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Unforced variations: July 2017

Filed under: — group @ 1 July 2017

So, big news this week: The latest update to the RSS lower troposphere temperatures (Zeke at Carbon Brief, J. Climate paper) and, of course, more chatter about the red team/blue team concept. Comments?

309 Responses to “Unforced variations: July 2017”

  1. 1
    Tim McDermott says:

    So the vast scientist conspiracy finally got the the RSS folks.

  2. 2
    Russell says:

    A journalist who doesn’t read science journals explains why “Facts are sacred.”

    https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-truth-that-sets-men-free-is-seldom.html

  3. 3
    Alastair McDonald says:

    The Mears and Wentz, 2017 abstract ends “However, comparisons with total column water vapor over the oceans suggest that the new data set may not show enough warming in the tropics.” In other words, the tropical lapse rate problem still exists! That is the problem that the radiosondes are not showing the warming in the tropical troposphere that the models predict. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/08/the-tropical-lapse-rate-quandary/

    The diurnal variation decreases with altitude. The diurnal variation detected by the satellites will be mostly driven by the boundary layer which is included in their lower troposphere measurements. So, it is the models that are wrong, not measurements.

  4. 4
    Tokodave says:

    Tip for Scott Pruitt: Why don’t you get your Red Team to submit an abstract?
    https://fallmeeting.agu.org/2017/important-datessingle/abstract-submission-deadline/
    We’ll wait.

  5. 5
    Hank Roberts says:

    red team: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/07/01/epa-chief-pushing-governmentwide-effort-to-question-climate-change-science/

    Heck, they should get their Koch backers to fund a climate-skeptical Republican Nobel laureate at some respectable academic institution to set up an independent assessment of the data.

    That would test whether the climate religion magical conversion pixie dust is so effective as to change the mind of such a scientist.

    It would be a probe to test whether there’s a religious war going on and they’re losing the battle with the facts.

    https://thinkprogress.org/exclusive-richard-muller-charles-koch-judith-curry-and-the-implosion-of-the-berkeley-earth-surface-a8df1723d0cf

  6. 6
    Chris Ho-Stuart says:

    I’d like some guidance to see if my thoughts on the recent satellite data brohaha make any sense.

    As far as I can see, the issue concerns trends in the mid troposphere, rather than the surface. The major issue of scientific interest here is difference between surface warming and troposphere warming.

    It is expected that as things heat up, the atmosphere is able to hold more water, and that this in turn reduces the lapse rate, which corresponds to troposphere warming faster than the surface. Reduction in the lapse rate is a negative feedback, because it means a given surface warming has even more effect on the levels of atmosphere from which emissions get out to space. That is, a smaller surface warming than otherwise becomes sufficient to balance the energy budget.

    What the recent work is saying (I think) is that the troposphere is indeed warming more than the surface, but not by as large a factor as occurs in most climate models. That is, the models have a greater negative lapse rate feedback than is apparent in real measurements.

    Drawing further implications from this is not simple, because the negative lapse rate feedback is directly linked with a positive feedback from the enhanced greenhouse impact of the additional water in the atmosphere. Overall (in models) the feedback from water vapour is positive, as the enhanced greenhouse aspect is stronger than the (negative) reduced lapse rate aspect.

    Are there measurements of atmospheric water content that can be compared with models? Is the discrepancy in lapse rate only, or in water content as well? If there is reason to suspect models might be getting lapse rate change too large, does this give any reason to think they are getting sensitivity too low (by having too much lapse rate feedback) or too high (by having too much impact on atmospheric water content).

    Any thoughts or pointers welcome. Thanks!

  7. 7
    Jon Kirwan says:

    The fact that RSS took so long to finally work out an update that more closely reflects other ground-based datasets, and the fact that there remains a large disparity and growing disparity between the two teams analyzing the raw data (RSS and UAH), makes me wonder if any of this is of much use except perhaps for working out the bugs and problems with existing satellite instrumentation meant for these kinds of measurements — so that we can field better equipment relying upon better theory and practice, next time. (Assuming there will be a next time.) Perhaps that’s the remaining value.

    Are the work products of RSS and UAH used in a significant way for any other serious climate work? (I’m interested in who is using them and for what purpose.)

  8. 8

    If you keep saying, “This deserves further study,” you can avoid ever having to make a decision.

  9. 9
    Dave says:

    ‘Group’ – FYI.

