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Unforced variations 3

Filed under: — group @ 19 March 2010

Another open thread. OT comments from the Amazon drying thread have been moved over. As usual, substantive comments only please and no abuse.


844 Responses to “Unforced variations 3”

  1. 551

    #546, Kevin, I agree about ice extent, quite meaningless as a cooling metric unless you look at the recent spike:

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png

    which is associated with High Arctic anti-cyclone , negative AO , or a lot of clear air which I call big blue. Its a narrow short to live spike.

    As far as normals are concerned.

    Normals Resolute Bay Nunavut Canada

    Max:
    -24°C
    Min:
    -31°C

    the daily normal is -27.5 C… The temps went near -2 C as forecasted.
    This does not come as a surprise when the climate for the entire winter was very warm not only for the Arctic.

  2. 552
    Andreas Bjurström says:

    549 Hank Roberts,
    No, my personal political position is that we give far too little money in poverty aid. The north south divide is the biggest problem for climate change politics. Science favors north. Science claims objectivity. As a concequence we dont see much of ethical analysis from the scientific community. South want ethics. No, I dont think we can or should separate clearly between science, politics and opinion since these are not separated in reality.

  3. 553
    Hugh Laue says:

    #547 Andreas

    I don’t think it’s a language issue that’s resulting in most of us being unsure of what constructive points, if any, you are bringing to the topic itself that is focused on a particular aspect of empirical science, namely the contribution of so-called “unforced variations” to year to year, decade to decade, observed longterm ocean-land temperature anomaly trend with respect to an agreed baseline.
    “Unforced” does not mean “effect without cause”; “unforced” is defined with respect to “forced” and the distinction is agreed by convention (this may be a tacit agreement).
    Anthropogenic global warming theory is an explanation of the observed longterm trend (the effect) to the behavior of human-kind (as the primary cause).
    The behavior of human-kind has resulted in the proximate cause, high levels of fossil-fuel derived CO2 in the atmosphere. The high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere has resulted in the ultimate cause of global warming, namely the trapping of more energy of the solar radiation that would otherwise be radiated back out to space.
    Of course a more sensible argument might work backward and, correctly in my opinion, point to the behavior of human-kind as the ultimate cause.
    The question of how to change human-behavior then does become one to which psychologists and social scientists could make useful contributions. Empirical science says, IF we want to avoid catastrophic harm to ourselves we have to change our behavior to that where CO2 emissions are dramatically reduced.
    And if I am not prepared to change my behavior unless everyone else does then who am I harming in the long run but myself? I have to stop blaming others or even expecting any particular behavior from others but rather lead by example. It starts with self-management.
    You appear to be arguing for a more integrated approach. I came across the following today – perhaps it addresses in some way your concerns.
    http://www.integralleadershipreview.com/archives/2010-03/2010-03-article-johnston.php
    Johnston says “My definition of integral self-managing includes consciously choosing one’s responses to not only changes in one’s body but also intentionally selecting emotional and intellectual responses to social and ecological events and circumstances in mutually empathic, healthful, and creative visionary ways.”
    He has a “list of fifty natural characteristics of an integrally conscious self-manager/leader” of which number 27 is “Is conceptually and experientially conscious that probably the closest one can come to reliably predicting the distant future is through the scientific interdisciplinary.study of nature’s various cycles.”
    RealClimate is primarily addressing number 27 – maybe you can find (start?)another blog run by “real social scientists” where your interests can be better elaborated and explored?

  4. 554
    David B. Benson says:

    Gilles (535) — Please see my coment #526 and follow the advice therein.

  5. 555
    Hugh Laue says:

    #543 “We are egoistic bastards for sure”

    Further to social science:

    From introduction to “A Buddhist Response to the Climate Emergency”

    The Dalai Lama has stated ” We are facing the most massive wave of extinction in 65 million years. This fact is profoundly frightening. It must open our minds to the immense proportions of the crisis we face.”

    “We are here to awaken from the illusion of our own separateness.
    When I realise that “I” am what eh whole world is doing, right here and now, then taking care of “others” becomes as natural and spontaneous as taking care of my own leg. This is the vital link between wisdom and compassion. My own well-being cannot be distinguished from the well-being of others.”

    Love thy neighbour?

    Ego = greed & fear = problem?

    Greed for the free lunch, fear that it’s been eaten already.

  6. 556
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Andreas, I would contend that the literature on dealing with changing environment is not entirely germane–previous changes were local or regional, and the primary response was migration. That likely will not be an option in this case. I also think that again, you would face a lot of criticism from denialist circles.

    Frankly, I wouldn’t mind seeing a chapter by Jared Diamond, perhaps condensed from Collapse. However, this would likely be viewed by denialists and many governments as “propaganda”. And citations of psychological research would be rejected out of hand as such. There is a reason why the IPCC operates within narrow bounds. Believe it or not, the climate science is likely the least controversial aspect.

  7. 557
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “IPCC is NOT merely reflecting the research community.”

    No, that is PRECISELY what the IPCC does.

    “That would be naive to believe.”

    What is naive is your belief that the IPCC doesn’t reflect the research community.

    A truther-like conspiracy theory.

    “All organisations influence their outcomes.”

    Well duh.

    By printing a report, there’s an influence.

    Show that the influence is wrong and not supported by the research.

  8. 558
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “Sorry to disappoint you, but the world is biggger than the US.”

    I know.

    Over 98% is not the US.

    However, they are the only world superpower left.

