Monckton’s deliberate manipulation

How can this be described except as fake?

Apart from this nonsense, is there anything to Monckton’s complaint about Revkin’s story? Sadly no. Once one cuts out the paranoid hints about dark conspiracies between “prejudiced campaigners”, Al Gore and the New York Times editors, the only point he appear to make is that this passage from the scientific advice somehow redeems the industry lobbyists who ignored it:

The scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential for a human impact on climate is based on well-established scientific fact, and should not be denied. While, in theory, human activities have the potential to result in net cooling, a concern about 25 years ago, the current balance between greenhouse gas emissions and the emissions of particulates and particulate-formers is such that essentially all of today’s concern is about net warming. However, as will be discussed below, it is still not possible to accurately predict the magnitude (if any), timing or impact of climate change as a result of the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations. Also, because of the complex, possibly chaotic, nature of the climate system, it may never be possible to accurately predict future climate or to estimate the impact of increased greenhouse gas concentrations.

This is a curious claim, since the passage is pretty much mainstream. For instance, in the IPCC Second Assessment Report (1995) (p528):

Complex systems often allow deterministic predictability of some characteristics … yet do not permit skilful forecasts of other phenomena …

or even more clearly in IPCC TAR (2001):

In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states….

Much more central to the point Revkin was making was the deletion of the sections dealing with how weak the standard contrarian arguments were – arguments that GCC publications continued to use for years afterward (and indeed arguments that Monckton is still using) (see this amendment to the original story).

Monckton’s ironic piece de resistance though is the fact that he entitled his letter “Deliberate Misrepresentation” – and this is possibly the only true statement in it.

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513 comments on this post.
  1. pete best:

    Oh come on now the Arctic sea ice has returned to normal levels and hence AGW must be incorrect, natural variability cannot be that big ;)

    Good story, but some of the 2007 Arctic summer peices seem to have been founded on a short termism and hence maybe we all learn a lessen there.

  2. Alan Vallis:

    You’re describing this man’s rantings as “amusing”.
    I find them very worrying.
    Unfortunately he, Bjørn Lomborg, and others like him practise an erudite obfuscation which sways many intelligent people.
    They aren’t amusing — they’re dangerous and usually duplicitous.

  3. John Burgeson:

    My question is simple — why does he do this? Is he not aware his false statements will be exposed? Is he not aware they are false?

    Like I do with the young earth, I try to understand him.

    With the young earth people, there is an answer. Their interpretation of the Bible says the earth is young, and since (1) the Bible must be true and (2) their interpretation must be correct, the science must be missing something.

    With this guy, I can find no corresponding rationale. But — maybe — I am missing something.

  4. James Staples:

    Looks like I’m not the only one who would need to brush up on the Trig, before I’d even try to plot projections of this type on a graph!

  5. Steve Missal:

    People concoct tall tales, misinformation or similar ilk for various reasons: they either need attention, even if it is negative, or they hope to derive some (perceived) gain from their actions. Of course, the converse of the latter is that they hope to delay or stop others’ gain or progress (maybe this gives them a sense of increasing their own, um, powerfulness?). Perhaps the latter is a complicated acting out of their own personal lack of worth, or some ancient trauma…somehow, like the vandal who spray paints their graffiti on freshly pristine surfaces, they too hope to leave their mark. It never ceases to amaze me that members of our species can deliberately act in ways that are contrary to survival ‘instincts'; it may be that our ability to cleverly conceptualize isn’t such wonderful thing after all.
    Moncton, like Lomborg, obviously has some agenda; the pair are too knowledgeable is some areas not to recognize their own mendacity. In other areas, not so educated. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Like Dyson, maybe it makes you overreach.

  6. Martin Vermeer:

    My question is simple — why does he do this? Is he not aware his false statements will be exposed? Is he not aware they are false?

    John, the simplest questions are the best — and the hardest.

    You must have been leading a very protected life :-)

  7. Ike Solem:

    Does this argument really need debunking? Or more to the point, why did the NY times public editor decide to print it? Maybe an attack on the NYT’s ‘unbiased reporting’ from an outside source was called for, given the in-depth coverage of the Heartland Institute’s skeptic meeting, along with several other inaccuracies and omissions.

    For example, one-sided energy analysis from the coal-electric lobby viewpoint isn’t news or analysis, it is propaganda. “Environmental articles” that warn of the dangers of concentrated solar power while ignoring the far vaster water use and pollution produced by coal and oil fall into the same category.

    It is a sad state of affairs… we’ve even got the NYT publishing blogs about how the growth of renewable energy might lead to a disastrous population explosion. Odd theme – does that also apply to life-saving drugs?

    Quote:

    The perfect nonpolluting cheap energy source might simply increase our appetites (Jevons Paradox) and encourage ever-rising populations given that energy easily translates into water and food. …. If we come up with new technology or practices that greatly boost crop yields, creating a second Green Revolution, doesn’t that simply boost the planet’s carrying capacity?

    Ummm… No. For one, simplistic notions like ‘carrying capacity’ rely on stable ecosystem theory, and if climate changes rapidly, that goes out the window. For another, the goal is to replace fossil fuels with renewables, not add renewables on top of fossil fuels, so there won’t be a second mythical “Green Revolution” – note that the increase in food supplies lagged behind the increase in population. Population increases were primarily due to the invention of antibiotics and knowledge of the importance of hygiene and sanitary water and sewage systems. Finally, here is a lump of coal to eat and drink – since the claim was that “energy easily translates into water and food” – so dig in.

    If you only read the U.S. press, you’d think that renewable energy is the most environmentally and socially devastating idea we’d ever had – paving over deserts, killing birds in wind turbines, promoting communism, fascism and moral depravity of all sorts, and now, threatening global catastrophe via overpopulation – and did you know that species extinction in the tropics is all due to the expansion of biofuels for export?

    If we just stop all renewable energy projects, the world will be saved from environmental catastrophe. What a curious theme…

  8. dhogaza:

    My question is simple — why does he do this? Is he not aware his false statements will be exposed? Is he not aware they are false?

    Because he’s hoping his FUD attack will impact policy. He doesn’t have to be right, he only needs to be effective in providing those who oppose doing anything ammunition. Remember, a pistol firing a blank doesn’t sound that much different to the untrained ear than a pistol firing the real thing.

  9. Alder Fuller:

    Obfuscators like Monckton infuriate me. One can only hope that they are remembered in history for their treachery to the human species.

    “In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

    Or, as Wally Broecker once said (I think I’ve got the quote right), the climate system is a capricious beast, and we are pokiing it with sharp sticks.

    This leads to a question I’ve been meaning to ask you all at RealClimate for quite a while, but waiting for the right time.

    My question relates to a distinction between “type 1″ and “type 2″ climate change.

    (In reality, I think that the issue that I’m raising here deserves a post or two of it’s own.Perhaps I haven’t searched thoroughly enough, but I have searched. Forgive me if I’ve missed something.)

    I teach multiple courses & workshops at my school (I’m the founder), a small, independent, college-level school offering intro & advanced courses in systems sciences & non-linear dynamics, mostly applied to living systems.

    One of the texts that we use is With Speed & Violence: Why Scientists Fear Tipping Points in Climate Change by Fred Pearce.

    Pearce makes the assertion (that I’ve also seen advanced by other authors) that IPCC models (that is, those upon which it bases its reports along with study reviews)do not adequately represent non-linearities in the climate system, & in particular do not correctly represent the potential for abrupt & rapid phase transitions. That is, they are – in the nomenclature that he uses – type 1 models.

    Thus, as bleak as some view the IPCC reports, in a sense they underestimate the urgency of the situation.

    Below is a quote from Pearce’s introduction. For me, a person with a solid background in mathematics (MS probability theory) & a PhD in ecology & evolution, who has studied & taught about complex system dynamics for a couple of decades and studied climate change intensely for the last 5 years (using RealClimate, Spencer Weart, Paul Mayewski, James Lovelock & others as information sources), Pearce’s assertion seems accurate.

    But I’d like to read opinions about it from RealClimate persons, please. In particular, do you think it is accurate?

    And if not, if you indeed take issue with his position, finding it hyperbolic or extremist, then why?

    Thanks as always for your informative site, and in advance for your comments on this quote.
    __________________

    “Nature is fragile, environmentalists often tell us. But the lesson of this book is that is not so. The truth is far more worrying. Nature is strong & packs a serious counterpunch … Global warming will very probably unleash unstoppable planetary forces. And they will not be gradual. The history of our planet’s climate shows that it does not do gradual change. Under pressure, whether from sunspots or orbital wobbles or the depredations of humans, it lurches – virtually overnight. We have spent 400 generations building our current civilization in an era of climatic stability – a long, generally balmy spring that has endured since the last ice age. But this tranquility looks like the exception rather than the rule in nature. And if its end is inevitable one day, we seem to be triggering its imminent and violent collapse. Our world may be blown away in the process.

    “The idea for this book came while I sat at a conference, organized by the British government in early 2005, on ‘dangerous climate change’ and how to prevent it. The scientists began by adopting neutral language. They made a distinction between Type I climate change, which is gradual and follows the graphs developed by climate modelers for the [IPCC] and Type II change, which is much more abrupt and results from crossing hidden ‘tipping points’. It is not in the standard models. During discussions, this temperate language gave way. Type II climate change became, in the words of Chris Ripley, director of the British Antarctic survey, the work of climatic ‘monsters’ that are even now being woken (xxvii).”

  10. Hank Roberts:

    It’s a gig.
    Lord Christopher Monckton – Global Warming Expert
    Lord Christopher Monckton, Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, is chief policy advisor to the Science and Public Policy Institute. …
    ~globalwarmingheartland.com/expert.cfm?expertId=349

  11. Edward Greisch:

    Just remember to forward the RealClimate email to your Congressman. Votes in Congress count. Does the New York Times get a copy of RealClimate?

  12. Igor Samoylenko:

    With his latest shenanigans in the US, Monkton managed to catch the attention of Private Eye (a satirical current affairs magazine in the UK).

    In the latest issue 1235, they noted several things (quite apart from his dodgy science).

    One is his reference to himself as “a member of the Upper House of the United Kingdom legislature” in a letter to two American senators. He is not of course and never has been. As Private Eye notes: “Since inheriting the title, Christopher has stood at a “by-election” for a hereditary Tory seat in the Lords, following the death of Lord Mowbray and Stourton two years ago. He received precisely zero votes.”

    The other thing Private Eye notes is his logo, which he is using on his graphs and letters – a portcullis topped with a crown, bearing a striking resemblance to the insignia of the House of Parliament. This is also very dodgy indeed as the official parliamentary guide states very clearly that “the usage of the crowned portcullis was formally authorised by Her Majesty the Queen for the two Houses unambiguously to use the device and thus to regulate its use by the others. The emblem should not be used for purposes to which such authentication is inappropriate, or where there is a risk that its use might wrongly be regarded, or represented as having the authority of the House”.

    Monkton’s has been caught out making stuff up many times in the past, his artful tricks are too numerous to list. In addition to the latest example provided by Gavin in the main post, this one is quite entertaining:

    Monckton & the case of the missing Curry

    It is hard to see anyone still taking this guy seriously…

  13. David B. Benson:

    “Not even wrong.”

  14. MikeN:

    How do you know he’s lying, and not just wrong and ignorant?

    There have been plenty of studies that have passed peer review that have made math mistakes like this.

  15. dhogaza:

    How do you know he’s lying, and not just wrong and ignorant?

    You would think he’d know whether or not he’s actually a member of the House of Lords, wouldn’t you.

    But maybe you’re right, maybe he just doesn’t *know* he’s not a member of the House of Lords!

  16. Séretur:

    The Lord calls for all believers to send complaints to the editor of NYT. Why not do just that, and forward the complaints about the complaint to the Editor? After all, we can’t let the NYT be left with unbalanced information.

  17. Alexandre:

    Igor #12,

    “It is hard to see anyone still taking this guy seriously…”

    Unfortunately, I´ve seen a bunch of educated people that cling to any denying blog or article, no matter how fragile the claims are.

    Willful ignorance, as someone already said.

  18. Pierre Allemand:

    Curves for CO2 observations vs IPCC prévisions should be more understandable if colors for different scenarios were chosen different…

    [Response: Agreed! But for reference, the ordering is the same as in the key. – gavin]

  19. Steve Missal:

    Now I see, with a more complete history, that it seems L. Monckton (corrected sp…sorry) has a chronic problem with the truth. This supports the notion that he (and others like him) are the disablers, just like I thought…it’s not just a gig, it’s also a mirror of an internal deficiency of some kind. They take the job as a convenient means to toss the wrench in the machinery. Making something grind to a halt is power. In my 61 years experience, power is more, well, powerful, than behaving nicely with others. I doubt he truly believes everything he espouses.

  20. Jim Cade:

    didn’t nyt print a correction to Andy’s piece after Monckton complained?

    [Response: The correction has nothing to do with what Monckton complained about. Read it again. -gavin]

  21. nofreewind:

    But what about these projections from IPPC 2001: Synthesis Report
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/vol4/english/figspm-10a.htm
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/vol4/english/figspm-10b.htm

    found on this page
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/vol4/english/015.htm
    They certainly look closer to Monckton than your comparison charts.

    [Response: No they don’t (How could you tell? The period involved is less than ten years), and the values I plotted are in the linked files. – gavin]

  22. Jerry Steffens:

    Consider a traveler heading from Kansas City to Denver. Having been told that Denver is at a higher elevation than KC, he becomes confused when he DESCENDS into a river valley. Convinced that he is headed in the wrong direction, he turns around and is reassured when he finds himself going up! Thus, he ends up back in Kansas City. When a friend asks, “How was Denver?”, he answers that he never made it because he was given incorrect directions.

  23. Ray Ladbury:

    Mike N. asks “How do you know he’s lying, and not just wrong and ignorant?”

    You’re kind of new to this, aren’t you?

    Well, for one thing it is Christopher Monckton, for whom the truth has never been quite good enough. For another, he’s pulled stuff like this for years. It would take serious work to be this stupid–years and years of trying to get it wrong.

    As to studies this bad that have passed peer review…hmm, there’s Miskosczi, Gerlich and Tscheuschner, anything published in E&E. What else?

  24. Hank Roberts:

    Mistakes get published. Good papers are those, whether correct or not, that lead to interesting results as other researchers work in the area and understand it better.

    In good journals mistakes get noticed, letters get published, and discussed, and corrected, and acknowledged — that’s routine.
    E.g. Google “Mears pointing out a sign error in C+S’s dataset”

    Sometimes bad publications involve more than simple errors that can be dealt with in the routine way.
    Try http://www.sgr.org.uk/climate/StormyTimes_NL28.htm

    Blogs claim all sorts of wacko stuff about scientific work being mistaken. If the claim is sound, it gets dealt with. If not it’s usually ignored, or maybe someone eventually writes something publishable about it.

    Don’t believe what people on blogs tell you unless they have some publication record in the area or other basis for credibility.

  25. Alan of Oz:

    Thanks for this, trolls on slashdot have been pointing to the icecap site for a couple of months now. Their about page states they do not take money from corporations, However following the money trail for this site leads directly to the “tobacco scientists” over at “Frontiers of Freedom” who get quite a bit of funding from ExxonMobie.
    Most people think it’s the oil industry in general that is promoting this FUD but ExxonMobile seems to be the only major oil company standing with the coal industry and their ex-tobacco scientists, could this be because they have heavy investments in coal but it’s easier to scare people by telling them the greenies will take away their SUV’s?

  26. Richard Steckis:

    Ray Ladbury,

    “As to studies this bad that have passed peer review…hmm, there’s Miskosczi, Gerlich and Tscheuschner, anything published in E&E. What else?”

    Didn’t someone say that they were going to get their physics undergrad students to come up with a rebuttal of Miskolczi (right spelling)? I have not seen it. In fact I have yet to see any published rebuttal in the peer reviewed literature. Could you please direct me to one?

  27. lichanos:

    Monckton aside, the error in the article that Revkin corrected is significant. AGW people claim there is no doubt about “the science.” Critics often agree, and respond with:

    Science tells us that CO2 contributes to warming the earth. C02 is increasing. Therefore, the earth MAY warm. We don’t know how much or when.

    The argument is all about the nature of the change: negligible or significant? Or perhaps none at all because other factors control?

    Thus, for the passage to have been unreported in the article is serious because its inclusion shows that the science was not being ignored. But the scientists working for the group simply had a different point of view on it.

    The fact that Exxon or whoever else funded that group sought to spin the science a certain way is totally unremarkable and is no different from the legal and ethical lobbying that goes on every day in our political world. (The illegal and unethical lobbying is another story.) The reason this little passage is important is because it implies that this line was not crossed to the dark side, much as AGW people would like to think.

  28. Mark A. York:

    Why does he do it? It’s his business as a lobbyist against AGW. It has to be something other than burning fossil fuels. You know, Gore’s Folly. It’s a defense of business as usual, political gamesmanship and the plot of my novel. Resistance to change has a big following.

  29. Pete W:

    The denialists have already won. They kept the US away from Kyoto. And there is no sign that they will ever let up. This reminds me of the tobacco execs sitting in front of congress in 1994 and swearing, “Nicotine is not addictive”. Even though the jig was up, they just kept on denying & lying. Their prime motivation? Short-term financial gain.

    So what type of earthly event will it take for mankind to wake up? A full meter more ocean water? Iceless poles? Droughts becoming common where there had not been droughts before? Or will they just keep spinning these events as being natural, and good for the health of earth? (This does no require a response. I’m just getting frustrated.)

    Pete

  30. François Marchand:

    This is definitely not peer to peer reviewed stuff. You can’t possibly put yourself on par with such a noble person.

  31. chris:

    Does anyone have the URL for the Private Eye article mentioned in 12 please? I’ve looked at their site but can’t find anything…

  32. Tuukka Simonen:

    Well, I’m really not that surprised. I told you about one of his “amendments” here:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/02/on-replication/#comment-112747

    I think he is 100 % aware of what he is doing. He is deliberately creating false data and graphs.

  33. Geoff Beacon:

    I met Viscount Monckton at a conference on climate change in January organised by IqSquared in London. He told me he would be happy for the slides from his presentation to be published on RealClimate. Might be good for you to check this an take him on more directly. I have his email if you need it.

  34. Ice:

    As for CO2 concentrations, i find it interesting to note that they stay “on the tracks” of projections, while CO2 emissions seem to recently exceed emissions projections (see Global Carbon Project). Probably too few years to say anything, though.

  35. Ike Solem:

    I think the NYT is responsible for a more obfuscation of climate science and renewable energy science than Monckton is. Notice that they have been refusing to print any corrections with respect to their claims that atmospheric brown clouds are “mostly due” to smoke from wood fires.

    Where’s the correction there? Does the realclimate group support that assertion?

    Then, what about the claims by the Electric Power Research Institute on the true price of renewable energy? Why would the NYT print coal-lobby propaganda from a one-sided source without seeking out an alternative viewpoint from the renewable energy industry?

    It seems to me that the most likely explanation for the NYT “correction” was that the paper’s editors were worried about creating a legal basis for global-warming lawsuits against fossil fuel interests, as ‘prior knowledge of harm caused’ played a central role in the tobacco lawsuits – and the head of the American Petroleum Institute PR push is Edelman, previously of ‘second-hand tobacco smoke is not a problem’ fame.

    The general point made when talking about people like Singer and so on is that they recieved major funding from fossil fuel interests – but isn’t that also true of the New York Times, and doesn’t it raise similar questions about the quality of their coverage?

    Really, the New York Times has done an atrocious job of covering many important energy and climate stories, and one of their directors is also a director of the Carlyle Group, heavily invested in fossil fuels. The Iraq war was a fossil fuel venture, and had no bigger cheerleader than the NYT’s “unbiased reporting”. I seriously doubt their objectivity on any issue related to fossil fuels, and that’s backed up by a lot of evidence.

    It really points to very serious widespread problems in the U.S. academic and journalistic professions – you can’t do research on renewable energy in the U.S. academic system, because of fossil fuel influence, and you can’t get honest coverage of renewable energy initiatives in the U.S. press, also because of undue influence by vested interests – and more often than not these days, those vested interests are in finance, not in industry. It is the financial interests who are co-owners of both media and fossil fuel corporations, after all.

    The failure of a country’s academic and media institutions to deal with a serious crisis should not be taken lightly, as it points towards looming governmental and societal failure. There is no better example than the media response to the latest novel influenza hybrid (not so novel, sourced to 1998) – first, it was overhyped (which benefited the drug manufacturers), and then, the level of hype caused people to stop flying on planes and eating pork (which hurt airlines and pork dealers), causing a rapid turn-around by the press. Over the course of the entire episode, commercial interests ruled the coverage, and rational scientific discussion never even made it onto the stage.

    What is the difference between an independent press and a propaganda service, and on which side does the U.S. press fall?

    James Hansen referred to a “failure of democracy” on the climate response issue – but it is a pretty clear historical rule that successful democracies are impossible without a professional and independent media.

  36. Eco Interactive:

    Great information. But I think the message is diminished by the use of words like: potty peer, paranoid hints and Monckton has been indulging in a little aristocratic artifice again.

    My suggestion is to not stoop to their level and keep the dialog at a higher level. Those on the other side want you to crawl into the mud with them. Their goal is to confuse and if you get dirty with them, then they have achieved their goal.

    Be above the pettiness!

    [Response: Normally I’d agree – but Monckton is a special case. The only appropriate response is ridicule. – gavin]

  37. Lawrence Brown:

    “Notice that they have been refusing to print any corrections with respect to their claims that atmospheric brown clouds are “mostly due” to smoke from wood fires.”

    What was actually said was:
    “The smoke is rising mainly from cooking fires fueled with firewood or dried dung.”
    No mention of atmospheric brown clouds here.

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/26/tyler-prize-for-masters-of-air-and-ice/

  38. Ray Ladbury:

    Steckis, I believe it was Ray Pierrehumbert who gave the refutation of Miskolczi as an undergraduate assignment. Eli Rabett has pretty well eviscerated it on his blog.

    If the fact that it sas published in an obscure Hungarian meteorological journal were not enough to raise your suspicions, his rather “creative” application of the virial theorem ought to peg any reasonable BS detector. His treatment of Kirchoff’s law is pretty well nuts. Anyone who embraces this twaddle cannot reasonably be considered skeptical.

  39. Chuck Booth:

    RE # 26 Richard Steckis Says:
    2 May 2009 at 10:01 PM

    I have yet to see any published rebuttal in the peer reviewed literature.

    Well, no legitimate scientist would be inclinded to waste valuable space in a peer-reviewed journal article to reference, let alone rebut, inaccurate statements published elsewhere in a hack journal. Likewise, no legitimate peer-reviewed journal, or its reviewers, would allow valuable (and expensive) space in one of its articles to be devoted to comments on inaccurate statements published elsewhere in a hack journal. When published work is so bad that it has no heuristic value whatsoever, it is best ignored. Rest assured that good science will not be ignored.

  40. MikeN:

    >You’re kind of new to this, aren’t you?

    Yeah, I’d never heard of Monckton, and still have no idea who this Singer fellow is that you guys are always ranting about.

  41. John Mashey:

    re: #38 MikeN

    Try: Naomi Oreskes’ American Denial of Global Warming, whose second half is mostly about the George Marshall Institute, but is relevant to Singer as well.

    For a long compendium and analysis of Monckton behavior, try this, as Naomi’s work put her high on Monckton’s Bad List, to the point of outright harassment.

    For the denouement of that silliness , see DeSMogBlog.

    Read including the full set of comments, including Monckton’s ((I’m on his Bad List, too, among other things, for “interfering in an unlawful manner on the blogosphere” and breaching doctor-patient confidentiality), and the various replies to all that.

  42. Steve Missal:

    Just remembered where the name connected…(sp. slight difference)…”Mad Monkton”, by Wilkie Collins, about a family curse of madness passed from one generation to the next. Pretty well-known story.

  43. Doug Bostrom:

    #12Igor Samoylenko:

    “…his reference to himself as “a member of the Upper House of the United Kingdom legislature” in a letter to two American senators. He is not of course and never has been. As Private Eye notes: “Since inheriting the title, Christopher has stood at a “by-election” for a hereditary Tory seat in the Lords, following the death of Lord Mowbray and Stourton two years ago. He received precisely zero votes.”

    That ought to be repeated every 5 or so posts in this thread, or anywhere one finds Monckton’s science fiction under discussion. He’s psychotic or a liar, we get to choose. If he can’t tell or we can’t trust him to tell us the truth about something so easy to verify, why bother reading a single thing he writes?

    We seem to have an atavistic response to impressive titles such as that sported by Mr. Monckton, even when the very minor lord in question is a flaming crackpot. I have to wonder if the NY Times would publish his stuff if he were simply known by his established track record of eccentric causes, which include suggesting the incarceration of anybody testing positive for HIV and espousing the goal of closing down the U.K. government because it is “atheistic and humanistic.”

  44. Rod B:

    Pete W., it’s neither here nor there but just for nit picking clarification: tobacco was never addictive until the pols and FDA (and others that smelled money) chose to dumb down the accepted definition in the 90s. The feds were cajoling tobacco to find a way to get more nicotine in their new low-tar cigs in the 70s. I know it is accepted carte blanche by the chorus, but find a better example of “lying.”

  45. Peter Williams:

    Maybe the French had it right with that little revolution of theirs. You don’t hear much about looney-bin French nobles now do you? Not advocating violence here – just can’t figure out why you Brits still have nobles. Talk about atavistic!

  46. Steve Missal:

    Re: nicotine and addiction, this is instructive:
    http://www.drugabuse.gov/NIDA_notes/NNVol13N3/tearoff.html

  47. robert davies:

    Re: #43 and similar…

    There seems to be a general misundersanding among many of those commenting here that the NYT published Monckton’s submission; They did not. More accurately, I’ve been unable to find any evidence that the NYT referred to it at all…

  48. Ray Ladbury:

    John Mashey says of the good Viscount: “I’m on his Bad List, too,,,”

    Wow, you’re my hero. :-)

  49. Igor Samoylenko:

    chris said in #31:
    “Does anyone have the URL for the Private Eye article mentioned in 12 please? I’ve looked at their site but can’t find anything…”

    No, sorry. I don’t think they have it on-line. I have read the article in a hard copy I receive on subscription.

    The article I referenced is in the latest issue #1235, 1 May – 14 May 2009, page 7, titled “The Crowned Clown”. It is a short article and I have pretty much reproduced the gist of it in my post above.

    Doug Bostrom said in #43:
    “I have to wonder if the NY Times would publish his stuff if he were simply known by his established track record of eccentric causes, which include suggesting the incarceration of anybody testing positive for HIV and espousing the goal of closing down the U.K. government because it is “atheistic and humanistic.””

    He inherited his tendency for following eccentric causes from his father, it seems. From the same article in the Private Eye: “His [Monckton’s] late father, the second viscount, put himself forward at the 1999 Lords election in which hereditaries chose which of 92 of them should survive the Briarite cull. However, despite an eye-catching manifesto (“All cats to be muzzled outside to stop the agonising torture of mice and small birds”), he didn’t make the cut.”

  50. Hamish:

    on telly the other night, aussie politician Pru Goward made what seemed to me a new point in the ‘debate’ – that climate science – and modelling in particular – are relatively new sciences and hence should be subject to some caution in interpreting their results.

    just wondering if anyone else has encountered this argument before. i practically had to restrain myself from jumping up and yelling at the tv, but i had to admit it was a novel and seemingly designed to convey an understanding of the science rather than outright rejection of it.

    apologies if this is slightly off topic, wasn’t sure where else to post it

  51. David B. Benson:

    Hamish (50) — Modeling efforts began with
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius#Greenhouse_effect
    in 1896 CE.

    Obviously, having computers has been quite a big help; read “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart, first link in Science section of the sidebar here.

    If you have a chance to counter such foolishness, that is.

  52. Rod B:

    Peter Williams, except it took the French 3 or 4 revolutions to get it even half right. :-P

  53. ccpo:

    QUOTE:
    re: #1 Good story, but some of the 2007 Arctic summer peices seem to have been founded on a short termism and hence maybe we all learn a lessen there.
    UNQUOTE

    False. Why repeat what the deniers say? There was nothing said about Arctic sea ice that is any different from the points made by Gavin above regarding probabilities.

    The sea ice is so reduced in **mass** (thickness), a point that is made, but under-emphasized, that any strong summer melt could lead to a nearly ice free arctic. More to the point, most people seem to forget the comment made by the NSIDC regarding the sea ice was about an ice-free north pole, not an ice free Arctic.

    Let’s not reinforce their lies, eh?

    Cheers

  54. ccpo:

    [edit – this is not a subject that leads to sensible discussion. Sorry]

  55. Hamish:

    Thanks DBB (51), appreciate the reply and swiftness thereof. I get the impression that journalists are slowly starting to arm themselves with a bit more information about the nature and history of climate change science.

  56. Richard Steckis:

    Ray Ladbury:

    “Steckis, I believe it was Ray Pierrehumbert who gave the refutation of Miskolczi as an undergraduate assignment. Eli Rabett has pretty well eviscerated it on his blog.”

    But Ray. I have heard nothing more about the undergrad rebuttal. Regardless of what Rabett has eviscerated on his blog, that is not a peer reviewed rebuttal. As for calling the journal that Miskolczi an obscure journal, well it may be obscure in the West but perhaps not in his country. I do not denigrate a scientist for publishing in journals that are more suited to their native tongues. Nor should those journals be denigrated for not being in the mainstream (Read mainstream as Western Dominated Literature). You are being both elitist and dismissive for criticising his choice of journal.

    Finally, none of what you have said answers my original question. Why has the work of Miskolczi not been rebutted in the peer reviewed literature so that the rebuttal itself can be exposed to review by peers? I believe that Arthur Smith published a rebuttal to G&T but I see none for Miskolczi.

    [Response: Because it is self-evidently rubbish. See Nick Stokes remarks in many forums. It’s like asking for a peer-reviewed rebuttal of a claim that the moon is made of green cheese. – gavin]

  57. Martin Vermeer:

    Rod B, and if you would have asked Chou en-Lai, the jury’s still out on that :-)

  58. Mark:

    Hamish, what’s the difference between getting a piece of paper and putting on it

    F=12 N
    m=1400g

    Then working out on paper what acceleration you get and typing into a computer

    F=12;
    m=1.4;
    print “Acceleration = “, 12/1.4, “m/s”;

    then typing “run”.

    ?

  59. Mark:

    RodB, #44, so why do you need nicotine patches to give up smoking if it’s not addictive?

    Why, before then, did people give up smoking and then take it up again?

    Why do you discount what the chemists working for the tobacco firms said (they said that it was addictive and came up with ways to make it MORE addictive).

    Marijuana is not addictive even in the sense that nicotine was but it is claimed to be a “gateway drug”. THERE is where you see governments redefine “addictive”. Not in tobacco.

  60. Philip Machanick:

    Further to the Upper House thing, it’s rather unfortunate that the House of Lords official web site, despite repeated public claims by His Lordship to the contrary, does not list Monckton as a member.

    Britain may not be the great world power it used to be, but is still does pretty good comedy. His Lordship should take some tips from John Cleese.

  61. Slioch:

    Anyone with any remaining doubts about Monckton (Mike N, for example) might care to read the keynote address he gave to this year’s Heartland conference. See:

    http://www.heartland.org/full/24881/Great_Is_Truth_and_Mighty_Above_All_Things.html

  62. Ray Ladbury:

    Richard Steckis, You are SO astoundingly naive. Ever hear of journal shopping? That’s when you realize you can’t get your work published in the journal of record for a field, so you look for obscure journals where your work is just a wee bit outside the likely expertise of their readership. It’s pretty much how denialists get anything published at all. E&E is a favorite because by definition everything is outside of its expertise.

    Last I saw, there was no peer-reviewed rebuttal to Lyndon LaRouche’s claim that the Queen of England was a drug dealer either.

  63. Richard Steckis:

    Ray.

    “Last I saw, there was no peer-reviewed rebuttal to Lyndon LaRouche’s claim that the Queen of England was a drug dealer either.”

    You are appealing to ridicule. It demeans you and it contributes nothing.

    [Response: Relying on Miskolczi is an appeal to the ridiculous. It too contributes nothing. – gavin]

  64. walter crain:

    i think one reason anybody takes monkton seriously is his really smart-sounding english accent.

  65. Lynn Vincentnathan:

    Oh, Monckton again. Sheesh! What’s really upsetting to me is that ROME REPORTS (aired on EWTN – the U.S. Catholic TV channel) interviews him when they want an expert on climate change. You’d expect newspapers and other commercial media heavily funded by oil and oil/caol-based industries to feature Monckton, but church-related media??

    To repair the great damage Monckton (and EWTN) are doing to my beloved Catholic Church on the issue of climate change, I want you to know what good Catholics — present and past popes, many bishops, priests, and laypersons — are up to re climate change. See:

    http://catholicclimatecovenant.org
    http://www.catholicsandclimatechange.org

  66. Ike Solem:

    For more of the same, try the Washington Post, Robert J. Samuelson, on renewable energy and fossil fuels:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/26/AR2009042601515.html

    On renewables: “Actually, no one involved in this debate really knows what the consequences or costs might be. All are inferred from models of uncertain reliability.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/03/AR2009050301849.html

    On fossil fuels: “Almost everyone loves to hate the world’s Exxons, but promoting domestic drilling is simply common sense.”

    You know, in the past, articles like that were preceded with a statement: “This is an advertisement”.

    If the nation’s leading newspapers have been converted into propaganda and marketing tools, then who needs them? More to the point, why do so many members of the educated public have so much faith in what they read in them?

    Robert J. Samuelson can’t even get his statistics right:

    “It may disappoint. In 2007, wind and solar generated less than 1 percent of U.S. electricity. Even a tenfold expansion will leave their contribution small. By contrast, oil and natural gas now provide two-thirds of Americans’ energy. They will dominate consumption for decades.”

    The actual numbers are here:
    http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table1_1.html

    Coal: 50.0%
    Natural gas: 20.1%
    Nuclear: 19.4%
    Hydroelectric: 7.1%
    Wind + solar: 2.4%
    Petroleum liquids + coke: 1.6%

    That’s for electricity generation. The other big energy sink is transportation, which is difficult to compare directly to energy generation. Here we have petroleum products, 2007:

    http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/hist/mttupus1m.htm

    U.S. motor fuel consumption (gasoline _ diesel) is 9,286,000 barrels/day (3.39 billion barrels/year).

    Here we have biofuels in 2007:
    http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/txt/ptb1003.html

    154,416,000 barrels per year for ethanol, 11,691,000 for biodiesel

    Total biofuel production thus is about 5% of total motor fuel production in the U.S. at present.

    As we have seen, a 5% drop in demand for fossil fuels sends the price down. We could easily double or triple biofuel production in the U.S. with no ill effects on food supply (maybe fewer corn-fed factory farms, which is where 50% of all corn ends up today).

    Combine ethanol production with wind and solar power, and add in the plug-in hybrid vehicle with significant electric energy storage capacity, and you have a fossil fuel independent transport system.

    It’s very feasible, and in the absence of fossil fuels, that’s how we’ll move goods and people around – unless you prefer to walk or ride a bicycle (or a horse).

  67. walter crain:

    we mock monkton et al, but they are effective. it’s getting worse. THEY are winning the global PR battle. i was going to post this on that “lies, damn lies ans stats” thread, but i guess it “closed”.
    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/environment/energy_update

  68. JCH:

    walter crain, La Nina provided excellent cover for the fibbers. La Nina wasn’t forever.

  69. Rod B:

    Ike (66), your 2.4%+ was generated from wood, black liquor, other wood waste, biogenic municipal solid waste, landfill gas, sludge waste, agriculture byproducts, other biomass, geothermal, solar thermal, photovoltaic energy, and wind. I’m sure wind and solar is a big part but I’m sure not all of it. You shouldn’t say that it is.

  70. ccpo:

    Re #54: It’s your blog, gents, but with all due respect, and I mean that sincerely, given the results of the Rasmussen poll linked above, you appear to be redefining “sensible.”

    Without accountability there is no responsibility; without responsibility there is no trust. Without trust there is… chaos.

    Cest la vie.

    Cheers

  71. Lynn Vincentnathan:

    RE #41 the correct link for American Denial of Global Warming is:
    http://www.uctv.tv/search-details.aspx?showID=13459

  72. walter crain:

    i don’t know what the content of the edited post #54 was, but the link to the rasmussen poll was a link of the public’s opinion, not scientific opinion. it indicates the gulf between public and scientific opinion and highlights the need to educate the public of the scientific consensus.

    if only there were some sort of funny, clever way of demonstrating the extent of the scientific consensus…

  73. Richard Steckis:

    Response: Relying on Miskolczi is an appeal to the ridiculous. It too contributes nothing. – gavin

    I am not relying on any such thing. But his theories are gaining traction (e.g. http://landshape.org/enm/). Therefore, his work must be addressed professionally and not dismissively (otherwise it will bite you in your backside).

    [Response: Your definition of traction seems to be somewhat different to mine. The same points have been made over and again to these people and yet they continue to think this is worthwhile. No peer reviewed comment will change this one iota. Just as there are some who still think Velikovsky had some good points, no doubt some Miskolczi supporters will persist. Anybody sensible has far more important demands on their time. – gavin]

  74. Ray Ladbury:

    Richard Steckis, Traction, huh? How many citations if Miskolczi have there been since it’s publication? How many climate models have incorporated its “insights”?

    Richard, when somebody publishes something and it lies there like a dog turd on a New York sidewalk, maybe you have to conclude that it wasn’t as golden as you thought.

  75. chris colose:

    Richard Steckis,

    Miskolczi’s paper was intentional misrepresentation, much like the Monckton piece, and he used it to confuse many students as well, which is probably a violation of some academic conduct standard.

    He believes runaway greenhouse effects violate energy balance considerations (despite happening on Venus), he believes water vapor decreases in a higher CO2 world (which has been proven wrong), he does not understand Kirchoff’s law, and many other things. It is not worth review.

  76. jyyh:

    Wasn’t ‘Lord’ a hereditary honorific? Doesn’t he have any children who might do a coup?

    jyyh in jest.

    ReCaptcha at dismal

  77. Timothy Chase:

    Ray Ladbury wrote in 74:

    Richard Steckis, Traction, huh? How many citations of Miskolczi have there been since it’s publication? How many climate models have incorporated its “insights”?

    But it isn’t just lying there: Miskolczi has a viral video. And who needs technical papers in journals devoted to climatology citing your work — when you have a viral video?

    Please see:

    http://landshape.org/enm/miskolczis-viral-video/

    And I am sure that Miskolczi’s work was warmly received at the Heartland Institute’s conference in 2008. (Incidentally, according to Heartland, the scientific research showing that there is a significant health risk associated with second-hand smoke is junk science.)

  78. James:

    Mark Says (4 May 2009 at 3:34 AM):

    “RodB, #44, so why do you need nicotine patches to give up smoking if it’s not addictive?”

    Maybe you “need” nicotine patches because they can be manufactured and sold at a profit? However, it’s a fact that lots of people have quit without them, or without any sort of addiction-related treatment. Indeed, though it’s a bit dated, this CDC page http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00017511.htm says that simple “cold turkey” without any external aid is the most effective method.

    “Why, before then, did people give up smoking and then take it up again?”

    Why does anyone stop a habit or (to them) pleasurable activity, then later take it up again?

  79. Timothy Chase:

    Richard Steckis (73),

    You will find a good critique of Miskolczi’s work here:

    Why Ferenc M. Miskolczi is Wrong (2008)
    by Barton Paul Levenson
    http://www.geocities.com/bpl1960/Miskolczi.html

    … and more criticism of it here:

    GIGO
    SATURDAY, JUNE 28, 2008
    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2008/06/gigo-eli-has-learned-over-years-that.html

  80. John Mashey:

    re: 71 Lynn: thanks for the fix!