    I am older than quite a bit of dirt. It FOLLOWS, as the Night follows the Day, that I am “Psyber-Retarded.” Therefore, this note, may in fact be either ‘Much Ado about Nothing,’ OR, a bunch of mixed up confusion.

    However, I find it ALARMING, that after I’ve Visited (& been EDUCATED by, [Thank You! RC ‘group’!]) Real Climate since its very first days on the WWW, my Routine for getting to your site has never varied: I turn on my ‘Computer de Jour,’ open Google or Chrome and type “Real Climate.” For decades that took me to a click-menu where on PAGE #1, & ABOVE the Fold, I could mash the Real Climate link without difficulty. Way La!

    I also consider meself a Full Blown McCluenist => The Medium IS a good bit of The MESSAGE! Hence, when for the 1st time, in recent weeks, a multi decade keystroke string Fails to bring me to RC, but instead brings me to a False Place (a Cli-Sci: “Hell”), flying the “RC Liberty & Colors,” but in actuality a DENIER/belittler locale, I get Grey Hair! As My Downs God Child says: “No me like That!”

  10. 10
    curiousaboutclimate says:

    @Alastair #3

    The Sherwood and Nishant paper from 2015 does indeed show tropical tropospheric amplification using radiosondes.

  11. 11
    Russell says:

    Linking to John Podesta’s Think Progress, website Hank Roberts says
    1 Jul 2017 at 9:23 PM

    It would be a probe to test whether there’s a religious war going on and they’re losing the battle with the facts.

    Unfortunately, the White House climate policy playbook commissioned by Podesta in 2014 says:

    ” Right v. Wrong (Climate as political social change)…

    one cannot be handcuffed by data on a fundamental moral issue of this kind..the magic will not be in the precision of specific words”

    https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2016/10/ad-john-podesta-ex-masters-of-disaster.html

  12. 12
    mike says:

    Recent Monthly Average Mauna Loa CO2
    May 2017: 409.65 ppm
    May 2016: 407.70 ppm

    Week beginning on June 25, 2017: 407.71 ppm
    Weekly value from 1 year ago: 405.95 ppm
    Weekly value from 10 years ago: 385.16 ppm

    Needle still going the wrong direction. We might post a 2017 increase of under 2 ppm. last time we did that was 2011. Last two years we have been very slightly under 3 ppm.

    It seems tragi-comic to read news stories about how we only have three years to get emissions under control. There is nothing in the atmospheric CO2 record to suggest we can or will do that.

    Arctic ice pack heading to the low point. How low can it go this year?

    Larsen C iceshelf wants to flee the continent and head to open seas. Greenland melt rates? https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170628144917.htm study says a little too sunny in Greenland for the past twenty years.

    What does the US of A want to do about all of this? How about a blue-ribbon red team to give us some perspective? I think that’s fine as long as the redteam allstars agree to move all their investment holdings into fossil fuel companies and shoreline real estate. Form the red team and the red team investment fund. Let’s get this going!

    Warm regards

    Mike

  13. 13
    MA Rodger says:

    The release of RSS TLT v4.0 is not unexpected after the release of RSS TMT v4.0 and TTT v4.0 back in March last year. And the size of the adjustments ditto. One place the change will impact is the TLT Decadal bet.
    The TLT bet is about whether the average TLT temperature 2001-2010 is warmer or cooler than the average TLT temperature 2011-20.
    Switching from the presently-used RSS TLT v3.3 to using the new RSS v4.0 should find no serious objections from those involved in the TLT bet. After all, the switch from UAH v5.6 to UAH v6.0 was accepted even while it remained a beta version and that switch had the opposite effect. And the change will not make a difference to who wins the bet as that looks pretty certain now. (For the “coolists” to win, it would require the temperatures for the remainder of the decade to be lower than any such length of period since before the year 2000 which is hardily likely without a massive volcanic erruption or some other major climatic catastrophe.)
    But while it won’t effect the result, it will be fun to plot out the size of the change caused by RSS v4.0, both in absolute terms and (perhaps more interesting) its size relative the one caused by the UAH v5.6 to v6.0 change. Have the effects both “been very small and are hardly visible” as the denialist KiwiThinker linked above tells us of the change fromUAH v5.6?

  14. 14
    Scott Strough says:

    @5 Ironically that 2011 article about Muller turned out wrong. Because although a set up for denialism, the actual result was that it changed Muller’s mind and he is no longer a denier at all.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/opinion/the-conversion-of-a-climate-change-skeptic.html

    “CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.