    If you exclude the Indian, Chinese and African contingents who do not have much spendable money on foreign aid, then the US is a large contingent.

    I also note that you COMPLETELY IGNORE that I stated that this was not only the US.

    But I guess it’s easier to argue something if you ignore the difficult bits, hmm?

    So, do you still assume that the global recession hasn’t affected aid to the third world?

  9. 559
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “Would you be satisfied if I rephrased to: “The risk of less than adequate information is that funds are misspent on white elephants””

    That ending there would have been more accurate and sufficient.

  10. 560
    Hank Roberts says:

    Andreas, do read the eco-equity piece.

    He clearly sets out why science does not favor the North, if we take the problem seriously. I don’t think you’ll find any scientist who understands the area who believes that.

    Much like the fisheries issues (codfish, bluefin tuna, hammerhead sharks); the science is inarguable that we’re destroying the fiseries and taking out the few remaining top predators, ruining the trophic structure of the oceans.

    If we don’t take it seriously, the North can buy science to suit delaying tactics. That is much of the problem.

  11. 561
    BobFJ says:

    David B. Benson Reur 526:

    BobFJ (522) — Also consider the AMO:
    http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/amo_faq.php

    Yes, that is one of the things that is not included in Tamino’s simple model, and to be frank I don’t know if there are reliable data going back to 1880. I think Polyakov has studied this but that is all that comes to mind at the moment, and of course there are other oscillations too. However, currently, I’m addressing issues with GISS forcing data, and Tamino’s modelling methodology etc. See below.

    Ray Ladbury Reur 529:

    Bob FJ, Look closely at your aerosol forcing–the slope is not constant.

    Whoops, Yes, you are right, the industrial stuff levels off after ~1990, (whilst various clean air acts around the world were legislated some 30 years earlier). But anyway, the period of concern is ~1915 through 1975 where GISS shows a steady exponential increase. So, there is no correlation there with the cooling from about 1940 through 1975. What is more, this graphical compilation comparing GISS net forcings, (including CO2 etc.), shows greater divergence still.

    Gilles Reur 535:
    An interesting post. The 60 year cycle idea is seen well in the HADCRUT data in peaks at 1880, 1940, & 2000, as in my graphic above. (GISS does not show the current plateau so well) I don’t want to go there at this time though.

  12. 562
    Andreas Bjurström says:

    “that is PRECISELY what the IPCC does”

    How do you know that? As far as I know, there is no study that can demonstrate that. You base your assertion on wishful thinking.

    “you still assume that the global recession hasn’t affected aid to the third world?”

    I never assumed that. I was saying something else. Why are you always trolling like this?

  13. 563
    David B. Benson says:

    A test to see if it is possible to obtain fixed fonts and no blank compression on this site.
    23 24

  14. 564
    David B. Benson says:

    One more test for the moderator to delete.
    decade GTA -- AEP - residual AMO
    1920s -0.175 -0.176 +0.001 -0.124
    1930s -0.043 -0.041 -0.002 +0.164

    [Response: Now why would we delete this (other than it doesn’t appear to mean anything)?–eric]

  15. 565
    Lab Lemming says:

    Can one of you guys clarify the role of ozone (both anthropogenic and natural) as a greenhouse gas? I tried at the link below, but I’m a crystal chemist, not a radiative forcer.
    http://lablemminglounge.blogspot.com/2010/03/ozone-as-greenhouse-gas.html

  16. 566
    David B. Benson says:

    Eric — Re: comments #563 & #564. Since there is no preview, the only way to test to see what html features are available is to submit a comment. Then one can see the effect while the comment is awaiting moderation. So there really isn’t any need to confuse people with meaningless posts such as those two; I see that the test in the middle was indeed deleted.

    Those remaining two can go as well, along with this one; I’ve learned what I needed for a future (long) commment on this thread.

  17. 567
    David B. Benson says:

    BobFJ (561) — The AMO goes back further than 1880 CE.
    http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/faq/amo_fig.php
    Think of it as an index for internal variability plus the net of forcings other than CO2. That is approximately correct, after some testing.

  18. 568
    Ray Ladbury says:

    BobFJ, Wrong on clean air acts–the first was passed in 1970, but there were very significant amendments in 1990 that significantly decreased sulfate emissions for acid rain–that’s the relevant factor for dimming.

  19. 569
    John E. Pearson says:

    542
    Septic Matthew says:
    28 March 2010 at 10:29 AM
    536, John E. Pearson: The paper you cited isn’t doing any such thing.

    You didn’t read it, did you?

    I read the first 5 or 6 pages. It was too stupid to continue with. If you want to learn the science you need to develop a basic understanding and reading tripe like that is not the way to do it.

    I don’t limit myself to noncalculus based texts. You said you didn’t know calculus so I was suggesting a text that you shouldn’t have any trouble with.

  20. 570
    BobFJ says:

    David B. Benson Reur 567:

    BobFJ (561) — The AMO goes back further than 1880 CE.
    http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/faq/amo_fig.php
    Think of it as an index for internal variability plus the net of forcings other than CO2. That is approximately correct, after some testing.

    David, I would prefer that you had this discussion with Gilles, but out of courtesy; a quick response:
    Of course the AMO is unlikely to be a new phenomena. The question is; what reliable data for it do we have in earlier times?
    Your link to recent data shows only two positive phases with the suggestion of the beginning of a third. They are all out of phase with the goodly suggestion of a ~60-year cycle seen in the HADCRUT temperature cycles peaking at 1880, 1940, & 2000.
    My understanding is that ENSO and PDO have greater global significance than the Atlantic oscillation, (the latter being in a smaller effective oceanic area), but as I have said before, this is a distraction to my main interest at the moment.

