck!

    There seem to be less and less socio-cultural-psychological explanations for this level of denialism and its ferocious viciousness. They certainly are not amenable to reason, humanitarianism, or even enlightened self interest.

    Ergo, it seems to me more and more like it’s the work of the devil. For those familiar with the Twilight Zone, there is an episode “The Howling Man” (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Howling_Man ). In ordinary times the devil is locked up, and the wickedness in the world can easily be explained by human nature or our fallen nature, but there are times when things are just so evil, that ordinary reasons aren’t enough to explain it. So, it looks like someone has been deceived into thinking the devil is an unjustly locked up person, and has removed the “STAFF OF TRUTH” (don’t you love it) holding him locked in, and the devil has now escaped and is running rampage, corrupting humanity into very evil deeds.

    That’s what is looks like to me…. So what do we need to fight the devil? I think the only weapon is humility. It looks pretty serious, pretty hopeless.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 9 Apr 2010 @ 3:07 PM

  167. DavidC, #162:

    Are you kidding me? Courteously received and debated at length? By what standard to you come up with that measure?

    Let’s follow your lead and get some scientific debate inserted from WUWT –

    There really is NO convincing evidence either way – we just have not got the data and the knowledge yet. But what has happened is that strongly committed believers in the Climate Science community have been trying to ‘hurry along’ this knowledge – first by subtle amendments to data, more recently by perverting the scientific method to force their view of the data to be the ‘consensus’.

    That was helpful and intelligent. What else?

    I actualy had the impression that precisely this point has been giving the modellers problems, observations of the stratosphere has not shown the predicted temperature drop.

    Sorry, wildly wrong and uninformed. Let’s try some more “science”:

    Loss of mass from Greenland is probably true but los of antarctic ice is obviously not true, The Antarctic sea ice extend has been growing the last 30 years implying lower temperatures thus making it unlikely that Antarctica is loosing ice.

    Um, no, see the GRACE satellite on that. But once again, more ignorance:

    From what I’ve read the Antarctic Ice sheet is gaining mass.

    And on peer review:

    As I am certain that you must know, there are journals whose entire selection process is so corrupted than anything that questions their dogma never even gets to the peer review stage.

    Okay, very clearly wrong and based on unfounded hearsay. How about being polite to the poster:

    Dr Walt calls himself a sceptic, this seems to be a new and interesting fashion among those who have for so long pushed the AGW/AAM/MMCC theory, the actions of the climate science community however are anything but sceptical as we have seen by the manipulation of the historical temperature record.

    or this:

    So, as much as I appreciate your efforts to post here, I must marvel at what is either your apparently sheltered personal experience with peer review, your selective tunnel vision, or your profound naivete on this topic.

    or this wonderful bit of conspiracy theory, I mean, scientific discussion:

    Regarding the price of mitigation. One has to realize that a cheap fix is not desirable here. It is NOT what they want.

    What the AGW crowd wants is to cripple the industrialized world and stunt the developing countries…

    I could go on for hours with this drivel from WUWT, except it’s making me sick to my stomach.

    Comment by Bob — 9 Apr 2010 @ 3:08 PM

  168. I can’t resist just a bit more science from WUWT:

    Are you claiming that 0.5 degrees C is causing a significant, or even measureable movement when the daily temperature change is on the order of 10 or more degrees C over the non-tropical land areas? That is illogical.

    and:

    Here’s a few ideas for you to let your sceptical-side chew on:-

    Despite continuous growth in CO2, Phil Jones said there has been no statistically significant global warming for the last 15y.

    Our climate is driven by processes which display deterministic chaos. This means that accurately predicting what will happen beyond a few days is impossible and forecasts get worse the further out you go, not better.

    and this amazing whopper, which in one paragraph grossly twists the posters words (“faster than projected” becomes “ice free in a few years”), and then goes on to disparage him:

    Dr Meier states in his article “For example, Arctic sea ice is declining much faster than most models have projected.” So I guess we should look for an ice free Arctic in a few years. Of course if the prediction does not come true will Dr Meier and the rest of the Climate “Scientists” refund all the money the politicians are taking??? Will they refund all that grant money they wasted??? To be polite I will stop there although others who may be badly hurt in the future by this false science may not.

    Comment by Bob — 9 Apr 2010 @ 3:15 PM

  169. … Walt Meier of NSIDC has been courteously received and debated at length
    .
    I have come to believe that the reporting of observations is false and that the observations themselves are twisted.
    .
    Dont they teach logic or the method in science anymore. Climate research is either a science or not.
    .
    I sure as heck would not take your $1,000,000 or death bet on modern climate modelling. And I doubt you would either.
    .
    In addition to being skeptical toward AGW and the megagrant-funded research, I view it as a dangerous hoax.
    .
    Walt is saying that the Science is settled. The humans are warming the planet, but I wonder why is he not changing job?

    What’s the point being a scientist on something already proven and settled…?
    .
    The tragedy is that so much valualble time and resources is being utterly wasted in the vain attempt to justify a socio political narrative and scientists have the moral duty to kill this narrative dead and make no mistake the AGW narrative deserves to be killed and the sooner the better for humanity.
    .
    We now have Lysenkoism uber alles in the enviro-research industrial complex.
    .
    It’s all handwavy circumstantial hearsay type government science bureaucratese. … Please, climate scientists, go away and measure some -numbers-!
    .
    Regarding point 1, as Chiefio (E.M. Smith – see blog link above on WUWT) has clearly shown, the primary temperature record for the Earth is not only flawed, it was manipulated and is therefore entirely wrong
    .
    Standard WUWT fare. I suppose you might become blind to it if exposed long enough.

    Comment by Ron Broberg — 9 Apr 2010 @ 3:16 PM

  170. > DavidC
    This?
    wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/08/arctic-sea-ice-reports-who-to-believe/#more-18280
    “REPLY: Sure the baselines differ. I’m pointing out that the public presentations differ significantly and who defines “normal”? Normal seems to be in the eye of the beholder of the data. Essentially it is an anomaly, and you can make an anomaly look like anything you want with a simple choice of defining the baseline. – Anthony”

    You’re kidding.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Apr 2010 @ 3:18 PM

  171. > DavidC
    This?
    “REPLY: The point is the difference in public presentations. Who defines “normal” baselines? It would seem to me that that the public interest is not served by having conflicting presentations, one above and one below, “normal”. – A”

    Send the black helicopters, scientists draw charts differently. Must stop ….

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Apr 2010 @ 3:21 PM

  172. And this was particularly enjoyable:

    Contrarian (01:38:30) : No one denies the fundamental radiative physics underlying the CAGW hypothesis.

    John Wright (02:05:44) : Greenhouse gases warm the planet? – radiative properties of gases? I don’t think I would be misquoting Hans Schreuder in saying that such a proposition equates to perpetual motion.

    Thanks for pointing out this out, David. I got bored with WUWT, but this thread is pretty entertaining. :lol:

    Comment by Ron Broberg — 9 Apr 2010 @ 3:26 PM

  173. PS for DaveC
    you notice “A” doesn’t give live links. That whole thread is about claims he saw a big difference between two different groups’ presentations (the differences have been explained repeatedly, but don’t seem to sink in).

    Look at them yourself.
    This:
    http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/observation_images/ssmi1_ice_ext.png
    and this:
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png
    See much difference between those two today? Reason for suspicion?

    Each time claims there’s a pony, and I go look, and I don’t find the pony after a while, I get tired of shoveling and quit visiting. Til next time.

    Maybe there is a pony. Walt Meier brought a pony? Then it’s _his_ and new.
    It’s not the one that produced all the stuff piled up over there over years, that I’ve gone looking for from time to time.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Apr 2010 @ 3:34 PM

  174. I’ve just ‘learned’ from a commentator over at WUWT that Carbon 14 has a half-life of 20 years. He was very polite so I won’t scoff…………… much.

    Comment by Paul A — 9 Apr 2010 @ 3:39 PM

  175. David C., Science does not consist of those with no scientific background, no understanding of scientific method and no knowledge of the topic telling researchers who possess all of these things how to do science. The few times I have made the mistake of wandering over to WUWT, I have regretted it immediately. I have never run across a more wilfully ignorant group of dolts.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 9 Apr 2010 @ 3:50 PM

  176. Ron Broberg, #168:

    I find it absolutely amazing that in the mass of what inanity that we separately cut and pasted from WUWT, there’s not a single duplicated quote (although I am jealous that I didn’t find some of the exquisite coprolites that you were able to glean).

    Really, really scary.

    Comment by Bob — 9 Apr 2010 @ 3:50 PM

  177. Jim Steele – have you read Geist’s interpretation of Bergmann’s rule? He suggests that the relationship between latitude and body size is not due to thermodynamics, but is simply due to increased primary productivity at higher latitudes. With the original Bergmann’s rule, it is hard to see how AGW could be producing an effect within a few generations. However, if it is simply a side effect of increased primary productivity, then that would result in phenotypic variation being noticeable in a very short space of time. There is certainly plenty of evidence for expansion of growing zones to higher latitudes, as well as earlier flowering times for many plant species. So an increase in animal body size could very well be expected if Geist is correct.

    None of this “proves” that warming is real or that it is caused by fossil fuel emissions, of course. But you have to ask, what is the likelihood of seeing these changes occurring if all that is happening is natural variability in climate?

    Geist V. (1987) “Bergmann’s rule is invalid” Canadian journal of zoology 65(4), pp. 1035-1038

    Comment by CTG — 9 Apr 2010 @ 3:51 PM

  178. Agggh! The WUWT plague is infesting RealClimate!

    Comment by David B. Benson — 9 Apr 2010 @ 3:52 PM

  179. I am also wondering what is behind the viciousness and rabidly anti-science thinking of the denialists. Never mind the corporate sponsoring, there are a lot of ordinary people out there who are now suspicious of anything a scientist says, who believe that there is a big conspiracy to shut down their way of life, and who are buying the line that we are nowhere near the limits to growth.
    Surely this sort of denial is a defence-mechanism against something that they conceive of as being terrifying (this is amateur psychology, help me out someone…), and because it is so frightening anger is part of the response? It is well-known that people tend to stick to a familiar belief structure even when it is demonstrated to be manifestly wrong, and will continue to do so with increasing levels of aggression until something really big and undeniable topples the whole thing. Sadly, I think nothing short of major disaster will shake the denialists’ beliefs.

    Der Spiegel and others (famously Ian Plimer) like to characterise the belief in climate science as something religious, even evangelical. They fail to understand that this sort of belief is contingent not absolute, and reveal their own zealotry by accusing others. Scientists on their part fail to understand that we no longer live in the age of enlightenment. We live in a new age of superstition, fuelled by the confirmation bias offered by the internet.

    Comment by Simon Tytherleigh — 9 Apr 2010 @ 4:04 PM

  180. D. Bostrom #110 “Jim, this year’s ice extent has reached and passed its maximum and is now declining as per the usual schedule, having undershot the typical level of 30 years ago by some 1 million square kilometers or about 6%. No “Victory in the Arctic” has been won this year.”

    First you must be reading different graphs than to which I linked. 2nd using “the level 30 years ago” suggests maybe in advertent cherry picking, as there is annual variability. The graph I referred to shows ice extent reaching the 1979-2006 average. So maybe you can explain what is wrong with the Artic Roos scientists graph more specifically.

    Finally I never claimed “Victory in the Arctic” . You are painting me with your own words. I, and many other skeptics, are skeptics simply because we see inconsistencies, that are not explained by increasing CO2. I mentioned the Arctic ice because 1) the recent extent was just reported 2) that and a new paper mentioned above discuss changes in Arctic ice is greatly influenced by wind patterns,3) posters have mentioned melting glaciers and Arctic ice as “proof” of CO2’s impact without accounting for other factors and 4) the growth of the ice is inconsistent with this decade’s impending ice free Arctic trumpeted by the media and a few climate scientists.

    And to people like Ray who are AGW believers and argue that a skeptic is ignoring or denying mountains of evidence, that again is a false impression painted on skeptics by “skeptic bashers” be the skeptics scientists or lay people. Although I will grant that there are plenty of skeptics who do ignore data due to their own beliefs, still there are many inconsistencies with the AGW theory and predictions that makes some of us question some basic assumptions.

    My most recent inconsistency was wondering about glaciers. I talked to many colleagues at SFSU most of who are AGW believers with a notable exception of our past Dean who was an oceanographer and skeptic. When asked about inconsistencies in AGW theory, except for the past dean, all , literally all, would admit not really investigating any of the details in cimate research.

    So for this example regarding glaciers, I thought I should provide my own due diligence and went to the Swiss Glacial Monitoring network http://glaciology.ethz.ch/messnetz/glacierlist.html . Using their database I compiled the annual totals of advancing, retreating and stable glaciers since 1900. The total for glaciers measured varied from a low of 36 during WWI to a high of 106 in 1983. So I compared percent of measured glaciers, assuming there is no systematic bias governing which glaciers were measured. I arbitrarily chose to use 5 year running averages to smooth annual variation. I then overlaid changes in CO2, susnspots, and the PDO annual average index. Which showed the better correlation with the shrinking glaciers in the Alps?

    Alps vs PDO http://www.flickr.com/photos/81199317@N00/4506322494/in/set-72157623817292114/

    Alps vs Sun Spots http://www.flickr.com/photos/81199317@N00/4506322338/in/set-72157623817292114/

    Alps vs CO2 http://www.flickr.com/photos/81199317@N00/4505678839/in/set-72157623817292114/

    Such a simple analysis might needs more attention, however the results suggest natural variation is playing a bigger role than CO2. And the pattern if advancing and retreating glaciers was another inconsistency with the AGW theory. So n addtion to the 2 papers I already posted links to, I looked at who else thinks PDO is a major player in Cimate. Well that led me to Dr. Roy Spencer web site where he argues that the PDO is a major driver in his article Global Warming as a Natural Response to Cloud Changes Associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), http://www.drroyspencer.com/research-articles/global-warming-as-a-natural-response/

    So eventhough Spencer is a Christian, just maybe scientific evidence, and inconsistencies drive some of his skepticism. Then again I haven’t been in church since high school, but did go to church with my 75 year old mom a few years ago to make her happy, when I visited for Christmas. Do the psycho-babblers think that influence is why I think the PDO is affecting the glaciers of the Alps more than CO2?

    Comment by Jim Steele — 9 Apr 2010 @ 4:11 PM

  181. “David C., Science does not consist of those with no scientific background, no understanding of scientific method and no knowledge of the topic telling researchers who possess all of these things how to do science…

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 9 April 2010 @ 3:50 PM”

    Ray – since you’re so doctrinaire about these issues, may I respectfully ask what your own scientific credentials are?

    Comment by DavidC — 9 Apr 2010 @ 4:21 PM

  182. Jim Steele says: So for this example regarding glaciers, I thought I should provide my own due diligence and went to the Swiss Glacial Monitoring network. Using their database I compiled the annual totals of advancing, retreating and stable glaciers since 1900.

    All Published Himalaya Glacier Mass Balance Measurements, 1960s-2000s

    Mean Cumulative Mass Balance of Glaciers, 1980-2008

    Annual Mass Balance of Glaciers, 1980-2008

    Ice Mass Balance of Glaciers and Ice Caps, 1961-2004

    A child’s treasury of deglaciation stories

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 9 Apr 2010 @ 4:22 PM

  183. Jim Steele says: 9 April 2010 at 4:11 PM

    Cherrypicking? You pulled the two cherries on the top of your basket and tossed ‘em out, not bothering to check for ripeness or suitability for consumption.

    Sorry, but unless natural variability includes a steady decline over 30 years, “recovered to normal levels” is green, sour, repugnant.

    “Greatly influenced” by wind patterns means about 1/3rd of the deficit can be explained by wandering variability. So you’re left to account for the bulk of the pie and one shriveled cherry 2/3rds deficient won’t do it.

    You should take some time to delve back into this matter of Arctic ice, taking careful note of how it’s been discussed to death here on RC, always leaving the missing ice with no reasonable explanation except by what mainstream science tells us of climate change.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 9 Apr 2010 @ 4:24 PM

  184. Earlier today (#132)I proposed that participants in this debate should focus on the scientific issues, and refrain from pseudo-psychological explanations. Lynn Vincentnathan (#166) apparently thinks that “socio-cultural-psychological explanations” as she calls it are not even enough to explain the fact that some people keep asking skeptical questions (which is the very basis of the scientific method), and she brings forward a rather diffuse theory that “the devil has now escaped and is running rampage”. And from the tone of her contribution I conclude that she does not mean this to be funny. Maybe I am missing something here, but I surely do not find her remarks funny. What is next? A discussion about the best methods of exorcism? Is anything allowed as long as it can be used for bashing the skeptics?
    Once again, let those people that want to contribute to the scientific discussion bring forward their arguments; let the others find some other forum to express their anger.

    Comment by wilt — 9 Apr 2010 @ 4:35 PM

  185. Jim Steele (180) — To deconfuse yourself, try a decadal analysis:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/03/unforced-variations-3/comment-page-12/#comment-168530

    Comment by David B. Benson — 9 Apr 2010 @ 4:36 PM

  186. Jim Steele, I take it back that you are ignoring evidence. Hell, you are actively distorting it. First, CO2 forcing is proportional to ln(CO2), not CO2. Second, to assert that CO2 is the only driver is a straw man. Third, your graph ignores the influence of aerosols, which played a very important role in the 3rd quarter of the last century. Fourth, the PDO doesn’t give a good match at all–the proportion of alpine glaciers in decline is still increasing!. Fifth, the Alpine glaciers represent only a tiny fraction of the cryosphere–the entirety of which has lost more than 2 trillion tonnes of ice in the past 5 years!

    This is exactly what I am talking about. You fixate on a tiny piece of evidence that doesn’t fit exactly into your distorted idea of the science, and from that you conclude that the scienc–science that has been established for 50 years and which you don’t understand–is wrong!

    Look, Jim, the consensus theory of climate explains the vast majority of the features of Earth’s climate over hundreds of millions of years. It simply cannot do that without CO2 having a sensitivity of about 3 degrees per doubling, and it fails utterly if sensitivity is below 2 degrees per doubling. There simply is no alternative explanation to much of what we see than the action of a long-lived, well mixed greenhouse gas. Now, an unfortunate corollary of that necessity is that our increasing CO2 by ~40% is bound to warm the planet. This was predicted 3 quarters of a century before it was seen. The overwhelming preponderance of the evidence is consistent with that theory, and those few things we do not yet understand are no more disturbing than finding something that looks like a human footprint next to a dinosaur bone is disturbing to evolution.

    You claim to be a biological scientist. Look at what you are doing and compare it to the creationist arguments against evolution–fixating on a tiny piece of evidence, not fully understandint what the theory predicts, being convinced of corruption or political motivation or “groupthink” by the experts. And Roy Spencer is doing the same thing. Now it’s the Urban Heat Island. Before that, the PDO. Before that, it wasn’t happening. What will it be tomorrow? You tell me.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 9 Apr 2010 @ 5:09 PM

  187. Steele: And the pattern if advancing and retreating glaciers was another inconsistency with the AGW theory

    Actually, its only inconsistent with a cartoon-version of AGW in which CO2 is considered to be the only driver of climate changes. This is not believed by climate scientists and it is not what is present in the climate models. So feel free to tilt at straw man (arrgh! a mixed metaphor!), but it is not a very persuasive presentation.

    Comment by Ron Broberg — 9 Apr 2010 @ 5:30 PM

  188. Hank quotes MicroWatts (TM Ray Ladbury):

    “REPLY: Sure the baselines differ. I’m pointing out that the public presentations differ significantly and who defines “normal”? Normal seems to be in the eye of the beholder of the data. Essentially it is an anomaly, and you can make an anomaly look like anything you want with a simple choice of defining the baseline. – Anthony”

    Anthony doesn’t understand what a baseline is, why people don’t change them willy-nilly, and doesn’t realize that NSIDC’s choice of 1979-2000 has to do with when they first started generating their product. Or that the fact that Arctic Roos using 1979-2006 as their baseline and the first year showing up on their plots being 2007 is not a coincidence. Nor is UAH’s choice of 1979-1998 pulled out of their rear.

    Someone tried to (subtly) point this out over there, and it went right over MicroWatt’s head…

    Comment by dhogaza — 9 Apr 2010 @ 6:30 PM

  189. Jim Steele, you teach ecology in the Sierra Nevada.
    Do you teach anything about climate, or climate change?

    Have you seen any references suggesting that might be happening?
    How do you answer questions from students if they’ve read stuff like this?

    http://web.pdx.edu/~basagic/snglac.html
    http://geopubs.wr.usgs.gov/open-file/of01-202/
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20177286/
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yIoJgehNdM
    http://nature.berkeley.edu/blogs/news/2009
    http://eurekaseries.org/tools/forms/form2010-SNCCI.php

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Apr 2010 @ 6:32 PM

  190. DavidC,
    I am merely a student here. I am fortunate enough to have a PhD in physics and 20 years as a working physicist in a variety of disciplines that has equipped me to follow most of the science. Even so, it took me about 2 years before I understood some of the more subtle aspects of the greenhouse effect. Realclimate has been a tremendous resource in that endeavor. There is a tremendous amount of good information about the science here. Those who view it as merely a place to “debate” utterly miss out on that fact. It would be well worth their while perusing some of the posts here. Even if they were not convinced, they would at least be able to argue against the real science rather than the cartoon version we too often see from denialists. I would be more than happy to point you toward some of the resources I’ve found helpful.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 9 Apr 2010 @ 6:39 PM

  191. We’ve lost the battle. It’s over. Now all we can do is just watch the earth warm and wait for Armageddon to happen. Unfortunately it will happen in most of our lifetimes.

    Comment by Big Randy — 9 Apr 2010 @ 6:59 PM

  192. To add to Ron Broburg’s comment:

    Peter of Sydney (23:03:26) :

    All this proves is that the science is NOT IN, and that the AGW debate is alive and well. So, AGW alarmists are just that – alarmists; and must be treated as such. Skeptics are just that – skeptics and must be treated as such. Hence, the AGW thesis is far from proven and must be researched for many years to come before coming to a definitive conclusion. So, any move to “save the planet” must be treated as a fraud or a hoax since they are being peddled under the assumption that the AGW case is proven, which of course as shown above is not.

    hunter (06:37:43) :

    Well here is a stab at a third hypothesis irt AGW:
    AGW is a social movement often called ‘mania’ or ‘popular delusion’ where a critical mass of true believers and promoters fixate on an idea- it can be real estate, an investment strategy, tulips, eugenics, etc.- and reinforce the power of the idea and certain public policy demands until no dissent or discussion outside of the framework of agreement with that idea is acceptable to its community members.
    True belief is so powerful that even when significant evidence of fraud or just plain wrongness is discovered, the believer persists in their confidence.

    Steve Newton writes, “Have you read the piece I linked to, written by Dr. Walt Meier who believes in AGW, and in particular, all the comments? I would love for you and others to address the many issues raised by commenters who disagree with Dr. Meier, though in professional manner, so we could have a productive discussion of the issues.”

    Steve, hate to tell you but I tried that and can no longer post there. At least McIntyre clips stuff out of my posts, but at WUWT my posts no longer even go into moderation. You might want to think about barry’s recent experience, or Lee’s experience from a couple of years ago. All stemming from pointing out mistakes there.

    Comment by Deech56 — 9 Apr 2010 @ 7:47 PM

  193. CTG #177 I agree with you on Geist’s interpretation of Bergmann’s rule, and yes it provides a credible avenue for further research. But that’s in part why I mentioned one major flaw in the article is the study was done on migratory birds with no way of the conditions where the molt took place. Cold and rainy weather during the nestling period often causes what is referred to as stress bars where feather growth is interrupted, and those feathers are typically shorter. This of course is also due to a change in food sources. So why aren’t shorter feathers due to cold or rainy weather? Until they can show me they can separate such confounding variables, attempts to attribute global warming must be relegated to “just so” stories. (sensu stricto Kipling; no religious connotations intended)

    Metzger #156 A different thread on evolution might be a better place to determine who is “remarkably ignorant” . By your reply I would vote for you.

    Desdemona Despair: The point I am making is not just seen in my response to CTG but readily illustrated by your first link about flowering and calving in Greenland. You see proof, I see a trend without significance, and driven by the start point. Make the start point 2003 instead of 2002 and then ask how significant the trend looks. It is the same battle that goes on via Antarctica’s recent cooling. It can be highlighted or ignored by the right choice in starting points.

    Ray Ladbury. You are indeed the master skeptic basher. You accuse me of distorting the science when no such thing was done. I am aware of the logarithmic warming curve for CO2. That curve shows no better correlation. So I used the Keeling curve just like I have seen Lonnie Thompson do on a few occasions. So are you saying Thompson is also distorting the CO2 connection?

    You say I created a straw man by saying CO2 is the “only driver”. Never have I argued that, so check your own straw men. I said PDO looks like a better fit than CO2 as a driver. That’s different.

    Yes I did ignore aerosols, first because I didn’t find a data base that I could graph. Plus I doubted that it would fit the 2 peaks. But you make a valid point. So perhaps you can provide the measurements for aerosols from 1900 to now and I will gladly add aerosols to the comparison.

    And because I make a few posts on the Alps to illustrate a point, you turn it into being abnormally “fixated”. Please, how much do you want in one post?

    So as not to be “fixated” and so as not to be using a “cartoon version” of AGW theory let me quote a RealCimate response to the lagging CO2 “inconsistency” when explaining the glacial-interglacials. Here is the link http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/co2-in-ice-cores/

    “From studying all the available data (not just ice cores), the probable sequence of events at a termination goes something like this. Some (currently unknown) process causes Antarctica and the surrounding ocean to warm. This process also causes CO2 to start rising, about 800 years later. Then CO2 further warms the whole planet, because of its heat-trapping properties. This leads to even further CO2 release. So CO2 during ice ages should be thought of as a “feedback”, much like the feedback that results from putting a microphone too near to a loudspeaker.

    In other words, CO2 does not initiate the warmings, but acts as an amplifier once they are underway. From model estimates, CO2 (along with other greenhouse gases CH4 and N2O) causes about half of the full glacial-to-interglacial warming.”

    That certainly was a very reasonable explanation by RC for the rising temperatures from termination to the peak interglacial. But the return to the lower temperatures of the next glacial period becomes much more problematic. Ray to be fair, would you characterize RC’s omission of discussing the descending temperatures a “scientific distortion” also?

    [Response: Huh? The explanation is exactly the same. During the ice age *cycles*, CO2 acted as an amplifying feedback on the orbital *cycles*. For those not familiar with the jargon, *cycles* go up and down. Please get serious. - gavin]

    The sequestering of CO2 is driven by ocean temperatures and biological agents that are largely governed by temperature. So if I assume the “(currently unknown) force/process” starts the cooling process so temperatures decline by 50%. I now ask, once that “unknown force” is no longer driving temperatures lower, then, the CO2 at that given temperature should, by your theory above, drive temperatures higher again, never returning to the minimum. But in fact despite the same CO2 concentrations that raised temperatures toward the interglacial maximum, temperatures still descend into a glacial minimum.

    So what is the other forces invovled? I asked this over a Tamino’s blogs, and got a nebulous answer about certain biological processes for sequestering CO2 being underestimated. But that is unsatisfactory. How can the same CO2 concentrations and the same temperature lead to both rising and falling temperatures? It is just one other inconsistency that made me a skeptic. It leaves a lot of unknown forces that are not yet understood. And in this case, to say it can only be explained by attributing climate change to high sensitivity to CO2, well it just doesn’t work.

    I can offer a few others inconsistencies to show I am not just fixated on minutia but that may be better on a different thread.

    Comment by Jim Steele — 9 Apr 2010 @ 8:00 PM

  194. Jim Steele, the more you post, the clearer it becomes that your confusion is due to your lack of understanding of the science. I am serious. You need to first unlearn all the crap you think you understand and then go to the Start Here button and start learning. There is no shame in not knowing the details of the science–it isn’t your field. Start with Spencer Weart’s History. I do not understand why people are so resistant to learning the actual science!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 9 Apr 2010 @ 8:20 PM

  195. > How can the same CO2 concentrations and the same temperature
    > lead to both rising and falling temperatures?

    You teach ecology, and ask this question?

    Something else changes, for example biology, as just one example:
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v407/n6801/full/407143a0.html
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v407/n6803/full/407467a0.html

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Apr 2010 @ 8:30 PM

  196. Jim, this seems pretty silly to me. When the orbital cycles are in a cooling phase, there’s a negative forcing on temperature, which in turn produces an amplifying feedback in CO2 uptake by the oceans and other sources (for example, CO2 soil emissions might also go down as permafrost begins to spread again). The ‘same temperature’ you mention is compatible with both positive net forcings on the way up and negative net forcings on the way down: after all, temperature trails the forcings! Just a philosopher’s suggestion, but if you’re ready to throw in the towel on a hypothesis at the first little puzzle you encounter, you’re not going to figure things out: any credible hypothesis requires some really careful thinking through to see whether it works or not.

    Comment by Bryson Brown — 9 Apr 2010 @ 8:41 PM

  197. East Anglia (AP) – In the wake of retreating sea ice and glaciers on earth, IPCC scientists at East Anglia now report that the solar ice cap has nearly disappeared and may be completely gone by 2035. The effect of the loss of the solar ice cap is expected to lead to an additional 1 degreee Celsius rise in earth temperatures as the solar ice cap played an important cooling function on the sun.

    IPCC estimates the loss of the solar ice cap will increase the solar temperature from its current 5,000,000 degrees to about 5,000,002 degrees Celsius.

    The IPCC scientists also warn the public not to look at the sun and assure us all that their computations clearly outline a solar ice cap retreat.

    However, there are skeptics who maintain that the solar ice cap has not changed in size at all – in fact, may have never existed. “I don’t think an ice cap would be at all possible on the sun,” said Dr. I. C. Morhair. “And I am quite skeptical about anything the IPCC has to say these days”, of course, referring to IPCC and the “Climategate” hoax of November 2009.

    [Response: Wrong thread and eight days late but certainly interesting.--Jim]

    Comment by ralphieGM — 9 Apr 2010 @ 9:06 PM

  198. How can the same CO2 concentrations and the same temperature lead to both rising and falling temperatures?

    CO2 is only one factor in a complex climate system?
    A complexity which is noisier over short time frames?

    Why do you think we bother with numerical simulations?
    Could it be because no one believes that climate is a linear system?

    You claim that you could show “a few other inconsistencies.”
    You have yet to demonstrate your first.
    So don’t run off quite yet.

    How does your eyeballed CO2 -v- 5 Alpine Glacier Index demonstrate an inconsistency? What AGW principle is not consistent with a glacier advance in the mid 20th Century?

    Comment by Ron Broberg — 9 Apr 2010 @ 9:21 PM

  199. RE: WUWT & Meier….I was actually surprised to see that Meier was fairly well received given the audience (although the goals of the “thank you’s” are debatable). I think the more damning aspect of the comments is not some of the entertaining quotes related thus far, but the inability of the commentators to even attempt to correct each other while questioning Meier’s post. The hypocrisy displayed is well-documented, but surely such a “skeptical” site should be skeptical of its own proponents as well.

    Comment by Miles55 — 9 Apr 2010 @ 9:49 PM

  200. 121 @Geoff Beacon, In reply to your statement “Dangers are not certainties but we pay household fire insurance on risks that are far less likely than really bad things happening with the climate”, insurance companies can calculate the risk of a household fire since they are dealing with millions of households and have decades of past records of damages which is why they are in business. The ability of climate models to calculate QUANTITATIVELY FUTURE global temperatures, precipitation or hurricane activity has not been demonstrated. An ensemble of climate simulations cannot be considered as independant climate events. Therefore the probability of a future climatic event is much less certain than that of a fire in a household.

    Comment by RaymondT — 9 Apr 2010 @ 10:02 PM

  201. I go to WUWT from time to time. And not trying to be rude, because I believe there are some true skeptics that visit the site, but the lack of basic science by many of those commenting really is sad. I read and get a headache because just a basic knowledge of physics, chemistry, etc refutes their posts. I consider myself a true skeptic. When first visiting this site after the e-mail hack, I had quite a few questions. The most important I think was, exactly what variables are Climate Scientists looking at, having a sense that maybe they were being to simplistic. Wow was I wrong! After visiting RC and reading what actually makes up the science I was so quite astounded at bulk of the evidence. Not being a Climate Scientist, I really didn’t understand the history going back over 100 years. I will say that on this site there is debate between those that agree with the theory whereas with the WUWT site, I rarely see corrections from “skeptics” on easily recognizable incorrect statements on science or fact if it backs up the position that AGW is somehow incorrect or a hoax.

    Does WUWT have some interesting articles, of course. But could I honestly say that it’s a site based on science. No. I was being a skeptic when a friend told me about something he read on the site. So I read the article, and researched it. Isn’t that what real skeptics do? I don’t see that happening much on WUWT.

    Comment by JRC — 9 Apr 2010 @ 10:14 PM

  202. Bryson #196. “any credible hypothesis requires some really careful thinking through to see whether it works or not.” And that is exactly what I am doing. And that is the value of all skeptics. I am not just sharing my thinking with a choir of skeptics, but I lay it bear to the most strident opponents, while willing to expose myself to all manner of insults to my intelligence and integrity by Ladbury et al. I would suggest it is the psycho babblers who have thrown in the towel on respectful dialogue and careful thinking.

    GAVIN,:[Response: Huh? The explanation is exactly the same. During the ice age *cycles*, CO2 acted as an amplifying feedback on the orbital *cycles*. For those not familiar with the jargon, *cycles* go up and down. Please get serious. - gavin]

    The explanations are definitely not the same. Simply stated, CO2 amplifies warming, but resists cooling. Although I really appreciate your in depth explanation of a cycle, I would hope we could dig a little deeper. Orbital cycles increase and decrease solar input due to well described cycles eccentricity, axial tilt, and precession. But I am unaware of a carbon cycle that is independent of temperature. Assuming the orbital cycles are (RC’S) “unknown process” that accounts for 50% of the warming and CO2 represents the other 50%, here is a simple mathematical model. Let’s assign solar increase due to orbital changes +1 and solar decrease as -1(I realize there are 3 components and this is oversimplified). Let’s also assign +1 to CO2’s warming. There is no “negative” value assigned to CO2 because it always amplifying warming. When the orbital cycles are warming then CO2 reinforces the warming +2. When orbital cycles are cooling they are antagonistic net change 0. Every small decrease in forcing from orbital changes would be resisted by the CO2’s warming effect.

    At the very least this suggest that we need to account for processes that increase cooling effects to offset the warming effects of CO2. This accounting is not needed when you described the warming inter-glacial. We perhaps can argue against this mathematical oversimplification by suggesting the CO2 responds immediately to changes in temperatures caused by orbital forcing. But that is not what is observed. CO2 lags temperature changes on average by 800 years.
    So I see a need for better accounting. Gavin, a more in depth explanation why you think the explanations are exactly the same would be greatly appreciated and make it a more fruitful discussion.

    Ray: I am always impressed. No matter what the evidence or the argument, you can always sweep away all disagreements by simply saying if we disagree with you, we don’t understand, or we are stupid, or one of your myriad of denigrating variations. Why bother with respectful dialogue to those of us who do not measure up to your certain superiority.

    Comment by Jim Steele — 9 Apr 2010 @ 10:33 PM

  203. Ray Ladbury @ 194

    “I do not understand why people are so resistant to learning the actual science!”

    Seriously? Don’t you listen to talk radio?