    My total turnaround, in such a short time, is the result of careful and objective analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which I founded with my daughter Elizabeth. “

  15. 15
    Killian says:

    Re June Unintended Variations #246, alan2102 said #233: “It’s the food supply, stupid. …. Food is going, folks. We can’t keep having all these extremes in multiple locations and expect food supply to stay stable.”

    Mebee. Mebee not.

    Researchers from Iowa have shown that organic farming methods can yield almost as highly as pesticide-intensive methods. Other researchers, from Berkeley, California, have reached a similar conclusion

    Then, of course, there are the real people, like many permaculture practicioners, the Dervaes family, the Rodale Institutute (I have posted their 30-year trial numerous times here), etc., that have been saying this for years.

    You preach to the choir.

    Even some establishment institutions will occasionally admit that the food shortage concept — now and in any reasonably conceivable future — is bankrupt. According to experts consulted by the World Bank Institute there is already sufficient food production for 14 billion people — more food than will ever be needed. The Golden Fact of agribusiness is a lie.

    Sure. My own BOE calculations back in 2011 when I was developing a farm-to-school program in Detroit and encouraging Detroit to become the first food self-reliant large city in the world, was that we could easily feed 12 billion. It’s a no-brainer. But, it’s a no-brainer that does *not* include extreme weather, does *not* include resource limits, does *not* include collapse scenarios, and so on. More importantly, it does not offer a way out of corporate ag.

    I do, however. So, yes, follow my plan for localization, for localized energy and food production, for localized governance, and simplify quickly enough to avoid 5C in 10 year temp changes, e.g., then, yes, there can be plenty of food.

    It is not a given.

    http://communityalchemy.com/PermOccupy/PermOccupyModel.jpg

  16. 16
    Bernd Eggen says:

    @Dave #9 & RC admin, I too find it worrying to see that now searching on Google for “real climate” brings up as top hit a very different site to this “RC” and one which seems to sit squarely on the denier side – do we know about Steven Goddard (pseudonym for Tony Heller) who runs this (apart from Wikipedia page etc) ?

    I wonder if he or whoever runs the site could be requested to change its name (similar to a TM or copyright infringement) ?

  17. 17
    zebra says:

    With respect to the comment by Alan2102 referenced in #15:

    It is absolutely true that there is an oversupply of many food crops. But, as we all seem to agree, a shortage of wheat contributed to the civil war in Syria. What a puzzle?!

    So, responding also to #15: “It’s the price, stupid.”

    Can organic or whatever futuro-hippytarian techniques “produce the same amount of food” at the same cost?

    If not, how exactly do you get agribusiness to incorporate these practices into the supply chain, which it controls, (whether it owns acreage outright or owns the farmers who own the acreage), if profits go down?

    Also, I’ve been gardening most of my life, and I’m pretty sure that growing wheat “locally” is an absurdity most places, even without climate change.

    So what’s the plan for achieving this resilient localtopia? Will we have a World Government Wheat Enforcement Agency checking to see that my local supermarket only carries cornbread and rye bread?

    Let’s be serious. There will be crashes in various locations, and existing infrastructure, which is massively corporate, will get the food there if someone– residents or charities– can pay for it.

  18. 18
    Lynn says:

    RE the Carl Mears paper — I posted the article about it to a blog and a link to the article itself, and this is the response I got:
    ____________________________
    This is bogus research. They compared an update released over a year ago (RSS V4.0) with a dataset retired in 2008 (RSS V3.0) and pretended this was something new.

    They ignored several interm updates (RSS V3.2 & V3.3) that had already adjusted up the the RSS temperature record.

    I assume they compared it with a long retired dataset because it made a better headline, this research has zero impact on the scientific discussion of climate change.
    __________________________
    Since we have to pay for the article and since I don’t know enough to say whether this blogger is correct in saying the Mears article is bogus (just a rehash of what was already done), could someone help me out and give me their opinion or better information about it?

  19. 19
    mike says:

    from comments at And Then There’s Physics post on David Whitehouse.

    Pehr Bjornbom says:

    “The discussion of how the global temperature is developing I think should be in the context of how the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is changing. The yearly change of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now seems to be developing in an unpleasant way:

    A couple of years ago, looking at the change during the period 1999-2012, it seemed to me that this yearly concentration change was approaching a plateau of around 2 ppm/year. This is no longer consistent with what has happened in this graph after 2012. Now it seems that there is a steady increase of the yearly concentration change.