  21. 571
    BobFJ says:

    Ray Ladbury Reur 568:

    BobFJ, Wrong on clean air acts–the first was passed in 1970, but there were very significant amendments in 1990 that significantly decreased sulfate emissions for acid rain–that’s the relevant factor for dimming.

    Ray, I’ve just done a Google, and according to Wikepedia:
    The United States Clean Air Act is a United States federal law enacted by the United States Congress to control air pollution on a national level. It requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop and enforce regulations to protect the general public from exposure to airborne contaminants that are known to be hazardous to human health. The Clean Air Act was passed in 1963 and significantly amended in 1970 and 1990.
    But there was also stuff all around the world, for instance Australia legislated in 1961. Of course there is almost certainly a lead on effective implementation. For instance, your 1990 amendments….. Probably took a good while to be effective?

    But so what? The GISS data does not step-correlate with global temperatures in the period when you say it had such an effect; ~1945 through 1975. (and neither did the various clean air acts around the globe terminate such effect, as asserted by another…. According to the GISS data.)

  22. 572
    Completely Fed Up says:

    ““that is PRECISELY what the IPCC does”

    How do you know that?”

    Because the IPCC put their reports online for you to check against the periodicals:

    http://www.ipcc.ch

    “As far as I know,”

    Ah, well, I’ve spotted the problem, right there.

    “there is no study that can demonstrate that”

    Yes there is: one you do on your own will be sufficient.

  23. 573
    John Peter says:

    Andreas Bjurström @532

    Thank you for reconsidering and for doing a good job under trying circumstances. Your changes give me a much better idea of your beliefs and concerns. I don’t believe I can be of much help, we differ on too many of the basics, in particular, on practical forms of governance.

    Because you do not specialize in physical science, and I know even less social science than I know climate science, perhaps I can help you better understand climate models. You understand scientific method at some level in the physical sciences. Physical scientists get ideas, perform experiments, formulate hypotheses, write papers, peer review each others work, etc., etc. Physical science usually progresses from exchange of hypothesis and results and from repeating experiments.

    In climate science where repeatable experiments are nearly impossible, you only get one try. You need believable models for your experiments, there is no other way to confirm hypotheses and turn them into theories. I am a physicist, in my career I have learned not to trust models completely – in matters of climate science I realize I have no other choice. Social science would seem to have a similar situation in their use of sampling and trials to evolve their theories.

    The current state of climate science models is that we have some pretty good global models, good enough to project results for various differing climate assumptions. There is much work to be done to learn how to get useful regional projections, a key requirement for any realistic mitigation analysis. Unfortunately, Clouds are in the way. Cloud physics, chemistry and modeling science has been the key technical obstacle to weather and climate forecasting for over 30 years. There has been some slow progress, our weather forecasts are improving – but we still have a ways to go. IMO, you will fail to find Climate Change funding rational unless you try to understand and accept this fact.

    We need a lot of progress before world governance is a reality. We’ve been working at it for almost 100 years, but then that’s your field of expertise. It is important we try hard, but remember what the wise men said (I’m sure you will recognize the author):

    “In the point of rest at the center of our being, we encounter a world where all things are at rest in the same way. Then a tree becomes a mystery, a cloud a revelation, each man a cosmos of whose riches we can only catch glimpses. The life of simplicity is simple, but it opens to us a book in which we never get beyond the first syllable.”

    For my part, Kurt Weill pretty well summed up IPCC, League, UN, EU, etc. in the Three Penny Opera Finale:

    “pursue, but not too eagerly, injustice”

  24. 574

    AB (543): I know for sure that Sweden are thinking about cutting poverty aid because we promise so much climate aid, and Sweden are giving har more per person in such aid than the US does.

    BPL: Considering that there are 9 million people in Sweden and 300+ million in the US, I’m not sure Sweden is representative.

  25. 575
    Alexandre says:

    Where can I find out how the data infilling is done for paleoclimate reconstructions?

    My interest is general, but I got specially curious when I first saw the Mann et al. 2009:

    Global Signatures and Dynamical Origins of the Little Ice Age and Medieval Climate Anomaly

  26. 576
    Ray Ladbury says:

    BobFJ,
    Not all provisions of the Clean Air Act are relevant. Those most relevant are the portions dealing with sulfate aerosols–and the main reductions in those occur in response to the 1990 provisions. As I said, that is just the US, but other countries followed similar timescales. And in China and India, the sulfate emissions are still on the rise.

  27. 577
    ccpo says:

    Comment by David Miller — 26 March 2010 @ 8:51 PM

    The THAI method has its improvements over mining, but you have to keep in mind EROEI still applies. What was a resource becomes a fuel to get at… fuel. It doesn’t matter, at the end of the day, when that happens. What matters on a survival of society level is the overall efficiency of use of that resource.

    Simply, the bitumen burned is no longer a resource. Think 7 generations, minimum. After all, what have we gained if in a few centuries there is nothing left for our descendants? If the goal is just to get this generation into the grave at a ripe old age, what the heck is the point?

    Cheers

    Cheers

  28. 578
    David Miller says:

    CCPO says in #577:

    The THAI method has its improvements over mining, but you have to keep in mind EROEI still applies. What was a resource becomes a fuel to get at… fuel. It doesn’t matter, at the end of the day, when that happens. What matters on a survival of society level is the overall efficiency of use of that resource.

