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The wisdom of Solomon

Filed under: — gavin @ 29 January 2010

A quick post for commentary on the new Solomon et al paper in Science express. We’ll try and get around to discussing this over the weekend, but in the meantime I’ve moved some comments over. There is some commentary on this at DotEarth, and some media reports on the story – some good, some not so good. It seems like a topic that is ripe for confusion, and so here are a few quick clarifications that are worth making.

First of all, this is a paper about internal variability of the climate system in the last decade, not on additional factors that drive climate. Second, this is a discussion about stratospheric water vapour (10 to 15 km above the surface), not water vapour in general. Stratospheric water vapour comes from two sources – the uplift of tropospheric water through the very cold tropical tropopause (both as vapour and as condensate), and the oxidation of methane in the upper stratosphere (CH4+2O2 –> CO2 + 2H2O NB: this is just a schematic, the actual chemical pathways are more complicated). There isn’t very much of it (between 3 and 6 ppmv), and so small changes (~0.5 ppmv) are noticeable.

The decreases seen in this study are in the lower stratosphere and are likely dominated by a change in the flux of water through the tropopause. A change in stratospheric water vapour because of the increase in methane over the industrial period would be a forcing of the climate (and is one of the indirect effects of methane we discussed last year), but a change in the tropopause flux is a response to other factors in the climate system. These might include El Nino/La Nina events, increases in Asian aerosols, or solar impacts on near-tropopause ozone – but this is not addressed in the paper and will take a little more work to figure out.

Update: This last paragraph was probably not as clear as it should be. If the lower stratospheric water vapour (LSWV) is relaxing back to some norm after the 1997/1998 El Nino, then what we are seeing would be internal variability in the system which might have some implications for feedbacks to increasing GHGs, and my estimate of that would be that this would be an amplifying feedback (warmer SSTs leading to more LSWV). If we are seeing changes to the tropopause temperatures as an indirect impact from increased Asian aerosol emissions or solar-driven ozone changes, then this might be better thought of as impacting the efficacy of those forcings rather than implying some sensitivity change.

The study includes an estimate of the effect of the observed stratospheric water decadal decrease by calculating the radiation flux with and without the change, and comparing this to the increase in CO2 forcing over the same period. This implicitly assumes that the change can be regarded as a forcing. However, whether that is an appropriate calculation or not needs some careful consideration. Finally, no-one has yet looked at whether climate models (which have plenty of decadal variability too) have phenomena that resemble these observations that might provide some insight into the causes.


487 Responses to “The wisdom of Solomon”

  1. 451
    Septic Matthew says:

    442, Hank Roberts. Thank you for the cite. I downloaded it.

  2. 452

    Leo G,

    The figures are about right, the idea that a runaway greenhouse effect wasn’t needed to get there is bogus.

  3. 453
    Hank Roberts says:

    Ike, Rod comments on your 437 in his 448 (there must be a heck of a lot of _small_ petroleum generators).

    But also, that page he links to has this interesting paragraph on changes:

    “While electricity generation from the primary fuel sources decreased in 2008 (coal by 1.5 percent, natural gas by 1.5 percent, and nuclear by 0.03 percent), generation from all renewable sources increased, with the exception of wood and wood derived fuels. Most notably, wind generation increased 60.7 percent, from 34.5 million MWh in 2007 to 55.4 million MWh in 2008. For the first time, wind generation constituted a larger share of total electric generation than either petroleum or wood and wood-derived fuels.”

  4. 454
    Hank Roberts says:

    Ike, re Rod’s comment on your 437 in his 448– seems reasonable that there must be a lot of _small_ petroleum generators, as they do so little.

    That page Rod B links to (thanks!) has this interesting paragraph on changes:

    “While electricity generation from the primary fuel sources decreased in
    2008 (coal by 1.5 percent, natural gas by 1.5 percent, and nuclear by 0.03
    percent), generation from all renewable sources increased, with the
    exception of wood and wood derived fuels. Most notably, wind generation
    increased 60.7 percent, from 34.5 million MWh in 2007 to 55.4 million MWh
    in 2008. For the first time, wind generation constituted a larger share of
    total electric generation than either petroleum or wood and wood-derived
    fuels.”