  81. Donnachadh McCarthy:

    I recently had to deal with Monckton for an hour on BBC Radio 5 Live.
    Whilst some of his comments were scientifically laughable and contradictory, he came up with a concept that I had not heard of before.
    He claimed that due to the logarithymic response of global warming to increased levels of CO2, all the warming had already happened.
    Not having heard of this before, I was unable to refute it.
    I have not been able to find any quality refutation on the web. Anyone able to help?

    [Response: Typical nonsense. The Viscount is just trying to bamboozle – the forcing from CO2 is logarithmic in concentration and this what is seen in all models and projections, but all it means is that it takes a doubling of CO2 each time to produce the same forcing. i.e. the forcing from 2xCO2 (560ppm) is ~4W/m2, and you need a further doubling (to 1320 1120ppm) to get to 8 W/m2. It does not mean that CO2 has maxed out or that further increases don’t have an effect. – gavin]

  82. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Richard Steckis,

    Eli Rabett et al. are going to publish their critique in the same journal that published G&T. But as the man said, it’s self-evidently rubbish. For a review of some reasons why, try here (remove the hyphen first):

    http://www.geocities.com/bpl1960/Miskolczi.html

    CAPTCHA: throws outer

  83. Adam Gallon:

    Instead of jumping up & down about our dear Lordship, what about some real scientific criticism?
    I see your blog roll ignores Dr Roy Spencer’s, this posting deserves close scrutiny.
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/05/climate-model-predictions-it%e2%80%99s-time-for-a-reality-check/

    [Response: The idea that Spencer is the only person in the world looking at satellite data for data on sensitivity is laughable. And what do you suggest that we criticise? This posting is pure declamation, not science. If he ever posts his mysterious paper for anyone to actually see, then maybe we could have a discussion. His track record does not make us hopeful. – gavin]

  84. steve:

    Chris you say Miskolci is intentionally misrepresenting and then you say he believes. Either he is lying or he believes what he is saying. Having read some of his comments here at RC I happen to believe that he believes he is right. The arguments over if he is right or not get a little bit over my non scientist head but wasn’t there a study recently showing that water vapor has actually been decreasing with increasing co2. Isn’t the argument that this isn’t actually happening based entirely on our lack of confidence in the data? Any idea when we might have data we can trust?

    [Response: In the absence of looking at any data, any random theory can be thought about, but we have many, many sources of data – both of radiative quantities and trends in water vapour – and there is no data that supports the idea that water vapour goes down with warming – none! It goes up when there is a warm El Nino event, it goes down when there is a cool volcanic event, it increases over time if there is a long term warming trend – both near the surface and in the troposphere. Even in the upper troposphere the specific humidity increases (though not quite enough to maintain constant relative humidity). There is a whole section (3.4.2) on this in the IPCC AR4. – gavin]

  85. Theo Hopkins:

    We here in the UK take our excenric aristocrats like Monckton with a large pinch of salt. They are part of our traditions alongside warm beer, cricket on the village green and shouting loudly to foreigners in English so such foreigners may better understand what we are saying.

    Monckton = delightful nut case.

    Relax ;-)

  86. Nick Barnes:

    2×560 = 1120, not 1320. ITYSBT.

    [Response: oops. thanks – gavin]

  87. Adam Gallon:

    Re my comment post #83
    “[Response: The idea that Spencer is the only person in the world looking at satellite data for data on sensitivity is laughable”

    Where, pray, do I suggest this?

    [Response: That’s what he claims in the post you want us to discuss. Did you not even read it? – gavin]

    As to some real scientific criticism, how about doing a post on how climate models currently treat clouds, what effects they have and what assumptions are being made and why?

    [Response: That’s not a terrible idea. Let me see if I can find a volunteer…. – gavin]

  88. Ray Ladbury:

    Walter Manny says, “The problem with that, Walter, is that the AGW scientific community has attached itself, rightly or wrongly, to the environmental political movement, which is as famous for its dour, humorless worldview as anything else.”

    Walter, I don’t think that is a fair criticism. Rather environmentalists presented themselves as supportive while the political right was villifying climate scientists, actually subpoenaing them before committees led by the likes of Doolittle and Delay (no you can’t make this stuff up!). The science has always been there for both the right and left to embrace. Scientists would have been very receptive to constructive suggestions from the business community on how to address climate threats. The fact that the political right and business interests have been short on ideas and long on criticism says a lot more about the right and the state of American capitalism than it does about the science. Al Gore owes his Oscar and Nobel Prize more to the denialism of the right than to his understanding of the science.

    The thing that you and others have to realize is that these threats are real and that they aren’t going away. The only thing going away is your ability to influence the mitigations adopted for the threats.

  89. Hank Roberts:

    > the environmental political movement …
    (As if there’s only one)
    > famous for its dour, humorless …
    http://www.abbeyweb.net/

    “Too much proximity to folly tends to make it seem normal …”

    “… the beauty and existence of the natural world should be sufficient justification in itself for saving it all. If this argument fails to interest the exploitative and cannot convince the indifferent, then we must appeal to deeper emotions …”

    ” … A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”

    “… This is what you shall do: Be loyal to what you love, Be true to the Earth, and Fight your enemies with passion and laughter ….”

  90. Mark:

    “The problem with that, Walter, is that the AGW scientific community has attached itself, rightly or wrongly, to the environmental”

    Citation needed.

  91. Mark:

    “Maybe you “need” nicotine patches because they can be manufactured and sold at a profit?”

    Why then did nicotine patches reduce the readdiction rate?

    The chemists working for Philip Morris said that nicotine was addictive. Why do you think they and the medics against PM are wrong and you are uniquely right?

  92. thingsbreak:

    @87 (gavin):

    Dyson was also ranting a bit about GCMs and clouds (& parametrizations generally) at a CATO event last week: https://www.cato.org/events/090430cs.html

    I’m resisting the temptation to link to the Abe Simpson news clipping, but only barely.

    [Response: Did he actually have anything substantial to say or was it more of the same? – gavin]

  93. Neil McEvoy:

    Gavin,

    Can you say when the lower 95% limit on your 2002-baselined graph moves definitively above zero?

    [Response: 2020. Although it’s within +/-0.03 of zero from 2014 on. – gavin]

  94. Son of Mulder:

    Well I just did a least squares fit to monthly global hadcrut3 and it came out looking like Monckton’s graph. As 2002 was a trend peak for hadcrut3 it’s not unreasonable to start there in looking at the down trend, which is what Monckton has done. What’s all the fuss about? The IPCC predictions were modelled a while ago now without such up to date data. I’m sure the models can be updated to retrofit… but will it improve them going forward? I look forward to finding out in a few years.

    [Response: The fuss? Maybe in your field of work making up data to put on graphs is ok, but it tends to be frowned on in scientific circles. The criticism is not directed at the data points themselves, but at the cherry picked start date and the made-up ‘IPCC’ projections. But if that’s ok with you, perhaps I should start showing graphs starting in Jan 07 and showing a remarkable increase in temperatures at rates that are over 3 times the mean of the models? – gavin]

  95. Rod B:

    James (78), “…lots of people have quit…” should read tens of millions…

  96. Jim Eager:

    Re Ray @88: “The thing that you and others have to realize is that these threats are real and that they aren’t going away. The only thing going away is your ability to influence the mitigations adopted for the threats.”

    Exactly, Ray. As the saying goes, “decisions get made by those who show up,” and the right has made it their mission to not only not show up, but to prevent the meeting from even convening. Well, the meeting is now under way, and the right is still only trying to disrupt it. F*’em.

  97. Rod B:

    Mark (91, et al), because, as I said, “addiction” has been dumbed down to meet political objectives, and no chemist or scientist in the tobacco realm who abhors his own lynching would say anything but… It’s clearly the only PC thing acceptable.

  98. Jim Eager:

    Re: Son of Mulder @94: “As 2002 was a trend peak for hadcrut3 it’s not unreasonable to start there in looking at the down trend…”

    There’s your first problem right there: you’re not looking at a trend in climate.

    Your second is thinking that you know anything about statistical analysis.

    “What’s all the fuss about?”

    As Gavin said, in science cherry-picking and making sh*t up is frowned upon. I know, kind of antiquated in our age of ‘padded’ resumes, claims of being IPCC ‘expert reviewers’, Nobel prize holders, and members of the House of Lords.

  99. OLympus Mons:

    Gavin
    will you hold Al Gore in the same standards you seem to demand of Monckton? in this case how does he, Al Gore, rates on it?
    Thank you.

  100. Barry Foster:

    Certainly the public perception is that of Monckton’s graph. And the scare stories that surrounded the Arctic situation in 2007 and 2008 certainly added to this perception – that is enhanced on many web sites such as this one.

    However, it seems to be (based on current evidence and not computer models) that alarming climate change is a myth. Just as it seems to be that this year’s Arctic ice extent will not even worry the BBC (although they are unlikely to report on it if it turns out to be a record-build).

    I can’t be alone in finding that we seem to want to worry ourselves. I’ve no doubt that ‘Swine Flu’ will turn out to be a mild one that should never have worried the world. Climate change, despite its initial ‘promise’ of doom seems to have been way-overblown. Looking at the graph of global temperatures for the past 20 years I cannot for the life of me see what worries some people here. With some predictions of a strong link with the PDO comes forecasts of falling temperatures for the next 20 years. The caveat is that these are yet again – guessed, just as alarming warming was. So far that ‘warming’ guess has turned out to be incorrect.

    The public have been told that the world will fry, and that is why Monckton’s graph will sit very comfortably in the minds of people. The warming-worriers are to blame for that. Whether or not his graph is factual has become irrelevant. The science of this went out of the window when computer models were brought in. We were no longer saying what is happening, but what we think will happen. As I cannot remember anyone 10 years ago telling me that by 2009 the global temperature would have fallen by 0.03 degrees C (that’s what my calculator says) then I conclude that we are in the realms of appealing to the public’s mind, rather that actuality. And many people reading this are to blame. As Pete Best (the first contributor here) intimates, lessons should have been learned.

    RIP science.

    [Response: Your argument seems to be that scientists who honestly present their results and have them assessed in reports put out by the National Academies and the IPCC are responsible for Monckton’s making stuff up? Interesting logic. – gavin]

  101. OLympus Mons:

    Hi Gavin,
    Could you explain why Dr. Roy Spencer is to be ignored? Thanks.

    [Response: Ignored? No. But there needs to be substance behind the rant. He has not made public his supposedly devastating-to-the-mainstream paper, and so what are we supposed to comment on? – gavin]

    Secondly and most important: How come real climate is not tackling what is posted today on Dr. Pielke web site today? Devastating to you, personally, because your name is in there. — That weblog by William dipucci either is devastating to you and AGW (especially because is backed by Dr. Pielke himself) or is it just lousy science. What is it?

    Thanks you

    [Response: I wouldn’t like to speculate on why Dr. Pielke publishes what he does. It’s his blog. The paper in question stands on it’s own. I do like the way I was promoted from 14 out 15 authors to third though. – gavin]

  102. thingsbreak:

    @92 (gavin)

    I didn’t attend, but it sounded like the usual demonization of parameterization generally without any specific complaints or explanation as to why parameters magically disqualify models from giving useful information from a policy perspective. He seemed particularly focused on clouds, but also named as “fudge factors” (his pet term for parameterizations) “evaporation, condensation, soil effects, & vegetation.”

    David Biello [http://tinyurl.com/dl94p7] was covering it via Twitter.

  103. Mark:

    re 99, Is there any evidence that Gavin doesn’t?

    All you’re doing is throwing muck and hoping something sticks. Failing that, falls in his mouth.

    Disgusting.

  104. OLympus Mons:

    Thanks Gavin for replies.
    However regarding the negative feedback coming out of CERES data it’s devastating stuff. Do you believe it’s bogus, or you just don’t want to comment?

    [Response: “devastating” eh? What are you actually referring to? Have you seen this mysterious paper perhaps? Unlike some, I don’t comment on studies that I haven’t read. We’ll just see. – gavin]

    I’m pretty sure if it were wacko stuff it would be apparent because he just presented is work … to the NASA CERES team, themselves. you do not need publication to assert such a thing right?

    [Response: Is his presentation online? Presenting at a workshop is not the same as publishing a paper – and I’m certain that the NASA CERES team are a polite bunch. – gavin]

    Increase in water vapor has to organize itself in some system and if by doing that you have such a negative feedback out of Cirrus forms, it has a big impact on your models. Or not really?

    [Response: Not clear what this means. – gavin]

    Thanks again for your time.

  105. RichardC:

    44 RodB claims, ” tobacco was never addictive until the pols and FDA (and others that smelled money) chose to dumb down the accepted definition in the 90s.”

    riiiighhhhttt. You just pulled a Monckton.

    [Response: No more on nicotine – I mean please, can’t we discuss something where there actually is a debate? – gavin]

  106. dhogaza:

    Just as it seems to be that this year’s Arctic ice extent will not even worry the BBC (although they are unlikely to report on it if it turns out to be a record-build).

    Really? A “record-build”? Extent has been below the 1979-2000 average all year, and area is about where it was last year (second lowest minimum on record).

    Just because Stephen Goddard, at WUWT, describes this as being a “trend reversal”, doesn’t mean it is.

  107. J. Bob:

    As far as comparing land and satellite global temps, just go to http://www.climate4you.com
    Click on the Global temp tab, and go down to the composite global temp data from 1979,to current. This graph includes GISS, UAH, RSS etc. From the graph, I would guess that the temp has stabilized, or trending down.

    As far as bashing Monckton, in comparing him and Gore, I find Monckton far more interesting. Even if he, Monckton, didn’t invent the internet.

    P.S. One item from the evil, money grubbbing Wall Street Journal. Seems in the April 30th issue, some significant natural gas deposits have been found (not in Washington D.C.) but in deep shale formations. These are primarily in northern LA, and the Appalachian mountains. From the above mentioned graph, we may need it.

  108. dhogaza:

    Looking at the graph of global temperatures for the past 20 years I cannot for the life of me see what worries some people here. With some predictions of a strong link with the PDO comes forecasts of falling temperatures for the next 20 years. The caveat is that these are yet again – guessed, just as alarming warming was. So far that ‘warming’ guess has turned out to be incorrect.

    That ‘warming’ “guess” (sic) has been proven out to be incorrect by the last twenty year’s data?

    Are you sure?

  109. walter crain:

    that eli rabett is a funny (and clever) bunny.

  110. Theo Hopkins:

    Climate sceptics commonly quote “The science is settled” when they want to say it is not. You all know what I mean.

    But who, if anyone, actually did say “The science is settled”?

    Or in other words, to who can I attribute this quote that goes around and around? Or was it a number of people?

    Or is the quote actually an imagination-figment of the coolists?

  111. Hank Roberts:

    > Spencer
    http://www.clearsightdesign.com/portfolio/
    “… URL: http://www.DrRoySpencer.com
    Description: One of the nation’s foremost climate research scientists, Dr. Spencer’s website is devoted to sharing …”

  112. Martin Vermeer:

    Re #101 Olympus Mons, the issue doesn’t exactly sound new. See

    http://mustelid.blogspot.com/2005/08/pielke-senior-has-blog.html

    One can only wonder why Pielke Sr (!) wanted to have this warmed over. Me having now read at the blog post you referred to, I would recommend Gavin to do something useful instead ;-)

  113. Theo Hopkins:

    Walter Manny wrote:

    “Al Gore owes his Oscar and Nobel Prize more to the denialism of the right than to his understanding of the science.”

    From where I sit on the European side of the Atlantic, Al Gore’s Oscar is one of the worst things that could happen. I have seen his film, esentially a documentary, and as a documentary it really is a second level bit of TV. Hollywood should not consider that their endorsment of Gore’s film would go down well anywhere outside America – from here in the UK it actualy makes him look stupid. Next, Tony Blair on quantum? Madoana on evolution? Oscars cheapen and reduce his standing.

    And why a Nobel? He did no original science.

    [Response: It was the Peace Prize, not a science prize – gavin]

  114. CM:

    I’ve watched the video in #77 and looked up the AR4 list of expert reviewers to see that the presenter, Mr Zagoni, really was in there (“part winner of the Nobel Prize” indeed). I trust the good folks here who tell me the theory is pure nonsense. But what’s the story on this guy? And should I worry about the IPCC review process?

    [Response: The guy is pushing Miskolczi’s theory, and since anyone can be an IPCC reviewer (it’s an open process), you don’t have to worry. Dumb comments are generally given short shrift. Perhaps someone would like to search through to see what comments he made? – gavin]

  115. SecularAnimist:

    Barry Foster wrote: “However, it seems to be (based on current evidence and not computer models) that alarming climate change is a myth.”

    In fact that is the exact opposite of reality, as you would be aware if you knew even the slightest thing about ongoing empirical observations of the effects of anthropogenic global warming.

    In fact all — without exception, ALL — the “current evidence” indicates that climate change is far more “alarming” than mainstream scientists thought even just a few years ago.

    The rest of your comment is, with all due respect, incoherent rubbish.

  116. dhogaza:

    From the graph, I would guess that the temp has stabilized, or trending down.

    Noise masking the signal.

    As far as bashing Monckton, in comparing him and Gore, I find Monckton far more interesting. Even if he, Monckton, didn’t invent the internet.

    Noise masking no signal.

  117. Mark:

    What is it with this “computer models are not science”?

    Has a SINGLE ONE of them said why a computer model isn’t science?

  118. Mark:

    JBob “From the graph, I would guess that the temp has stabilized, or trending down.”

    Would you like to supply more than a guess? Statistical significance. You’ve done signal processing so that should be a cakewalk.

    PS why are you using weather data when discussing climate data? Weather is ~30 years and in between it depends on what you’ve taken care of.

  119. dhogaza:

    Olympus Mons, how can you take seriously someone (Pielke, Sr) who posts this graph (in his most recent post today):

    http://climatesci.org/wp-content/uploads/sea-ice.jpg

    And then says:

    “For example, the global average lower tropospheric temperatures have not increased for at least 7 years, and indeed, show a recent decline.” as though this is of any importance whatsoever, when anyone with eyeballs in their head can see that while trivially true, it’s also happened several other times IN THE GRAPH HE PRESENTS and that despite this, the trend he’s computed (and kindly presented on the same graph) is RELENTLESSLY UP.

  120. John Mashey:

    Nicotine & climate (less off-topic than it seems)

    While we usually cite:
    tobacco companies $=>(fronts&thinktanks) versus medical science
    as a parallel to
    (FF companies & family foundations) $=> (fronts&thinktanks) versus climate science,

    there is at least one more parallel, as seen in silly arguments.

    It is silly to think that nicotine addiction is a binary “it is addictive… no it isn’t” effect, and that if you know anhyone who has stopped smoking, it must not be addictive.

    That is akin to thinking that global warming requires yearly monotonic temperature increase everywhere on the planet, so that if one can find a place on the planet that got colder … global warming doesn’t exist.

    1) Susceptibility to nicotine addiction varies widely by individual, with at least some of this being biochemical differences.

    2) Addiction varies in strength. I’ve known people who were intelligent, educated and determined, but spent decades trying to stop. Some people have to go cold turkey and stay away from cigarette smoke, or they restart, others can have an occasional cigarette and stick with that. Some people read the reports and stopped cold (a lot of doctors did after the 1964 report).

    One who stopped for health reasons in the 1940s was John Hill, of the big PR firm Hill&Knowlton. Later, he created the strategy of front organization and obfuscation for the tobacco industry: see Allan M. Brandt’s “The Cigarette Century”.

    3) If someone *wants* to create addiction, the “best” way to do it is to wire it into the brain during the rapid period of brain development normally associated with teenage years (although of course, the exact timing varies by person).

    If people start smoking at 25, they are likely to be able to stop. If they start at 12, and smoke regularly through 19, it’s likely to be much harder. See study:

    “Age at initiation of smoking was a significant factor for continuation of smoking. Men who started smoking before 16 years of age had an odds ratio of 2.1 (95% confidence interval: 1.4–3.0) for not quitting smoking compared to those who started at a later age. These findings emphasize the need for prevention program targeted to children below 16 years of age.”

    See WHO on youth smoking.

    4) Is it possible that cigarette companies didn’t know this? Are they the dumbest marketeers on the planet, or among the smartest?

    Cigarette companies of course have known this for decades.

    Future tobacco profits depend heavily on addicting children to products that would often cause lingering, miserable deaths, but, only after they’ve bought many cigarettes.

    See 6-page 1981 RJReynolds memo on importance of younger adults:

    “Younger adults are the only source of replacement smokers . Repeated
    government studies (Appendix B) have shown that :
    • Less than one-third of smokers (31%) start after age 18 .
    • Only 5% of smokers start after age 24 .

    Thus, today’s younger adult smoking behavior will largely determine the
    trend of Industry volume over the next several decades. If younger adults
    turn away from smoking, the Industry must decline,”

    They continually discuss the importance of the 18-24-year-old market segment. Of course, the game is given away early:

    – 31% of smokers start after 18
    – less than 5% start after 24

    Does anyone think RJR was under the illusion that the 69% of smokers that didn’t start after 18 started *at* 18″?

    RJR of course is the creator of candy-flavored tobacco cigarettes (not candy cigarettes) like Twista Lime.

  121. ccpo:

    The fear of anthropogenic global warming is based almost entirely upon computerized climate model simulations of how the global atmosphere will respond to slowly increasing carbon dioxide concentrations.

    Is this not blatantly false? The science begins with the observations of the natural world, if I’m not mistaken. That’s followed by experimentation and/or analysis, right? Only then is that information fed into a climate model, correct?

    Scientific debate has all been shut down. The science of climate change was long ago taken over by political interests, and I am not hopeful that the situation will improve anytime soon. But I will continue to try to change that.

    That Spencer repeats this Red Herring is a good indication of his intent, imo. There is no need to fudge the facts if you are right. The fact is, the only politicization of climate science there is abundant evidence of is from the denialist/Right. G.C. Marshall Institute? Right. Heartland? Right. Global Climate Coalition? Right. Science being muzzled, edited? Bush/Cheney… Right. We even have their own internal documents to prove this.

    Can anyone present the same regarding ACC activists?

    Momma taught me to watch what people do, not what they say. Spencer is distorting the truth. Let him make all the claims he wants. Let him talk. His actions speak louder than his words.

    Cheers

  122. Mark:

    Thanks for that John, but you did stay off the climate side in the latter half.

    You drew the parallels between them in the first half and could easily have stopped there with the information needed in plain view.

    I don’t mind but if Gavin gets a bit narked, I can understand why too.

  123. Mark:

    re #118 the tagging stuffed it up.

    Should say “weather is &lt ~5 years and climate &gt ~30 years” The bit between the brackets got interpreted as “silly HTML” and was killed horribly.

  124. Theo Hopkins:

    Rip Science @ #100 wrote:

    “Just as it seems to be that this year’s Arctic ice extent will not even worry the BBC (although they are unlikely to report on it if it turns out to be a record-build). ”

    Seems to be a bit of BBC bashing here. Of which there is much, much, much of on the popular right in UK.

    But interestingly, and perhaps in respose to the large number of people who say the “debate is still on”, the BBC now adds a qualifier many times when it discusses increases in CO2 or plans to reduce emmisions. So they will now say ” … blah, blah, CO2 – the gas considered to be a contributor to/the cause of/ associated with global warmming, blah, blah and so on”.

    Could that Neanderthal Throwback Monkton be starting to win? Perish the thaught!

  125. Mark:

    Gavin, one current meme I’m seeing about relates to your response to CM in post #114.

    There if you say that the IPCC is reviewed and that it isn’t a political report but a report to politicians (and laymen, you can get it yourself, no need to be a politician!) they’ve responded with “You cannot trust a review that is done by cronies all singing from the same hymn sheet”.

    (NOTE: this isn’t insulting since they don’t actually name anyone they are calling corrupt. though it sounds like a weasel way of getting out: if anyone complains they say “I didn’t mean YOU”.)

    So maybe another myth to bust is the “ince stuous” nature of peer review in the IPCC and its contributing papers.

  126. Igor Samoylenko:

    Barry Foster said in #100:

    Looking at the graph of global temperatures for the past 20 years I cannot for the life of me see what worries some people here.
    […]
    As I cannot remember anyone 10 years ago telling me that by 2009 the global temperature would have fallen by 0.03 degrees C (that’s what my calculator says)[…]

    So, I presume you were here at RealClimate last year with your calculator telling everyone about the apparent alarming rise of 0.96ºC in the global mean temperature over the period 1993 – 2007 (at the rate of 6.7 ºC/century!)? I presume you were also asking questions about why no one predicted this enormous “jump” in global temperature in 1990s, models underestimating this apparent temperature “trend” etc etc?

    See: http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/bigrise.jpg?w=490&h=362

    And see the full post by Tamino with a few more examples of meaningless “trends” produced by cherry-picking start and end dates:
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/01/15/what-if/

    The post also clearly shows the trend in the global mean temperatures when the data is smoothed to remove unforced variation. Which is clearly UP almost linearly since ~1970s, uninterrupted by the recent “cooling trend”.

  127. Svet:

    In the webpage discussed above (by Adam Gallon and others), Roy Spencer makes the following statements about Climate Models.

    No, the main reason the models produce so much warming depends upon uncertain assumptions regarding how clouds will respond to warming. Low and middle-level clouds provide a ‘sun shade’ for the Earth, and the climate models predict that those clouds will dissipate with warming, thereby letting more sunlight in and making the warming worse.

    [High-altitude (cirrus) clouds have the opposite effect, and so a dissipation of those clouds would instead counteract the CO2 warming with cooling, which is the basis for Richard Lindzen’s ‘Infrared Iris’ theory. The warming in the models, however, is now known to be mostly controlled by the low and middle level clouds – the “sun shade” clouds.]

    Can someone at least confirm that that is the way Climate Models work or is Spencer wrong in his understanding? As a layman, I come to RealClimate to get such basic information but it can be maddeningly difficult sometimes.

  128. Dean:

    I also went and glanced at Pielke Sr’s entry today (Realclimate does kink to his blog, after all). He seems to be complaining that the climate models aren’t predicting the weather. He mentions, for example, that they failed to predict the cold winter in the upper Midwest this year. He also mentioned their failure to predict some droughts during the 20th century.

    Unlike some others out there, it’s hard to imagine that Pielke Sr doesn’t understand the difference between weather and climate, and that climate models aren’t trying to predict the weather. Go with that where you want.

  129. MarkB:

    Re: #67

    While contrarians have been good at confusing the public (which is their primary goal), Rasmussen Reports is a very conservative pollster with dubious methodology on general polling questions.

    In a recent WSJ poll:

    “Pollsters asked half the respondents: “Let me read you a series of proposals that President Obama has suggested since he was inaugurated. For each one, please tell me whether you approve or disapprove of this proposal.” One of the proposals: “Charging a fee to companies that emit greenhouse gases, which might results in higher utility bills, and using the money to provide tax cuts for middle-income Americans.” ”

    Approve: 58%
    Disapprove: 35%

    “Would you approve or disapprove of a proposal that would require companies to reduce greenhouse gases that cause global warming, even if it would mean higher utility bills for consumers to pay the charges?”

    Approve: 53%
    Disapprove: 40%

    Recent ABC News / Wa Post poll:

    “On another subject, do you think the federal government should or should not regulate the release of greenhouse gases from sources like power plants, cars and factories in an effort to reduce global warming? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?”

    A slim majority–54%–said “Should strongly.” Another 21% said “Should somewhat.” 12% said “Should not strongly,” and 9% said “Should not somewhat.” 4% percent had no opinion. ”

    http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/18119

  130. MarkB:

    I have to ask: why in the world is Lord Monckton seem by anyone as an authority on this topic? Why should he even be worth addressing? What are his credentials? Now I know that some will respond and ask the same question of Al Gore. The key difference is that Gore is not doing “original research”. He’s reporting on the mainstream scientific view, and other than a few reasonable contentions, he’s done a pretty good job in the process. Monckton is simply making up stuff.

  131. dhogaza:

    I have to ask: why in the world is Lord Monckton seem by anyone as an authority on this topic? Why should he even be worth addressing? What are his credentials?

    Maybe we Americans are suckers for his lordly English accent?

    I could never understand why people paid attention to William Buckley, either, with his insistence that school segregation was perfectly reasonable given the superiority of the white race, etc. Had to be the sophisticated accent, no?

  132. John Mashey:

    re: 123 Mark Thanks for the reminder
    Well, this had gotten off onto various side topics, and I waited to see if the moderator would leave nicotine in … but I had to run out for an errand, and I omitted the last paragraphs (for post #120) that wove the threads back together.
    ===

    6. Cigarette advertising has been paralleled by such things as the early 1990s campaign described in the second half of Naoimi Oreskes, You CAN Argue with the Facts, or Clean Coal, 2007, the Clean coal carolers or (for parody clean coal.)

    Of course, society does need energy, unlike the tobacco case, but this still has the general form where profits are privatized and costs are socialized, the kind of business that especially needs PR agencies, lobbyists and thinktank fronts. It’s cheaper to pay for this than for R&D, like into actually trying to make CCS work.

    7. Just as many people say AGW has been invalidated by {reason of the month, no matter how often debunked}, people (sometimes the same people) say that cigarettes aren’t that bad, although it’s been a long time since the 1964 Surgeon General’s report.

    For instance, Frederick Seitz (George C. Marshall Institute) was famous for both.

    One may compare Heartland on global warming and Heartland on tobacco.

    There are of course, many other intersections, as well as the AGW impact of deforestration for growing & curing tobacco.

    8. Conclusion:

    1) Suppose someone can manage to ignore the overpowering evidence that cigarettes cause disease, that the only way cigarette companies stay in business is by addicting children, and that tobacco companies have known all this for years.

    2) Then, ignoring the evidence for AGW and causing doubt about it is *easy* in all dimensions.

    3) In his open letter to Senators Snowe & Rockefeller, the Viscount rejected their comparison of FF tactics to those of tobacco. I think he doth protest too much.

  133. Hank Roberts:

    Thanks John Mashey, that’s a better summary than I’ve seen anywhere. And that 6-pager is devastating. If you read the papers and then read the citing papers, you’ll be brought around to research on research and funding of research and policy, including climate policy.
    Put your summaries all somewhere findable, please?

  134. Thomas Donlon:

    The response to question 81 asserted, “it takes a doubling of CO2 each time to produce the same forcing. i.e. the forcing from 2xCO2 (560ppm) is ~4W/m2, and you need a further doubling (to 1120ppm) to get to 8 W/m2.”

    That isn’t true. If you put two identical color camera filters on a camera to filter a certain type of light – they don’t filter out twice the amount of light. In some parts of the spectrum all of that wavelength is absorbed by CO2. Additional CO2 won’t make a difference at that wavelength . Additional CO2 only absorbs more heat at the wavelengths in which CO2 has limited absorption abilities.

    Two red filters on a camera aren’t going to filter out double the amount of blue. A strong red and a strong blue filter on a camera would filter a great majority of the light coming into the camera.

    [Response: You appear to think that your metaphor is a better match to the real world than the real world is. Curious. – gavin]

  135. Rod B:

    John Mashey (120), your 3rd parallel is logical, but it’s not one that quit, it’s tens of millions.

    Addiction has always been degreed, but in the old classic clinical addiction it did not vary widely – as it does today – all part of the dumbing down.

    I though the rest of your post was quite good, though not relevant to this off-topic discussion. :-P

  136. Rod B:

    PS, but then you have to go and fall off the cliff in 132, John. ;-)

  137. J. Bob:

    118 – So you didn’t like the http://www.climate4you.com
    the global composite temp to current, saying that’s weather.
    So how about if we filter the 350+ Hadley English temp below, with a 50 year filter, below?
    Does that qualify for climate?
    http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/temp_est_12-GOpNo.gif

    Does that last ~50 year wave kind of resemble the climate4you composite plot and the peaking in the early 2000 period? Seems that Temp_est_12 plot does a better job with matching the climate4you composite plot, then the computer models. And it also seems more realistic then Tamino’s projections into the 2000+ era.

    There is more then one way, besides statistics to look at problems. It is always a good idea to look at a problem with all available tools, and not be fixated on just one.

  138. walter crain:

    MarkB,
    i saw that poll too, and another here earlier in the “lies, damn lies…” post. i took the rasmussen poll to mean it’s getting worse. i didn’t really notice any “push polling” or suggestive questions on the rasmussen one. on the other hand, people don’t always answer a series of poll questions logically/consistently. this all relates to the oreskes study (and what she talked about in john mashey’s great post above) – how poorly-educated we are.

    there are plenty of scientists posting and commenting here on realclimate (and tamino’s site) and so by studying the science at my shallow layman level AND by noting the tactics of the deniers i “believe in” the science and the scientific consensus.

    but most people out here don’t “follow it” that closely. most of us don’t blog about global warming…. most of us are pretty stupid about science in general and the specific science of global warming. most of us “believe in” global warming on a hot day and curse it’s absence on a cold day… that’s how it’s possible that anywhere from 40-60% of us (depending on the poll, apparently) don’t “believe in” global warming. we’re pathetic…

  139. dhogaza:

    Two red filters on a camera aren’t going to filter out double the amount of blue

    Then why are red filters offered in differing intensity of filtering?

    (slaps forehead!)

  140. Thomas Donlon:

    Hi Gavin,

    Here is a link to something informative on spectral absorption.
    (The recently launched satellite that crashed over the Arctic was to monitor three different spectral ranges.)
    Here is some information on how they planned to monitor the different spectrums.
    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/features.cfm?feature=2029

    From NASA
    “The three spectral ranges measured by the observatory’s spectrometers are in the near-infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum, invisible to the human eye. Each provides a critical piece of information. One provides precise information about changes in the amount of carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere, while the others show just how much of the atmosphere is being measured. ‘We need all three of these measurements to do the job,’ said Crisp.

    One spectral range absorbs carbon dioxide relatively weakly, but it measures carbon dioxide the most precisely, especially near Earth’s surface.

    The second spectral range absorbs carbon dioxide much more strongly, so much so that almost all of the light in this part of the spectrum is absorbed completely as it traverses the atmosphere. Adding more carbon dioxide produces little additional absorption, so this wavelength is less useful for showing changes in carbon dioxide amounts. However, it does provide needed information about the pathway the light has taken. It helps determine whether the observatory is looking at light coming up all the way from the surface, or if clouds or aerosols, such as particles of smog or smoke, have gotten in the way and reflected the light back to space before it can be absorbed by carbon dioxide.

    The third spectral range shows how much oxygen is present in the light’s pathway, another way to determine how much atmosphere the light has passed through.”

    So the truth is somewhere between what you stated and what someone quoted Monckton as saying. My statement was not “a metaphor” – but dealt analogously with light and wavelength absorption. Camera filters better absorb different types of light. A redundant or extra filter will be absorbing from an already decreased amount of radiation. I have even read this on sites that strongly believe in AGW. Additional CO2 has increasingly less effect.

    If by the “real world” you were talking about something other than energy absorption please explain. It is my turn to be curious :)

    [Response: The forcing caused by increasing CO2 is an integral affect over many lines, which vary widely in the degree to which they can absorb more IR and are affected by pressure broadening and the like. The sum total of these effects causes the CO2 forcing to be logarithmic at near current concentrations (say 100 to 1000 ppm). This is an empirical result determined from the highest resolution, line by line calculations and has been independently replicated many times (see Collins et al, 2006). Using inappropriate metaphors to prove this can’t be true is just bizarre. – gavin]

  141. dhogaza:

    An addendum … anyone who has worked in a color darkroom is

    1) knowledgeable and
    2) old enough

    to be at risk of dying from laughter-induced cardiovascular arrest at your comment.

  142. Hank Roberts:

    Thomas, outgoing infrared isn’t behaving like incoming visible light.
    Spencer Weart explains that pretty well in the admittedly difficult section on radiation transfer.

  143. Hank Roberts:

    The old classic chemical definition of addiction led to new products that didn’t qualify as addictive, in fact could cure people of their addictions.

    This is one:

    http://www.badscience.net/wp-content/uploads/image56.png
    http://www.badscience.net/wp-content/uploads/image55.png
    http://www.badscience.net/wp-content/uploads/image57.png

  144. Nicolas Nierenberg:

    Gavin,

    I’m probably being dense, but could you provide a reference to the data you used for those charts? I couldn’t find it in a quick read through AR4 chapter 10.

    [Response: They are the 55 model simulations downloadable from PCMDI (you can also try Climate Explorer or Dapper at PMEL for somewhat easier access). – gavin]

  145. James:

    John Mashey Says (5 May 2009 at 15:51):

    “Nicotine & climate (less off-topic than it seems)…”

    I’ll try to avoid using the N-word, but I have to ask: what’s your point? I dare say that I could, with a bit of effort, construct a similar screed on the health effects of a fast-food diet. Would you then think I could justify a claim that food, or even a particular diet, is addictive rather than a matter of habit, convenience, and culture?

    Or to carry things to what I’d think was a ridiculous extreme if I hadn’t seen the words myself, how about the concept of sex addiction? In the light of that, do you care to continue to argue that contemporary culture hasn’t trivialized the idea of addiction to the point that any habit has that label applied to it, freeing its possessor from any responsibility for their own behavior?

  146. Hamish:

    can anyone provide links to papers or websites discussing the impact, if any, of climate change on some of the fundamentals of science – namely, does a trending climate change the basis of (m)any scientific assumptions? i’m struggling to find a pithy way of describing this question, which has thus far hindered my rather modest efforts to research it.

  147. Mark:

    “If you put two identical color camera filters on a camera to filter a certain type of light – they don’t filter out twice the amount of light.”

    Uh, the change from 1 to 2 filters is a doubling. A change from 0 to 1 is infinite.

    Hammer time: BREAKDOWN!

  148. Mark:

    In asnwwer to #130: “I have to ask: why in the world is Lord Monckton seem by anyone as an authority on this topic? ”

    He’s considered an authority by those who wish to believe or to have it believed that AGW is false.

    For some, if you know about climate and work in it, there are two kinds:

    1) Those who say AGW is real. These are in the pay of evil politicians bent on world domination. Or eco fanatics wanting a new stone age. Or wanting to take all the grant money. They don’t know why, they just know one of these is true

    2) Those who say AGW is false. They are “doing a Galileo” and are being hounded by those scientists from #1 and being denied put in respectable papers by the AGW conspiracy.

    And then there are people who don’t know climate science. There are two types of them:

    1) Those who agree with scientists in group 1. They are misled
    2) Those who agree with scientists in group 2. They are authoritative sources unbiased by any grant or money reward (though who pays for their speaker circuit..?)

  149. Mark:

    re 127.

    And that shade can act to keep things warm.

    A nice blanket will shade you from the sun. And at night keep your warmth in.

    The only difference is that during the daytime, you have it high overhead and at night snuggled close to you.

    That he only takes one side is why he isn’t ***technically*** lying as in “saying an untruth) if you take JUST his statement about the clouds, he’s lying by omission and that omission is explaining how clouds can also cause warming.]

    If you owe me £5 and I owe Fred £5, if I take a fiver off you but don’t pay Fred, can I say “we’re all sorted out”? Well, if you say no, I’ll say “I meant just between you and me!!!”. And then refuse to pay Fred because you accused me “falsely” of lying.

    Beware of the half-truth. And call them liars when they use it. Lying by omission is still lying. It gives an additional weasel-way out of the accusation.

    One recently is someone saying “Adding CO2 causes insignificant changes in temperature”. I tell him that 40% isn’t insignificant and this is ignored, a repeat of the earlier lie is forthcoming. When I say that he says there is no change in temperature when adding CO2, he says “I never said there was no change”. I reply with “the difference between zero and insignificant is insignificant (by definition)”.

    Half truth can be worse than a lie.

  150. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Olympus Mons writes:

    will you hold Al Gore in the same standards you seem to demand of Monckton? in this case how does he, Al Gore, rates on it?