    I’m sorry, CCPO, you’re completely missing the point.

    My point is that EROEI doesn’t apply if A) you don’t have to extract the resource you’re wasting, and B) there is financial incentive to waste the major part in order to extract the minor part.

    Simply, the bitumen burned is no longer a resource.

    Yes, that’s exactly right. And utterly irrelevant. Look at the world around you and ask whether industry would willingly sacrifice a profit in order to not waste a resource.

    Think 7 generations, minimum. After all, what have we gained if in a few centuries there is nothing left for our descendants?

    Please don’t confuse what I think about the resource and the future with what I think industry will do if it can make a profit.

    If we’re to think of future generations the ONLY thing that can be done with the tar sands (shale oil, most of the coal) is to leave it where it is while we try to lower existing levels of CO2. Using it “efficiently” and “saving it for future generations” is simply a way of killing ourselves a bit less rapidly. As long as we turn these unconventional carbon stores into CO2 in the next century or two it really doesn’t matter whether it’s used to power a million cars or a billion – our fate is sealed.

  29. 579
    ccpo says:

    I recognize I am likely tilting at windfarms, as you yourself join the fray when you employ ad hominem the stomach-turning term “denier”.

    Comment by Walter Manny — 27 March 2010 @ 10:04 AM

    Pray tell, what is one to call someone who denies? We are not talking about equally viable scientific inquiry here, we are talking about people denying reality. Would you prefer fantasists? Left Fielders? Don’t Know Their Butts From A Hole In the Groundists? Inellectually Dishonistists?

    Let’s be serious, shall we? Climate Denialists are to Climate Science as “is” is to political sex scandals.

    If there were just one paper that calls into question any of the foundation, or even the framing, plumbing, wiring or roofing of Climate Science, perhaps you wouldn’t need to deal with being called a denialist. But there aren’t any. None. So…

    IF you are an intelligent person
    AND you have read and understood the science
    AND you actually doubt that AGW is a fact
    THEN you lack insight and WISDOM
    AND are allowing your ideology/biases rule your logic
    THUS are a denialist.

    One last stab at this:

    IF the scientists who founded and run RealClimate allowed only relevant, useful, honest critiques of climate science on this site,
    THEN there would be virtually no posts by denialists.

    You are what you bleat.

    Cheers

  30. 580
    ccpo says:

    #

    Would you be satisfied if I rephrased to: “The risk of less than adequate information is that funds are misspent on white elephants, leaving none for works that are subsequently seen as essential. Therefore continued climate research is critical to better inform decisions at the local level.” (A bit awkward?)

    The point I was making was that funds allocated to climate science should not be cut to divert it to fund social science. Climate research already competes with research in other sciences. Social science is important, but not much good if the climate is not well enough understood. Social scientists can seek funds from elsewhere in social science or from other sources to do the required research, not from cutting funding to ongoing climate science. It doesn’t have to be either/or.

    Local infrastructure works need local information about climate, which will become more and more reliable as climate science and computing power advances.

    As an example, if a local water authority spends available funds on expanding water storage and irrigation infrastructure on the expectation that rain will fall seasonally as in the past, but instead there’s no rain except for infrequent torrential downpours, then further funds must be found for building storm water infrastructure. It might be beyond the capacity of the local authority to fund both, so towns and farms may end up without water at all. (Purely illustrative and not the best example, perhaps.)

    I’m not suggesting all decisions must wait for total certainty before being made. That’s impossible. Obviously decisions can only be made with the best information available at the time. Nor am I saying that social research is not important. It is. (As is education, community awareness, economic research etc.)

    Comment by Sou — 28 March 2010 @ 10:12 AM

    This is Do-Nothing Denialism by a thousand cuts. Your claim we just don’t know enough is BS. We know with certainty (colloquial usage) that the earth is warming, that we are a large part of the reason for that and that it will, if not attenuated, and possibly even if attenuated, have catastrophic effects. We also know with certainty that a sustainable economy/society is several orders of magnitude less dangerous (i.e. is beneficial) than either A. doing nothing or B. doing not enough. THERE IS NO METRIC BY WHICH DOING NOTHING OR DOING LITTLE IS AN ACCEPTABLE RISK.

  31. 581
    ccpo says:

    CCPO says in #577:

    The THAI method has its improvements over mining… What matters… is the overall efficiency of use of that resource.

    I’m sorry, CCPO, you’re completely missing the point.

    My point is that EROEI doesn’t apply if A) you don’t have to extract the resource you’re wasting, and B) there is financial incentive to waste the major part in order to extract the minor part.

    No, you are. EROEI *always* applies, unless you care to predict the far future of humanity.

    Simply, the bitumen burned is no longer a resource.

    Yes, that’s exactly right. And utterly irrelevant. Look at the world around you and ask whether industry would willingly sacrifice a profit in order to not waste a resource.

    I’m not arguing what industry will do to make a profit. I am obviously arguing what they *should* do to manage the Commons.

    Think 7 generations, minimum. After all, what have we gained if in a few centuries there is nothing left for our descendants?

    Please don’t confuse what I think about the resource and the future with what I think industry will do if it can make a profit.

    I didn’t.

    If we’re to think of future generations the ONLY thing that can be done with the tar sands (shale oil, most of the coal) is to leave it where it is while we try to lower existing levels of CO2.
    Comment by David Miller — 29 March 2010 @ 8:43 AM

    Yup.