    Climate science was invented by a bunch of climate scientists, ergo why waste time learning something invented by people who are only fit for harassment by definition.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 9 Apr 2010 @ 10:46 PM

  204. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/tomtoles/2010/04/08/c_04112010.gif

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Apr 2010 @ 11:34 PM

  205. 132 wilt: Agreed that we are not psychologists or psychiatrists. Disagreed that psychology and psychiatry are not needed. They certainly ARE needed. Purely doing physics isn’t gaining any or enough ground. We need to do something else. We need to deal with those psychological factors that are preventing people from taking a more scientific approach. What is the sticking point? Is it purely fossil fuel money or is there something else as well? Do we need to reassure the boss at Der Spiegel that he can keep his view? Is it purely a fear of change? Is it ignorance that can be corrected by better education? Maybe there are lots of sticking points. We need to apply psychological lubricant to enough sticking points to get our legislation passed.

    We need psychologists and psychiatrists to prescribe the psychological lubricants.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 9 Apr 2010 @ 11:45 PM

  206. Time for yet another reminder. As Lay Radbury suggests:

    The Discovery of Global Warming by Spencer Weart, a mandatory prerequisite for intelligent discussion of climate change whether by rejectionist, skeptic, logical positivist, whomever or whatever.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 10 Apr 2010 @ 12:01 AM

  207. 149 Fred Magyar is correct. It was published on 1 April. Where did the April Fool’s Day tradition begin? The Wikipedia article says it is widespread, but I see nothing about Germany in particular.
    It could be a well written prank, but it is too well written. There should be internal clues that it is a prank. Perhaps the translation is imperfect?

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 10 Apr 2010 @ 12:07 AM

  208. This Wisconsin article discusses some interesting developments in the US insurance industry, driven by the CERES “Investors Network on Climate Risk” via the National Association of Insurance Commissioners – might be stirring up some of the heat on climate scientists, maybe even on Junior? Seems to indicate that capitalists have a different risk assessment approach than politicians . . . . . can capitalism get it right?

    Comment by flxible — 10 Apr 2010 @ 12:25 AM

  209. 166 Lynn Vincentnathan: Yes but NO but Aha! Perhaps creationists do see themselves as chimps [human is a race of chimpanzee] and it Scares them! They have to deny evolution to reassure themselves. So how does this apply to climate? The denialists are like clueless creatures in a runaway car that is about to go over a cliff. They are scared because they don’t know what to do AND they don’t trust us because they confuse what scientists and engineers do with what corporations do. Corporations sell them dangerous medicine and dangerous cars.

    So what we have to do is: Tell them the difference between what scientists and engineers do and what CEOs and management does. They think that scientists are running the place. We are not. The Stockholders are! Management blames the “market.” But the “market” is the general public that makes decisions based on “theories”/instincts that are EXACTLY wrong. To replace the instincts with correct theories, we have to give everybody a degree in engineering, and that requires math. They are afraid of math…….

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 10 Apr 2010 @ 1:10 AM

  210. 179 Simon Tytherleigh: “We live in a new age of superstition”
    I can’t remember whether it was “The Long Summer” by Brian Fagan or “Collapse” by Jared Diamond that said something like: “As the starvation worsens, they get more and more religious until the very end. They have one last super ceremony, then they kill the priests and change religions. At that point, civilization has collapsed.” But they are still religious.
    A new age of superstition is an omen of impending collapse. The problem is, how to get them to change to our “religion” to avoid the collapse? Recognizing that science is not religion.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 10 Apr 2010 @ 1:33 AM

  211. Simon #179
    blockquote cite=”I am also wondering what is behind the viciousness and rabidly anti-science thinking of the denialists. Never mind the corporate sponsoring, there are a lot of ordinary people out there who are now suspicious of anything a scientist says, who believe that there is a big conspiracy to shut down their way of life, and who are buying the line that we are nowhere near the limits to growth.
    Surely this sort of denial is a defence-mechanism against something that they conceive of as being terrifying (this is amateur psychology, help me out someone…), and because it is so frightening anger is part of the response?”

    I do think we can learn something from psychology in this regard..

    For example..
    Can you recognize the six types of denial in the climate debate?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial#Types_of_Denial
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial

    Comment by Harmen — 10 Apr 2010 @ 2:12 AM

  212. The attac on climate sciense is so far based on the question regarding the rate of recent global warming, and its cause. Even sceptics (so called climate deniers) do not dispute that the reality of the greenhouse effect assuming implicitly that it’s due to trapping of infrared radiatiation by ‘greenhouse’ gases. However, here is a very interesting pece of empirical evidence: The global average downwelling infrared radiation from the atmosphere is about 343 W m-2. This energy flux is some 43% larger than the TOTAL absorbed solar radiation (239 W m-2) by the ENTIRE earth-atmosphere system. Question: if the greenhouse effect is due to atmospheric absorption of thermal radiation from the surface, which is essentially transformed shortwave sunlight, how is it possible that the atmosphere sends MUCH more energy towards earth than the sun? In the context of the current greenhouse theory, such evidence appears to violate the First law of thermodynamics regarding conservation of energy. Therefore, the current greenhouse theory is missing something big as a physical mechanism responsible for providing additional warmth to the surface…

    Comment by Ned — 10 Apr 2010 @ 2:14 AM

  213. “In other words, CO2 does not initiate the warmings, but acts as an amplifier once they are underway. From model estimates, CO2 (along with other greenhouse gases CH4 and N2O) causes about half of the full glacial-to-interglacial warming.””

    This sentence is a little disingenuous, in my sense. I discussed that with a mathematician on a French forum. For a retroaction loop, there is a characteristic retroaction factor f increasing after “one loop” the increment of temperature. ∆T-> ∆T(1+f). Applying a recurrence relation, ,we end with ∆T(1+f+f^2+….) = ∆T/(1-f).

    Note that 1/(1-f) is very sensitive to f if it gets close to 1. for instance if f=0.8 1/(1-f) = 5 but if f= 0.9, 1/(1-f) =10 , so the final amplification factor doubles if f increases only by 12 % !! this occurs of course only close to the “catastrophic runaway” threshold f= 1.

    Now if you have SEVERAL independant retroaction factors f1, f2, … fn (which is the case on the Earth where you have to consider water vapor, CO2, ice coverage, vegetation, and so on… the calculation shows that the final amplification factor is
    1/(1-f1-f2..-fn) . This can NOT be expressed as a sum or a product of a function of f1, f2…. etc… Only the “one loop” factor f can be expressed as a sum f= f1+f2…

    Now what can mean that “the factor number i is responsible for Xi % of the warming?”. This is not an obvious statement. The only sensible thing that can be expressed as percentages is the contribution to f : fi/(f1+f2+…fn). But it doesnt mean that without i, the warming would have been Xi% less because of the non linearity of the global factor.

    Taking the same numerical example as above, assume that f1=0.8 so that “1″ produces an amplification 5. Adding a mere f2=0.1 (12% of the total) will double this value again. So in some sense we can say “2 explains 50 % of the retroaction”. But it is somewhat disingenuous as I said since it actually account only for 12% of the factor f.

    It is precisely the case of the GES retroaction where f1 is the main factor due to water vapor and f2 only a small contribution from CO2, which has a large impact only because f1 is already close to 1.

    Personally I feel uncomfortable with these estimates for two reasons :
    * the effect of f2 is very sensitive to errors made on f1. In the previous example, it is enough to have an uncertainty of 12% on f1 to explain the same result.
    * a global factor f close to 1 is necessary to get a large retroaction , and it is dangerously close to the catastrophic runaway threshold. If water vapor would enter in a runaway cycle, there would be no limit and the whole ocean could warm, boil, and evaporate until all the water would be in the atmosphere – a kind of H20 Venus. To my knowledge , this never happened. Although mathematically possible, I think that a “global f factor” close to 1 and dominated by water vapor is physically unlikely.

    Comment by Gilles — 10 Apr 2010 @ 2:43 AM

  214. Wilt, give it a rest, kid.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 10 Apr 2010 @ 4:24 AM

  215. TomS (116),

    For the Nth time, where N increases without limit,

    95% of the CRU data was already in the public domain.
    The other 5% was proprietary and CRU couldn’t legally release it.
    McIntyre organized a campaign to harass and disrupt CRU by flooding it with FOI requests.
    CRU consists of 3 people. Fully complying with a UK FOI request takes 18 hours.
    CRU got 40 FOI requests from McIntyre’s people in one weekend.

    Do you get it yet? Nobody is concealing data. Mcintyre’s harassment campaign plus the ClimateGate thefts were a concerted campaign to destroy Phil Jones and CRU. And they pretty much succeeded because dupes just like you uncritically bought everything you read in the deniosphere.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 10 Apr 2010 @ 4:26 AM

  216. I said I wouldn’t answer Gilles… but once again, the smell of the stupid is so intoxicating, I get drawn in like a moth to a flame.

    Gilles (126): there is no spectacular confirmation of their theories

    BPL:

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/ModelsReliable.html

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Correlation.html

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 10 Apr 2010 @ 4:33 AM

  217. Stefan:
    “If we compute the temperature evolution from the known forcings over the last thousand years, the result is consistent with the temperature reconstructions mentioned above. Merely one (in the meantime corrected) model simulation by Zorita and von Storch is an exception. These model calculations (18 in total) are compiled and compared with data in the IPCC report in figures 6.13 and 6.14 .”

    All model simulations above seem to have a clear cooling trend in the period 1000-1900. If a temperature reconstruction does not exhibit this cooling trend, do you think it is plausible to say that the reconstruction is somehow flawed?

    Comment by Jean S — 10 Apr 2010 @ 4:41 AM

  218. Jose’ (137),

    Es verdad, tristamente.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 10 Apr 2010 @ 4:43 AM

  219. DavidC (162),

    And did you miss how Tamino and independent workers around the country took Watts’s data and utterly demolished the false claims Watts had made, and Watts responded by the classic legal technique of admitting nothing, denying everything, and making counter-accusations? Or that he banned people who tried to call him on it from WUWT? This is “courtesy?”

    “Tell it the marines, the old soldiers won’t believe you.”

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 10 Apr 2010 @ 4:57 AM

  220. Jim Steele (180),

    I regressed NASA GISS temperature anomalies 1900-2008 on CO2, TSI, and PSO. CO2 accounted for 75% of the variance. The PDO was indeed significant–it accounted for about 4% of the variance. This is “a major driver of climate?” TSI, BTW, wasn’t significant, and nor was sunspot number.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 10 Apr 2010 @ 5:06 AM

  221. DavidC (181): Ray – since you’re so doctrinaire about these issues, may I respectfully ask what your own scientific credentials are?

    BPL: ROFLMAO!

    Ray Ladbury is a Ph.D. physicist who works with Earth satellites. He has a string of peer-reviewed publications as long as your arm.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 10 Apr 2010 @ 5:08 AM

  222. Randy (191),

    I agree, the deniers are going to win, and it may well already be too late. Nonetheless, we should go down fighting. “The ship may be sinking, but that is no reason to let it be a living hell while it still floats.” –C.S. Lewis.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 10 Apr 2010 @ 5:13 AM

  223. Jim Steele first says …

    You say I created a straw man by saying CO2 is the “only driver”. Never have I argued that, so check your own straw men.

    And later, as other point out, implicitly assumes the very same strawman …

    How can the same CO2 concentrations and the same temperature lead to both rising and falling temperatures?

    See why we don’t take your objections to both the science and to your being labelled a denialist seriously, Steele?

    Ray sez:

    Jim Steele, the more you post, the clearer it becomes that your confusion is due to your lack of understanding of the science. I am serious. You need to first unlearn all the crap you think you understand and then go to the Start Here button and start learning. There is no shame in not knowing the details of the science–it isn’t your field. Start with Spencer Weart’s History. I do not understand why people are so resistant to learning the actual science!

    Oh, I think it’s obvious why.

    Comment by dhogaza — 10 Apr 2010 @ 5:48 AM

  224. I looked at Dr Meier’s post (which was really very good) and was also surprised at the relatively polite tone of many of the comments.
    The politeness was offset to some extent by all the allegations by commenters of scientific fraud and manipulation, with some people saying that Dr Meier was not a good scientist.

    The comments in the main boil down to the standard lines that are well rebutted on SkepticalScience.com. I looked over the comments and found the most common ‘rebuttals’ are:
    - AGW is a hoax, it’s not happening, there is no evidence.
    - CO2 is not a forcing, it does not cause warming.
    - Measurements of temperature are false, biased, sloppy, inaccurate.
    - What about water vapour?
    - CO2 lagged temperature in the past.
    - Phil Jones said there has been no significant warming for the last 15 years.
    - The scientists are dishonest and cannot be trusted and/or don’t know their subject and/or peer review is corrupt.
    - It will cost too much to reduce emissions.

    Plus a couple of comments like
    - There is no forcing that causes climate to vary. It is harmonic oscillation;
    - Water vapour is a negative feedback.
    - Atmospheric CO2 is not rising.
    - Greenhouse gases reflect heat they do not radiate heat.
    - It’s the oceans.
    - It’s the sun.

    Surprisingly, there weren’t many comments referring to medieval warming or urban heat islands. Maybe they’ve gone out of fashion :D

    (When I’ve made comments in the past I’ve received some very impolite responses. And it’s not just commenters who can be extremely rude over there, many of the posts are nasty, such as disparaging people who are trekking in the arctic. It’s not a site I’d visit to learn about climate science. A lot of posts are just plain wrong. As Anthony has demonstrated on more than one occasion he still doesn’t understand anomalies, yet he’s been posting about climate and weather for at least a couple of years. I believe he used to read out weather reports on television.)

    Comment by Sou — 10 Apr 2010 @ 6:12 AM

  225. Jim
    You are mixing up rates, temperatures and equilibria.

    Comment by Richard C — 10 Apr 2010 @ 6:51 AM

  226. “Agreed that we are not psychologists or psychiatrists. Disagreed that psychology and psychiatry are not needed. They certainly ARE needed. Purely doing physics isn’t gaining any or enough ground. We need to do something else.” “We need psychologists and psychiatrists to prescribe the psychological lubricants” (Edward Greisch #205).
    If you agree that you have no qualifications in psychology or psychiatry you should stay away from it (the word ‘you’ is not directed at you personally but at anyone in this forum that relies on some pseudo-psychological cliché’s).
    [edit - you are becoming tiresome and off-topic]

    Comment by wilt — 10 Apr 2010 @ 6:58 AM

  227. re #202 Jim Steele

    That’s not right. Temperature-induced changes in atmospheric [CO2] amplify both Milankovitch-induced warming and cooling during ice age cycles. Obviously if the warming (glacial to interglacial) stages of Milankovitch cycling recruits [CO2] to give (ultimatly) a change from around 180 (glacial) to 280 ppm (interglacial) with the latter’s amplification of warming, so the cooling (interglacial to glacial) stages of Milankovitch cycling (which results ultimately in a reversible sequestering of CO2 into oceanic and terrestrial sinks) will be amplified by the reduction of [CO2] from the interglacial levels near 280, back to around 180 ppm.

    temperature-induced [CO2] feedback amplifications act in boyh the warming and cooling directions

    Comment by chris — 10 Apr 2010 @ 7:05 AM

  228. JS (202): Simply stated, CO2 amplifies warming, but resists cooling.

    BPL: The reason the effect of warming and cooling are both amplified by CO2 is that when it warms for other reasons, it puts more CO2 IN the air, and when it cools for other reasons, it takes more CO2 OUT OF the air.

    JS: Let’s assign solar increase due to orbital changes +1 and solar decrease as -1(I realize there are 3 components and this is oversimplified). Let’s also assign +1 to CO2’s warming. There is no “negative” value assigned to CO2 because it always amplifying warming. When the orbital cycles are warming then CO2 reinforces the warming +2. When orbital cycles are cooling they are antagonistic net change 0. Every small decrease in forcing from orbital changes would be resisted by the CO2’s warming effect.

    BPL: You’re assuming the amount of CO2 stays fixed with temperature. It doesn’t.

    JS: CO2 lags temperature changes on average by 800 years.

    BPL: See

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Lag.html

    JS: Ray: I am always impressed. No matter what the evidence or the argument, you can always sweep away all disagreements by simply saying if we disagree with you, we don’t understand, or we are stupid, or one of your myriad of denigrating variations.

    BPL: Clearly, from the above discussion, you in fact DON’T understand–and apparently don’t want to learn. And out of your incomplete knowledge of the subject, you lecture climatologists that “more accounting is needed.” Your model is useless because you didn’t do very basic homework on the subject.

    Ignorance is not a moral failure. Militant ignorance, refusing to learn, is. But you don’t HAVE to remain ignorant. If you want to learn about this, I can direct you to sources. IF you want to learn, that is.

    General discussions with little or no math:

    Spencer Weart, “The Discovery of Global Warming” (2008).
    S. George Philander, “Is the Temperature Rising?” (1998).

    General climatology with a little math:

    Dennis Hartmann, “Global Physical Climatology” (1994).
    Ann Henderson-Sellers and Peter J. Robinson, “Contemporary Climatology” (1986).

    Radiative transfer in the atmosphere, with a good deal of math (in order from easiest to hardest):

    John T. Houghton, “The Physics of Atmospheres” (2002).
    Grant W. Petty, “A First Course in Atmospheric Radiation” (2006).
    R.M. Goody and Y.L. Yung, “Atmospheric Radiation” (1989).

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 10 Apr 2010 @ 7:29 AM

  229. Ned (212): how is it possible that the atmosphere sends MUCH more energy towards earth than the sun?

    BPL: I’ll take it a bit at a time. First, let’s look at a physical law, the Stefan-Boltzmann law which relates photon radiation to temperature:

    F = ε σ T4 [1]

    Here

    F is the flux density given off–power per unit area, in Watts per square meter in the SI.
    ε is the emissivity, or efficiency of radiation, which is dimensionless and can range from 0 to 1.
    σ is the Stefan-Boltzmann constant, 5.6704 x 10-8 W m-2 K-4 in the SI.
    T is the temperature (Kelvin scale in the SI).

    Thus, assuming perfect or “blackbody” emissivity, ε = 1, the Sun at 5778 K gives off F = 63,200,000 W m-2, the Earth’s surface at 288.15 K gives off 391 W m-2, and a human body at 308 K surface temperature gives off 510 W m-2.

    With me so far?

    Now imagine a climate system with only three parts, stacked vertically–space, containing the sun. An atmosphere. The ground.

    Space gives off 237 W m-2 which gets absorbed by the climate system (the rest is reflected away).

    Let’s say the atmosphere
    absorbs NO visible light (sunlight, εvis = 0)
    but ALL infrared light (IR from the ground, εIR = 1).

    And let’s say the ground
    absorbs ALL visible light (sunlight, εvis = 1)
    and ALL infrared light (IR from the atmosphere, εIR = 1).

    If we give the atmosphere and ground temperatures as Ta and Tg, the energy outputs for each layer are:

    Space: F = 237 W m-2 [2]
    Air: Fa = σ Ta4 [3]
    Ground: Fg = σ Tg4 [4]

    The atmosphere gives off Fa both up and down, since it has a bottom and a top. But the ground gives off Fg only up, since land is opaque and ocean nearly so.

    So the energy input is:

    Space: Fa [5]
    Air: Fg [6]
    Ground: F + Fa [7]

    And that means, assuming conservation of energy applies at every level, that the energy balances may be written as:

    Space: F = Fa [8]
    Air: Fg = 2 Fa [9] (remember, it radiates up as well as down)
    Ground: Fg = F + Fa [10]

    Substituting in from the Stefan-Boltzmann law, and taking the emissivities as given (1 everywhere except 0 for atmospheric absorption of sunlight),

    F = σ Ta4 [11]
    σ Tg4 = 2 σ Ta4 [12]
    σ Tg4 = F + σ Ta4 [13]

    Let’s divide through by σ to simplify:

    F/σ = Ta4 [14]
    Tg4 = 2 Ta4 [15]
    Tg4 = F/σ + Ta4 [16]

    Now, given that the ground temperature, Tg4, appears on the left sides of both equation 15 and equation 16, we can eliminate it between them to find

    2 Ta4 = F/σ + Ta4 [17]

    From equation 14, we know Ta = 254 K. From equation 17, we know Tg = 302 K. That means we can also calculate Fa = 237 W m-2 and Fg = 472 W m-2.

    Plugging all this into equations 8-10, we have:

    237 = 237 [18]
    472 = 2 x 237 = 474 [19]
    472 = 237 + 237 = 474 [20]

    The discrepancy between 472 and 474 comes about from roundoff error; if you calculate everything with 8 decimal places you get Fg = 474.

    Everything balances. Energy is conserved. The sun gives us 237 W m-2, but the Earth gets twice that, because it’s getting it from both the sun and the air. Flux density is NOT conserved. Temperature is NOT conserved. Energy is.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 10 Apr 2010 @ 8:06 AM

  230. Gilles #216.
    Sounds more and more like Gilles is actually a front for MM. Claude Allègre et al. of the dubious “Ordre des Chevaliers de la Terre Plate” fame.
    [edit] He is getting to be a bit of a bore

    Comment by François Marchand — 10 Apr 2010 @ 8:21 AM

  231. My perception of the WUWT thread is close to that of Sou’s–perhaps Dr. Meier contributed to it by his calm & respectful tone. I have to say, though, that I don’t find accusations of fraud to be especially polite, and there were several, IIRC. And I don’t think this thread was typical, based on my past forays to WUWT–the nastiness I’ve found there in the past is one reason that I seldom venture back anymore.

    In general, I’ve been amazed by the willingness of many denialists to broadcast accusations of fraud, while pillorying what seemed to me valid criticisms of past work or credentials of some public figures as “ad homs.” I’ve argued in the past that it’s more productive to maintain an even tone, and I still think that’s true.

    But sometimes pointed humor serves a purpose, and the trolling and zombie arguments so often encountered are certainly frustrating to deal with.

    The bottom line is fidelity to fact coupled with integrity and consistency of argument. I’ve found the mainstream to score much, much higher in these areas than the denialists–one of whose characteristic hallmarks is arguing anything, as long as it could cut against the mainstream science (and self-consistency be damned.)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 10 Apr 2010 @ 8:27 AM

  232. Is there a down side to asking the skeptic cohort to put up or shut up? Are they incapable of developing their own models of climate dynamics? We have been stuck watching their death-by-a-thousand-cuts campaign, driven by persistent zealots spreading disinformation ginned up by the likes of Exxon Mobil, Fox, and Koch. And as we stand by, their efforts are achieving their intended goal of wasting valuable time. Is it too much to ask to see the models that the skeptics have developed? If their models have less skill than those models which predict significant warming from anthropogenic carbon dioxide, shouldn’t they be publically encouraged to stand down and shut up?
    There are, of course, risks in this strategy, perhaps the greatest among them being that the skeptics will do exactly what they have accused climatologists of doing, and make a clever but bogus model. Can peer review make such a scam unlikely?
    And what if a skeptic climate model does show more skill than any current climatology models? Well, bravo. Then those of us who are currently 95% certain that mankind is warming the planet will have to look at that model very closely, and if the model stands up to intense scrutiny, we will perhaps have to change our level of certainty accordingly.
    I think that such a challenge is a reasonable alternative to this continual bombardment of half baked, dim witted, time wasting arguments, anecdotes, and dirty tricks. Skeptics, where is your highest skill model? Why don’t you put it out there, or else shut up? Surely the giga-bucks of the oil giants and their cronies can create an honest computer model to prove their point… or maybe the honest application of the laws of physics won’t allow that, and they already know that, hence their current rope-a-dope strategies.

    Comment by Steve P — 10 Apr 2010 @ 8:34 AM

  233. For those who argue that CO2 isn’t responsible for global-warming because CO2 lagged temperatures as the Earth cycled between glacial and interglacial periods over the past few hundred-thousand years, here’s something to consider.

    The Earth came out of glacial periods (i.e. warmed) when orbital changes caused the Northern Hemisphere summer to coincide with orbital perigee. And the Earth went into glacial periods (cooled) when the NH summer corresponded to orbital apogee (approx).

    So when the Earth was warming, the NH was receiving more solar energy and the SH less. Vice-versa for when the Earth was cooling (i.e. going into a glacial period). Note that when the SH was receiving *less* solar energy, it warmed along with the NH! And when the SH would cool along with the rest of the planet even as it was receiving *more* solar energy (when the Earth went into glacial periods).

    So skeptics, what kept the NH and SH “in sync” temperaturewise? Why didn’t the SH cool when the NH warmed (or vice versa)? Why would the SH warm up when it received less solar energy and cool down when it received more?

    Comment by caerbannog — 10 Apr 2010 @ 9:09 AM

  234. 207 Edward Greisch: “There should be internal clues that it is a prank. Perhaps the translation is imperfect?”

    Edward, I speak German, read the article on the 2nd and immediately sent a complaint. It’s even worse in the original.

    In my experience it’s next to impossible to convey in English translation the irony and sarcasm that its native speakers can bring to bear when they want to.

    Der Spiegel is known for a style, since its earliest days in the aftermath of WWII, of a flippant attitude to authority and the creation of similar neologisms. But until the last decade or so its work grew from a bedrock of some of the best journalism in the world. Their journalists used to have–I haven’t checked the masthead recently–an astonishing number of PhDs which used to be reflected, especially in the sciences, in work superior to anything one would find in the US or UK. According to an earlier poster to this thread from Germany it looks as though I have to mourn its passing.

    Comment by Gordon Cutler — 10 Apr 2010 @ 9:11 AM

  235. Kevin, you would do well to leave your obvious bias out of your arguments if you are trying to dispassionately analyze tone: you tip your hand when you define your terms, “the mainstream” and “the denialists”. Gosh, I wonder who’s going to come out on top now? It’s not really about politeness or nastiness, is it? You can find both of those qualities on either side of the debate, especially the latter. It’s about what you come to believe is true.

    Invert the name-calling in your last paragraph, and you get: “The bottom line is fidelity to fact coupled with integrity and consistency of argument. I’ve found the skeptics to score much, much higher in these areas than the alarmists – one of whose characteristic hallmarks is dismissing anything, as long as it could cut against the skeptic’s questions (and self-consistency be damned.)”

    Pretty easy for an RC regular to pick that one apart, just as a WUWTer would be able to do with your original. You “have argued in the past that it’s more productive to maintain an even tone”, and so have I, but I don’t think that’s likely to happen, especially if everyone continues to toss terms like “alarmist” and “denialist” around so carelessly! No wonder Mann’s attempt to define himself as a skeptic was met with giggles. It should’t have been, of course, but that is where incivility on both sides leads us, I believe.

    Comment by Walter Manny — 10 Apr 2010 @ 9:44 AM

  236. Simply stated, CO2 amplifies warming, but resists cooling.

    Whether a given concentration of CO2 warms or cools depends on the global temperature which determines the heat lost by radiation. If the temperature is too low for energy balance then there will be a positive energy imbalance and the globe will warm. This is what happens on the way up out of a glaciation. On the way down the effect is reversed.

    Imagine start with ‘cool-energy balance’ during glaciation. To initiate a thaw you have to reduce the outgoing energy somehow so that you get a positive energy imbalance which favours warming. As a result CO2 is liberated, illustrating feedback. Effect is to reduce outgoing energy even more. Amplification of initial energy imbalance leading to more warming.

    Eventually a new ‘warm-energy balance’ is created. This is upset by the same mechanism (initially orbital changes) but time has moved on and the orbital changes
    are now negative producing cooling. This removes CO2 from atmosphere (same cause as before) which causes even more energy to escape from atmosphere (same CO2 mechanism as before) and get even more cooling.

    A given level of CO2 is too much for cool-energy-balance on the way up thus producing warming and too little for warm-energy- balance on the way down producing more cooling.

    Conclusion: Gavin was right ; the two effects are basically the same. Also the quote at the top is wrong.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 10 Apr 2010 @ 9:51 AM

  237. Did anyone notice on the IPCC graph of global mean temperature 1850-2005 shown that the slope, size, shape of the warming between 1910-1940 matches EXACTLY the slope, size, shape of the warming between 1970-2000?

    Since CO2 industrial emissions were extremely low between 1910-1940 compared to 1970-2000, how could the first ones be natural while the latter be caused by humans?

    If we could bring back the industrial levels of 1910 with the current population, which would basically be North Korean levels around the world (no cars or heating, starvation and foraging for roots and bark), wouldn’t we have EXACTLY the same global warming slope as in the last 30 years, as shown by nothing other than the IPCC graph?

    I am a mathematical physicist who likes to read and understand graphs.

    Comment by Adrian O — 10 Apr 2010 @ 10:46 AM

  238. 228, Barton Paul Levenson: Spencer Weart, “The Discovery of Global Warming” (2008).
    S. George Philander, “Is the Temperature Rising?” (1998).

    General climatology with a little math:

    Dennis Hartmann, “Global Physical Climatology” (1994).
    Ann Henderson-Sellers and Peter J. Robinson, “Contemporary Climatology” (1986).

    Radiative transfer in the atmosphere, with a good deal of math (in order from easiest to hardest):

    John T. Houghton, “The Physics of Atmospheres” (2002).
    Grant W. Petty, “A First Course in Atmospheric Radiation” (2006).
    R.M. Goody and Y.L. Yung, “Atmospheric Radiation” (1989).

    I have ordered the book on thermodynamics by Prigogine and co-author, and I plan to buy Raymond Pierrehumbert’s book when it comes out (CUP predicts Dec 2010). Is there one of the books on that list that you would recommend as the best complement?

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 10 Apr 2010 @ 11:19 AM

  239. #224 Sou – Thank you for mentioning Dr Meier’s post on WUWT. He has a real knack for articulating the uncertainties while at the same time underscoring what is fairly certain – all in language that anyone with a sixth grade education should be able to understand.

    Comment by JiminMpls — 10 Apr 2010 @ 11:35 AM

  240. Walter, #235:

    The problem with your “reversal” is that it includes untrue statements. It may appeal to you, but that doesn’t make it accurate. You may argue that my own “belief” is a result of the original statement’s appeal to me, but that still doesn’t make your statement accurate.

    That’s the core problem. Simply being able to say “I’m right” doesn’t make it so. And every effort to actually discuss facts with someone who is not truly skeptical and intent on learning inevitably wanders off into insanity.

    As an aside, I was raised Catholic, so to get married, I had to go to “pre-cana”. One invaluable lesson I learned there is to recognize when an argument resorts to tactics in an effort to “win” rather than to arrive at the truth. Such a situation is damaging to a marriage, and needs to be nipped in the bud.

    I started several years ago as a “skeptic” in the true sense of the word, not the warped usage we see in the current debate. I believed no one and nothing on any particular aspect of climate until I felt I thoroughly understood it myself. Even now, when I see what looks like a good argument against GHG, I investigate it thoroughly until I feel I understand perfectly. I don’t stop as soon as any argument agrees with any preset belief, and I usually don’t stop even when I feel satisfied, because I’ve found that often there is still more understanding and truth to be gleaned beyond that point.

    But what I’ve found, over time, is that not once, not in any single area or facet, can a denial argument hold water*. I have always, always found the flaws. Very, very often those flaws are so obvious and indisputable that it makes the skeptics look silly. It demonstrates a lack of fidelity, a lack of integrity, a lack of consistency, or all three. I have never, ever found the same to be true in arguments for GHG — period.

    [* footnote: one exception I will grant the "denial camp". The Lindzen/Spencer argument that cloud feedbacks will ultimately constrain climate sensitivity is a possibility, although only that. To date no one, despite all of their efforts, has been able to present any convincing mechanism or evidence to show that this will in fact be the case, so I put "clouds will save us" into the "hope and faith" department, not the "scientific fact" department. But I do honestly hope that some day a true skeptic will prove that theory and so let us all breathe a sigh of relief.]

    If you honestly believe what you are saying, then I can unequivocally tell you two things. First, you don’t understand any of the facts nearly as well as you believe, and second, you are not a skeptic, because you stopped investigating and understanding too soon, before you worked your way even close to the truth. When you arrived at a position with which you were comfortable, you stopped there, and have stayed there ever since.

    Now, some advice. The way I worked my way to where I am now was by using Google, spending a lot of time, reading in detail from both sides of the argument about a zillion different subjects, and always, always, always taking a seriously skeptical approach. Every single time I read something for either side, I went to Google and tried to find a good, solid argument against it. Once I’d found one or several, I then took the opposite approach, and tried to find good, solid arguments against those.

    Over time I learned to recognize hyperbole, selective logic, misrepresentation, obfuscation and any number of other common debate techniques. I learned to tell the difference between someone who is trying to sell me something, and someone who is trying to teach me something. And that, by the way, is the difference between WUWT and RC.

    Along the way I also learned (or in some cases, re-learned) a whole lot about physics, chemistry, tree rings, ice cores, glaciers, ocean currents, wind patterns, geometry, and a whole lot more. No matter where you wind up, or expect to wind up, it’s worth it, just for the knowledge gained.

    But to get there, first you have to be a skeptic.

    Comment by Bob — 10 Apr 2010 @ 11:41 AM

  241. Steele: At the very least this suggest that we need to account for processes that increase cooling effects to offset the warming effects of CO2

    You mean like albedo effects: a warming atmosphere holds more moisture, which falls as more snow, which could take longer to melt, leading to increased cooling through albedo.

    Steele, if you really are interested in this, might I suggest studying some of the mathematical models from the 50-70s? If nothing else, it will make you a better skeptic.

    Manabe and Möller, 1961, On the radiative equilibrium and heat balance of the atmosphere, Mon. Weather Rev. 89 (1961), pp. 503–532

    Manabe, S., and R.F. Strickler, 1964, Thermal Equilibrium of the Atmosphere with a Convective Adjustment, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 21(4):361-385, 1964.

    Manabe, S., J. Smagorinsky, and R.F. Strickler, 1965, Simulated Climatology of a General Circulation Model with a Hydrologic Cycle, Monthly Weather Review, 93(12):769-798, 1965.

    Manabe, Syukuro and Richard T. Wetherald, 1967. Thermal Equilibrium of the Atmosphere with a Given Distribution of Relative Humidity, Journal of Atmospheric Science 24, 241-259.

    Budyko, Mikhail I., 1969, The effect of solar radiation variations on the climate of the Earth, Tellus 21, 611–619

    Sellers, W. D., 1969, A global climatic model based on the energy balance of the Earth-atmosphere system, Journal of Applied Meteorology 8, 392-400.

    Hasselman, 1976 Stochastic Climate Models

    North, 1981, Energy Balance Climate Models

    how could the first ones be natural while the latter be caused by humans?

    Monkeys eat bananas.
    A banana was eaten.
    Therefore a monkey must have eaten the banana.

    Really? This is an argument being presented by a mathematical physicist?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirming_the_consequent

    Comment by Ron Broberg — 10 Apr 2010 @ 12:18 PM

  242. A nice summary of CEI’s recent deep dive into moldering email at DeSmogBlog:

    http://www.desmogblog.com/cei-fails-manufacture-its-own-stolen-emails-controversy

    Proper credit is awarded to CEI’s “Senior Chewing Gum Scraper” Chris Horner.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 10 Apr 2010 @ 1:22 PM

  243. Ned, you’re describing how the physics works.
    You say you don’t understand it.
    Does this picture help?
    http://chriscolose.wordpress.com/2008/12/10/an-update-to-kiehl-and-trenberth-1997/
    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/10.1175_2008BAMS2634.1.pdf

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Apr 2010 @ 1:46 PM

  244. > Adrian O.
    Review may save much fruitless retyping:
    http://timespeople.nytimes.com/view/user/19926270/activities.html

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Apr 2010 @ 1:52 PM

  245. BPL#216 : again there must be some misunderstanding between us. I never said climate models are totally wrong – and I never said either that CO2 wasn’t producing GH effect contributing to a global warming. So listing a number of correct results of the models isn’t at all at odds with what I’m saying. It would be actually very surprising that models relying on known physics should fail on all their predictions when tested against reality. So what you’re trying to prove is a relatively expectable thing : that the models aren’t wrong on anything ! but none on the items you’re listing is the definite proof of the quantitative effect of CO2 (else they would have been presented as such a proof by IPCC for sure !!), nor their combination. They may be described as “a good support to the idea that CO2 absorption contributes to the warming” – at best. Well I have nothing against this idea. This doesn’t imply at all that the whole Earth in distress, nor that this is the most important issue in the world. You have to prove a lot of other things before reaching this conclusion.