  5. 455
    Chris Dudley says:

    Leo (#449),

    You are quoting this site: http://www.countingcats.com/?p=4745 It’s explanations are quite incorrect.

  6. 456
    Didactylos says:

    “…increased 60.7 percent…”

    This says more about how low it was to start with. Wind doesn’t even rate a separate segment in their pie charts, being lumped in with “other renewables”.

  7. 457
    John E. Pearson says:

    453: In 2009, US windpower capacity increased 10GW from 25 to 35 GW.

  8. 458
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “455
    Didactylos says:
    10 February 2010 at 2:37 PM

    “…increased 60.7 percent…”

    This says more about how low it was to start with.”

    Actually, that says NOTHING about how low it was to start with.

    a 45% increase in something could be a tiny absolute change in a tiny thing or a huge absolute change in a big thing.

    The percentage is the same, despite one being tiny and the other being big.

    So the percentage change says NOT ONE THING about the value it started with.

  9. 459
    Completely Fed Up says:

    LeoG, 449, that’s surprisingly like a previous poster “passing on” his query about venus and how come it’s not just that it’s the high pressure at the surface that’s creating the heat.

    Leo, have you tried to find out if it really works like that?

    No?

    Then how do you know that the 8C/km is the “cause” of the warming? Where do you think the 8C/km comes from?

    After all, it was obvious to Calvin that the wind was caused by trees sneezing. No need for anything else…

  10. 460
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “If you cannot do it for your house without a massive subsidy, then neither can anyone else–especially 500 million people living on less than $2 per day.”

    Neil, apparently Corn farmers in the midwest cannot farm food without subsidies. Guess that a farmer on less than $2 a day can’t farm either.

  11. 461
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Niel: “.Ike the fuel cost of our photovoltaic array is zero, but the land cost beneath it is on the order of 10,000 USD”

    And a 7.5MW turbine uses up 10mx10m. This would mean that he 3302km2 of your land is worth $3.302×10^11.

    That would be 33 times your GDP.

    How do you afford your homes?

  12. 462
    Doug Bostrom says:

    John E. Pearson says: 10 February 2010 at 2:46 PM

    “In 2009, US windpower capacity increased 10GW from 25 to 35 GW.”

    Without meaning to touch off yet another firestorm of monomania, just a quick observation that this is the rough equivalent of 5 typical fission or combustion plants and features the excellent virtue of existence, wished into actual being in the space of a year. Nice to see what can happen when we’re not seduced into endless arguing about which monoculture we must adopt.

  13. 463

    It is hard to make oneself sufficiently clear in short comments like this. What I meant by my comment [432] – The Emperor is Naked – is that being by being too sure that you are on the right track you may turn blind to obvious and important facts. The Hansen paper seen in perspective from the Solomon et al paper demonstrated that as I outlined there. The comments I received only strengthens that view.

    We don’t need to discuss the long term temperature trend from the 1880’s and onwards. AGW has quite a strong case that we can all agree on. But a strong case doesn’t mean it is proven, far from it. And the only way to try to disprove it in a scientific way is to explore all other sensible options and show that they don’t get you anywhere.

    I have received several comments about trends stating that 30 years is required to see anything significant. I have already written that I can understand the argument although I think it is exaggerated. But suppose for a moment that we would all agree on that 30 years is the minimum time to get anything significant out of the measurements. The obvious conclusion would be to freeze climate science as for the prediction of the future climate for the next 30 years (or, even better, 60 years, to get two significant points). Theoretical work should stop and Hansen (and his heirs!) could keep on publishing a temperature mean value once every thirty years. Only after such a period would it be meaningful to resume climate science since there is little scientific point in making models or theoretical work that cannot by definition be falsified by observations. Is this what we want?

    Fortunately, a lot of scientists in the field believe that interesting results could come from shorter intervals. Solomon et al obviously did as did their reviewers. Hansen also thinks so, he says 5 to 10 years but in reality he seems to think even shorter intervals may be interesting since he spends a considerable effort in finding the second warmest year within the last decade.