    This change now seems to have reached 3 ppm/year while it was around 1 ppm/year when the measurements started in 1959. If the yearly change of the carbon dioxide concentration will increase with the same constant rate as it looks like from the graph, the carbon dioxide concentration will reach 500 ppm before the year 2040.”

    Mike says, yup.

    Warm regards all,

    Mike

  20. 20
    Hank Roberts says:

    > Dave and Bernd
    https://www.google.com/search?q=real+climate&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

    Yep. Tony Heller’s now claimed the top of the search results. I wonder what SEO he’s using.

    Yeah, we know more about him.

    Tony Heller (aka Steven Goddard), Exposed | I’m climate denier Tony …
    https://tonyhellerakastevengoddard.com/
    My name is Tony Heller (aka Steven Goddard). … There’s only one thing to do in the face of such extreme assholes: Don’t remain silent about … to help defend Western Civilization against climate change scientists, progressives and Muslims.

  21. 21
    Brian Dodge says:

    Alastair McDonald 22 Jun 2017 at 9:10 AM says:
    “At the same time the Arctic sea ice extent was decreasing with the result that the overall global albedo did not change.”
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/nsidc-seaice-s/from:1978.92/mean:3/every:12/plot/nsidc-seaice-n/from:1979.58/mean:3/every:12 shows that the summer decline(when the ice is illuminated and albedo is important) in Arctic ice was much greater than the (noisier) increase in Antarctic sea ice; overall, albedo DID change.
    Alastair also talks about “…the fact that absorption only takes place in the boundary layer.” Later he clarifies that to mean “Good point, I should have written net absorption only takes place in the boundary layer. In other words, diurnal warming of the atmosphere which is the result of net absorption, does not occur above the boundary layer.” and finally comes full circle by saying “BTW, I am defining the boundary layer as the region where net absorption occurs.”
    Even if one accepts this argument, adding CO2 will necessarily increase the thickness of this “boundary layer”, raising the temperature at the bottom, and maintaining a gradient to where “net absorption” falls to zero.
    The “absorption is saturated” argument depends on ignoring the fact that atmospheric pressure and the partial pressure of CO2 decrease with altitude. For any wavelength at which absorption is saturated at the surface, there will be an altitude above which it is not saturated, and additions of CO2 to the atmosphere will increase the greenhouse effect. The same effects apply to water vapor, except that water vapor falls more rapidly with altitude because it is condensible. Cloud processes, which span scales from 100nm condensation nuclei to thousands of kilometer teleconnections between the Indian ocean and the eastern Pacific important in ENSO are another knotty problem. The current state of the art cloud parameterizations are likely a large contributor to inaccuracy in models, including, as Chris Ho-Stuart 1 Jul 2017 at 10:49 PM noted, overestimation of the change in lapse rate/underestimation of climate sensitivity. Differences in cloud parameterizations between models are likely driving the inaccuracies in double ITCZ response, (another petard for the denialists to hoist). “This indicates that the double-ITCZ bias is a new emergent constraint for ECS based on which ECS might be in the higher end of its range (~4.0°C) and most models might have underestimated ECS.” http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015GL064119/pdf

    The denialist arguments that “inaccurate” is the same as “wrong”, or that “uncertainty” isn’t a two edged sword are not even wrong.

  22. 22
    Hank Roberts says:

    The answer to every question seems to be “cut taxes and burn more carbon”

    Muller, along with co-author and daughter Elizabeth, are starting a new venture called the China Shale Fund, which seeks to promote shale drilling and fracking in China. The third member of China Shale Fund is Marlan Downey, a longtime Shell executive who specializes in opening up oil and gas operations in developing countries. Downey currently serves on the board of Roxana, a shale gas drilling company and Berkeley Earth, the nonprofit by whom Richard and Elizabeth Muller are currently employed. Through his connections with Downey, Richard Muller has made several trips to meet with Shell in Texas, and has visited Shells drilling sites in China. The Mullers article, titled Why Every Serious Environmentalist Should Favour Fracking, posits that fracking Chinas shale would allow China to burn more natural gas. Muller claims this would decrease dangerous levels of air pollution caused by coal….

    http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/a-controversial-berkeley-professor-is-trying-to-frack-china-with-the-help-of-a-shell-oil-executive/

  23. 23
    Alastair B. McDonald says:

    @curiousaboutcliimate #10

    You need to read the small print in that abstract too: “This contradicts suggestions that atmospheric warming has slowed in recent decades or that it has not kept up with that at the surface. Second, as shown in previous studies, tropospheric warming does not reach quite as high in the tropics and subtropics as predicted in typical models.” See abstract here. Sherwood and Nishant 2015 were claiming to have solved the hiatus problem not the tropical lapse rate problem :-(

  24. 24

    BD 21,

    Thanks for pointing that out. If anyone wants to look further, here’s my evaluation of the “Saturation” argument:

    http://bartonlevenson.com/Saturation.html

  25. 25
    Killian says:

    Re #17 zebra said With respect to the comment by Alan2102 referenced in #15:

    It is absolutely true that there is an oversupply of many food crops. But, as we all seem to agree, a shortage of wheat contributed to the civil war in Syria. What a puzzle?!