    F. Marchand #230 : please avoid this kind of useless statements. I don’t know Pr. Allegre, I never interacted with him in any way except a handshake 10 years ago when he was a minister, I don’t draw false graphics , and he doesn’t believe in a near PO. We have very little in common actually.

    Comment by Gilles — 10 Apr 2010 @ 1:56 PM

  246. Adrian O

    I am a mathematical physicist who likes to read and understand graphs.

    April Fool’s Day was over a week ago …

    Comment by dhogaza — 10 Apr 2010 @ 1:57 PM

  247. Adrian O (237) — The climate has internal variability and the AMO is an index for it. In addition, the forcing due to excess CO2 only approximately doubled in the past 40 years or so. For details, study
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/03/unforced-variations-3/comment-page-12/#comment-168530

    Comment by David B. Benson — 10 Apr 2010 @ 2:14 PM

  248. PBL 220 “I regressed NASA GISS temperature anomalies 1900-2008 on CO2, TSI, and PSO. CO2 accounted for 75% of the variance. The PDO was indeed significant–it accounted for about 4% of the variance. This is “a major driver of climate?” TSI, BTW, wasn’t significant, and nor was sunspot number.”

    PBL it is good to see, that like me, you are also doing your own critical thinking and questioning authority to check their validity. I however see one major statistical problem with regressing CO2 vs temperature. It is well known that not only can increasing CO2 raise temperatures, but equally so rising temperature increases CO2. This makes the transition from correlation to causality difficult to ascertain for this correlation. It also means that due to this direct correlation of temperature induced CO2 that any change in temperature due to forcings and processes other than CO2, could be mistakenly attributed to CO2, and perhaps “hiding” other factors. For that reason, I suggest caution and more analysis for any positive CO2 correlations.

    My experience is mankind’s disruption of the environment/climate is due more to land use issues like altered hydrology that cause regional temperature changes that then get averaged into a global mean. There are numerous peer reviewed paper’s supporting this, many of which can be found on Pielke’s website. Likewise the PDO may have a strong correlation on a more regional scale as demonstrated by the Alps example. However the importance of the PDO can then be lost when you average temperatures on the global scale. (BTW the PDO was discovered by salmon fisheries biologist, and serves as an example of biologist contributing to climate science)

    Another problem with your regression is that the oceans can absorb and release heat creating lag effects. El Nino’s release heat stored for how long? How does the synchronicity or lack thereof between the PDO and ENSO affect variance in your correlation.

    And third, assuming CO2 is this global blanket that increases global temperatures, uneven heating points to the roles of natural variations that may or may not be well understood. A good example of this problem of regional vs global interpretations was illustrated recently on Pielke’s blog where despite wide spread cooling (about 25%), February the average temperature for February was the warmest in 32 years as reported by Spencer and Christy, due to a much more confined Arctic hot spot. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/an-example-of-why-a-global-average-temperature-anomaly-is-not-an-effective-metric-of-climate/ . Could the PDO have been the driving factor, >4%, causing cold anomalies throughout North America, Europe and Asia, but due to the weight given to the Arctic warm anomaly, its significance as a climate driver would be hidden by your regression.

    Your regression may show a good correlation with record CO2 and the record February warm anomaly. But you must then always justify the correlation with well understood processes. So I am sure you have examined this in your investigations of these driving factors, so looking at the February anomaly map how would you attribute 75% of February’s Arctic warm anomaly and the rest of the NH’s cold anomaly to CO2?

    Comment by Jim Steele — 10 Apr 2010 @ 2:27 PM

  249. Ron #241, “You mean like albedo effects: a warming atmosphere holds more moisture, which falls as more snow, which could take longer to melt, leading to increased cooling through albedo.”

    I’m having a problem getting by your first remark. The warmth of the interglacial leads to “atmosphere holds more moisture” (no problem there), which falls as more snow,(quantum leap in assumptions here. Why snow? Why not more rain?. I really don’t understand the mechanism where warming creates more snow? I don’t mean to misinterpret you, but it almost sounds like you are saying more warming, more snow then more glaciers? Something seems to be missing but I am just a ignorant biologist. Ray you got a PhD in Climate science, help us out here.

    Comment by Jim Steele — 10 Apr 2010 @ 2:41 PM

  250. BPL (229), these calculations don’t match the reality all our energy budget, I assume, because of the helpful simplifying assumptions you make. If those possible assumptions were realistic then I would assume your numbers would also be realistic. It tells me two things: the temperature of a planet’s atmosphere and ground is a function only of the distance from the sun and its surface temperature, which determines insolation — again given the assumptions on emissivities. At the base level the composition of the atmosphere has no effect, which I assume is why you get a Ta that is about the same as the no GHGs case (254K). It also says that the atmosphere radiates as a blackbody according to the Stefan-Boltzmann law regardless of it material composition. If so it might (I still have to think about it) answer a long standing question of mine, similar to Ned’s: where does the 333 watts/m2 downwelling come from? Am I getting this correctly?

    Comment by Rod B — 10 Apr 2010 @ 2:45 PM

  251. Tom Lehrer,who gave us “The Elements” and “New Math” in popular song, turned 82 yesterday. As a small tribute, I have plagiarized done research on one of his lesser-known songs, “Sociology” (for the tune, see the original at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wX5II-BJ8hI). Regular readers here will recognize the references and (sad anoracks that we are) perhaps even get a laugh out of it.

    Deranged / is the change / they are trying to arrange / today in Climatology
    Fanatics / in their attics / don’t need fancy mathematics / to do Climatology
    Persuasion / by defamation / they all feel is much more satisfactory
    In congressional hearings / you don’t need to know your tree rings / to testify on Climatology.

    PR flacks / write attacks / based on hacks / into institutes of Climatology
    They’ll / steal your mail / and then rail / about a moral lapse in Climatology
    Stock consultants / grow exultant / at the peer review they get in E&E
    Trashing the science / can profit their clients / so now they’re into Climatology.

    Viscounts / double count / their discounts / of the estimates of Climatology
    Excel / lets them tell / even Hell* / is freezing, to hell with Climatology
    Six-year trends / with cherry picked ends / using monthly data points to minimize p
    They don’t need no schooling / to say that it’s cooling / and pretend it’s Climatology.

    *) I have verified this with blog science tools. I’ve found a highly significant cooling trend for Hell over the very arbitrarily sampled 200-day period August 8, 2009 – February 23, 2010. You can replicate my work from data at Weather
    statistics for Hell
    .

    Comment by CM — 10 Apr 2010 @ 2:50 PM

  252. caerbannog (233), Your question re NH vs SH heating and cooling is quite interesting (I think I can answer it), but its connection with the CO2 lead/lag question is totally obscure (to me, anyway — which means maybe I can’t answer it…) Can you shed some light on this?

    Comment by Rod B — 10 Apr 2010 @ 2:59 PM

  253. Dhoagza “223 “Jim Steele first says …
    You say I created a straw man by saying CO2 is the “only driver”. Never have I argued that, so check your own straw men.
    And later, as other point out, implicitly assumes the very same strawman …
    How can the same CO2 concentrations and the same temperature lead to both rising and falling temperatures?
    See why we don’t take your objections to both the science and to your being labelled a denialist seriously, Steele?”

    I appreciate your attempts to discredit me vs discussing the points, but please at least accuse accurately. You take the quotes out of context. The 2nd quote “How can the same CO2 concentrations and the same temperature lead to both rising and falling temperatures?” is still me consistently arguing against CO2 as the only driver. That quote was calling into question RC’s explanation of the interglacials as “From model estimates, CO2 (along with other greenhouse gases CH4 and N2O) causes about half of the full glacial-to-interglacial warming.”

    Is this attack due to your grudge regards my “just so “ comment? Well, I look forward to the time we discuss the science and put aside the personal attacks.

    Comment by Jim Steele — 10 Apr 2010 @ 3:03 PM

  254. With all such articles, I do think that Real Climate would do better – be more constructive – if you were to say what is correct as well as what is wrong.

    Thus I could say to someone…”Yes, DER SPIEGEL, is right on point A but is talking cr@p on B and C”.

    This would make for a better argument from me if I was talking to someone not versed in climate stuff.

    Comment by Theo Hopkins — 10 Apr 2010 @ 3:04 PM

  255. BPL said “: The reason the effect of warming and cooling are both amplified by CO2 is that when it warms for other reasons, it puts more CO2 IN the air, and when it cools for other reasons, it takes more CO2 OUT OF the air.”

    BPL: Too simple. Let me try to explain my concern a little differently. Lets start at a glacial minimum temp and call it 0 degrees. On the upstroke of the cycle after 800 years orbital forcing global temps to rise to 1 degree(I am keeping the numbers simple for illustrative purposes).Then the lagging CO2 starts contributing, and according to RC’s logic and the degree of sensitivity assigned to CO2 (50% of the temperature rise), the increasing amounts of CO2 raise temperatures to 2 degrees. Starting with a peak of 2 degrees, what starts the cooling. I am assuming it is mostly changes in orbital forcing that cools the oceans allowing CO2 to be taken out of the air. So the change in orbital forcing reduces the temp back to 1 degree. So if RC’s logic is that at 1 degree temperature on the upstroke, CO2 was released raising temps another degree, to be consistent we should not expect CO2 to be significantly pulled out of the atmosphere just because we are on a down stroke. It is still 1 degree. The difference here is that we lost the 1 degree due to orbital forcing so I would not expect the temperature to rise as it did on the upstroke, but hover at 1 degree.
    My question is “how then did temperatures go back to “0”. Some posters have listed several things that could absorb CO2. But that stills begs the questions, if global temps are at 1 degree, the net balance of CO2 release and absorption and radiative forcing is approximately the same at 1 degree. Most biological activity is driven by enzymatic rates that are controlled by temperature.

    BPL you say I assume CO2 stays fixed by temperature. I don’t but its release and uptake from the ocean varies directly with temperature. The confusion may lie in separating what I assume, vs what is assumed in RC’s explanation of CO2’s role in the glacial interglacials.

    If the CO2 is both lagging the decreasing temperature and also had the ability to increase temperatures to the degree RC suggested, then the lagging CO2 on the down stroke will inhibit further decrease in temperature. But because the temperature records show temps do continue to fall I am left with a few possible explanations. 1) The negative orbital forcing on the downstroke is greater than the positive orbital forcing on the upstroke. But that defies our knowledge of orbital cycles 2) New or stronger processes happen at 1 degree to absorb more CO2 only on the down stroke. That seems much too arbitrary. For example albedo? At 1 degree on the upstroke why wouldn’t I expect greater ice coverage remaining from the glacial peak and thus greater albedo, than on the down stroke when glaciers have all retreated and are just starting to grow. 3) The climate is not so sensitive to CO2, its ability to amplify and raise temperatures in the upstroke is overstated. 4) #3 implies then that we have not yet accounted for all climate variables.

    Now you could argue that my time interval is misleading as I just make one big step . But if you do the calculus, and the time intervals approach zero you would still have lagging CO2 resisting further decreases in temps. if it has the power RC attributed to it. I find scenarios 3 and 4 most likely.

    I saw one poster ask how dare I ask for better accounting. You might as well ask “how dare I think for myself?” And Spencer Weart really doesn’t address this concern, so that suggestion is not helpful.

    Comment by Jim Steele — 10 Apr 2010 @ 4:05 PM

  256. @ Walter Manny:

    You still haven’t answered question I asked you, Walter – here it is again:

    How, in your mind, can statements in the Landsea-coauthored study including the following:

    “Future projections based on theory and high-resolution dynamical
models consistently indicate that greenhouse warming will cause the
globally averaged intensity of tropical cyclones to shift towards
stronger storms, with intensity increases of 2–11% by 2100.”

    in any HONEST way be translated, as the Der Spiegel article did, into meaning that the link between global warming and hurricanes has been “finally disproven”?

    Please answer the question, and while doing so please spare us the circumlocution – which again may be fun but not particularly illuminating.

    Comment by Publicola — 10 Apr 2010 @ 4:11 PM

  257. Jim Steele — Humans have added about 500 GtC to the active carbon cycle. All that carbon dioxide has to go somewhere so its certainly not coming out of the oceans but rather going in. I previously suggested you study
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/03/unforced-variations-3/comment-page-12/#comment-168530
    and now even more strongly urge you to do so. You’ll find that the last 13 decades are fairly easy to explain.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 10 Apr 2010 @ 4:22 PM

  258. I have not figured out yet if Jim Steele is a ‘concern troll’ or a ‘tone troll’, or a bit of both. Anyhow, it is fascinating to observe.

    Sadly, he does seem to be being quite successful at detracting/distracting from the DS fiasco though.

    Theo @254, I agree with your sentiments. Can you provide some examples of what they unequivocally got right, to get us started? And I am being sincere when I ask that.

    PS: Stefan did preface his post saying that he was busy and did not have much time to spend on the DS article.

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 10 Apr 2010 @ 4:33 PM

  259. Well, I look forward to the time we discuss the science and put aside the personal attacks.

    Before you can discuss the science, Mr. Steele, you must first understand the science. An even stronger statement may be made that before you can claim to be *refuting* the science, you must first understand what you claim to be refuting.

    Comment by dhogaza — 10 Apr 2010 @ 4:52 PM

  260. Jim Steele, did you not see the post (#154) where Hank Roberts outed you?

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 10 Apr 2010 @ 5:11 PM

  261. Jim Steele says in #248:

    I however see one major statistical problem with regressing CO2 vs temperature. It is well known that not only can increasing CO2 raise temperatures, but equally so rising temperature increases CO2.

    Jim, I’m not sure you realize just what you said here. For one thing, you answered quite clearly the question Gilles posed about why there was a serious danger posed to civilization by AGW.

    But the other is that you’re completely ignoring known, proven, observable physics when you suggest something like that.

    You propose the question of whether rising temperatures could have been causing the rise in CO2 levels. On the face of it this is absurd. To say that rising temperatures is responsible for rising CO2 ignores all the CO2 that we’ve added through fossil fuels. It’s been proven that this additional CO2 in the atmosphere is of fossil origins by isotopic signature.

    It also ignores the radiative physics of CO2 and other greenhouse gases that was demonstrated more than a century ago.

    If, Jim, you really want to say that increased CO2 is a result of increased temperatures rather than the other way around you need to demonstrate how modern radiative physics, isotopic analysis, and historic fossil fuel consumption estimates are all wrong. Then you need to prove what WAS responsible for the increasing temperature – where’d all that energy come from? Lastly you’ll have to demonstrate where the carbon came from.

    Increased CO2 IS a result of increased temperatures. There was a thread on that right here on RC recently. That’s a real problem. Increased CO2 means more warming; more warming means more CO2. If you think BPL has cause and effect backwards you have a lot of explaining to do.

    Comment by David Miller — 10 Apr 2010 @ 5:12 PM

  262. It might not seem like much consolation now, but there’s only 2 more years of climate science bashing to endure with luck

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/apr/09/ecocide-crime-genocide-un-environmental-damage

    “Supporters of a new ecocide law also believe it could be used to prosecute “climate deniers” who distort science and facts to discourage voters and politicians from taking action to tackle global warming and climate change.”

    Comment by Green Marauder — 10 Apr 2010 @ 5:22 PM

  263. Steele: but it almost sounds like you are saying more warming, more snow then more glaciers

    Is that difficult for you to conceptualize?

    change in glacier mass = snow additions – melting

    If a warmer, moisture atmosphere drops snow at an annual rate greater than the increased melting due to rising temps, glacier mass (and presumably glacier length) increases. Four scenarios: hot & dry, hot & wet, cool & dry, cool & wet.

    And that’s only looking at what are probably dependent variables of temp and moisture. In many regions, melting due to aerosol pollution (black soot, dust from drought) exceeds temperature dependent melting.

    Steele: Something seems to be missing but I am just a ignorant biologist

    The problem with playing the fool is knowing when to stop.

    So, Jim, do you still believe that you have demonstrated an inconsistency in AGW? If so, what would that be, since you have never stated it? Or are you having more fun raising charges of being ‘attacked.’ What is your inconsistency? How have you demonstrated it? Don’t be shy. I would really like you to stick to the point you have alluded to and defend it.

    Comment by Ron Broberg — 10 Apr 2010 @ 5:26 PM

  264. #184, Wilt, #166 was meant “tongue-in-cheek.” I’m not going to give up on the social & behavioral sciences so easily.

    However, as a person who has been trying to tell people about AGW for 20 years, and about the great economic savings they can realize by reducing the GHGs, without lowering living standards, I am totally exasperated with this ever increasing brick wall I’m running into.

    And a most exasperating point is that while the Catholic popes and bishops have written eloquently about how prudence requires us to mitigate climate change, even if we don’t quite understand or accept the science, this doesn’t get down to the parish level. And the Catholic denialists (some like the Acton Institute, funded by Exxon — see http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php?id=5 ) keep harping on what they see as the main problem…that environmentalism leads to neopaganism & Gaia-worship. Now I’ve known a few neopagans and one pagan in my life, and I wouldn’t call them environmentalists necessarily. Furthermore the fora in which these Catholic denialists air their fears of neopaganism are composed of very conservative Catholic audiences, and frankly I really don’t know of a single conservative Catholic who is a neopagan, but I do know plenty who are anti-environmentalists.

    I’m not too aware of the trials and tribulations of climate skeptics — sorry for whatever you and others have suffered. I would hope such skeptics don’t receive death threats and harassments. I’m sure no one would wish the level of harassment, bashing, job-threats, job losses (I’m thinking of Pat Newman), and death threats climate scientists have received on even their worse enemy.

    So, let’s just say I use humor to get through my exasperation.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 10 Apr 2010 @ 5:30 PM

  265. > Jim Steele says: 10 April 2010 at 3:03 PM
    > … You say I created a straw man by saying CO2 is the “only driver”.
    > Never have I argued that… The 2nd quote … is still me consistently
    > arguing against CO2 as the only driver.”

    Jim, no climate scientist seriously claims CO2 is the only driver.

    Some people set up that claim as a strawman — a fake opponent that’s easy to knock down.

    When you argue against CO2 as the only driver, you’re attacking a strawman.
    You found it somewhere — someone set it up.

    Check for bunk. Here’s a good example:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=“co2+is+the+only+driver”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Apr 2010 @ 5:45 PM

  266. Argh, those should be ordinary double quotes, not curly quotes.
    Jim, put the string in double quotes in the Google search box.

    Somehow your doublequotes work and mine don’t.
    Let’s see if I can copypaste them. Weird, even copying the curly quotes out of my earlier response and pasting them back seems to fix them. I dunnnnnooo.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=“CO2 is the only driver”
    http://www.google.com/search?q=“co2+is+the+only+driver”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Apr 2010 @ 5:53 PM

  267. ermgh. Apparently it’s the plus sign that breaks the link now?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Apr 2010 @ 5:54 PM

  268. “How can the same CO2 concentrations and the same temperature lead to both rising and falling temperatures?” is still me consistently arguing against CO2 as the only driver.

    But your conclusion does not follow from your starting point anyway. I went to some trouble to explain the mechanism in my previous comment.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 10 Apr 2010 @ 6:10 PM

  269. Walter, #235, you claim that I show “an obvious bias.”

    Tell me, what differentiates a justly-reached conclusion from bias?

    My experience was as I described it. When one side–call it “contrarian” if you wish–is predominantly characterized by a lack of self-consistency, a lack of attention to detail, a tendency to revert to conspiracy theory, etc., etc., how long must I forbear what appears to me to be a merited judgement, if I wish not to be accused of “bias?”

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 10 Apr 2010 @ 6:18 PM

  270. Jim “Steele”:
    The physics of global warming is simple;
    1) CO2 is a greenhouse gas
    2) Greenhouse gases make the atmosphere warmer
    3) Mankind consumes fossil carbon creating CO2
    4) CO2 levels have raises
    5) Global temperatures raises

    What step above you do not comprehend?

    Comment by Petro — 10 Apr 2010 @ 6:54 PM

  271. Jim Steele (255) — I take your question about the role of CO2 during a transition from interglacial to glacial is quite a reasonble one. Lets start with a simpler example.

    Consider the variation in global temperature over the average solar sunspot cycle. Starting from the minimum, increased insollation begins to heat the globe, but as winds thoroughly mix the top few meters of the ocean this upper portion and the atmosphere warm together. We only measure the temperature of the surficial air over land and SSTs in the ocean. As those few meters take awhile to warm up, there is a delay in the response to the increasse of about one year. That is called a phase lag in linear system theory and there is a full development for this example in the appendix to Tung & Camp (2008?).

    Similarly, but more complexly, there is a phase lag between the orbital forcing and the climate response. So at the maximum recorded temperature of an interglacial the orbital forcing has already begun to decline. This phase lag could well be on a millennial scale (I don’t know) which resolves your difficulty. Of course, there is the same phase lag at the minimum during the stade.

    [Response: Any future postings which do not follow David's example here of sticking strictly to scientific explication--sans put-downs, name calling and various direct and indirect innuendo--will be summarily deleted , regardless of authorship. I'm completely sick of it--Jim]

    Comment by David B. Benson — 10 Apr 2010 @ 7:40 PM

  272. 240. (Bob)

    “Simply being able to say ‘I’m right’ doesn’t make it so.” We are in perfect agreement there. As to your feedback doubts (hardly a footnote in my opinion) isn’t that ultimately THE crux of debate?

    I offered the inverted paragraph as an example of an easily refuted statement, one that does not appeal to me in the least, just as the original does not. As to your attempts to read my mind, I think you need better proxy data.

    Comment by Walter Manny — 10 Apr 2010 @ 8:25 PM

  273. Kevin (270)

    “Tell me, what differentiates a justly-reached conclusion from bias?”

    Perhaps when the justly-reached conclusion is freed from disrespectful characterizations of one’s opponents, especially in a post simultaneously purporting to promote civility, it would be less likely to appear as bias. That bias is not necessarily unmerited, of course, but I did find the post ironic. Not a big deal, though, and I understand what you are trying to get at, elusive as it may be.

    Comment by Walter Manny — 10 Apr 2010 @ 8:42 PM

  274. Jim Steele – Where to begin? Just a few major points.

    #202 Jim Steele says

    “The explanations are definitely not the same. Simply stated, CO2 amplifies warming, but resists cooling. Although I really appreciate your in depth explanation of a cycle, I would hope we could dig a little deeper. Orbital cycles increase and decrease solar input due to well described cycles eccentricity, axial tilt, and precession. But I am unaware of a carbon cycle that is independent of temperature. Assuming the orbital cycles are (RC’S) “unknown process” that accounts for 50% of the warming and CO2 represents the other 50%, here is a simple mathematical model. Let’s assign solar increase due to orbital changes +1 and solar decrease as -1(I realize there are 3 components and this is oversimplified). Let’s also assign +1 to CO2’s warming. There is no “negative” value assigned to CO2 because it always amplifying warming. When the orbital cycles are warming then CO2 reinforces the warming +2. When orbital cycles are cooling they are antagonistic net change 0. Every small decrease in forcing from orbital changes would be resisted by the CO2’s warming effect.”

    What on Earth are you talking about. Your ‘model’ you talk about is nonsense. Additive effects such as you describe are nonsense. The negative effects you seem to want are nonsense.

    Your apparent misunderstanding of the basic atmospheric physics is pretty profound. There isn’t a default temperature of the Earth to which solar or CO2 effects add (increased) or subtract (decreased).

    The default temperature is 0 K, ie absolute zero. On a world without a greenhouse effect, solar input would raise average global temperature to about 255 K. On Earth, H2O, CO2 and other minor atmostpheric constituents provide a greenhouse effect which raises this value to about 287 K. The orbital ‘changes’ (cycles) affect the solar power input raising the basic no-greenhouse temperature above absolute zero to a greater or lessor amount than 255 K. Variations in H2O, CO2 etc cause a greater or lesser greenhouse effect raising the temperature to a greater or lesser amount above the basic temperature. So there is no need for some sort of negative repression.

    “At the very least this suggest that we need to account for processes that increase cooling effects to offset the warming effects of CO2.”

    No you don’t. All you need is for the solar imput to start being reduced due to orbital changes so that the feedbacks start to cause a reduction of CO2 and a reduction in CO2 forcing. Over the longer term one may also get CO2 removal due to geological processes such as the formation of carbonate minerals (rocks).

    This is all really basic physics which is available to anyone who wishes to learn it from one of numerous textbooks on climate, or from internet sites such as this one.

    #248 Jim Steele says

    “This makes the transition from correlation to causality difficult to ascertain for this correlation. It also means that due to this direct correlation of temperature induced CO2 that any change in temperature due to forcings and processes other than CO2, could be mistakenly attributed to CO2, and perhaps “hiding” other factors”

    1. You are making a major prejudgement when you say ‘due to this direct correlation of temperature induced CO2′ when you don’t actually know that to be true in this case.
    2. As a scientist I would have expected you to know that you can never make use of correlation to ascertain causality. So to say that this correlation may be hiding other factors is nonsense. Causality requires suitable hypotheses or models, followed by specific testing of those hypotheses or models. Correlation doesn’t come into it.

    First you say

    “My experience is mankind’s disruption of the environment/climate is due more to land use issues like altered hydrology that cause regional temperature changes that then get averaged into a global mean.”

    So you are saying regional temperature changes due to mankinds land use causes the major part of the increase in global temperature.
    Then you say

    “Likewise the PDO may have a strong correlation on a more regional scale as demonstrated by the Alps example. However the importance of the PDO can then be lost when you average temperatures on the global scale.”

    So now you say that the effects of even strong regional changes such as the PDO can be diluted and lost when averaged into the global temperature. So which is it. You can’t have it both ways.

    “But you must then always justify the correlation with well understood processes.”

    I think the best justification would be the extremely well understood physical principles that have been used to understand the basic processes in Earth’s atmosphere and were used to predict global warming due to increased CO2 more than a century ago.

    “So I am sure you have examined this in your investigations of these driving factors, so looking at the February anomaly map how would you attribute 75% of February’s Arctic warm anomaly and the rest of the NH’s cold anomaly to CO2?”

    It is called weather, affected by large scale atmospheric circulation, which is potentially affected by global temperatures, which is controlled to some extent by increases in CO2.

    Comment by Andrew Hobbs — 10 Apr 2010 @ 8:49 PM

  275. Jim Steele said

    And Spencer Weart really doesn’t address this concern, so that suggestion is not helpful.

    I am a biologist too, and have published on small mammal cycles in the Arctic, and also do work on boreal forest songbirds (population fluctuations). Our educational backgrounds and decades of accumulated experience are probably more similar than different.

    So I strongly recommend you read Weart’s book. It was extremely helpful for me. And please listen when numerous posters tell you that you misunderstand the science because they are absolutely right. You are missing some very essential basics, and without those basics, you are going to draw the wrong conclusions when dealing with more advanced material.

    As someone pointed out, think of creationists trying to discuss evolution. E.g. They try to discuss things like ERVs, but don’t know how DNA replicates and therefore think that just because the same ERV bit isn’t found in every tested individual of a particular species tested, then this missing sequence is proof that ERVs disprove evolution.

    [Response: Edit--I meant what I said. Scientific discussion ONLY.--Jim]

    –dan

    Comment by Daniel J. Andrews — 10 Apr 2010 @ 9:37 PM

  276. 234 Gordon Cutler: So you are saying the article is not an April fool’s day joke because it is too ironic and sarcastic? It is just vicious, not joking, and I could tell that if I could read German. Then it is very bad indeed. Thank you.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 10 Apr 2010 @ 9:51 PM

  277. Echoing Jim’s fatigue with our discussion with Jim Steele, let me suggest that we all let Mr. Steele brush up on climate science with the Start Here and Weart links, and call it a day.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 10 Apr 2010 @ 9:53 PM

  278. 276 Edward Greisch: So you are saying the article is not an April fool’s day joke because it is too ironic and sarcastic?

    Jawohl! [Yes, indeed] In my letter of complaint, which routes to the three ‘journalists’ and their editors, I asked if they also believed the earth was less than 10,000 years old. Haven’t had a reply to that…

    Comment by Gordon Cutler — 10 Apr 2010 @ 10:34 PM

  279. @216 Barton Paul Levenson,

    In your attachment entitled “Are the Models Untestable” you gave a list of qualitative predictions that the models can perform while also giving a list of on-going research areas. While TRENDS in temperature global temperature, TRENDS in the poleward movement of storm tracks and TRENDS in the expanded range of the hurricanes and cyclones, are useful, policy makers require more (i.e. regional quantitative predictions of peak temperatures, precipitation, wind speed, ENSO variability for example) which climate models cannot provide at the moment. I am skeptical also of the temperature and precipitation projections which are shown in the IPCC report on the century scale which are then used to estimate the impacts of global warming. The climate models are not able AT THE MOMENT of predicting QUANTITATIVELY the global temperatures and much less precipitation. The impact estimates are used to alarm the public into action. The XXXgate errors were found in the second IPCC report which deals with the impacts. I think the skeptical backlash of the international press is a reaction to the constant alarmism we have heard from environmental groups and some climate scientists such as Stephen Schneider.

    Comment by RaymondT — 10 Apr 2010 @ 10:36 PM

  280. I found it telling that DS chose to speak to and quote Landsea in the section about tropical cyclones rather than speak to and quote the lead author Knutson.

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 10 Apr 2010 @ 10:44 PM

  281. 272 (Walter),

    I think most educated people agree that the only real debate is in the actual value for climate sensitivity, low or high. All of the other arguments about a supposed MWP being warmer than the current, or our understanding of GHG physics being wrong, or the surface temperature record having been purposely adjusted, and a million other arguments, are all dead and buried. I won’t even visit them, unless the perpetrator seems open to being corrected.

    On the question of climate sensitivity, I’ll restate my position and leave it to you to refute. There is an accumulating body of evidence from the paleoclimate record, simulation ensembles, our understanding of the physics involved, and other approaches which all point to a sensitivity of approximately 3˚C per doubling of CO2.

    Some people have put forth the idea that climate sensitivity is much lower, but without proving their case to any reasonable degree. They have suggested that a negative feedback from an increased albedo from increased cloud formation will offset other positive feedbacks, but without providing a specific mechanism, evidence in past climate events, or evidence that it is currently happening.

    I do also remember one argument that implied that the water vapor feedback which would lead to 3˚C per doubling depends on relative humidity holding constant, and arguing that this would not necessarily be the case, that relative humidity could drop enough to hold specific humidity down if not constant, thus limiting overall climate sensitivity. I thought that particular argument had some hint of merit, but I have yet to find a serious scientific paper (i.e. something other than any old random soul posting his thoughts on a web page) which logically qualifies, quantitatively defines or quantitatively measures that factor.

    Can you point me to any paper which makes a serious, strong, arguable case for a lower sensitivity than 3˚C per doubling? Until someone (a skeptic? a climate scientist? a skeptical climate scientist?) does serious work in that area, I’m afraid it is just a footnote. It needs depth and substance to elevate from being a footnote to a serious argument.

    Comment by Bob — 10 Apr 2010 @ 10:44 PM

  282. 166, Lynn Vincentathan: Ergo, it seems to me more and more like it’s the work of the devil. For those familiar with the Twilight Zone, there is an episode “The Howling Man” (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Howling_Man ). In ordinary times the devil is locked up, and the wickedness in the world can easily be explained by human nature or our fallen nature, but there are times when things are just so evil, that ordinary reasons aren’t enough to explain it. So, it looks like someone has been deceived into thinking the devil is an unjustly locked up person, and has removed the “STAFF OF TRUTH” (don’t you love it) holding him locked in, and the devil has now escaped and is running rampage, corrupting humanity into very evil deeds.

    Didn’t the moderator insist that we focus on the science?

    [Response: Not soon enough apparently.--Jim]

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 10 Apr 2010 @ 10:56 PM

  283. dhogaza 259, “Your claim that professional scientists are publishing peer-reviewed papers that amount to “just so” arguments is the vilest, most dishonest, and lowest form of anti-science.”

    Gee, looks like a few of you all went to to the same school for slanderous baseless ad hominem attack. I would suggest such attacks are the real anti-science. So you really need to heed your own words.

    Look at the article which prompted my comment, claiming that global warming was the selective force causing birds with shorter wings and less weight. I offered several arguments based on 25 years of experience and knowledge in that specific field. I have banded over 30,000 birds myself. (I would even wager that I have done more to improve the environment and people’s understanding the you ever have. One of your moderators has met me so you start there.)

    Now if you can show me how any of my objections were unwarranted, or distorted or without scientific merit and indeed those authors controlled for even half of the confounding variables I mentioned, then I will gladly apologize and accept the scorn you so venomously and ignorantly administer. I would also admit I was I was unworthy and never post here again.

    But I know that field very well. I know the variables how difficult they are to account for. In return, if you can not show me show me my objections were without merit, then all I ask from you in return is more respectful dialogue.

    [Response: I have removed the offending post and commented that all posts from this point forward must address the science questions/topics only, without personal attack of any kind. ]

    [Response: Everyone needs to make a sincere effort to ask specific, substantive questions and to respond with similar answers, without the insinuation of nefarious intent, slander, questioning of backgrounds, etc., which never result in anything other than in fact making the situation continually worse.--Jim]

    Comment by Jim Steele — 10 Apr 2010 @ 11:05 PM

  284. Green Marauder (262), I’m curious: would spouting utter nonsense be considered polluting the atmosphere?

    Comment by Rod B — 10 Apr 2010 @ 11:17 PM

  285. Walter (#273), if “denialist” seems disrespectful to you, then so be it; it is quite accurate, for those whom I was discussing–those who deny facts, logic, and reason on the topic of AGW.

    Moreover–and FWIW–my post wasn’t intended to “promote civility.” (Though that wouldn’t be a bad thing.) If you look back, you’ll find it was a comment about my perception of life on the dark side, AKA WUWT. (And before you jump on me about the adjective “dark,” let me assure you that it’s just a stock metaphor for ignorance–again, objectively merited when considering the class as a whole. Not every individual.)

    An extreme example of that ignorance would be one Mr. Wilde, who apparently recently penned–in a WUWT guest post, no less!–the immortal phrase “density per unit volume.” Think about that one for a second!

    I respect Mr Wilde as a living, feeling human being whose “inherent worth and dignity”–his human rights–are fully equal to mine, yours, or Dr. James Hansen’s. Does this mean I owe “respect” to ideas–and I use that term loosely–so wrong as to be overtly laughable? I think not.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 10 Apr 2010 @ 11:39 PM

  286. David 261 and similar replies “But the other is that you’re completely ignoring known, proven, observable physics when you suggest something like that.”

    Let me show you why I was not ignoring any physics. First I did not claim all things you suggest. I simply advised caution in BPL’s regression interpretation. I did not ever even suggest that the amount of CO2 now present is due to only to warming. I have not ever denied that humans have added more CO2.