    But the central issue is why are so many so annoyed by critical comments instead of getting inspired? The commenter [443] does his best to describe me as ignorant and uneducated. Not very good arguments but a well known method. And no one has tried to answer my challenging question – Why is the ceiling so low? Instead, the comments have clearly demonstrated that is indeed low. But why?

    I happen to believe that the field of climate science as it appears presently is best studied from the outside. In that way one doesn’t risk grants being cancelled because of possible “erroneous” conclusions and one doesn’t feel compelled to obey the pressure from the IPCC which owns its very existence to finding the “right” results*, of which we have lately seen some interesting examples, as also commented on this blog. While saying this I must add that I am positive that most climate scientists follow their true scientific instinct. But do the gedanken experiment that AGW was somehow played down in a series of 5 to 10 influential papers. What would happen to the funding of the IPCC? Or to the funding of climate science in general?

    *Is the IPCC a unique case where a research related organization is named after the very phenomenon it is set to investigate whether it exists? CERN should e.g. be promptly renamed HPI (Higgs Particle Instititute) by the same logic.

  14. 464
    Leo G says:

    Chris @ 454 –

    Thanx, yes that is the site!

    So I take it that this is not how the heating happens from CO2 then
    {Now supposedly, according to rather more complicated calculations, doubling CO2 levels in Earth’s atmosphere will raise the average altitude of emission about 150 m, which will therefore raise the pressure difference and hence the surface temperature about 1.1 C. If we raise CO2 by only 40%, surface temperature will go up about half that. So we had half a degree last century (an amount too small to reliably measure). We’ll have half a degree next century. And that’s all the standard Greenhouse Effect can give you.}?

    Thanx for your time.

    PS – nice looking site you have there.

    PPS – Well if nothing else comes from this GW scenario, I at least appreciate that through this event, I have been able to “meet” real scientists from different fields and feel a real honour!

    Thanx again all.

  15. 465

    SJ: I happen to believe that the field of climate science as it appears presently is best studied from the outside. In that way one doesn’t risk grants being cancelled because of possible “erroneous” conclusions and one doesn’t feel compelled to obey the pressure from the IPCC which owns its very existence to finding the “right” results*, of which we have lately seen some interesting examples, as also commented on this blog.

    BPL: A very common belief among conspiracy-theory lunatics in the denier camp. Of course, you’re not one of those.

  16. 466
    Chris Dudley says:

    Leo (#464),

    One confusion is over the role of pressure. This site seems to think that the surface pressure goes up. This is not the case. The pressure at the surface is fixed by the mass of the atmosphere. One can say that one is suspending the temperature profile of the atmosphere from a higher altitude but one can not say that the temperature is owing to pressure. The pressure profile is set by hydrostatic equilibrium and is thus fixed on a mass scale. The density and temperature profiles interrelate to give the lapse rate on an altitude scale. But, you cannot perturb the surface pressure without adding or removing mass. Additional carbon in carbon dioxide and water vapor are currently small effects and are not changing the pressure much at all. In a runaway, as happened on Venus, these things do change the pressure, but again that site gets confused.

  17. 467
    flxible says:

    Steven Jörsäter:
    “AGW has quite a strong case that we can all agree on. But a strong case doesn’t mean it is proven, far from it. And the only way to try to disprove it in a scientific way is to explore all other sensible options and show that they don’t get you anywhere.”

    And here I thought we were trying to understand what the science has long shown to be happening [AGW] …. humanity has been exploring the “other options” for decades and found they’re not real sensible, or do you have some other “sensible” explanation of the very complex system we call climate? You sound like you’re preaching to the BAU choir, and your fixation with names and funding betrays that bias, you don’t like the “A” part of AGW, or maybe the “W” part. So call it CC instead, which is what the IPCC does

    To my unscientific eye, the relation of the Solomon paper to Hansens is we have more information about the details of the climate systems, NOT that Solomon contradicts anything or is “another sensible explanation” in isolation.

  18. 468
    Leo G says:

    Thanx Chris.

    I was kinda thinking that the amount of crud we had put into our atmosphere, comparitavily, was rather small. So it is nice to get a confirmation.

    Slowly following the evidence, wherever it takes me.