  32. 582
    John Peter says:

    ccpo@579

    Is Syun-Ichi Akasofu the exception that proves your rule?

    http://people.iarc.uaf.edu/~sakasofu/little_ice_age.php {8<(}

  33. 583
    John Peter says:

    ccpo@580

    “…THERE IS NO METRIC BY WHICH DOING NOTHING OR DOING LITTLE IS AN ACCEPTABLE RISK…”

    http://www.meteo.uni-bonn.de/mitarbeiter/venema/essays/2004/fractal_cloud_structure.html#cloud_structure

    You did shout “NO”

    cheers

  34. 584
    Septic Matthew says:

    569, John E. Pearson: You said you didn’t know calculus so I was suggesting a text that you shouldn’t have any trouble with.

    I think I said that I was reviewing some calculus. It’s been a while since I worked with Stokes’ Theorem.

    I read the first 5 or 6 pages. It was too stupid to continue with. If you want to learn the science you need to develop a basic understanding and reading tripe like that is not the way to do it.

    What in particular did you think was wrong with the paper in the first 5 to 6 pages?

    There are distinctions among “having a basic understanding” of physics, statistics and systems science, knowing a lot of physics, statistics and systems science, and knowing everything in physics, statistics and system science. You and I alike do not know all of physics, statistics and systems science. If you know something in particular that I don’t know, why not write it out? Would you say that “The Cointegrated VAR Model” by Juselius is tripe?

  35. 585
    Hank Roberts says:

    > John Peter
    > Akasofu

    Google would like to befriend you.

  36. 586
    Patrick 027 says:

    Re Septic Matthew

    542 – If in fact that paper was by G&T (I didn’t look), then it’s probably not worth while, given their prior track record.

    533 – There is a distinction to be made between variability among model physics (the parameterizations and grid scales) variability among runs or among models due to variations in forcing (runs with or without a solar cycle, volcanic eruptions, different future projections of anthropogenic emissions, etc.), and variability among runs of the same model with the same forcing (that being internal variability).

    Re Unforced variations: interesting things to note:

    Of course, all things within the universe, at least not near it’s poorly-understood boundaries (Beginning of time, etc.), are externally forced in some way (including specific quantum fluctuations (the weather of quantum fluctuations, not the climate) as an external forcing and setting their cause ‘elsewhere’).

    For the climate system, one can define boundaries to the system, and things outside of that which act on the system are external forcings. It is most convenient to set the boundaries such that the external forcings do not respond much to changes in climate system itself, so that they can be treated as boundary conditions (or otherwise, the portion that doesn’t change is a boundary condition), and that is a time-dependent issue (very short term: ocean acts as external forcing to the atmosphere; usually intermediate to longer term to very very long term: ice sheets, ecology and biological/cultural evolution, biogeochemical feedbacks, erosion of mountain ranges (which affects rivers, which affects …) … etc. become climate feedbacks). [Note that on the scale of a few seconds, individual landings of snowflakes or raindrops are weather events, while the average accumulation rate over a minute is a kind of climate. On the scale of millions of years, the pattern of glacial-interglacial variations is like a weather system – though externally forced by Milankovitch cycles, those cycles have always been (though slowly changed by cummulative effects of tidal interactions, which is affected by geography, and thus the ‘weather’ and ‘climate’ of orbital forcing is affected by the ‘weather’ and ‘climate’ of mantle convection); the ‘weather system’ is the change which made the climate sensitive to those forcings in the way that it it has been over the last millions of years.]

    Changes considered to be forced changes are caused by external forcing in some clear systematic physical relationship that in principle is predictable, outside the realm of butterfly effects.

    Other changes may be 1. forced by the system itself 2. forced by external events/conditions but not in any systematic way, but rather via butterfly effects. Ultimately, all ‘weather’ gets traced back to 2: Why the sun has the mass that it does, why Katrina struck at the time and place it did with the intensity it had, why some place has partly cloudy weather yesterday, why the Rocky mountains exist, etc., perhaps why the universe has the physics and initial conditions that it does…

    However, it isn’t necessary to have some particular setup of such external conditions to cause a ‘climate’ pattern within which stars like the sun may occasionally form with planets including one something like the Earth, or that life evolves with some general tendencies, or that, given the systematic forced conditions, cumulus convection occurs. Small perturbations by a single photon arriving at a place and time can shift the climate system from near one part of strange attractor to near another part of a strange attractor, but for such a chaotic system, continually-internally generated perturbations are sufficient to cause the same ‘climate’ of unforced (interally-forced) variations.

    And on that note, such unforced variability is not just deviations from a climatic average – they are part of the climatic state. And their existence can affect averages. For example, the heat transport and precipitation accomplished by extratropical storm tracks affects the average climate; take away the day-to-day variability, and the climate would be quite different. The weather of individual cumulus updrafts and synoptic scale cyclones are shaped by butterfly effects, but the existence of that weather – the texture of the variability – is produced, or at least can be produced, by constant steady-state forcings. It happens that for various conditions, there is some instability, and something other than a steady-state (for all-timescales shorte than external forcing variations) pattern is the easiest path to a climatic equilibrium.

  37. 587
    Patrick 027 says:

    “For example, the heat transport and precipitation accomplished by extratropical storm tracks affects”

    … AND momemtum tranport!

  38. 588
    Patrick 027 says:

    … AND cloud and snow-cover and vegetation (via precipiation) ‘forcing’, etc.