    Exactly in keeping with all accept physics, because changing temperatures change CO2 solubility, then we would expect and observe a correlation with rising temperatures and CO2 leaving a liquid. It is precisely for this reason the RC’s interglacial explanation states that rising temperatures due to orbital forcing will release more CO2. That is something I agree with.

    I also was not suggesting BPL reversed cause and effect.

    I was most definitely suggesting that BPL’s claim of attributing 74% of the temperature change to CO2, needed to be treated with caution, because to make that claim he would need to partition out the natural correlation of CO2 concentrations and global temperatures that are caused by other forcings such as orbital forcing. Everything else people here may attribute to my comment was due to misunderstanding, perhaps in part due to my lack of clarity, and for some due to a rush to demonize what I said.

    This issue however does speak to a major skeptic point. The sensitivity of climate due to CO2 by itself vs other feedbacks.

    Let me quote Dr. Spencer “It is well known that most of that warming is NOT due to the direct warming effect of the CO2 by itself, which is relatively weak. It is instead due to indirect effects (positive feedbacks) that amplify the small amount of direct warming from the CO2. The most important warmth-amplifying feedbacks in climate models are clouds and water vapor.”

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/research-articles/satellite-and-climate-model-evidence/

    So if there are changes in the PDO, ENSO, etc and they cause changes in water vapor and clouds that cause a positive increase in temperature, how is do you separate the positive feedback effects of CO2 from the effects of the PDO and other processes, and thus how do you determine attribution. I think once we go through another PDO cycle, and with new satellite observations of clouds, and soil moisture that in 30 years we will be able to more definitively assess the power of CO2.

    I know some feel they can’t wait that long and went to jump to conclusions, and move to quickly to save the environment. I however will most likely remain skeptical regards CO2 until that time , or earlier if the evidence gets stronger. I believe we should actively work and advocate to restoring wetlands and streams and that would be a more valuable way to spend our efforts.

    Comment by Jim Steele — 10 Apr 2010 @ 11:52 PM

  287. Jim, Thank you. And I want to applaud the more open nature here at RC that allows skeptical discussion.

    Comment by Jim Steele — 10 Apr 2010 @ 11:56 PM

  288. Jim, this will be my last attempt to engage you on this question.

    In #180 you stated: And the pattern if advancing and retreating glaciers was another inconsistency with the AGW theory.

    You have indicated that several of the commentators, including myself, have misread what you intended to say in this statement. I have asked for clarification. I ask again.

    In what way is the pattern of advancing and retreating glaciers in the Swiss Alps inconsistent with the AGW theory?

    Comment by Ron Broberg — 11 Apr 2010 @ 12:22 AM

  289. Lest Green Marauder’s (#262) Guardian quote on a private proposal for an international crime of ecocide derail us into another free-speech debate, it should be noted that: 1. Ms Higgins’s proposals do not appear to be on any UN agenda as suggested in the article, so the whole thing is probably moot. 2. Both moderators and many regular visitors on this site have on several occasions come out strongly for free speech and against suggestions that climate denial be criminalized.

    Comment by CM — 11 Apr 2010 @ 1:52 AM

  290. Jim Steele(255)”If the CO2 is both lagging the decreasing temperature and also had the ability to increase temperatures to the degree RC suggested, then the lagging CO2 on the down stroke will inhibit further decrease in temperature. But because the temperature records show temps do continue to fall I am left with a few possible explanations. 1) The negative orbital forcing on the downstroke is greater than the positive orbital forcing on the upstroke. But that defies our knowledge of orbital cycles 2) New or stronger processes happen at 1 degree to absorb more CO2 only on the down stroke. That seems much too arbitrary. For example albedo? At 1 degree on the upstroke why wouldn’t I expect greater ice coverage remaining from the glacial peak and thus greater albedo, than on the down stroke when glaciers have all retreated and are just starting to grow. 3) The climate is not so sensitive to CO2, its ability to amplify and raise temperatures in the upstroke is overstated. 4) #3 implies then that we have not yet accounted for all climate variables.”

    Other climate forcings such as reduced solar radiation or geologic forces such as increased vulcanism or orbital changes must also be considered for explaining this apparent paradox. The CO2 forcing has been well known as one of several forcings.

    Comment by David Klar — 11 Apr 2010 @ 2:17 AM

  291. Go Jim Steele. If you want non adhom attack debate and disussion visit WUWT. I’m sure some of the hundreds of thousands of regular viewers there would be happy to engage you with stimulating debate.

    Comment by James Allison — 11 Apr 2010 @ 2:23 AM

  292. #236

    Correction to my earlier comment. The time scales were geological. So it would have been more realistic to start from energy balance at any temperature. On the way up you consider the effect of adding a bit more power by means of an external driver (non-CO2). This causes warming , more CO2 and more warming. If you reverse the sign of the external driver the rest of the argument is also reversed and the reduced CO2 produces more cooling.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 11 Apr 2010 @ 2:51 AM

  293. David : “Similarly, but more complexly, there is a phase lag between the orbital forcing and the climate response. So at the maximum recorded temperature of an interglacial the orbital forcing has already begun to decline. This phase lag could well be on a millennial scale (I don’t know) which resolves your difficulty. Of course, there is the same phase lag at the minimum during the stade.”

    Is there any reason why the phase lag should depend on the nature of the forcing, and why wouldn’t it be also around 1000 years for anthropic forcing ? i anticipated that you could distinguish between PHASE lag and TIME lag, but I think that the most relevant physical quantity would indeed be a TIME lag, which would convert as a phase lag following the characteristic timescale. But actually a long time lag To would smooth any high frequency variation , so the instantaneous sensitivity to a 30 years variation of forcing for instance would only be 30/To times the asymptotic sensitivity – if To is of the order of 1000 yrs, it means that the effect of anthropogenic forcings should be essentially non measurable.

    [Response: The simplest possible climate model (energy balance model) provides some insight here. Imagine we had the simple balance CP dT/dt = S(t) where T is global mean temperature anomaly of a pure mixed layer ocean, CP is its effective heat capacity, and S(t) is some cyclical forcing S(t)=S0cos(wt) with period tau=2pi/w. It is easy to show that the temperature response to the forcing will be 90 degrees out of phase with the forcing, i.e. the phase lag will be 90 degrees. So If the forcing timescale is 8 years, the lag will be 2 years, if the forcing timescale is 100 years, the lag will be 25 years, etc. The real world is of course more complex, and you can find some further discussion in this paper, and references therein. However, the point is that we start out from even the simplest model with the expectation the lags in response to a simple radiative forcing are directly proportional to the periodicity of the forcing. As it happens, that basic property survives in more realistic climate models. -mike]

    Comment by Gilles — 11 Apr 2010 @ 3:03 AM

  294. Bob (#281), I am grateful that you finally bring us all back to a focus on the science, and on one of the most relevant questions of them all: climate sensitivity and feedback. With respect to water feedback you wondered whether there were serious articles that suggest that humidity may not be constant.
    I suppose that you are familiar with the recent Solomon’s paper in Science, about changing water vapor in the stratosphere. Here is the (complete) abstract: ‘Stratospheric water vapor concentrations decreased by about 10% after the year 2000. Here, we show that this acted to slow the rate of increase in global surface temperature over 2000 to 2009 by about 25% compared to that which would have occurred due only to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. More limited data suggest that stratospheric water vapor probably increased between 1980 and 2000, which would have enhanced the decadal rate of surface warming during the 1990s by about 30% compared to estimates neglecting this change. These findings show that stratospheric water vapor represents an important driver of decadal global surface climate change.’
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/science.1182488

    As for the troposphere: Paltridge has published an article suggesting that in the upper troposphere humidity is not constant and that both relative and specific humidity have decreased in the last decades, especially above the tropics. Considering that his article is about trends I think it is difficult to ignore it, even when there would be doubt about precision of some of the data in an absolute sense. Paltridge illustrates that both relative and specific humidity have decreased, especially above the tropics.
    http://www.theclimatescam.se/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/paltridgearkingpook.pdf

    There is a site where you can do your own analysis regarding time series of humidity data from NOAA: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl

    Comment by wilt — 11 Apr 2010 @ 4:09 AM

  295. Re Walter Manny (235),

    I have to agree. “Denialist” or “Denier” isn’t a good term.

    How about “tinfoil-hat, pseudoscience crazies helping to destroy human civilization?” That would be more accurate, wouldn’t it?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 11 Apr 2010 @ 4:31 AM

  296. Adrian O (237),

    Try calculating the percentage increase in each case. dT is proportionate to ln CO2.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 11 Apr 2010 @ 4:32 AM

  297. SM (238),

    Houghton’s book is probably the best general overview. But you have to work the problems!

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 11 Apr 2010 @ 4:34 AM

  298. Gilles (245),

    You said specifically that the climate models had never passed a crucial predictive test. I gave you 17 counterexamples. Case closed.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 11 Apr 2010 @ 4:37 AM

  299. Jim Steele (248),

    The causality runs from CO2 to temperature, not the other way around. I know this for two reasons:

    1. When it runs from temperature to (ln) CO2, there is an average lag time of 800 years. The r = 0.87 correlation I found between the two from 1880 to 2008 is for the same year.

    2. Granger causality tests show the influence running unequivocally from ln CO2 to dT, not the other way around.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 11 Apr 2010 @ 4:40 AM

  300. Rod B (250),

    To make it more accurate, you need to use emissivities other than 0 and 1. Older GCMs used to use εvis = 0.95 for the ground, but recent research indicates the figure should be much higher, and ECHAM5 now uses 0.996. In addition, you need to break the atmosphere up into levels to simulate the fact that it is not really a uniform temperature at all levels (i.e., you need to “discretize” the actual continuum). And a better model would include clouds, break up radiation into 20-200 bands rather than just visual and IR, calculate layer levels of O3 and water vapor, etc., etc. My RCMs, which are nowhere near as sophisticated as a GCM, currently use 20 levels, ten gases, and 54 bands, and usually wind up around 1,400 lines of Fortran code.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 11 Apr 2010 @ 4:45 AM

  301. BPL: The reason the effect of warming and cooling are both amplified by CO2 is that when it warms for other reasons, it puts more CO2 IN the air, and when it cools for other reasons, it takes more CO2 OUT OF the air.

    JS: BPL: Too simple.

    BPL: No, it really isn’t. Your labored following paragraphs to the contrary are just wrong. Until you read up on how this actually works, you won’t get it. And you seem to think CO2 exerts additional warming on any change, up or down. No. A fixed amount of warming per molecule, but when the Earth is cooling, there are fewer molecules, and the CO2 warming DECREASES, because THERE’S LESS OF IT. Thus amplifying the cooling.

    This is a well understood process and they have modeled it mathematically and matched empirical data many, many times. Again, please study the science. If you don’t like Weart, try Houghton and Petty.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 11 Apr 2010 @ 4:51 AM

  302. I just read the whole, very long Spiegel article and after the sickening human-interest stuff in the first paragraphs it isn’t quite as bad as Stefan makes out.
    The only serious mistakes I found were two also mentioned by Stefan: citing McKitrick as a bona fide paper when it isn’t, and overdoing things a bit on the medieval warming period side(they’re right that it’s statistically possible that it was warmer, only of course the best estimates say it wasn’t, and that’s what they conveniently forget to mention). However, the rest of the long article is largely factually okay on the climate science side of things. As regards two things Stefan criticizes, but slightly misrepresents in my view: They do come to the conclusion that the CRU temperature record will in the end be shown to have been perfectly correct, and they do say that tropical storms are projected to become more severe (if rarer). Accusing Der Spiegel’s basically correct account of hurricane research of distortion seems a bit overdone on a website that touts Al Gore’s movie (where if I remember rightly Katrina is presented as a consequence of global warming when current evidence says it wasn’t, apart from the fact that the main culprit were the levees in this case).
    To be honest, what I as a green veteran found most shocking was the quote by Prof. Schellnhuber who tells us that he personally sees absolutely no reason to curb his carbon emissions (or how should I interpret his glib statement that he drives a BMW of all things, eats meat and isn’t “green” at all — even though he believes climate change will spell disaster). This felt like a slap in the face to someone who owns no car, has refrained from flying for years and does or rather doesn’t do lots of other things to keep his carbon footprint down. So is it okay to guzzle carbon? Maybe Stefan could explain that to us, seeing Prof. Schellnhuber is at the same institute and probably a close friend of his. (Or maybe he isn’t?)

    Comment by C. Streif — 11 Apr 2010 @ 4:55 AM

  303. Back to the subject of Der Spiegel and the media…

    Surely the media will literally follow the money as the skeptics like to say.
    We shouldn’t be surprised to see allegedly friends of climate science in the media to change, when their budgets and salaries are at stake.

    Ironically if the ‘follow the money’ skeptics are correct, we will see scientists swapping ‘sides’ to denounce the research they had conducted to prove AGW, all in order to keep their research budgets when party politics demands change based on political ideology.

    Of course the fact that no scientist is going to change ‘sides’ just proves what a load of junk the statement ‘follow the money’ is.

    Comment by The Ville — 11 Apr 2010 @ 6:24 AM

  304. One more for Jim Steele #255: you say “the lagging CO2 on the down stroke will inhibit further decrease in temperature”.

    Think it through.

    The decrease is caused by a change in the forcing (orbital change, usually, in the paleo climate). Only once that change starts to take effect can feedbacks amplify that change. These feedbacks include less water vapour, more ice and less CO_2 as the oceans’ capacity to absorb CO_2 increases. The timescales of these feedbacks differ considerably: water vapour is near instantaneous in geological time; complete mixing of the oceans 800-1000 years.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 11 Apr 2010 @ 7:01 AM

  305. [Not intended to be posted, but it's your site.]

    Dear Jim:

    I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I was to see:

    [Response: Any future postings which do not follow David's example here of sticking strictly to scientific explication--sans put-downs, name calling and various direct and indirect innuendo--will be summarily deleted, regardless of authorship. I'm completely sick of it--Jim]

    I have tried for years now, here and elsewhere (Friedman, Revkin…) and with some success, to propose getting rid of the term “denier” for self-evident reasons I won’t get into here.

    [edit -- we see nothing wrong with that term here. Those who deny the existence of something that the scientific community has provided overwhelming evidence for being true, such as AGW, are 'deniers', plain and simple. Those who complain about the label, in general, are just objecting to being called out for exactly what they are. Sorry Walter, if the shoe fits!]

    Thanks,

    Walter

    Comment by Walter Manny — 11 Apr 2010 @ 8:43 AM

  306. Jim Steele:

    Exactly in keeping with all accept physics, because changing temperatures change CO2 solubility, then we would expect and observe a correlation with rising temperatures and CO2 leaving a liquid

    Only if the atmospheric concentration of CO2 and the given liquid (the oceans, mostly, in this case) are in equilibrium. Since we’re pouring massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, this precondition doesn’t hold.

    Let me show you why I was not ignoring any physics

    You are ignoring physics, observations, or both.

    Comment by dhogaza — 11 Apr 2010 @ 9:03 AM

  307. I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I was to see:

    [Response: Any future postings which do not follow David's example here of sticking strictly to scientific explication--sans put-downs, name calling and various direct and indirect innuendo--will be summarily deleted, regardless of authorship. I'm completely sick of it--JimL]

    I do hope that JimL will moderate with an even hand and will delete comments that accuse the peer-reviewed literature of consisting of “just so” stories.

    If that’s not a put-down, a form of name-calling, and indeed bordering on an accusation of scientific fraud, I don’t know what is. It is certainly an anti-science claim.

    [Response: I think you are completely over-reacting on that. If something like that sets you off, how can you maintain any sense of equilibrium in this debate?--Jim]

    Comment by dhogaza — 11 Apr 2010 @ 9:06 AM

  308. Jim Steele:

    I believe we should actively work and advocate to restoring wetlands and streams and that would be a more valuable way to spend our efforts.

    False dichotomy.

    BTW, I’m extremely curious as to why you think the fact that you’ve banded 30,000 birds is relevant to anything regarding ecology or climate science? I’ve banded thousand of raptors, and have taught a hundred or more people from many walks of life how to trap and process rapters, how to run a migration count site, worked with satellite telemetry, etc and know from personal experience that the mechanical and observational skills associated with doing so are to population ecology as changing a tire is to the chemistry of rubber.

    Perhaps some here think such claims lend you some sort of authority when you speak of science. I don’t.

    Nor does the fact that you’ve learned enough about the ecology of the Sierras to teach the subject at some level give you any particular authority to talk about ecological research and most certainly not climate science (I’ve taught classes in the ecology of the Great Basin, big whoop).

    You really need to follow the advice given here by several posters: learn about the science before you make public claims that you’ve managed to refute the science.

    [Response: You know, that statement typifies a big part of this whole problem. Jim Steele did not in fact argue that he'd refuted the science. He stated that he saw what appeared to him to be inconsistencies in the science, and then made some statements and asked some questions about them. It then went downhill from there as people started in with the name calling and put downs. Mis-characterizations of other peoples' stances is what leads to 95% of the problems here, as it does in life in general. Nobody likes it, and for good reason.--Jim]

    Errors such as your claim that warming a liquid will necessarily lead to a (net) outgassing of CO2 regardeless of atomospheric concentrations make clear that your understanding is tenuous, at best.

    Comment by dhogaza — 11 Apr 2010 @ 9:17 AM

  309. Let’s just remember that “The Just So Stories” are creative, beautifully written and entertaining, so maybe we could cease smearing them by association. Can all agree to leave kipling out of discussions of climate change please?

    Comment by Rich Creager — 11 Apr 2010 @ 9:37 AM

  310. JS says in 286:

    This issue however does speak to a major skeptic point. The sensitivity of climate due to CO2 by itself vs other feedbacks.

    For the life of me I can’t figure why “skeptics” think this is a point for “their side”. Every bit of science I’ve read points to the direct sensitivity due to a doubling of CO2 to the 1 to 1.5 degree range. The rest is known to be the result of side-effects of that increased temperature, such as relative humidity remaining nearly consistent. That’s all built into the “consensus” model, and why deniers like to pretend climate scientists are somehow ignorant of this is beyond me.

    The relevant question is “how much warming do these side-effects cause”. At the 95% confidence level the combined CO2+side-effects number is between 2 and 4.5 degrees, with 3 degrees having the greatest probability based on multiple lines of evidence.

    Jim continues:
    Let me quote Dr. Spencer “It is well known that most of that warming is NOT due to the direct warming effect of the CO2 by itself, which is relatively weak. It is instead due to indirect effects (positive feedbacks) that amplify the small amount of direct warming from the CO2. The most important warmth-amplifying feedbacks in climate models are clouds and water vapor.”

    OK, good. Dr Spencer gets it.

    and:

    So if there are changes in the PDO, ENSO, etc and they cause changes in water vapor and clouds that cause a positive increase in temperature, how is do you separate the positive feedback effects of CO2 from the effects of the PDO and other processes, and thus how do you determine attribution.

    Is this really a serious question from a (non climate) scientist? Are you really asking about a basic methodology?

    [EDIT: Science only--Jim] I’ll answer the question for any reading this who are new to the subject and may think what you’re saying makes sense….

    How we know the difference between the two is basic science. The PDO doesn’t change the energy balance of the earth. The PDO – and other natural variables – redistribute heat, they don’t create it.

    Water vapor is a feedback, Jim, not a forcing. If it were not so the Earth would long ago have burned up during a previous warm phase. Think about it: if water vapor provided a forcing it would warm the planet more, water vapor would increase, forcing temperatures higher still. It doesn’t work that way because the water condenses and falls out.

    It takes a warmer atmosphere – caused by the radiative properties of CO2 and other GHG’s (given stable orbital geometry) – to keep the higher level of water vapor in the air. Please try to internalize that, it’s important.

    On the other hand, CO2 has known radiative properties that does warm the surface. We know how much more CO2 is in the air and what effect that has on temperature. The only quibbling is over how much additional warming occurs as a result of the direct forcing.

    We have a historic record reaching back more than a million years, and while the PDO has been in effect most of that time it has yet to cause either continued warming, or a temporary warming of the speed and amplitude we’re currently experiencing.

    In other words, we have no historical record of current variations happening as a result of natural variability, and we have known radiative physics of GHGs.

    Jim adds:

    I think once we go through another PDO cycle, and with new satellite observations of clouds, and soil moisture that in 30 years we will be able to more definitively assess the power of CO2.

    Finally, something we can agree upon. There’s no doubt we’ll know far more about all Earth systems in three decades.

    So here’s a question for Jim. [Edit-OT. Jim]

    Comment by David Miller — 11 Apr 2010 @ 9:53 AM

  311. MODERATOR:
    Is the comment that I sent at 4.09 AM still under consideration, or has it been overlooked somehow? As far as I can judge it is on topic (it is a direct response to a request from Bob #281 regarding publications on changing relative humidity), and it is formulated in a factual way (no name calling, or addition of any degrading qualifications). Can you have a look at it, and publish it if acceptable? For your convenience I am enclosing the comment again here in its original form:

    [Response: It was just waiting in the queue there--Jim]

    Comment by wilt — 11 Apr 2010 @ 10:09 AM

  312. I don’t know which moderator I am responding to, but that you can request that posts be,

    “sans put-downs, name-calling and various direct and indirect innuendo.”

    and in the next breath state that the shoe fits a term that is all about innuendo is confusing at best. Still, any attempt at civility is better than no attempt at all, so thanks again.

    Comment by Walter Manny — 11 Apr 2010 @ 10:38 AM

  313. Perhaps the bashing is because you hear climate-this, green-that, eco-thus all the time….

    [Response: Even if I were to accept that premise, which I don't, that's not the fault of scientists--Jim]

    I do beleive we should treat our environment with respect though.

    Comment by Frank Zweegers — 11 Apr 2010 @ 10:50 AM

  314. ~281 (Bob) You leave it to me to refute: “There is an accumulating body of evidence from the paleoclimate record, simulation ensembles, our understanding of the physics involved, and other approaches which all point to a sensitivity of approximately 3˚C per doubling of CO2.”

    Sorry to disappoint, but no refuting that here. I could be fussy about your dismissal of paleo. considerations re. a MWP, and your immediate reliance upon paleo. in your next paragraph, but I agree that 3 is the consensus number of choice, plus or minus some other number. “Accumulating body of evidence” is a good way to put it as well, but that takes me neither to “we understand this well enough to act now and act big,” nor “there is a global warming hoax.” I appreciate the argument that there will always be uncertainty, nevertheless we must act, but I am fully open [others would say stubbornly adhering] to the idea that the uncertainty, most especially in the models, modelling, and retrofitting of models, might cut the other way.

    Further, when such skepticism is almost invariably met with refutations such as, “you are just trotting out the same old evil-oil-funded denialist talking points that have been debunked by all right-thinking scientists,” up go the antennae. When such refutations are then backed up by a chorus of “Troll! Cherry-picker! Straw Horse! D-Word!” the antennae positively resonate, fairly or otherwise, and that takes me back to pleas for civility, always and every time, so that readers can have a chance to weigh evidence rather than supposed character.

    Comment by Walter Manny — 11 Apr 2010 @ 11:14 AM

  315. 296 Barton Paul Levenson: Houghton’s book is probably the best general overview. But you have to work the problems!

    OH NO! Not more homework!

    To correct my previous imprecision, the thermo book that I got is “Modern Thermodynamics” by Dilip Kondepudi and Ilya Prigogine. It has problems, too.

    302, The Ville: Of course the fact that no scientist is going to change ’sides’ just proves what a load of junk the statement ‘follow the money’ is.

    Yet, people think that Exxon-Mobil money is corrupting. Perhaps you think that statement is junk as well?

    282, Jim: [Response: Not soon enough apparently.--Jim]

    My belief is that you’d be more effective if you never strayed from science: all science, all the time. RC has been “suckered” (or has “taken the bait”, or whatever your favorite expression) into defamations, financial and psychoanalytic tangents, dismay over the decline of formerly high journalistic standards, and every other way of diluting your expertise. It isn’t too late to remember the adage about wrestling the pig: you get filthy dirty, and the pig enjoys it. I don’t really mean that the denialists are always pigs; I enjoy Marc Morano’s web page sort of the way I enjoy the headlines on the rags at the supermarket checkout counter. But they lose credit with some of their off-target expressions, and so do the AGW promoters.

    It’s going to be a long, long, long (really long, etc) debate. A boring scientific repetitious, repeating, repetitive, etc. re-iteration of all the main facts is what will win the debate by 2020. At least that’s my opinion, though I can’t claim to be very humble about it.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 11 Apr 2010 @ 11:28 AM

  316. Back to the analogy of wrestling with the pig: it weighs 600 lbs, is extremely strong and vicious, and has tusks.

    If you are going to argue in the public arena with Der Spiegel, The Guardian, and Marc Morano, your only superiority is your knowledge of science. On everything else, you are just ordinary folks.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 11 Apr 2010 @ 11:39 AM

  317. Several posters state that I don’t understand that CO2 amplifies on both the upstroke and down stroke.

    First I do understand that when the CO2 is sequestered from the atmosphere, that then, the resulting loss of radiative forcing by CO2 will cause a further drop in temperatures thus adding to the initial temperature drop initiated by the change in the other primary forcing caused by solar/orbital. If this is what you mean by amplifying the cooling then we are in agreement. If not, a specific example and concept would help. To tell me I am ignorant on some level is not helpful. Obviously we disagree. To list a few a links and say “be off with you” does not induce me to want to learn more.

    Second, the outgassing and sequestering of CO2 in the oceans is a function CO2′s partial pressure. In the context of the interglacials discussion, I have just looked at changes in temperature as the primary driver. To those who assume I do not understand that increased concentrations of human derived CO2 can also increase the partial pressure resulting in some of that CO2 entering the ocean’s today, I say you are taking my comments out of context and mis-applyng them to a different scenario than what I am focused on.

    My sticking point remains, and I refer to a simple model I described, If on the upstroke when the initial forcing raised temperatures to 1 degrees, my interpretation of the RC explanation of CO2′s role was that after the lag time CO2 will increase and incrementally (not saying linearly) thus increasing radiative forcing and further amplify the temperature rise.

    I am assuming that at the 1 degree in my simple model that lag due to heat capacity reaches a point where the physics of the ocean changes the solubility and outgassing of CO2 increases. I also assume that those conditions are the same on the upstroke or down stroke. The one minor difference being that there is a lower concentration of CO2 on the upstroke than downstroke when arriving at that temperature.

    So the simplest question I am asking is “Without any additional loss of solar forcing on the down stroke, what causes CO2 to be sequestered any further, if according to RC’s explanation that at the same temperature on the upstroke CO2 was being released.

    I have read sincere answers that said it is because a new cooling radiative balance occurs. It is not clear to me, obviously, how that differs from what I outlined. So I will state how I understand the change in energy balance. Loss of orbital forcing results in less input, temperatures fall in response, the new balance is a lower temperature and less outgoing radiation to balance the lower incoming. I am assuming that the radiative forcing due to CO2 does not change unless the concentration of CO2 changes. I assume the concentrations of CO2 will not change unless the temperature changes.(Again in the context of glacial interglacial, before humans confounded the situation)

    Mike said “The simplest possible climate model (energy model) provides some insight here. Imagine we had the simple balance CP dT/dt = S(t) where T is global mean temperature anomaly of a pure mixed later ocean, CP is its effective heat capacity, and S(t) is some cyclical forcing S(t)=S0cos(wt) with period tau=2pi/w. It is easy to show that the temperature response to the forcing will be 90 degrees out of phase with the forcing, i.e. the phase lag will be 90 degrees. So If the forcing timescale is 8 years, the lag will be 2 years, if the forcing timescale is 100 years, the lag will be 25 years, etc. The real world is of course more complex, and you can find some further discussion in this paper, and references therein. However, the point is that we start out from even the simplest model with the expectation the lags in response to a simple radiative forcing are directly proportional to the periodicity of the forcing. As it happens, that basic property survives in more realistic climate models. -mike]”

    I find responses like this very helpful as foundations for discussion. It is much more educational than a brush off and a link.
    I understand and accept the dynamics of that lag. Can you expand upon that simple model in terms of what I ask above?

    Comment by Jim Steele — 11 Apr 2010 @ 11:43 AM

  318. Jim Steel’s suggestion that some portion of the current observed increase in atmospheric CO2 could be caused by warming of the ocean, as during the termination of a glacial stade, demonstrates a shortcoming in his understanding of the physical science involved and a basic error of logic.

    The fact that humans emit more than twice the annual increase in atmospheric CO2 each year means that the combined biosphere and ocean sinks are net absorbers of CO2. For these sinks to make a net positive contribution to any increase in atmospheric CO2 the portion of human emissions that they do not absorb, the so-called “airborne fraction,” would first have to decrease to zero.

    Much ado was made late last year of the absence of exactly such a drop demonstrated by the much misunderstood and misrepresented Wolfgang Knorr paper Is the airborne fraction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions increasing? (GRL 2009).

    Apparently someone has not been keeping up with the literature. Possibly because it is outside his field of science, perhaps?
    A lot of that going around lately.

    Moreover, in view of Mr. Steel’s citing of CO2′s nominal 800 year lag of temperature increase, what would be the source of his proposed 800-year-old warming supposedly driving the current observed increase in atmospheric CO2? The Medieval Warm period, perhaps? The problem with that is that the MWP was not sustained as it was terminated by a period of lower temperatures. You know, the Little Ice Age.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 11 Apr 2010 @ 12:02 PM

  319. dhogaza, I feel like you are my new best friend, hanging on my every word,but that I have terribly upset. Can you explain why comments like “Creationists such as Roy Spencer who do science are, of necessity, capable of highly compartmentalizing their lives.” is respectful of a scientist but my comment about a study was really a “just so” story is anti-science. I based my conclusion on several lines of evidence and stated such. You attack his personal life. If you disagree with peered review papers by Spencer, Christy, Lindzen, Pielke, Scarfette, etc I would suspect you would categorize their work as something akin to a “just so” story. So I think you are hung up on the semantics. But when in Rome.. so if I think a paper like the bird evolution paper lacks scientific merit to make the conclusions it did, what would be acceptable to turn of phrase?

    Comment by Jim Steele — 11 Apr 2010 @ 12:06 PM

  320. JS (317): To list a few a links and say “be off with you” does not induce me to want to learn more.

    BPL: What WOULD induce you to want to learn more?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 11 Apr 2010 @ 12:40 PM

  321. UN climate chief Yvo de Boer at end of 3-day Bonn climate meeting: pledges to cut emissions far short of avoiding catastrophic global warming: http://bit.ly/YvoBonn

    Comment by Kees van der Leun — 11 Apr 2010 @ 1:04 PM

  322. Bob (281), you say, “…educated people agree that the only real debate is in the actual value for climate sensitivity, low or high. All of the other arguments about a supposed MWP being warmer than the current…….. are all dead and buried.”

    Just a pro forma rebuttal: the hockey stick debate was about the MWP being warmer or not, not about the value of climate sensitivity per se.

    2, I have no proof of what the actual climate sensitivity is, but then again, despite your assertions, neither do you. You have some pretty good stats over the last 100 years or so that provides insight into sensitivity under (only) the conditions of the last 100 years or so. Also some physics theory replete with numerous convenient assumptions. Then some very loosey-goosey indications in paleoclimatic history, most of which are looking at CO2 lag. Admittedly, these don’t make your assertion wrong, but IMHO, it is miles from unassailable evidence as you contend. My “proof” to justify my assertion need not be better than yours just to get a seat at the table.

    BTW, these comments in no way support the DS article.

    Comment by Rod B — 11 Apr 2010 @ 1:05 PM

  323. Moderators, Jim Steele and Walter Manny,

    Jim you stated earlier that “And I want to applaud the more open nature here at RC that allows skeptical discussion.”

    So Jim, do you still stand by this statement?

    “I would try to have discussions with the scientists at RealClimate but they would selectively delete any posts that they couldn’t dismiss. … these scientists would manipulate a public website … what would they do behind closed doors.”

    In light of those comments and your behaviour here, I do not believe this to be a genuine discussion on your part about the science. Many posters have politely directed you to resources and even explained the basic science to you. Yet, you stubbornly insist on ignoring the information and explanations, and I doubt very much if you have even consulted the information/links provided.

    [Response: Not a fair characterization. It's been a mixed bag of substantive answers mixed with personal attacks, with some cop-outs about going to the "Start here" section thrown in.--Jim]

    I think that you are very much taking advantage of the good nature of the moderators here. There is no way that CA or WUWT would also someone to go on off topic for so long. And your posts have largely been off topic. This thread is about Der Spiegel.

    [Response: Is there an RC post that doesn't go off topic?--Jim]

    Yes, some have been harsh, but you should having published papers know that science is not always polite.

    [Response: So that's a justification to be rude here???--Jim]

    [Edit]
    Now, IMHO, if you have anything which pertains directly to what Stefan had to say about the Der Spiegel article, then I’m sure people would be happy to engage you and discuss the science about those points.

    Moderators, I sense that you are moderating people engaging Jim and other contrarians here (and that is OK, I expect that you will moderate portions or all of this post, and I am OK with that), but I do not sense you editing Jim’s OT comments. What gives?

    [Response: What gives is that we find ourselves playing 3rd grade teacher because certain adults cannot find it within themselves to simply discuss science instead of attacking and slighting others. Then some of us have to try to slow down a run away freight train with a lasso, while catching flak from those who started it rolling in the first place.--Jim]

    Anyhow, thanks to all at RC, you have a thankless and trying job, and have infinitely more patience than I do.

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 11 Apr 2010 @ 1:10 PM

  324. Barton (300), thanks for the help. In addition to just insolation, I can see how emissivities can affect the end results — though this will not be significant. I also see how making the system more granular will improve the accuracy. None-the-less, the physics of your simple model are correct (given the assumptions) if maybe not exact, which still tells me that the composition of the atmosphere is not an independent factor — at least not a material one. If earth was devoid of GHGs it still would have a Ta of near 254K and a surface temperature of around 300K. Correct?

    Comment by Rod B — 11 Apr 2010 @ 1:30 PM

  325. Jim Steele 317:

    Can you tell what you mean with this sentence:
    “To those who assume I do not understand that increased concentrations of human derived CO2 can also increase the partial pressure resulting in some of that CO2 entering the ocean’s today, I say you are taking my comments out of context and mis-applyng them to a different scenario than what I am focused on.”

    How come “humand derived CO2 can also increase partial pressure”. Why not “humand derived CO2 increases partial pressure”, because that is what happens. Do you accept that burning of fossil fuels by humans increases CO2 levels in the atmosphere or not?

    Comment by Petro — 11 Apr 2010 @ 1:59 PM

  326. Also Jim Steele:

    It is very hard to follow, what is your problem. The many-worded sentences you produce are really hard to understand. That is main reason you get attacked: Nobody really undestand, what is your point, especially when some of your clearest sentences includes:

    89 “If you look at the Swiss Alps, the percentage of advancing glaciers have 2 peaks in 1920’s and 1980’s each followed by an increase in retreating glaciers like we see now. Those changes correlate very well with the PDO and no correlation with rising CO2.” which is a classic cherry picking omitting major part of data.

    108
    “But your collection of “climate driven” changes are nothing more than a lot of “just so “ stories.” where you dismiss hundreds and thousand of ecological studies being trivial

    154
    “Jim Steele| 11.26.09 @ 11:48AM
    Is this Godfather III: “The higher I go, the crookeder it becomes.” ?
    … I would try to have discussions with the scientists at RealClimate but they would selectively delete any posts that they couldn’t dismiss. … these scientists would manipulate a public website … what would they do behind closed doors.
    … I wonder how high this whole climate gate will go. There is a strong effort to play this down as if nothing has happened but clearly there have been attempts by the major players in climate science to exert tyrannical control over the scientific process….”