  19. 469

    re 463 Steven Jörsäter “What I meant by my comment [432] – The Emperor is Naked – is that being by being too sure that you are on the right track you may turn blind to obvious and important facts.”

    Obvious and important Facts…Facts…Facts…hmmmmmmm. That’s often stretching it.

    Many contrarians, whose work does not hold up under scrutiny, continually add and add again- mostly 20-year old ideas which have mountains of studies showing they are wrong, and very rarely, new thoughts to the peer-reviewed climate literature. Lots of their work literally does not even obey the laws of physics.

    But they still regularly publish. It’s part of science. Even though most of them seem to know as much about climate chemistry and physics as your pet cocker spaniel, their work is welcome because it does indeed keep science on their toes. They usefully find little things or parts of studies that might have mistakes, that do not change the results of the study itself.

    Over and over in 11 years, I have heard the top publishing climate scientists whose work holds up over time at the place I was for 11 years, privately say to me that they are glad for opposing view points and they welcome it because it keeps them/science on their toes.

    You can be certain, that if any study has holes in it…or even if it does not have holes in it, the contrarians have and are publishing works against it (however, their work might hold up 5% of the time, if even that these days..and it is only on the small things that don’t change the big picture).

    Please, please, please, please take the time to read this site…almost one out of every four posts here is reliably done in relation to contrarians works. I will doubt your sincerity if you do not check.

    The contrarian studies are taken as seriously as mainstream science can… Ridiculous ideas such as “the moon is made of green cheese” or “the Earth is flat” can only be rehashed so many times…but still it is published, and republished and rerepublished.

    Examples of contrarian studies (none of which stand up over time to the best of my knowledge on big things…) :

    Soon and Baliunas, 2003.
    Soon et al, 2003.
    Schwartz, 2007, Journal of Geophysical Research.
    Scafetta and West, 2005.
    Scafetta, N., and R. C. Willson, 2009.
    Scafetta and West, 2006.
    Scafetta and West, 2007.
    McKitrick, McIntyre 2005.
    Lindzen, 2001.
    Miskolczi, 2007, Idojárás.
    Tsonis , 2009, GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS.
    Craig & Lohle 2008.
    Douglass et al.2007.
    Klotzbach et al, 2009, J. Geophys. Res.
    McClean et al, 2009, J. Geophys. Re.s
    Gerlich and Tscheushner, 2009.
    Essex, McKitrick, Andresen, 2007.
    Chilingar, Khilyuk, Sorokhtin, 2008.
    Nordell, 2008.
    IPCC AR4, 2007 (synthesis and includes some contrarian ideas)
    Lindzen and Choi 2009

  20. 470
    gary thompson says:

    #445 – Gavin wrote –

    [Response: The models in this case aren't 'corrected' because they were wrong but because the actual change was complex - made up of changes in wv, temp as well as ghgs. The 'correction' is to subtract the wv&temp effects to get just the ghg change. - gavin]

    Gavin, I’m still having a couple of issues reconciling the actual measurements with the model corrected values.

    First – By using the models, we see that the OLR associated with CO2 absorption decreased over time. I get the analogy and with the models you are trying to eliminate the contributions to Water Vapor and Surface Temperatures (and just look at trace ghg’s). But, If the graphed data from the models is true, why was there not a decrease in the actual measurements at those same wavelengths (or wave numbers/cm as the papers used)? Where did this ‘extra’ OLR emission come from in the actual measurements? If the models show a decrease in OLR from CO2 absorption, why was there no reduction shown in the real data? Was something ‘adding’ OLR at those wavelengths (around 15um or 700 waves/cm) that CO2 couldn’t absorb? Sorry, I’m an engineer and it’s hard to explain my position without charts and graphs…….i’m trying to do my best with a verbose explanation above.

    Second – If, in the model predicted graphs, they are compensating for warmer surface temperatures, I would expect the amount of CO2 emission to drop naturally even if the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere stays the same. By Wien’s Displacement Law, if you say the Earth radiated at ~288K then the wavelength of peak amplitude would be at 10.07um. If the conditions changed and the surface warmed to ~298K then the wavelength of the peak amplitude would be 9.73um. The point is the wavelength of peak amplitude reduces for higher temperatures. And since the Black Body radiation curve is ‘bell’ shaped, when you move the peak amplitude to a lower wavelength then you are moving further away from that 15um wavelength and the intensity of OLR at that wavelength will go down. That doesn’t necessarily mean more CO2 is up there absorbing the ORL.