  39. 589
    David B. Benson says:

    Global warming, decade by decade

    First look at
    http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/10yave.jpg
    to observe the general upward trend in global temperatures.
    From well understood physics, we suspect the logarithm of CO2 concentrations (lnCO2) explains most of the variation and indeed from a standard correlation
    http://bartonpaullevenson.com/Correlation.html
    this is confirmed. Now we want to explain the GISTEMP global temperaure anomaly product (GTA) from the Arrhenius formula which (approximately) explains the warming due to ln(CO2).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius#Greenhouse_effect
    The formula as applied is, for each decade d,

    AE(d) = k(lnCO2(d-1) – lnCO2(1870s) – GTA(1880s)

    so the priod decade’s lnCO2 provides the forcing with the assumption that the first decade, the 1880s is unforced by CO2. The final term is the adjustment for the way GISTEMP anomalies are reported and there is a constant k to give the temperature change due to the forcing by lnCO2. This constant is traditionally reported for 2xCO2, so

    k = (OGTR for 2xCO2/ln(2).

    OGTR stands for Observed GISTEMP Response and is estimated to be 2.280 K. Using just this, we have the following table in which the residuals are the differences between GTA and the AE estimate. The standard deviation is 0.052 K and the value of R^2=0.953 shows that almost all of the variance in GTA is explained.

    The diffs are the differences lnCO2(d)-lnCO2(d-1). If these were all the same the forcing would be the same for every decade. This is approximately so before the 1960s (being the forcings for the 1970s via the AE formula).

    OGTR for 2xCO2 = 2.280 sd= 0.052 R^2= 0.953
    decade GTA -- AE -- residual diffs
    1880s -0.275 -0.275 +0.000 0.014
    1890s -0.254 -0.231 -0.023 0.007
    1900s -0.259 -0.206 -0.053 0.009
    1910s -0.276 -0.176 -0.100 0.013
    1920s -0.175 -0.135 -0.040 0.012
    1930s -0.043 -0.096 +0.053 0.014
    1940s +0.035 -0.051 +0.086 0.004
    1950s -0.020 -0.038 +0.018 0.009
    1960s -0.014 -0.010 -0.004 0.022
    1970s -0.001 +0.064 -0.065 0.033
    1980s +0.176 +0.173 +0.003 0.043
    1990s +0.313 +0.316 -0.003 0.042
    2000s +0.513 +0.454 +0.059 0.050

    All in all, quite decent for a simplified model based on the physics of the atmosphere plus the shallow ocean, but there is certainly some other effect(s) causing the temperatures to swing (wobble) more widely than can be explained by lnCO2 alone; there is the deep ocean. On the centennial scale of the instrumental record so far, the deep ocean is approximately just a heat sink, but one with a rate which varies on a multidecadal scale. Fortunately there is a proxy for this internal variability, the Atlantic Multidecadal Osciallation (AMO):
    http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/faq/amo_fig.php
    http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/amo_faq.php
    http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/faq_fig2.php
    Although linearly detrended, the AMO for the 13 decades of interest has an average of -0.014 which is removed for this decadal study. Our formula to account for this internal variabilty, in addition to lnCO2, is

    AEP(d) = AE(d) + AxAMO(d)

    where A and k are estimated for best fit to GTA data. Incidently, the AMO also will include some very small effects of lnCO2 (as this forcing is not linear in time) and also some net nonlinear portions of other forcings. Still, this works well to refine the estimate and better approximate GTA. (RMS is the Root Mean Square of the residuals.)

    OGTR for 2xCO2 = 2.280 A = 0.335 RMS= 0.023 R^2= 0.991
    decade GTA -- AEP - residual AMO
    1880s -0.275 -0.253 -0.022 +0.066
    1890s -0.254 -0.232 -0.022 -0.003
    1900s -0.259 -0.243 -0.016 -0.110
    1910s -0.276 -0.240 -0.036 -0.192
    1920s -0.175 -0.176 +0.001 -0.124
    1930s -0.043 -0.041 -0.002 +0.164
    1940s +0.035 -0.010 +0.045 +0.120
    1950s -0.020 +0.013 -0.033 +0.152
    1960s -0.014 -0.004 -0.010 +0.017
    1970s -0.001 -0.012 +0.011 -0.227
    1980s +0.176 +0.145 +0.031 -0.084
    1990s +0.313 +0.323 -0.010 +0.022
    2000s +0.513 +0.521 -0.008 +0.200
    2010s ??.??? +0.686

    Using lnCO2(2000s) and assuming the AMO does not change, there is a prediction for the 2010s of 0.686 +- 0.024 K, lots warmer.

    The autocorrelations (not listed) show that essentially everthing is explained by AEP, in accordance with the R^2 of 0.991.

    Summarizing, CO2 accounts for the centennial scale secular trend with some additional fluctuations due to internal variability.

    Notes:
    The decadal delay in applying the forcing is a simplification of the two box model studied in
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/10/19/volcanic-lull/
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/08/17/not-computer-models/
    from which I determine that about 11–13 years would be slightly better, but thought decadal averages would be more helpful in showing the essense of the climate response.
    Attempts to remove the CO2 diffs from the AMO result in almost no change from the above. Using detrended NH SSTs instead of the AMO produced a somewhat inferior result.
    The OGTR for 2xCO2 of 2.28 K roughly corresponds to a Charney equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) of about 3.3 K, by one rule of thumb. This just indicates the physics has not been too overly simplified and is not an estimate of ECS. To the exent that the net of other forcings contributes to the secular trend, OGTR is overestimated. This effect is thought to be quite small as the IPCC AR4 report concludes, in effect, that the net of other forcings is near to zero.
    http://www.ipcc-wg1.unibe.ch/publications/wg1-ar4/wg1-ar4.html

    GISTEMP:
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt
    CO2 concentrations:
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/antarctica/law/law_co2.txt
    ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_gr_mlo.txt
    AMO:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/correlation/amon.us.long.data

    — David B. Benson

  40. 590
    John Peter says:

    Hank Roberts @ 585

    No, I may be slow to catch on but I try to learn from my mistakes. He’s retired now so he really isn’t a player anymore.