    1. Al Gore was one of Roger Revelle’s students in the ’60s. He has actually studied some climate science, which Monckton has not.

    2. Al Gore doesn’t make stuff up for his presentations. Monckton does.

  151. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Barry Foster writes:

    Climate change, despite its initial ‘promise’ of doom seems to have been way-overblown.

    Global warming will cause more droughts in continental interiors, more violent weather along coastlines, the destruction of glaciers which provide fresh water to a billion people in Asia and Latin America, and eventually, the loss of trillions of dollars worth of infrastructure due to sea-level rise. If we lose our agriculture, human civilization will collapse. I find that worrysome, but maybe that’s just me.

    Looking at the graph of global temperatures for the past 20 years I cannot for the life of me see what worries some people here.

    Why don’t you try doing a linear regression of the figures against time, inste4ad of “[l]ooking at the graph?”

  152. Mark:

    re 135.

    Are you saying that John faked the Heartland website to show that they both argue that AGW is false and that tobacco being harmful is false?

    Otherwise I see no cliff.

    PS Are you in Egypt at the moment?

  153. Son of Mulder:

    In #98 Jim Eager said “There’s your first problem right there: you’re not looking at a trend in climate.” Correct I’m looking at a trend in a time-series based on physically measured quantities used to present evidence for climate change. So how is that a problem?

    Then he said “Your second is thinking that you know anything about statistical analysis.”

    But I do, so how is that a problem?

    Then he said “As Gavin said, in science cherry-picking and making sh*t up is frowned upon. I know, kind of antiquated in our age of ‘padded’ resumes, claims of being IPCC ‘expert reviewers’, Nobel prize holders, and members of the House of Lords.”

    So searching for potential counter-examples to a multi-disciplined physical theory’s predictions is cherry picking is it? I thought it was the basis of scientific critical analysis.

  154. Hank Roberts:

    Thomas, a picture:
    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/images/thumb/2/26/Greenhouse_Effect.png/300px-Greenhouse_Effect.png

    Few photons — infrared — go directly from the ground to space.

  155. Jaydee:

    134 Thomas Donlon

    I sure somebody will correct me if I’m wrong, but, I think the problem with your camera filter analogy is that the camera is measuring light transmitted through the two filters whereas in the greenhouse situation, light passing through the “filters” is absorbed, re-emitted at a different frequency and is trapped behind the double filter. So a doubling in CO2 will do little to stop more energy coming in, but will do a lot to stop it getting out.

  156. steve:

    Gavin, yes there were a lot of factual errors in my two simple sentences. I want you to know I appreciate not only you pointing that out to me but also the polite manner in which you did so.

  157. Igor Samoylenko:

    John Mashey said in #132:

    8. Conclusion:

    1) Suppose someone can manage to ignore the overpowering evidence that cigarettes cause disease, that the only way cigarette companies stay in business is by addicting children, and that tobacco companies have known all this for years.

    2) Then, ignoring the evidence for AGW and causing doubt about it is *easy* in all dimensions.

    3) In his open letter to Senators Snowe & Rockefeller, the Viscount rejected their comparison of FF tactics to those of tobacco. I think he doth protest too much.

    The similarities between the manufactured controversy created by the global warming “sceptics” and other recent anti-science campaigns (tobacco, intelligent design, AIDS dissent in South Africa and so on) are striking. There is an excellent article on this by Leah Ceccarelli from the University of Washington:

    Manufactroversy – The Art of Creating Controversy Where None Existed:

    All three [newspaper articles calling for more debate on global warming] seemed to be following the playbook of the tobacco industry when scientists discovered that their products cause cancer; when a threat to their interests arises from the scientific community, they declare “there are always two sides to a case” and then call for more study of the matter before action is taken.

    […]

    As a scholar of rhetoric,[…] I have come up with some preliminary hypotheses about what makes their arguments so persuasive to a public audience.

    First, they skillfully invoke values that are shared by the scientific community and the American public alike, like free speech, skeptical inquiry, and the revolutionary force of new ideas against a repressive orthodoxy. It is difficult to argue against someone who invokes these values without seeming unscientific or un-American.

    Second, they exploit a tension between the technical and public spheres in postmodern American life; highly specialized scientific experts can’t spare the time to engage in careful public communication, and are then surprised when the public distrusts, fears, or opposes them.

    Third, today’s sophists exploit a public misconception about what science is, portraying it as a structure of complete consensus built from the steady accumulation of unassailable data; any dissent by any scientist is then seen as evidence that there’s no consensus, and thus truth must not have been discovered yet. A more accurate portrayal of science sees it as a process of debate among a community of experts in which one side outweighs the other in the balance of the argument, and that side is declared the winner; a few skeptics might remain, but they’re vastly outnumbered by the rest, and the democratic process of science moves forward with the collective weight of the majority of expert opinion. Scientists buy into this democratic process when they enter the profession, so that a call for the winning side to share power in the science classroom with the losers, or to continue debating an issue that has already been settled for the vast majority of scientists so that policy makers can delay taking action on their findings, seems particularly undemocratic to most of them.

    Aristotle believed that things that are true “have a natural tendency to prevail over their opposites,” but that it takes a good rhetor to ensure that this happens when sophisticated sophistry is on the loose. I concur; only by exposing manufactured controversy for what it is, recognizing its rhetorical power and countering those who are skilled at getting the multitude to ignore the experts while imagining a scientific debate where none exists, can scientists and their allies use my field to achieve what Aristotle envisioned for it—a study that helps the argument that is in reality stronger also appear stronger before an audience of nonexperts.

    I think it sums things up very well indeed. It is easier to undermine the established science, create an appearance of controversy where none exists, exaggerate the uncertainties etc etc than to defend the science with all of its inherent complexity. This is why sophists like Monckton can gain traction in some circles. And this is why a clear and well-communicated response from the scientific community is important to counter all the nonsense. It is also clear that this is going to be an on-going battle; the sophists generating a manufactured global warming controversy are not going to disappear any time soon.

  158. Mark:

    “any dissent by any scientist is then seen as evidence that there’s no consensus, and thus truth must not have been discovered yet.”

    Stranger yet is that tired old meme: consensus isn’t science.

    Then again, consistency of thought isn’t necessary if you’re trying to tear science down. c.f. the ID crowd.

  159. Ray Ladbury:

    Son of Mulder, The problem is that 7 years doth not a climate trend make. The data are simply too noisy to draw any conclusions based on such a short time period.
    You claim to know something about stats. The fact that you draw conclusions without taking into consideration the noise characteristics of your data belies your claim.

  160. Ray Ladbury:

    Hamish, I’m not sure I understand your question. How would the observation of a trend in climate change science? It is a subject for scientific study, but it calls for the same methods as any other field of study.

  161. Martin Vermeer:

    Olympus Mons #99:

    will you hold Al Gore in the same standards you seem to demand of Monckton?

    Why such a low standard?

  162. Mark:

    Ray, 159, he doesn’t even calculate the error value in his regression of the line.

    Isn’t that kind of a CORE feature of statistics? Statistical significance?

  163. Son of Mulder:

    Ray Ladbury #160 said “The data are simply too noisy to draw any conclusions based on such a short time period.
    You claim to know something about stats. The fact that you draw conclusions without taking into consideration the noise characteristics of your data belies your claim.”

    It’s your claim that the data are too noisy. Is it the underlying global climate system that is too noisy or the collection method that provides that noise eg the paucity of global data and the process used to construct the numbers?

  164. Geoff Wexler:

    Using political methods in arithmetic.

    UK politicians have commissioned the Stern report, set targets for future reductions in CO2 and proceeded with plans for more runways, roads and coal fired power stations. Most people would just shrug at these simple sign errors ; isn’t that what you should expect from politicans?

    Monckton also has a target and it is designed to short circuit the CO2 problem by reducing the estimates of climate sensitivity. Starting from this goal he has been able to give a whole new meaning to the term “ends justify the means”. These are similar to the methods used by politicians but may be new in arithmetic.

    In his more elaborate calculations he has included unstated assumptions, over-simplifed models,arbitrary correction factors and the attachment of more than one meaning (in the same calculation) to some quantitities such as emissivity, forcing and feedback. These rather elaborate pseudo-papers were characterised by having a high conjuring coefficient (cc) . So each new work had to be followed by several alternative forensic examinations with slightly different emphases.

    But is there evidence of a downward trend in the cc? This new work discussed by Gavin is mainly a recycling of the trendy ‘short trend blunder’ combined with crude misrepresentations. That should make life easier. There also appears to be an upward trend in the credentials claimed on his behalf.

  165. Adam Gallon:

    There is a big difference between the climate & smoking debates.
    With smoking, the link be shown clearly via epidemiological evidence, to cancer & bronchitis.
    The pro-smoking lobby used the lack of proof from animal experimental data to deny a link betwen lung cancer in humans & smoking.
    A classic example of a model (Animal studies)not reflecting reality (Human response).
    Another being that the rat model showed no evidence of teratogenicity with Thalidomide. Human tragedy followed.

  166. Rod B:

    Hank (143), those products did qualify as addictive in the old clinical sense — just not initially. (couldn’t make them all out but I assume they are the old elixers like heroin and cocaine.)

  167. Dan:

    re: 163. As has been pointed out here many, many, many times, the standard period for climate trend statistical analysis is 30 years per the WMO, not any individual scientist. Has been for many decades (ever heard of “30-year normals” in reference to local temperatures?). Any shorter term “cherry picked” analysis is subject to “noise/signal” issues.

  168. Mark:

    re 163.

    There are several levels that can be used to determine noise.

    1) Empirically.

    Take more averages and when your variability between a polyfit and the RMS error to that fit cause a much smaller reduction, you have removed most of the noise.

    Think of bandpass removal of noise (hiss) from LP records: remove the higher frequencies and the noise reduces.

    2) Logically

    Think of those things that you know are cyclical and pick a time long enough to hold those cycles to a mean.

    So an 11 year solar cycle -> 30 years or more. 7 year El Nino cycle -> 30 years, 20 year PDO -> 50 years.

    When you remove those cycles you can see the cycles or changes that are not being swamped by those.

    And when you subtract that signal from the raw data you can see what effects those cycles have without the trend changes hiding their effects.

    Think stellar composition worked by taking out He and H lines from stellar spectra and then seeing what the less abundant constituents are doing to the remaining deviations from the blackbody curve.

    And, having worked this out, climatologists from decades ago arrived at 50 years.

    Rather appropriately two generations, so reasonably concordant with human longevity. Anything shorter will hit YOU in the shorts. Anything longer will hit your grandchildren in the shorts.

  169. Ray Ladbury:

    Son of Mulder, If you are not familiar with the data and the advice of the World Meteorological Organization for drawing conclusions about climate (e.g. >30 years to establish a trend), then perhaps you should devote some time to familiarizing yourself with the data and the science before trying to make definitive statements about whether we’ve turned a corner or not.

  170. Nicolas Nierenberg:

    Gavin,

    I see the 55 model simulations, thank you. What I am looking for is a reference for converting the output of the simulations to the graph that you showed. Your post says that it was done the same way as AR4. Where in AR4 are you referring to? As an example what does the 95% mean? 95% of the individual annual values from all models, two standard deviations from the mean of the individual values?

    Figure 10.29 of AR4 gives an uncertainty range for the various scenarios, would the method used for your figure converge to the same 1.7 to 4.4 value for 2090-2099 for A1B?

    [Response: all runs were baselined to 1980-1999 as in AR4. 95% refers to +/-1.96*standard deviations of the anomalies at each year equally weighted. The graphs in AR4 averaged over each model before averaging to get the mean, I didn’t and might not have used exactly the same set of runs. This method gives 1.6 to 3.5 for 2100 under A1B (mean 2.7 deg C), which should correspond roughly to the AOGCM 5-95% line in fig. 10.29. But that goes from ~1.8 to 3.7 eyeballing it, not the values you quote. – gavin]

  171. Rod B:

    Igor Samoylenko (157), a very astute and impressive discourse… There is one minor but overlying difficulty, however. You basically (and I apologize for oversimplifying your words for the sake of brevity) describe processes or a set of procedures followed by the “good” guys and the “bad” guys. All that is well and good. But, you describe the good guys as those who share your well-thought out beliefs and the bad guys as those that don’t.

    For example you could take many of Ceccarelli’s paragraphs (but, to be honest, not all) describing how the antagonists act and substitute it almost word for word to describe the protagonists. For example,

    “First, they skillfully invoke values that are shared by the scientific community and the American public alike, like free speech, skeptical inquiry, and the revolutionary force of new ideas against a repressive orthodoxy. It is difficult to argue against someone who invokes these values without seeming unscientific or un-American.”

    could just as easily be describing protagonists. (Which, BTW, would not make them “bad” guys.) I have seen in RC alone protagonist subscription to every one of those points.

    It is not easier to undermine established science. It’s not necessarily easy to undermine even established junk science, witches, 2nd hand smoke and marijuana for example. It all depends solely on where the mind of the masses of people happen to fall, and, as discussed in other posts, that is almost impossible to scientifically or logically predict.

  172. Barry Foster:

    I see that there are many here confusing what HAS happened with what MAY happen if the computer models are correct. I don’t know why some haven’t learned. The fact is that we (those of us unconnected with the fields of science) were led to believe that we would be pretty much warming up a treat by now. But that clearly hasn’t happened. Back in 1998 with the temperature peaking, I must admit that I was more than a little worried. I’m absolutely sure that if someone had informed me that eleven years later there would be no continued rise in temperature then I would have been very relieved. Of course, the temperature has actually fallen slightly. Now, why don’t some of you (the less childish ones here) be honest and admit that you didn’t think that would happen? None of this excuses Monckton or anyone else of a fabricated graph. But you people must understand that computer models are fabrications too. It’s what MAY happen. Given what’s happened in the past 10 years then I’m afraid I’m in no mood to listen to anyone who THINKS that their predictions of future climate is correct. Just two weeks ago the media were intimating to the public that a portion of the world could be wiped out by Swine Flu. At my age I’ve come to realise there are people around who strangely like to predict doom.

  173. Barry Foster:

    Ray Ladbury. Sorry, and excuse me, but that is tosh. I didn’t see any of the [edit] waiting around for 30 years to pass before saying that the world was heating up as a result of man’s greenhouse emissions. [edit] want to wait 30 years now before admitting that temperatures are not rising alarmingly. How convenient?

    [Response: Huh? 30 years ago, Jules Charney concluded that temperatures would rise by the end of the century and they did. And cut out the juvenile name-calling – it will just get deleted. – gavin]

  174. James:

    Hank Roberts Says (6 May 2009 at 0:31):

    “The old classic chemical definition of addiction led to new products that didn’t qualify as addictive…”

    Which brings up an excellent comparison example: Coca-Cola, which (by urban myth at least) originally contained cocaine. So fast-forward to the present day, when the world market for carbonated soft drinks runs into multiple billions of dollars. The soft drink industry uses marketing techniques similar to those the tobacco industry used, such as making them appear “cool” and introducing them to children at an early age. They’re likewise implicated in health problems, such as tooth decay and obesity. People who form the habit of drinking them do not (at least from casual observation) often abandon the habit…

    So, are soft drinks addictive? Why or why not?

  175. Hank Roberts:

    > addictive, just not initially.

    Exactly, it’s age-dependent. If people don’t start using the product when they’re very young, they aren’t that likely to get addicted to it. That’s the point of that six-page paper — sell to the young.

  176. Nicolas Nierenberg:

    Thanks Gavin,

    There are quite a few ranges discussed in AR4, I think the range you are referring to is AOGCMSs 5-95% (normal fit). The figure I quoted was from the last paragraph of page 810, which might correspond to the gray box in figure 10.29. (AOGCM mean plus 60%, minus 40%)

    If it isn’t too much trouble could you email me the annual values for the models that you used? I’m curious to see what the range of outcomes are in those models, and how much annual variability there is. I’d appreciate it as it must have been a bit of a chore to extract that.

    [Response: I didn’t extract these data, and the people who did requested I not distribute it further until they had finished their paper. Sorry. I recommend Climate Explorer for the analyses you suggest. – gavin]

  177. David B. Benson:

    Svet — Any cloud iris effect must be very small: interglacial 2 (the Eemian) was about 2 K warmer than now and likely interglacial 4 was even warmer.

    I suggest using the search function on this site to locate the FAQs on climate models and earlier threads regarding clouds.

  178. dhogaza:

    Now, why don’t some of you (the less childish ones here) be honest and admit that you didn’t think that would happen?

    Why should people “admit to” things they never believed? People in the know knew what “El Niño” meant back in 1998, just as today we know what “La Niña” is.

    What you’re really doing is projecting your own ignorance onto others who don’t share it.

    Coca-Cola, which (by urban myth at least) originally contained cocaine.

    Guess which corporation is the only legal importer of coca leaves today?

    Of course now, by law, they’re required to remove the cocaine and related alkaloids, but you’re still drinking a coca-flavored product.

    So, are soft drinks addictive? Why or why not?

    No, not physiologically. Nor was Coca-Cola back when it had relatively small amounts of cocaine in it, which entered the bloodstream fairly slowly through digestion.

  179. Mark:

    Barry, what are you on about? In 1998 the science reports were that this was a highly unusual and unusually hot year.

    They were not saying that was going to continue.

    The weather is following the trends with their random variability leavened on top.

    Try a little scientific rigour in your observations and you won’t appear so foolish.

  180. Theo Hopkins:

    The WMO says thirty years is the period to reveal climate trends. That is something I learned, thank you, from a reply to a question of mine, earlier, in a different RC discussion.

    However, consider the quandary I find myself in.

    I would like it that the CO2 theories of global warming were wrong. For if it was, I would get rid of my footling 1000cc Fiat, and my habit of walking to the shop each day (an hour and twenty minutes) “to save the Earth”. Then I would go out and swap the footling Fait for a BMW – taking advantage of the UK government’s “this year only” recession pump-priming £2000 for scraping a car over ten years old and buying a brand new shiny one. And I would drive to the shop. And impress my neighbour.

    So I find myself in a strange situation.

    I am torn between wanting the global temperatures to rise (thus preventing Gavin, clearly a nice lad, from ending up with egg on his face) and wanting temperatures to fall which is “good for the planet” (but this would put a big, big smirk on that awful twit Monckton’s face).

    I am praying that this year, or next year, or at least the year after that, the global average temperatures will start to rise again. Essentially I am praying for signs of disaster and dramatic evidence of this soon, for at my age, I will probably be well dead before the thirty years of the WMO is up. So, PLEASE, dear Climate God, let the temperature graph rise once more.

    So I sit by my computer watching for the latest HadCRU3t (or whatever) temperatures to come in rather like a junkie stockbroker glued to the FTSE 100 Share Price Index.

  181. SecularAnimist:

    I would just like to note that addiction is a complex phenomenon that has both physiological and psychological components, some of which are not well understood. As such it is in contrast to the basic physical mechanism underlying anthropogenic global warming, which is a fairly simple and well-understood mechanism. There are not many useful parallels between them or between respective efforts to address them through laws and regulations.

    On the other hand Rod B referred to “junk science” regarding “second-hand smoke”. And I would note that the science demonstrating that exposure second-hand tobacco smoke is dangerous and harmful is very solid, and the claim that it is “junk science” is a deliberate, calculated lie perpetuated by the same deliberate, calculating, industry-paid liars who have lied, for money, about the harm of first-hand smoke and who have lied, for money, about the reality of anthropogenic global warming.

    And as with GHG emissions, in the case of second-hand smoke it is most curious that so-called “conservatives” are so concerned with protecting the “right” of some to poison others with impunity.

  182. Theo Hopkins:

    @ 172, Barry Foster.

    If my tongue in cheek posting, which was written before I read Barry Foster @ 172, gets past the moderator (?) I have to say that I have much sympathy with Barry’s post.

    As an environmental activist who started campaigning so long ago that when if one said “Global warming” 98% of the population quite reasonably said “What’s that?” the lack of a continuing rise in global temperatures is hard to handle. Having to now say “It takes thirty years to validate a climate trend rather than the climate noise” so “please wait for the rising trend to become re-apparent” frankly makes me feel a bit stupid.

    So, I too, like Barry, would like someone at RC or with similar scientific clout, to say, “Yes, though we consider the science shows warming, nevertheless, the present dip is difficult, as we would have expected a clearer continuing rise”.

    Signed: Worried activist, England.

  183. Thomas Donlon:

    OK Dhogza. My analogy was bad. I was using the term camera filters and I was thinking of color filters in general. There are kids science kits and old 3d glasses that will filter out all light except blue or red or yellow. Doubling these up will not double the absorption on the lines they already absorbed all the light from. The NASA spacecraft site said (see my comment #140 and or link for a larger context) “The second spectral range absorbs carbon dioxide much more strongly, so much so that almost all of the light in this part of the spectrum is absorbed completely as it traverses the atmosphere. Adding more carbon dioxide produces little additional absorption”.
    So there are some wavelengths that reach maximum absorption. Perhaps Gavin acknowledged this when he mentioned the need to consider other factors like “pressure broadening” – and I don’t know what that is. The link he supplied didn’t really focus on CO2 it was about (WMGHG). I haven’t heard of that term before – but it includes a supposed increase in humidity that will accompany warming and this feedback is called “forcing”. I suppose that makes some sense – a cold winter day will have little humidity and a warmer day might be humid as the air can hold more water.

    Mark at 147 wrote, “Uh, the change from 1 to 2 filters is a doubling. A change from 0 to 1 is infinite.”

    What are you trying to say Mark? When something is 1 it is still 1. If an army has no weapons and someone gives them 1 weapon – the increase in percentage of the number of that weapon might be infinite – but it might not win a war for them. What you are trying to say and how it relates to climate or to what I wrote?

    Hank Roberts, I appreciate your chart. Now, I have to understand the effect that additional carbon has on this sequence. Does additional CO2 slow the rate of atmospheric radiative heat loss into space – and hence contribute to warming?

    Jaydee I think I understand why you arguing that incoming radiation acts differently from outgoing. The mechanism though that CO2 works on outgoing radiation – is your thinking like that I asked Hank about directly above?

    I’d like to stick to science and anyone that wants to bring up science with me – please feel free. – and lets be mature and peaceable.

  184. Rod B:

    Hank, but that is just a silly non sequitur as James kinda points out. It’s along the same lines of proving that marijuana is a gateway drug because almost all cocaine users did pot first. They also did milk first. Marketing to the young to get long term customers is indicative of almost every consumer product out there. (maybe not Depends…) It says nothing about their addictiveness.

  185. Rod B:

    SecularAnimist, you’re correct about the analogy between AGW and addiction. I can’t remember how we made that transition. Though addiction causes are not fully understood as you point out, its manifestations and characteristics were quite well defined as a practical clinical matter – until recently changed by pols and zealots.

    Sorry about the 2nd hand smoke example. I forgot for a second how that’s like waving a red flag in front of a bull. (Watch this space!) But thanks for helping make my point.

  186. Mark:

    Thomas says:

    “What are you trying to say Mark? When something is 1 it is still 1″

    Yes but when it was 0 a 1 is not still 0.

    And double 0 is what?

    Zero.

    Therefore the change of no filter to 1 filter is not the same PROPORTION of change (which is the consequence of the LOGARITHMIC addition of extinction of photons) as 1 filter to 2.

    Therefor expecting that changing from no filter to 1 to be the same change as 1 filter to 2 is incorrect.

    Double one filter is two filters, but half of one filter is not no filter.

    Therefore your “analogy” is incorrect: they are not assuming logarithmic (or geometrical) addition.

    Is this maths too complex for you? If so, I can make it even simpler.

  187. Mark:

    re 182.

    Do the maths. Fit a curve of CO2 rises to that graph. Scale that appropriately. Now subtract that modified CO2 curve from the temperature figures (you’ll need to use a log of the CO2 concentration since one is a log-linear relationship).

    Then compute the root mean square of temperature from that baseline.

    Minimise that RMS value by changing the proportionality constant.

    Now, what is that RMS difference?

    Is the dip at the end of that graph within 3 times that value from the fitted CO2 graph?

    If yes, then that is not a significant deviation from the graph: there is at least a 1% chance that it’s just random and not significant.

    And out of 150 years, you’re likely to see 1 or two such years.

    This is called a very rough statistical significance analysis to the theory that the log of CO2 concentrations is proportional to the temperature effect from that greenhouse gas.

  188. SecularAnimist:

    Rod B wrote: “… you’re correct about the analogy between AGW and addiction. I can’t remember how we made that transition.”

    It started when someone pointed out that some of the same corporate-funded, so-called “conservative” think-tanks and denizens thereof who are nowadays paid to lie about the reality of anthropogenic global warming were in the past paid to lie about the carcinogenicity and addictiveness of tobacco smoke. No analogy there, just simple fact.

  189. tamino:

    Re: #183 (Theo Hopkins)

    I too, like Barry, would like someone at RC or with similar scientific clout, to say, “Yes, though we consider the science shows warming, nevertheless, the present dip is difficult, as we would have expected a clearer continuing rise”.

    You’re mistaken. The present dip is NOT difficult and it’s NOT unexpected, it’s perfectly consistent with random fluctuations superimposed on a steady trend. In fact, it’s the nature of random fluctuations that it’s not just *possible* for apparent dips to happen for no other reason that randomness, it’s actually *inevitable*. Global warming is a trend superimposed on random fluctuations.

    If the random fluctuations stopped, and we actually saw nothing but a “clear continuing rise,” THAT would be difficult to explain. The fact is, temperature is changing exactly as it’s expected to in a warming world. The fact that is fluctuates is expected; using those fluctuations to imply that global warming isn’t real, is either ignorance or dishonesty.

  190. Mark:

    RodB, 185, what point? The only point I could see is that you will not see tobacco as bad. Rather like you won’t see human power generation from fossil fuels bad.

    When you have something other than hand-waving about how eeevil the scientists were in redefining “addictive” to include things that were chemically addictive (as in your body needed them to continue to operate normally) maybe you’ll have a point.

  191. SecularAnimist:

    tamino wrote: “The fact is, temperature is changing exactly as it’s expected to in a warming world. The fact that it fluctuates is expected …”

    Indeed, intuitively I would expect that during a period of rapid warming and consequent rapid climate change, that there would be more fluctuation than normal.

  192. Hank Roberts:

    > Does additional CO2 slow the rate of atmospheric
    > radiative heat loss …. ?

    Thomas, do you have time to read the FAQs? Lots of people will answer but none of us is likely to give you the understanding you’ll get from reading where the basic questions were answered well earlier.

    Several ways to start:

    1) First link under Science, right hand side, is a comprehensive book by Spencer Weart, with links.

    2) “Start Here” link at the top of the page.

    3) Google Scholar, pasting in your question:
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?sourceid=Mozilla-search&q=Does+additional+CO2+slow+the+rate+of+atmospheric+radiative+heat+loss+into+space+-+and+hence+contribute+to+warming%3F

  193. David B. Benson:

    Also, just now there is a protracted solar minimum, the likes of which has not occurred since 1913 CE. Despite this, 2008 CE was tenth warmest in the record. What rank was 1913 CE?

    Clearly waqrming of the centennial scale continues.

  194. Theo Hopkins:

    Tamino @ 189.

    Tamino. Thanks for your reply, but please be sympathetic to my problem.

    Now, to start with, I fully accept that an increase in CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere will – all else being equal – lead to a rise in temperatures.

    Secondly, I fully accept that there are industry charlatans out there who will do everything possible to deny AGW for reasons of profit. And there are nutters out there, as well, who genuinely consider AGW (in Europe) a soc ial*list federalist EU scam allied to eco-fascist greenies to get us all to wear knitted yoghurt hair shirts and raise taxes. (In the US you talk of big tobacco: in Europe it was lead in petrol – the “Seven Sisters” disputed the science that lead can fry kids’ brains, questioned the methodology, said lead-free would cost four times as much so bringing industrial collapse. And cars would not be able to go over 70mph. And lead free would burn out your valves and blow your engine).

    And I understand the concept of signal and noise.

    I also understand that the high temperature in 1998 was due to the occasional El Nino.

    However, the trouble is, that if you strip out 1998, the temperatures look more or less level since 1999.

    Now it could be that there is an unknown carbon sink. (Though clearly I am only postulating this as unknowns are, of course, unknowns). But there _could_ be.

    Nevertheless, how do you show the “man on the Clapham omnibus” (Being UK speak for Ordinary Joe) that there is still a problem?

    You talk of random variations, so I guess the question is when Omnibus Man asks is: could it be that these random variations are hiding a downward trend? .

    However, again dealing with Omnibus Man, can you imagine what will be going though his mind when I say “Just hang around for thirty years as that’s what the World Metrological Organisation says is trend, not a downward blip”.

    What I am asking is: how to answer very ordinary people who ask perfectly reasonable questions like “Ger offit, mate, the graphs are level. S’stopped, ain’t it?” (This being my poor attempt at the Clapham accent of south London). That is, what is my answer? That’s without having to tell the man he may have to wait thirty years for an answer. For what Omnibus Man sees is not what the professional sceptics and the Moncktons are telling him – just that he has vaguely seen some graph somewhere and has independently drawn his own “common sense” conclusions. And he then puts this “common sense” against “what scientists say”.

    ((Meanwhile I’m taking a very carefull look at HadCRUT3 for the first time))

  195. John Mashey:

    re: #182 Theo Hopkins, #172 Barry Foster

    Tamino (#189) has done many great posts on this at Open Mind.

    Just in case someone simply disbelieves temperature series, and disbelieves NASA GISS, Hadley, etc, I created a humble Excel spreadsheet example @ Dot Earth, post #114.

    It has only a few simple, visible parameters for trend and random noise. An Excel user could replicate this from the recipe in 10 minutes, and have a model they’ve created themselves with no magic behind he curtain. Default parameters make yearly noise outweigt yearly trend, which (very) grossly resembles the real world. People can play with the noise parameter to see what it takes to make downturns disappear.

    Capital Climate did replicate it, showing one run. Then he animated it, so that it repeatedly generates random runs to produce an ensemble, in FAQ here.

    a) Even in a strong bull market, stocks don’t just rise monotonically, with no dips.

    b) In going from Spring to Summer, noon temperatures don’t just smoothly increase.

    Tamino does much more sophisticated analyses, but
    understanding the basic idea is just minimal statistical numeracy; in some places they teach time series analysis to ~18-year-olds, so it can’t be that bad.

  196. Phil. Felton:

    Re 183
    Thomas Donlon Says:
    6 May 2009 at 3:22 PM
    OK Dhogza. My analogy was bad. I was using the term camera filters and I was thinking of color filters in general. There are kids science kits and old 3d glasses that will filter out all light except blue or red or yellow. Doubling these up will not double the absorption on the lines they already absorbed all the light from. The NASA spacecraft site said (see my comment #140 and or link for a larger context) “The second spectral range absorbs carbon dioxide much more strongly, so much so that almost all of the light in this part of the spectrum is absorbed completely as it traverses the atmosphere. Adding more carbon dioxide produces little additional absorption”.
    So there are some wavelengths that reach maximum absorption. Perhaps Gavin acknowledged this when he mentioned the need to consider other factors like “pressure broadening” – and I don’t know what that is.

    Below is a plot of a portion of the CO2 absorption spectrum, the top plot is for Martian conditions and the lower for Earth conditions, the substantial broadening of the latter is mainly due to pressure.

    http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn107/Sprintstar400/Mars-Earth.gif

  197. Svet:

    Re: 177 David B. Benson

    Thank you for the reply. The “FAQ on climate models: Part II” says of clouds

    In general, models suggest that they are a positive feedback – i.e. there is a relative increase in high clouds (which warm more than they cool) compared to low clouds (which cool more than they warm)

    However, I was hoping to get some clarification on Spencer’s statements that

    A) “the main reason the models produce so much warming depends upon uncertain assumptions regarding how clouds will respond to warming”

    [Response: This is inconsistent. There certainly are uncertainties to cloud modelling, but it there is no reason why uncertainty should favour one sign of feedback over another. It’s important to note that the sign of the feedback is not plugged in as a direct input but is an emergent property of the final solution that takes into account warming, changes in stability, changes in circulation, changes in humidity – all of which are also affected by the change in the clouds. One recent paper that you might find interesting is (submitted) by Trenberth and colleagues where they note that there is a systematic under-estimate in many models cloud cover in the southern ocean region. As the planet warms, these areas generally become more cloudy and since this is low cloud, it makes the overall feedback more negative. However, if they models had more cloud to start with, then the scope for making even more cloud would be limited, and thus one would expect more realistic models to have more positive cloud feedback! Now this is just one component, and there are many complications – but assuming that error and uncertainty imply a larger feedback is just illogical. – gavin]

    B) “the warming in the models, however, is now known to be mostly controlled by the low and middle level clouds – the ‘sun shade’ clouds”.

    If only some of the effort RealClimate puts into addressing Christopher Monckton could be put into addressing Roy Spencer. Spencer suggests that climate models are “mixing up cause and effect” when they deal with clouds. Is this possible or not?

    [Response: Models don’t mix anything up – they are mechanistic models that are strictly causal – if a cloud appears it affects radiation and climate, and if climate changes than that can impact clouds. Spencer’s broader point that climate sensitivity is too high because of some analysis of satellite data is also confused. Charney’s estimate of 3 deg C, or Hansen’s estimate from the last ice age all predate substantive satellite analyses and are not affected by anything Spencer is talking about. This is not acknowledged anywhere by Spencer and is one of the reasons why his analysis is likely to be flawed (or at best, incomplete). – gavin]

  198. David B. Benson:

    Svet (197) — I’m an amateur here and just learning the meteorological aspects. But somehow I expect the modelers understand their models and certainly do not “mix up cause and effect”. Gavin Schmidt has at least two review papers (at least one co-authored) on his publications page. You could try there. Or as Hank Roberts is want to suggest, use your search engine to look for papers which address your (carefully formulated) question.

    I’m quite content to just stick with the FAQ for now.

  199. David B. Benson:

    Svet (197) (also Gavin’s response) — Regarding climate sensitivity I actually know a bit. First of all, there are many different climate sensitivites, depending upon time scale and forcing: transient climate sensitivity (TCS) is about 70 years; Charney’s equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) requires over a millenium to reach equilibrium. More recently it became necessary for me to introduce the solar cycle climate sensitivity, measured over about 5+ years; the work-up is found in the “Climate sensitivity, Shaviv and Tung et al” thread of the globalchange blog, listed in the Other Opinions section of the sidebar. Being a shorter time, the response is only about 60% of ECS; TCS is about 67%.

    Spencer, in at least one writing, estimates a climate sensitivity based on intra-seasonal data! Naturally, it is quite small and cannot, IMO, be used to provide any form of estimate for ECS, just an obvious lower bound.

  200. Son of Mulder:

    Ray Ladbury, in your #169 you didn’t answer my question from #163 ie “Is it the underlying global climate system that is too noisy or the collection method that provides that noise eg the paucity of global data and the process used to construct the numbers?”

    Between Dan in #167 and Mark in #168 they have respectively suggested 30 years and 50 years to establish a trend? Which if either is reasonable and why?

    Mark in #167 suggests a polyfit is required, why not a harmonic analysis as we’re dealing with the resultant of cycles? Also in your Hi-Fi analogy is the ‘hiss’ from the record or the amplifying system? Quite important as I’m trying to establish what is actually meant to be on the record.

    If I take the 30 year suggestion or the 50 year suggestion then to determine the trend in the most recent period I’ll get 2 different numbers which will consist of the growth due to anthropogenic effects and noise in the measuring system for which nothing has been done to remove.

    I then introduce analysis to split out say warming or cooling effects from anthropogenic/Black carbon aerosols changes since the introduction of the clean air acts etc which I’ve seen suggested could account for 70%+ of recent Arctic temperature increases ie within both the 30 and 50 year timeframes.

    When I do this I’ll see something approximating to a residual trend of anthropic CO2 driven warming something between 0.2 and 1.3 deg C per Century depending on whether the overall aerosol effect is 70% or 0%. Is this an unreasonable result? How long to wait before we can tell where reality was in this range?

    How long before Monkton will be reporting an uptick similar to his current down tick basing it on a rolling 7 years?

  201. Russell Seitz:

    As with secondhand smoke, primary emissions of CO2 afford a charming pretext for societal intervention , but the quality of the evidence, imposing or conflated, has little to do with the motives of those who choose to publicize it in the hope of imposing societal change. Like the poor, authoritarians are always with us, and their rhetoric of motives generally serves to impoverish, not enrich, scientific discourse.

    Jim Hansen’s latest letter is a case in point, but the best way to get Monckton off the subject may be to imply that his poor judgement may prejudice the good and great against his future selection as a cricket Test umpire , although one suspects a strong desire to see England’s pitches dried out by massive radiative forcing is what compels him to generate this guff in the first place.

  202. J. Bob:

    #168 – Mark writes:
    Think of bandpass removal of noise (hiss) from LP records: remove the higher frequencies and the noise reduces.
    And, having worked this out, climatologists from decades ago arrived at 50 years.

    Is that an approval of my 50 year filter on the Hadcet data, and recent downward trend?

    http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/temp_est_12-GOpNo.gif

    #189 – I think if we really look at the long term trend over the last 359+ years, it’s only 0.003 deg/year, even if the early temp were readings were off some. But how do you explain the fact that the data from then to now is “clumped” about a linear trend line, in the above figure? If there is some major move from the line, why wouldn’t it continue, instead of now flattening, or going down slightly? It still looks like a ~50 year cycle at work.

    These people who took these early readings were pretty smart, and by the mid to end of the 1700’s they were doing work to come up with the laws mass and energy conservation. Even if they were a degree or two off, the linear trend line would not change that much.

  203. Hank Roberts:

    > secondhand smoke
    … depleted uranium projectiles; tetraethyl lead; mercury; asbestos; radium paint; closing the Broad Street pump — these public health people and epidemiologists are such busybodies! Why do they hate freedom so much and keep looking for problems to exaggerate?

  204. Jim Eager:

    Re Son of Mulder @153,
    As several others have already pointed out, you are looking at a time series showing natural variation, not a trend in climate, because the length of time plotted is not long enough to distinguish a trend in climate from natural variation. Thus, as has also already been pointed out, you don’t know quite as much about statistical analysis of climate data as you think you do.

    The answer to the question you put to Ray @163 is the former:
    The underlying global climate system is too noisy to draw any conclusions based on such a short time period.

    Might I suggest that you read Robert Grumbine’s posts on how to determine the length of time required to discern a climate trend from natural variability:

    How to decide climate trends
    http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/2008/12/how-to-decide-climate-trends.html

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

  205. Hamish:

    Ray (160) i’ll think some more about it and get back to you

  206. Thomas Donlon:

    Sorry guys particularly Mark. When I used the analogy of two red filters I meant two red filters instead of one red filter – whereas it appears some of you thought I meant two red filters as opposed to zero red filters.
    I didn’t write down clearly what I was thinking. Starting at one red filter and then adding another red filter has limited affect – except if forcing gets figured in – then the equation has more variables. Mark correctly pointed out that an initial amount of something is an infinite percentage increase compared to further additions. Mark may or may not want to extend that observation to rising CO2 levels.

    Phil. Felton I am just opening the link you provided
    http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn107/Sprintstar400/Mars-Earth.gif
    I don’t see a particular notation to CO2 absorption lines as you suggested. How do I know this isn’t rather the (WMGHG)(Well Mixed Green House Gasses) spectral transmission? This chart corresponds to WMGHG rather than just CO2 as you stated – correct?

    Hank Roberts, I opened up the 22 links on the start here page. That should keep me reading for a while. However, I’ve been told that this people on this website have made up their mind. Now, people at other skeptic websites have made up their minds too. What is the best course of action if I read these links and find problems with them? Should I discuss them with you guys – or should I should just go elsewhere?

    Is everyone here very alarmist? There is a spectrum of people in the world. Some scientists seem to think that the earth is going to burn up and spawn 100 foot rises in sea level and produce hyper-hurricanes in the next century – and that it is almost too late to do anything about climate change. Other people see just a little more warming and a rise of maybe a meter or so of sea level – other people fear that we are heading into a mini-iceage due to the present quieting sun.