    Thanks again for your help on filling in my gaps regarding this material.

  21. 471
    David B. Benson says:

    gary thompson (469) — Eli recently put together a post on related matters:
    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2010/02/another-try.html

  22. 472

    Gary T., at #470–

    I’m going to jump in at the risk of looking foolish. I don’t fully understand much of the conversation between you & Gavin so far, so quite possibly I’m missing something here.

    However, it appears to me that the paper does indeed show a decrease in observed brightness temperature over the 36-year interval (1970-2006.) It’s not visible by simple comparison of the first two graphs, presumably because of scale, but the the third figure shows such a difference. Since the black line is plotting ITIS-TES values, the track below zero shows a decrease in OLR over most of the CO2 band.

    Or so it seems to me.

    Link here:

    http://www.eumetsat.int/Home/Main/Publications/Conference_and_Workshop_Proceedings/groups/cps/documents/document/pdf_conf_p50_s9_01_harries_v.pdf

  23. 473
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Steven Jorstater says: “And the only way to try to disprove it in a scientific way is to explore all other sensible options and show that they don’t get you anywhere.”

    How many times would you like to explore them–or in other words how many times must a zombie be killed before it is really dead? Richard Ordway has cited several corpes of contrarian articles. He could have gone back and cited several of their previous incarnations in the literature of the ’30s, ’40′s 50′s and ’60s.

    In addition, all credible options are continually being looked at by mainstream climate scientists. The quickest way to fame and glory is to overturn an established theory.

    SJ: “The obvious conclusion would be to freeze climate science as for the prediction of the future climate for the next 30 years (or, even better, 60 years, to get two significant points). Theoretical work should stop and Hansen (and his heirs!) could keep on publishing a temperature mean value once every thirty years.”

    Oh good Lord! Have you ever even taken a science class? Science changes by its nature. It advances. Over time, you wind up with some steady robust elements that define the consensus theory. Guess what: the greenhouse effect is one of these in climate science.

    SJ: “Fortunately, a lot of scientists in the field believe that interesting results could come from shorter intervals.”

    No, Steven, all scientists believe that interesting results are to be found at shorter intervals. The short-term variability of climate is one of the current frontiers of the field. Lots and lots of work being done. But guess what? That variability does not invalidate the long-term trend, but rather is on top of it. The long term trend is interesting precisely because it stands out from the short-term variability.”

    SJ: “But the central issue is why are so many so annoyed by critical comments instead of getting inspired?”

    Oh, I don’t know, could it be that we have heard the same critical comments and refuted them about twice a week from people who haven’t bothered to try and understand the science? That couldn’t have anything to do with it, could it?

    SJ: “The commenter [443] does his best to describe me as ignorant and uneducated.”

    Steve, when it comes to climate science, you are ignorant. That is not an insult, but a diagnosis. Richard went out of his way to give you resources where you could begin your education. Clearly, you chose to take offense rather than take the opportunity.

    SJ: “I happen to believe that the field of climate science as it appears presently is best studied from the outside. In that way one doesn’t risk grants being cancelled because of possible “erroneous” conclusions and one doesn’t feel compelled to obey the pressure from the IPCC which owns its very existence to finding the “right” results*, of which we have lately seen some interesting examples, as also commented on this blog.”

    OK, Steve, here is where you veer off the rails into tinfoil-hat nutjob territory. Cite one scientist who has lost his funding because he found results contrary to the consensus model of climate? Just one? Do you have any idea how paltry most research grants are? Do you have any idea how miniscule funding for the IPCC is? Do you realize that most scientists volunteer their time to the IPCC and that it is considered an onerous imposition on time that could be spent doing research? Five or Ten influential papers–hell, dude, there are a couple of thousand papers that support the consensus!

    And then you go and show you are every bit as ignorant of particle physics as climate science. Do you really think the LHC will be a failure if it doesn’t find the Higgs? Do you really think that it will find nothing of interest independent of whether it finds the Higgs.