    Would you mind pick one topic at time, you want to have clarity and stick to that one topic until it has been managed here? That way you would avoid being misunderstood, and maybe get less attacks towards you.

    Comment by Petro — 11 Apr 2010 @ 2:18 PM

  327. Jim Steele:

    Can you explain why comments like “Creationists such as Roy Spencer who do science are, of necessity, capable of highly compartmentalizing their lives.” is respectful of a scientist

    What in the world leads you to believe I meant to be respectful to Roy Spencer???

    To those who assume I do not understand that increased concentrations of human derived CO2 can also increase the partial pressure resulting in some of that CO2 entering the ocean’s today, I say you are taking my comments out of context and mis-applyng them to a different scenario than what I am focused on.

    Baloney. Since CO2 is always outgassing from and being dissolved into the ocean, clearly the only thing that matters is the net exchange.
    [Edit--is there something about my requests for no personal attacks that you don't understand? Jim]

    Comment by dhogaza — 11 Apr 2010 @ 2:19 PM

  328. Jim Steele did not in fact argue that he’d refuted the science. He stated that he saw what appeared to him to be inconsistencies in the science.

    And the consequences of such inconsistencies? A refutation of mainstream conclusions that don’t recognize those supposed inconsistencies.

    You’re letting him off the hook far too easily. As MapleLeaf points out above (and as others have pointed out earlier), there’s really no reason to supposed that Jim Steele is genuinely interested in learning.

    [Response:If you spent 1/10 the time and energy you spend trying to crucify others based on your assumptions of what their motives are, on addressing the science instead, everyone would be far better off. In fact, unlike numerous others, I've not seen you give a single on-topic answer to any of the points he raised. I could pick apart numerous statements you've made here if I wanted to. And unlike you, I know Jim Steele, and know more about his likely intentions than you do.--Jim]

    Comment by dhogaza — 11 Apr 2010 @ 2:21 PM

  329. Jim Steele (317) — All macrophysical responses have some form of lag. For example, the foxes and rabbits example found in beginning population biology texts. With simplified equations for population growth and decay for each of rabbits and foxes seperately leads to a solution with both populations changing sinusoidally, with the foxes lagging the rabbits both in growth pahase and in decline phase. Think of foxes as a (negative) feedback on rabbits.

    Now lets do some linear system theory. Of course on the scale of orbital forcing responses, the actual climate does not have linear responses, but the general ideas are still applicable. I’m going to do the calculations with Laplace transforms, in the s plane as it is called. This makes the calculations very easy and then we look in a table of function-transform pairs to see the time domain response. The first rule is

    O(s) = T(s)I(s)

    where O is the output, T is the system transfer function and I is the input. In this example, O is the global temperature, I is orbital forcing and T is the Terrean climate.

    The second rule is for feedback. I’ll use the simplified form

    O(s) = I(s)/(1-H(s))

    where H(s) is the feedback transfer function. In effect I am treating the climate temperature response as having a direct feedforworrd of 1. This is quite reasonable on a millennial scale; temperature O(s) directly depends upon orbital forcing I(s). So Terra’s climate transfer function is T(s) = 1/(1-H(s)) with H(s) the feedback due to CO2 and the minus sign because it is a positive feedback. [Sorry about that, but that's how it works out.]

    Now we need an approximate feedback system function H(s) which resembles the cycling of CO2 in and out of the deep ocean. Since I’ve learned that the characteristic time for the deep ocean is about a ky, a good choice is

    H(s) = 1/(s+1)

    which in the time domain is H(t) = exp(-t). Remember time is on a millennial scale.

    The orbital forcing is approxximately the sum of several sinusoids:
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2007/02/16/by-request/
    Being a linear system, we can just add up the responses to the different sinusoids but (for reasons unknown to me) obliquity is the most important for glacial cycling and just consider that. The Laplace transform for a cosine is

    I(s) = s/(s^2+a^2)

    with the value of a being around 2pi*0.023 = 0.145 from Tamino’s graph.

    Now we just need to do the arithmetic. T(s) = (s+1)/s so

    O(s) = (s+1)/(s^2+a^2)

    and looking in a table of function-transform pairs

    O(t) = cos(at) + (1/a)sin(at)

    which can be written as a cosine with a phase lag as

    O(t) = sqrt((1/a)^2+1)cos(at+p-pi/2)

    where p = arctan(a)

    Now arctan(0.145) = 0.144 so the lag is about 1.427 ky which is ok, however the amplified response is 6.9, instead of around 2–3. But the principle is at least illustrated that the temperture O(t) lags the sinusoidal orbital forcing posited.

    [Response: Thanks once again David.--Jim]

    Comment by David B. Benson — 11 Apr 2010 @ 2:26 PM

  330. 294 (Wilt),

    Forgive me, I’ve been out most of the day, and will be out again in a moment. I will re-read your info (I’ve read them before) before I comment, although off the top of my head, the stratospheric study says absolutely nothing about the mechanism or likelihood of water vapor remaining in the stratosphere. My recollection is that it was an anomaly that was noted and of interest, but in no way implies a future, permanent negative feedback.

    I do have to look into the other more closely before commenting.

    Comment by Bob — 11 Apr 2010 @ 2:31 PM

  331. 314 (Walter),

    So I bring the conversation to science, and your response is that you agree with me, but then launch into a series of diatribes about trolls and evil-oil-empires that had nothing whatsoever to do with anything I said.

    Do you want to discuss the science, or not? Anything else is a waste of time.

    Comment by Bob — 11 Apr 2010 @ 2:33 PM

  332. 322 (Rod B),

    Hmmm.

    I have no proof of what the actual climate sensitivity is, but then again, despite your assertions, neither do you

    Would anyone here like to direct Rod to the myriad studies that justify a 3˚C per CO2 doubling climate sensitivity?

    Comment by Bob — 11 Apr 2010 @ 2:36 PM

  333. Mea culpa: @318 I wrote “For these [natural CO2] sinks to make a net positive contribution to any increase in atmospheric CO2 the portion of human emissions that they do not absorb, the so-called “airborne fraction,” would first have to decrease to zero,” which is exactly backwards.

    It is the fraction of human emissions that are absorbed by those sinks that would first have to go to zero.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 11 Apr 2010 @ 3:12 PM

  334. Maple leaf et al , “So Jim, do you still stand by this statement?
    “I would try to have discussions with the scientists at RealClimate but they would selectively delete any posts that they couldn’t dismiss. … these scientists would manipulate a public website … what would they do behind closed doors.”

    I did indeed make that comment because that was exactly my experience. I offer this example because if it is possible to prove what I am saying, RC may be able to find the deleted post and verify the following. When the Steig paper was published I checked in here just as discussion of it was first posted. My comment was that I felt that portraying Antarctica as warming did not eliminate the inconsistent behavior because it was really dependent upon the start date. I cited Chapman, an IPCC author on polar climates,who said “Trends computed using these analyses show considerable sensitivity to start and end dates, with trends calculated using start dates prior to 1965 showing overall warming, while those using start dates from 1966 to 1982 show net cooling over the region.” http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI4236.1

    I asked if the more pressing question isn’t to ask why,that when the recent warming since the 60′s was elsewhere being attributed to global CO2, why was Antarctica cooling. And that a more valuable scientific discussion is to clarify when and why start points are chosen when demonstrating trends. My post first appeared as the 3rd post but was soon deleted. I looked later to see and still did not see it. I had several similar experiences, sometimes where my first post gets attacked with the same ad hominem witnessed here , but denying me any posts to rebut.

    My experience in this thread has been different, at least regards the moderators. They have allowed respectful skeptical comments if it adheres to the science.And they are trying to keep it respectful by eliminating ad hominem attacks, but allowing pointed and sharp criticism. I think that is correct arena for debate. So I do indeed applaud that change, because despite what you may think of me, I visit here to get balance to my input on climate issues, whether or not I agree with the final interpretation. So I stand firmly behind both statements.

    Now I thought this thread was not just about DS, but how DS addressed the perceived inconsistencies. I thought some were fair and some not. I also found the title interesting because both sides are guilty of bashing. Most of my subsequent posts were in response to others, not some nefarious design to lead the post astray. please.

    I realize it might be frustrating to restate something you believe is clear to you. But as an educator you realize that just because you explained something well to the last class, the next class will need to start over. I suggest that is the fate of an educational blog.

    Then to prove that I am what? a troll? a climate science hit person” or whatever, you say “This is also evidenced by the fact that after two days, we are not further ahead in this ‘debate’ than when you arrived here. ” Part of the reason there has not been a meeting of the minds is that some of the things I asked get mis-applied, or jumped on in such a way that I interpret it to mean you did not understand my point. Sometimes I felt comments were not intended for educationa purposes but solely to discredit me. So I will be slow to follow any proposed links when I feel talked down or attacked. And perhaps it wasn’t me who was cleear enough. So I have painstakingly tried to make my point clearer, and be more careful to say in the correct jargon. Hi hope my last point, clarified my sticking point, and that it may lead us closer to better communication and perhaps a better mutual understanding.

    Comment by Jim Steele — 11 Apr 2010 @ 3:15 PM

  335. Jim says in #317:

    ….. It is not clear to me, obviously, how that differs from what I outlined. So I will state how I understand the change in energy balance. Loss of orbital forcing results in less input, temperatures fall in response, the new balance is a lower temperature and less outgoing radiation to balance the lower incoming.

    Yes, this is right… However this next bit misses the point:

    I am assuming that the radiative forcing due to CO2 does not change unless the concentration of CO2 changes. I assume the concentrations of CO2 will not change unless the temperature changes.(Again in the context of glacial interglacial, before humans confounded the situation)

    The “insulating” effect of the CO2 doesn’t change – the GHG’s will reflect about the same percentage of outbound IR. But you answered your own question. Orbital and albedo changes change the temperature. Over a sufficient length of time this cools the oceans. Cooler oceans absorb more CO2 from the air. This is exactly the same mechanism as the positive feed back when coming out of the glacial, just running backwards.

    So the simplest question I am asking is “Without any additional loss of solar forcing on the down stroke, what causes CO2 to be sequestered any further, if according to RC’s explanation that at the same temperature on the upstroke CO2 was being released.

    I’m not sure which part of the down stroke you’re referring to. The only time you hit stable insolation in this context is at the top or bottom of the cycle. On the up stroke warming leads CO2 increases for a while until the change in forcing of the CO2 exceeds the change in insolation, after which CO2 will have more effect on increasing temperatures than changing insolation. On the down stroke it just works in reverse. The simplest general answer to your question, however, is “because the CO2 concentration is much higher coming out of glacials and much lower upon entering them”.

    There is a huge wealth of information available on this site, and a nice search engine with which to find it. On the topic of CO2 changes leading/lagging temperature there have been two articles here at RC that discuss it at some length here and here

    [OT, sorry] It’s interesting to note how things have changed. The 2004 article had 4 responses and the 2007 post – defending the science in AIT – had 87. Now relatively quite posts sport 200-300 comments, and the CRU kerfuffle had several threads in excess of 1000. How things have changed!

    Comment by David Miller — 11 Apr 2010 @ 3:22 PM

  336. Climatology and IPCC bashing is on the rise, and even if one may deplore unfair personal attacks, it would be too easy to reject all recent critics as being too far away from the real thing (i.e. having allegedly not much published, as Hans von Storch is given as an example). Claude Allègre, a geochemist, former French minister of Education and holder of the 1986 Craaford Price in geochemistry (<a href="http://www.crafoordprize.se/"<here) has just published a very caustic book in France “L’imposture climatique” (approximate translation: climate swindle). This book is so successful, that more than French 600 “climatologists” are asking their minister for help and censuring. If this non-scientific, very outspoken book makes such a splash, is it that all buyers are imbeciles or uniformed? Or could there well be some truth in both Allègre’s book and in the Der Spiegel article?

    [Response: Allègre's book is garbage - full of basic errors, misrepresentations, and simply made up 'factoids'. And I doubt that you are really wanting to make and argument that book sales numbers trump scientific truth? I recall that Velikovsky and Erich von Daniken were both very successful.... - gavin]

    Comment by Francis Massen — 11 Apr 2010 @ 3:29 PM

  337. There are approaches that could be much more effective than complaining about climate scientist bashing. Recently Jim Hansen, a respected climate scientist, has become more active against some of the contributors to AGW. As far as I can tell, the MSM has been supportive, or at least non-critical of his activity.

    “…In the face of recent Obama administration actions to regulate and not abolish mountaintop removal, which has wiped out 500 mountains and destroyed historic communities, the action launched a yearlong national campaign to bring mountaintop removal to an end.

    “I am not a politician; I am a scientist and a citizen,” said Dr. James Hansen. “Politicians may have to advocate for halfway measures if they choose. But it is our responsibility to make sure our representatives feel the full force of citizens who speak for what is right, not what is politically expedient. Mountaintop removal, providing only a small fraction of our energy, should be abolished…”
    http://www.climateimc.org/en/other-press/2009/06/25/us-stars-come-out-coal-river

    Less worrying about combating “public opinion”, climate-gate and such, and more attention to the details of destructive climate change might, IMO, be better use of our energy.

    Comment by John Peter — 11 Apr 2010 @ 3:52 PM

  338. David B. Benson, Thanks for the lengthy reply. I will need to spend this evening digesting it, so the lack of a quick reply should not be interpreted as if I am not appreciative.

    Petro: 2 things. You say “my Alps vs PDO was cherry picking”. Please explain. I am not sure what you refer to. If you conclude this because I did not also compare aerosols, again, that was due to not knowing how to quantify and graph it. I would be glad to know how to do that and will follow a link to that data, as I said earlier.

    2nd when you say I have too many topics and quote 3 things. One quote was something I made months ago on a different site that has been brought her by others to prove I am a nefarious person or some how my questions are not sincere. Other than that It has been a bit scattered because I have tried to reply to the many other posts. Would you suggest I ignore them?

    Comment by Jim Steele — 11 Apr 2010 @ 3:54 PM

  339. Re: #322

    the hockey stick debate was about the MWP being warmer or not, not about the value of climate sensitivity per se.

    I beg to differ. The debate could have been about the science. It could have been a genuine polite,discussion about confidence, statistical significance etc. As it turned out, most (not all) people who promote (promoted) the idea of the hotter MWP do (did) so as part of a propaganda campaign against the whole of climate science. Melanie Phillips and Nigel Lawson are just two examples from the UK.

    The argument about the hockey stick, has been so remarkably unpleasant that it appears that the real agenda has not been about the warmth of the MWP but about an attempt to discredit individuals. Although the attempt failed, there is ample evidence that it has never really stopped, for example according to Stefan’s article, the temperature reconstructions are being described as a “sham”.

    If on the other hand it was the conclusion which mattered most, we should have heard much more about the implications, if any,of the speculated hot MWP on the climate sensitivity. After all, that is what matters most for our future. But unless you suppose that an enhanced and global MWP was unforced (a highly speculative conjecture ) you would have to find some extra forcing from somewhere or end up with a higher climate sensitivity.

    Please see Raypierre’s article
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/12/natural-variability-and-climate-sensitivity/

    and Stefan’s earlier one

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/01/what-if-the-hockey-stick-were-wrong/

    Given arguments like these, it is not surprising that the propagandists have emphasised opportunities they see for sewing distrust.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 11 Apr 2010 @ 4:02 PM

  340. @ Walter Manny:

    You still haven’t answered question I asked you, Walter – here it is again:

    How, in your mind, can statements in the Landsea-coauthored study including the following:

    “Future projections based on theory and high-resolution dynamical
models consistently indicate that greenhouse warming will cause the
globally averaged intensity of tropical cyclones to shift towards
stronger storms, with intensity increases of 2–11% by 2100.”

    in any HONEST way be translated, as the Der Spiegel article did, into meaning that the link between global warming and hurricanes has been “finally disproven”?

    Please answer the question, and while doing so please spare us the circumlocution – which again may be fun but is not particularly illuminating.

    And please quit pretending that you somehow keep not seeing my question too – thanks.

    Comment by Publicola — 11 Apr 2010 @ 4:03 PM

  341. Fixing my comment #329: its been decades since I have wielded linear system theory in anger, as the Briticism goes, and I made a mistake regarding the phase lag. The lag of 1.427 radians (not ky) is nearly, but not quite 90 degrees of arc. If we want to write the cosine as

    cos(a(t-l))

    for a time lang of l, divide by a;

    l = 9.84 ky

    For a nonlinear model of climate following orbital forcing, I recommend E. Tziperman, M. E. Raymo, P. Huybers, C. Wunsch, 2006.
    Consequences of pacing the Pleistocene 100 kyr ice ages by non linear phase locking to Milankovitch forcing
    available as a pdf from Carl Wunsch’s homepage.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 11 Apr 2010 @ 4:10 PM

  342. A more recent example:

    “…* Outside the courthouse, there will be a mock trial, with experts like NASA’s Jim Hansen providing the facts that should be heard inside the chambers. We don’t want Tim on trial—we want global warming on the stand…”http://www.peacefuluprising.org/join-the-climate-trial-20100208

    In political debate the one who “frames” the question is likely to be much more successful than an opponent who accepts that framing. By continuing to discuss the emails, etc. in your opponents terms, you gain little more than keeping attention focused in the wrong place.

    There are plenty of examples, every day, of local actions that contribute to AGW. If the objective of your activity is to use your science to improve the continuation of civilization as we know it, examine Jim’s example and his advice. (BTW – Ram too)

    Comment by John Peter — 11 Apr 2010 @ 4:16 PM

  343. 329, David B. Benson: Can you estimate the lag of temperature change behind CO2 change that way?

    Matthew

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 11 Apr 2010 @ 4:17 PM

  344. RE: Bob # 240:

    This isn’t a comment on the science, but I find Bob’s story of his search for truth (and all of the similar stories before his here on RC) to be truly inspiring. One wonders how far along that path the Der Spiegel writers have traveled. It fits right in with the 12 March “Why we Bother” post’s theme, and is a good reminder to me that people who are not in-field special_ists can access AGW’s complexity. I admire a convergence of industry with applied intelligence, and Bob’s story and the entire RC experience very much exemplify that convergence for me. A thankful nod to Bob, to the RC moderators, and to all of the serious contributors here. If there are any antidotes for the ‘new age of superstition’ (nos. 179 and 210), Bob’s path and the work of RC surely must be two of them.

    Comment by ghost — 11 Apr 2010 @ 4:59 PM

  345. Septic Matthew (343) — Not from millennial scale effects. I chose a decade for the lag of global temperature behind CO2 in
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/03/unforced-variations-3/comment-page-12/#comment-168530
    based on the fast effects obtained in actual climate models; those led to Tamino’s two box model (linked in the above link) and using that and some knowledge of big climate models simplified the physics down to simply stating “about a decade”. Simplifiedd, but not overly so.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 11 Apr 2010 @ 5:29 PM

  346. Francis Massen@336,
    I am afraid that the problem is less one of intelligence and more one of human psychology. Humans generally do a very poor job of of-the-cuff risk analysis. We exaggerate the risk posed by immediate threats, e.g. terrorism, vaccination, etc., and underestimate risk posed by more remote threats–e.g. cell phones and driving, smoking, etc. Climate change is more likely to affect our progeny than ourselves, so we tend to 1)underestimate the risks and 2)think we will be able to deal with them later. Another aspect of human psychology that works against us is that the more horrible the consequences of a threat, the more likely humans are to simply shut down cognitively. This is one of the aspects of anti-smoking advertising that was slowest to sink in: the more harsh the warning or horrifying the picture of the diseased lung, the less likely was the smoker to notice it.
    The appeal of the denialists is that they are telling people what they want to hear. Climate change is bad news for everyone. There are even some scientists–from cynical opportunists like Allegre who see it as a way of advancing their agenda to starry-eyed utopians like Dyson who just don’t want to think about a threat to their Tecnopia–who fall victim to wishful thinking.

    Still, science is the only tool we have to make us turn away from comforting lies to confront reality. When the truth is unpleasant, though, the messengers of truth are bound to pay a price.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 11 Apr 2010 @ 5:38 PM

  347. Rod B.@322
    Sigh!
    Rod, that has to be one of the most ignorant statements I’ve heard you make. CO2 sensitivity is constrained by about a dozen different studies, all of which aggree on the range of possible values and the overwhelming majority of which favor a value around 3 degrees per doubling. So, in fact, Bob DOES have evidence. Here’s some of it. Now, as to your words, as Julia Childs would say, “Bon Apetit!”

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 11 Apr 2010 @ 6:02 PM

  348. Just to expand on Ray’s comment @347. For those looking for a less technical discussion on climate sensitivity:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Working-out-climate-sensitivity.html
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/What-does-past-climate-change-tell-us.html

    And yes, independent lines of evidence point to +3C. Also see Dr. James Annan’s work.

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 11 Apr 2010 @ 6:50 PM

  349. 347 (Ray),

    I think you intended to provide links supporting CO2 sensitivity…

    Comment by Bob — 11 Apr 2010 @ 7:38 PM

  350. @ David Miller (310),
    In response to the following statement by Jime Steele (286)
    “So if there are changes in the PDO, ENSO, etc and they cause changes in water vapor and clouds that cause a positive increase in temperature, how do you separate the positive feedbacks of CO2 from the effects of the PDO and other processes, and thus how do you determine attribution”

    you wrote:

    “1) The PDO does’t change the energy balance of the earth. The PDO-and other natural variables-redistribute heat they don’t create it. 2) It takes a warmer atmosphere – caused by the radiative properties of CO2 and other GHG’s (given stable orbital geometry) -to keep the higher level of water vapour in the air”.

    I agree with your statement on a time scale beyond that of the PDO (30 years or more). The question raised by Jim Steele is still valid in the history matching (hind casting) of the temperature history and therefore in determining quantitatively the forcings. According to Mojib Latif 10% to 50% of the warming in 1990′s could be attributed to internal decadal oscillations.

    Comment by RaymondT — 11 Apr 2010 @ 8:05 PM

  351. RC regulars…

    Walter posted the 2009 Paltridge paper on trends in tropospheric humidity as an argument for a negative feedback that would limit climate sensitivity. I am still researching it and reading the paper. I’ve found the obvious arguments for and against (like constant comments from all quarters that the data itself is very suspect)… I’m afraid researching this one is coming up somewhat thin, with little more than shrill WUWT style pseudo-science praise, and other minor comments.

    The only RC reference I found to it is in a separate piece that contains the following quote:

    …a paper by Garth Paltridge reporting on artifacts in the NCEP reanalysis of water vapour that are in contradiction to every other reanalysis, direct observations and satellite data…

    Can anyone direct me to those other, contradicting data sources? I’ve found references to Dessler 2008 and Soden 2005, but nothing more.

    Comment by Bob — 11 Apr 2010 @ 8:41 PM

  352. I have to just comment, after looking at Paltridge’s paper (and Lindzen and Choi 2009, and any number of others)…

    I am struck by the fact that when I read most scientific papers, they are just that. They have a narrow focus, they discuss a specific issue, and without understanding the subject matter and how it fits into the scheme of things, one cannot tell whether or not the paper provides an argument for or against AGW in the larger picture, or what the author’s position in that debate my be. This is, of course, how it should be.

    When I read a paper by someone who is “against AGW” — even without knowing what their position is — I can smell it in the abstract and opening paragraphs. It doesn’t read like an abstract, it reads like a lawyer’s opening arguments. A quick visit to SourceWatch or other research quickly affirms the suspicion.

    I just think that it’s telling that some scientists appear to be doing science, while other scientists blatantly appear to be trying to support an agenda (i.e. are predisposed to a particular position in a larger debate) with scientific papers. I know lots of scientists will have leanings one way or another on controversial theories, but it is striking that in something as complex and varied as climate change, any real scientists could take a hard and fast “pro” or “con” position, and look only for data and arguments that support that position… and simultaneously be utterly transparent about their holding of that predefined position.

    Comment by Bob — 11 Apr 2010 @ 8:49 PM

  353. Ray @346

    Actually Ray, more simply, it’s all greed.

    When the CEO saw the risk of a meltdown, or had it pointed out to him by his “risk manager” – s/he had two choices. Do nothing, or cutback – to a reasonable risk, or get out of the market altogether didn’t matter.

    Do nothing was good because the traders continued making money for the firm.

    Cutback, or get out entirely, was bad because the best traders would go elsewhere and make money for another firm. With only low risk traders, the firm would not make enough money to satisfy the stakeholders and the CEO was out of a job.

    “Useless, it’s useless, even when you’re playing rough. Take it from me it’s useless, you’re never rough – enough”

    Comment by John Peter — 11 Apr 2010 @ 9:03 PM

  354. 294 (Wilt),

    On the Solomon paper, please see Real Climate. The bottom line is that while it is an interesting study, it provides no clear evidence for a long term, negative feedback, particularly not one that will overwhelm other positive feedbacks and keep climate sensitivity low. It is based on one occurrence in a very short time frame. It provides no physical mechanism to describe the observed effect. If anything, it points to something that should be studied, and may have had an influence in holding temperatures down in the 2000-2009 time period, but it can’t currently be taken as an “argument” one way or the other for anything. To do so would be vastly over-reaching.

    Comment by Bob — 11 Apr 2010 @ 9:06 PM

  355. Maple leaf et al , “So Jim, do you still stand by this statement?
    “I would try to have discussions with the scientists at RealClimate but they would selectively delete any posts that they couldn’t dismiss. … these scientists would manipulate a public website … what would they do behind closed doors.”

    I did indeed make that comment because that was exactly my experience

    Really? You’re sure they deleted your posts because they couldn’t dismiss them?

    Interesting how we’re not supposed to speculate regarding Jim Steele’s motives, but it’s OK for Jim Steele to speculate about the motives of those who run this site who don’t bother responding to some of his “unanswerable” questions … it’s because the questions can’t be dismissed … those who run RC are hiding that fact … because … because … why are they doing this, Jim Steele?

    Moderator Jim, you’re not applying your moderation powers evenly here …

    [Response: Just can't let it go can you? My tolerance for this crap is now zero, in Kelvins. Discuss the science of climate change ONLY, or see your posts deleted. Those are your choices--Jim]

    Comment by dhogaza — 11 Apr 2010 @ 9:11 PM

  356. > RodB
    > I have no proof … neither do you

    RodB is an oldtimer here. He certainly knows science doesn’t provide proof.
    He’s also perhaps our foremost goat collector, and he asks “proof” as bait.
    Hang onto your goats when he gets that gleam in his eye and asks for proof.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 Apr 2010 @ 9:14 PM

  357. Bob (332), I have no problem with the myriad of studies that “point to” the 3K per doubling, and scientists drawing reasonable conclusions from that. I do have a problem with turning that into dogma never to be questioned.

    Comment by Rod B — 11 Apr 2010 @ 10:24 PM

  358. Bob, indeed I did:

    http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/papers-on-climate-sensitivity-estimates/

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 11 Apr 2010 @ 10:39 PM

  359. Ray (347), No, I think you have claimed other statements of mine to be just as ignorant!

    One teeny factoid: there has never been a scientific observation or measurement of global temperatures as (mostly) anthropogenic generated CO2 goes from, say, 400 to 800ppm. Also see an earlier post of mine.

    Comment by Rod B — 11 Apr 2010 @ 11:01 PM

  360. “So the simplest question I am asking is “Without any additional loss of solar forcing on the down stroke, what causes CO2 to be sequestered any further, if according to RC’s explanation that at the same temperature on the upstroke CO2 was being released.” 11 April 2010 @ 11:43 AM

    The short answer is ocean circulation.
    The long answer has to take into account the mechanisms for exchange of CO2 from the atmosphere to the deep ocean, especially the dynamics of CO2 release into the atmosphere by warming and absorption of CO2 by cooling, the transport of water plus CO2 by the AMOC, and the growth and melting of (mostly NH) glaciers.
    As a simplified qualitative thought experiment, assume a slab ocean bounded by South and North America, with a notch in the boundary which is the Straight of Magellan; the Antarctic Circumpolar vortex pushes surface flow from west to east through the notch, and coriolis forces couple this into a northbound surface flow and southbound deep flow in the slab ocean. The absorption of heat near the equator and loss of heat near the north pole, as well as evaporation near the equator increasing the salinity of water being transported north, cause a density gradient which enhances the AMOC by thermohaline circulation.
    During the last glacial maximum, from -28k to -18k ybp, long enough for several ocean overturnings, the atmospheric CO2 concentration and global average temperature were relatively constant. Milankovic forcing was a little more complicated, but was changing slowly, sin functions of the periodic orbital parameters – see http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/53/MilankovitchCyclesOrbitandCores.png.
    The upwelling deep water of our slab ocean model, as it flows north toward the equator, warms and outgasses CO2; as it cools in the North Atlantic, it reabsorbs CO2, and when it gets cold and salty enough, returns to the deep water. If everything is at equilibrium, the outgassing and absorption balance; in the real world, ENSO, PDO, sunspot/TSI cycles, Arctic Oscillation, etc disturb the balance, but by small amounts and for comparatively short periods.
    If we apply a slowly increasing Milankivic forcing to our simplified slab ocean model, at equilibrium with CO2 at ~190 ppm and avg global T equal to that of ~20k years ago, the upwelling deep water outgasses more CO2 as the temperature rises and the average SST increases; the increased CO2 adds to the temperature, and the rise in temperature starts melting glaciers, increasing freshwater flux into the North Atlantic; the fresh water slows the thermohaline circulation (decreasing salinity and density), which decreases the removal of CO2 to the deep ocean. The double whammy of more outgassing and lower removal by a slowed AMOC brings a rapid (8k year) end to the ice age. The details of how much ice is available, and glacial floods, and how fast the temperature rises cause real world nonlinearities, changes and overshoots in AMOC, and complications such as Dansgaard-Oeschger events, Bølling-Allerød transitions, and transition from Heinrich Event 1 conditions to the Bølling-Allerød. For more details see http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/325/5938/310 and http://sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/325/5938/273#R1
    The dynamics are different with a decreasing forcing. The cooling created allows increased snow cover and decreased outgassing of CO2 from upwelling deep water, but the creation of glaciers requires the evaporation of water, transport, condensation, and precipitation of snow. The energy flux involved is much larger than with melting and runoff, so the accumulation of glacial cover is a slower process than its loss. This limits the rate of change of albedo feedback. Also, there isn’t a mechanism to increase the AMOC during cooling converse to the slowing caused by fresh water influx from glacial melting – there’s no evaporation threshold temperature corresponding to the melting threshold at zero degrees C – not to mention that temperatures are falling, not rising. This asymmetry in physical processes leads to the asymmetry between descent into and recovery from ice ages.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 12 Apr 2010 @ 12:53 AM

  361. Mike ” dT/dt = S(t) where T is global mean temperature anomaly of a pure mixed layer ocean, CP is its effective heat capacity, and S(t) is some cyclical forcing S(t)=S0cos(wt) with period tau=2pi/w.”

    Mike, I agree that with this simple model model, there is a constant 90° phase lag. But this is a “purely inductive” model in an electrical analogy. However the amplitude of the response is also (by simple integration) So/w or So.tau/2π. Meaning, as I said, that high frequency are simply cut-off and the response to rapid variations vanishes as 1/w.

    This discussion is very reminiscent of that I had on sea level rise. Your equation dT/dt = Cp S(t) is necessarily approximate, since it would predict an infinite rise for a constant forcing. Physically, it holds only as long as the retroaction limiting the temperature rise is negligible – which can generally be expressed by a condition like t << tr where tr is a characteristic relaxation time. With a more correct expression including this tr (with a -T/tr additional term). This is equivalent to add a "resistive" term -Ri in an electrical analogy. The introduction of such a term introduces a characteristic relaxation time tr (=L/R) AND at the same time a break frequency 1/tr. For variations long with respect to tr, the phase vanishes, the signal is more or less instantaneous and in close equilibrium with the forcing. For variations more rapid, the phase is 90° but the amplitude decreases with frequency. I don't think you can avoid the association of the two, that's a general feature of low-pass filters. So if the relaxation time for temperature is larger than 1000 years, we shouldn't see anything after 30 years (the same for sea level, or more exactly the asymptotic state would be huge with respect to what we are currently seeing).

    [Response: Of course the phase lag is not 90 degrees in general. This was a simple derivation to make a more general point (that phase lags tend to scale with the periodicity of the forcing). Please read the paper I linked to, which provides a more general derivation. Further comments on this are O.T. --mike]

    Comment by Gilles — 12 Apr 2010 @ 1:21 AM

  362. I’m thinking Jim Steele’s difficulty re the CO2 lag might be because in his simple model, he ties the CO2 response solely to temperature and to a point in time.

    As I understand it, the positive feedback also involves the biological and chemical interactions in the oceans, which can take up to 1000 years to fully work through and reach equilibrium in the ocean (and therefore the atmosphere). Atmospheric CO2 is not only or solely driven by atmospheric temperature changes, but is also affected by changes in the ocean itself (as well as land, volcanoes etc).

    If the energy absorbed from the sun drops from orbital or similar changes, it precipitates physical, biological and chemical changes in the atmosphere/ocean/land involving CO2, which can take a very long time to stabilise. So when the orbital changes put downward pressure on temperature, it starts a chain of events involving CO2, ocean flora, ocean chemistry etc that continue well beyond the time that the orbital influences themselves cease operating; and continue to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, thus continue to lower the temperature. (Articles on the carbon cycle can shed light on this.)

    And although obvious to most people here, when I was (re)discovering global warming it took a little while for the meaning of positive and negative feedback to sink in. Positive feedback amplifies any change, both up and down changes. Negative feedback has a stabilising effect, moderating both the up and down effects. From what I read elsewhere the terms are sometimes misunderstood.

    (I’m no climate scientist, and I expect someone better qualified will correct or clarify the above.)

    Comment by Sou — 12 Apr 2010 @ 2:28 AM

  363. Jim Steele (286),

    NONE of the extra carbon is coming from natural sources. The ocean is a net SINK for CO2, not a net SOURCE. When temperature rise precedes CO2 increase, the average lag time is 800 YEARS. I demonstrated a close correlation IN THE SAME YEAR. That the source is fossil fuels is confirmed by the isotope signature, a point tentatively noticed by Suess in 1955 and confirmed by Revelle and Suess in 1957. And Sergeant’s partial-F tests for Granger causality show it running unequivocally from CO2 to temperature and not the other way around.

    I’ve been doing regression-correlation analysis for a long, long time, and know my way around it. I wrote the old shareware MULTI program, and I’m working on a statistical analysis program for Windows.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 12 Apr 2010 @ 6:16 AM

  364. Don’t know if that got through, since I got an “internal server error,” so I’ll repeat. Please remove any redundant posts.

    JS (286),

    I performed Cochrane-Orcutt iteration on that regression to compensate for the autocorrelation in the residuals, and still got 60% of variance accounted for when rho had dropped to an insignificant level.

    We know from the radioisotope signature that the new CO2 is coming from fossil fuels, not the climate system. This was first noticed by Suess in 1955 and confirmed by Revelle and Suess in 1957. Here are the citations, please look them up:

    Revelle, R. and H.E. Suess 1957. “Carbon Dioxide Exchange between Atmosphere and Ocean and the Question of an Increase of Atmospheric CO2 During the Past Decades.” Tellus 9, 18-27.

    Suess, H.E. 1955. “Radiocarbon Concentration in Modern Wood.” Sci. 122, 415-417.