    I also fear that there has been a political stifling of opposition to global warming concerns. This observation that prominent skeptics of AGW are stifled made me suspicious. President Obama and others say the “science is settled” and others think climate science is in its infancy.

    Some people think a quieting sun and a new “maunder minimum” will counteract rising temperatures. Views are all over the place.

    22 links? I will try to read them all. Is there a particular link or set of links that mostly covers the important information? Is there a particular website that has the most up to date information that best presents the AGW argument without dumbing down or engaging in hyperbole?

    I’ve got to weigh through all the arguments on ice sheets and also account for probable volcanic activity known or unknown that underlies the ice sheets. I’ve got to get a good handle on CO2 levels not only from the past 600,000 years but maybe the last 200,000,000 years. Temperature changes – have these taken place in the past – are they driven by CO2 – and or do CO2 levels rise because the oceans warm and then it releases more CO2? – A dangerous forcing scenario?

    I guess I’ll work out these questions.

    The quest for energy independence often rides parallel to global warming concerns. I have become an AGW skeptic over the last six months or so – but I still want to see these breakthroughs in Solar technology revitalize our energy usage. Futurists see solar benefiting from nano-technology. There is a solar Moore’s law that is driving the price of solar energy lower each year. Some promising breakthroughs are underway in energy storage.

    I just hope the country doesn’t get into too big a fight over carbon credits and the like that we miss the ball on incorporating new cheaper nanosolar power into our energy mix – and eventually coal will be too expensive – because solar will be so cheap.
    That is my opinion.

  207. James:

    SecularAnimist Says (6 May 2009 at 16:07):

    “It started when someone pointed out that some of the same corporate-funded, so-called “conservative” think-tanks and denizens thereof who are nowadays paid to lie about the reality of anthropogenic global warming were in the past paid to lie about the carcinogenicity and addictiveness of tobacco smoke. No analogy there, just simple fact.”

    There you have the problem: you have two statements, one – carcinogenicity – demonstrably true, the other the product of a social outlook that redefines the concept of addiction away from any sensible meaning. My point here is that you don’t bolster your argument re the denizens of think tanks by including such a debateable (even by someone as anti-tobacco as I am) assertion. It serves only as a distraction – as I think we’ve amply demonstrated :-)

  208. Hank Roberts:

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.html
    It’s worth the effort.

    Then: http://geodoc.uchicago.edu/

  209. Chris Colose:

    Hi Svet,

    Concerning your comments about clouds:

    There are several hypotheses as to how clouds will respond in a warmer climate, many of the more popular ones actually deal with higher clouds. Linden’s IRIS hypothesis asserts that warmer temperatures cause the area coverage of higher clouds in the tropical upper troposphere to decrease. Precipitation efficiency certainly increases with warming – we all agree on that, but so too does the amount of condensed water, and so at the same time the amount of water pumped up into the upper troposphere increases, and the IRIS paper only looks at one side of the picture. Dennis Hartmann and others have forwarded a “FAT hypothesis” which involves a heightening of the high cloud top with minimal temperature change, which would be a positive feedback. We have data showing thinning of lower clouds as it gets warmer which would mean a lower albedo, although there’s probably lots of issues there as well. The jury is still out on this subject, and as others noted, if an IRIS mechanism exists it is probably not very strong…we have paleoclimate data which puts constraints on the overall sensitivity that doesn’t make a strong negative feedback plausible. You do need a positive cloud feedback to get to the mid to higher ranges of the IPCC sensitivity though, and that is the main reason for the +/- 50% uncertainty bounds on the central estimate of 3 C…and as gavin noted, it is +/-, not just – as some skeptics would like you believe.

    Roy Spencer has forwarded this idea of an “internal radiative forcing” which essentially (as I understand it) allows clouds to act as a forcing agent, by changing independently of the base climate on long timescales. His alleged “erroneous assumptions” are in assuming the clouds are responding to warming, rather than vice versa, but I agree with gavin that this isn’t the case. It can’t be the case based on how feedbacks are even treated as models, which emerge from the model physics. One can also say “why isn’t the Arctic sea ice just melting on its own which causes a lowering of albedo that causes warming” but we don’t tell ice to melt in the model (or not to melt)… we just don’t see long term trends in an unforced climate. I am partially receptive to the idea that an unforced climate can exhibit trends on climatological timescales (perhaps a positive AO’ish like state takes some ice out of the north which reduces albedo), but the Holocene provides fairly strong evidence that such mechanisms are not very large.

    There are lots of “fingerprints” and methods showing a high CO2 signature and probably not much to do with changes in sky albedo (decreases in the diurnal temperature gradient, stratospheric cooling), and I don’t think Roy Spencer will show otherwise.

  210. Phil. Felton:

    Re 206:
    Thomas Donlon Says:
    6 May 2009 at 11:45 PM

    Phil. Felton I am just opening the link you provided
    http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn107/Sprintstar400/Mars-Earth.gif
    I don’t see a particular notation to CO2 absorption lines as you suggested. How do I know this isn’t rather the (WMGHG)(Well Mixed Green House Gasses) spectral transmission? This chart corresponds to WMGHG rather than just CO2 as you stated – correct?

    No, they are the high resolution spectra of CO2 in N2 at the appropriate concentrations for the two planets at the pressures and temperatures shown (approx surface conditions).

  211. Mark:

    Donlon says:

    “When I used the analogy of two red filters I meant two red filters instead of one red filter – whereas it appears some of you thought I meant two red filters as opposed to zero red filters.”

    Well then your analogy doesn’t work.

    There’s no doubling at all. Just the change from 1 to 2 filters (the colour of the two filters doesn’t matter, why would it? the effect doesn’t affect any colour that the filter doesn’t filter so an infinite number of filters would not change a thing for the ranges not filtered).

    You’re going to have to look at an analogy that displays the same characteristics as “a doubling of the concentration of CO2 produces a constant change in the temperature forcing”.

    Your analogy now only has one resulting difference and you can’t call it a constant change in result since you only have one result and you can’t compare one result with itself since that is by definition, a constant. One.

  212. Mark:

    JBob (202), no it is an ANALOGY. You know what that is, don’t you?

    Gives you why such a 50-year summation has an effect that reduces noise.

    In climate averaging, that high level noise isn’t removed, but added together and averaged, therefore any randomness or signal that isn’t a long-term trend will average out.

    Do you have some sort of problem with statistics?

  213. Mark:

    Russel Seitz, AGW may be a golden opportunity to the ecologists to take on.

    This doesn’t mean it’s false.

    [edit]

  214. Mark:

    the truth is out there.

    In 200 he (sorry, Son of Mulder) says “Between Dan in #167 and Mark in #168 they have respectively suggested 30 years and 50 years to establish a trend? Which if either is reasonable and why”

    Well, between 30 and 50 years.

    At the shorter end you may not be able to ignore the effect of one suprisingly strong El Nino. At the longer end, you may not have enough points in your graph.

    Much less than 30 and you are talking weather.

    For paleoclimate, 100 year averages are used. There’s plenty of centuries in a million years. And that rate is still enough to get the rise and fall of the Ice ages as a CURVE rather than a discontinuity.

  215. Mark:

    Theo asks “You talk of random variations, so I guess the question is when Omnibus Man asks is: could it be that these random variations are hiding a downward trend?”

    It could, but what is the reason for the downward trend.

    It wasn’t enough for AGW to say that CO2 caused warming, the DEMAND was that such a change be seen in the temperature records. When it was seen, the DEMAND was that we see if it stuck around and wasn’t just a blip.

    Now you want to say it’s cooling.

    Well, the DEMAND should continue, should it not? Just because you think it cooling doesn’t mean it’s not climate.

    So let’s start RIGHT at the beginning.

    1) What is causing a cooling (hypothesis)
    2) Does it explain the degree of cooling (test of hypothisis)
    3) Does something else explain it better (counter proposal)
    4) Do you have to modify your hypothesis
    5) Does the temperature profile show your hypothesis is right (proof)

    You haven’t gotten #1 yet.

    And #5 will have to remain for at least 20 years. That’s how long it took for people to stop saying “there is no global warming” to “there IS global warming, but we aren’t doing it” to “there IS global warming, we are doing something to it but we aren’t doing that much”.

    Given there are still people (like yourself) who claim this global warming isn;t true still, 50 years may be required.

  216. Chris S:

    Theo, Son of Mulder and others who are focussing on the recent “cooling trend” may want to have a look at the paper quoted here: http://mind.ofdan.ca/?p=2332#more-2332

    As Dan states: “This isn’t a particularly difficult concept to grasp”

  217. Theo Hopkins:

    John Mashey @ 195.

    John directs me the site “Open Mind”. (For which I thank him).

    Now, forget, please, for a moment the content of that site, but consider its name – “Open Mind”.

    For “Open mind” is just the word (or phrase) I have been looking for.

    On this site there is a tendency for people who are uncertain about some aspects of global warming, or like me aware that, stripping out 1998 El Nino temps, and seeing _at the moment_ the graph is roughly horizontal, to be lumped in with the sceptics/sceptics and thus seen as lackeys of the Heartland Institute or even worse, supporters of the vile Viscount Monckton. In other words, the word “sceptical” has become poisoned.

    So this is my position:

    I understand the core idea of CO2 pushed atmospheric warming.
    I understand that there can be signal and noise.
    I understand that temperature rises will fluctuate. Up a bit, down a bit.
    I expect that in due course the temperatures will continue upwards.

    Nevertheless, there is a small section of my mind (note a _small_ section) that is labelled “open minded on AGW” alongside the big section that says “AWG is gospel”.

    Please note. I will continue to keep my footling little 1000cc Fait car, and “eco-drive” it as well, and not go out and buy the 2,500cc BMW I desire and drive around leaving tyre smoke behind me. My actions speak louder than my words.

    But I will, until the temps continue rising, keep a very small section of my mind labelled “Open Minded Section”.

    Should I not?

  218. Theo Hopkins:

    On albedo.

    Sitting here eating my breakfast of toast and marmalade, a question on albedo passes through my mind.

    Why is it that toast made with brown bread takes longer to toast than toast made with white bread, when brown bread should have a lower albedo?

    Does this disprove AGW?

  219. Geoff Wexler:

    Re #180 Theo Hopkins

    I think that Tamino (and many others) have answered much of your comment already, but I recommend that you look at e.g. some more of Tamino’s writings.

    Even if you understand the following already , the same may not apply to all your readers. First it will not be necessary to wait another 30 years to determine whether global warming is continuing . Secondly your phrase

    I am torn between wanting the global temperatures to rise….

    implies that you have been looking at the recent data in a particular way. For other ways see:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/01/31/you-bet/

    and #165 on the following thread
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/04/full-ipcc-ar4-report-now-available/

    [That only refers to statistically significant fits, even if you include insignificant ones, the evidence is not as clear as your remark suggests].

  220. Mark:

    “Why is it that toast made with brown bread takes longer to toast than toast made with white bread, when brown bread should have a lower albedo?”

    Because toasting is a chemical reaction, not a mere temperature one.

  221. Mark:

    “Nevertheless, there is a small section of my mind (note a _small_ section) that is labelled “open minded on AGW” alongside the big section that says “AWG is gospel”.”

    So do you have a small side that says “two plus two equals four” and another huge section that says “maths is gospel”?

  222. Igor Samoylenko:

    Rod B wrote in #171:

    It is not easier to undermine established science.

    I think it is, if one’s aim is to simply create confusion and stir up a controversy in the minds of the general public rather then actually try and contribute to climate science to move it forward. Monckton’s fabricated graphs are all good examples of this.

    Theo Hopkins wrote in #194:

    I also understand that the high temperature in 1998 was due to the occasional El Nino.

    El Nino/La Nina cycles alternate as you can clearly see here:

    http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/people/klaus.wolter/MEI/ts.gif

    El Nino in 1998 was strong but we also had strong El Nino’s in 1991, 1987, 1981 etc. So it is not that occasional.

    However, the trouble is, that if you strip out 1998, the temperatures look more or less level since 1999.

    And if you strip out the recent La Nina, you get a lot more warming. So what?

    John Mashey wrote in #195:

    re: #182 Theo Hopkins, #172 Barry Foster

    Tamino (#189) has done many great posts on this at Open Mind.

    Indeed. Here is the graph of residuals – differences between each year global mean and the smoothed value (a lowess smooth) using GISS data:

    http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/resid.jpg?w=490&h=361

    It is clear from this graph that we are currently below the long-term trend. It is also very clear from the graph that there is nothing unusual or exceptional about it and are unlikely to stay below the trend for long (see the full post at Tamino’s Open Mind). As Tamino pointed out, staying bang on the smooth trend line will be very unusual indeed and hard to explain.

  223. tamino:

    Re: Theo Hopkins

    Keeping an open mind is a good thing.

    As I said before, since temperature is a noisy variable it’s not only *possible* to have periods of apparent “levelling off,” it’s actually *inevitable*. Global temperature is changing in exactly the way we expect it to; if such episodes of apparent stalling *didn’t* happen, THEN would we suspect something’s misunderstood.

    If I said “Today was not as hot as yesterday, so global warming has stopped” then you’d know I was either fooling myself or trying to fool you. So would Omnibus man; you both know that it’s possible for noise to give a false impression of a trend, and that one day isn’t nearly long enough to be reliable evidence. When the denialists do is play on the (false) belief that a few years, even a decade, *is* long enough — it isn’t. They also regularly show ONLY the time span that makes their claim look good. It’s really no different than characterizing temperature change by this graph (or even this one).

    The bottom line is: you’re seeing noise and interpreting it as a possible signal. That’s mistaken. So how do you separate signal from noise? There are statistical tests, but that won’t satisfy “Joe the plumber” (American Omnibus man) it will only confuse him. You need to reduce the noise level in the simplest, most comprehensible way possible. You’ll find one attempt to illustrate this in this post. You may find it useful to copy this graph and/or this graph.

    Of course we should keep an open mind about things. But we shouldn’t doubt global warming unless there is some *evidence* for doubt. At present, there’s none. Not even a smidgen. There’s plenty of ways to make it *look* like there’s evidence, but none of them stand up to scrutiny. None.

    Open mind: good. Removing brain: bad.

  224. Geoff Wexler:

    #219 , #220

    (OFF TOPIC)
    According to Wikipedia and other sources the process is a Maillard reaction which occurs when sugar is heated in the presence of protein. It follows that your observations (#219) need to be qualified by control of these variables (quantity of sugar etc.). In fact other people obtain the opposite results as in :

    http://www.greenlivingtips.com/articles/48/1/White-bread-vs-brown-bread.html

    Thus the albedo mechanism is just one of several, just as in the climate example.

  225. Kevin McKinney:

    On another topic, I’ve run across a citation to a new paper by one of the “usual suspects,” Craig Loehle. He’s trying to rehabilitate “ocean cooling.” It’s in Energy & Environment (surprise, surprise) and is paywalled; anybody had a go at it yet?

  226. Jeffrey Davis:

    There are theoretical bottlenecks to hurricane formation that prevent hurricanes from increasing solely due to an increase in temps. Now, we know that clouds can’t completely eliminate fluctuations in temps or else we’d never have the kinds of temperature swings we see in the geological record. But is it possible that clouds could simply dampen the effect in a non-linear way. The forcings due to greenhouse gases are an order of magnitude larger than the forcings from Milankovich cycles, but could cloud formation act as an upper limit for the rate of temperature increase the way that wind shear and a decline in temperature gradients are thought to constrain hurricane formation?

  227. Ray Ladbury:

    Theo Hopkins, try as I might, I cannot get the trendline for the period 1997-2008 to come out negative. The only way I come close is to pick 1998 as my starting year and 2008 as the end–and then I get a flat line…a cherry-picked flat line that starts during a big-assed El Nino and ends in a big-assed La Nina…in an extended solar minimum. If such extreme cherrypicking is what is needed to even get a flat trend, shouldn’t that tell you something.

    On your breakfast. Uh, did you weigh the two slices of bread? Before and after toasting. Water content? Are you sure your breakfast is the only thing that’s toast? ;-)

  228. Mark:

    re 226, no because you’d have to say why these cloud forcings didn’t occur in the past. There is no evidence that there is so significant a negative feedback from clouds in the historical data and no theory that would mean they would occur now.

    You can’t go all “The science is complex and we need proof of warming” then come up with such unsupported tosh.

  229. SecularAnimist:

    James wrote: “… the other the product of a social outlook that redefines the concept of addiction away from any sensible meaning.”

    With all due respect you don’t know what you are talking about. Tobacco is one of the most powerfully physiologically addictive substances known to science. It is far more addictive than heroin or cocaine. If “addiction” has “any sensible meaning” then that meaning most certainly includes tobacco. In fact tobacco might well be considered a paradigmatic example of addictiveness. Tobacco addicts are able to function because tobacco is not an intoxicant and its use does not cause acute dysfunction as do alcohol, heroin or cocaine. But tobacco is more addictive than any of those substances and of course it is also highly toxic.

  230. Chuck Booth:

    A bit off topic, but this segment from the Daily Show with Jon Stewart (for those not familiar with the Daily Show, it is broadcast in the U.S. on the Comedy Central cable television network) illustrates how a supposedly educated person (a HS physics teacher) can be shockingly ignorant of basic science and math (in this case, probability), and how the media portrays science and alleged scientific controversy (the danger of the Large Hadron Collider). If I were a gambler, I would bet that the HS physics teacher featured in this video is an AGW skeptic.
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=225921&title=large-hadron-collider

  231. Hank Roberts:

    Gavin’s right that there’s no question about tobacco. Look it up– talking points on addiction from the industry _have_not_changed_.
    Copypasting from the script is thoughtless.
    http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/15/suppl_4/iv27

  232. Hank Roberts:

    And be careful who you trust for information–they do lie to you:
    http://pt.wkhealth.com/pt/re/phnu/abstract.00006620-200811000-00009.htm

  233. Chuck Booth:

    While there are clearly a few meteorologists around who are skeptical of AGW, here is one, Bob Ryan, from an NBC affiliate in Washington, D.D., who does a good job of explaining the science behind AGW theory in six-part series of blog entries:

    http://www.nbcwashington.com/weather/stories/Bob-Ryan-Global-Change-Series.html

    Links to his follow-up entries can be found at the bottom of the page. I’m sure he enlightened a few readers, but obviously not this one who wrote (in response to the final entry):

    Hello Mr. Ryan: Please visit this link for an excellent discussion of the current controversies over AGW and Governmental policy by Christopher Monckton …. He makes an extremely logical presentation regarding the last 7 years of “global cooling” …
    http://www.nbcwashington.com/weather/stories/Bob-Ryan-on-Global-Warming-Part-6.html

  234. llewelly:

    Thomas Donlon #206:

    Some scientists seem to think that the earth is going to burn up and spawn 100 foot rises in sea level and produce hyper-hurricanes in the next century – and that it is almost too late to do anything about climate change. Other people see just a little more warming and a rise of maybe a meter or so of sea level – other people fear that we are heading into a mini-iceage due to the present quieting sun.

    ‘… earth is going to burn up …’?

    As temperate and subtropical zones become both warmer and drier, they will become more fire prone. This probably a strong contributing factor in severe fire seasons seen recently in both Australia and California. However as far as I know no-one takes seriously the possibility of soil, rock, or dirt catching on fire (with the obvious exception of coal power).

    ‘… 100 foot rises in sea level …’

    The Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) contains water equivalent to 7.2 meters or 23.6 feet of Sea Level Rise (SLR). The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) contains about 6 meters or 20 feet SLR. There is a 700,000 year CO2 record derived from ice cores which shows only two previous interglacials in which CO2 levels exceeded 290 ppm. In both cases, CO2 did not exceed 310 ppm. In both of those warm interglacials, sea levels were 4 – 6 meters, or 13 – 20 feet higher. The water may have come from GIS, or WAIS, or some combination thereof. Either way – the difference between 280 ppm CO2 and 310 ppm CO2 results in substantial melting of these ice sheets. Presently, CO2 is at about 386 ppm.

    If the warming from 310 ppm CO2 results in 4 – 6 meters (13 – 20 feet) SLR, what sea level rise should be expected from 386 ppm CO2? What about 450 ppm CO2, the level at which most planners expect to stabilize CO2 levels at? I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect 8 to 12 meters (25 – 40 feet) SLR from prolonged CO2 levels at 450 ppm. Fortunately – most ice sheet experts think the melting time for GIS and WAIS is at least 100s of years, and much more likely 1000s of years. Greenland can’t melt in a day. Serious estimates of how much SLR can be expected by 2100 seem to cluster around 1 – 1.5 meters (3 to 5 feet) , if CO2 emissions continue unabated, and substantially less if CO2 emissions are quickly reduced to zero.

    As far as I know, there are no serious climate scientists who expect ‘100 foot rises in sea level’ in the next few centuries. Any sea level rise above about 40 feet requires substantial melting of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS), which is higher in altitude, and more isolated from global weather systems than WAIS. There are indications from paleoclimatology that there was extensive ice in east Antarctica in the distant past when CO2 levels substantially exceeded 450 ppm. Substantial melting of EAIS is unlikely – perhaps even in in worst-case burn-all-the-fossil-fuels scenarios. Keep in mind most of EAIS has a year-round average temperature well below -40 C.

    ‘… produce hyper-hurricanes in the next century …’

    Kerry Emanuel and other scientists have shown hurricanes are roughly speaking, Carnot engines, and therefor, the intensity of a hurricane is strongly affected by the temperature difference between the top (which is usually near the tropopause) and the bottom (which is at the ocean’s surface). Climate models show the oceans will warm, and the tropopause will cool in all likely global warming scenarios. If other hurricane-affecting conditions remain similar, this will result in greater average intensity of hurricanes. However – most scientists seem think this intensity increase will be on the order of a few percent by 2100. I don’t know of any serious hurricane or climate scientist who thinks a few percent stronger hurricane can be called a ‘hyper-hurricane’.

    To put this in perspective – the Northwest Pacific region has category 5 hurricanes about 9 times as frequently as the Atlantic, or about 3 category 5 hurricanes each year. This is much larger difference in intensity than is expected to result from global warming. Yet no one calls the hurricanes of the Northwest Pacific ‘hyper-hurricanes’, and nations like the Philippines, Taiwan, China, Japan, and others in the region maintain some degree civilization despite the ferocious storms. (Remember the terrible Atlantic hurricane season of 2005, with its 28 tropical storms, 15 hurricanes, 7 major hurricanes, and 4 category 5s? Well, in the Northwest Pacific, that level of activity is normal, and has been for centuries at least, and probably since the end of the last glaciation.)

    Should I go on? Do I need to point out that your remarks are full of strawmen?

  235. Theo Hopkins:

    I am delighted that my honest perplexity has got so many posts in reply that recognise that I am perplexed, not a “sceptic”. For which I thank you.

    Looking up the more public-friendly pages of the UK’s Met Office/Hadley Centre web site I come across the HadCRUT3 data. I will print out one of their graphs (I can’t “think” on a VDU screen, and detail gets hidden) get a pencil and play with things.

    I note that the HadCRUT3 data is being constantly updated.

    First question. Is it possible for anyone, using the data of this year to the end of April, to say _at this point in time_ how the global temperature is looking for this year?

    Another question. RC posters, the public and the media often look to “signs” of global warming; polar bears morosely marooned on ice floes, catastrophic Katrina, drought in the Sahel, the disappearance of snow from Kilimanjaro. Am I correct to say that I should ignore all of this and _only_ look to the published, if boring, global temperatures, such as HadCRU, etc. Am I right that noting else is really of consequence?

  236. James:

    Theo Hopkins Says (7 May 2009 at 5:23):

    “Why is it that toast made with brown bread takes longer to toast than toast made with white bread, when brown bread should have a lower albedo?”

    Does it really take longer? Have you done the timing needed to acquire a statistically significant data set? How are you measuring “toastedness”: if it’s by color change, there’s a ready explanation for why toasting seems to take longer. Toasting turns the bread brown, and that color change is more apparent against a white background than a brown one.

  237. Chuck Booth:

    Theo Hopkins Says (7 May 2009 at 5:23):

    “Why is it that toast made with brown bread takes longer to toast than toast made with white bread, when brown bread should have a lower albedo?”

    Shouldn’t the albedo for infrared radiation should be near zero for white and brown bread alike? It is my understanding that surface color has no (or so small as to be negligible) bearing on absorption or reflection of IR radiation.

  238. Chuck Booth:

    Re # 237 Correction – should have been:

    Shouldn’t the albedo for infrared radiation be near zero for white and brown bread alike?

  239. James:

    SecularAnimist Says (7 May 2009 at 10:01):

    “With all due respect you don’t know what you are talking about. Tobacco is one of the most powerfully physiologically addictive substances known to science.”

    Now you see what I mean when I say we’ve proved that your claim serves only as a distraction from the real issue?

    Rather than prolonging the discussion, let me just ask one simple question: if tobacco is as powerfully addictive as you claim, why is it that many people are able to quit simply by deciding to, with no more than the mental effort needed to change any other habit?

    In case you think I don’t know what I’m talking about, perhaps I should add that I’ve been there and done that. Started smoking in early teens (in the days before tobacco advertising was restricted at all), decided to quit my first semester in college, did so without great difficulty – certainly nothing even remotely approching the physiological effects of e.g. narcotics withdrawal.

  240. Ray Ladbury:

    Theo,
    My recommendation is not to trust your eyeball exclusively. Look at trends and their siginficance. Fit the data to a line and look at the sign of the slope as well as the goodness of fit (e.g. chi-square, R-Square, likelihood)

    As to climate in general, it is about trends, not events. That we lose an ice shelf is not news–that we have lost several ice shelves in ~20 years is. That Arctic sea ice has an anomalously low year isn’t news; that it’s been declining steadily throughout the last 30 years is. That Spring came early this year isn’t remarkable, but that the data of last frost has steadily gotten earlier and earlier for 30 years…

  241. Theo Hopkins:

    Toast and albedo.

    I am of the impression the cut surface of brown bread is coarser than that of white.

    Wikipedia tells me that fresh snow has a higher albedo than old snow. Is old snow smoother than new snow. Could this be the reason?

    [Response: No. it’s related to the size and shape of the ice crystals. – gavin]

  242. Mark:

    “why is it that many people are able to quit simply by deciding to, with no more than the mental effort needed to change any other habit?”

    James, why is it so very many more cannot quit at all, if it isn’t addictive?

  243. MikeN:

    Any thoughts on the NYT’s article about a town destroyed by global warming? Is this a valid scientific conclusion?

  244. Chuck Booth:

    Re 241 Theo Hopkins

    The wavelength of IR radiation is also a factor. Fresh snow has a high albedo for solar IR (wavelength ~ 0.8-2.5 um), but a low albedo (i.e., it absorbs) terrestrial IR (wavelength > 3 um). I would expect the heating element in a toaster to emit shortwave IR, and I would expect this radiation to be strongly absorbed by both white and brown bread. I’m sure one of the physicists in the audience will correct me if I am wrong.

    Sorry for continuing an off topic thread.

  245. dhogaza:

    Rather than prolonging the discussion, let me just ask one simple question: if tobacco is as powerfully addictive as you claim, why is it that many people are able to quit simply by deciding to, with no more than the mental effort needed to change any other habit?

    Because the response isn’t uniform among all individuals, and this is true for many other addictive drugs, as well.

  246. Hank Roberts:

    > many people are able to quit simply by deciding to
    Citation needed for that, or if you’d like to use the one provided, the older you are when you try it, the easier it is not to continue.
    See 6-page 1981 RJReynolds memo on importance of younger adults, above.

    [Response: Enough – this is the last word on nicotine and addiction. – gavin]

  247. Thomas Donlon:

    Phil Fenton:

    The absorption spectra for CO2 that you linked to is for the 750-755 cm-1 part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Is this part of the spectrum representative of the entire spectrum or is it anomalous? Is this the only part of the spectrum applicable (or relevant) to infrared heat retention?

  248. Rod B:

    Mark, my point was to Igor that it is not easier to upset established science or even junk science.

    I never said tobacco was not “bad.” I said it is not addictive (under the old clinically accepted definition).

  249. Mark:

    RodB, no it is much easier.

    You even managed to undo it by using words in new and interesting* ways

    * as in unusual or the old curse “may you live in interesting times” way.

    What was the clinical accepted definition, how did it change and why was tobacco not under the old definition?

  250. Kevin McKinney:

    The real question for rapidity of toasting is the sugar content of the bread. I’d guess that correlates weakly with white.

    FWIW.

    So, anyone read that Loehle paper I asked about? (2009, E & E, ocean cooling.) I’d love to know just why it’s a pile of junk. . . presuming, as I do, that it is.

  251. Mark:

    Theo, 235, please think before you post. To begin with someone may not know how much they do not know. And so answering REALLY DUMB questions isn’t a chore.

    But if the petitioner were not to learn how little they know and, like, EDUCATE THEMSELVES and just kept walking into lampposts saying “Why does my face keep hurting???” We’ll give up picking them up and saying “Watch where you’re going” and start taking bets on when they’ll walk off the cliff. A useful real-world test of the random walk.

    You see the bar at the top? See the “Start Here” button. Click it. Follow the links. Read, learn and come back enlightened or at least with more relevant questions.

  252. Theo Hopkins:

    As the science of toast is now confusing to me, please consider how much more difficult I find the science of climate change. And consider that in both cases I have to bow to the expertise of others as experts, so I am vulnerable to deliberate mis-information from profesional sceptics or just the misinformation of the ill-informed if it comes my way.

    (But I do know what is, and why there is, the wurzel in a bender – which probably none of you folks do. Smirk.)

  253. Thomas Donlon:

    llewelly, It was hyperbole when I said some scientists think the earth is going to
    “burn up”. I did see some previews for TV shows that dealt with a six degree celsius rise in temperature. The preview was very alarming. It might have been a National Geographic program.

    I was clearly wrong when I thought some scientists were predicting 100 foot rises in sea level this century. A quick google search showed Al Gore has used the 20 foot sea level rise figure. So I will accept that as a maximum amount offered by some scientists. You are thinking we will probably get a 3-5 foot sea level rise since that is what the majority of scientists are saying.

    I did recently see a tv show on hyper hurricanes hitting the East Coast in the past few thousand years – they raised the alarm that maybe we could get even stronger ones soon if CO2 levels keep rising.

    Some skeptics like my self have become wearied that every rise in projected temperature is correlated with negative consequences and never positive consequences. More droughts, more storms, more deserts, more flooding, Atlantic current cessations followed by freezing conditions in the Northern hemisphere.

    Climate changes will be good for some areas too. What is wrong with a greening Canada, a greening Alaska, Greenland and Siberia?

    I think the historical record shows that hurricanes are not more prevalent than they were in the past. Are we getting information from different sources – or does each camp in the discussion decide to ignore certain information? I just read about an ancient huge snake found in South America that would have needed warmer temperatures to survive than what we have now. Some experts were surprised that there still could be a rainforest in such hot conditions.

    This link below was rather surprising for me to read on an observed 800 year time dissonance between ancient warming and CO2 levels.
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/co2-in-ice-cores/

    I think it is important that we don’t dismiss outright any variables. Sometimes nature surprises us. We know volcanoes in Iceland have caused melting. A Greenland hotspot can too. Let’s think deeply and not jump to conclusions too fast. It is only when we refuse to think and refuse to change (when appropriate to change) that we become dogmatic and overbearing.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22246005/

  254. SecularAnimist:

    Thomas Donlon wrote: “What is wrong with a greening Canada, a greening Alaska, Greenland and Siberia?”

    For one thing, a “greening” Greenland means the Greenland ice sheet melts, which could raise sea levels disastrously.

    And worse, in a “greening” Canada, Alaska and Siberia, the permafrost in the frozen tundra will thaw, releasing huge amounts of methane, which is a far more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, causing unstoppable catastrophic warming.

  255. Theo Hopkins:

    Mark @ 215

    You wrote:

    “Given there are still people (like yourself) who claim this global warming isn;t true still, 50 years may be required.”

    I never made a claim that global warming isn’t. Check any or all of my posts.

    But what I find worrying is that as I am _perplexed_ because of the teperature graph not rising consistently on a year-on-year basis, you have _assumed_ I am a sceptic. I’m not. I am merely “perplexed”.

  256. James:

    Mark Says (7 May 2009 at 14:28):

    “James, why is it so very many more cannot quit at all, if it isn’t addictive?”

    Why do some people have trouble breaking any habit, even habits that don’t involve ingesting any sort of chemical at all? As for instance (to try to bring the back to something at least remotely related to climate), why do some people become compulsive shoppers? I’ve even seen it referred to as “shopping addiction”?

    To return to my original point again, this is why the claim would better be avoided: because you run up against a major philosophical divide. It’s like arguing that AGW is caused by evil capitalism, when discussing the subject with a free market conservative :-)

  257. James:

    Thomas Donlon Says (7 May 2009 at 16:27):

    “We know volcanoes in Iceland have caused melting. A Greenland hotspot can too. Let’s think deeply and not jump to conclusions too fast. It is only when we refuse to think and refuse to change (when appropriate to change) that we become dogmatic and overbearing.”

    OK, so how about doing some thinking, coupled with a little arithmetic? Figure out just how much volcanic activity it would take to produce observed warming, then explain how that could possibly have gone unnoticed?

  258. dhogaza:

    Climate changes will be good for some areas too. What is wrong with a greening Canada

    Boreal forest is slowly dying up there … strange, I would think Canada would be greener with its boreal forest than it will be with a broad swath of dead brown trees.

    That’s just me, though.

  259. t_p_hamilton:

    Donlon said:”I was clearly wrong when I thought some scientists were predicting 100 foot rises in sea level this century. A quick google search showed Al Gore has used the 20 foot sea level rise figure. So I will accept that as a maximum amount offered by some scientists. You are thinking we will probably get a 3-5 foot sea level rise since that is what the majority of scientists are saying.”

    Al Gore was not claiming 20 feet this century.

    At current rates, sea level will rise about 1 foot in this century. Recent research indicates accelerated glacier melting that could make the rate be much higher in this century, in the range of 3-5 feet total by 2100 that you use.

    The 20 foot figure is the total rise from melting all the ice on Greenland.

    “I did recently see a tv show on hyper hurricanes hitting the East Coast in the past few thousand years – they raised the alarm that maybe we could get even stronger ones soon if CO2 levels keep rising.”

    More category 4 and 5 are what are predicted, and that is plenty enough.

    “I think the historical record shows that hurricanes are not more prevalent than they were in the past. Are we getting information from different sources – or does each camp in the discussion decide to ignore certain information?”

    Some campers don’t seem to understand the difference between a larger number of severe hurricanes, and more total hurricanes.

    “I think it is important that we don’t dismiss outright any variables. Sometimes nature surprises us. We know volcanoes in Iceland have caused melting. A Greenland hotspot can too. Let’s think deeply and not jump to conclusions too fast.”

    A deep thinker would ask – how much melting from volcanoes? The answer – not so much (that thought has already been thunk, and stunk).

  260. Phil. Felton:

    Re 247:
    Tom Dingaling Says:
    7 May 2009 at 3:36 PM
    Phil Fenton:

    The absorption spectra for CO2 that you linked to is for the 750-755 cm-1 part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Is this part of the spectrum representative of the entire spectrum or is it anomalous? Is this the only part of the spectrum applicable (or relevant) to infrared heat retention?

    You asked about broadening, that part of the spectrum shows broadening typical of the rest of the absorption band.

  261. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Barry Foster writes:

    Of course, the temperature has actually fallen slightly.

    Please remove the hyphens and read:

    http://www.geocities.com/bpl1960/Ball.html

    http://www.geocities.com/bpl1960/Reber.html

  262. Thomas Donlon:

    t_p_hamilton,

    You are apparently correct about Al Gore and his 20 foot sea level rise. I googled “Al Gore” and the words sea level rise – and the phrase 20 foot appeared in many of the hits. At your prodding I researched it some more and I didn’t find anywhere that Al Gore predicted the rise in this century. Al’s critics on the Google search asserted said that he used the word “soon” in his film when talking about a 20 foot rise of sea level – and that he has again used the phrase but rather in talking about the outcome if we lost Greenland ice – without specifying a time frame.

  263. dhogaza:

    But what I find worrying is that as I am _perplexed_ because of the teperature graph not rising consistently on a year-on-year basis, you have _assumed_ I am a sceptic. I’m not. I am merely “perplexed”.

    Grab yourself a fair coin and start flipping. Perhaps when you notice that you don’t get a precisely alternating heads,tails,heads,tails etc sequence yet after a few hundred flips are extremely close to a 50%-50% distribution you’ll stop feeling perplexed.

  264. Ray Ladbury:

    Thomas Donlon asks: “What is wrong with a greening Canada, a greening Alaska, Greenland and Siberia?”

    Thomas, ever hear of the Canadian Shield? It is what was left after the glaceirs scraped away all the topsoil and brought it down to Minnesota, Wisconsin, even Kansas. Ever hear of the cos(theta) law–it says the light decreases with latitude as roughly the cosine of the lattitude.

    Ever hear of Google? As Hank says, you can look this stuff up for yourself.

  265. J. Bob:

    #212 Mark
    Yes I know, but I couldn’t resist.

    You are assuming that all “noise” is random, and be averaged out. Which is true if it’s ideal “band limited white noise”. Unfortunately not all noise is “white” but can have periods of “non-randomness” due to what ever. For instance if Joe decides to have a week long cook out, across the alley from the NOAA weather station, and if the wind is right, Joe will introduce 2-4 day noise pulse into the system that will not average out. Or if a iron foundry goes up a block away from a NOAA weather station, runs for ten years and goes out of business. Here a ten year pulse is added, and will not be averaged out. So there are many disturbances, or “noise” out there that are not even recognized. You can call in the “central limit theorem” to say that it will average out, and move on, recognizing it’s limitations.

    The reason I like to use the Fourier Convolution method is that it give a more precise look if there are any periodic influences on the temp readings we have. Is there something new or just a natural earth cycle? Just using statistics done not seem to give as direct an insight that the Fourier analysis does. By adjusting the “kernel” or filter, I can easily look, or for, single or multiple waves or repeatable occurrences. This method does a better job then more classical signal processing, in that phase delays are reduced.

    As far as statistics go, I have no problems with that. I have been through enough 3-sigma performance specs to last a lifetime. However I think that the Fourier method give a more direct insight as to what is going on. As I stated in the earlier post, using the Fourier analysis, showed a peak or slight down trend in current global temps. Tamino’s, use of averages, keep right on going up after 2000. Which analysis is closer to reality?

  266. Thomas Donlon:

    Phil. Felton,

    You did a good job in researching this stuff for me. I’ll guess you are a scientist that specializes in this stuff.

  267. Jim Eager:

    Re Thomas Donlon @262, why not look at a transcript of An Inconvenient Truth to see exactly what Gore said?

    Here you go:
    http://forumpolitics.com/blogs/2007/03/17/an-inconvient-truth-transcript/

    “I want to focus on West Antarctica, because it illustrates two factors about land-based ice and sea-based ice. It’s a little of both. It’s propped on tops of islands, but the ocean comes up underneath it. So if the ocean gets warmer, it has an impact on it. If this were to go, sea levels worldwide would go up 20 feet. They’ve measured disturbing changes on the underside of this ice sheet. It’s considered relatively more stable, however, than another big body of ice that is roughly the same size. Greenland

    In 1992 they measured this amount of melting in Greenland. 10 years later this is what happened. And here is the melting from 2005. Tony Blair’s scientific advisor has said that because of what is happening in Greenland right now, the map of the world will have to be redrawn. If Greenland broke up and melted, or if half of Greenland and half of West Antarctica broke up and melted, this is what would happen to the sea level in Florida.”

    I’ve compared this transcript to the DVD sound track and it is accurate.