    Steven, I’m going to try and say this in as nice a way as I can. Right now, it is clear that you understand very little about how science is done or what motivates scientists. Most of what you think you understand is wrong. Mark Twain said, “It’s not what you don’t know that gets you in trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” And what you think you know for sure is leading you toward becoming a crank. Maybe it is time to think where you think you learned that scientists might alter their conclusions to hold onto research funding or that results contrary to prevailing theory are punished. It ain’t so. Quite the opposite. Science is founded on innovation and on correcting past errors.

    Do you have any scientists that you could shadow for a couple of weeks to learn how science is actually done? Have you read Spencer Weart’s excellent work on the history of climate science:

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/

    It is very readable, and Spencer, in addition to being an excellent historian, was trained as a physicist. Please do us all a favor and read it.

  24. 474
    Chris Dudley says:

    Leo (#468),

    The amount of carbon we’ve put in the atmosphere is significant compared to what was there before but it is not very significant compared to the mass of the atmosphere.

  25. 475

    #463 Steven Jörsäter

    I don’t think anyone is saying interesting results ‘can’t’ come from shorter time periods.

    Certain signals can be attributed to certain evens on short time scales ENSO and El Nino or La Nina or some other oceanic cycles have reasonable attribution to affect.

    Attribution needs to be tied to affect of course to understand things better.

    As to your comments in 432, specifically temps are flat for 10 years???

    It is important to consider natural variation. Look at the overall trend and you see lines going up and down in the annual record of global temps. This is natural variation.

    It’s like when Monckton tried to claim sea lever was no longer rising… and he used a graph that clearly showed the trend of sea level rising.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/images/fake-images/Monckton_Sea_Level_Rise.png/view

    Shorter term analysis does not apply to the longer term trend without some sort of attribution. Most of this variation is likely natural variation.

    If we find that AGW is an illusion scientifically, I will absolutely accept it. In the mean time, there is no evidence that overrides the current understanding of the forcing levels imposed in the system by added GHG’s… unless of course you have found the evidence???

    In your #463 post you use the meme, hey we really don’t know… which usually translates to we should not do anything until we know…

    You ‘may’ be misinterpreting what some people are saying or assigning values that are not there (i.e. your comments on Hansen)

    Your lovely red herring argument about people should get inspired by ‘your’ criticism is kind of egocentric, wouldn’t you say?

    Unless of course you have some peer reviewed criticism that has survived review, to show us that you did?

    Otherwise your criticisms do not have much substance. You of course being a sound and reasoning person would agree with that, correct?

    Please, get me caught up. Where is your “Why is the ceiling so low” question. I just searched the thread for that exact phrase and it only shows up in #463?

    As to your “outside” comment, there is nothing that would make a young scientists more famous than disproving the human cause for this global warming event. DO you really think that it has not been thoroughly examined, considered and attempted.

    Look at Svensmarks work.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/henrik-svensmark

    and Lindzen… they are trying really hard, and failing.

    Use reason and common sense and the veil may fall and ye shall wake up to what ‘consensus’ in ‘science’ means.

    Note to all who wish to help promote ‘Fee & Dividend’: I have changed the signature in all my emails to include the below text. Please consider doing the same. For those that post in here that are aware of the issue, please consider ending all your posts with the text and link. We get a lot of readers in here and the more that post, the more will see it.


    The Climate Lobby
    Sign the Petition!
    http://www.climatelobby.com

  26. 476
    gary thompson says:

    #471 – David B. Benson provided a link to me.

    Thanks David. i found that link (by itself) didn’t have enough detail but that site did provided a link to a paper by Kiehl and Trenberth and that appears to have plenty to sink my teeth into.

    http://www.atmo.arizona.edu/students/courselinks/spring04/atmo451b/pdf/RadiationBudget.pdf

    i’ll dive into that and see if this answers some of my questions. thanks again for the link and getting me started in the right direction!