    I’ve only scanned the examples where he uses contemporary records to bolster his LIT recovery hypothesis. In any case that would require expert climate scientist evaluation who either have already done the work or mindlessly reject anything he claims.

    I believe that anyone can curve-fit the past few centuries of temperature data to just about any mathematical expression they choose to employ so his linear plus multi-decadal oscillations is a yawn, even for me.

    Should climate scientists in the future “discover” that he was “right”, I might tell you “I told you so”. FWIW we need a sensible physical explanation for his multi-decadal oscillations to look any further into his claims. My hunch is that Mike Mann will do this (if he hasn’t done so already) as part of his paleoclimate studies. Wait and see is more than good enough for me.

    cheers

  41. 591
    CM says:

    Andreas,

    I tend to agree with all the points Ray made in #539.

    Still, I imagine there might be disciplinary lacunae in the IPCC coverage that you could point out without necessarily having full knowledge of the state of research.

    You mentioned anthropology, and it is my feeling too that the field should have a lot more to contribute than AR4 appears to reflect. (Disclaimer: I’m not an anthropologist, so I’m not saying that ’cause I’m after the grants.)

    But then, I took a quick look at articles from anthropology journals since 1995, indexed at Jstor.org under “climate change” and “global warming”. Some interesting paleoclimate stuff there, but only a handful of articles concerned with man-made global warming as a current policy issue.

    By contrast, the same search limited to economics journals resulted in an only slightly larger number of hits, but a far larger share of these were relevant to the current issue (and clearly positioned themselves as such).

    Probably, many more anthropologists are doing relevant work and publishing in various other forms and venues. But I got the loose impression of a discipline that has not widely seen itself as doing research on contemporary man-made climate change, or sought to contribute effectively to the scientific basis for climate change policy-making. This may be changing, cf. this interesting-looking and apparently pioneering collection:

    Susan Crate and Mark Nuttal (eds.), Anthropology and Climate Change: From Encounters to Actions. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press, 2009. Pbk ISBN 978-1-59874-334-0.

  42. 592
    JiminMpls says:

    #590 John

    Akasofu is a highly respected and honored scientist, but it doesn’t take a climatologist to realize that he is a bit unhinged when it comes to climate change. Just read his Recommendation to Postpone the 2009 Copenhagen Conference. It’s just rambling nonsense.

    I can’t find it now, but in one of his rants he claims that permafrost melting is caused by heating buildings. He repeatedly claims that warming in the Arctic halted a decade ago. (Everyone is familiar with the “no warming since 1998″ diatribe, but he is the first and only one that I know of that claims that warming in the Arctic had stopped.)

  43. 593
    Septic Matthew says:

    589, David B. Benson

    That is pretty interesting. What lag in CO2 would you have to choose to get k equal to a Charney equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) of about 3.3 K? Since 3.3 is taken from a different data set, and since you estimate lag anyway (somewhat informally, perhaps totally informally), I think that this question is better posed. If nothing other than CO2 is important on time scales of 10+ years, I think it’s an interesting way to estimate the time to equilibrate.

  44. 594
    BobFJ says:

    Ray Ladbury Reur 576:

    BobFJ, Not all provisions of the [USA] Clean Air Act are relevant. Those most relevant are the portions dealing with sulfate aerosols–and the main reductions in those occur in response to the 1990 provisions. As I said, that is just the US, but other countries followed similar timescales. And in China and India, the sulfate emissions are still on the rise.

    Thanks for that Ray…. It all makes very good sense.… and these things all have a lead-time from legislation through to effective implementation…. And are outside of the popular proposition that the ~1940 through 1975 cooling, and its termination was caused by a step-wise rise and then fall of such emissions.

  45. 595
    Andreas Bjurström says:

    591 CM,
    I agree with your description of Anthropology. They work in a disciplinary mode where positioning onself as policy-relevant is not given priority. My personal experience (from my department where there are also a section of anthropology) is that they are surpriced that they even can be relevant to policy. They have kind of a humanistic culture, knowledge for its own sake, with low trust that their knowledge is valuable for every-day concerns. I belong to an environmental research culture that are strongly normative and applied that are very different from a humanistic culture.

    However, the earth sciences are also working in a disciplinary mode. They dont try very hard to be policy-relevant. They live in a culture of objectivity where such concerns tend to taint science (compare that a earth scientist can be harazzed by collegues for speaking to the media). This is also the culture of the IPCC. To claim objectivity and to not be overly concerned by what is relevant for policy and not (this is of course not true, but they are selling that false view of their mission).