    “If this were to go….”
    “If Greenland broke up and melted, or if half of Greenland and half of West Antarctica broke up and melted”

    Note that no time span what so ever is mentioned or even implied.

    Yet there is no shortage on the blogosphere of those asserting that Gore explicitly stated “in this century.”

    Why would you have any confidence at all in those who would lie to you about something this easy to check?

  268. David B. Benson:

    Thomas Donlon (206?) — For the last 50 million years, largely due to the rise of the Himalayas, CO2 has been turned into carbonate, lowering concentrations (on average) with temperatures following. Here are two temperature graphs:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:65_Myr_Climate_Change.png
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f5/All_palaeotemps.png

  269. John Mashey:

    re: 255 Theo, perplexed

    You saw my mention of tamino in #195.

    Did you look at the animation I suggested?

    Various people have tried to explain this fundamental idea in various different ways.

    Instead of just telling us you’re perplexed, how about addressing the various explanations and saying specifically why you don’t find them convincing. “Perplexity” is not an actionable description for helping people improve their explanations.

  270. Rod B:

    Igor (222), I still think I disagree, but you do have a good point.

  271. Rod B:

    SecularAnimist (229) Holy Toledo! You have no limits. It’s astonishing. This is a waste of time, but I’ll ask anyway. How do you account for the maybe 50+ million people who have stopped smoking the past 40+ years with minimal fuss. Per chance are you jumping into the nicotinic acid neuron connection ditch?? …too??? I’m supposed to believe your assertions on AGW??

  272. dhogaza:

    I googled “Al Gore” and the words sea level rise – and the phrase 20 foot appeared in many of the hits.

    People lie on the intertubes, just like in real life! I’m SHOCKED, I say, SHOCKED!

    Now ask yourself why these lies rise so high on Google when you search, rather than what he actually says.

    It’s not Google’s fault.

    Could it be a concerted RWingnut ploy to discredit his message, just as they did when they said he claimed to “invent the internet” (which he never did), etc?

  273. Kevin McKinney:

    Theo,

    A more climate-specific reason why we don’t see a steady rise in global temperatures is that other factors besides CO2 are important to temperature. The GHG forcing will dominate over time because it’s the only one being driven in a linear fashion by our ongoing “emissions program.” But variations in albedo (due to a number of different causes, from aerosols to land use changes to sea ice melt) will still continue to affect temperatures, as will changes in solar radiation, and changes in ocean current patterns, etc.

    As a recent real-world example, James Hansen’s 2008 climate summary on the GISS site attributes the slightly cooler 2008 temperatures in part to the slightly decreased radiation associated with the prolonged solar minimum. There’s a fairly detailed discussion there of various factors affecting the temps that you may wish to check out.

  274. hengav:

    Tamino,

    Now that you have accepted the past 7 years as a natural deviation from a constantly warming atmosphere, perhaps you could explain what phenomenon causes this? One would assume that whatever natural effects must surely be greater and thus “smoothed” as a result of global warming.

  275. James:

    Ray Ladbury Says (7 May 2009 at 19:33):

    “Ever hear of the cos(theta) law–it says the light decreases with latitude as roughly the cosine of the lattitude.”

    Also remember that basically the same law applies to surface area, something concealed by the usual Mercator map projection. That means that as the temperate zone moves polewards, there’s significantly less land area in that zone.

  276. Mark:

    JBon, 265.

    Odd that you are all over this for ABSOLUTE accuracy yet when you were using bandpass theory in your earlier graph attempts to “prove” that there is now a cooling and little correlation between temperature and CO2, you were using a bandpass filter of months, not decades and despite repeated attempts to get you to address that this isn’t an ACCURATE way of DOING the analysis (I’m using it as an ANALOGY, not as instruction on how you do it, unlike you), you ignored all requests.

    I take it you’re going to go back to your analysis and redo your work based on what you’ve said now… yes?

  277. Mark:

    Teo 255, you’re using weasel words: “I never made a claim that global warming isn’t. Check any or all of my posts.”

    No, you just say “but doesn’t THIS mean that it’s wrong?”.

    It’s doing the denialist creed whilst saying “I’m not *saying* it’s wrong, but…”.

    Don’t use weasel words. People are smart enough to spot them, it’s just that most people are too polite to tell you off when using them.

  278. Mark:

    Kevin, 250, I suspect it is more because the white bread is made from more refined flour and the access to the carbohydrates to both combustion and digestion is higher.

    The reason why grazing animals have a problem with eating grass isn’t that the carbohydrates are hard to digest or poor but that they’re bound inside the plant walls and they must rely on bacteria to open them up.

    We have less problem because we use boiling water to break up the plant and make the vitamins available.

  279. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Thomas Donton writes:

    We know volcanoes in Iceland have caused melting. A Greenland hotspot can too.

    Let me get this straight. You’re blaming the melting of the Greenland ice cap on volcanoes???

  280. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Theo Hopkins writes:

    I am _perplexed_ because of the teperature [sic] graph not rising consistently on a year-on-year basis

    CO2 isn’t the only thing that affects temperature in a given year. Besides the other greenhouse gases, it is also affected by changes in sunlight, cloud cover, surface albedo, aerosols, and the heat exchanges between the atmosphere and ocean. It’s not going to be a smooth curve upward. It never has been.

  281. Mark:

    re 274 “Now that you have accepted the past 7 years as a natural deviation from a constantly warming atmosphere, perhaps you could explain what phenomenon causes this?”

    Natural variation.

    Rather like the height of any single human will be ABOUT the 5’8″ average for males, 5’2″ for females (and since there are about equal numbers of each, the average of all humans would be 5’5″) finding someone who is 6’3″ doesn’t mean that human heights are being forced upward.

    And why this carp about “what phenomenon causes this”? Uh, maybe a confluence of a thousand phenomena all acting without trend or purpose reinforced each other and made a drift from mean.

  282. Ray Ladbury:

    Theo Hopkins,
    You’ve no doubt heard that as a long-term investment, stocks pay a significant dividend over most other investments, right? OK, so did you sell your stocks at the bottom of the market because they weren’t rising steadily? Here’s an investment tip: that’s not how you make money.

    There’s a story about somebody asking Andrew Carnegie what the market would do. Carnegie replied, “It will fluctuate, my boy. It will fluctuate.” Over time, though, companied do make money and as GM dries up and dies Google takes up the slack. There may be big fluctuations, both up (think tech bubble) and down (housing crash). Likewise, you get big fluctuations in WEATHER that may last several years. Overall, though, if there is a steady forcing like CO2 that keeps pushing upward, the fluctuations keep happening but at a higher mean value. So, the average temperature is significantly higher this decade than last and last decade than the decade before.

  283. Son of Mulder:

    Thanks for replies to my earlier comments. I’ll rephrase my earlier question about noise in the global temperature time series data.

    1. What level of noise is generated in the measuring process?
    2. What level of noise is there in the actual climate?

    I can understand something like the effect of a volcanic eruption or asteroid hit being classed as noise in the climate system.

    I can understand gridsquare size, urban heat island effects and human error causing noise in the measuring systems.

    What other causes of noise defined are there in each of climate and measuring systems?

    Is there noise that is unaccounted for and what’s its level?

    Has the overall level of noise in each process increased, decreased or stayed the same on say a 150 year basis?

    I assume anthropic climate effects would not be classed as noise in the climate as that’s what we’re trying to establish. Is this a reasonable assumption?

    Are historic global temperature time series produced that have had all known noise removed from them? If so where are they published?
    What would be a reasonable period in such series to enable a reasonable measurement of trend?

  284. Mark:

    “1. What level of noise is generated in the measuring process?”

    What makes you think there is noise introduced by the measuring process?

    “2. What level of noise is there in the actual climate?”

    There’s no noise in the climate wrt climate, but there’s weather effects rather than climate effects in the data used.

    “I can understand something like the effect of a volcanic eruption or asteroid hit being classed as noise in the climate system”

    And how about “an unusually strong El Nino”?

    “What would be a reasonable period in such series to enable a reasonable measurement of trend?”

    30 to 50 year meaning period. You read any of these posts? That’s been answered about 15 times so far on this thread.

  285. wayne davidson:

    #282, Ray, Theo is trying to say that AGW should form a continuous rising temperature trend. With proper statistics , applied for a long period, it actually is. Despite variations, El-Nino and La-Nina driven or not, the Arctic has been showing such a feature, in over all Arctic Ocean ice thickness.
    Which also varies, but with a more sharper downward trend than temperature. Sea Ice extent is more tricky and depends on many factors, especially dominant wind variations (even ENSO plays a role with it) . Again, every thing varies, wind, sea and air temperatures, cloud extent. even the TSI (slightly), everything. except gravity and the rotation of the earth. So it does not come as a surprise, that there is a variation, but a closer study of climate sensitive metrics, like sea ice thickness confirms a mathematical trend with Global temperature, this should hopefully convince…

  286. Mark:

    “#282, Ray, Theo is trying to say that AGW should form a continuous rising temperature trend.”

    The question I have is: why? Why would everything

    If I were to push him off the top of the empire state building he wouldn’t fall down in a proper f=ma trajectory. He’d bounce off the walls for a start. He’d wave his arms about going “AAAAARRRRHHHGGGGG!!!!” which would affect his speed.

    As he falls down, the wind whistling past his face will make his cheeks wobble and ripple. His clothes will bell and wave in the stream. Yet those ripples shouldn’t exist if airflow follows the nice curved lines of classical lamellar flow.

    Since his cheeks will ripple, can he ignore the ground coming up at him because he can’t be falling since there shouldn’t be any ripples on his cheeks or shirt?

  287. Mark:

    “#282, Ray, Theo is trying to say that AGW should form a continuous rising temperature trend.”

    Stand in the wind with a sheet between your arms. Despite the wind blowing in a straight line, the sheet bells and snaps.

    What’s causing that?

    Theo is wasting your time.

  288. J. Bob:

    #275 –Mark

    Easy Mark, my call letters are J. Bob. Now my example about noise is that, while mathematically correct “band limited white noise” should have a zero mean, real “noise”, or “disturbances” may not.

    I’m not sure where the “ABSOLUTE accuracy” term came up, as it was not in my last post. My figure below, should have the spectral plot (b) labeled as cycles/year. That would mean I was cutting off freq. above 0.02 cycle/yr (50 yr periods) off to see what the lower freq. were doing. So this ~50 yr cycle showed up. This seemed to replicate what is going on now, and a previous cycle in the 1700’s. And in the future I would like to do more analysis in this.

    http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/t_est_05-NVRm1.gif

    However your comment about using Digital Signal Processing-DSP (of which band pass filtering is a part of) is not a accurate way of doing things, is interesting. Then why do they use it financial trading, such as commodities, bonds, stocks etc.? Very simply, it’s another tool to make a dollar. If it didn’t work, they would not use it. Personally I used it for inertial platforms, used in orbit injection, and instrumentation, where tolerances were below arc-sec/sec., and that goes back to the mid sixties. If it was good enough for DOD an NASA then, it should be good enough now.

    So just why do you think it’s not a “ACCURATE” way of doing analysis? There are many books and handbooks out there, authored by smarter people then you or I, who might disagree with you. Cooley and Tukey, who developed the FFT, for starters. Instead of being critical the DSP, look into it, you just might end up liking it. And you will have another tool to analyze the climate.

    [Response: It is well known that all frequency-domain filtering techniques must contront the same critical problem, how to deal with the non-unique nature of the inversion back to the time domain near the boundaries of the time series. How have you dealt with this issue in your analysis? There are many papers in the climate literature devoted to precisely this issue. See for example my own article in GRL from last year on this very topic. -mike]

  289. Ray Ladbury:

    Son of Mulder:
    A variety of factors contribute to noise–volcanic eruptions, ENSO, PDO and other oscillations, fluctuations in total solar irradiance, clouds, etc. and on and on. Many of these noise factors are rather complicated and not completely understood. However, noise, by its nature fluctuates–it goes up and down. Rising CO2 levels, however, provide a monotonic upward forcing about which all these oscillations. Thus you’d expect the current decade to be warmer than the last and the last warmer than the one before that. That is in fact the case. From historical data, we expect a steady forcing like CO2 would take ~30 years to stand out prominently from the noise. It does.

  290. Theo Hopkins:

    Wayne Davidson wrote, @285, of me:

    “Theo is trying to say that AGW should form a continuous rising temperature trend.”

    If there were a continuous rising temperature, then things would be much clearer. I understand, however, that there are fluctuations, so one has to do some statistics to the annual average temperatures. I also understand there is El Niño and La Nina. Nevertheless, the graph, at this moment, is somewhat flat.

    But please leave this aside for the moment.

    What does increasingly concern me is that to some posters on this discussion that if I show the slightest glimmer of doubt on temperature trends, I am cast as a lackey of the Heartland Institute and/or pig ignorant.

    So please consider, with empathy, the mental journey I am on.

    Once upon a time I believed in global warming. I was an environmental activist. I was part of what was probably the first large-scale street demo to raise awareness of climate change in London. That’s 20 years ago.

    Since then, “sceptics” have turned up. There voice is often quite powerful, so I found I needed to find out more about AGW than just accepting what scientists say as gospel. A “yes it is”/”no it isn’t” argument is of little use. You have to use science. So I started to read things such as RC, which discuss the science as opposed to, say the Met Office site, that just say “This is the science”.

    At this point I start to find things are not so clear cut as I had imagined. A good example is the two recent discussions on aerosols. Seeing that aerosols are the main counterbalance to CO2 induced warming, I was most surprised to find that scientists working in the field of aerosols were saying that presently often the science was very poorly understood, there were great holes in the data, and the uncertainties were sometimes so vast that potentially they could nearly counter AGW where it is now. Basically, things are not as clear cut some posters here say, even though everything points upwards on the long term temp graph. I have only just discovered this aerosol stuff: previously I would have expected the aerosol stuff to be as solid as the CO2 stuff – but at the moment, it is not

    So there is stuff that makes me wonder. Stuff that perplexes me.

    But maybe what is happening is that things are getting polarised so climate scientists are assuming public doubt about any aspect is a “skeptic” attack, when it merely honest questioning.

    The other day I was talking AWG with a colleague who shares a hobby. He is a retired professor of marine biology but came into that field from a background of extreme pressure engineering (so he knows about bottom of the sea stuff, including methane clathrates, etc). When I challenged AWG with him on a particular thing he went into a highly unexpected and a fairly aggressive “defence mode” as if I were a fully paid up by Exxon professional skeptic. I have to assume that he has had to deal with so many non-scientists who deny AGW that he did not “listen” to my quite detailed, and very genuine, question.

    Please do not confuse genuine enquiry and challenge to the orthodoxy as political denial and “professional skepticism”.
    ………………
    PS. I will choose to write British “sceptic” when I mean genuine doubt and the US spelling “skeptic” when I mean the likes of Heartland. ‘Cause the paid skeptics are mostly American.

  291. Mark:

    Thanks mike for your better response than I would make to #288.

    Signal analysis wasn’t a big part of my degree, though I did do an awful lot of units, signal processing was only a small part of a unit that was really intended for electrical engineers.

  292. James:

    Theo Hopkins Says (8 May 2009 at 10:37):

    “What does increasingly concern me is that to some posters on this discussion that if I show the slightest glimmer of doubt on temperature trends, I am cast as a lackey of the Heartland Institute and/or pig ignorant.”

    I think this is at least in part due to frustration with a lack of basic understanding of the science of AGW. There seems to be a widespread belief that the logical process of discovery is

    1) Scientists observe rising temperatures;
    2) Scientists observe rising CO2;
    3) Scientists conclude that 2 causes 1.

    So of course those who want to call AGW into doubt start by attacking 1. However, that’s almost irrelevant, because the real logical process is

    1) Scientists study properties of CO2, and observe that it blocks IR radiation;
    2) Scientists observe that CO2 is rising;
    3) Scientists predict that 1 and 2 will cause rising temperatures;
    4) Examination of temperature records shows good agreement with the predictions.

    As for the variation over periods of a decade or so, consider a smaller-scale parallel. Annual temperature variation is caused by Earth’s orbital tilt, no? So we should see a sin wave temperature pattern, rising in summer, falling in winter – and if we don’t look too closely that’s just what we see. But by this model July should have fairly constant temperature, when instead there’s considerable day-to-day and week-to-week variation. (Especially around here, where the rare July snowstorm can be followed a week later by 100 degree highs :-)) Does that mean that there’s something wrong with our model of the seasons?

  293. Son of Mulder:

    In #284 Mark asked “What makes you think there is noise introduced by the measuring process?”

    Because if I use a thermometer in my garden to measure average temperature there and extrapolate it to the whole planet I think you’d consider that was unreasonable because it would differ from averaging temperature at every point on the planet. Now the difference between real average T and the results obtained by me in my garden or other measuring authorities would be noise to me in the time series introduced by the measuring method.

    Then Mark said “There’s no noise in the climate wrt climate, but there’s weather effects rather than climate effects in the data used”.

    Compare that with the list of noise items that are provided by Ray Ladbury in #289.

    Mark then asked “And how about “an unusually strong El Nino”?”. I’d say that wasn’t noise but just an observable in the climate system.

    I’d consider variations of solar irradiance as suggested by Ray as a noise generator.

    As such El Nino may have some noise in it.

  294. Ray Ladbury:

    Son of Mulder, since climate consists of longterm trends, and an El Nino lasts on order of a year, you would be incorrect in assigning El Nino to climate. Systematic changes of ENSO over time would qualify. Think trends over time, not events.

  295. John Mashey:

    re: #290 Theo

    “I also understand there is El Niño and La Nina. Nevertheless, the graph, at this moment, is somewhat flat.”

    Theo: if you can say this after all the other posts…

    Have you yet looked at the Excel model I suggested? If not, why won’t you do that? If so, can you explain why you still say “the graph is flat” as though it means something?

    Let me assume,for a little while yet, that you are truly sincere and perplexed. When you come basically quoting standard anti-science memes long debunked, and seemingly won’t go study anything that would help you learn better, you simulate a denier well, because you seem to apply (classical) skepticism to the real science, and none to the anti-science.

    A real skeptic learning a new might well say:
    a) The scientific consensus seems to be X
    b) But, there seems to be some data that is contradictory, or else I don’t understand. Here’s my list: A, B, C.

    For example, at one point, some satellite data seemed to contradict the ground data, and at one point was a perfectly rational concern. (I.e., one or the other, or both, must have been wrong. Turned out to be some of the satellite computations.)

    Now, I’ll work down the list, study each one, or see if new data arrives. A real skeptic crosses them off. A denier then says, “ahh, but D”, and when D gets knocked off, “ahh, but E”.

    But let me assume you’re sincere:

    You need to do two things:

    a) Build a coherent basis of knowledge in the real science, to whatever level of detail is adequate.

    One 200-page general book might satisfy you, in which case I’d recommend:

    David Archer, “The Long Thaw”, 2008.

    and if you want a second, that overlaps, but illustrates some other issues (including especially Chapter 18, and the general process by which ideas become hypotheses and maybe real theories, in the presence of imperfect data), get:

    William Ruddiman, “Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum”, 2005

    Plunging into the blog maelstrom is *not* the way to start, especially if you don’t yet have the background to assess what people are saying. Even at RC, it’s too much like trying to understand a long-running dramatic soap opera by picking a few episodes at random.

    b) Learn to recognize disinformation, and have a good place to quickly look up something you don’t understand … and then start asking in blogs.

    Read through the list at
    Skeptical Science, and every time you see something that perplexes you, go there and see if there’s an entry.

    So far, you’d want to look at #9 [1998] and #45 [aerosols].

    For more detail, see here at RC.

    Until you can at least get to a) and b), you are defenseless against folks like Monckton…

  296. Theo Hopkins:

    If I were to push him (That’s me, Theo) off the top of the empire state building he wouldn’t fall down in a proper f=ma trajectory. He’d bounce off the walls for a start. He’d wave his arms about going “AAAAARRRRHHHGGGGG!!!!” which would affect his speed.

    No. As I plummeted down, I would shout out at each window, “So far – so good!”. (There is probably some mileage in this attitude for skeptics?)

    I’m obviously not putting my points acrosss in the right way. My partner would probably concur. She has one of those fancy PhD things. My skills are painting pictures – arty stuff. I’ll stay out of this discussion until I consult with her. Sleep well.

  297. Mark:

    The truth is out there and asking:

    “Now the difference between real average T and the results obtained by me in my garden or other measuring authorities would be noise to me in the time series introduced by the measuring method.”

    No, that would be because your thermometer is not global in size. Therefore you are not measuring the earth’s average temperature with it in your back garden.

    “Compare that with the list of noise items that are provided by Ray Ladbury in #289.”

    Compare with climate not weather. When you quote someone, do you ever read what you quote first to make sure you don’t look like a dork?

    “I’d say that wasn’t noise but just an observable in the climate system.”

    But it isn’t a climatological event, it is a weather event.

    Hence, noise. It gets in the way of the signal.

    Read up on EDGE technology and Frequency-based CDMA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code_division_multiple_access

    Anything not coded to your access channel is noise.

  298. J. Bob:

    Mike – Good question. I took a look at your paper. I believe what you are doing is breaking the time series down in to what we used to call “sectioning”, for large increments of data. Am I reading you right? As I mentioned in an earlier post, I gave my Matlab and toolboxes away long ago, so I have a somewhat simpler system now, EXCEL spreadsheet and VB macro. Hence I had to “barrow” the FFT from Steve Smith over at http://www.dspguide.com

    for my simple analysis.

    That being said, the end conditions, or “leakage” was evaluated during checkout of the method. That is a known input, sine waves initially were converted to the freq. domain, and then inverted back to the real domain, and compared to the input. That looked OK to two significant digits, particularly at the end points. Also the 350+ year Hadcet yearly data checked the same way. In this case, the end points were the same to about 2-3 significant digits. So much for the quick & dirty checks.

    One of the simplest methods to reduce leakage would go to the monthly Hadcet data rather the yearly average which I used. Then the “distance” from the end points is greater. Another would be to add a “Hamming”, or “Hanning” (2 different windows) window. One method Leif Svalgaard used at WUWT is truncating the end points in specific segments. He used for looking at the spectra plot of solar activity. The last method we used to use was to “pad” the end points. That is extend the interval of interest with added “synthetic” data. One of the simplest was to extend these points is with a linear extension of the data (low noise). In the case of high noise, superimpose a random signal on the linear extension.

    However in my case I would increase the data points from yearly to monthly, and see how they compared. Another interesting check would be to go with multi-pole recursive low pass filters, (i.e. Chebyshev) and see how they compare at the end.

    Your comments?

  299. John Mashey:

    re: #294 Ray
    The “weather-vs-climate” binary dichotomy is commonly used, but I’m increasinglyconcerned that it may not be an optimal way to explain it.

    Colloquially, few people have a problem attaching the term weather to daily changes, especially local. I think most are fine with multi-decadal average changes being climate changes. ENSOs and other ocean oscillations cause people trouble.

    In general, given a continuous range (as in this case, a duration), one must be careful to assign discrete labels in ways that make sense. If you tell someone “weather or climate”, a plausible next question is: “going from 1 day up, at what point does weather suddenly become climate? why there?” Ugh, at that point, the listener may be psychologically anchored into confusion.

    I’d rather tell people something like (but simpler):

    Things happen on time-scales from a few minutes up, we usually call the shorter ones weather, which is very noisy/unpredictable.

    When we get to 5 or 10 year averages taken 20-30 years apart, we can find statistically significant changes in climate.

    In between are ocean oscillations (like ENSO, PDO) that last one or more years and can have widespread effects. Colloquially, people might call them climate, but they are more like weather, because the the random jiggles average away over longer durations.

  300. Ray Ladbury:

    John Mashey, of course, the real definitions of climate and weather are:

    Weather–what it’s doing outside right now

    Weather forecast–what we think the weather is going to be from tomorrow to 10 days from now

    Then you have seasons and finally climate. Personally, I think climate ought to be defined in terms of a confidence level for the trend–e.g. 30 years gives you about 90% confidence that you can really pick out a sore thumb like greenhouse warming from the noise. A lot of climate would take considerably longer than 30 years. It’s not a definition that the average person would relate to, but it’s precise. Of course, that leaves us with nothing to call weather on all the interim time periods other than noise.

  301. Mark:

    re 299.

    How about “It’s been a really hot summer this year”?

    For decades, centuries even millenia, it’s been used.

    It also shows how with climate one swallow does not a summer make.

  302. Mark:

    re 298, why did you use a cutoff of frequencies below less than 1 year? It is still including weather.

    Why not use a lowess filter on it and look at the graph?

    Or scale the log (CO2) growth and fit it to the best fit of the graph and see how much residual there is and whether they can be explained?

    In fact, why did you pick FFT as an analysis at all? You also have not shown what physical process your “analysis” is indicating. As many have said, correlation is not causation. They also miss of causation implies correlation.

    Where is your causation that your “analysis” finds?

  303. Mark:

    Theo, what causes your cheeks to wobble as you fall down?

    Does not knowing what each wobble you feel or each flap and snap of your shirt mean you can consider that the ground getting closer isn’t really a problem? That because we cannot explain why your coat snapped just THEN means that we cannot say you will go SPLAT! on the ground?

  304. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Son of Mulder writes:

    Are historic global temperature time series produced that have had all known noise removed from them? If so where are they published?

    Try using moving averages. 5-year, 10-year, 20-year, 40-year. See what happens to the curve.

  305. J. Bob:

    #301 Mark
    The term “mizu no kokoro” is Japanese, meaning “a mind like water”. Calm water like a calm mind reflects reality.

    What I was referring to, in my reply to Mike, was using finer time increments of one month, rather then the one year increments, in the Hadcet data, I initially used. This would reduce the “leakage” or discontinuities at the end points. And yes I have checked it out with some simple low-pass filters in the 0.01-0.025 freq. region. However first, I have to put together a program for calculating coefficients for higher order recursive filters. The problem with these filters is that they introduce a phase, or time, delay. This is where Fourier Convolution helps. With the low pass conventional filter, the current time period is cut off. Using a Chebyshev low pass filter, which gives a better cut-off, I have a better comparison between the shapes of the FFT and low pass filters, which I have done on a preliminary basis. Anyone who does not cross check his work with other tools, is generally asking for trouble.

    Another point is that Convolution methods, like any good tool works in many diverse areas. Analyzing temperature, stock markets, or surface profiles, in single or 2D (i.e. image), it works the same.

    As far as CO2, that is not what I am looking at. This is what I am looking at, “is the temperature on the earth going up, and if so, is this part of a natural cycle, or some other cause not explained?”. To date, for me, with the peaking or slight down trend of a ~50 year cycle, it looks like part of a natural cycle.

  306. TrueSceptic:

    Readers here will be interested to know that Monckton has responded over at Deltoid. 2 excerpts:-

    “It would be unwise to rely on “Real” Climate on any scientific matter: Schmidt, the blogger, has a substantial financial vested interest in promoting and exaggerating the “global warming” scare. A refutation of Schmidt’s latest less-than-temperate, less-than-accurate posting will appear shortly at http://www.scienceandpublicpolicy.org.”

    “Can it be, perhaps, that those who – like puir wee Schmidt at NASA, or puir wee Lambert at Deltoid – do not have the technical competence or scientific integrity to address in a balanced and reasoned manner the scientific questions I raise find it easier to argue dishonestly ad hominem than honestly ad rem? Magna est veritas, et praevalet. – Monckton of Brenchley”

    The phrase “beggars belief” seems somewhat inadequate, doesn’t it?
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/monckton_caught_making_things.php#comment-1618865

    [Response: Ha! Pottier and pottier…. – gavin]

  307. dhogaza:

    To date, for me, with the peaking or slight down trend of a ~50 year cycle, it looks like part of a natural cycle.

    C’mon, we’re still waiting for you to have a chat with tamino, a professional at analyzing time series, over at open mind.

    Why don’t you?

    If you’ve actually succeeded in overturning the work of thousands of climate scientists, don’t you want to begin convincing professional statisticians and the like, and to begin writing this up for publication in a major scientific journal?

    Fame awaits you …

  308. J. Bob:

    #305 Beginning should read: #302 – Mark

    #307 – Why? He shows temps increasing, and over the past ~8 years they have been going down, or holding. So which fits the data better? Besides, using even moving averages introduces phase or time delays.

    As far as “debating” him, I will if I have time, however spring has FINALLY arrived, and have to much outdoor things to do. Oh, how do you know I’m not a professional? Besides I’m much to humble to overturn the thoughts of all those people, they have to make up their own minds.

  309. James:

    J. Bob Says (9 May 2009 at 9:29):

    “As far as CO2, that is not what I am looking at.”

    Maybe you should? It seems that you are working backwards: see if there has been an effect, and only then think about the cause. That may be a useful tool for teasing out explanations for past behavior, but for predicting the future, it’s usually more useful to start at the beginning – with known physics – and work forwards.

  310. dhogaza:

    Why? He shows temps increasing, and over the past ~8 years they have been going down, or holding. So which fits the data better?

    It depends on whether your trying to show the wiggles, or the underlying trend. It’s the trend we’re we’re concerned about, not whether the current (or recently ended) La Niña has caused energy within the system to be shuffled around in a way that causes atmospheric temps to flatten, just as the next El Niño will cause warming beyond the underlying trend. We know that we’ll have future La Niña and El Niño (and other) events. We know we’re in a solar minimum. You, and Spencer with his 4th degree polynomial fit, and others doing similar things all have a common goal of making short-term noise appear to “refute” CO2-forced warming. You’ll drop it just as soon as the next El Niño awakens, never to be heard from again, I’m sure. Because the logical conclusion would have to become “oh, now it’s warming 2x as fast a the IPCC projections suggest!” and that would run counter to your agenda … all of a sudden short term “trends” will be too short-term to be useful.

    As far as “debating” him, I will if I have time, however spring has FINALLY arrived, and have to much outdoor things to do.

    That’s what you said a few weeks ago when you (temporarily) terminated your drive-by “oh, look, I proved it’s natural cycles!” “proof”. “Bye, I’m leaving, too busy, ta-ta!”

    Oh, how do you know I’m not a professional?

    You’re an engineer, not a statistician or scientist.

  311. CTG:

    J. Bob – so you are using a technique that will find cycles in just about any data you throw at it, and you found a cycle? That’s… interesting.

    But what is your hypothesis that lead you to assume a cyclical nature to the data? Did you have an a priori reason to suspect a 50-year cycle based on a hypothesis you were testing? Or did you just tweak the parameters until a cycle appeared?

    More importantly, what was the null hypothesis you were testing against? “The data is not cyclical” or “The data shows random variability”? This is important, because the first one implies that you already have some reason to suspect that the data is not random.

    If you take the second null hypothesis, then you certainly would not start with FFT as your analysis technique. Looking at rolling averages gives you a pretty strong hint that there is a linear trend evident, so simple regression is enough in this case – and that most certainly gives a significant result with which we can reject the null hypothesis that the data shows random variability. We can then show correlation with CO2, because we have a hypothesis that suggests we should see a correlation between the temperature increase and the CO2 increase. And whaddya know – the correlation between temperature and CO2 is significant.

    Any other analysis therefore cannot exclude CO2, because we have shown:
    a) CO2 has been increasing over the last 150 years
    b) The global temperature been increasing over the last 150 years
    c) Our knowledge of CO2 says that if a) is happening, there should be a strong correlation between a) and b), which there is

    You are assuming that there is an unknown variant driving the temperature record. However, there is a known variant – CO2, so a univariate analysis of the temperature records is just not appropriate. I suppose you could do a multivariate analysis, so that you could try and analyse the variance that is not due to CO2 – but then, that’s not what you are trying to prove, is it?

    Oh, and as for temperatures going down in the last 8 years, 2005 and 2007 were both warmer than 1998, so how exactly are temperatures going down?

  312. Ray Ladbury:

    Jbob, Just wondering. Do you think you are the only person to get a “Fun with Fourier Transforms” kit for Christmas and apply it to climate data? There are all sorts of peaks in there, but unfortunately there’s a dearth of physics. It’s pretty easy to cherrypick a couple of peaks that have the right frequency and explain a single trend. What do your Fourier transforms tell you about the cooling of the stratosphere or the fact that last frost dates are about 3 weeks earlier than they were a few decades ago?

    Also, do you really think you’ve learned all there is to know about statistics from a fricking Six-Sigma class or two?

    A good engineer is always looking to add new tools to his toolbox. The shelves for physics and statistics in yours seem pretty spare. But then to a man with only a hammer in his toolbox, everything looks like a nail.

    You claim things are cooling–and yet every year this decade has been one of the 10 warmest. Funny definition of cooling.

    You don’t go to Open Mind to “debate”. We’ve got enough Master “debaters” there already. Try going there to learn something.

  313. Son of Mulder:

    In # 294 Ray Ladbury said “Son of Mulder, since climate consists of longterm trends, and an El Nino lasts on order of a year, you would be incorrect in assigning El Nino to climate. Systematic changes of ENSO over time would qualify. Think trends over time, not events.”

    Please read what I said… “Mark then asked “And how about “an unusually strong El Nino”?”. I’d say that wasn’t noise but just an observable in the climate system.”

    I didn’t assign El Nino to climate, I said it was an observable in the climate system. Consider, how can you talk of ENSO unless there are some observables that it creates? eg El Nino, La Nina’.

    Then Mark said in #297 ” No, that would be because your thermometer is not global in size. Therefore you are not measuring the earth’s average temperature with it in your back garden.”

    Precisely, did you not twig I was using a reductio ad absurdum? Nor are the methods used historically to calculate global average temperature, global in size. They are a patchwork extrapolating readings and knitting together an ‘approximate measure of global average temperature’ which is not identical to the real thing which would be impractical to measure. The difference between real and any attempted measure is noise introduced by the measuring system.

    Also in #297 Mark said “When you quote someone, do you ever read what you quote first to make sure you don’t look like a dork?”

    I do, you clearly don’t… and I’m much more polite as well.

  314. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Son of Mulder writes:

    Nor are the methods used historically to calculate global average temperature, global in size. They are a patchwork extrapolating readings and knitting together an ‘approximate measure of global average temperature’ which is not identical to the real thing which would be impractical to measure.

    Do you understand what sampling is and that there are ways to do it reliably?

  315. dhogaza:

    Shorter Son of Mulder: “we can’t measure anything with exact precision, therefore no useful measurements can be made”.

    Just another spin on the “we don’t know everything, therefore know nothing” denialist meme.

  316. J. Bob:

    This was initially undertaken to evaluate the long term temperature trends, and if there is a basis that the recent news about global warming is a recent event, or part of long term natural cycle.

    Since the raw yearly temperature data has many short term fluctuations and disturbances, mathematical methods are used to reduce these short term fluctuations, or “noise”. That is, reduce the “noise” to see what underlying trends or information is present. It means looking at lower frequency trends, say over 30-40 years to indicate climate in the past and future. A common term to do this is to introduce, what is called, a low pass filter. Meaning, it takes the raw data, and reduces the amplitude of the higher frequencies (noise), while preserving the information in the lower frequencies. Three common methods of doing this were evaluated, each with it’s own characteristics. They are:
    Moving averages filtering
    Classical recursive filtering
    Fourier Convolution filtering

    The 350+ year temperature history from Central England was used, referred in this write up, as the Hadcet data set. This is the longest continual data set, and includes both the monthly and averaged yearly data, from 1659 to the present. Yearly data was chosen, for ease of use. First step was to establish a long term trend line, using a linear equation, to aid in analysis. This is defined as T_linear. The line was computed to minimize the mean error between the actual, T_act, and the linear estimation temperature T_linear.
    T_linear = 8.69 + 0.003*( Yr – 1659) 1659

  317. tamino:

    J. Bob, it seems to me you’ve been doing some reckless curve-fitting. Take a look at this.

  318. Son of Mulder:

    Barton Paul Levenson asks:

    “Do you understand what sampling is and that there are ways to do it reliably?”

    Yes, and that it is not ‘reliably’ but ‘as reliably as possible’. So inevitably the measuring system generates noise (which may be biased or unbiased depending on how good the correction processes are or can be) in the global record.

    I’ll turn around what I’m probing to come at it from a more direct route.

    With all the various oscillations ENSO, PDO, NAO …. and the temperature measurement processes that have been used over the years, how much of the ‘natural variation in global average temperature’ is due to real change in global average temperature and how much is due to the position of the fixed stations and the process to calculate the global average given the changes in temperature distribution because of the oscillations?

    It’s easy to envision a situation where given a change in distribution of warm areas that may arise during an oscillation they may register on more ground stations thus creating an apparent increase in temperature whereas the reality may be that the real average hasn’t changed…equally true for colder areas as well when apparent temperature falls.

    To me, such effects are noise in the measuring system not the climate.

    [Response: This is exactly what the error bars ron the global and regional average temperature series shown in the IPCC report and the underlying papers on which they are based (e.g Brohan et al, 2006) represent. They represent (in large part) the uncertainties due to incomplete and time-variable sampling (which in general become larger back in time as the usampled regions increase in extent), though there are some other components of uncertainty included as well. The warming trends are highly significant even when these uncertainties are taken into account. Note that alternative “frozen grid” estimates (where only those stations which are available over the full period are used) show essentially the same behavior. This is a good place to start (in particular, the publications cited there), if you’re looking to learn more about the surface temperature record, its uncertainties, and how they are estimated. -mike]

  319. J. Bob:

    #317 tamino
    I just posted the rest of the article, hope it all gets in. Read it, an then we can talk.

  320. J. Bob:

    #317 tamino – it was cut off by the less then equal, here is the thing again.

    This was initially undertaken to evaluate the long term temperature trends, and if there is a basis that the recent news about global warming is a recent event, or part of long term natural cycle.

    Since the raw yearly temperature data has many short term fluctuations and disturbances, mathematical methods are used to reduce these short term fluctuations, or “noise”. That is, reduce the “noise” to see what underlying trends or information is present. It means looking at lower frequency trends, say over 30-40 years to indicate climate in the past and future. A common term to do this is to introduce, what is called, a low pass filter. Meaning, it takes the raw data, and reduces the amplitude of the higher frequencies (noise), while preserving the information in the lower frequencies. Three common methods of doing this were evaluated, each with it’s own characteristics. They are:
    Moving averages filtering
    Classical recursive filtering
    Fourier Convolution filtering

    The 350+ year temperature history from Central England was used, referred in this write up, as the Hadcet data set. This is the longest continual data set, and includes both the monthly and averaged yearly data, from 1659 to the present. Yearly data was chosen, for ease of use. First step was to establish a long term trend line, using a linear equation, to aid in analysis. This is defined as T_linear. The line was computed to minimize the mean error between the actual, T_act, and the linear estimation temperature T_linear.
    T_linear = 8.69 + 0.003*( Yr – 1659) Yr from 1659 to 2008
    This is shown in Figure T_est_10, referenced below.

    http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/t_est_10-0EYxV.gif

    The error between the actual and linear estimation becomes the basis of filtering and comparison. From figure T_est_10, significant shorter term fluctuations are seen. What we are looking for are the longer term trends buried in this seeming chaotic signal.