  27. 477
    gary thompson says:

    #472 – Kevin McKinney wrote –
    “However, it appears to me that the paper does indeed show a decrease in observed brightness temperature over the 36-year interval (1970-2006.)”

    on the link you provided, i agree 100% with you. the y-axis scale on the red/blue graph is 140K and the difference graph is 15K so it is easier to see the difference does drop to -1K when comparing the 2006 to 1970 OLR emission (in the CO2 range). thanks for clarifying that!

    the article where I can’t say this (at least on the raw data) is the link below (figure 1 on page 3):

    http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/24874.pdf

    here the OLR emission (in the CO2 range) increased in 1997 vs. 1970 and the y-axis scale here is 15K.

    thanks again for jumping in the conversation and showing me the error in my assertion on that paper you referenced.

  28. 478
    Eli Rabett says:

    Georg Hoffmann at Prima Klima has written a very complete and accessible analysis of the Solomon paper and Eli has translated it into English with permission. Nothing like a bit of advertising in the morning.

  29. 479
    Geoff Wexler says:

    #463 Steven Jörsäter says:10 February 2010 at 5:40 PM

    Only after such a period would it be meaningful to resume climate science since there is little scientific point in making models or theoretical work that cannot by definition be falsified by observations.

    Even if we disregard the other faults in your argument, (see e.g. Ray L at #473) and even if we accept all of “Popper’s Logic of Scientific Discovery” ,which is not always done, the approach in that remark is a misreading of the falsifiability criterion. Falsifiability refers to the logical possibility of falsification and has nothing to do with the problems of performing tests. The same conclusion applies to Popper’s Conjectures and Refutations although here the criterion would be a demand for the scientist to look for tests. Popper was certainly not hostile to theoretical work, as the above quotation suggests.

  30. 480
    segraves says:

    So Jones now tells the BBC: from 1995 to present there has been no significant global warming; since 2002 there has been global cooling (but not statistically significant he says) and this statement from Jones is interesting; “Of course, if the MWP was shown to be global in extent and as warm or warmer than today (based on an equivalent coverage over the NH and SH) then obviously the late-20th century warmth would not be unprecedented.” It will be interesting to see how this all gets “rationalized”.

  31. 481
    Geoff Wexler says:

    Re” #480
    Why have you included the word “now” as if Jones has departed from anything he said before? Jones’ replies to questions B and C could hardly have been more concise , so why have you shortened them still further?

    This shortening makes it harder for the public to follow the meaning. Jones reports a warming of 0.12C per decade in answer B and a cooling of 0.12 C decade in answer C. The more perceptive members of the public will relate this to Jones main remark about lack of statistical significance. It won’t be so easy with your abbreviated quote.

    Everyone uses tautologies. As for Phil Jones remark about the MWP , are you suggesting that he was against using such tautologies in the past?

    Ref. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8511670.stm

  32. 482
    John E. Pearson says:

    481: Geoff Wexler said: “Re” #480 “why have you shortened them still further?”

    I’m no psychoanalyst but I’ll hazard a guess. seagraves is fundamentally dishonest. all about trying to score debating points while butchering the truth.

  33. 483
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Seagraves, See:
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/how-long/

    You don’t expect a statistically significant result for periods less than 30 years. When we are talking climate, we are talking more than 30 years; Solomon’s research is an attempt to explain short-term variability, not climate. Jones has merely acknowledged this fact.

  34. 484
    dhogaza says:

    So Jones now tells the BBC: from 1995 to present there has been no significant global warming

    Why didn’t you include the fact that Jones 1) said there’s been a 0.12C rise in that timeframe and 2) he said it was JUST BARELY shy of being statistically significant. As in ALMOST. As in CLOSE. We know that we need more than 15 years typically to see anything statistically significant in regard to climate, so this is no surprise.

    And … “if the MWP was shown…”. Well, yes, and if the sun doesn’t rise here in about an of hour, a bunch of modern and ancient astronomy goes down the toilet.

    So?

  35. 485
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “473
    Ray Ladbury says:
    11 February 2010 at 5:28 PM

    How many times would you like to explore them–or in other words how many times must a zombie be killed before it is really dead?”

    (to the tune: blowing in the wind)

    How many zombies must a man gun down

  36. 486
    Ray Ladbury says:

    CFU, well if zombies come from among denialists, no wonder they are starved for “Brains! Brains!”

  37. 487
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Why are they always wanting ours, though?


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