    So, responding also to #15: “It’s the price, stupid.”

    Can organic or whatever futuro-hippytarian techniques “produce the same amount of food” at the same cost?

    Who said anything about agribusiness? Build regenerative systems, there will be no agribusiness. In the meantime, that’s why your first steps in your own little climate/resources war is grow your own/get local. See how that both begets what is needed and kills off what is suicidal?

    It really is simple.

    If not, how exactly do you get agribusiness to incorporate these practices into the supply chain, which it controls, (whether it owns acreage outright or owns the farmers who own the acreage), if profits go down?

    They already are because production is higher, costs lower over time. Do you not research what you wonder about? Search on “regenerative ag,” at term that just a few years ago was only spoken within a really small cohort, but is now mainstream.

    Also, I’ve been gardening most of my life, and I’m pretty sure that growing wheat “locally” is an absurdity most places, even without climate change.

    Doc, it hurts when I do that.
    Then don’t do that.

    Is it really that hard to figure growing what works for your climate?

    Let’s be serious. There will be crashes in various locations, and existing infrastructure, which is massively corporate, will get the food there if someone– residents or charities– can pay for it.

    Likely, yes, but not because they have to happen. THAT will be politics and economics. Let’s get the word out: Go regenerative, go local, do it yesterday.

  26. 26
    curiousaboutclimate says:

    @Alastair #23

    “does not reach quite as high” doesn’t quite seem like the problem you make it out to be. I was hoping the point was that models predict tropical troposheric amplification (as does theory) and that this is being observed, thus we shouldn’t poo poo the models and get into this whole “the models have failed” thing.

  27. 27
    Mal Adapted says:

    Russell:

    Unfortunately, the White House climate policy playbook commissioned by Podesta in 2014 says:

    Right v. Wrong (Climate as political social change)…

    one cannot be handcuffed by data on a fundamental moral issue of this kind..the magic will not be in the precision of specific words [the Administration chooses to use].

    Russell, you keep beating a poor dead horse named Podesta, a political appointee of the previous POTUS. I feel no need to defend the horse corpse guy, but AFAIK John Podesta is a political professional, not a scientist. AGW is a moral issue whatever other kind it might be, and the office of POTUS is empowered to advance moral agendas by ‘leadership’. Podesta’s job was to figure out how to persuade the public there ought to be a climate policy, and how to write one with a snowball’s chance in Congress. You know, political work.

    I presume the conduct of politics baffles and repels you as much as it does me. You’re aware, though, how little use data is to a politician unless it’s in currency units or votes; and you, uhm, do realize Podesta’s use of ‘magic’ was figurative. I’m not aware of purported magic being deployed by a Presidential administration since Nancy Reagan consulted an astrologer, but I trust we all hope the Obama Whitehouse eschewed the Black Arts, and the same with bells on of the current POTUS.

    So, is there some reason you think one John Podesta should have been “handcuffed by data” while prosecuting a national climate policy?

  28. 28
    bcw says:

    Yes, realclimate.org is buried below the denialist realclimatescience and a link that reads:
    realclimate.org | Climate Depot
    http://www.climatedepot.com/tag/realclimate-org/
    Links tagged “realclimate.org”. Report: ‘Collusion Between Michael Mann, James Hansen And Gavin Schmidt To Create The Hockey Stick’. Posted June 10 …

    So you see the realclimate as the headline but it actually goes to the denialist climate depot. Clear these clowns have found a way to game google ratings again.

    really sucks.

  29. 29
    bcw says:

    For lazy google searchers: it is enough to type “real climate org”
    to get google to jump past all the bullshit denialist sites and get to realclimate.org – if you don’t realclimate barely makes is on the first page.

  30. 30
    Ken Fabian says:

    Let’s have a deep review of climate science from the fundamentals up – but conducted under the auspices of National Academies of Sciences/Royal Societies.