    So why is Anthropology excluded and earth sciences included in the IPCC? because the earth sciences control IPCC. They dont have to sell themself. They dont have to claim policy-relevance. They define what policy-relevance are (e.g. to run very expensive quantitative climate models). I dont think that degree of policy-relevance as an objective fact of each discipline are that important to exclusion and inclusion in the IPCC. or?

    ps
    I was also reading that historical empirical climate research are marginalised. This research was especially strong in russia whereas USA was more focused on modelling. Thus, also overall politics may be important for inclusion and exclusion and what kind of research that are given priority. If this is true, it is also an explanation to why anthropological paleoclimate studies are excluded. Also paleoclimate studies from the earth sciences are largely excluded from the IPCC.
    ds

  46. 596

    John Peter (582),

    In a word, no. Akasofu doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He’s a perfectly decent solar physicist, but in climate science he’s a raving nutter and a living illustration of the Dunning-Kruger effect. Thus my frequent repetition of “Akasofu-san wa baka des’.”

  47. 597
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “What lag in CO2 would you have to choose to get”

    With a physical model you don’t have to guess.

    Ask instead “what is the lag in CO2 from physical models…?”. Maybe with a follow up of “And what assumptions had to be made to get there?”.

  48. 598
    Sou says:

    @ #580ccpo says: (29 March 2010 at 9:01 AM)

    This is Do-Nothing Denialism by a thousand cuts. Your claim we just don’t know enough is BS. plus more like this…

    ccpo, perhaps you didn’t read my post properly, or the full series of posts I made, or the original post to which I was responding. Or maybe you in fact agree with Andreas Bjurström when he implied that funds should be diverted from climate science to social science.

    I realise it’s hard on this forum to follow the threads, so if you want to know my overall position on the research and action required it can be summarised as follows:

    The global climate has changed significantly, unequivocally and irrevocably because of human emissions of carbon from fossil fuels, deforestation and other sources. (It is highly noticeable where I live, with very adverse consequences already, and it will continue to change globally.) A lot more action is needed urgently to (i) reduce carbon emissions and (ii) to adapt to climate change.

    (i) Reducing emissions Governments urgently need to take concerted action to ensure reduction of carbon emissions. Much more needs to be done urgently at the international, national and local levels, by governments, businesses and individuals. Action to reduce emissions includes policy (eg incentives / disincentives), regulation and investment in renewable energy production among other strategies.

    (ii) Adapting to local climate change Governments at national, state and local levels are already starting to invest in infrastructure to adapt to climate change, but risk making bad decisions, in part because the information about local climate trends is not sufficiently well understood (compared to global climate trends). Infrastructure development for adaptation has a long lead time and is very costly. Therefore governments need to continue to fund ongoing research in climate science to better inform such decisions. (This was the point I was making in the post that you yelled at.)

    Fair enough if you don’t agree and think we have all the information we need. I think we need to continue research. The US government thinks the same as I see that they’ve recently announced a program researching local climate change in the USA and the adaptation required.

    PS Sorry for taking up so much space on what to my mind is the obvious. Maybe there’s a language barrier as I suspect we are on the same page in the main (I’m from Australia).

  49. 599
    John E. Pearson says:

    Septic Matthew wrote:

    “write it out”

    I really don’t know where to begin. The paper in question was a defense of G&T. After 5 pages they level their first complaint against Smith (who wrote an unpublished criticism of G&T) because they think Smith did something awkward. Half of one of the 5 pages was a figure they lifted from an elementary calculus text. G&T purport to show that the greenhouse effect violates the second law of thermodynamics among other nonsense. The authors of the paper you linked to spend pages and pages on stuff that is completely trivial, showing for example that the product of integrals isn’t equal to the integral of the product, etc. All this stuff is taught in highschool calculus. As Pauli would’ve said “It’s not even wrong.” Its just embarrassing. G&T go on and on about how the greenhouse effect isn’t how greenhouses work etc. Goody’s 1971 book “Atmospheres” which I recommended to you (and which you dismissed) pointed out that the phrase “Greenhouse gases” is something of a misnomer explicitly in 1971. On page 52 Goody wrote: “This phenomenon, in which the surface temperature of a planet is increased because the atmosphere is translucent to solar radiation but opaque to infrared radiation, is known as the GREENHOUSE EFFECT*.” The the footnote says: “Some writers prefer to avoid this term because the analogy to the domestic greenhouse is not complete, but the term is evocative and rather widely used.” END OF QUOTES.

    In 200&whatever G&T use 100 pages to show that the greenhouse effect doesn’t work like domestic greenhouses and along the way “prove” that the effect violates the second law of thermodynamics. I’ve only scanned the jibberish that is G&T. This stuff propagated out into the denial-osphere. I have no scientific obligation to waste my time reading jibberish which is what G&T is. A paper devoted to asserting that G&T is not jibberish is derivative jibberish.

    If you’re gonna post links to papers that purport to be shooting down about a century’s worth of atmospheric physics you first ought to read an elementary text book on … atmospheric physics. Goody’s little monograph isn’t a bad place to start since it’s cheap and it is an accessible introduction to a difficult subject.

  50. 600
    John Peter says:

    JiminMpls@592 BPL@596

    In science one is expected to criticize another person’s science, not psychoanalyze the scientist. I would find it more interesting if you would critique this scientist’s suggestions for more use of contemporaneous record data. However, my curiosity can wait for Mike or Tom or Bo or David or maybe even one of Judith’s students for that task.

    One lesson of climate-gate is that, when trying to design a new science, better leave out all requirements for ad hominid attacks. Even if you happen to believe you’re saving the world from itself.

    Jastrow and Feynman were excellent physicists, so are Seitz and Dyson. They all criticized your work, not your personal attributes. Ditto Akasofu.

    My own personal ad hominem on “climate scientists” is they seem to be much too impatient. As I posted to Hank, our world renowned note author is retired now, why not just wait and see?


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