    MOVING AVERAGE FILTERING
    The first method used a 40 year moving average low pass filter. Plot point was assumed to be in the center of the sample. Fig. T_est_11, referenced below is the result. It shows the moving average plot point beginning 20 years after the initial data (1679), and terminating 20 years before the end of the data (1988). Unfortunately this does not include the current time, the period of most interest. However, the longer term frequencies start to show more clearly then in Fig. T_est_10.

    http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/t_est_11-1PVkA.gif

    CLASSIC RECURSIVE DIGITAL FILTERING
    The second method used more classic filtering methods, using what are called recursive, equations remove the noise and short period variations. In this case a 2 and 4 pole Chebyshev filter was used. This was to maximize attenuation, or cutting off higher frequency noise or disturbances. Only difference is the 4 pole is more complicated and provides more reduction of the higher frequencies. Cut off point was set at 0.025 cycles/year, so that time periods greater the 40 years were attenuated, or reduced. Fig T_est_12 referenced below, shows the 4 pole filter reduces the higher frequencies better then the 2 pole. But this added filtering comes at a cost of distorting the filtered signal in time. This is referred to as phase change or delay. The more poles, the more noise reduction and phase, or time delay. This is particularly noticeable in the 1720-1750 time period, where the 4 pole filter reacts more slowly to the temperature drop after 1740. This also causes a problem in evaluating current temperature trends. It tells us virtually nothing about what is going on now.

    http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/t_est_12-MRJNT.gif

    CONVOLUTIONAL FILTERING
    The third method is Convolution, using the Fourier transform. Since the fast Fourier transform method is used, it is referred to as the FFT Convolution. In this case, the temperature data is transferred to the frequency domain, via the FFT. The selected frequencies are removed using a mask or “kernel”. The inverse FFT is then used to transform back to the time domain world, minus the selected frequencies. In this case, all frequencies above 0.025 cycles/year were eliminated. Figure T_est_13 referenced below, shows this and it’s comparison it to the recursive filter and moving average method. The FFT convolution removes the higher frequencies, but not at the cost of having a phase of time delay. It is also smoother then the moving average, without the short term “jumps”. It also shows data in the last two decades, which is where we are now.

    http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/t_est_13-ggCU5.gif

    Figure T_est_14 referenced below, is a comparison between just the moving average and FFT convolution method. While they are similar, the FFT has a smoother curve and highlights the periodic changes more. Again it shows the last 20 years in time. In this case, it shows a peaking and down trend around and after the year 2000.

    http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/t_est_14-QDLGD.gif

    Is there a basis for this downward trend in the FFT method? Looking at the composite global temperature, put out by http://www.climate4you.com/
    and shown in Fig T_est_15, it sure looks like it. This is important in that it is a composite of both surface and remote sensing systems such as GISS, RSS, UAH, etc. While they vary, they seem to follow the same trend.

    http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/t_est_15-nrLTG.gif

    The FFT curve from 1980- 2008 was then superimposed on the composite plot, using the 1979 point as a reference. It might be off a little, but the shape is interesting. There does seem to be a strong correlation of a downward trend. The most interesting thing is that they seem to peak at the same time, and follow each other.

    http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/t_est_16-NFyvl.gif

    Now some have asked that I back up my comments from above posts. Well here it is. These methods are well documented in various signal conditioning and imaging handbooks. Hence if anyone would argue these points, I would suggest they do the analysis THEMSELVES!!! NO references to anything such as this paper or that article, just use basic handbooks or text books. In fact I’ll give you a couple of hints “Scientist and Engineer’s Guide to Digital Signal Processing” by Steve Smith at http://www.dspguide .com, or “Handbook of Astronomical Image Processing” by Berry and Burnell. This was all done on a EXCEL spreadsheet, using the VB Macro option, on about 2-3 pages of code, so no expensive software is needed.

  321. tamino:

    J. Bob,

    Did you read my post? You really should.

    When you say, “the FFT has a smoother curve and highlights the periodic changes more,” you fail to comprehend that just because you can model, and smooth, data with periodic model functions, that does not establish periodic, pseudoperiodic, quasiperiodic, or otherwise anywhere near cyclic behavior in the signal. You can model any signal at all with enough degrees of freedom — including an elephant. That doesn’t make it cyclic. You have given us zero evidence (none at all) that any of the changes are periodic — you’ve just matched them up with periodic functions and then started talking about “highlights the periodic changes” as though there really are periodic changes. Anybody can do that, to any data whatever — it’s reckless curve-fitting.

    Your FFT curve uses sinusoidal model functions, which are bounded and can only reach their extremes at the same points at which they “flatten out.” This is a property of the functions you’re using for smoothing, which is especially prevalent at the ends of the time span — including now. That’s one of the reasons you’re so convinced there’s a peaking and down trend.

    If you used a linear fit only, then you couldn’t possible get a peaking and down trend. You can probably tell that’s not because there isn’t one … it’s because upward-pointing straight lines have no choice, they simply can’t turn downward. Well, sinusoids have no choice either, they must turn downward. It’s a property of the model functions, not of the physical signal.

    And nowhere have you addressed about the statistics of which “trend” components are significant or even possibly so and which aren’t. You use phrases like “it shows” and “they seem to follow” as though they are reliable conclusions, but utterly ignore all smoothed estimates (including your own!) that don’t show a peak and downward trend. Drawing grand conclusions based on visual inspection of a graph from some smoothing scheme is a recipe for statistical disaster.

    You haven’t “backed up your comments” at all. You’ve just shown that with enough time and enough filters, you can make a graph look like whatever you want it to.

    Please don’t be so arrogant as to object to references to “this paper or that article, just use basic handbooks or text books,” as though your reading of a few basic handbooks qualifies you to draw expert conclusions, and suggest I should educate myself with them. There’s a helluva lot more to the statistical analysis of time series than is conveyed in a few basic handbooks; the most advanced stuff is in the peer-reviewed journals. I’ve authored a few of those papers. But then, I’ve been doing this for over 20 years.

    You are yet another commenter (yes, there are lots) who finds some interesting analysis tools and thinks he’s smart enough to know better than those who have spent a lifetime working on this kind of analysis. Abandon that belief, and you’ll show us how smart you really are.

    You should read my post; it’s here.

  322. Dan:

    re: 320. “The 350+ year temperature history from Central England was used, referred in this write up, as the Hadcet data set.”

    Hello?? That’s not a *global* temperature set! The issue is *global* average temperatures, not the CET. Try using HADCRU or GISS. Good grief, the denialists are really desperate now, cherry-picking not only years but now data-sets.

  323. Mark:

    re 320, well you don’t to a fourier transform and remove monthly figures to get a ***long term*** temperature trend.

    To do that, take the monthly average temperature and for each month in a decade take the average of that month’s average over that decade.

    What you did doesn’t produce what you’re looking for.

  324. J. Bob:

    #321 Tamino – Thank you for you kind words.
    Did you ever hear of “windowing”, to reduce the end point problem? I’ll go with my notes from Cooley and Tukey’s presentation, in late 66.
    Will get back to you later, I have some fishing to do, assuming I don’t freeze to death.

  325. walter crain:

    wow, guys thanks for the discussion. i’m trying to keep up…

  326. Igor Samoylenko:

    J. Bob said:

    Hence if anyone would argue these points, I would suggest they do the analysis THEMSELVES!!! NO references to anything such as this paper or that article, just use basic handbooks or text books.[…] This was all done on a EXCEL spreadsheet, using the VB Macro option, on about 2-3 pages of code, so no expensive software is needed.

    tamino replied:

    There’s a helluva lot more to the statistical analysis of time series than is conveyed in a few basic handbooks; the most advanced stuff is in the peer-reviewed journals.

    Or, in other words, you really need to know what you are doing. Just because anyone can draw a few graphs in Excel and some can even write some VBA code to go with it does not mean these graphs will convey anything meaningful.

  327. Curious:

    #324 J. Bob:

    #321 Tamino – Thank you for you kind words.

    Assuming that’s sarcasm, I fully support tamino’s tone. No kindness toward misrepresentation, please, it may look as if there was something worth discussing.

    Besides, asking for kindness after giving “a couple of hints” (#320) for tamino’s education is also a funny request.

    Thank you, tamino and RC, for devoting your time to the exhausting task of debunking the never-ending skeptical set-ups.

  328. Hank Roberts:

    Three hits for “did you ever hear of”

    http://www.google.com/search?q=“windowing”++”endpoint+problem”

  329. J. Bob:

    #328
    Hank- Try “FFT windowing”, 900K plus hits

  330. John Mashey:

    Since this thread is on Monckton, here is an April 28, 2009 talk @ Texas A&M for the Young Conservatives of Texas.
    This was sponsored by CFACT, which now has a nice green website.

    Monckton pleads hard for the poor of the world, who should “burn more CO2″ (really, said several times), like rich countries. Bad-science people banned DDT and didn’t quarantine HIV folks, and now they’re are doing climate, willhurt the poor.

    01:20:00, student says he agrees with everything Monckton said there, and asks for advice in convincing a person “knowledgable in atmospheric chemistry and a true believer”. Advice: call them a global cooling denier, tell him to look at the evidence is all for natural causes. Try to make these people look at the science.

    01:27:55 great barrier reef? temperatures not rising, but how about Ocean acidification?
    A: we don’t really know, because the ocean is alkaline, would need very, very big change before it is acid. Cambrian period had lots of CO2, but corals OK. Likewise, Triassic, corals OK. Ocean acidification cannot be a problem.

    Whole thing is 01:35 long.

  331. Son of Mulder:

    Mike, thanks for your help in my comment #318. Further I’ve never understood why actuals are compared to a family of model results where each set of models have different inputs eg growth rate of CO2 as only one such slice of models could possibly match real inputs. I assume there has been a model(s) created which has input variables that best match actual CO2 input etc say over the last 150 years. I’d not expect such a model to match the actual temperature track but I’d expect its track to have similar characteristics to the actual track eg (my candidates say) frequency of maxima and minima, ratio of number of growth years from min to max vs shrink years max to min. Growth peak to peak and min to min, rolling best fit gradient change rate. Call it ‘A best model’. Is there such a ‘best model’ or papers on such a methodology? Thanks

  332. Tom P:

    Monckton has hit, or rather flailed, back:

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/commentaries/chuck_yet_again_schmidt.pdf

    The discussion of the science is up to his usual standards. He accuses Gavin of “tampering” with his plots. This sounds rather serious until he makes clear that the tampering in this case consists of not including Monckton’s url or original caption.

    I especially like his statement “[t]here was a sharp phase-transition in the direction of global cooling late in 2001.” Exactly which two phases of the global climate Monckton had in mind is left as an exercise for the reader.

    He is also most unhappy that he is not considered a member of the House of Lords:

    “One of the many write-in comments on Schmidt’s blog complains that I refer to myself as a member of the Upper House of the United Kingdom legislature. So I do, for I am officially recognized by the House as the legitimate successor to my late father, the Second Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, though, since 1999, most hereditary peers, including me, do not have the right to sit or vote in the House.”

    Section 1 of the 1999 House of Lords Act rather undermines his pleading:

    “Exclusion of hereditary peers: No-one shall be a member of the House of Lords by virtue of a hereditary peerage.”

    Monckton can imagine that he is a member of the House of Lords as much as he might imagine himself to be a scientist. Both have equal validity.

    [Response: I particularly liked the fact that he excised a link to the actual IPCC projections of CO2 changes as being ‘ad hominem’ – somewhat undermining his claim of proficiency in classical languages. Perhaps I should respond to him: “Bene, cum Latine nescias, nolo manus meas in te maculare”. – gavin]

  333. Mark:

    re 329, that’s FFT windowing. Not the windowing endpoint problem.

    You still haven’t shown that your analysis is of any explicative power at all yet.

  334. J. Bob:

    Walter, welcome back. But don’t stand to close, collateral damage.

    Tamino – Yes I read your reference. Little weak in the FFT Convolution part. However, lets get back to your post #321. Where did I ever say I was modeling anything? I was simply using the Convolution method to filter out the short term variations, and get at the underlying longer term signals. Now I think we both realize that nothing in nature is perfectly periodic, except in the math world. Even time standards vary, depending on the precision used.

    You comment about statistical modeling reflected something I noted, while doing a couple of tours of duty with the medical device and pharmaceutical people. One was the popularity of “How to Lie with Statistics” book (and after 30+ years), and the other was the more complex the statistical model, the greater distance from reality. Also how the model was attracted to the sponsor, or agency providing the money.

    And yes I am also aware the FFT uses a sinusoid as a reference. I could have chosen another reference such a “saw tooth” (“Slant”), or trapezoidal, that are continuous (non-differentiable) Wieerstrasse transforms, but the FFT is pretty standard. And remember I’m re-constructing the original data, minus the higher frequency components, just like a Butterworth filter you used in you item you mentioned. Remember, the Butterworth uses a sinusoid as a way of testing it’s amplitude and phase characteristics.

    So what it really comes down to is that:
    1- You don’t like my opinion.
    2- You don’t like the method (FFT) that gives some rational to the opinion.

    Where is the spirit of Voltaire, and Zola? You make a point in you reference Dangerous Curves about the boundary problems or end points. These were recognized decades ago by Blackman & Tuckey in “Measurement of Power Spectra”. This was also stressed when Cooley & Tukey, were flown up to help implement the FFT in our Data Acquisition/Analysis real time hybrid computers . This was when their paper first came out. I guess it was late 65, not 66 like I first mentioned. The boundary problem, we called it “leakage”, was pretty much solved by a Hamming or Hanning “window”, although there are others, depending on the data. There were “empirical” methods presented, while not mathematically correct, would allow ways of reducing or removing the problem. One of the simplest was by use of a “trend” line, and “padding”.

    My comments about just using references was to keep the “he said they said” out of it. I am well aware of the “peer reviewed” paper mill of “back scratching” of “grant grabbing”. Yes there are very good papers out there, but there is also a lot of clutter.

    So Walter, there was a reason for that trend line we talked about a couple of months ago, when I mentioned “aiding in analysis”. That was a fun discussion. Maybe we can have some more, and I’ll bring you from the dark to the “skeptic” side of the “Force”.

  335. Mark:

    “Where did I ever say I was modeling anything? I was simply using the Convolution method to filter out the short term variations, and get at the underlying longer term signals.”

    Uh, what do you think that convolution is? It’s modelling the changes as if they are superposition of sine waves.

    That is a model.

    Your model doesn’t have any predictive ability and you have no idea what it is telling you apart from, if you look at the right numbers, you can convince yourself that the line is going down.

  336. David B. Benson:

    J. Bob — Recent global temperatures are due in part to ABC aercols and the extended solar minimum. Despite this, 2008 CE was tenth warmest on record. The last time there was such an extended solar minimum was in 1913 CE. What rank in the record was 1913 CE? Notice the distnict upward trend in the entire record?

  337. dhogaza:

    Where is the spirit of Voltaire

    Voltaire infamously would defend your right to make foolish statements to the death.

    And afterwards, treat you with all the derision and scorn he could muster. Which was considerable.

    So Walter, there was a reason for that trend line we talked about a couple of months ago, when I mentioned “aiding in analysis”. That was a fun discussion. Maybe we can have some more, and I’ll bring you from the dark to the “skeptic” side of the “Force”.

    Perhaps Walter will be fooled by your bogus “analysis”. Science will march on, unimpressed.

  338. dhogaza:

    …and the other was the more complex the statistical model, the greater distance from reality.

    So maybe we should stick to linear regression for this time series rather than work our way through more complicated functions until finding one that let’s us say “it’s cooling”? We gave a theoretical basis for predicting a (near) linear response to the next few doublings of CO2, imposed on the general noisy meanderings of climate, but none for it having no affect, after all …

    Is that what you’re saying?

  339. Jack Fulcher:

    I’ve never seen such sophistry. You call yourselves academics? Cherry picking data is a common practice in the physical and biological sciences, and if I tried some of the things you folks get away with I’d be drummed out of the economics profession. Your regressions are poorly specified; you pick your explanatory variables more based on their t-scores than on the logic of their inclusion a priori; and you choose the time to cover and the frequency of the observations based on which combination most supports your predetermined conclusions. This goes for all sides of the present issue. One of my colleagues thinks you just get lazy because no one holds your feet to the fire when you submit for publication.

    I’m just in a bad mood. Go back to your self talk, kids.

    [Response: Since no one is doing any regession analysis in this post, your grumpiness seems a little misplaced. whatever. -gavin]

  340. J. Bob:

    #335
    Your definition of convolution is to restrictive, try this:
    A convolution is an integral that expresses the amount of overlap of one function g() as it is shifted over another function f(). It therefore “blends” one function with another.

    http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Convolution.html

    In addition to the Fourier transform, convolution is used with the Laplace transform and Z-transform in control systems. This form the basis of control system analysis.

    #337
    Google search:
    “FFT” – 7.5 mil hits
    “FFT windowing” – 900K+ hits
    “FFT filter” – 200K+ hits

    If I don’t know what I’m doing, I must have a lot of company.

    First let’s see IF we have global warming, then try to find the reason.

    Here’s a bit of information. Taking the raw 350+ year temperature data (minus the linear trend line) data, it transferring it into the frequency domain. Without any “mask” or “kernel” it was transformed back to the time domain. The average raw error was about 0.4-0.6 degrees about the trend line. NO error was seen between the raw and FFT reconstructed data out to four decimal places. If there was any failure in the method, it would show up, it didn’t. Not to bad for a simple EXCEL-VB program.

  341. Jack Fulcher:

    “[Response: Since no one is doing any regession analysis in this post, your grumpiness seems a little misplaced. whatever. -gavin]”

    This is what I’m talking about. Regressions are mentioned in at least comments 131, 162, 311, and 338. However, this sloppiness aside, I’m talking about the work I’ve seen in your refereed journal articles. I’m sure that those here who understand statistical analysis are often chagrined to see what slips past the referees.

    [Response: Nope. Still none the wiser. My publications are here – I’d be happy to discuss any regressions you think I’ve done wrong. – gavin]

  342. Ian:

    Jack Fulcher, what in the world are you talking about? Out of curiousity, could you give some specifics behind your claims?

    Lack of cherry picking in econ – I work with lots of academic economists, and that’s a new one on me!
    Regressions poorly specified – what regressions?
    Variables chosen on t-scores – again, what regressions and t-scores?
    Cherry pick observations – specifically…?
    Easy publication process – pure speculation on your colleague’s part.

  343. Roger Godby:

    Mark,

    I used to smoke about a half pack a day. Then one day I decided to quit and I did; another member of my family was a heavier smoker but quit cold turkey the same way. People respond differently to nicotine. Ultimately the decision of whether to use it should be based on informed personal choice (though it probably won’t be, but so what?), not what some politician or wonk decides. The occasional tale from the UK of patient X who is a smoker being denied care or placed further down on the waiting list begins to smell like eugenics.

    But anyway, I could use some global warming, and so could my plants. It’s been both warmer and colder in the past. By the way, hold old is Lord Monckton? Can he recall when the Thames froze (and it did)? ;-)

  344. Mark:

    343 and why do so many people in the UK say that they will NEVER go to the pub like they used to because they can’t smoke there?

    If they can’t not smoke for a few hours, doesn’t that prove it is addictive in the extreme?

    Two more points:

    1) Someone survived a 2 MILE fall out of an airplain during WW2. Does this mean falling 2 miles straight down isn’t going to kill you?

    2) People have quit heroin cold turkey. Where do you think the term comes from??? Does this mean heroin isn’t addictive?

  345. Mark:

    re 340, so what are you mapping over the domain? A sine curve is not “a thing” it’s a mathematical construct. So what are you testing fits against the temperature curve in your convolving?

  346. fustian:

    tamino: In post 321, it seems that you are trying to suggest that a superposition of sinusoids must itself be sinusoidal. In particular, I believe you are suggesting that you cannot represent a monotonically increasing function as a superposition of sinusoids since a sinusoid must inevitably “turn downward”.

    This is simply untrue.

    What I believe you are failing to account for is that at any given point the superposition of sinusoids can account for equal numbers of ones turning up as are turning down. This flexibility allows a superposition of sinusoids to exactly match any curve shape.

    Apologies if I have misunderstood your post.

  347. Doug Bostrom:

    #334 “J. Bob”:

    Name-dropping? You appear to be implying sort of collegial relationship with C&T or even to have hired them as day labor.

    To wit:

    “This was also stressed when Cooley & Tukey, were flown up to help implement the FFT in our Data Acquisition/Analysis real time hybrid computers . This was when their paper first came out.”

    Ah, so a project you were involved with spawned their seminal paper? Having artfully conveyed that impression, don’t you think it would be appropriate (and if you’re telling the truth perfectly safe) to come out from under the bed so those whose work you’re judging can take a look at your own professional output and form some assessment of whether they should waste a nanosecond reading what you write here? You seem to have a rather sneering attitude (“grant-grabbing”, “back-scratching”) toward the peer review process. Perhaps you’ve not opted into it, or you tried and failed and now are embittered?? You present like the classic jumped-up crackpot many academics are familiar with but maybe you’re just making the wrong impression. How are we to know?

    Here are your credentials as they appear on this site, apart from the lard about Cooley and Tukey:

    “You comments about flow transition brought back old memories to Cloudcroft NM, above the White Sands Missile Range. Over a few beers, a colleague and I were going over equations implementation in the range computers. This was for real-time trajectory and impact points, of missiles incoming to the range at re-entry rates. These were also used to direct the electro-optical instrumentation. In passing, my colleague mentioned that he received an award for developing a ultra low noise propeller for under sea vessels. The rest of the evening was spent discussing flow separation and pressure gradients at the surface of the propeller, and effects on turbulence and noise.”

    It’s an entertaining ramble, and a very dramatic and posturing way to establish yourself. You strike a fine figure indeed but the story also reeks faintly of bulls__t. Your awkwardly injected anecdote seems crafted to establish you as a “rocket scientist” while not actually saying so in words we’d find in a CV, such as “Here is where I was educated, here is where I’ve worked, here is what I’ve published.”

    Or maybe you’ve previously identified yourself on this site in some other posting? Some of us potentially gullible types need a refresher if that’s the case lest we be led astray by a smooth talking Google Pilot.

  348. Gabriel Hanna:

    My own field is physics; IR absorption by carbon dioxide is a part of what I study. And it is pretty obvious, all else being equal, increasing carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has to lead to higher temperatures in the long run.

    That being said, there are a couple of things worth saying about some of the arguments made here in favor of the mainstream position on AGW.

    First, saying your opponents are funded by oil companies is nothing more than ad hominem. If I sell solar power generators, does that mean you should doubt me when I say the sun is going to last for 5 billion more years? A statement is true or not regardless of the source of income of the speaker. This is all rather trivial.

    This ad hominem applies equally well to proponents of AGW, and not just because climate scientists are getting money from the government, but because oil companies are also funding their side of the debate. For example, the denialist shills at the Sierra Club (http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/pickyourpoison/) gives some information on what oil companies are sponsoring. You can find a little more here (http://www.worldwatch.org/node/5934). The Wall Street Journal approaches this from a different side.
    (http://www.opinionjournal.com/weekend/hottopic/?id=110009740)

    Now because a lot of you are invested in this ad hominem I know you are just going to call this “greenwashing”. But of course these companies have many legitimate reasons to invest in both sides, just as corporations in general give money to both parties in Congress. They may seriously believe that carbon-neutral energy is the wave of the future or whatever, but an “evil” motive that I can suggest, as does the Wall Street Journal article, for funding environmental science and activism is simple rent-seeking. These companies stand to make billions from carbon taxes and cap-and-trade, because they are going to get first crack at a property right that won’t exist until created by Congress. And this of course has no bearing whatever on the scientific status of AGW.

    Secondly, it is worthwhile to think carefully about computer modeling, as there is always the danger that the models will be treated as magic boxes which produce science. I know that there are complex systems that are difficult to treat any other way. But the history of climate modelling has been (to oversimplify) make a model, watch it come out wrong, and tweak something until it starts to look right, if the model doesn’t crash, according to [edit] the American Institute of Physics (http://www.aip.org/history/climate/GCM.htm).

    Of course this doesn’t mean that we don’t know anything at all about climate science. Computer models have vastly improved our understanding about the effects of people on climate.

    Thirdly, there is no computer model in the world that can tell you how many billions are worth spending to avoid the consequences, if they can be avoided at all, and even if they were known with certainty, this is not a scientific question but an economic or moral one.

    I’ve seen estimates for how many people global warming is going to kill over the next hundred years. But there is something much worse than global warming, at least in terms of the number of people killed by it, and that is poverty. Simply the lack of clean water alone kills 2.2 million annually, the vast majority children under 5 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drinking_water). And there are lots of ways poor people degrade the environment without burning coal, such as overgrazing (as the Sahara and Gobi deserts demonstrate).

    While there are plenty of people who, say, oppose the Kyoto treaty because they don’t believe in the science, it is an intellectually respectable position to believe in the science and reject the treaty. Just because you agree with me on the nature of the problem, it doesn’t mean we agree about the effectiveness or desirability of the proposed solution.

    But feel free to lump me in with the ID crowd and accuse me of getting money from oil companies. (I have, after all, worked under grants from the “Petroleum Research Foundation”–do you need to look further :) ?)

  349. Gabriel Hanna:

    P.S. @ Mark: A Fourier transform isn’t a “model”. Any square integrable function can be represented by a superposition of sines and cosines, that’s what a Hilbert space IS. J. Bob is just representing the time series in a different, but mathematically, equivalent way (except for the endpoints, I guess). You are right that applying FFT has no explicatory power, it’s merely descriptive. But it is more useful than Moliere’s “dormative property”. You occasionally see patterns emerge. :)

  350. walter crain:

    j.bob,
    i’m impressed by your stick-to-it-iveness. i have to honestly say i’m also impressed by tamino’s analysis of your analysis, though much of the ststistics talk is over my head i admit. i think tamino is such a great explainer of things that when he explains it i understand it for just a moment.

  351. Mark:

    “It’s been both warmer and colder in the past. By the way, hold old is Lord Monckton? Can he recall when the Thames froze (and it did)?”

    And there have been elimination of species (including the near extinction of mankind) several times in the past too.

  352. Robin Levett:

    @Roger Godby (#343):

    By the way, hold old is Lord Monckton? Can he recall when the Thames froze (and it did)?

    I doubt it – it last froze enough for a frost fair in 1814. Knocking down the old London Bridge (which held back the water to form essentially a lake above it) and replacing it with one with fewer piers and no weirs, and embanking the Thames during Victoria’s reign, put paid to any repetition.

    Have you heard the one about the vineyard at Greenwich that Samuel Pepys visited?

    (Captcha – belated fashions…hmmm)

  353. Mark:

    Gabriel, assuming an FFT means something IS A MODEL.

    JBob is using FFT to see cycles. Well, guess what? Take a thousand random points and do an FFT on it. You’ll see “evidence” for lots of cycles. All the way up to 1 per thousand.

  354. Mark:

    re 348 “Secondly, it is worthwhile to think carefully about computer modeling, as there is always the danger that the models will be treated as magic boxes which produce science.”

    And climate modellers DO think carefully about it.

    It’s the denialists and those who are intellectually lazy (but not so lazy they will not waste time going “surely it’s X???”) who don’t think carefully about it.

    The problem is that you seem willing to suspect the model when

    a) you can’t understand it
    b) you don’t want to listen to those who do

    this is not skepticism.

  355. Mark:

    re 346: “tamino: In post 321, it seems that you are trying to suggest that a superposition of sinusoids must itself be sinusoidal. ”

    It must have a pattern that will lend itself to sinusoidal movement. Especially if you remove some elements.

    The ONLY difference between a step function, a straight slope and a sinusoid when your only toolbox is FFT is how many sinusoids you need to make it. The plain sinusoid being least.

    So, as you reduce the number of sinusoids you will go from your step function to the slope to a sinusoid.

    Now what is JBob doing? Removing sinusoids. He doesn’t know why he’s doing it, he doesn’t know what doing so will mean, but inevitably you CAN get a clear downtrend from ANY shape if you keep removing sinudoids from your FFT analysis and recreate the line from the paupered set. Just keep going until you see what you want to see.

    If you don’t see a clear downtrend, keep going.

    When you do see a clear downtrend, stop, else you may remove the apparent trend.

  356. Ray Ladbury:

    Gabriel Hanna, On what basis do you slander Spencer Weart and the other folks at the American Institute for Physics [edit]. Talk about ad hominem attacks. I happen to know Spencer Weart. Do you? I happen to know he is a very careful researcher. Do you have any specific issues with his research, or do you only do calumny?

    And based on your little performance here, perhaps you’d care to tell us why we should take your calumny of climate modelers any more seriously than your views on historians of science much more accomplished than you.

    As to your false dichotomy between climate mitigation and development, it is not a choice. If we choose to mitigate climate at the expense of development, poor nations will burn whatever they can to survive and undo any progress we make. If we choose development over climate mitigation, climate change will negate our efforts. They are two facets of the many sided problem of creating a sustainable economy.

  357. tamino:

    Re: #346 (fustian)

    Of course a superposition of sinusoids won’t be sinusoidal, and of course the right superposition of sinusoids can match any function.

    But we’re not concerned with abstract harmonic analysis, we’re concerned with separating the physical signal from the noise in data — a finite number of data points over a finite time span — using models based on sinusoids. And we have to use fewer degrees of freedom in our model than are present in the data, or we end up reproducing the data perfectly but with all the noise still present; of course sinusoids can do that, but of course it’s also a useless exercise. When you smooth data with a small number of sinusoids, the fact that they only peak where they level off makes the model *tend* to level off where the data peaks — in this case, the last decade. So if any filter based on a Fourier transform levels off in the last decade, we shouldn’t be the least bit surprised. We certainly shouldn’t draw conclusions on that basis when we haven’t applied a shred of statistical analysis.

    J. Bob has applied some digital signal processing tools; that’s fine. He’s also dropped every name he can think of, for both scientists and methods; that’s embarrassing. He has made assertions based on some of the filter results while rejecting others which don’t support such assertions. He still hasn’t done any statistics. He shows every sign of ignorance of how the model can affect the outcome. He seems utterly oblivous to the fact that separating low-frequency and high-frequency behavior isn’t the same as separating signal and noise.

    The issue is not digital signal processing, it’s the statistical analysis of time series.

  358. fustian:

    Mark in post 355: I’m am finding myself very confused about this term “the slope of a sinusoid”. Could you elaborate?

    The whole “removing sinusoids” thing is a pretty standard technique for smoothing. It’s called bandpass filtering, and, for example, is part of every audio recording.

    Certainly if you’re interested in understanding any potential periodicity in your data, the Fourier domain is the go-to guy, and it’s a hugely popular place to do intelligent smoothing.

    I’m at least partially versed in time series analysis, and I’m having trouble following this argument about the fundamental flaws of these techniques.

    But, again, possibly I am simply misunderstanding.

  359. fustian:

    tamino: in post 357 you seem to imply that a superposition of a limited number of sinusoids must turn downwards.

    But, again, this is untrue.

    Take a time range from 2000 to 2009. Take a single sinusoid that is very low frequency. In particular make its period double the 2000-2009 range. Then phase shift this single sinusoid until the concave upwards part fills the 2000-2009 section of the time series. What you now have is the result of a single sinusoid that is concave upwards.

    Now, you say that you are not concerned with abstract harmonic analysis. Perhaps you should be.

    Once again, apologies if I have misunderstood your points. It is all too easy to do so in these contentious and anonymous comment back-and-forths.

  360. J. Bob:

    #347 Good to know you read my posts.
    The C&T incident was just AFTER their paper came out. We had a noise problem with critical parts for a space mission. So no expense was spared. If “motherhood is the necessity of invention”, then “fatherhood is desperation”. And yes the equations were programmed into the WSMR IBM7090’s, state of the art at that time. The point is that there are many people out there that have skills in many areas. So just because one is not a “climate scientist” does not mean he is lower then any one else, or be talked down to . In fact my colleague, I would say, had far more skills then I did, but never once did he talk down to me. The view of the desert from Cloudcroft was great. Now that that’s over with, let’s get to the meat of it. Did you read #320? If so, comment on the analysis.

    #350 Hi Walter glad your back. I am NOT using statistics, but what one would call an analysis method. Statistics is another method. Both are good when used in the right way. Tamino, I believe, is using curve fitting techniques to model input data. I’m using what you might think of is scanning the input data with a very fine frequency filter to find the “energy” (sort of like amplitude) present at each frequency. This “energy” is then plotted against frequency, called the spectral plot. You can then remove the high frequencies “noise” and leave the low frequencies (i.e. those with more then periods of say 40 years). The result is then, re-constructed by transforming the resultant frequency information back into the time domain and plotted. Now you see signals without the “noise”. Kind of like what a 40 yr moving average filter gives you, only I think it’s better. Now you can start looking at these curves, minus the short term “noise” to see what is left. That’s it. You now have a plot to start forming an opinion. As I have said before, that last ~50 year wave was interesting, as well as the downturn coming close to the climate4you combined global temp plot. But that’s just my opinion.
    It still goes back to the question, is the recent temp rise due to man, or some natural cycle. Remember that trend line we talked about? Notice the temp, even with noise stayed close to the trend line. That to me would indicate at relatively constant ~2-3 deg./century temp rise over the past 350+ years, with some short period changes. What and why these short period changes are taking place, that is the debate. So we find out if they happened say before the last say 100 years, that just might indicate a natural earth cycle taking place. Which is causing this rather spirited debate.

    #355 And now Mark.
    “Now what is JBob doing? Removing sinusoids.”
    Just what do you think Tamino is doing with a Butterworth filter?

  361. Mark:

    re 358, no a standard technique to smooth out noise is to take an average.

    Why was this not taken?

  362. Ray Ladbury:

    The problem with Jbob’s analysis is that he is 1)using a Fourier analys, then 2)filtering, then 3)drawing conclusions based on the behavior near the endpoints of his interval. There is no analysis of statistical significance nor any physics proposed. That is as near a good recipe for crap as I know.

  363. fustian:

    tamino and Mark: My understanding is that you are looking for a “longer-term” climate signal and that “short-term” variation is believed to obfuscate the true picture.

    But, there seems to be some notion that the bandpass filtering technique involves some willy-nilly removal of data with no idea of what the outcome means.

    The whole point of doing this kind of smoothing in the frequency domain is that it does give you the intuition to do smoothing in a controlled, intelligent way.

    How else can you intelligently smooth out the short term without damaging the longer term?

    In fact, anything you do in the time series has an effect in the frequency domain. The frequency domain representation of a time series is not a different thing with different properties. It is exactly the same thing but expressed in a different way.

    Even a simple moving average has a frequency domain equivalent. It’s ugly, and generally viewed as a very undesirable way of smoothing.

  364. t_p_hamilton:

    fustian says:”tamino: in post 357 you seem to imply that a superposition of a limited number of sinusoids must turn downwards.

    But, again, this is untrue.”

    tamino is not implying that. Leveling off at the max/min is what tends to happen with a limited number of frequencies. For this particular case, the recent highest temperatures are a maximum, hence a fit of superposed frequencies will tend to level off (after all, maxes have a slope of zero).

    For a good idea of what tamino’s talking about, visit his blog, linked at the right under OpenMind.

  365. Son of Mulder:

    J. Bob, what can be done by trying to identify and remove some of the obvious possible natural frequency mechanical and heating periodic forcings and their overtones on the coupled ocean-climate oscillating system eg. Daily earth rotation/monthly moon revolution, annual orbit around the sun?

  366. Mark:

    further to 364.

    Check the difference between an inflexion point and a peak. When you’re half way through the inflexion, there is NO WAY you can tell the difference unless you know a priori the complete shape of the curve.

    Which if you’re using an FFT and expecting it to be a representation of the curve you do not.

  367. fustian:

    Mark in post 361 says:

    “no a standard technique to smooth out noise is to take an average.

    Why was this not taken?”

    Well, it’s not hugely different. A moving average is convolution with a box, while the more traditional bandpass is just convolution with a sinc function. You’re a little tidier in frequency with a bandpass filter. The box convolutional filter leaves larger side lobes in frequency.

  368. dhogaza:

    There is no analysis of statistical significance nor any physics proposed.

    Indeed, he apparently rejects the need to test for significance and appears to be wearing that badge proudly.

  369. Mark:

    re 367, it is hugely different.

    Putting a FFT analysis against 1000 rolls of a dice doesn’t let me find what the average is if I cut off any frequency higher than 1 per 3 values. In fact, please prove to me how you can guarantee getting the right value for mean and variance of the dice roll by this method with ANY cutoff.

    Adding up all 1000 rolls will and the variance of ALL THE VALUES around that mean will give me the variance of the dataset from that mean and hence tell me things like: is the dice loaded?

  370. Doug Bostrom:

    #360 JBob:

    “The C&T incident was just AFTER their paper came out. We had a noise problem…”

    Sure, whatever. You’ve still got a noise problem.

    “So just because one is not a “climate scientist” does not mean he is lower then any one else, or be talked down to ”

    Except when he claims skills that exceed those of climate scientists and then attempts to use those putative skills to best the work of climate scientists. Once that threshold is crossed he’s fair game for all the same sort of critiques an actual climate scientist is exposed to, including being called out for promoting BS. If he chooses to remain anonymous and safely hidden behind swirling curtains of silly irrelevant claptrap about long-scrapped IBM computers, etc., that part of his woof and weave is inevitably incorporated into comments since that’s the fabric we’re handed to work with, as opposed to an actual personality.

    Regarding your plate of stinky meat in #320, inexpert as I am it appears you’ve taken a selection of tenderizing mallets to the single data set you’ve picked as most amenable to your assumptions then pounded on it until you can see the wave you’re sure is there. Stripping away all the puffy pedantry, what I see is that you downloaded a slew of canned Excel algorithms you thought might be applicable to the task at hand and then proceeded to stab away at your data, squinting eagerly at the resulting tortured graphs to see if something would emerge in support of your preconceptions. Of course you can see what you want, just as we can all see patterns in the snow of an empty television channel. Others here have explained how that happens in more detail than I could possibly approximate, but even a layperson like me can see what you’ve done.

    Really, Gavin and crew are too kind and circumspect. At least a few people are going to take your ramblings here to heart and form conclusions that will become part of the degenerate culturally demented anti-science mythology this site is designed to combat. You’re a source of friction against improving the human condition. Find a more benign hobby, please.

  371. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    J. Bob

    I’m not going to pretend I understand all the nuances of perspectives that seem to have numerous context problems. Instead, let’s try something different. I am making some assumptions about your perspective, so sorry if I get something wrong. Please note I am not a scientist, just trying to learn more about the science of global warming.

    I am assuming you have some difficulty with the methods employed in modeling climate? So you have a reason to be in RC making comments.

    Does your model/analysis perspectives match the observations in a scientifically relevant manner so as to explain the long term warming trend with attributions and a reasonably acceptable result?

    Or, do you have any alternative explanation with attributions for the observed long term warming trend, glacial ice loss, Arctic multi-year ice loss, Antarctic warming, latitudinal shift, ocean acidification, speed of desertification change, rapid changes in seasonal shift and extended forest fire seasons?

    Just curious.

    PS as to global temps trending down, weather is not climate, facts out of context are less relevant (showing a graph that uses facts out of context to represent the global mean is lying), the temperature in Central England does not represent the global mean temperature, and rhetoric is not science.

    You claim:

    “There is more then one way, besides statistics to look at problems. It is always a good idea to look at a problem with all available tools, and not be fixated on just one.”

    It is just as easy to argue that it’s not just about looking at one tool v. the other tools, but rather the contextually relevant aggregated picture that is reasonably verifiable.

    In other words, let’s pretend all the models are wrong to one degree or another, not hard right?

    What the heck is causing all the melting, unt, unt, unt (see above)? I mean, if we are cooling, why is everything warming, and melting…?

    Where’s the Beef, er… Attribution

  372. fustian:

    re Mark in post 369: That’s kind of apples vs. orange, isn’t it?

    The set of outcomes from multiple rolls of the dice isn’t even a time series now is it?

    I take my hat off to no one in my appreciation of using the mean and variance to characterize a distribution, but these are fairly useless tools at filtering out the high frequency information from a time series.

  373. Art:

    MONCKTON RESPONDS.

  374. Gabriel Hanna:

    @Ray Ladbury: Check out the Wikipedia definition of “irony”. Obviously the people at the American Institute of Physics are not anti-science Neanderthals, and the people at the Sierra Club are not AGW denialists.

    Next time try reading comprehension before feces-flinging.

    I don’t know how I can be said to “slander” or “calumniate” climate models or modellers. It DID take decades to figure out how to make climate models that come anywhere close to real climate. Read the damn article. It honestly acknowledges the challenges and successes of climate models.