    Furthermore, when warming precedes CO2 rise, as in a natural deglaciation, there is an average time lag of 800 YEARS. The correlation I demonstrated was IN THE SAME YEAR.

    I was a statistics minor at Pitt (’83). I have been doing regression-correlation analysis for a long, long time. I wrote the old shareware MULTI program, and am now working on a statistical analysis package for Windows.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 12 Apr 2010 @ 6:20 AM

  365. Rod (324),

    No. The emissivity and opacity of the atmosphere depends on its load of greenhouse gases. If the Earth’s atmosphere were entirely nitrogen and oxygen, the atmosphere’s IR emissivity/absorptivity would be near-zero and the Earth’s surface temperature would be 254 K, not 288 K as it is.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 12 Apr 2010 @ 6:26 AM

  366. 356 (Rod B),

    I have no problem with the myriad of studies that “point to” the 3K per doubling, and scientists drawing reasonable conclusions from that. I do have a problem with turning that into dogma never to be questioned.

    This makes no sense to me.

    On the one hand you say that you recognize that there are multiple lines of evidence that support a 3K/doubling climate sensitivity (which directly contradicts your statement in 322, that “I have no proof of what the actual climate sensitivity is, but then again, despite your assertions, neither do you.”) Of course, you qualify that by using quotations around “points to”, which suggests that somehow there’s some “trick” involved in actually applying evidence and logic to a problem, and so you don’t really accept the evidence at all.

    But on the other hand you say that despite this body of evidence you have a problem with people turning evidence and conclusions into “dogma.” What exactly does that mean? How did that even enter in to the discussion? The question was what proof is there, you’ve been shown it, and you state (with subtle equivocation) that you accept it. Where and how does “dogma” enter into this discussion?

    [This is where I have a problem with many skeptics. This was exactly something that was pointed out in my Catholic Pre-Cana classes before I got married. Beware of the argument where one person changes the subject the moment they are shown to be incorrect. Rather than admit to the truth and move forward, they instead attempt to jump tracks and shift the debate to some other area where they can try to score points. It's unproductive, and demonstrative of someone who is both close minded and trying to "win" rather than trying to get to the truth.]

    Comment by Bob — 12 Apr 2010 @ 8:13 AM

  367. The German original of the article is now available online:
    http://wissen.spiegel.de/wissen/image/show.html?did=69744066&aref=image042/2010/03/27/CO-SP-2010-013-0140-0149.PDF&thumb=false (PDF)
    http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-69744066.html (HTML)

    Comment by Andreas — 12 Apr 2010 @ 8:23 AM

  368. Bob, thank you for your comment (#351). Due to circumstances there were some interruptions in our discussion (my first response ended up in a queue for many hours yesterday, and when it was published you were no longer on line). You write that you “can smell it in the abstract” when somenone is “against AGW” (I suppose that in the end we all are against AGW, but I understand what you mean). I then started re-reading Paltridge’s abstract because I thought I had missed something there. But I must conclude that apparently your nose is better than mine. In the abstract, the author states his method, honestly admits that some of his data require great caution, mentions his results (decreasing trends in specific humidity during several decades) and concludes that if this is confirmed upon more detailed examination it would imply negative water vapor feedback whereas in climate models one supposes a constant relative humidity (and therefore increasing specific humidity upon warming). I think I should leave the final judgment to the readers, here is the complete abstract:

    “The National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) reanalysis data on tropospheric humidity are examined for the period 1973 to 2007. It is accepted that radiosonde-derived humidity data must be treated with great caution, particularly at altitudes above the 500 hPa pressure level. With that caveat, the face-value 35-year trend in zonal-average annual-average specific humidity q is significantly negative at all altitudes above 850 hPa (roughly the top of the convective boundary layer) in the tropics and southern midlatitudes and at altitudes above 600 hPa in the northern midlatitudes. It is significantly positive below 850 hPa in all three zones, as might be expected in a mixed layer with rising temperatures over a moist surface. The results are qualitatively consistent with trends in NCEP atmospheric temperatures (which must also be treated with great caution) that show an increase in the stability of the convective boundary layer as the global temperature has risen over the period. The upper-level negative trends in q are inconsistent with climate-model calculations and are largely (but not completely) inconsistent with satellite data. Water vapor feedback in climate models is positive mainly because of their roughly constant relative humidity (i.e., increasing q) in the mid-to-upper troposphere as the planet warms. Negative trends in q as found in the NCEP data would imply that long-term water vapor feedback is negative – that it would reduce rather than amplify the response of the climate system to external forcing such as that from increasing atmospheric CO2. In this context, it is important to establish what (if any) aspects of the observed trends survive detailed examination of the impact of past changes of radiosonde instrumentation and protocol within the various international networks.” http://www.springerlink.com/content/m2054qq6126802g8

    I should also stress that the article is about the TREND in specific humidity, not about absolute values.

    Comment by wilt — 12 Apr 2010 @ 9:08 AM

  369. Bob @351

    How about Hansen et al 2008?
    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0804/0804.1126.pdf

    Or Rockstrom et al 2009?
    http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol14/iss2/art32/main.html

    Comment by John Peter — 12 Apr 2010 @ 9:22 AM

  370. Bob (#353), I agree that Solomon’s observations still lack a physical explanation. But I have confidence in her scientific integrity and in the quality of the review process of the journal Science, so let us focus on the reported observations. These cover a period of about 3 decades, I would not call that ‘a very short time frame’. The authors not only draw a conclusion about the 2000-2009 period but also suggest that during 1980-2000 the temperature increase was significantly higher (about 30%) than it would have been without the increase in stratospheric water vapor during those years. Since most of the temperature increase in that period is usually attributed to the increase of CO2 (at least by the proponents of the AGW theory), the most logical explanation seems to me that climate sensitivity with respect to CO2 increase is lower than thought before Solomon’s findings were published. Unless of course it would be proven that the changes in stratospheric water vapor are related to changes in CO2, but this seems unlikely in view of the 2000-2009 data.
    Of course I realize that we have not been reading the final word in the debate on stratosperic water vapor, and on water vapor feedback in general.

    Comment by wilt — 12 Apr 2010 @ 9:39 AM

  371. 366 (Walt),

    My problem begins at the following sentence, which wanders away from his point of evaluating humidity observations in the troposphere into attacking climate models and thus guaranteeing that the study has the spin he intends.

    The upper-level negative trends in q are inconsistent with climate-model calculations and…

    I am only just getting to his discussions of models in his paper, but this is exactly the problem that I personally see. I feel that other authors would discuss the humidity in the troposphere and leave further inferences unspoken, for others to draw conclusions from the plainly stated scientific facts. The inferences are fairly obvious even to a layman. Paltridge, however, doesn’t let that sit. He has to make sure that he gets his argument in, too.

    Beyond this, his argument isn’t entirely complete, either, because it is not merely the models but also our understanding of the underlying physics and our interpretation of paleoclimatology which support an increase in atmospheric water vapor, so to focus on models seems rather “trendy” and myopic — a good way to approach an argument, but not the science.

    Maybe I’m wrong (I’m not a scientist… maybe this is very much how things often work in all scientific fields — scientists are human, and opinionated, after all), but it just doesn’t sit well with me, and I feel like I’ve really only seen that approach in other papers that offer evidence against AGW, but not vice versa.

    Comment by Bob — 12 Apr 2010 @ 10:21 AM

  372. Sorry, I labeled my previous comment 366 (Walt), when I meant 366 (wilt).

    Comment by Bob — 12 Apr 2010 @ 10:23 AM

  373. dhogaza: you got some blind anger. you say “Really? You’re sure they deleted your posts because they couldn’t dismiss them?

    Interesting how we’re not supposed to speculate regarding Jim Steele’s motives, but it’s OK for Jim Steele to speculate about the motives of those who run this site who don’t bother responding to some of his “unanswerable” questions … it’s because the questions can’t be dismissed … those who run RC are hiding that fact … because … because … why are they doing this, Jim Steele?

    Moderator Jim, you’re not applying your moderation powers evenly here …”

    That quote is something I made months ago on a different blog after the insults of several deletions, whatever the motives. I didn’t insert that comment here. Here I applauded the new fairness. I don’t understand why you wouldn’t think respect and fairness to skeptical ideas wouldn’t make this a more educational blog. You can speak your truth, then like any kid, we usually do not learn just because some one told us. Right or wrong we learn by challenging ideas,applying them, and seeing where and when they work. Maybe it is a longer road than if we just accepted your truth at first go around. But probably why such childish skepticism persists,is new truths are also discovered.

    But if that quote really bothered you and shouldn’t be allowed here, blame HankR, Maple. I have tried to keep my discussion on the substance of climate science. Why do you refuse to do likewise?

    [Response: Jim, I appreciate your applauding our 'fairness', but it isn't 'new'. If we don't respond to your queries, it is either because we a) don't have time, and don't read each and every comment -- there are just two many or b) because we've responded many many times to the same arguments, and it gets tiresome. If you come up with something brilliant, that really does stump us, we will let you know and encourage you to publish it. No one gets deleted here for brining up 'inconvenient truths.'--eric]

    Comment by Jim Steele — 12 Apr 2010 @ 10:41 AM

  374. Also, wilt pointed to the Paltridge paper, not me.

    Comment by Walter Manny — 12 Apr 2010 @ 11:30 AM

  375. BPL (363), I appreciate your help. But I can’t get through it entirely. In your basic model atmosphere composition is nowhere to be found. Or are you saying the simple assumption of 1.0 emissivity is misleading and that the assumed emissivity of the atmosphere (0.0 for visual) is either 1.0 or 0.0 for infrared depending on the wavelength — I assume in accordance with GHG energy levels (is this correct?). If so, I have some disagreement with it, but will accept it for now without prejudice for the sake of discussion. I still can’t see how the concentration of GHGs effect your model results. Or why the emission/absorption can still be described by S-B law, viz P = εσ[(epsilon)(sigma)]T^4 when internal GHG energy emission does not depend on temperature. (Whether emission occurs or not is indirectly related to temperature, but the energy of emission is not.)

    Comment by Rod B — 12 Apr 2010 @ 11:46 AM

  376. Dave Benson. I accept that temperature will lag orbital forcing. And I see that as useful for aligning the Milankovitch forcings with historic temperature reconstructions. However, not being very familiar with the mathematical variables you used and how they totally relate to physical processes, I am not sure if I missed something, but I don’t see how your answer would explain the crux of my perceived problem. Given that the ocean temperatures were lowered by the orbital forcing and that is said to only account for half of the temperature drop, I am then concerned with the dynamic that sequesters the CO2 and accounts for the remaining temperature decline.

    Dave Miller #335 Thanks for the thoughtful reply. You said The “insulating” effect of the CO2 doesn’t change – the GHG’s will reflect about the same percentage of outbound IR. But you answered your own question. Orbital and albedo changes change the temperature. Over a sufficient length of time this cools the oceans. Cooler oceans absorb more CO2 from the air. This is exactly the same mechanism as the positive feed back when coming out of the glacial, just running backwards.

    Dave when you say “Over a sufficient length of time this cools the oceans” that is where I asked next “Without any additional loss of solar forcing on the down stroke, what causes CO2 to be sequestered any further over that time period?” meaning what mechanism/process/forcing is cooling the oceans further or sequestering CO2 and thus lessening the CO2 forcing and causing the oceans to cool?

    In the context of the RC explanation that the non-CO2 forcing accounts for half of the temperature change, and in the context of the lag where the higher CO2 is still contributing most of its full weight of radiative forcing, in this example the orbital forcing has more or less completed its half of the temperature change. I understand albedo plays a role in changes of the balance, but then how would you characterize the difference in albedo at 1 degree both in the upstroke and downstroke? If not equal albedo for equal temperatures, I would expect more albedo on the upstroke, due to a likely greater extent of residual glaciers.

    Brian Dodge #358 Thank you for this reply, I believe your answer correctly focuses on what I am trying to understand. My initial conclusions from my simple model were based on the assumptions that I expect the net rate of CO2 exchange with the ocean to be approximately the same at 1 degree (given there is no additional significant changes in solar forcings or albedo), and thus expect the same processes whether or not the temperature is intersected on the upstroke or down stroke.

    I also had assumed that ocean circulation to be that same regards CO2, but your answer, points to a mechanism that I could see would make a difference and perhaps resolve my perceived paradox, but it also raises many more questions that I need to explore to better my understanding. I will definitely peruse your links and then I would like to pursue a more detailed examination and dialogue of your proposed mechanism, if the moderators and others do not think we are straying too far off topic? Moderators?

    Comment by Jim Steele — 12 Apr 2010 @ 12:07 PM

  377. Bob (364) It’s a matter of degree (and not semantics). There are a number of assessments that you say “point to” (your words) the conclusion. This leaves a material doubt or uncertainty. You probably hedged enough (and appropriately) in #281 that you don’t cross the dogma threshold, so I was a bit off base here as far as you are concerned (though on another question you talk about, “….all….other arguments are all dead and buried” which sounds pretty dogmatic to me.) On the other hand there is a clear movement by many on this question (and others) from being indicative to dogma. It becomes dogma when there is absolutely no allowance for any sort of questioning. When anyone does so question, the response, to an outside observer, sounds strikingly similar to the Church ferreting out heretics. Though even in this example they try to buy an out by saying ‘we don’t know if it is 3.0K exactly — it might be only 2.9K’ But let someone suggest that the science is so uncertain that it might be a 0.05K sensitivity, and watch him not get rebutted but get crucified.

    I’m not saying the 3.0K sensitivity is wrong. But I am saying that the observations and physics theory is sufficiently ambiguous to warrant serious questioning — given the seriousness of its consequences. It doesn’t matter if 1000 studies are made that point to 3.0K, though that certainty tends to somewhat mitigate — though not eliminate — the ambiguity. Those studies all use the same assumptions and suppositions of the physics. And, as I said earlier, none have measured or observed even by proxy the global temperature increase as CO2 goes from 400 to 800 ppmv. (And don’t parry with the ‘I’m slandering good scientists’ strawman. Those scientists are doing learned work and drawing reasonable conclusions based on what they know. They’re just not eliminating the uncertainty.)

    Incidentally, I agree that some skeptics exercise what you were taught in your Pre-Cana classes. But in case you missed it some warmists do the same — right on this thread — some by you. You changed the MWP argument to one about climate sensitivity. There’s been a ton of guys here refuting stuff that Jim Steele never said.

    [Response: Something that seems to always be missed in discussion of uncertainty is that it works in both directions (and indeed is heavily skewed in one direction. As the Economist put it in a recent article, "The fact that the uncertainties allow to you construct [that is, imagine] a relatively benign future does not allow you to ignore futures in which climate change is large.”–eric]

    Comment by Rod B — 12 Apr 2010 @ 12:47 PM

  378. Re: glacial cycles

    > too far off topic?

    Can’t speak for others, but I’m following the replies to this with interest. And really, what needed saying “on topic” was said by Stefan in the OP already, so why not go off on an educational tangent…

    Comment by CM — 12 Apr 2010 @ 1:07 PM

  379. Jim Steele

    After the peak there is less incoming energy, the energy of the system falls and the planet cools. Because the oceans have cooled they absorb some CO2, lowering the CO2 forcing. Again with this lowered forcing the planet cools a little bit more, so more CO2 is absorbed, repeat in ever decreasing magnitude until you reach a new equilibrium.

    Comment by Richard C — 12 Apr 2010 @ 1:18 PM

  380. Jim Steele, all I am saying you were easier to understand, would you only use shorter sentences. Can I try to paraphrase, what I think is your biggest concern:

    1) Raise in atmospheric CO2 is known feedback to raising temperatures.
    2) Source of this feedback CO2 are known: oceans, arctic bogs, methane clathrates.
    3) Then, is drop in atmospheric CO2 known feedback to the dropping temperatures?
    4) If so, what is the mechanism of this drop of atmospheric CO2?

    Have I understood your problem correctly?

    Comment by Petro — 12 Apr 2010 @ 1:29 PM

  381. Bob (#368, #369), I can understand that you would prefer that authors refrain completely from writing ‘political’ conclusions in their abstracts. About Paltridge you write: “He has to make sure that he gets his argument in, too.” I have been a scientist all my life (not in the climate field, however) so I know a few things about getting your articles published. I think in virtually every field of science, the abstract is probably the most important part of a paper because that’s where a reviewer starts in his evaluation. So the abstract aims at summarizing the article but also tries to win ‘the hearts and minds’ of the reviewers by formulating some type of conclusion with respect to the relevancy. There seems to be even more pressure to extrapolate from the scientific findings to a ‘statement’ in climate science, where there is hardly any ‘neutral’ science left since everything is immediately somehow translated into pro or contra AGW.
    PS Briefly after submitting my comment #366, I have also submitted an answer to your #353 comment on Solomon. This answer, however, still awaits moderation. Sorry about that (although it’s not my fault).

    Comment by wilt — 12 Apr 2010 @ 1:35 PM

  382. Jim Steele (371) — The excursion into linear systems theory demonstrates that even with the maximum possible positive feedback, the temperatures cycle up and down following the orbital forcing with a phase lag and a large amplification both on the upswing and the downswing.

    I used H(s) = k/(s+1) with k=1 to represent a reservior; the deep oceans are a reservior of CO2. This reservior then gives up its contents to the surface on the upswing and replenishes the supply on the downswing. If k is greater than 1 the linear system is unstable but that implies an additional source of energy to drive it into ever wider swings; for the climate no such source is available. To obtain an amplification of exactly 2 of the orbital forcing, so that the response is

    2cos(a(t-l))

    it turns out that k = 0.516 and then the lag is l = 7.9894 ky, less than at full amplification.

    This linear model certainly oversimplifies climate as it has no cryosphere. I don’t know what models are used for orbital tuning of bethnic and ice cores.

    I guess I don’t understand your difficulty, I fear. Colder water holds more CO2 so during the cooling phase CO2 is removed from the atmosphere into the reservior of the ocean and providing the positive feedback on the downstroke.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 12 Apr 2010 @ 2:24 PM

  383. Correction #381, answer to Bob: Bob’s initial comment can now be found under #371 and #372. This is because some older comments have now been inserted, including my response to Bob on Solomon (see #370)

    Comment by wilt — 12 Apr 2010 @ 2:51 PM

  384. “, with some cop-outs about going to the “Start here” section thrown in.–Jim]”

    [Response: I knew I could count on you to chime in eventually with something you'd searched for to get yourself upset about. Everything I said to Dhogaza applies to you, times 2.--Jim]

    So when JS yibbers on about a 800 year lag, we should instead get Jim to go off to skepticalscience?

    Or does the Start Here actually go to a link about that subject?

    [Response: The 800-year lag gibberish was discussed in the first week or RealClimate's existence, so "start here" would be a an appropriate response. For the specific discussion, see: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/co2-in-ice-cores/ --eric]

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 12 Apr 2010 @ 2:55 PM

  385. Rod B says: 12 April 2010 at 12:47 PM

    Those studies all use the same assumptions and suppositions of the physics.

    Rod, of a hypothetical N number of studies all pointing to 3.0K increase of temperature per doubling, you imply too much ambiguity will remain because all those studies rely on the same physics.

    In order to drive conversation forward, it seems as though focusing on what assumptions and more particularly suppositions are at fault from your perspective would be a good thing. Otherwise it seems at first glance as though you’ll never be in position to be able to form a conclusion with regard to this matter of C02′s potential for forcing.

    Not to pick on you particularly, but if the same line of reasoning is in the minds of others with responsibility for formulating policy, that’s not good.

    Perhaps I’m looking too hard at that word “supposition”, but it’s got serious connotations if you mean it according to its definition. The fundamentals of this matter of forcing are not built on supposition. Knock-on effects perhaps are. Where in general terms do you believe we slide from demonstration to supposition with regard to forcing by C02?

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 12 Apr 2010 @ 2:56 PM

  386. #375 Rod B

    Or why the emission/absorption can still be described by S-B law, viz P = ??[(epsilon)(sigma)]T^4 when internal GHG energy emission does not depend on temperature.

    It can’t and shouldn’t (common error). The emission is determined by the Planck distribution for black body radiation. The total radiation which is obtained by adding (integrating) the contributions from all wavelengths satisfies the S-B law if and only if the emissivity is independent of wavelength , i.e for black and grey bodies. Greenhouse gases are neither grey nor black so the S-B law is not even approximately valid for them.

    [Response: That's a bit of an overstatement of course -- Stefan-Boltzmann is the starting point for any such calculation; one has to account for the wavelength emissivity though.-eric]

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 12 Apr 2010 @ 3:11 PM

  387. 377 (Rod B),

    Where to begin…

    (though on another question you talk about, “….all….other arguments are all dead and buried” which sounds pretty dogmatic to me

    Well it is dogmatic, yes, if you want to take the approach that nothing is ever sufficiently settled, and everything must be debated over and over and over ad infinatum, then I lose patience. There are a lot of silly arguments out there that just aren’t worth discussing, no matter how much some deniers want to cling to them as open. To me, those people quickly expose themselves to be willfully ignorant, and so I have no time for them. One can’t teach someone who refuses to learn, no matter how much they proclaim their status as a “skeptic.” If they don’t understand the simple and obvious facts by now, I can’t make them.

    This, by the way, is a purposeful or accidental Internet debate technique used by deniers, to constantly bring up long dismissed points as if they are new and fresh and must be given fair consideration. You can perhaps demand fair consideration for them from other people, but not from me as an individual. It’s not worth my own personal time to discuss nonsense (unless I feel that the other party actually has a chance of listening and learning and putting the silliness to rest).

    …sounds strikingly similar to the Church ferreting out heretics..

    This is more skeptic “owe, woe is me, they are religious in their warmist fanaticism and I’m just trying to get to the truth.” I don’t buy it. Discuss science with me, not debate tactics or how the evil warmist scientists are bullying the poor, freedom fighting skeptical underdogs.

    I’m not saying the 3.0K sensitivity is wrong. But I am saying that the observations and physics theory is sufficiently ambiguous to warrant serious questioning…

    I think that you are the one casting this as settled. This line of conversation began when I said that the only aspect of the science that I really considered open to debate was this.

    I said that multiple lines of evidence support a 3˚C/doubling warming, but if something were to turn out to be different than we expect, this is it. But I also said that while alternative theories have been proposed, supporting evidence and specific mechanisms have yet to materialize, despite seemingly concerted efforts by skeptical scientists to prove otherwise. Perhaps if they put their time into something other than complaining about the “dogma” of the other scientists.

    The fact that they have not yet is in fact circumstantial evidence that it is unlikely to happen.

    My position is that the preponderance of evidence is on 3˚C, that I am open to other possibilities, but as yet there is no serious evidence otherwise (I’m looking at the Paltridge paper now, which for now shows merit, but by itself hardly stacks up to the list of other studies in favor of 3˚C).

    You are the one that began the debate by saying that I did not have evidence. Now you say I do, but it’s no where near enough to end the debate. I agree. More evidence is needed. But with dozens of studies pointing to 3C being right, and one or zero pointing to 3C being wrong, I’m sorry, I’ll go with being worried about my future and wanting to take action.

    …some by you. You changed the MWP argument to one about climate sensitivity.

    Okay, now you’re rewriting history…

    From comment 281 (mine, in response to Walter, after the sequence 235, 240, 272):

    All of the other arguments about a supposed MWP being warmer than the current, or our understanding of GHG physics being wrong, or the surface temperature record having been purposely adjusted, and a million other arguments, are all dead and buried. I won’t even visit them, unless the perpetrator seems open to being corrected.

    From comment 322 (yours, in response to 281):

    Just a pro forma rebuttal: the hockey stick debate was about the MWP being warmer or not, not about the value of climate sensitivity per se.

    I ignored the bait, sticking to my original statement in 281 that I won’t waste time discussing the MWP.

    Now you bring it up again. But no, I did not redirect the debate away from the MWP, but rather you keep trying to redirect the debate to the MWP.

    I’m not exactly sure why deniers are so hot on the MWP. If it did exist, it would simply be further evidence that climate sensitivity is high (i.e. 3˚C or greater). Deniers want it to mean “we don’t have to worry now, because it was warm then, too.” Except in truth we’d have to come up with a mechanism for the earth having warmed that much back then, without CO2, to contrast and compare with the effects of GHG in the present, and until we did, we’d still have to work from the logic that “GHG is warming the planet, climate sensitivity is high (as supported by the MWP), therefore we had better take action now.”

    In particular, the causes of any MWP warming would have been naturally reversed, while we know that CO2 will stay in the atmosphere for a very long time, so it’s unlikely we can count on the same thing happening in the present.

    Arguments I’ve seen for a MWP are down right weak, but even if they were true, they reinforce current logic rather than refute it.

    Comment by Bob — 12 Apr 2010 @ 3:22 PM

  388. Definitely my bad, and I apologize to Jim Steele, for looking that name up elsewhere, copying something in, right off. I should’ve waited a couple of days and learned by watching.

    There was a real experience — the “disappearing” post — that led to the suspicions posted elsewhere that I found.

    It’s a misfeature: after you post, the ‘pending moderation’ note appears, but only you and the moderators see it. If it ‘disappears’ for you, none of the moderators let it in (any one of them can).

    Your post didn’t appear (to us) then get removed, as you thought it had.

    As Eric notes inline above, a post may not appear because none of the moderators recognized it as new material. But as you showed us, it can be all new to a new person coming in and posting.

    A hew person’s post mixing familiar skepticism and old science also makes people think, oh, this isn’t new. But your post was new for you.

    Recently added moderator Jim (who knows you as a fellow biologist) spoke up this time when you cama back, and firmly. We amateur readers need to recognize that kind of professional courtesy and defer to it.

    Lesson: scientists coming in here new, who haven’t studied climate, may be _very_ skeptical and say so very bluntly, just as many nonscientists do. We can’t tell, for a while, and new readers don’t know who we are either.

    So, I reacted like a jerk, and I apologize.

    People like me–amateur readers–often reply to new people who post FAQs, that don’t need attention from the real scientists.

    We can and do get overexcited. I did. I trust the moderators to calm me down when needed: http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=amcn39

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 12 Apr 2010 @ 3:44 PM

  389. 370 (Wilt),

    I’m not disparaging Dr. Solomon in the least. That paper is a perfect example of sticking to the subject at hand, treating it as one more important piece of knowledge to add to the pile, and letting others make inferences.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t paid to read that paper, so I am primarily speaking from the abstract and other’s commentaries, however my understanding is that it only discusses a drop in water vapor in the past decade. This is the “short period” I referred to and I stand by that.

    I understand that it also estimates increases in stratospheric water vapor contributing to warming from 1980-2000, and attributes as much as 30% of warming to that. But your statement that “Since most of the temperature increase in that period is usually attributed to the increase of CO2″ is, I suspect, inaccurate and overly simplistic. I know of no method of attributing warming to various individual factors and feedbacks, either positive or negative. I have never seen anyone “claim” that a certain amount of warming to date is the result of CO2, only that the end result per doubling will be anywhere from 2 to 5 C.

    I would caution against any train of thought that sounds like hearsay (“at least by the proponents of the AGW theory” were your words).

    The paper says what it says, that stratospheric water vapor increased for two decades and contributed to warming, and decreased for one decade which slowed warming. This is evidence that water vapor does in fact have a role in warming, and that unexpected effects in the stratosphere exist. It is not evidence, to me, in either direction for or against any particular climate sensitivity or any negative feedback which will limit sensitivity to CO2 below 3˚C per doubling.

    Comment by Bob — 12 Apr 2010 @ 3:59 PM

  390. Enough is enough. I think IPCC should sue the newspapers when they run such [edit] articles. Don’t you think ?

    Comment by Vincent C. — 12 Apr 2010 @ 4:09 PM

  391. It seems everyone is trying to explain the same thing to Jim Steele. Since no one seems to have suceeded, I’ll give it a try:
    In a simplistic thought experiment, we are gods playing with a planet covered by a huge H2O ocean. There’s a bit of CO2 in the water and in the atmosphere and the atmospheric fraction of the CO2 is in equilibrium with the oceanic fraction so that the net CO2 flux between the two is zero. The planet is also in radiative equilibrium with its sun and space. But then we turn up the sun a bit (+1K worth of forcing). Temperatures increase because the radiative equilibrium is perturbed and, as a result, the equilibrium amount of atmospheric CO2 rises (by an amount equivalent to +0.5K worth of forcing) which in turn causes the actual amount of CO2 in the atmosphere to rise. The planet will end up warming to +2K because the CO2 forcing feeds back on itself (it doesn’t warm a full 2K because each additional unit of CO2 causes a slightly smaller forcing). So far so good?
    Now the planet is at a new hotter equilibrium and we dial the sun back down (-1K worth of forcing). As a result, the planet leaks more radiation than it receives and therefore it cools. The extra CO2 that we put in the atmosphere during our experiment would keep the planet near +1K (warmer than it was orginally) except that this -1K cooling causes the equilibrium amount of CO2 in the atmosphere to fall somewhat (by -0.5 K worth of forcing) and a CO2 flux from the atmosphere to the ocean is therefore initiated. The CO2 positive feeback works exactly as it did when we warmed up the planet so that the flux is sustained until the system gets back to its original equilibrium with the original amount of airborne CO2.
    I hope this helps. I wouldn’t bet on it but you never know…

    Comment by Anonymous Coward — 12 Apr 2010 @ 4:13 PM

  392. Jim Steele @376: “Without any additional loss of solar forcing on the down stroke, what causes CO2 to be sequestered any further over that time period?”

    But there is an indirect additional loss of solar forcing due to a lowering of albedo as permanent snow cover expands at high latitudes, which progressively decreases insolation (energy in).

    However, the main and relatively fast amplifying feedback that I haven’t seen you acknowledge yet is decreased water vapour in a cooler atmosphere, and thus a relatively rapid reduction in the greenhouse effect, which allows more radiated energy to escape.

    Lower water vapour and albedo will cool surface and ocean temperatures further, which then promotes the absorption of still more CO2 (and the retention of soil and bog carbon), which then cools surface temperature still further. And so on in a diminishing series feedback until energy out once again more or less equals the orbitally reduced energy in.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 12 Apr 2010 @ 4:24 PM

  393. While it is true that the cryosphere’s response to focings is nonlinear, on the scale of 100 ky this matters less than might be supposed. In
    Climatic conditions for modelling the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets throughout the ice age cycle
    A. Abe-Ouchi, T. Segawa, F. Saito
    Clim. Past Discuss., 3, 301-336, 2007
    SRef-ID: 1814-9359/cpd/2007-3-301
    http://www.cosis.net/members/journals/df/article.php?a_id=5292
    we discover that on of the problems with the modeling of a full cycle from interglacial 2 (the Eemian) to interglacial 1 (the Holocene) was the rapid decline in temperature after the Eemian in the descent into the first following stade.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 12 Apr 2010 @ 4:26 PM

  394. RC Regulars,

    Forgive me for repeating myself, but I only saw one response to my query (351), and that response gave papers on climate sensitivity, while I’m looking for papers that relate to relative and specific humidity in the troposphere, as it pertains to a positive water vapor feedback.

    To repeat, I’m looking for the data that fills out the following quote from an RC post that itself references the Paltridge 2009 paper:

    …a paper by Garth Paltridge reporting on artifacts in the NCEP reanalysis of water vapour that are in contradiction to every other reanalysis, direct observations and satellite data…

    Can anyone direct me to those other, contradicting data sources? I’ve found references to Dessler 2008 and Soden 2005, but nothing more.

    At the moment, I am left with only my own (amateur) observations and criticisms of the Platridge study which, while covered with caveats, may make a decent case that actual water vapor feedbacks may not be as strong as proposed.

    Comment by Bob — 12 Apr 2010 @ 5:16 PM

  395. S. Matthew — I beleive I insuficiently answered your question regarding the time for temperatures to respond to CO2 forcing.

    First and foremost, the temperature responds to all fordings the same way; it doesn’t matter whether it is volcano forcings, CO2 forcing, solar forcing, …

    The response has components on land which I ignore. The response has components in the cryosphere which I ignore. So I’m left with but three compenents:
    (1a) atmosphere and the upper few meters of ocean well mixed by wave action;
    (1b) the shallow ocean below that small bit;
    (2) the deep ocean.

    Component (1a) responds in about a year; component (1b) in about 30 years. Putting those two together, the early response is in “about a decade”. Component (2) responds on a millennial scale; adding excess CO2 to a state of equilibrium will result in a new equilibrium, with elevated temperatures and CO2 in both the atmosphere and the ocean in 100 decades or maybe 130 decades.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 12 Apr 2010 @ 5:17 PM

  396. re Eric’s response to 377:

    You make a perfectly valid point. I’m not arguing that the uncertainty of the “accepted” sensitivity value is as big of the uncertainty of my suggested value. Any reasonable analysis would suggest that the accepted value is highly favored to be much more likely than not. That’s not my point. My point is that since the ramifications of the accepted theory could be massive even the smallest uncertainty ought to given focused, serious and diligent due. At the least the skeptics should not be drummed out of existence carte blanche. And throwing out the accepted value because of a reasonable but small skepticism until we figured it out with more precision would be abominably stupid. A little like the uncertainty of Iraq having WMDs at the onset of our invasion despite the virtually 100% consensus world wide that they did.

    Comment by Rod B — 12 Apr 2010 @ 5:26 PM

  397. Jim Steel @377,

    You say ” I have tried to keep my discussion on the substance of climate science. Why do you refuse to do likewise?”

    Yes, “climate science”, but not about material pertaining directly to Stefan’s piece on Der Spiegel. I’m sorry but the fact that posts go off topic is not an excuse for this kind of departure. Jim, if you re-read the thread, my comments have mostly been on topic (see #86, 105, 107, 280 and 348); with the first four of those related to the DS article or comments made about it. I, and others, began to get frustrated (e.g., me at #258) when the discussion became horribly side tracked and instead of focussing on the awful DS article, and almost everyone was distracted trying to explain the science of climate change you. Additionally, regardless of the reasons yo made for that infamous quote, you made that statement in a public forum, and you cannot take that back. To be frank, that is your fault and your fault alone.

    RC is an excellent pedagogical tool/resource, and I hope that you are now willing to retract that statement you made in view of the candid, informative, patient and lengthy discussion that you have had with experts here.

    Yes, some of us got frustrated with you, and some were rude (including myself and for that I apologize) but I hope that you can understand that based on the information we had access to, we had good reason for reacting that way. That and the fact that rehashing the same talking points put forth by skeptics gets incredibly tiresome.

    Anyhow, best of luck.

    Re Vincent @390, I agree, to a point. IMHO, legal action is probably not warranted in this case (maybe taking them to a German press council is though). The IPCC does need a dedicated PR team (incl. a spokesperson with experience in climate science) to pounce on such matters and to promptly and firmly set the record straight. Right now they are not equipped to deal with the DS debacle and other the misinformation oftentimes disseminated by the media on AGW. I really hope that they hire a strong and experienced PR team as well as some full-time research scientists to assist the PR team for AR5.

    IPCC could also emulate what MetEd and COMET have done in terms of graphical representations of the science which is suitable for scientists and lay people (i.e., different tiers of detail). In fact, a series of COMET modules on climate science is long overdue, and would be an incredibly useful outreach tool for the IPCC. If the public is educated then then media outlets will have to smarten up very quickly to avoid becoming the laughing stock. If they public is educated, then misleading articles such as the Der Spiegel piece discussed here will become much harder to sell, and rightly so.

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 12 Apr 2010 @ 5:26 PM

  398. Re #386 Inline response by Eric

    I don’t see it, at least not yet. I am not sure what ‘any such calculation’ refers to, since #375 linked back to a vague remark rather than a calculation.