    Just because I disagree with you about Kyoto or whatever, you choose to read into my post all sorts of things I haven’t said. Not only is this a fallacy, it also makes you a jerk.

    Look how over the top and out of control your reaction is. I said not one thing that is untrue, and expressed myself mildly and without attacking anyone personally. I explicitly acknowledged the reality of AGW.

    Oil companies do fund climate research and environmental activism, this is a matter of public record. Climate modelling is tricky and did take decades to improve to the point where they could actually model climate. Science is incapable of deciding moral and economic questions–to think otherwise is not science, but scientism.

    Climate mitigation and development is NOT a false dichotomy. There are costs and benefits to anything, including environmental costs and benefits. Poor people do die without clean water and without development they are not going to get it, and that development is going to have environmental costs. There may be ways to mitigate them–Dean Kamen’s Stirling engine pump is one approach. But you can’t pretend that the course of action you advocate is all benefit and no cost. That’s absurd.

    So you have to ask yourself, like a mature adult, how much cost is acceptable for what benefit, and if other people look at the same information and come to a different conclusion, they are not evil or stupid, and maybe you’d get farther by dealing civilly with them and trying to address their arguments, rather than accusing them of things.

    @Mark–so, you’re accusing me personally of not understanding climate models and not listening to people who do?

    I think I do understand climate modeling, in principle. I haven’t written my own code, but my master’s degree was for doing Monte Carlo calculations, so I know how to program, and if I studied the literature I’m sure I could write my own code within a year or two and happily model climate. But I don’t think I’d do a better job, or get anything different from what is currently done, and there’s plenty of people already doing that. Maybe you personally don’t know how to solve the Schroedinger equation, but you know OF it and you’re confident that me and my colleagues are on top of things, and if you took a year off to study quantum mechanics I’m sure you’d do just fine.

    I don’t disagree with climate science. I disagree with policies advocated by some of the people who believe in climate science. That doesn’t make me stupid or evil.

  375. Gabriel Hanna:

    @Mark & Ray Ladbury:

    Let us suppose that I advocate a huge government program to do something about all of the asteroids that have a risk of striking the Earth. We’d have to develop some new technologies and possibly spend the entire planet’s GDP for many years on it.

    Now let’s say that you (very sensibly) oppose this program. And then I responded by saying it’s clear you don’t understand, or don’t believe in, Newtonian mechanics.

    Well, no, you oppose the program because it would entail a great deal of cost to secure the benefit of immunity from an extremely remote risk. It would be intellectually respectable for me to counter that since the risk is really the product of probability and consequence, and the consequence is the utter destruction of all life on earth (if it’s a big asteroid), then any amount of cost is worth bearing (the product of something and infinity = any number you want :)). But it would not be respectable for me to claim you obviously don’t understand gravity, or how orbits are computed, because you disagree with my policy.

    Now let’s say there are a lot of people who don’t believe in gravity–they too would oppose my program. But it would be wrong of me to try to confound you with them as a way of scoring debating points.

    Now of course the risks to humanity from AGW are unlike those from meteor strikes–that’s not the point of the analogy. AGW is not a one-in-a-million thing, it’s going on now. And it doesn’t kill everybody all at once. The point of the analogy is the difference between science and policy, and acceptable methods of debate.

  376. Mark:

    Gabriel, it’s easy to make an argument you like when you control both sides’ contribution.

    What makes you think we’d either of us object to your scheme? Or if we did that saying we didn’t understand newtonian mechanics would be wrong?

    If your scheme involved flinging frozen chicken at asteroids with a catapault, maybe we would. But you’d have to give more information about your anti-asteroid efforts than you have.

    Given that, your post is worthless.

    Would you like to try some other method of explaining your “issue”?

  377. Mark:

    re 374, please check up the appropriate meta-tags for irony so people can see when you;re being ironic.

    Or, absent such facility, be clear and specific and stay away from phraseology that doesn’t say what you meant.

    This is called “communicating”.

    And leave the plank on your shoulder at home.

    “I don’t disagree with climate science. I disagree with policies advocated by some of the people who believe in climate science. That doesn’t make me stupid or evil.”

    It does make this the wrong place to complain.

    Which means you’re only half right there.

    “Climate modelling is tricky and did take decades to improve to the point where they could actually model climate.”

    Please show us where you get that? Or, even, how it is relevant.

    “@Mark–so, you’re accusing me personally of not understanding climate models and not listening to people who do?”

    Yes, yes I am.

    When you say “master’s degree was for doing Monte Carlo calculations, ” thinking this is proof of your qualifications in climate modelling, you show a misunderstanding of climate modelling.

    When you say “Secondly, it is worthwhile to think carefully about computer modeling, as there is always the danger that the models will be treated as magic boxes which produce science.” you display ignorance of how models work and are treated.

    When you proclaim “But the history of climate modelling has been (to oversimplify) make a model, watch it come out wrong, and tweak something until it starts to look right,” you display ignorance of what is going on. Would you proclaim your car engineer hits the engine with a spanner and tightens things until it works? No? Why not? You did the same here.

    So yes, I do say you have no knowledge of climate models or its history, except what you could fit in the “Handy information” panel on the back of a packet of cornflakes at breakfast.

  378. Mark:

    re 372 it is a time series, unless you rolled 1000 dice all at once.

  379. Mark:

    re 367.

    What you describe isn’t what JBob is doing.

    What you’re describing there with your convovling box/sine is similar to lowess filtering.

    Which in #302 I asked why he didn’t use it.

    tamino also uses it and when pointing JBob to those pages would seem to me to be asking the same thing.

  380. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Gabriel Hanna writes:

    But there is something much worse than global warming, at least in terms of the number of people killed by it, and that is poverty. Simply the lack of clean water alone kills 2.2 million annually, the vast majority children under 5 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drinking_water).

    How do you think a billion people in Asia and Latin America will cope with having their fresh water sources disappear due to glacier retreat?

    For that matter, how do you think the world’s poor will fare if human agriculture collapses due to runaway drought in continental interiors?

    Global warming is the most serious threat humanity has ever faced outside of nuclear war. If you aren’t aware of that, please start studying.

  381. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Gabriel Hanna writes:

    I haven’t written my own code, but my master’s degree was for doing Monte Carlo calculations, so I know how to program,

    That’s like saying, “I’ve written a lot of space vehicle launch programs, so I know how to simulate ocean dynamics.” Or “I’ve written a lot of web pages, so I know every programming language ever written.” You’ve gotta be f**king kidding.

    and if I studied the literature I’m sure I could write my own code within a year or two and happily model climate.

    Gee, and with my physics degree it took me twelve years to figure out how to write a reliable radiative-convective model of a planetary atmosphere. But you’re going to write your own research-quality GCM in two years! Wow! Why don’t you start doing that, and keep us informed about your progress?

    This ought to be good.

  382. Mike Tabony:

    In a new study making the news today, it appears that the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet will only raise the level of the oceans 10 feet instead of the previously believed 20. Now that’s a relief. I thought we had something to worry about.

    Oops, it seems as though the study says the level will be 25% higher along the East Coast of NA and in the Indian Ocean. Back to worrying.

    Perhaps RC will comment on the study.

  383. Kevin McKinney:

    Gabriel Hanna,

    It certainly IS a false dichotomy to pit climate change mitigation and development against one another, simply because anything one does has costs.

    That is because there is no inherent and specific linkage implying that, a priori, you can’t do both.

    In principle, it’s quite possible that we could do far more on BOTH counts, by (for example) cutting defense spending by 50%, or by deciding that development would be the best stimulus package and reallocating bank bailout funds, or by levying a carbon tax to fund both activities, or. . . but you get the point.

    There are a great many trade-offs one could make, so focussing on this particular one to the exclusion of other options is not realistic.

  384. Ray Ladbury:

    Gabriel Hanna says, “…you choose to read into my post all sorts of things I haven’t said. Not only is this a fallacy, it also makes you a jerk.”

    Uh, dude, I didn’t have to read anything into your words–they were there in black and white. Might I suggest that rather than trying to blame others for your poor communication skills you take responsibility for them and learn that maybe irony doesn’t work too well when 1)one is communicating entirely in print and 2)one is saying things that are flippant in the same piece.

    There is a really big difference between the risks due to climate change and those due to a large meteoric impact: We know that the former will be realized within a century of so if we continue on our current course. Probability of the event equals 1. There are varying degrees of probability of various consequences, but sea level rise and ocean acidification are virtual certainties with serious consequences. To claim that we don’t know enough about the consequences to take action is either naive or disingenuous–and frankly, with you, it would be hard to tell which to assume.

    Development and climate mitigation are both prerequisites for stability–and having spent 2 years in Africa doing development, I’d bet I’ve walked that walk more than you have.

  385. SecularAnimist:

    Gabriel Hanna wrote: “But there is something much worse than global warming, at least in terms of the number of people killed by it, and that is poverty.”

    Every major international organization that works to reduce or alleviate poverty has stated that global warming is already increasing poverty and making their work more difficult, and that unmitigated anthropogenic global warming will overwhelm and defeat all of their efforts.

    To have any hope of reducing the suffering caused by poverty, we absolutely MUST deal with global warming. Otherwise, the global poverty of today, as bad as it is, will look like a golden age of prosperity compared to what will come.

  386. J. Bob:

    #365
    That’s a good one. Let me give it some thought. I don’t mean to put you off, but it’s one that I would not answer to fast on.

    #362 & 369 – I seem to get the impression, from you, that statistics is the only analysis tool there is. There is a larger world out there, as denoted by the number of hits on a FFT search. Besides Butterworth filters, used by your side are not statistics.

    #371
    I started this little project with a open mind, to see it there was something to the “global warming” debate. Because of my background in science and engineering, it was fairly easy to take the longest temperature record available (Central England) filter out the noise, and see what long term signals were under the noise. Since climate, here anyway, is defined as greater then 30-40 years I filtered out those frequencies with periods less then 40 years. I also checked the program to see if it would re-construct input data, and it did, to less then 0.1 % error. When I looked at my filtered, long term data, posted above (#320), I noticed the long ~50 year cycle, and at the end, a peaking and small beginning of a down trend. Comparing the period from 1979 to 2008 with my graph, to a composite graph of land and satellite data from climate4you, there was a fairly strong resemblance. The surprise was the peak in the year 2000 of both graphs. So from this one graph, it looks like the current “global warming”, or “climate change” is part of a normal cycle. If the analysis methods I used, were good enough to satisfy DOD and NASA back in the 60’s & 70’s, why not here?

    That being said, there are other data sets I have to look at, in a similar manner, along with correlation to ocean temperature changes. So I’ll have to see what the other data sets look like. Maybe my opinion will change.

    Now are you saying that RC is only a climate modeling site, or a place where open debate in the area of climate can take place? The header says “Climate Science from Climate Scientists”, and from the comments, it is apparent that many do not have a science degree. So I assume, until told otherwise, that this is a open forum, in which ideas, relating to climate, can be freely exchanged. And as far as mathematical modeling, I have no problem with that, I’ve done it for over 40 + years. However, I also know many of the limits, and one is that it must reflect reality.

    To check these models, I look at a composite surface and satellite temperature profile over the last 30 years. If the model says the temperature is supposed to go up, and the last say 8 years it’s flat or trending down, I’d say the model needs major surgery. Now if some say that Antarctic warming, and IJIS and NSIDC show consistent above average ice levels. I have enough thermal knowledge that says general warming is not taking place there. One does NOT make ice in a oven. The earth has always been heating and cooling, and not everything is heating or cooling at the same time, as seen from the polar ice. There are other inconsistencies, such as why NSIDC posts headlines two years old saying record low ice levels in the Arctic, but fails to mention this past year, being almost normal to the 1979 period. And it doesn’t help to know that the temperature data is now being “homogenized”, or adjusted. One has to dig a bit to work with “raw” temp data. That would seem to raise a lot of red flags. True weather is not climate, but weather data makes up climate data. And why all the vitriolic comments, not only to the analysis methods, but the personal comments? If nothing else, that alone would raise concerns about the objectivity and fear of questioning the official line.

    So that in order to satisfy myself as to what is going on, it means starting at the very simple, and basic, then go from there. I have no “beef”, just trying to find the truth. Or are you saying that to disagree is to “beef”?

    As to what is causing all this melting, or freezing, only with honest and polite discussion will we find the answer. As Hamlet said “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy ( or models)”. That is, we really don’t know, at this time what is going on.

    Oh, I don’t quite get you last comment about “Attribution“. Would you explain it, a little more?

  387. Mark:

    “#371
    I started this little project with a open mind, to see it there was something to the “global warming” debate. Because of my background in science and engineering,”

    So you have discovered then that your approach has no utility in this field of endeavour and have now (with the help of tamino) found more applicable statistical analyses that will work.

    And so you’re going off to work on them now.

    Yes?

  388. Mark:

    JBob: “Now are you saying that RC is only a climate modeling site, or a place where open debate in the area of climate can take place?”

    Yes, though there’s nothing in there that says that you can bring along a half-baked (if that) idea and run with it expecting people to just go “Oh, that’s soooo right, JBob..!”.

    An open debate means that YOU have to accept a result of that debate being “your idea doesn’t have merit” and YOU have to accept “Try this instead, and *here* are the reasons why” and either show you know enough to explain why they aren’t good or use them.

    If YOU refuse, then there’s no debate, is there. There’s just the “JBob Appreciation Club and others”.

  389. Ray Ladbury:

    Jbob says, “I seem to get the impression, from you, that statistics is the only analysis tool there is.”

    Wow, Jbob, not only do you not know physics, you evidently can’t even read the word, ’cause you sure missed in in my post. You have also managed to utterly ignore the point Tamino was making–if the first derivative of a trigonometric function is positive (i.e. to give a local positive slope for an fft of an increasing function) then the second derivative is negative. That’s fine until you get near the endpoints. Unfortunately, you are trying to draw conclusions about behavior the endpoints of a finite data series. Get it?

  390. SecularAnimist:

    JBob wrote: “As to what is causing all this melting, or freezing, only with honest and polite discussion will we find the answer … we really don’t know, at this time what is going on.”

    In fact, we do know that CO2, methane and other so-called “greenhouse” gases cause the Earth’s atmosphere to retain more of the Sun’s energy that it would without them.

    In fact, we do know that human activities, principally the burning of fossil fuels, but also deforestation, animal agriculture, cement manufacturing, and some other activities, are releasing large quantities of CO2, methane and other “greenhouse” gases into the atmosphere, and have been doing so at an accelerating rate for a century or more.

    In fact, we do know that these activities have dramatically increased the atmospheric concentration of these gases.

    In fact, we do know that this anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gases is causing the Earth system to retain more of the Sun’s energy and that as a result the Earth system is rapidly warming.

    In fact, we do know that this warming is already having dramatic effects on the Earth’s climate, hydrosphere and biosphere. In addition we know that the increase in CO2 is having other harmful effects, notably the acidification of the oceans.

    In fact, we do know that continued anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases — which are currently accelerating — will cause additional warming, which will have increasingly severe effects, which will be enormously harmful to the human species and to life on Earth generally.

    That is what is “going on”. If you believe that we don’t know these things are “going on”, you are simply wrong.

  391. dhogaza:

    Besides Butterworth filters, used by your side are not statistics.

    Filters aren’t used by statisticians INSTEAD OF statistics …

    Tamino’s take-home point, that you continue to ignore, is (and I quote):

    The point of all this is that you shouldn’t make claims about changes in trends unless you’ve applied some statistical analysis; drawing conclusions based on nothing more than applying a smoothing filter is risky business.

  392. J. Bob:

    #389
    Received the Physic’s Achievement Award from my undergrad university. Did they know something you don’t? Isn’t it more exciting with me around?

  393. James:

    J. Bob Says (15 May 2009 at 11:49 AM):

    “Received the Physic’s Achievement Award from my undergrad university. Did they know something you don’t?”

    Possibly the difference between Physic http://www.thefreedictionary.com/physic and Physics :-)

  394. Ray Ladbury:

    Jbob, Ah, so you know physics. You merely eschew it in favor of your “fun-with-Fourier” approach. After all, why let physics (or statistical significance) get in the way of a good theory.

  395. walter crain:

    jbob,
    you may (?) be annoying to the “pros” around here, but i think it’s WAY more fun with you around.

  396. Doug Bostrom:

    #392 JBob:

    “Isn’t it more exciting with me around?”

    For a little while, then it becomes cringe inducing to witness the drubbing you’re taking because you waded in without doing your homework and stubbornly refuse to retire. No wonder you’re sticking with anonymity.

    You seem satisfied with your results on the English data set: “So from this one graph, it looks like the current “global warming”, or “climate change” is part of a normal cycle. If the analysis methods I used, were good enough to satisfy DOD and NASA back in the 60’s & 70’s, why not here?”

    Accidentally inverted G sensors drawn into plans, confusion of metric and English units, omitting to take into account hysteresis, all these culminating in highly public and embarrassing failures resulting in the loss of thousands of man-years’ effort spring to mind, but let’s not focus on previous abject mistakes too much. Endless sad little heaps of fragmented components and shattered ambitions only tell us that steely-eyed rocket men have feet of clay.

    You appear unshakably confident in your methods, so much so that you imagine you’re on the brink of overturning careers and undermining a field of scientific endeavor single-handed and armed only with Excel and some second-hand algorithm implementations. Why not ignore your critics here for a bit, move on and deliver the killing blow by reproducing what you think you see using the rest of the many inputs available? Further wrangling around a single group of datapoints seems pointless when you could spend that valuable time extending your research.

    After you’ve done that it looks as though you’ll find a receptive audience here to help you check your sums. There’s obviously no lack of hostile and thus highly useful scrutiny available, all for free. Especially as you’re anonymous you have nothing to lose by that.

  397. Hank Roberts:

    > more exciting …?
    http://www.google.com/search?q=define%3Aphysic

  398. Chuck Booth:

    From yesterday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

    Give global warming skeptics a voice, too
    By J. Winston Porter
    From News Services
    Thursday, May 14, 2009

    Will Rogers once quipped that it’s “what we know that ain’t so” that gets us in trouble. This might well apply to global warming, where the “science is settled” side is pushing massive plans in Congress to reduce carbon dioxide.

    But the science is not settled. If it were, we would have great confidence in all these statements: 1. The world is getting warmer. 2. That’s more bad than good. 3. Humans are causing the warming. 4. We know how to fix the problem.

    If either of the first two statements is wrong, then warming is not a crisis. If either of the last two is not correct, we can’t fix it. What are the chances that all four are true?

    To find out, we must multiply the four individual probabilities by each other. If each statement has a 70 percent chance of being correct, the overall probability is just 24 percent that all are true.

    Let’s look at these issues:…

    http://www.ajc.com/print/content/printedition/2009/05/14/portered0514.html

  399. walter crain:

    chuck booth,
    unfortunately, because the skeptics (i.e., deniers) yell louder the public thinks there are more of them than there are. that’s why we need PROJECT JIM!

  400. Tom P:

    A very worthwhile way of looking at the time series temperature data is Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD). I wouldn’t be surprise if this has been brought up here before, but even if it has, it bears repeating. Unlike Fourier analysis EMD is not reliant on any assumption of the physical basis of the underlying waveforms: if there are cyclic components it will find them, but not at the expense of throwing away any trend.

    The major, and accepted, problem with Fourier analysis is its inability to cope with trends, or what is known statistically as non stationary data. EMD overcomes this limitation. Norden Huang, who came up with the technique, has applied it to the HadCRUT temperature series in a 2007 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1986583. The most important mode is an increasing rise in temperature and a 65 year cycle: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1986583&rendertype=figure&id=F3

    EMD cannot extract the underlying physics, but it at least it gives an unbiased analysis. From EMD analysis the resulting trend, rising from 0 K/century in 1850 to 0.8 K/century now, is compatible with anthropogenic global warming.

  401. Hank Roberts:

    The hydraulics is not settled. If it were, we would have great confidence in all these statements: 1. The tub is getting fuller. 2. Overflowing will do more bad than good. 3. Humans are causing the overfilling. 4. We know how to fix the problem.

    What are the chances that all four are true?

  402. Doug Bostrom:

    #398: Chuck Booth:

    “From yesterday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution”

    Good ol’ Hotlanta, wallowing in the soup wafting down from Georgia Power’s Plant Bowen. Atlanta’s the poster child for what a shambolical mess our cities are, not least in the slobby energy-suck department.

    “To find out, we must multiply the four individual probabilities by each other. If each statement has a 70 percent chance of being correct, the overall probability is just 24 percent that all are true.”

    Watch out, he’s going scientistical! Can you hear the clattering of DenialChow nuggets hitting the dog dishes?

    Can’t Dr. J. Winston Porter do better?

    Probably not; this manner of schlock is reflexive for him. Doc Porter was a Reagan-era appointee to EPA, in charge of hazardous waste, but the bulk of his professional career was at Bechtel, where he ended up serving on bended knee to mediaeval Saudi overlords, ensuring the smooth flowing of oil and money.

    How good was he at EPA? For that matter, is this a guy talking from the center? Take a guess from the titles of his op-ed pieces:

    “We need more oil refineries”

    “A Common Sense Approach to Power Plant Emissions”

    “Ethanol is the fuel of a clean-air future”

    “Too much recycling can be a waste of resources”

    “Time to Rethink Germany’s Onerous Environmental Laws”

    “Let States Clean Up Superfund’s Mess”

    “Trash That Recycling Plan”

    “Uranium mining has to be an option”

    Sheep, meet your wolven herder. Seen in a heap these titles read like a parody from The Onion.

    Perhaps “whore” is a bit strong, but Dr. J. Winston Porter has his red light on in the window of his “Waste Policy Center”, where he’s got a sort of one-stop misinformation and policy distortion shop going:

    http://www.winporter.com

  403. John Burgeson:

    To Hank Roberts in # 401

    Good story. Good laugh!

    Thanks

    Burgy

  404. Hank Roberts:

    John B — not my analogy; it’s a very good one from the Sustainability folks now at MIT. Lots of places point to it and one of these links gets you directly to the model. Show it to your friends:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=MIT+“bathtub+model

  405. J. Bob:

    #395 – Thanks Walter

    #400 Tom – Checked your first reference and it turned up blank. Checked the graph, looks familiar. Now is there any reason why the last eight years were not included? That would be interesting. I’ve not head of EMD, but more info might be interesting. Do you have a site? Also it would be most interesting to compare results.

    Putting a linear trend line into the FFT is often done to reduce or remove the discontinuities at the end points. We called it “de-trending”.

  406. Arch Stanton:

    J. Bob –

    Tom’s link picked up the period at the end of the sentence. Cut and paste it into your browser without it.

  407. David B. Benson:

    J. Bob (392) — To answer your question, no, it is not.

  408. Chemist:

    Gavin,

    Care to comment on this? It seems like you’ve been shot down and called out on falsifying your “credible information” once again.

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/commentaries/chuck_yet_again_schmidt.pdf

    Of course you’ll just delete this, but I hope you know that whenever faced with arguments of the rational mindset, you run like a sheep from the wolves.

    Chemist

    [Response: Paranoia much? There are already two links to this in the above comment thread. And for a chemist, who presumably has some integrity in their own work, to defend Monckton’s fakery … doesn’t that give you even the least bit of pause? Monckton isn’t a wolf, he isn’t even an actor dressed as a wolf in a seasonal pantomime. Get real. – gavin]

  409. Mark:

    Further to 401 and to JBob, yup, you should have realised that. What does a fourier transform do? It changes time into frequency. You lose the time aspect so that you can fit the frequency in its place.

    So it can’t show *changes through time* can it. It ignores time.

    When you solve a dynamic equation (e.g. the Shroedinger equation for a H2 pair), you often ignore the time dependent part. This shows what the steady state is, but is naff at telling you what’s going to happen when you put variable energy into it, or have another H2 pair pass by.

    Similarly here with FFT.

  410. Chemist:

    [edit]

    [Response: ‘liar’, ‘fraud’, blah, blah blah… oh, how original. Perhaps you think it’s brave or exciting to leave anonymous attacks in blog postings? Actually, it’s juvenile and boring. If you want to have a discussion, than be substantive and talk about things that matter. If you want to simply reinforce your imagined notions that your point of view is being suppressed by those mean people at RealClimate, then continue to rant and rave and be ignored. Hey it’s easy – why bother to think? – gavin]

  411. lucia:

    Chemist–
    I’m the “she” in this paragraph in Monckton’s response to Gavin

    Monckton: Schmidt fails to point out that the author of the blog he cites, unlike Schmidt himself, subsequently did me the courtesy of asking for the basis on which my graphs were calculated, and published a correction, for she had made several mistakes and incorrect assumptions in her original posting.

    I commented on Monckton’s “IPCC” projections. What I say is:

    I think it’s safe to say that regular readers are aware that I often disagree with Gavin. However, I anticipate Gavin will agree with me that, whatever the projections in Monckton’s graphs may be:

    1. They are not “IPCC projections” in the sense of appearing in the summary for policy makers of the AR4.
    2. They are not “IPCC projections” in the sense of appearing in Chapter 10 of the AR4.
    3. They are not “IPCC projections” in the sense of appearing the average of the multi-model ensemble used to develop projections in the AR4.
    4. They are not computed by any method advocated or described anywhere in the IPCC AR4 or any previous incarnation of the Assessment Report.
    5. The numerical values of Monckton’s projections do not correspond to anything a reader with ordinary reading skills would consider to be “IPCC projections” based on the content of the IPCC AR4, the TAR, the SAR or the FAR.

    If anyone anywhere wishes to call the lavender-pink region Monckton calls the “IPCC projections” in his graphs, I guess they may do so. However, I will also ask them to write a dissertation on the meaning of “is”, placing it in the context of recent American history.

    For more, read Post 1. Response to reader discussing Koutsoyiannis’s 2008 graph here. If you read the second, you’ll see that Koutsoyiannis, Gavin and I interpret the IPCC projections in roughly the same way. If you read Knapperger/Michaels presentations, they interpert the projections in roughly the same way. Or differences of opinion relate to the significance we attribute the model mean and most realizations exceeding the observed temperatures.

    Monckton’s temperature and uncertainty intervals may be something he considers meaningful in some way but they are not the range of temperatures the IPCC suggested we would observe on earth during the time period Monckton illustrates on his graphs. Whatever those temperatures may be, comparing them to observations tells us nothing about the merit of IPCC projections.

  412. spilgard:

    Re #408:
    I’d say that Monckton more resembles Wile E. Coyote than a wolf, except that Wile E. makes at least a token effort to learn as he moves from one folly to the next.

  413. John Mashey:

    AGW’s impact depends on where you live
    OR
    Texas is Not Scotland, even when a Scottish peer visits

    1) SCOTLAND
    Viscount Monckton lives in the highlands of Scotland (Carie, Rannoch, 57degN, about the same as Juneau, AK, but warmer from Gulf Stream.)

    a) SEA LEVEL, STORMS
    Most of Scotland (esp the highlands) is well above sea level, and in any case, from Post-Glacial Rebound, it’s going up. [Not true of Southern England.]

    b) PRECIPITATION
    Scotland gets lots of regular precipitation. From that, he likely gets ~1690mm or more rainfall/year, noticeably more than Seattle or Vancouver.

    Scotland has complex, variable weather systems, with more rain in West than in East, but has frequent precipitation all year.

    c) TEMPERATURE
    Scotland’s climate would likely be better with substantial warming. See UK Met Office on Scotland, which one might compare with NASA GISS Global Annual Mean Surface Air Temperature Change. Scotland average maximum temperatures are 18-19C in the summer, i.e., in most places it might occasionally get up to 70F, although of course it varies by geography. +3C is no big deal. The record maximum was 32.9C (91F), set in 2003. Maybe there is yet a good future for air-conditioning/cooling vendors.

    If one does a simple linear regression on both sets of annual data, one finds that SLOPE(Scotland) = .0071C/year, SLOPE(world) = .0057C/year, i.e., Scotland is warming slightly faster than the world as a whole.

    d) AGRICULTURE
    The combination of b) and c) is, most likely *good* for agriculture in Scotland. There is plenty of rain, and higher temperatures mean less snow and a longer growing season. Great!

    In addition, the British geoscientist/vineyard archaeologist Richard Selley thinks that while it may be too hot for good vineyards in Southern England by 2080, it will be fine for some areas of Scotland.
    Future Loch Ness Vineyard: great!

    e) OIL+GAS, ENERGY
    Fossil fuel production (North Sea oil&gas) is very important to the Scotland economy. Wikipedia claims oil-related employment is 100,000 (out of total population of about 5M).

    Scotland has not always been ecstatic to be part of the UK.

    2) TEXAS
    The Viscount Monckton spoke for Young Conservatives of Texas, April 28 @ Texas A&M, which of course has a credible Atmospheric Sciences Department. Of course, many of them were unable to hear the Viscount because they were in Austin at CLIMATE CHANGE Impacts on TEXAS WATER, whose proceedings are online. See especially Gerald North on Global Warming and TX Water.

    Monckton delivered his message: “no worries, no problems” which might well fit Scotland just fine, at least through his normal life expectancy.

    The message was delivered to Texans typically in their 20s, many of whom would expect to see 2060 or 2070, and whose future children, and certainly grandchildren, might well see 2100.

    Texas is rather different from Scotland, although with one similarity (oil+gas).

    a) SEA LEVEL, STORMS

    Texas has a long, low coastline in major hurricane territory.
    Brownsville, TX to Port Arthur is a 450-mile drive, with coastal towns like Corpus Christi, Galveston, and Port Arthur listed at 7 feet elevations. The center of Houston is higher, but some the TX coast has subsidence issues, not PGR helping it rise. The Houston Ship Canal and massive amounts of infrastructure are very near sea level. More people live in the Houston metropolitan area + rest of the TX coast than in all of Scotland.

    Of course, while North Sea storms can be serious, they are not hurricanes. IF it turns out that the intensity distribution of hurricanes shifts higher, it’s not good, since in the short term (but likely not the long term), storm surge is worse than sea level rise.

    Hurricane Rita (2005) and Hurricane Ike (2008) both did serious damage, but in some sense, both “missed” Houston. (Rita turned North, and hit as a Category 3; Ike was down to Category 2 before hitting Galveston).

    Scotland: no roblem
    TX: problems already

    b) RAINFALL
    Texas is very complex meteorologically, and of course, it’s big, but as seen in the conference mentioned above (start with North’s presentation), one might say:

    – The Western and Southern parts may well share in the Hadley-Expansion-induced loss of rain, i.e., longer and stronger droughts, in common with NM, AZ, and Southern CA. Many towns are dependent on water in rivers that come from the center of the state, like the Brazos.

    – The NorthEast part will likely get more rain. [North’s comment about I35 versus I45 indicates uncertainty in the models.]

    – Rain is likely to be more intense when it happens, but droughts will be more difficult.

    Extreme weather in TX already causes high insurance costs, here, or here.

    Scotland: no problem
    Texas: problems.

    c) TEMPERATURE

    Texas A&M is ~31degN, rather nearer the Equator than 57degN.
    Wikipedia has a temperature chart. It is rather warmer in TX, but is also more given to extremes.

    Scotland: +3C would be dandy,
    Texas: +3C not so dandy.

    d) AGRICULTURE
    Between b) and c), less water in dry places, more water in wet places, more variations in water, and higher temperatures (hence worse evaporation/precipitation difference) are not good news for TX agriculture, or so says Bruce McCarl, Professor of Agricultural Economics at TAMU.

    For audiences unfamiliar with Texas A&M, the “A” originally stood for Agriculture, and people are called Aggies. One might assume that agricultural research is valued.
    Politically, “Aggie-land” would not be considered a hotspot of hyper-liberal folks prone to becoming climate “alarmists”.

    Scotland: warmer, great! Wine!
    Texas: serious stress.

    d) OIL+GAS, ENERGY
    Here, there is more similarity: fossil fuels are economically important.

    On the other hand, Scotland was settled long before the use of petroleum, and while places like the highlands are very sparse, cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow are relatively dense, and many villages are quite walkable. Warmer temperatures mean *lower* heating costs.

    Texas has naturally developed in a very different style, and with forthcoming Peak Oil, this may be relevant. In 2006, according to EIA, Texas was #1 in energy consumption, 5th per-capita (after AK, WY, LA, ND) and uses 2X/capita of states like NY or CA. Some of that is inherent in different climate and industry.

    Sprawling development in a state with water problems, subject to dangerous weather extremes, and already seriously-dependent on air-conditioning, may end being expensive for the residents.

    Scotland: makes money from fossil energy, but it was mostly built without it. Warmer temperatures reduce energy use.
    Texas: already uses ~2.5-3X higher energy/capita, compared to Scotland. Warmer temperatures likely raise energy use.

    3. SUMMARY

    Gerald North’s talk ended by asking:
    “Is Texas the most vulnerable state?”

    That sounds like an expert on trains, hearing one coming in the distance, standing on the tracks amidst a bunch of kids, trying to get them off the tracks before there’s blood everywhere.

    On the other side, someone safely away from tracks keeps telling the kids that experts are wrong, there is no danger, so they can play there as long as they like.

  414. J. Bob:

    #400 Tom P
    Comparison of the EMD and FFT Convolution for the Hadcet Data Set.

    Here is a brief comparison of the EMD method and the FFT convolution method of looking at the at temperature from 1850-2000. The data I used was from the site below:

    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/cetml1659on.dat

    The EMD graph is presented at:
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1986583&rendertype=figure&id=F3

    And shows the temperature filtering and moving up to the year 2000. It’s to bad that it didn’t continue into the 2007-08 range, but whatever.

    The FFT Convolution results are shown in Fig. T_est_17,

    http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/t_est_17-TAGv5.gif

    and includes two runs. The first is to the year 2000, the second, includes curves to the year 2008. Comparing the data set, there is some difference, but on the whole, both methods due a good job of getting the underlying information, but in different ways. The main difference is the EMD reduces the need to add a trend line. The FFT uses a trend line to reduce discontinuity at the end points, or one could use “windowing” to do the same.

    The interesting thing about the EMD method is the bending of the thick gray line to the right. Would that indicate a leveling off? It would be nice if someone would redo the analysis out to the 2008. The lower graph in Fig. T_est_17 shows the FFT method carried out to the year 2008. In this case a flattening occurs. So it looks like the debate continues.

    One other point, If one looks at the 150 year data, one could get the impression of a significant temperature rise, in the making. If one looks at the 350 year data, it’s more like here we go again, get out the Union suits.

    http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/t_est_05-NVRm1.gif

  415. dhogaza:

    So it looks like the debate continues.

    Not until you subject your FFT fit to the same level of statistical significance testing that the EMD people did with their fit …

  416. J. Bob:

    #415 – Since you seem to have a good knowledge of statistics, why don’t YOU complete the EMD analysis to 2008, and show your results.

  417. Mark:

    re 415, are you expecting JBob to manage the same rigour as he expects of others???

    Infamy!

  418. Mark:

    JBob you’re the one who has demonstrated not just the inability but the desire to actively avoid ANY analysis for significance, you obviously will not change your “work”.

    Until you do place it under such a statistical test, your message means nothing more than Summer is gone because today was colder than yesterday, so winter is already upon us.

  419. dhogaza:

    #415 – Since you seem to have a good knowledge of statistics, why don’t YOU complete the EMD analysis to 2008, and show your results

    Because I’m not the person claiming to have proven that climate science is bunk. You make the claim, YOU do the work.

  420. dhogaza:

    Oh, confusion … no I’m not interested in running the EMD work out to 2008.

    YOU are claiming that your misapplication of FFT to the data proves that the earth is cooling, that there’s no CO2-forced warming, and we’re just seeing a natural cycle.

    YOU need to support that claim, WE don’t need to do your work for you.

  421. Doug Bostrom:

    #419 dhogaza:

    Don’t do it. If you do, next you know he’ll be wanting to have a few beers with you over an exhaustive discussion of vortex shedding from the stirring paddles of bovine excrement ponds.

  422. Tom P:

    JBob,

    The EMD analysis went out to 2003, not 2000. Extending the analysis by a further five years will have very little effect as the only two statistically significant modes found were a monotonic trend and an approximate 65-year cyclic wave.

    Fourier analysis cannot properly handle non-stationary data, i.e. data that has a trend. Fitting a linear trend will not work if there is a non-linear trend, and windowing de-emphasises the data at the beginning and end of the series – the latter being of greatest interest. Both detrending and windowing are ways of forcing data to behave as cyclic for the sake of a Fourier analysis and will give spurious results if the data is not cyclic.

  423. Charles:

    “On the other side, someone safely away from tracks keeps telling the kids that experts are wrong, there is no danger, so they can play there as long as they like.” John Masley, #413

    Yes, indeed. Thank you, John, for pointing out this out. Mr. Monckton claims he has a paper out for a peer-reviewed journal, implying that it will demonstrate that Gavin is mistaken. And given that Lucia (post #411) still (like Gavin) disagrees with Monckton’s portrayal of the IPCC projections, this paper will be interesting to see! I hope that the identities of the previous reviewers Monckton mentions–“a Professor of Physics, a Doctor of Physics, and a Doctor of Mathematics – all of them eminent”–will be revealed.

    [Response: Don’t hold your breath. – gavin]

  424. John Philip:

    I believe His Lordship described his methodology in this letter to Senators Markey and Barton. In a nutshell, get the IPCC projections for CO2, get the IPCC climate sensitivity, multiply one by t’other, plug into Excel and hey presto you have an ‘IPCC projection’, without all that tedious mucking about with climate models….

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/markey_and_barton_letter.pdf

    Caution: 8Mb pdf.

    [Response: Doesn’t explain how he pulled the ‘CO2 projections’ out of thin air though…. – gavin]

  425. John Philip:

    Indeed. I love all the From these results it is legitimate to infer, in the absence of explicit confirmation by the IPCC …Effectively he is discrediting what the IPCC meant to say. I do not recommend anyone actually download and read this tome; the main value of the document is that it pulls together all the latest aristocratic pseudoscience into one place for easy rebuttal. But then, much of it is a rehashing of his APS ‘paper’ and to the best of my knowledge His Lordship has not deigned to respond to Arthur Smith’s comprehensive debunking of that, a piece of work for which we should all thank Mr Smith bigtime as it saves us having to muddy our screens, so to speak.

    JP.

    PS Rather shorter, but equally chuckleworthy is His Lordship’s 1st reply to Gavin’s comment on the APS piece.

    Here is how it begins..I shall refrain from any ad-hominem remarks of my
    own,

    And here is how it ends ..Another blogger commenting at FalseClimate on Schmidt’s attack on me was John Mashey, who appears very frequently as a commentator on another tendentious blog, funded by a convicted internetgaming fraudster who owns a solar-energy corporation and accordingly has a financial vested interest in promoting the “global warming” scare…Schmidt himself is a colleague of James Hansen, [..]Hansen, whose 1984 paper Schmidt misstates in his second attempt to discredit me, is linked financially and politically to Al Gore through repeated donations of many thousands of dollars to Gore’s re-election campaigns and to those of John Kerry, whose wife recently gave Hansen at least $250,000 from a charitable fund she administers.

    Given he holds a degree in Classics, is it remotely possible he does not know what an ad hominem argument is?

  426. MarkB:

    From #332:

    “The discussion of the science is up to his usual standards. He accuses Gavin of “tampering” with his plots. This sounds rather serious until he makes clear that the tampering in this case consists of not including Monckton’s url or original caption.”

    I noticed this too. I had to look at the before/after picture a few times before realizing the only difference was the link…and somehow that realization was expected. Shame on Dr. Schmidt for not advertising Monckton’s political reference!

  427. J. Bob:

    #422 Tom P

    Thanks for the item. The EMD methods does seem to give a more straight forward way of non-stationary data ( I think they are just about all non-stationary) analysis. That is a problem with the FFT, it does require more fiddling. We always required a re-construction of the original signal to quantitize any errors, just for starters.

  428. David Watt:

    I thought I should read what Monckton actually said before commenting, but found I douldn’t access it. Surely this doesn’t mean that Gavin wants us to form an opinion without any actual knowledge.
    Fortunately I found it on Icecap and having read it would like to see a decent grown up crit on it.

    Sadly this does not appear to be here on Realclimate

    [Response: The letter is clearly linked in the top post and it downloads fine for me. Try a different browser before casting aspersions perhaps. But on the bigger issue, how can you have a ‘grown up crit’ of someone who just makes up his numbers? Dismissing that based on your inability to download a pdf file seems a little too flip, wouldn’t you say? – gavin]

  429. Hemp:

    “Every major international organization that works to reduce or alleviate poverty has stated that global warming is already increasing poverty and making their work more difficult, and that unmitigated anthropogenic global warming will overwhelm and defeat all of their efforts.”

    Strange because global poverty has been steadily decreasing over the last several decades. And the alleviation of poverty is down to the growth of capitalist economies not the growth of NGOs and charities.

  430. John Mashey:

    re: #428
    Works for me under:
    Win XP (Firefox, Safari, IE)
    Linux (Firefox)
    iPhone (Safari)

  431. Ian:

    David Watt,

    If you really need a “decent grown up crit” of Monckton’s latest, especially after reading it, it’s hard to know where to point you. One good start is Arthur Smith’s posting:

    http://www.altenergyaction.org/Monckton.html

    which critiques a previous Monckton letter, much of which he recycled in his new one linked above.

  432. Doug Bostrom:

    #429 Hemp:

    How is what you say connected with threats that are not purely economic in nature? For instance, for a person drowned in a storm surge, how did the abatement in poverty work out? And for the person faced with relocation due to rising sea level?

    Here are some free tickets for you, to the cluetrain:

    http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/right-to-survive-report.pdf
    http://www.preventionweb.net/files/9414_GARsummary.pdf/
    http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2009/04/14/000158349_20090414102048/Rendered/PDF/WPS4901.pdf

    By the way, disclosing that you have some sort of issue with philanthropic organizations does not mean you are right and they are wrong, it does not somehow innoculate you against facts, it only means you;re likely blinkered by romantic ideological claptrap, You’ll have to do better than making revealing remark about your own limitations if your objective is to discredit their work. How about besting their surveys, with data and expertise?

  433. Charles:

    David Watt (#428), you wrote: “Sadly this [“a decent grown up crit”] does not appear to be here on Realclimate.

    Actually, there is plenty of such crit here, provided by Gavin and the other RealClimate scientists. Check out these two previous postings, for example:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/11/cuckoo-science/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/07/once-more-unto-the-bray

    There are numerous other such critical debunkings to be had, if one takes the time to look for them. May I also suggest that the paragraph in Gavin’s most recent posting, beginning with: “To see the extent of this chicanery, one needs only plot the actual IPCC projections against the observations. This can be done a number of ways, firstly, plotting the observational data and the models used by IPCC with a common baseline of 1980-1999 temperatures (as done in the 2007 report) …” and continuing on with the series of graphs forms some subtantive crit? I think Gavin makes a pretty persuasive argument here, and it’s not very difficult to understand. What do you see wrong with it, if anything?

  434. Mark:

    re 429.

    Please prove it.

    The disparity between the wealthy and the poor has increased MARKEDLY too. If you’re talking about “per capita GDP” all that means is that the rich are getting richer off the poor man’s back.

  435. Barton Paul Levenson:

    And if I may contribute:

    http://www.geocities.com/bpl1960/Monckton.html

    Just move the hyphen and paste into your browser.

  436. Ray Ladbury:

    David Watt, What I find astounding is that folks like Monckton are taken seriously by anyone in society. He is a loon, from a long line of loons. He has no training or education in science–and yet people are talking as if he has credibility on climate commensurate with that of researchers who have devoted their lives to the study of the subject. I guess it just shows the power of telling people what they want to hear.

  437. Mark:

    Further to 436, the “paper” that Monkton produced showing that temperature sensitivity to CO2 was lower was based on

    1) Tropics not showing any definitive signal of heating (not showing a signal of NO heating, though, or of a signal that precluded model expectations)
    2) Dividing the flux part way through his work by a third because the tropics recieved most of the insolation. Forgetting that the tropical nighttime sees none.

    And if you reduce your forcing by a third in the wrong place, you get the wrong answer, even if that reduction should be made.

    It’s never been peer reviewed (unless he got some other lords [not members of the House of Lords, who are also peers] to review it.

  438. John Burgeson:

    Barton Paul Levenson Says:
    20 May 2009 at 5:31 AM
    And if I may contribute:

    http://www.geocities.com/bpl1960/Monckton.html

    Thanks for the web reference. I wish you also had one like it on Rush Limbaugh, Shawn Hannity, Fred Singer and Senator Imhofe!

    You have an interesting website — I have bookmarked it for future reading. Suggestion — put a link to it on your secondary pages, such as the one above. I find that this helps folks on my own site, http://www.burgy.50megs.com

    Burgy

  439. John Mashey:

    re: #423 Charles

    Actually, I’m sure he can come up with some “reviewers” with those credentials. What remains to be seen is:

    a) Are they truly “eminent” or not?
    b) If so, are they actually “eminent” in climate science?
    c) And are they actually peer-reviewers (in the normal sense) Picked by a reputable journal that normally publishes climate science.

    Recall that Monckton still claimed that last year’s APS FPS paper was peer-reviewed, when it certainly was not, but was only a brief editorial review by one editor not really familiar with the field.

    But, I’d guess he might get fine reviews from one or more of:

    Laurence Gould, Professor of Physics at University of Hartford, CT, an ardent Monckton publicizer. It’s hard to determine “eminent”.

    Syun-Ichi Akasofu, who certainly was an eminent researcher in aurora physics.

    William Happer, Prof. Physics @ Princeton, also Chairman of the George C. Marshall Institute, and eminent in atomic physics, although he has interesting opinions on climate change.

    He could have gone through the list of fellow Heartland Global Warming Experts, including:
    Akasofu, Baliunas, Christy, Douglass, Essex, Giaver, Gould, Herman, Lindzen, Lupo, Miskolczi, Pekarek, Giaver, Gould, Singer, Spencer, Zagoni, Zichichi. One could add a few more from the recent CATO-100 list. One would expect that at least a few would stand up publicly and support his work. Gould certainly does.

  440. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    J. Bob

    If the earth is cooling (stable or trending down #107) as you say, why is the Arctic ice mass disappearing at such a rapid rate and the worlds glaciers melting, Antarctica warming, and increased atmospheric moisture content which is a feedback of warmer oceans…

    These are observations, not models. I’d really like that all explained though. I mean maybe I’m just missing something and certainly oversimplifying the question, but in a stable/cooling world, shouldn’t the observations be going in the other direction?

    Or does your stable/trending down analysis explain the total thermal inertia causing the melting and atmospheric moisture increase?

  441. Barton Paul Levenson:

    JB — thanks for the kind comments about my web site. I do, in fact, have a page about Limbaugh:

    http://www.geocities.com/bpl1960/Limbaugh.html

    CAPTCHA: hoarier priorities

  442. John Burgeson:

    This seems like a good thread to ask a question:

    I received the following from a “friend” who has exhibited less than steller credibility in the past. Yet, acting on the motto that even a blind pig sometimes roots up an acorn, cal someone comment on it? Thanks.

    Burgy

    NSIDC pulls the plug on Arctic Sea Ice Graphs
    05/27/2009 http://wattsupwiththat.com/

    Excerpt:

    During the the last week, NSIDC graphs of arctic sea ice extent have been dropping so steeply that many have called them into question. Finally NSIDC ended the daily updates and … have placed an “out of order” sign on the website.

    As we first pointed out to NSIDC back on 2/18/09 (even though it “wasn’t worth blogging about”) the sensor has been on the fritz for quite awhile, calling the whole arctic sea ice series into question.
    From their most recent announcement, it looks like that it is now “DOA”. ..

    Here’s what they say now. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/26/nsidc-pulls-the-plug-on-artic-sea-ice-graphs/#more-8033

    [Response: Things break…. such is life. – gavin]

  443. Jim Bouldin:

    David Watt, What I find astounding is that folks like Monckton are taken seriously by anyone in society. He is a loon, from a long line of loons.

    Ray, please don’t disparage loons like that, they’re among my favorite birds.

  444. Pekka Kostamo:

    #442. They forget a later note, dated Feb 26, which explains in detail what was done and why. Who would believe they can make such a gross blunder?

    In addition to the Defense Dept DMSP-series, also other satellites (AMSR-E) provide essentially the same measurements, using different sensors and data processing chains. Very useful for cross-checking and ensures stability of the measurements. Differences between these two systems are minimal, as can be expected.

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2009/022609.html#satellites

  445. Hank Roberts:

    > #442. They forget a later note, dated Feb 26
    Thanks Pekka.

    John, you’ve _always_ got to do what Pekka does here; check the reference — look for further information.

    Don’t assume it’s correct, remember where you’re reading it!
    Always look into it just a bit for yourself. Skepticism, you know.

    Much of what you find reblogged has already been debunked, and they’re just not telling you that; if it was a good science cite at the time it was posted, it may well have been extended, or corrected, or even retracted in the science journal.

    Your friend’s spreading red herring, I fear. Or else he’s taken the bait himself and …. well, metaphor fails here.

  446. John Burgeson:

    I did not assume it had any credibility but my Google searches at the time came up empty. Thanks for the added info.

    I do get stuff like this frequently; usually I can (if I take the time) get the real scoop easily.

    I am, however, getting less and less inclined anymore to take the time unless the source is a genuine friend or — in this case, a genuine troll (Janice) who tosses her cookies over the fence to the ASA list from time to time. On a whim, I surfed over to a web site she recommended; I felt “unclean” when I left it.

    BTW I just read in NEW SCIENTIST (5/16/09 issue) a neat little piece on John Tyndall’s discovery in May 1859 of the GHG property of CO2. I added this information to my “Climate 101″ article on

    http://www.burgy.50megs.com/climate.htm

    Burgy

  447. Hank Roberts:

    > Google searches … came up empty

    Brief aside to John because this is important. Learning how to find things is among the best lessons people here have been teaching us. Let me try summing up a bit on what I’ve learned so far.

    For Google searches, don’t rely on the assertion to craft your search.

    I found nothing, today, as long as I used only search strings found in the WTF site article you quoted.

    Meta-aside: There are lots of copies of that, many places, it’s much copypasted. None of the copies have the error corrected. The copypasters have no skepticism at all, they are true believers in what they read.

    Lesson: Don’t start by assuming the article on that sort of site is accurate and correct and arguing with their statement.

    When you meet a strawman by the side of the road, don’t argue with him. Listen for the giggles from the bushes.

    (As illustrated here: Find out what a straw man argument is, and how the most spectacular cherry pick in the history of scientific … Climate Denial Crock of the Week http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWJeqgG3Tl8 )

    John, whatever you hear or are told, test -that- first.
    Teach your friend. First thing a scientist does, check the claims.

    For NSIDC, did you try going to the source, their page?
    There’s a “site search” button at top right of the page.
    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    Right at the moment, this is the top item:

    —quote follows—-
    Update: May 26 2009 The daily image update has been temporarily suspended because of large areas of missing data in the past week. NSIDC currently gets its data from the SSM/I sensor on the DMSP F13 satellite, which is nearing the end of its operational life and experiencing intermittent problems. NSIDC has been working on a transition to a newer sensor on the F17 satellite for several months. At this time, we have more than a year of data from F17, which we are using to intercalibrate with F13 data. The F17 data are not yet available for near-real-time updates. We will resume posting daily updates as soon as possible, either from F13, if the present problem is resolved, or from F17, when the transition is complete.

    To read more about the sensor transition, see Building Long Time Series from Satellite Data, on the February 26 update to Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis. For more information on the data used in the daily update, see Image and Data Questions on our Frequently Asked Questions page.
    —- end quote, see original for links—-

  448. Hank Roberts:

    PS, John, the other satellite source:
    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/cgi-bin/seaice-monitor.cgi

    Discussion of the various instrumental records and how they’re being correlated is down at the bottom of this page:
    http://polynya.gsfc.nasa.gov/seaice_projects.html#title1

  449. Hank Roberts:

    In case you ever took any of these people seriously:
    http://www.desmogblog.com/denier-conference-readies-round-three

  450. Kevin McKinney:

    Just a quick update: NSIDC has completed the transition to a different satellite sensor (having intercalibrated over a year’s worth of data), and the daily update is once again available.

    Not surprisingly, the trend in sea ice extent has been sharply downward, and the extent is now much closer to 2008 levels than to the reference mean for the date. So any denialists you may still hear crowing about the “recovery” of Arctic sea ice–of whom I heard quite a few in April–are now behind the curve, literally. Live by the short-term trend, die by the short-term trend. . .

  451. Chris:

    #450 Kevin McKinney

    “Not surprisingly, the trend in sea ice extent has been sharply downward”
    Indeed, it’s early summer.

    “the extent is now much closer to 2008 levels than to the reference mean for the date.”
    But 2008 levels on 2nd June were still the highest in 5 years by 170,000km2
    6 2 2003 11732344
    6 2 2004 11335313
    6 2 2005 11284531
    6 2 2006 11151094
    6 2 2007 11318125
    6 2 2008 11507656
    6 2 2009 11523125
    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

    “So any denialists you may still hear crowing…”
    Or even any tongue-in-cheek self-styled anti-“septics”?
    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2009/04/yet_more_sea_ice.php

    A less antagonistic way of making the same statement could be “So the very recent trend has been away from May’s “recovery” of Arctic sea ice”

  452. Mark:

    Chris, 451, your “of course” is often missed by those who wish to promote the idea that GW is wrong because the ***Antarctic*** ***in places*** is having ice extent increase over *some* period.

    Why avoid being antagonistic when you can rub their noses in it? It’s not like they listened to the “Of course” from the climatologists, is it.

  453. John Burgeson:

    My friend has posted (June 2) a criticism of IPCC temperature predictions on his blog at
    http://themigrantmind.blogspot.com/

    I told him I could see at least three reasons his argument fails — I said the first reason was that he had no lag time built into his analysis and that I was not going to tell him the other two reasons.

    His basic point is that the IPCC’s projections have been wrong in the past and there is no reason to think they will be correct in the future. We’ve had a series of email exchanges on this; he thinks his argument is rock solid.

    He invites people to look at his post and give it their best shot. The blog is one upon which people may comment.

  454. dhogaza:

    Your friend has shown himself to have a closed mind. I doubt there’s much point in engaging him. Best to ignore his blog and not do anything to boost its popularity. Blogs with no readership are an exercise in writing for the round file, after all …

  455. Mark:

    “His basic point is that the IPCC’s projections have been wrong in the past and there is no reason to think they will be correct in the future.”

    But that is no reason why they are wrong in the future either.

    Has he ever driven and not made a corner? Does he then refuse to drive except on straight roads because, since he’d got it wrong before, there’s no reason to believe he’ll get it right next time?

  456. Mark:

    PS John, stop being the fluffer for your friends delusional blog, please.

  457. Chris:

    It’s sad how a friend can be turned into a “friend” over this sort of thing. Look out for the commentators who think for themselves and show the most respect, and try to advance your friendship with a similar approach to theirs. Don’t let yourself be dragged into a zero-sum game by people who hang out on blogs just to rubbish those with a different point of view.

  458. Kevin McKinney:

    Actually, I haven’t been crowing–other than in the post above, which I think is fairly modest in that regard. I have been enjoying the sudden deafening silence on the topic of sea ice extent, though.

    And I rather think that I may indulge myself in some crowing round about September. But in the meantime, I’ll say what I said back in April–“we’ll see.”

  459. Mark:

    “Don’t let yourself be dragged into a zero-sum game by people who hang out on blogs just to rubbish those with a different point of view.”

    Uh, how about those with a wrong point of view?

    I mean, we don’t like to give Garry Glitter the time of day (google him) even though he has “a different point of view” on how old you have to be to get intimate with someone.

    The problem is that his “friend”‘s blog is not even as good as a zero sum game. It is only a negative-sum game. The only way to win is not to play.

    Hence my comment #456.

    Lets not play the game, eh?

  460. Hank Roberts:

    When you meet a strawman by the side of the road, don’t stop to argue.
    http://xkcd.com/386/

  461. Ray Ladbury:

    Mark:

    “Love the sinner and hate the sin”–St. Augustine

  462. wayne davidson:

    #457, Is this the same Chris from the UK who believes in sea ice making a come back? The same chap who thought a certain shoddy London Sunday Telegraph piece had some merit? If it is the same Chris, hello…. be kind, and you need to study more again

    Some perspective is needed:

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/ARCHIVE/20070601.jpg

    2008 is not available, Note the snow extent North of Russia, and again on this one:

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/NEWIMAGES/arctic.seaice.color.000.png

    2007 went on in no time to become the all time melt:

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/ARCHIVE/20070616.jpg

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/ARCHIVE/20070912.jpg

    So we must take note of 2007 as a standard, but all years are never quite alike. Yet 2009 had thinner ice to start with in some parts, as you can see in Lancaster and Barrow Strait. The NW passage from Atlantic to Cornwallis Island will be possible in a few days not at all like 2007.

    But the clouds dominate:

    http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/data/satellite/hrpt_dfo_ir_100.jpg

    as long as they do, 2009 melt will be tempered, not as crazy as 2007. So far as the snow footprint indicates, its warmer on the Eurasian side, There is no sea ice come back, per say, there are just conditions which spares or causes great melts, these are the times for great melts. If the clouds vanish and allow the sun through like during 2007, there would be more focus on the poor state of the ice.

  463. John Burgeson:

    To several:

    It would have been more useful if you pointed out to him where his argument fails.

    Burgy

  464. John Burgeson:

    I will add that there are two reasons I wish to engage with him:

    1. He is a friend and colleague of many years
    2. At least two other friends and colleagues follow his blog and, so far, seem to accept his work.

    I also add that he is not a “troll,” in that he does his own work and does not just lift quotes and news from others.

    Burgy

  465. Mark:

    re 460, but the sin is the person too here. Even his fluffer has noted he won’t listen to counters that he’s tried.

    If the sin is ignorance, surely the sin and sinner are the same when it’s WILLFUL ignorance.

    re 464, I did give it. That it has been wrong before is no proof it is wrong now and in the future.

    And add to that he has no proof it was wrong before.

  466. Mark:

    re 460. that’s why I posted comment 456. But John keeps propping that darn bale of straw up on the highway right in front of any passer by going “Look at the man in the road!!!”.

    So I ask John to leave that pile of hay where it is. It’s quite happy there and it isn’t going to listen to anyone telling it something. And trying means we have to stop the car and delay our journey.

  467. Chris:

    #459 Let’s not ;)

    But it doesn’t have to be a zero/negative-sum game. Concede where friend has some semblance of a valid point e.g. temps more below model mean than above in past decade. Find a more accurate/reasonable representation of this point, e.g.
    http://rankexploits.com/musings/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/ar4anomalies.jpg
    Then explain about spread of model ensembles, point out *under*-prediction of 1998 peak etc. And of course lags, aerosols…
    The conceding part is crucial. Too many people will never concede anything, because they believe their cause too important ever to show weakness.

  468. Chris:

    #462 Hello and best wishes for 2009 Arctic summer :)

    #463/4 “…where his argument fails…” You’ve already pointed out the lags issue – that’s enough to fail it. There’s also aerosols. In some ways I agree with the others that it’s best not to engage beyond that. I only disagree with them insofar as I would suggest doing it in such a way that is not too dismissive, as like I said he may have (a semblance of) a valid point on some issues. In other words leaving the door open for more constructive discussions in the future. (For example where he is prepared to use a tone a lot less exaggerated/aggressive than e.g. “This, to me, says that the IPCC is nothing but a scaremongering organization.”)

  469. Hank Roberts:

    IF he’d cite the basis for his beliefs, they’d be worth looking into. E.g. “since 2003 the oceans are cooling”

    (Did nobody ever tell him that temperature lags CO2? He’s arguing for instantaneous change in the air temperature on the assumption the ocean isn’t involved.)

    This is just warmed-over Monckton; he’ll get the attention he earns without your trying to get him help he doesn’t want from people he doesn’t respect.

  470. Hank Roberts:

    John, read through this:
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/05/18/climate-denial-crock/
    in particular John Mashey’s pieces.

    http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/05/18/climate-denial-crock/#comment-15021

    http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/05/18/climate-denial-crock/#comment-15660

    http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/05/18/climate-denial-crock/#comment-15718

    http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/05/18/climate-denial-crock/#comment-15766

    Once you are clear on what you understand, you can talk with your friend.

    Before that, it’s an invitation to “let’s you and him fight” — amusing to watch but unproductive.

  471. Hank Roberts:

    John, try just focusing on these, after reading Mashey.
    4, 6, 9, 12, 28, 29, 34, 40, 43
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

  472. John Burgeson:

    OK. I understand. Am I a “fluffer?” That’s a new term to me. If it means someone who points to an invalid argument, even when discussing why that argument is invalid, I guess I qualify.

    I think his argument also fails on these particulars:

    1. I’ve mentioned the lag problem, which he has rejected.
    2. His model does not consider convection.
    3. His model does not consider that CO2 is only a few parts per million.
    4. I had thought of another reason but right now it escapes me.

    I have studied young earth creationism for many years, partly because I am fascinated by people who really believe outrageous things and how they twist the data to give those beliefs a “scientific” basis. To some extent this phenomenon is repeated by the AGW contrarians, although I can find no “religious” basis for it. There does seem to be, at least partly, a political basis, although there are both left and right wing people to be found on both sides.

    I appreciate the discussions.

    Burgy

  473. Hank Roberts:

    Here, John:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/add_article.php
    register, sign in, nominate the site if you think it qualifies (as having any original content)

  474. Jim Eager:

    Re John Burgeson @472, not “religious” per se, but definitely an unquestioning belief in fundamental free market dogma, a steadfast resistance to altering the economic and power structure status quo, and a refusal to accept that humans have the capacity to alter the climate system predominates in the contrarian and denialist camps.

    Captcha is blunt tonight: “the sadists”

  475. RobR:

    Happened to catch a Discovery Channel show last night – SNOWBALL EARTH. Makes me fear global cooling far more than warming.

    Some postulations concerning these super ice ages made me think of the blog last year –
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/co2-in-ice-cores/
    – in which it was postulated that the delay in rising CO2 leels in Greenland ice cores of 800 years at begining of retreat of ice age 100,000 years ago was not inconsitent with AGW theories. However, I would note that the presence of ice would greatly reduce the volume of plant matter worldwide and thereby the ability of plants (both domestic and marine) to photosynthesize CO2. Volcanic action would continue unabated during the ice age resulting in increased CO2 levels that should mitigate when the ice age retreats. This conforms with the deniers’ view that increasing CO2 follows from warming temperatures. Any explanation.

    BTW, concerning Monckton, is there a reasoned complete response to the Heatrtland Institute’s publication: Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate, Singer ed. (2008), anyone can refer me to?

  476. Mark:

    re 472, a fluffer is someone who ensures that a male pron movie star looks “ready” by taking a feather duster and “fluffing” the appropriate areas to create the appropriate reaction to indicate readiness.

    I would not expect it to be a particularly worthwhile job.

  477. Mark:

    re 467, and it looks like Johns friend doesn’t want to consider they are wrong in anything.

    So why bother with him?

  478. Chris:

    #477 “…doesn’t want to consider they are wrong in anything. So why bother with him?”

    I would say that with such people, it is more that they don’t want to consider you (the anti-“denialists”) are *right* in *everything*.

  479. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Chris writes:

    Concede where friend has some semblance of a valid point e.g. temps more below model mean than above in past decade.

    But it’s not a valid point. The temperature curve jogs up and down. It has jogged down this much in the past, and up just as often. A climate trend needs 30 years or more of observations to come out of the noise. “Trends” since 1998 are impressive only to complete statistical illiterates. Unfortunately, this includes most Americans, and as far as I can tell, every single AGW denier out there.

  480. Barton Paul Levenson:

    RobR posts:

    This conforms with the deniers’ view that increasing CO2 follows from warming temperatures. Any explanation.

    It’s not “the deniers’ view,” it’s everybody’s view. In a natural deglaciation, due to Milankovic cycles, the Earth warms first and CO2 follows. CO2 is less soluble in warmer water, so it bubbles out of the oceans, with a mean time lag of about 800 years.

    That is NOT what’s happening now. We know the new CO2 is from fossil fuel burning by its radioisotope signature. The oceans are presently a net SINK for CO2, not a net SOURCE. They give off about 90 gigatons of carbon a year but take in 92.

  481. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Mark writes:

    re 472, a fluffer is someone who ensures that a male pron movie star looks “ready” by taking a feather duster and “fluffing” the appropriate areas to create the appropriate reaction to indicate readiness.

    I would not expect it to be a particularly worthwhile job.

    Depends on how much it pays. It sounds like easy work to me. And I could use the money. You know where to find me.

  482. Mark:

    478, well that doesn’t fit either, Chris.

    He doesn’t know me, for one.

    John has tried and been ignored for two.

    And I’ve not said I’m right in everything.

    So three strikes.

    You’re out.

  483. Kevin McKinney:

    RobR, the lag of CO2 was understood by “ice age theorists” for a long time before the present era of AGW controversy. “Normally”–ie., in pre-Industrial times–CO2 is believed to have risen predominantly as a result of warming temperatures, not so much because of the factors that you mention, as because cold water can hold more CO2 in solution than warm water. (Think here about warm sodas versus cold ones, and their respective “fizziness.”) (Apologies if you’ve already “got” this part.)

    So as temperatures increase, CO2 is released from the oceans, causing yet more warming, and boosting the planet out of a glaciated state.

    To assess the importance of the factors you mention, you’d need to quantify how much CO2 volcanoes release, and how the reduction of the geographical extent of the active biosphere affects the carbon cycle. FWIW, I’d expect the latter to be a really complicated question–the biosphere acts as both sink & source of CO2, and it’s not clear (to me at least) that the marine biosphere would necessarily contract (as cold waters today are often among the most biologically productive.)

    Hope this helps. BTW, if you haven’t read Weart’s “Discovery of Global Warming” yet, it’s excellent, and has a lot of information relevant to your post. There’s a link to it in the RealClimate sidebar.

  484. Chris:

    #479, #482

    You both prove my point. “Too many people will never concede anything, because they believe their cause too important ever to show weakness.”

  485. Mark:

    484, what proves that point, Chris?

  486. Hank Roberts:

    Nope, Chris, you have to pick a real issue to concede on, not a common misstatement. Look at the error range of each measurement, not the little dot at the middle that’s reported as though it were a fact. You understood Tamino’s lesson on this, a while back, I thought.

  487. Hank Roberts:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/04/16/perjury/

  488. Chris:

    No further comment, especially re: the cleverly provocative #486. Who am I to stand in the way of the daily no-nuance anti-“denialist” (~anyone who disagrees on any point to any extent in the “wrong” direction) commenting campaign?

  489. Chris S.:

    Chris, Barton and Hank have it right, although the temps are below the ‘model mean’ this goes nowhere near proving any sort of point. If the temperatures had plummeted, or if we were in the middle of an El Nino event & the temperatures had stayed relatively constant then there may be a point but as it is everything is still pretty much what was expected (within reasonable error margins).

    Captcha: “means year” – a prediction of its own perhaps? Inscrutable as ever…

  490. Hank Roberts:

    See also: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/05/moncktons-deliberate-manipulation/#comment-122646

  491. dhogaza:

    You both prove my point. “Too many people will never concede anything, because they believe their cause too important ever to show weakness.”

    We should concede that a lie is true?

    How odd…

  492. John E. Pearson:

    Where does the 30 year time scale (for the minimum time needed to see a climate trend) come from? Why is it 30 years and not 10 or 100 years?

  493. Jim Eager:

    Ah, Barton (481), You might want to rethink that. Mark’s not being quite straight with you. It’s not really a feather duster that a “fluffer” uses.

  494. Chris:

    Even during the El Nino-dominated period between 2002 and 2007 (26 months worth of El Nino see p.26 of http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf )
    global temperatures could barely keep up with the model mean
    http://rankexploits.com/musings/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/ar4anomalies.jpg
    (despite a lack of volcanic cooling, and despite the lower than expected Arctic ice/snow coverage)

    #486 I never said that anyone should concede whole issues.

    Other than that, #484 will have to be my last word, as I wrote another reply but…

  495. dhogaza:

    Where does the 30 year time scale (for the minimum time needed to see a climate trend) come from? Why is it 30 years and not 10 or 100 years?

    From looking at data. This period was chosen some decades ago as being the shortest timescale which successfully separates long-term climate from shorter-term phenomena such as ENSO.

    It has nothing to do with the global warming argument per se, i.e. this timescale was settled on before AGW became a hot button even among researchers, not to mention the public.

  496. Hank Roberts:

    For John Pearson–your question, pasted into Google:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=30+year+time+scale+(for+the+minimum+time+needed+to+see+a+climate+trend)+come+from%3F+Why

    The first hit in the search:

    More Grumbine Science: Results on deciding trends
    You need 20-30 years of data to define a climate trend in global mean temperature … we found 20-30 years as the appropriate time span. … Again, we see that the figures (maximum trend, minimum trend, … Repeat this inspection for other years, and think you’ll rapidly come to the conclusion that …
    http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/2009/01/results-on-deciding-trends.html

  497. Dan:

    re: 494. “Even during the El Nino-dominated period between 2002 and 2007…”

    Gee, what a classic cherry-pick! We are talking about warming trends on the order of 30+ years. You’ve just “proven” that picking out a shorter period shows climate noise, just like those who pick the strong El Nino year of 1998 as the start of their statistically irrelevant “cooling trend”. Thanks for making that clear.

  498. Dan:

    re: 492. Thirty years are used for climate trend analyses and for defining “climate normals” for a particular location per the World Meteorological Organization standard. There will always be shorter term influences (weather noise, if you will) that affect trends. It’s the longer term signal that is of interest here. I believe 30 years was determined through statistical analyses. It was the shortest period which allows the signal to overcome statistical noise.

  499. John E. Pearson:

    re 496 and 498. Thanks. The Grumbine site is interesting but I was hoping to see something more rigorous. Do you know of a discussion of this in the literature?

  500. Mark:

    “#486 I never said that anyone should concede whole issues.”

    But you WILL say “You just don’t want to listen to a contrary opinion” when there’s no evidence to support that conclusion.

  501. Hank Roberts:

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=climate+trend+length+detection+statistics+%2230+year%22

  502. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Chris writes:

    You both prove my point. “Too many people will never concede anything, because they believe their cause too important ever to show weakness.”

    No, Chris, I won’t concede a point that’s wrong. Sorry if that strikes you as unfair.

  503. John E. Pearson:

    Re: 501
    Thanks but I was hoping for a key standard reference on the subject in order to avoid spending hours wading through search engine results.

  504. Hank Roberts:

    John, sounds like you want an introductory college statistics text? I’m too long out of school to recommend one. Or have you studied statistics but want something about this particular number?

    I think you’re asking how one determines sample size (how many samples are needed to detect a trend with some level of confidence).

    You might inquire in Bob Grumbine’s open questions thread. He provides supplementary files for his four or five Trends threads. Did you look at the example files he provides for people to do the exercises themselves? perhaps that would help. Or ask about his references.

    Some of these are standard texts — look at the “cited by” numbers.
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=how+many+samples+are+needed+to+detect+a+trend+with+confidence

  505. Ike Solem:

    The fact that Monkton might engage in manipulation is one thing… but what if Department of Energy hires an outside firm to to do the same thing?

    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/environment/2009-06-01-alternative-energy_N.htm

    “U.S. institutes lead in environmental research expertise”

    Really? I guess it depends on how you define “environmental”…
    http://www.earthportal.org/news/?p=2442

    The Earth science director at Goddard, the list topper, said he was “surprised and puzzled” to find his firm was the leading institution in the study. “We are experts in science, not technology,” said Franco Einaudi. “Our strengths are areas like atmospheric chemistry”

    How was all this ranked? For that, let’s look to the methodology employed in the study. Why? For the same reason you want to examine the methods used in historical temperature reconstructions and in climate models.

    The lead study analyst, Kevin Boyack, is a employee of Scitech Strategies, noted for a “map of science” approach – but can we see the precise methodology? It doesn’t look like it:

    SciTech Strategies, Inc. enlisted Prediction Impact (PI) to develop a key data mining initiative for the study of science. . . PI implemented and optimized SciTech Strategies’ specialized, proprietary data mining and clustering methods, applying them to discover key research and technology trends. Further analysis then characterizes these trends by type, importance and vitality, and reveals the relationships between trends.

    Proprietary means that no, you can’t see how we did it. The same problem applies to the DOE-FutureGen performance model results – protected from public scrutiny by the blatant abuse of patent law under “public-private partnership” contracts.

    In energy research, as in climate research, the data and methods should be made available for public inspection. If the DOE isn’t doing that, reporters should be asking why.

    And, please, look at all the data trends over the rise of fossil CO2 in the atmosphere, don’t just cherrypick regions:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/

    Bets are now on, by the way: who can predict an El Nino?

    Summary: Pacific trending towards El Niño

    The recent evolution of climate patterns across the equatorial Pacific is consistent with the early stages of a developing El Niño. Moreover, during the past few months computer forecasts have increasingly shown El Niño as a distinct possibility for 2009. The odds of an El Niño are now thought to be above 50%, which is more than double the normal risk of an event. However, it is still possible that the recent trends may stall without El Niño thresholds being reached.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/

  506. John E. Pearson:

    Re 504:

    No I’m not looking for an introductory statistics book. I’d just like to see a key reference on this issue. From my perspective it’s not purely a problem in statistics. I think it is interesting. The Grumbine thing was convincing regarding 30 years until you consider that he was using 120 years worth of data to do conclude that 30 years is about the right period. It seems to me that something like 30 years has to be the answer if you use 120 years worth of data, my point being that if you average over a significant chunk of the total data available to you then you’ll start approaching a sample size independent answer simply because you’re starting to run out of sample. My guess is that if we followed Grumbine and had annual data going back say 1,000 years we’d conclude that 300 years was the right period, and if we had data for 10,000 years we’d conclude that 3,000 years was the right period. However, If we’re concerned with changes that occur on the order of about a century I’d be inclined to go with the 30 year figure, but not because 100 year’s worth of data demands it but because it is a significant fraction of the time scale of interest which is also 100 years. Somebody above wrote that it climate change was determined by the data and that 30 years is the value on which climate change can be determined. I agree that 30 years is the “right number” but not because it is intrinsic to climate but because it is intrinsic to humans. We can contemplate future society out a few times 30 years but not for ten times 30 years. I would imagine this sort of stuff has been discussed in the literature and I’d like to read it if anyone knows a reference.

    Regarding sample size:

    I don’t think sample size is the right metric for learning trends. Consider a particle moving with a constant small velocity v on which is superimposed a large random walk with diffusion coefficient D. What is the probability that the position of the particle is greater than L? For short times it is zero. For times long compared to L^2/D but short compared to D/v^2 the probability is about 1/2 because on these intermediate time scales the distribution of positions looks uniform. On these intermediate time scales the particle could be anywhere (provided L^2/D

  507. Hank Roberts:

    Did you read the earlier threads? This may help, linking to a question that resembles yours that was answered inline at the time:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/01/uncertainty-noise-and-the-art-of-model-data-comparison#comment-78961

  508. Hank Roberts:

    You may also find the discussion on this thread helpful (as well as much else at this site), if you follow the math; it’s a different data set but similar questions are raised about how long is needed:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/08/01/spencers-folly-3/

    “… The method can be used to estimate climate sensitivity, but it actually requires reasonably long time spans to give the correct result. It was used by Forster and Gregory (2006, J. Climate, 19, 39) to estimate climate sensitivity based on actual measurements from 1985 to 1996 …. They also caution that the time span under study casts doubt on the accuracy of their results, because it’s too short a time span for the method to be very precise. They further caution that some feedbacks (in the usual sense) can take decades or longer to appear, so their analysis is more like an estimate of “prompt” climate sensitivity than of the true, equilibrium climate sensitivity. Forster and Taylor (2006, Journal of Climate, 19, 6181) got around the too-brief-time-span problem by analyzing the output of climate models for hundreds of years, but of course that’s the result for a climate model, not observations for the actual planet earth.”

  509. dhogaza:

    I agree that 30 years is the “right number” but not because it is intrinsic to climate but because it is intrinsic to humans. We can contemplate future society out a few times 30 years but not for ten times 30 years.

    Gavin’s inline response at the link Hank posts above should help you. I have no problem with your statement. When looking at the climate signal for the next couple of hundred years, we can safely ignore the fact that slow changes driven by the milankovich cycle are significant at the 10s of thousands of years timescale. If we make it to the next ice age perhaps civilization will worry about it a few thousand years before it arrives … until then, it seems prudent to worry about what we’re doing to the system on the century timescale.

  510. Jim Bouldin:

    John, this article discusses some of the rationale and history:

    Guttman, N.B. (1989). Statistical descriptors of climate. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 70:602-607.

  511. John E. Pearson:

    Re 508-510 thanks for the links. Interesting reads.
    I read another paper about learning trends from data but I haven’t absorbed it yet. I have a criterion of my own which I’m certain is in the literature although I didn’t see it. I claim though that if D = half the time rate of change of the variance in the temperature data (in degrees squared per decade) and V is the “trend” (in degrees per decade) that you need to collect data for a minimum time of about D/V^2 in order to get a reasonable estimate of V. It takes about this long before a trend will emerge from the noise. This is of course what the tamino link is about but he didn’t put it in quite these terms. Work kept me from reading the Forster and Gregory paper. anyway, thanks for the links.

  512. Rober Grumbine:

    John (511, 506): Your question is a good one. I’m running around for a bit yet, but when I settle back down I’ll pursue some illustrations of an answer to what I believe you’re asking. A drawback is that once we leave the last 120-150 years, we don’t have the same caliber of data to work with. In particular, we need something with annual resolution if we’re going to keep using the same approach I was. This exists, but either you must accept the global temperatures of the last several hundred years as spliced from proxies (and still only have several hundred years to work with), or you look only at local data sources (but can go back much farther, at least if someone actually sampled the ice cores or longer tree ring series to annual resolution). I’ll look for some sources of data that would be interesting.

    In the mean time, I’ll suggest this question: Do we have reason to believe that the last 120 years, as viewed from 30ish year bases, are markedly different in their variances than other periods? Keeping in mind as we ask that the early part of the 120 years (or 150 — you get comparable answers from the HADCRUT series as the NOAA or NASA) is agreed by all to be mostly unaffected by human activity, and the more recent span still shows that we want the same 30ish years to be talking about climate.

    Your comment about 30 years being a good figure strictly on human counts is one I’ve made myself. I’ve been a bit surprised to see that it holds up as a good number on climatological grounds as well. And does so whether I’ve looked at mean, variance, or trend. At least for global mean temperature. I’ll be looking at other variables sooner or later. (And have, but with such a short record I don’t trust the results much. Still, 20-30 years came up as the desirable period there, too.)

  513. John Mashey:

    Warning: humor mode on.

    Bad graphs never die, and they don’t even seem to fade away.

    Courtesy Deltoid, we find Monckton being interviewed for Larouche’s Executive Intelligence Review, a publication not on par with Science or Nature, or even Energy and Environment. It might match UFO magazines, maybe.

    Laroucher Murphy’s introductory comments offer a taste of what to expect, including:

    “In the interview, one sees that, Monckton’s view of the “cabal,” as he calls the people behind the fascist global warming swindle, is limited. The interviewer’s view of this cabal is broader, which includes the financial oligarchy centered in the City of London and the self-confessed genocidalists Prince Philip and Prince Charles, along with their lap dog Al Gore.”

    I hadn’t realized Monckton’s view was so limited.

    If you want the full article, here it is. It features the selfsame graph that started this post.

    Now, back to reality….