    Starting from first principles, can you obtain a T^4 approximation by integrating a Planck distribution over a finite and fairly narrow range of wavelengths, assuming a constant emissivity, for the sake of simplicity?

    I can see how T^4 might apply to a gas at highish pressures when all the absorption lines are smeared out, but not when there a few distinct lines. Of course you can use any approximation as a starting point if you are prepared to iterate.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 12 Apr 2010 @ 5:47 PM

  399. I feel some people are being deliberatly obtuse when dealing with Jim Steele’s question.

    These responses saying, ‘of course atmospheric CO2 reduces in the cooling phase of the glaciation cycles’, are obfuscation. Jim has already said numerous times that he recognises this. His question relates as to how this cooling phase gets started at all now that we have a large upward forcing factor that was not present at the same stage of the warming phase? Simples!

    It is not him that has given the hypothesis that CO2 changes from an initial feedback stage to a forcing stage and then back to a feedback stage. If CO2 was just tracking temperature change, which is one explanation after all, then this problem would not arise.

    It is not Jim who has assigned such a large value to CO2 forcing that it is tricky to see how cooling can start at all.

    It would be useful, seeing as this is a science site, if the calculated and measurable changes that the Milankovitch cycles introduce to total TSI reaching the Earth are stated.

    Unfortunately we know that these calculations do not appear to produce a sufficient reduction in forcing effect to cause the glacial cycles. Something else seems to be involved as the correlation of the glacial cycles to the Milankovitch Cycles is so strong that it appears they are definitely connected.

    So unless someone can give the actual measurements which can cause the glacial phases on their own then we are left with ‘other factors’. However, you are still left with the same problem ‘why is the strength of these factors different in the cooling phase’?

    Alan

    [Response: This is all nonsense (sorry). There is no 'flipping' back and forth between forcings and feedbacks, and there is little mystery about why Milankovitch forcings affect the ice sheets. Over the whole ice age cycle - warming and cooling and warming and cooling - CO2 is behaving in exactly the same way - responding to the shifts in the carbon cycle driven by temperatures, circulation, sea ice expansion, sea level change etc. The analysis by Gerard Roe (2009), shows very clearly that the growth of the ice sheets is related to the summer insolation at 60 N and that this is the driver of all subsequent changes (including CO2). Once the orbital forcing switches towards a warming, the ice sheet growth will start to slow, and then reverse, temperatures and carbon follow, leading to further warming. When the orbital forcing flips again, the ice sheet retreat will slow, then stop and then reverse, and everything goes the other way. It really isn't that difficult. - gavin]

    Comment by Alan Millar — 12 Apr 2010 @ 6:16 PM

  400. > Rod B says: 12 April 2010 at 5:26 PM
    > … even the smallest uncertainty ought to given
    > focused, serious and diligent due.

    Zero uncertainty is unavailable in science, as Rod knows, so this
    requirement would delay any action for approximately forever.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 12 Apr 2010 @ 6:29 PM

  401. re : #398 (continued).
    Integral of Planck function over narrow range of frequencies (sketch):

    (a) a factor T^4. This looks promising but

    (b) there is another factor i.e the integral of (x^3)dx/[(exp(x)-1] ; still promising until you consider the limits x(0),x(1) of the integral which contain the absolute temperature T again as follows:

    (c) x(0)= hf(0)/kT , x(1) = =hf(1)/kT
    where h = Planck’s constant and f(0), f(1) are the frequencies defining the limits of the absorption band.

    Conclusion: Result no longer looks like T^4.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 12 Apr 2010 @ 6:33 PM

  402. “Response: This is all nonsense (sorry). There is no ‘flipping’ back and forth between forcings and feedbacks, and there is little mystery about why Milankovitch forcings affect the ice sheets. Over the whole ice age cycle – warming and cooling and warming and cooling – CO2 is behaving in exactly the same way – responding to the shifts in the carbon cycle driven by temperatures, circulation, sea ice expansion, sea level change etc. The analysis by Gerard Roe (2009), shows very clearly that the growth of the ice sheets is related to the summer insolation at 60 N and that this is the driver of all subsequent changes (including CO2). Once the orbital forcing switches towards a warming, the ice sheet growth will start to slow, and then reverse, temperatures and carbon follow, leading to further warming. When the orbital forcing flips again, the ice sheet retreat will slow, then stop and then reverse, and everything goes the other way. It really isn’t that difficult. – gavin”

    I am sorry Gavin but this is far too simplistic an explanation for Ice Ages and the Glacial Cycles.

    What you say has not been proven. It is one hypothesis to try and understand why the Glacial Cycles correlate with the Milankovitch Cycles but the actual changes due to the changes in TSI are far to0 small to cause the effects we observe.

    Why, if that is the definitive explanation, does Orbital Eccentricity seem to be the most strongly correlated ‘Milankovitch’ effect, stronger than Obliqiuty which you refer to, yet has a much smaller calculated solar forcing effect?

    If this is a science site you cannot just use some hypothesis just because it is conveniant to the current arguement, or your position, whilst ignoring serious issues with such a statement.

    You have ignored Jim’s question that, clearly, at the same stage of the cooling phase as compared to the warming phase there is now an additional strong upward forcing factor.

    How do these ice sheets start to advance? We are, for instance, told that the current trend in atmospheric CO2 will see the elimination of the Arctic ice sheet within a generation or two.

    What is the strength of this purported reduction in temperature forcing due to Axial Tilt and how does it compare to some of the top end estimates of CO2 forcing and climate sensitivity?

    Alan

    [Response: Sorry, but I have to concur with Gavin here. He's not ducking the question; he's just telling you what well established literature says. If you have a better idea, articulate it, but don't tell us we're 'avoiding' something. As for the question of eccentricity, yes, that remains intruiging, but the fact is there is little evidence it matters very much. That is, the forcing is small, and the response is small, so there is no mystery. There is no so-called 'eccentricity band' signal prior to 1 Ma, and the 100 kyr cycle that it is sometimes attributed to isn't stationary and probably has more to do with ice sheet dynamics. To answer your question: CO2 forcing is around 2 W/m^2, annually averaged, while annual insolation change due to axial tilt is zero! But seasonal insolation (which is what matters to ice sheets) is 40 W/m^2 or so, so completely dominates.--eric]

    Comment by Alan Millar — 12 Apr 2010 @ 7:44 PM

  403. > Milankovich …. calculations
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v448/n7156/abs/nature06015.html
    http://jgs.lyellcollection.org/cgi/content/abstract/142/3/417
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1993A&A…270..522L
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0012-8252(01)00061-7

    It’s not _only_ Milankovich. Continents drift; biology increasingly participates.
    http://geology.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/content/abstract/22/5/463
    “… between 1 and 1.2 Ma … reflect a major shift in climate. … Major anomalies arise within the transitional regime (1.2 to 1 Ma). The origin of the cycles is unknown; we propose productivity variations in the western equatorial Pacific.”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 12 Apr 2010 @ 8:04 PM

  404. Bob (387), me thinks you have “learning” confused with agreeing with you.

    I have no problem with you accepting and running with the evidence as you see it (so long as it is not fanciful, which in this case it isn’t). But that doesn’t mean that those who might not are stupid, silly, can’t see “simple and obvious” facts (dogma??), and unworthy of any discourse. You are personally free to not enter into such discourse, and that is perfectly acceptable, might easily be a waste of your time, and your choice.

    >> “… [don't] debate how the evil warmist scientists are bullying the poor, freedom fighting skeptical underdogs.”

    You really ought to read some of the posts.

    I never said you have no evidence — you clearly do. I claimed your evidence does not rise to dogma.

    To show you weren’t changing the debate from MWP (et al) to climate sensitivity you cited and quoted a paragraph in your #281. ‘cept oddly you left off your first sentence, “I think most educated people agree that the only real debate is in the actual value for climate sensitivity, low or high.”

    You say, “Arguments I’ve seen for a MWP are down right weak,” to which I assume you meant to add ‘other than of course for the preponderance of temperature readings available for that period.’ I don’t wish to resurrect the MWP/hockey stick debate either (which is why I called it a pro forma comment.) Its interest to me is simply the ease with which it was thrown under the bus in preparing the hockey stick — didn’t take much rationale to discard that funny-looking inconvenience. Whether it means anything in the overall AGW scheme of things, as some have suggested, I don’t know, though I doubt that it does in any big significant way.

    [Response: The MWP is discussed in the original hockey stick paper, and is shown to be largely a regional phenomenon. It might be wrong of course, but no one has credibly shown otherwise. That's not a suprrise, because there never was good evidence for a global warm period at this time, though definitely many people -- notably Wally Broecker -- assumed it was global. The only thing Mike Mann's work overturned in this respect was a popular conception, based on very little evidence. The idea that the hockey stick "through the MWP under the bus" is a nice story, and it helps support denialist myths, but it is historically inaccurate. Many of us have been criticizing the simplistic 'global MWP' long before we'd even heard of Mike Mann.--eric]

    Comment by Rod B — 12 Apr 2010 @ 8:18 PM

  405. The reason Jones talked to the BBC and spilled the beans on global warming is that he was hung out to dry.

    Comment by FE Smith — 12 Apr 2010 @ 8:44 PM

  406. Hank, your concern is well taken. But I never said zero uncertainty. How much uncertainty is a judgement call — and a very difficult one IMO.

    Comment by Rod B — 12 Apr 2010 @ 9:00 PM

  407. FE Smith says: 12 April 2010 at 8:44 PM

    Would it be too rude of me to gently point out the bats escaping from FE’s belfry?

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 12 Apr 2010 @ 9:19 PM

  408. FE Smith: despite the two clichés, I have no idea what you mean.

    404: Content not found.

    Comment by Didactylos — 12 Apr 2010 @ 9:33 PM

  409. Gavin, In the excellent book “Climate Change: Picturing the Science” which you edited and co-authored you wrote on page 200, concerning global temperature projections,:

    ” This should not be taken as implying that climate change doesn’t continue after 2100-it certainly will!-but detailed projections out that far become very problematic.”

    Why do the projections become very problematic after 2100 ? Is it partially related to numerical dispersion ? Also, where could I find projections beyond 2100 ? What maximum temperatures are reached for the three CO2 emission scenarios ?

    Comment by RaymondT — 12 Apr 2010 @ 10:51 PM

  410. Bob (#389), you wrote: ‘But your statement that “Since most of the temperature increase in that period is usually attributed to the increase of CO2″ is, I suspect, inaccurate and overly simplistic. I know of no method of attributing warming to various individual factors and feedbacks, either positive or negative. I have never seen anyone “claim” that a certain amount of warming to date is the result of CO2, only that the end result per doubling will be anywhere from 2 to 5 C. I would caution against any train of thought that sounds like hearsay.’

    If your suggestion that I am just following hearsay would be right, I would admit so and even feel ashamed, because I am always trying to formulate a view that is supported by evidence that everyone can evaluate. The statement about the probable cause of temperature increase in recent decades comes directly from the IPCC report: “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations.”
    As you probably know, the formulation ‘very likely’ in this context means over 90 % probability.
    IPCC, Summary for Policymakers, Causes of Change
    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/syr/ar4_syr_spm.pdf

    With respect to Solomon, the conclusion about the 1980-2000 period can also be found in her abstract (http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/science.1182488). Now if Solomon is right, and a significant part of the recent temperature increase is linked to a change in stratospheric water vapor (and this change apparently is not related to increasing CO2), then my conclusion remains that presumably a smaller part of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century can be attributed to increase of CO2 than was thought before Solomon’s findings were published. If so, then it is even harder to reconcile the temperature data from recent decades with a suggested climate sensitivity of 3 degrees Celsius for a doubling of CO2.

    Comment by wilt — 13 Apr 2010 @ 2:59 AM

  411. Gavin at #399: “The analysis by Gerard Roe (2009)” — which one is that? (I found one from 2006, “In defense of Milankovich”, that seems to fit the bill.)

    Comment by CM — 13 Apr 2010 @ 3:28 AM

  412. Bob (351),

    Discussions of theoretical and, more importantly, empirical evidence for positive water vapor feedback can be found here:

    Brown, S., Desai, S., Keihm, S., and C. Ruf, 2007. “Ocean water vapor and cloud burden trends derived from the topex microwave radiometer.” Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium. Barcelona, Spain: IGARSS 2007, pp. 886-889.

    Dessler AE, Zhang Z, Yang P 2008. “Water-Vapor Climate Feedback Inferred from Climate Variations.” Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, L20704.

    Held, I.M. and B. J. Soden, 2000. “Water vapor feedback and global warming.” Annu. Rev. Energy Environ., 25, 441–475.

    Minschwaner, K., and A. E. Dessler, 2004. “Water vapor feedback in the tropical upper troposphere: Model results and observations.” J. Climate, 17, 1272–1282.

    Oltmans, S.J. and D.J. Hoffman, “Increase in Lower-Stratospheric Water Vapor at Mid-Latitude Northern Hemisphere Site from 1981-1994,” Nature, 374 (1995): 146-149.

    Philipona, R., B. Dürr, A. Ohmura, and C. Ruckstuhl 2005. “Anthropogenic greenhouse forcing and strong water vapor feedback increase temperature in Europe.” Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L19809.

    Santer, B. D, C. Mears, F. J. Wentz, K. E. Taylor, P. J. Gleckler, T. M. L. Wigley, T. P. Barnett, J. S. Boyle, W. Bruggemann, N. P. Gillett, S. A. Klein, G. A. Meehl, T. Nozawa, D. W. Pierce, P. A. Stott, W. M. Washington, M. F. Wehner, 2007. “Identification of human-induced changes in atmospheric moisture content.” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 104, 15248-15253.

    Soden, B.J., D. L. Jackson, V. Ramaswamy, M. D. Schwarzkopf, and X. Huang, 2005. “The radiative signature of upper tropospheric moistening.” Science, 310, 841–844.
    http://www.gfy.ku.dk/~kaas/forc&feedb2008/Articles/Soden.pdf

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 13 Apr 2010 @ 4:41 AM

  413. Rod (375),

    When I assumed 100% emissivity/absorptivity for the atmosphere, I was implying that it was loaded with greenhouse gases. The more GHGs, the higher ε/α. Is this really hard to understand?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 13 Apr 2010 @ 4:50 AM

  414. Rod (377): But let someone suggest that the science is so uncertain that it might be a 0.05K sensitivity, and watch him not get rebutted but get crucified.

    BPL: Maybe that has something to do with the fact that it’s like suggesting the actual speed of light might be only 15 miles per hour? Or that human core body temperature is 12 degrees Fahrenheit in a normal person? Or that a typical aircraft carrier weighs 30 pounds?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 13 Apr 2010 @ 4:54 AM

  415. GW (401),

    Try Fλ = aλ σ T4

    where the λ subscript refers to a particular wavelength.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 13 Apr 2010 @ 5:40 AM

  416. Re :#401,398, 386,375 continued [I really hope this is the final one]

    As you will see from #401 , in the limit of a narrow frequency range (small f(1)-f(0))
    the radiation emitted by a sharp spectral line is proportional to
    1/[exp(hf/kt)-1]
    which you will recognise as the Bose function. All trace of the original Stefan- Boltzmann T^4 has vanished. To quote Realclimate on Monckton

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/11/cuckoo-science/

    The earth is not a blackbody

    It is also not, in my opinion, a mixture of black (or grey) bodies at different temperatures but a mixture of that kind together with a radiating gas.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 13 Apr 2010 @ 7:02 AM

  417. 410 (BPL),

    Thanks! No idea where I’ll find the time, but thanks…

    Comment by Bob — 13 Apr 2010 @ 7:17 AM

  418. MWP under the bus? Would it be fair to say that the existence or non-existence of a global MWP is actually a point of debate rather than certainty one way or the other? The EAU e-mails are full of contention on this point, but are they perhaps out of date?

    A lay reader such as me bouncing around from Jones to Broecker to Mann to Cook to Overpeck to Diaz to Esper to Briffa etc. etc. would certainly be left with that impression. Is there in anyone’s opinion anything close to a consensus on this issue?

    [Response: My own take on this is that Mike's 'hockey stick' paper was the first to bring any clarity to this question, which is why we all thought is was so important (and still do). That said, there remain insufficient data in the Southern Hemisphere. Borehole temperatures at Siple Dome (West Antarctica) appear to indicate a warm period around 1000 year ago; the same type of measurements at Taylor Dome (East Antarctica) suggest the opposite. They are probably both right, which proves the regional nature of these sorts of climate variations. However, neither of these are published. I do think it is pretty defininitive that the "little ice age" was not global, insofar as "ice age" implies "glacier expansion". See this paper by Schafer et al., and the excellent commentary by Greg Balco, who writes something like: "The answer to the question of whether glaciers in the northern and southern hemispheres were outof phase during the little ice age is... "no."--eric]

    Comment by Walter Manny — 13 Apr 2010 @ 8:27 AM

  419. 404 (Rod B.),

    ‘cept oddly you left off your first sentence, “I think most educated people agree that the only real debate is in the actual value for climate sensitivity, low or high.”

    I’m not sure I see your point. My position was always that I will discuss climate sensitivity, and I see virtually every other denialist talking point to be a waste of time (especially MWP). Your quotation of what I said is part of that statement. I never switched the debate “from MWP” to climate sensitivity. I set the ground rules to exclude the MWP from the very beginning, and have been very up front about it.

    I’m also sorry if my opinion that some denialist talking points are silly is offensive to you, or my opinion that the people that accept and repeat them are uneducated, but it’s how I feel. I’ve studied them in depth, and I have no interest in revisiting them with people who can’t be bothered to study things more closely themselves before they go trumpeting them as proof of anything.

    Meanwhile, here we are for the zillionth post, not actually discussing the science, but instead discussing debate tactics and people’s attitudes and how denier’s feelings are hurt because they aren’t taken seriously. Because they won’t actually discuss the science!

    I’ll bend my rules a little, though. You seem to think there’s all of this evidence for the MWP. I will tell you that I’ve looked at it thoroughly. I particularly like the sites that have maps that purport to show all of the studies around the globe that support the MWP, but when you look at the actual studies, it all falls apart.

    The periods labeled as the MWP can vary by as much as a half a millennium from one study to the next. Imagine what it would look like if we computed the current global temperature by averaging in the temperatures in Africa from 2005, North America from 1998, Europe from 2009, and Siberia from 2008… and those would all be temperatures from the same 15 year span, instead of the 500 year window that is quietly used to support the MWP.

    At the same time, many of those studies that supposedly demonstrate the MWP often themselves include other regional analysis that directly refute it, or error ranges that basically make the data inadmissible, but you don’t see that unless you go into the actual papers and read it. Sometimes the papers that have been cited were later rebutted or withdrawn for flawed techniques, or were never accepted by peer reviewed journals in the first place, and were ultimately published elsewhere because they were patently flawed from the start.

    It looks wonderful on the surface where they only show the evidence that says what they want it to say, but it’s really just a trick. Unless you are skeptical and dig into it, if you accept it blindly because it supports your preconceptions, then you are going to be fooled. You have to look past that by yourself, or you are in danger of being manipulated.

    Comment by Bob — 13 Apr 2010 @ 9:32 AM

  420. #415

    BPL
    Your comment crossed with mine. Fine, it would be interesting to know its accuracy in various cases. Have you ever compared the T^4 dependence against the more exact answer for a highly ‘coloured’ gas with discrete spectral lines?

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 13 Apr 2010 @ 9:54 AM

  421. > 389 Bob
    seems to be talking about 1980-2000, the Susan Solomon paper
    > 410 Wilt
    cites the IPCC talking about the 1950-2000 attribution

    These are different time spans; the Solomon paper refers to a measured change in water vapor specifically during the time span.

    Yes, measuring changes in the various greenhouse gases (including water vapor) is useful for attribution during that period for that measured gas.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 13 Apr 2010 @ 10:05 AM

  422. Hank Roberts (#421) is in my view building up a rather artificial discrepancy when he writes that Bob (#389) and wilt (#410) are talking about different time spans. No doubt he knows (as I know and presumably almost everyone here will know) that temperatures were flat between 1950 and about 1975. The crucial part of the discussion that Bob an I were having is whether IPCC attributes most of the temperature increase in recent decades to increasing CO2 (answer: yes it does) and whether the conclusions of the Solomon article in Science are relevant with respect to the attribution (in my view they do.

    Comment by wilt — 13 Apr 2010 @ 10:59 AM

  423. MapleLeaf, Hank Roberts thank you. I understand the difficulty. RC is both an advocacy website and an educational website. Wearing the advocacy hat you cut the opposition no slack. But wearing the educational hat you need meet the student half way to understand where they are coming from. Which hat to wear won’t always be clear. The full connotation of climate jargon may be evident those in the field, but not to those outside. When my mother told me not put the knife in the electric outlet or I would get a shock, I did it anyways not out of disrespect to her knowledge, but because the word shock had no meaning other than it worried my mother. Only by seeing for myself did I get the full meaning of shock. (And I wonder how did my mother knew what a shock was) . And as an educator, unless you quit after the first class, you will be repeating the same story to all the next classes, but as you learn about the students, you find better ways to deliver the message .

    It was unfortunate that past deletions led to large misunderstandings. I said it before, but it is indeed worth repeating. My experience in this thread has been educational, and I applaud and greatly appreciate RC’s efforts to allow and maintain respectful debate.

    But I still come as a skeptic, because it still doesn’t all add up for me. I still need to check the accounting and probe the jargon. I realize the rehashing may be annoying, but good educators do want students to be critical thinkers. Best I can do as a good student is promise to be respectful in my journey and support my topic questions with evidence.

    As for my question on the table, perhaps why I feel we keep talking past each other maybe a function of jargon. When I read the RC article stating CO2 was responsible for half of the warming, I see that as overstated because I interpret that statement to mean the radiative forcing by CO2 all by itself contributed 50% of the temperature rise. Would it be better said that the RC article believes that 50% of the warming is due to radiative forcing of CO2 PLUS all the positive feedbacks attributed to be directly linked to CO2’s forcing?

    If that’s true I will still be probing how and why CO2 gets all the credit for all the positive feedback.

    Comment by Jim Steele — 13 Apr 2010 @ 11:09 AM

  424. 395, David B. Benson, thank you.

    How accurately is it known how much energy the surface of the earth actually re-radiates outward? I have seen diverse energy budgets and calculations of uncertainty (one of which I linked to a few days ago), and I have the idea that knowledge is not very precise. What is the best and most up-to-date quantitative exposition? Which parts of the earth are the most like black bodies, and in which parts of the earth are the various approximations most accurate?

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 13 Apr 2010 @ 11:25 AM

  425. @ Walter Manny:

    You still haven’t answered question I asked you, Walter – here it is again:

    Please explain how, in your mind, statements in the Landsea-coauthored study including the following:

    “Future projections based on theory and high-resolution dynamical
models consistently indicate that greenhouse warming will cause the
globally averaged intensity of tropical cyclones to shift towards
stronger storms, with intensity increases of 2–11% by 2100.”

    can in any HONEST way be translated, as the Der Spiegel article did, into meaning that the link between global warming and hurricanes has been “finally disproven”?

    Please finally answer the question, Walter, – ironic condescension and repeat evasion are fun but not particularly illuminating.

    Comment by Publicola — 13 Apr 2010 @ 11:51 AM

  426. “No doubt he knows (as I know and presumably almost everyone here will know) that temperatures were flat between 1950 and about 1975.”

    This line:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A2.lrg.gif

    Looks NOTHING like a flat line.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 13 Apr 2010 @ 12:40 PM

  427. wilt says: 13 April 2010 at 2:59 AM

    [First, as an aside, I've taken to using the date/time, because the numbers keep changing when things that were stuck in the queue are added, or posts deleted.]

    …directly from the IPCC report: “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations.”
    As you probably know, the formulation ‘very likely’ in this context means over 90 % probability.

    I think the problem here is one of semantics and language interpretation.>

    When the IPCC says “most… is very likely due to … anthropogenic GHG concentrations,” I think that they do not mean “directly due specifically to CO2 and CO2 only” (as you seem to interpret it), but rather “due to CO2 as a forcing, and any accompanying feedbacks that have resulted from that forcing.” To put it another way, they are saying that most of the warming is explicitly not due to natural climate variability, but rather to the combination of effects that result from tipping the system out of balance by having added large amounts of CO2.

    So any change in temperature that is also due to stratospheric water vapor can’t be viewed as separate from CO2 until you first ascertain that the change in stratospheric water vapor was itself independent of CO2 (as opposed to itself being a feedback caused by the increase in CO2). You must also confirm that any such change in stratospheric water vapor is/will be long standing, and not merely a transient event that is manifesting itself while the system is out of balance and undergoing rapid change.

    Since no one yet knows the mechanisms (or do they?), I’m not sure that we can say anything, but I’d be very surprised if someone came up with a mechanism whereby stratospheric water vapor varies naturally and causes climate swings all by itself.

    With that said… what really caused the stratospheric increase in water vapor, natural variability, or a feedback resulting from CO2? What can we expect in the future? Will the long term impact be positive, or negative, given that we’ve seen both in the last thirty years? What is the mechanism involved?

    My point stands… the Solomon paper brings up a very important and interesting pair of observations, but says nothing about climate sensitivity. It does not stand as an example that water vapor feedback will or will not be either less than or greater than proposed. Either or neither is possible, given the two distinct effects studied. In particular, it brings up a separate area (stratospheric water vapor, as opposed to tropospheric) to be considered.

    I am still researching the Paltridge paper, and I fear it will take me quite a while.

    Comment by Bob — 13 Apr 2010 @ 1:18 PM

  428. CFU @426, I suspect that what Jim Steele meant by “flat” is that there was no significant long term trend up or down between ~1950 and ~1975, which is exactly what the linked GISS line shows for that period. And in fact, the reasons why have been discussed here on RC many times.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 13 Apr 2010 @ 2:04 PM

  429. Oops, sorry, it was Wilt who made the “flat” comment, but I’ll still give him the benefit of the doubt on this one.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 13 Apr 2010 @ 2:18 PM

  430. Septic Matthew (424) — I’m not sure your question is properly formulated. If my “outward radaition” you mean escapes the atmosphere then such is called TOA radiation for top of atmosphere radiation. The budget of course is

    EnergyIn = EnergyOut + EnergyRetained

    and just now the EnergyRetained is increasing, primarily (I think) ocean heat content. But I don’t know the details.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 13 Apr 2010 @ 2:33 PM

  431. Re: Septic Matthew

    Which parts of the earth are the most like black bodies,

    The following needs to be checked, but when I last looked up some data on this, I got the impression that most solids and liquids are fairly black in the infra-red, this includes e.g snow and ice. Greenhouse gases , of course, are quite different because they have a very spikey absorption spectrum especially at low pressures. Other gases are transparent.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 13 Apr 2010 @ 2:40 PM

  432. Jim Steele: “I interpret that statement to mean the radiative forcing by CO2 all by itself contributed 50% of the temperature rise.”

    Ah, right, so that explains why you did the correlation between glacier melt and CO2 concentration. I was trying to work out if you thought that CO2 had some direct effect on glaciers that would make them melt, but I see now that you were testing the proposition that CO2 concentration is a proxy for global temperature – which it isn’t.

    That probably explains a lot of the hostility you received, because regulars here are well aware that it is not as simple as that, so to them it seemed like a very silly thing to do.

    Comment by CTG — 13 Apr 2010 @ 2:59 PM

  433. BPL (413), continued thanks. Similar analyses never mention the assumption that the atmosphere is mostly GHGs. Maybe they presume that we all should assume that, though that seems strange. I need to mull that over. I’m still bothered with the fact that GHG emission is not Planck-function type and not (directly) under the T^4 law used in the models. Nor, even with massive pressure broadening, would you get far from the discrete emission frequencies of CO2. ???

    Comment by Rod B — 13 Apr 2010 @ 3:08 PM

  434. “428
    Jim Eager says:
    13 April 2010 at 2:04 PM

    CFU @426, I suspect that what Jim Steele meant by “flat” is that there was no significant long term trend up or down”

    Still not flat, is it.

    No determined trend is not flat, as we’ve seen with the recent P Jones/no trend since 95 debacle.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 13 Apr 2010 @ 3:34 PM

  435. Sepitc, #282, sorry if you didn’t understand that my post was tongue-in-cheek and to be taken as a metaphor.

    For heaven’s sake, I’m certainly not going to let those denialists say “The devil made me do it” and get off the hook of responsibility, not just for their climate denialism (and dissuading people from turning off lights not in use, etc), but for their vicious and horrendous attacks on climate scientists — including job and death threats and actual loss of jobs, their attacking the messenger because they don’t like the message.

    They have to take blame for their atrocities, which reveal more eloquently than all the scientists’ reasoned responses and debunking that these denialists are not on the side of truth. They are not the good guys in this drama.

    Okay, I was even thinking my Twilight Zone/devil post might not pass moderation, unless its metaphorical aspects were grasped.

    Perhaps I should talk more directly about science, or rather meta-science, and “what is truth?”

    Well, scientific truths are admittedly changeable, based on the best data and theory to date. I don’t see the denialists striving after that type of truth, but only into deconstructing science and confusing everyone.

    There is the truth that scientists are indeed human and are only doing the best they can under difficult circumstances. Their findings/theories are what we have to work with, and we shouldn’t just say “Oh, they can’t be true, because that will be inconvenient; the cures may cost and hurt somewhat.”

    There are the denialists’ agenda-driven “truths” (falsehoods), as opposed to the truth-driven agenda of sincere environmentalists and those wishing to mitigate harm to people and the earth’s biota. Who knows, totally outside chance, maybe a huge meteorite (or something) will send us into a nuclear winter and the warming we have caused may help us a bit. Or, maybe scientists will find all this global warming stuff is untrue. But for now, we have to work with the truths with which they have presented us.

    There is the decision-maker’s truth of striving to avoiding the FALSE NEGATIVE (failing to mitigate true problems), as opposed to the scientist’s truth of striving to avoid the FALSE POSITVE (making untrue claims). In the “Boy Who Called Wolf” story scientists learn the moral not to make untrue claims, but there is another moral for the villagers who got eaten up — not to stop heeding the boy when he calls wolf (even if you think the wolf might not be there).

    The point is, when you take away that (as tenuous as it is) metaphorical “staff of truth” that is bolting the door, preventing all sorts of falsehoods that arise from people’s social-cultural-psychological-economic-political fears and foibles loose into the world like some opening a Pandora’s box (of course that is always happening to some extent), the very harms those fearful people fear and think they are keeping at bay with their falsehoods & heel-dragging, may come back like a boom-a-rang to harm them for failing to mitigate. Reality has a way of biting back. Like the man who feared Death, and ran off to another village, where he met Death.

    (Note, I’m trying to developing a way of teaching science through folklore, so common people can understand it.)

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 13 Apr 2010 @ 3:50 PM

  436. Bob — 13 April 2010 @ 1:18 PM (#427?): I am not proposing that changing stratospheric water vapor causes climate swings all by itself. But it is unlikely that it’s a feedback resulting from CO2, since CO2 kept on increasing during 2000-2009 whereas stratospheric water vapor decreased. So changing stratospheric water vapor must probably be looked upon as an independent effect (at least independent from CO2). And according to Solomon the effect of the changing water vapor was considerable during 1980-2000, enhancing the warming “by about 30% as compared to estimates neglecting this change.” This implies in my view that from the total temperature increase in recent decades (about 0.6 degrees Celsius, in a period that CO2 rise was about 30%) even less than previously thought can be ascribed to CO2 increase. For me that leads to the conclusion that at least the temperature observations in recent decades do not support the hypothesis that the climate sensitivity is as high as 3 degrees Celsius for a doubling of CO2. But of course I leave it to you to draw your own conclusions.

    Comment by wilt — 13 Apr 2010 @ 3:52 PM

  437. Another example system with an amplifying feedback is
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_of_Fundy#Tides
    which are around 17 meters in comparison to the approximately 2 meters at Bridgeport, Conn.:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tide#Example_calculation

    Comment by David B. Benson — 13 Apr 2010 @ 4:37 PM

  438. CFU @426, I suspect that what Jim Steele meant by “flat” is that there was no significant long term trend up or down”

    I missed this conversation. Where did I use the word flat? Then maybe I could explain what I meant.

    Comment by Jim Steele — 13 Apr 2010 @ 5:13 PM

  439. CTG #432 Jim Steele: “I interpret that statement to mean the radiative forcing by CO2 all by itself contributed 50% of the temperature rise.”

    Ah, right, so that explains why you did the correlation between glacier melt and CO2 concentration. I was trying to work out if you thought that CO2 had some direct effect on glaciers that would make them melt, but I see now that you were testing the proposition that CO2 concentration is a proxy for global temperature – which it isn’t.

    That probably explains a lot of the hostility you received, because regulars here are well aware that it is not as simple as that, so to them it seemed like a very silly thing to do.

    Perhaps you can see why the wording would confuse me. And it still does. So why in the article on CO2 lag is CO2 given credit for 50% of the temperature change? If glacial albedo changes is part of that 50% of CO2′s contribution? I also assumed that when giving the Milankovitch cycles credit it was just for those immediate changes in solar forcing. I am still not clear how the accounting in that article was done? Any help?

    Comment by Jim Steele — 13 Apr 2010 @ 5:22 PM

  440. Jim Steel, read the very next comment where I corrected the attribution.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 13 Apr 2010 @ 5:30 PM

  441. No CFU, it was not truly “flat,” but there was in fact a negative slope from ~1945 to ~1951, commonly known as cooling, and a subsequent ~24 year period with no sustained positive trend, a long enough period to have true significance, and a fairly well accepted causation of aerosol loading.

    Comparing that period to the spurious assertions that there has been no significant warming since 1995 is silly.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 13 Apr 2010 @ 5:36 PM

  442. #433

    Sorry to intrude in a private argument, but I think that you Rod are misunderstanding BPL. If someone is worried about e.g. the fact that the downward flux of energy at the surface is greater than at the top of the atmosphere then it is legitimate to use a highly simplifed ‘model’ to help explain that this does not violate the conservation of energy.

    Such simplified models are akin to thought experiments. They use the same physics in most respects but they are designed for easy solution. To point out that such a model is unrealistic in some way does not invalidate the argument unless the simplification obviously reverses the conclusions.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 13 Apr 2010 @ 6:30 PM

  443. 430, David B. Benson, I expect you are right that my question was ill-posed. I was thinking of the radiation from the earth’s surface (at various place like the poles, the oceans, the forests, the plains) and the radiation from TOA. I should probably just wait to read the book that BPL recommended and then Raymond Pierrehumbert’s book. I have schematic diagrams of the heat budgets, but I was curious about how accurately the components are known.

    431, Geoff Wexler, I was guessing that the frozen ice at the poles in winter would probably be most like black-body radiation, but then in the summer the ice melts instead of radiating heat — or does the ice/water combination continue to radiate the heat in the same fashion? Does the ocean surface (rippling, vaporizing, etc) actually radiate like a black body? The law was derived (IIRC) for radiation from a cavity of a black body.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 13 Apr 2010 @ 6:56 PM

  444. Septic Matthew (443) — Read those and you’ll be able to tell me.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 13 Apr 2010 @ 7:31 PM

  445. BPL (414), I exaggerated for effect. None-the-less we can and have measured the speed of light, the weight of carriers and the temperature of a body’s core, but, for the 3rd time now, NO ONE has EVER measured (or even observed) the global temp increase caused by CO2 going from 400 to 800ppmv.

    Comment by Rod B — 13 Apr 2010 @ 7:54 PM

  446. Bob (419), you say, “It looks wonderful on the surface where they only show the evidence that says what they want it to say, but it’s really just a trick. Unless you are skeptical and dig into it, if you accept it blindly because it supports your preconceptions, then you are going to be fooled. You have to look past that by yourself, or you are in danger of being manipulated.”

    That I can buy.

    And, no, my feelings are not hurt.

    Comment by Rod B — 13 Apr 2010 @ 8:08 PM

  447. Geoff Wexler (442), feel free to jump right in the pool!

    I’m not concerned with the conservation of energy, but can not figure out where all the downwelling comes from — physically, not mathematically. Barton’s model, a simplified (but realistic and true to) version of the detailed models used to teach the basics of GHG warming, shows the math pretty well. But I’m questioning some of the physics assumptions.

    Comment by Rod B — 13 Apr 2010 @ 8:48 PM

  448. “Comparing that period to the spurious assertions that there has been no significant warming since 1995 is silly.”

    A good deal less silly than saying there’s been no warming since 1995.

    And flat is still not flat. And you can cherry pick times more than 20 years apart and get “no warming” too.

    So let’s stop with the “flat” moniker, hmm?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 13 Apr 2010 @ 8:53 PM

  449. Septic Matthew (443), just a quicky: ice is not a very good black body radiator. Water is much better. An easy rule — the better it reflects, the less it radiates ala Planck function.

    Comment by Rod B — 13 Apr 2010 @ 8:55 PM

  450. On a slightly different topic, I just ran across Mark Fiore’s prize-winning animated cartoon that looks at quote-mining and taking quotes from scientific works out of context.

    http://www.markfiore.com/pulitzer/

    Comment by Daniel J. Andrews — 13 Apr 2010 @ 9:59 PM

  451. “So let’s stop with the “flat” moniker, hmm?”

    Fine by me, I didn’t and don’t use it.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 13 Apr 2010 @ 10:20 PM

  452. “but then in the summer the ice melts instead of radiating heat” Septic Matthew — 13 April 2010 @ 6:56 PM
    Nope. If it’s melting, it’s warmer, and radiates more – Stefan Boltzmann law, grey body generalization – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefan%E2%80%93Boltzmann_law.
    “Water, ice, and snow generally have a high emissivity, 0.94 to 0.99, across the thermal infrared region. Snow is unusual in that it has a high reflectance in the solar (visible) region where most of the downwelling energy is during the day, and a very high emissivity in the thermal region.” http://www.icess.ucsb.edu/modis/EMIS/html/em.html Wet snow is less reflective, so when the temperature reaches this threshold, more visible wavelength energy gets absorbed, accelerating the melting -”Soot absorption causes the melt season on glaciers to begin earlier and last longer. This has a large impact, because wet snow is much darker than dry snow.” http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_10/ Also, since the energy(mostly) goes into melting instead of raising the temperature, the emitted energy doesn’t change – all the additional absorbed energy goes into melting ice as long as it’s available.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 14 Apr 2010 @ 12:29 AM

  453. “Instead of dealing soberly with the climate problem they prefer to attack climate scientists, i.e. the bearers of bad news. ”

    Climate scientists are bearers of many things, including news and personal opinions. Why don´t YOU want to deal soberly with this? Why reduce the climate problem to only its physical basis? You don´t find the badness there, badness is a value, and you are the bearer of that value …

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 14 Apr 2010 @ 3:33 AM

  454. #443

    in the summer the ice melts instead of radiating heat
    ………………………
    The law was derived (IIRC) for radiation from a cavity of a black body.

    You are right about the derivation of the law which refers to the radiation inside the cavity at equilibrium. Rippling of the walls is irrelevant. Next step is to use it to deduce radiation from the walls required to balance radiation striking the walls. Now break open the cavity and place its walls on the ground. This has no effect on the radiation from the walls , (at a given temperature) even though the system is no longer at equilibrium; and this includes the possibility of evaporation and melting. Its the emissivity which counts and this tends to be nearly 1 (I think) in nearly all cases for infra-red (but not for gases).
    —————————————-
    —————————————
    Report from Royal Society’s Inquiry out to-day.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 14 Apr 2010 @ 3:57 AM

  455. My Previous comment.

    The blockquote should have been restricted to the first five lines (including the….).

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 14 Apr 2010 @ 3:59 AM

  456. wilt (410): I know of no method of attributing warming to various individual factors and feedbacks, either positive or negative.

    BPL: It’s called “analysis of variance.”

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 14 Apr 2010 @ 5:08 AM

  457. 436 (wilt),

    It’s only an impression, but I get the feeling that you are putting far more weight into the Solomon paper than it deserves. You seem to interpret a “most” statement by the IPCC as if “most” means 99%, yet you also seem to latch onto the 30% figure as if it so greatly minimizes the effects of GHG as to think that you don’t need to worry about it. All of this, to me, demonstrates a strong tendency to see what you want to see all from one single paper that discusses one unexpected observation in the stratosphere.

    Your statement that stratospheric warming “must probably be looked upon as an independent effect (at least independent from CO2)” again appears to demonstrate a personal bias and wishful thinking, rather than any foundation in fact. Why “must probably?” What logic leads to that conclusion? See the quote below taken from another commentary on the paper.

    Water vapor is formed through evaporation from the Earth’s bodies of water. A key factor that affects how much water vapor enters the stratosphere is the coldest temperature that air encounters as it rises from the Earth.

    Most of this upward movement occurs in the tropics—a region where “cold point” temperatures have dropped in the past decade.

    As a result of these lower temperatures, less water vapor ended up in the stratosphere. That, in turn, helped lower the warming rate, the study concludes.

    What might have caused the “cold point” temperature changes? Any chance it could have been climate change induced by CO2? Yes. It definitely warrants further study.

    I do think that you should also recognize that the amount of warming seen from 1980-1996 was only a small fraction of the warming that is resulting from CO2 (the planet doesn’t heat instantly), so the 30% estimate does not cut the total impact of warming we are going to see by 1/3, or in any way suggest a reduction in climate sensitivity. It just added to the warming seen for 16 years, then subtracted from it for 10 years, introducing some variability, but not affecting the total, final amount.

    It’s more like a person with a $50K a year salary and a gambling problem. Their salary will stay at $50K, but their monthly income will vary with their winnings and losings.

    At a minimum you should look at the skeptical science take on it.

    Comment by Bob — 14 Apr 2010 @ 6:55 AM

  458. More on melting ice , evaporating water and Stefan- Boltzmann (SB).

    I should expect that the infra-red (IR) photons would emerge from a thin surface region in which they were in equilibrium with the phonons (vibrations) in the ice or water. The phonons have the temperature of the melt , say 0 degs.C and share it with the photons which would emerge as a normal Planck distribution at 0 degs.C.

    Since the water and ice are nearly black for IR , the SB result would still be valid. I have been a bit speculative and know nothing else about it, in particular whether anyone has thought it worth while to check experimentally.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 14 Apr 2010 @ 8:41 AM

  459. Andreas said:”Climate scientists are bearers of many things, including news and personal opinions. Why don´t YOU want to deal soberly with this? Why reduce the climate problem to only its physical basis? You don´t find the badness there, badness is a value, and you are the bearer of that value …”

    Coroner reports of a determination of murder do not include the value judgement that murder is bad.

    Comment by t_p_hamilton — 14 Apr 2010 @ 9:52 AM

  460. PS to my 449: To clarify, as Brian Dodge points out, whether something reflects and does not absorb/radiate much, or vice versa, depends on the wavelength. Ice is a bad emitter/absorber in the visual, pretty good in the infrared.

    Comment by Rod B — 14 Apr 2010 @ 10:36 AM

  461. Double correction:
    1.
    Barton Paul Levenson wrote (#457):”
    “ wilt (410): I know of no method of attributing warming to various individual factors and feedbacks, either positive or negative.”

    I have never written the words that BPL puts in my mouth here. They come from a comment by Bob (#389).

    2. Then Completely Fed Up (#461) found it necessary to repeat this (wrong) citation. He added some words of his own, apparently in an effort to discredit me. Needless to say that there is no basis for what Completely Fed Up wrote.

    Concluding remark: we could gain so much time if people just would carefully read first before they start to formulate a comment.

    Comment by wilt — 14 Apr 2010 @ 12:13 PM

  462. In order to prevent further confusion about what I wrote 14 April 12:13 PM: Barton Paul Levenson made his comment 14 April 5:08, the present number is #456. The comment of Completely Fed Up mentioned in my remarks apparently has been removed in the meantime by the moderators (for which I express my gratitude).

    Comment by wilt — 14 Apr 2010 @ 12:30 PM

  463. > Coroner reports of a determination of murder do not include the
    > value judgement that murder is bad.

    Corollary: … but most coroners would in fact say that murder is bad, the more so because they see its grisly effects every day, and yet for some reason, there is no campaign of “murder skeptics” attacking coroners for their lifeist bias.

    Comment by CM — 14 Apr 2010 @ 12:58 PM

  464. wilt says: 14 April 2010 at 12:30 PM

    Got a flow chart on that?

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 14 Apr 2010 @ 1:16 PM

  465. Bob (#457), you asked me to explain my statement that stratospheric warming must probably be looked upon as an independent effect (at least independent from CO2). This statement is not based on wishful thinking as you suggest, but rests on the observations in Solomon’s article. The water vapor in the stratosphere increased during 1980-2000 but then decreased during 2000-2009. As we both know, CO2 was increasing during all those years, at approximately the same rate per year. So even if you would be right that the increasing CO2 caused the “cold point” temperature changes you refer to, why would this reverse all of a sudden in 2000 whereas CO2 kept on increasing?
    “The planet doesn’t heat instantly”, you wrote. But you seem to be familiar with the important facts, so you know that most of the temperature rise in recent decades was not between 1950 and 1975, or between 1995 and 2010, but in the years 1975-1995. If the water vapor changes added about 30% during 1980-2000 and caused a decrease of 25% in 2000-2009 then overall it has definitely affected the total, final outcome. To me, that strongly suggests that the attribution to CO2 may be lower than previously thought.
    Finally, I would like to respond to your remark “You seem to interpret a “most” statement by the IPCC as if “most” means 99%, yet you also seem to latch onto the 30% figure as if it so greatly minimizes the effects of GHG as to think that you don’t need to worry about it.” Of course I realise that ‘most’ was never meant as 99%, there are several other important drivers of temperature increase (for instance black carbon). For that reason, I would not claim that the CO2 effect was one-third lower. But I remain convinced that the water vapor changes had a significant effect, making it in my view even less likely that 3 degrees is the correct value for climate sensitivity. That does not mean there is nothing to worry about. I have not suggested here or elsewhere that there is no effect of CO2. I am just trying to find out how large the effect is, with respect to temperature and with respect to temperature related effects like sea level rise. And somehow I have the idea that you are trying to do exactly the same thing.

    Comment by wilt — 14 Apr 2010 @ 1:16 PM

  466. “This statement is not based on wishful thinking as you suggest, but rests on the observations in Solomon’s article.”

    Which is rather wishful thinking that Solomon’s article is right and 99.99% of the other papers wrong.

    Since trapping heat in the troposphere reduces flux to the stratosphere on it’s way to the exosphere, why do you consider it to be independent of CO2?

    And YOU answer it, wilt. Don’t pass it on to Solomon, he’s quite capable of writing here himself. YOU’RE pushing it as a reason why you made your statements and have asserted it’s from real consideration rather than wishful thinking.

    Therefore you MUST have understood.

    ‘else it’s just wishful thinking that one paper is right.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 14 Apr 2010 @ 1:26 PM

  467. Final correction with respect to: “Completely Fed Up says:14 April 2010 at 1:13 PM”
    The links you are providing here now were not part of your previous comment that has briefly been displayed before it was removed. You know this, I know this, the moderators know this, and those people who happened to read that previous comment before it was removed know this. ‘Keep it classy’, you wrote. I will do just that, and waste no more words on this.

    [Response: And on that note, all other non-substantive wastes of time will be deleted.--Jim]

    Comment by wilt — 14 Apr 2010 @ 1:34 PM

  468. The nail in the coffin of “the MWP was a natural global phenomenon where temperatures were as high or higher than today” is provided by Dr. Roy Spencer on his blog. He makes the argument that rising temperatures driving exsolvation of CO2 from the oceans account for about 80 PPM of the CO2 rise we have seen (posts at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/05/global-warming-causing-carbon-dioxide-increases-a-simple-model/ and http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/01/increasing-atmospheric-co2-manmade%E2%80%A6or-natural/).
    If one accepts this (and I do, I do; honest I do &;>) then the lack of CO2 increase during the alleged MWP (http://www.imagenerd.com/show.php?_img=co2vstime-hbg1b.jpg) is not just a nail in the coffin but a stake through the heart of claims that the MWP was global, They may have been farming in Greenland, or growing grapes in Gloucestershire, but the seas weren’t warming and wafting CO2 into the air.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 14 Apr 2010 @ 1:40 PM

  469. Assume my previous model of ocean CO2 resevoir with maximum amplifying feedback and a forcing of I9t) = cos(at). The response is

    O(t) = cos(at) + (1/a)sin(at)

    so the lower the frequency a = 2.pi.f the larger the amplification (and the longer the phase lag). So while eccentricity is a quite small orbital forcing, the period is so long that the amplification is about 16. So maybe eccentricity helps explain the long cycle glacials of the last 1.1 million years.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 14 Apr 2010 @ 1:50 PM

  470. I don’t know if anyone is still following this thread. In looking at the Solomon and the Paltridge papers at the same time, and then studying some theories on how the water vapor changed in the stratosphere, atmospheric physics, etc…

    Has anyone considered that the observations in the Solomon paper go hand in hand with the Paltridge paper? That is, if we expected water vapor to increase in the mid to upper troposphere, and it didn’t, it dropped… but water vapor also increased in the stratosphere… doesn’t it make sense that the planet warmed, and the extra evaporation happened, but the water vapor didn’t wind up where it was expected? Changes in atmospheric patterns lead to more mixing than expected, with the end result that the mid to upper troposphere became mildly drier, while the stratosphere became much wetter.

    Following this line of reasoning, is it possible that cause and effect for the behavior seen since 2000 is reversed? That is, instead of the drop in water vapor in the stratosphere contributing to the lack of warming, the water vapor in the stratosphere dropped (at least partly) because of the lack of warming. [Of course both could be true to varying degrees, but is the basic idea sound?]

    In the end, this would mean that the “total” water vapor feedback in the system is roughly as expected, but may take place in the stratosphere rather than the mid to upper troposphere. Worse than that, depending on how the system ultimately “fills out,” if the stratosphere gives the water vapor “some place else to go,” it may ultimately take more evaporation to fill the pot, so to speak. That is, the final water vapor in the atmosphere may increase in both the troposphere and the stratosphere, once the system reaches some sort of equilibrium, so that final climate sensitivity is dangerously in excess of 3˚C due to even more water vapor heating than currently expected.

    It would be interesting to work up a “water vapor” budget, based on expected evaporation (using temperature over water covered grid cells), measured or modeled precipitation, and measurements of humidity throughout the atmosphere, to see if it balances. Or is such a thing really beyond our current capabilities?

    Is anyone who knows of what they speak able to comment on any of this?

    Comment by Bob — 14 Apr 2010 @ 1:57 PM

  471. Brian Dodge (468), you raise an interesting parameter. But I’m a bit confused. Are you saying the lack of CO2 increase shows the MWP was not global? Or that it shows the MWP did not exist anywhere – despite the temp readings…?

    Comment by Rod B — 14 Apr 2010 @ 2:06 PM

  472. “. . . don’t pass it on to Solomon, he’s quite capable. . .” (@466)

    I believe you have the wrong pronoun, sir. Susan Solomon, isn’t it?

    http://volvoenvironmentprize.wordpress.com/2009/11/04/dr-susan-solomon-2009/

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 14 Apr 2010 @ 2:06 PM

  473. @Brian Dodge:

    Amazing model Spencer makes. But he completely fails to explain how the atmospheric CO2 is increasing at a *slower* rate than the amount we’re putting in. He mentions this little inconvenient factoid in the start, and then completely ignores it in the end.

    Comment by Marco — 14 Apr 2010 @ 2:19 PM

  474. wilt at 461,

    I apologize for misattributing the quote.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 14 Apr 2010 @ 4:14 PM

  475. “Are you saying the lack of CO2 increase shows the MWP was not global?” Rod B — 14 April 2010 @ 2:06 PM
    Yes, since the SST was not warm enough over large enough area(s) to increase CO2, and the sea covers ~2/3 of the globe. As Eric said, it “…is shown to be largely a regional phenomenon”, and Bob said “The periods labeled as the MWP can vary by as much as a half a millennium from one study to the next”: I would add that many papers show cold periods at the same time as others show warming
    “The high-elevation site chronologies were characterized by common long-term variability, with high values centered around the 11th and 12th centuries and low values during the beginning of the longer records (8th–9th centuries).” http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~rjsw/all%20pdfs/Esperetal2007.pdf
    “a warmer period prevailed in the NE Caribbean from AD ~700-950.” Nyberg et al 2002 “A centennial-scale variability of tropical North Atlantic surface hydrography during the late Holocene”
    If you download the data from ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/antarctica/domec/domec1.txt, and plot the delta 18O for the last 2000 years, maybe ~850-950 shows a consistent warm bump, but mostly the data are up and down.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 14 Apr 2010 @ 4:23 PM

  476. BPL (#474): apology accepted, no problem.

    Comment by wilt — 15 Apr 2010 @ 4:07 AM

  477. Rod (445): NO ONE has EVER measured (or even observed) the global temp increase caused by CO2 going from 400 to 800ppmv.

    BPL: Unless you think that transition is governed by different physical laws than the one governing other such transitions which we HAVE measured, your observation is pointless cherry-picking.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 15 Apr 2010 @ 4:24 AM

  478. Rod (449),

    Ice is reflective in visual wavelengths, not IR.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 15 Apr 2010 @ 4:25 AM

  479. “Or that it shows the MWP did not exist anywhere – despite the temp readings…?”

    Uh, the temp readings do not show MWP was global and tend to show that that it was NOT global.

    The global CO2 measure also shows that the MWP was not global.

    You seem to be trying to create an internal inconsistency in Brian’s message that doesn’t exist.

    And adding in “anywhere” is a strawman you’ve made up, by the way.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Apr 2010 @ 8:27 AM

  480. Rod B. and David B. Benson, thanks for the comments. I expect that we’ll meet again on other threads.

    Matt

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 15 Apr 2010 @ 11:57 AM

  481. 465 (wilt),

    I think my problem with your approach is that just because CO2 increase is linear, that does not mean that changes in temperature, water vapor, or any other aspect of the earth system must also be linear to have been caused by CO2. There is obviously a complex interplay of factors, so counter-intuitive or at least less than obvious events can occur.

    I also disagree with your statement that most of the warming has been from 1975-1995. On the contrary, when looking at the satellite record (see drroyspencer.com) a great amount of the warming (all, if you let yourself be fooled by Dr. Spencer’s graphing tricks) is from 1995 to the present.

    Given this… that changes are non-linear, and warming has been fairly evenly if very erratically distributed over the last 30 years, I see no reason at all why changing events, primarily instigated if not directly caused by CO2, could not result in an increase in stratospheric moisture for 15 years, then a surprising drop for another 10.

    See changes in Hadley cells for one example.

    Stratospheric Humidity and Climate Sensitivity for another.

    Look here for the paragraph on “Why did stratospheric water vapor drop in 2000?” to see one possible connection.

    As always, Eli has a pretty educational write up here, and Eli talks about himself in the third person, which is always unsettlingly cool.

    I’m not saying that it’s likely, or unlikely. I’m saying that the Solomon paper pointed to something unexpected, and it’s overreaching, to me, to use that observation to draw any conclusions whatsoever about climate sensitivity (which is where this whole line of conversation began).

    Comment by Bob — 15 Apr 2010 @ 2:34 PM

  482. CFU (479), how exactly would you expect temperature readings that barely exist to show temperatures did not increase???

    My “anywhere” was not an assertion but part of a clarification question, which Brian D. answered.

    Comment by Rod B — 15 Apr 2010 @ 4:57 PM

  483. “CFU (479), how exactly would you expect temperature readings that barely exist to show temperatures did not increase???”

    Que?

    You making this shit up, again?

    Let me ask you, since you say temperature readings hardly existed for the MWP, how do you know it was warmer or as warm then?

    NOTE: I never said the temp readings hardly existed. You said that.

    “My “anywhere” was not an assertion but part of a clarification question, which Brian D. answered.”

    Nope, you asked if Brian figured that the CO2 measures showed that the MWP didn’t exist anywhere.

    That Brian said it wasn’t global, doesn’t mean it didn’t exist.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Apr 2010 @ 3:02 AM

  484. CFU (), One of the main factors trying to show that the MWP was regional was the scarcity of temp measurements in the SH compared to the measurements in and around Europe. And no it’s not the only factor…

    Going too fast for you again?

    You got my “anywhere” clarification so convoluted there is no saving it.

    Comment by Rod B — 16 Apr 2010 @ 1:46 PM

  485. “CFU (), One of the main factors trying to show that the MWP was regional was the scarcity of temp measurements in the SH compared to the measurements in and around Europe”

    See, this is why a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

    Mostly because the owner doesn’t realise how little it is and over states it.

    This is the root of the Dunning-Kruger.

    No, the factor trying to show the MWP was regional is NOT the paucity of measurements.

    THERE WERE SEVERAL INDICATORS IT WASN’T.

    Temperature measures and their location in the SH was MERELY ONE.

    With the temperature record, there’s the opportunity that because the selection was sparse and therefore clumped that more proxies filling in those gaps could show a different picture, ***IF*** those unrepresented places *happened* to be indicative of something very different to the places with data.

    That is not that there’s insufficient data to show MWP in the SH, just that there’s still a chance that, if we were unlucky in our selection for reconstruction, it *could* show something global.

    Two “Ifs” required and no evidence to show this would or could be assumed.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Apr 2010 @ 2:00 PM

  486. PS the temperature record has nothing, I repeat NOTHING to do with the CO2 record.

    So why did you conflate?

    Were you going too fast for yourself?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Apr 2010 @ 2:02 PM

  487. CFU (486), MWP is referring to temperature, and not CO2??? Glad you pointed that out. And nice and slowly, too!

    Comment by Rod B — 16 Apr 2010 @ 8:13 PM

  488. “CFU (486), MWP is referring to temperature, and not CO2???”

    Yup, so why do you keep going on about how the lack of a global MWP has something to do with CO2 as you did in post #471:

    “Are you saying the lack of CO2 increase shows the MWP was not global? Or that it shows the MWP did not exist anywhere – despite the temp readings…?”

    That you sneer is merely because you’ve been caught with your pants down and want to divert attention by going “look! flying monkies!”.

    Now, given that you already thought that the case against a global MWP was because there wasn’t data enough in the SH, is the assumption that you would think that the MWP was to do with CO2 is actually a fairly plausible error.

    You’ve made so many, it’s no stretch AT ALL to figure you made another one.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Apr 2010 @ 4:31 PM

  489. Re 291 by Anaonymous Coward
    OK for a summary BUT just how can a +1K change in the incoming (solar) energy) result in a +2K increase in temperature? Whatever happened to conservation of energy?
    I claim that positive feedbacks are impossible.
    You can’t get energy & temperature increases unless you increase the energy in.- pureconservation of energy.
    IF the sun rises and the incoming energy increases, then the temp goes up partly (about 11% or 32 of 289) due to the GHE. Because there is EXCESS water vapor already in the air then any increase will use this water vapor or GHG to increase the GHE, WHEN the solar energy increases. It will NOT wait until more CO2 is added to raise the temperature to increase the amount of WV in the air to provide a positive feedback.
    The better question is what limits the GHE to 11% or about 32C on a yearly average basis? Since there is much more excess water vapor in the air, then WHY doesn’t the GHE use it up to create a runaway GHE?
    My answer is that the amount of incoming energy is limited and the IPCC/Climate scientists do not model this since they insist that More GHG means more warming, when Arrhenius clearly said that you must add a photon of energy to a GHG to get more warming.

    Comment by John Dodds — 18 Apr 2010 @ 5:02 PM

  490. > John Dodds
    I think your confusion about feedback was answered here in 2005:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/01/is-climate-modelling-science/comment-page-1/#comment-795

    Perhaps an analogy would help?

    Take a bucket. Poke a small hole in the bottom.
    Start trickling water into the bucket, so the water level rises up partway and stays there.

    Water in balances water out.

    Now, halfway block the hole in the bottom of the bucket.

    Let the water trickling in continue at the same rate, no change in incoming water.

    Lo, the water level rises, although you are not adding water any faster than before.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Apr 2010 @ 5:11 PM

  491. John Dodds,

    I encourage you to experiment with the conservation of energy by laying on a bed for one hour before putting a blanket on your body and waiting another hour. You should feel some warming. Conservation of energy is not being violated: the blanket is simply slowing the dissipation of your body heat.

    In my thought experiment there is no water vapor (I’m a god so, for simplicity’s sake, I made it so).
    But your question about a runaway GHE is a fair question. I see you are interested in gravity. Well, gravity is what is believed to prevent such a runaway on Earth. If Earth had less gravity, it might well have turned into a Venus-like planet. Please look up the Kombayashi-Ingersoll limit. I’m sure you’ll find this stuff very interesting. Perhaps it will encourage you to learn more about the physics of the GHE.

    Comment by Anonymous Coward — 18 Apr 2010 @ 5:54 PM

  492. Hank, you’re arguing with someone who claims that gravity is the biggest source of heat on Earth:

    “…gravity which is the largest cause of 99.99% of the Earth’s temperature. You can’t geoengineer gravity.
    The IPCC global warming models ignore gravity and only analyse the impacts of solar insolation which is less than 1/100,000th of the total energy.”

    http://www.economist.com/user/John%2BDodds/comments

    Might as well spend time arguing with a flat-earther.

    Comment by Robert Murphy — 18 Apr 2010 @ 5:57 PM

  493. CFU (488), It’s very confusing and incomprehensible why you turn my questions into my “keep going on about.”

    Comment by Rod B — 18 Apr 2010 @ 9:13 PM

  494. I’m not sure if this is the most appropriate place for this question, but I’ve done a search on RealClimate and a number of other climate sites and found a surprising dirth of information. One of the most common slurs aimed at climate scientists is that they’re only in it for all that beg grant money. Since the debate about AGW really “heated up” during the Bush administration, wherein a scientist could lose his job for mentioning the subject, to say nothing of the fact that grant money is hard to win and seldom lavish, this seems a preposterous claim. Yet it is one of the more frequent one of the deniers, and I’m not finding anything that refutes it in any detail (what sort of AGW grant money IS available, and from whom, and how that compares with what a sell-out scientist (those Paul Watson likes to call biostitutes) could make by working as a contrarian for the fossil fuels industry or CCF.

    Since I’ll probably never find my way back to this comment page I’d appreciate an email at mayer@hiredhand.org

    Comment by John Mayer — 18 Apr 2010 @ 9:22 PM

  495. Rod B it’s because you keep going on about how Brian *must* be wrong because the MWP existed somewhere at some time.

    As if it “proves” that the IPCC is wrong.

    Since neither Brian nor the climate science says what you’ve been saying, you repeat it until someone forgets that you made it up and starts believing the lie.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Apr 2010 @ 3:04 AM

  496. “OK for a summary BUT just how can a +1K change in the incoming (solar) energy) result in a +2K increase in temperature? Whatever happened to conservation of energy?
    I claim that positive feedbacks are impossible.”

    So clothes are pointless?

    Wearing a shirt in the snowstorm is as sensible as a thick jumper?

    That covers on the bed don’t keep you warm while asleep?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Apr 2010 @ 3:25 AM

  497. John Dodds (489),

    So now you’re admitting Arrhenius is right? Because if so, it undermines your whole argument.

    “Positive feedback” is not the same as “runaway feedback.” The water vapor feedback is a converging series, not a diverging series. Do you understand what that means?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 19 Apr 2010 @ 4:42 AM

  498. There have been several quotes by deniers in Britain re some one called Webster in Der Spiegle with issues about the Jones temperature measurement.
    Anyone like to put the record straight? I don’t want to read through the rubbish .

    Comment by M Roberts — 19 Apr 2010 @ 9:01 AM

  499. CFU, well, it might make things easier and clearer if you commented on stuff that I actually wrote.

    Comment by Rod B — 19 Apr 2010 @ 10:19 AM

  500. I don’t understand why the targets of this abuse are so reluctant to bring charges of slander and libel against these kind of trolls, particularly in the UK where such laws are very strong. If nobody is willing to drag them into court it will only get worse.

    Comment by Alan of Oz — 20 Apr 2010 @ 2:54 AM

  501. How would that be, Rod B? You always rewrite what you said and that’s why you use weasel words, leaving a space for someone to read between the lines.

    A very conservative “debate” technique.

    Lets go back to your strawman addition of “anywhere”, since Brian never said that the CO2 record didn’t show a GLOBAL MWP and YOU responded with “so are you saying there was no MWP anywhere, despite the temperature record”.

    Or should we investigate why you think that the reason why there’s no global MWP is because there’s not enough measurements in the southern hemisphere?

    Which load of codswallp do you want to investigate?

    Comment by Comletely Fed Up — 20 Apr 2010 @ 3:02 AM

  502. PS that should have been “NON-GLOBAL”.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 20 Apr 2010 @ 8:01 AM

  503. Alan of Oz,
    I think there is a reluctance to accept that the simply telling the truth is not sufficient defense. I think that most scientists would find it humiliating to turn to the law for defense of doing science. They keep hoping that the wackaloons will simply be laughed off the public stage.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Apr 2010 @ 9:35 AM

  504. CFU, I said “…Are you saying the lack of CO2 increase … shows the MWP did not exist anywhere…?” which you quoted accurately in #501. So, where is all this other crap you keep trying to throw onto my simple query coming from?

    Comment by Rod B — 20 Apr 2010 @ 10:22 AM

  505. Answer the question, Rod B.

    Why did you make up the strawman there? You at least now admit you said it.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 20 Apr 2010 @ 11:27 AM

  506. > Hank, you’re arguing with someone who claims …
    > “…gravity … is the largest cause of 99.99% of the Earth’s
    > temperature…. IPCC global warming models ignore gravity …”
    > http://www.economist.com/user/John%2BDodds/comments

    Thank you Robert. Hm, I was hasty in finding outside postings by someone else earlier, but if this is the same John Dodds, that’s useful info.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 20 Apr 2010 @ 11:27 AM

  507. omg, the full document is paywalled but the excerpt is here:
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/27343303/Gravity-Causes-Climate-Change

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 20 Apr 2010 @ 11:30 AM

  508. I haven’t been surprised at resistance, but I have been somewhat surprised at climate scientist’s response to the fact of denial.

    I can understand how the urgency to communicate a multiplicity of scientific facts became something of a swamping of people and governments with a chunk of data the size of a small planet.

    It’s amazing to me that the physicists and climatologists who researched this data DID NOT then take a step back and say among themselves “Well – a chunk that size – it’s going to have errors. Minor errors of measurement. Misprints. Electronic corruption. Wrong sequence of the pile of overhead projector sheets…and so on.”

    Casting around for blame is the biggest time waster. I couldn’t care less if the deniers were funded by the vatican. Continuing on with the personal exposure slinging match gives climate science an activist’s political aura that the mainstream population of the world despise and for good reason: the anecdotal is not the universal.

    Comment by gwaawg — 21 Apr 2010 @ 3:06 AM

  509. Please may I emphasise, and I apologise in advance for the inappropriate invective:

    NO F***ING RELATION.

    Thank you.

    Andrew Dodds.

    Comment by Andrew Dodds — 21 Apr 2010 @ 4:05 AM

  510. “Casting around for blame is the biggest time waster.

    Comment by gwaawg ”

    Unfortunately, it’s all those who want delay have got left.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 8:30 AM

  511. > NO F***ING RELATION.
    > Thank you.

    Thank YOU.
    Whew.

    Okay, so, to your question — you did ask some related questions years ago.

    Does the bathtub analogy work for you? If you accept the basic idea that energy coming in from the sun as mostly visible light through the transparent atmosphere becomes warmth on the surface, and the warmth becomes infrared radiation that’s blocked by greenhouse gases, it follows that you can warm the surface by adding more greenhouse gases.

    This is an old piece of information — Spencer Weart’s book goes through the history of the science.

    If that doesn’t make sense, as an observation that can be made in the lab and is part of the development of physics historically, it’s going to be hard to believe anything else you read.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Apr 2010 @ 10:43 AM

  512. Climate Scientist Sues National Post
    http://www.desmogblog.com/climate-scientist-sues-national-post

    “Dr. Andrew Weaver, one of the most respected climate scientists in Canada and one of the best climate modellers in the world, has launched a libel suit against the National Post newspaper and its publisher, editors and three writer: Terence Corcoran, Peter Foster and Kevin Libin.”

    Comment by Jim Eager — 22 Apr 2010 @ 9:31 AM

  513. Dang, Jim, I thought for sure I’d be first to break the Weaver story here! Well, I do have a different link at least:

    http://www.webcitation.org/5pBRnMjN0

    I applaud Dr. Weaver’s courage in taking this potentially costly step. (In Canada, the loser generally pays court costs, so this shows some real confidence on Dr. Weaver’s part in the strength of his case. It’s unlike the US system in that regard, which is one of the reasons that Canada is less tort-happy. But I digress.)

    You can buy Dr. Weaver’s book, Canada In A Warming World, here.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 22 Apr 2010 @ 1:23 PM

  514. Harking way back to 10 and 29, I finally got a response from David Fahrenthold, author of the WaPo article on the lack of physics in climate models. He says, and I quote:

    “But I did want to get back to you. I’ll say three things. One: the Post and I both stand behind the story, as written and published. Two: I don’t think anyone could read that story and say that TWP has concluded “that climate models don’t incorporate correct physics,” as you said. I’d be interested in where you found that in the story. Three: I quoted Warren Meyer because, as we made clear in the story, he’s somebody who’s used a public platform to question the models that climate scientists rely on. Climate skeptics don’t need a Ph.D. in climate science to enter the broader public discussion about climate change: if we’re going to cover that discussion, we shouldn’t leave them or their viewpoints out (as long as we describe both their views and their scientific backgrounds, so readers have the context to draw their own conclusions)”.

    Just to keep the pot simmering, I pointed out where I’d found that in the story and noted that his characterization of Warren Meyer only as “a mechanical and aeronautical engineer by training” failed to do justice to Meyer’s background and interests and sent DF a couple of sites to check:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgKgDCR5KKQ

    and

    http://goldwaterstate.blogspot.com/2009/11/few-words-about-warren-meyers-bona.html

    This will likely have the impact of a butterfly’s belch, but it makes me feel better.

    Comment by Dan Lufkin — 25 Apr 2010 @ 11:00 AM

  515. The misrepresentation of scientists continues. This paper: “2,000-year-long temperature and hydrology reconstructions from the Indo-Pacific warm pool” was misrepresented at CO2Science and Watts Up With That. See my response and quote from lead author here: .

    Kevin

    Comment by Oxford Kevin — 30 Apr 2010 @ 6:13 AM

  516. Woops – the second URL didn’t work. I’ll try again:

    Misrepresentation of climate scientists

    Comment by Oxford Kevin — 30 Apr 2010 @ 6:15 AM

  517. Thanks to my Oxford namesake!

    This misrepresentation will undoubtedly surface at my habitual websites, so I’ll be ready.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 30 Apr 2010 @ 9:40 AM

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