    Most crucially it should primarily be a high quality video documentary presentation in co-ordination with supporting peer review publications. It should allow the public to look over the shoulders of a team that includes both working experts and independent ones chosen for the skills necessary and exemplary professional reputations. The potential for stunning visualisation of real climate processes and their interactions is enormous and I think the interest is broad enough and the subject matter interesting enough for it to be widely viewed.

    Video documentary – because if it’s down to pdf’s of NAS and RS reports they will continue to be reports the public barely knows exist and they won’t have the reach to impact the public much at all; it needs (eg) BBC Natural History Unit (Attenborough level)quality production, that is made to be compelling prime time viewing to reach the public directly, and promoted heavily. Documentaries are out there – youtube is full of them – but this needs the imprimatur of the world’s leading science bodies, with every element backed by documented, peer reviewed publication – but the video presentation is, in my view, essential.

    Gore’s efforts using that medium are still being viewed and discussed – which tells me just how far this medium can reach – but it’s important that the partisan political associations that Gore’s political career brought to “An Inconvenient Truth” be avoided, just as the accusation that such a documentary is “mere” entertainment must be avoided; the association with the world’s leading science bodies needs to be up front and clear.

    Seeing something of the processes involved in team selection as well as getting to know those scientists as hard working professionals and human beings would be worthwhile and if we get some background on these leading science institutions and see why they have the enviable reputations they have would be worthwhile too.

  31. 31
    Victor says:

    Is this what all the fuss is about? https://www.carbonbrief.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/RSS-tlt-v3-v4-diffs-1024×878.png

    Yes, the red squiggle is marginally higher than the grey squiggle, but the overall picture hasn’t really changed. After the leap upward due to the major El Nino of 1998, there is a huge dip downward, followed by an upward swerve, evident in both graphs, followed by a leveling off, evident in both graphs, followed by another dip and then upward again to a peak reflecting the El Nino of 2010 — then another dip and another leveling until the final peak reflecting the super-El Nino of 2015-16, once again evident in both graphs.

    I find it a tad suspicious that the only real differences occur after 1998, the period where the “hiatus” is alleged to have begun. But most of those differences amount to only a tiny fraction of a degree.

    If it weren’t for that recent El Nino, the trend lines would be much closer, and the hiatus would still be evident — in both graphs.

  32. 32
    Hank Roberts says:

    When you find that a Google search result is noticeably skewed,
    Page down — at the very bottom of the web page
    click “Send Feedback”
    Google folks can be surprisingly quick to fix bad search results, when they’re called to their attention that way.

  33. 33
    toby says:

    Re: 8

    More Red Queen than Red Team

    (In Lewis Carroll’s Looking Glass world, the Red Queen runs fast but stays in the same place)

  34. 34
    Digby Scorgie says:

    I have RealClimate bookmarked. What’s so difficult about that?

  35. 35
    Andyph says:

    I have a question from a newbie, can somebody help:-

    I have heard that if CO2 emissions ceased then C02 in the atmosphere would drop as it is taken up by sinks (mainly the ocean)

    Yet as the climate changed from ice age to interglacial, a little bit of heating caused the ocean to give up C02, which causes further warming.

    I am confused by the seeming contradiction that (a little) warming then causes CO2 to be given up by the ocean – a lot of warming now and the ocean is a CO2 is a sink?

    Sorry for the beginners question

    Thanks

    Andy

    [Response: The exchange of CO2 at the ocean surface is a dynamic chemical equilibrium that is sensitive to temperature because the solubility of CO2 goes up in colder water. Like all chemical reactions, if you add a reagent to one side of the equation, it pushes the equilibrium in the opposite direction to compensate. That’s what’s dominating right now (humans adding CO2 to the atmosphere is pushing it into the ocean). But the temperature effect is real – as the water warms, CO2 is less soluble and so we anticipate that it will get progressively harder for the ocean to soak up our emissions as the climate heats up (a carbon cycle feedback). In the ice ages, the temperature changed for different reasons (associated with the orbital variations and the ice sheets), and the carbon cycle responded to that in many ways – including soaking up more atmospheric carbon as the ocean cooled, amplifying the initial effect. – gavin]

  36. 36
    zebra says:

    Killian #25,

    z: “how do you get agribusiness to incorporate these practices?”

    k: “they already are, because production is higher, cost lower, over time”

    k: “build regenerative systems, there will be no agribusiness”

    Which is it? If your regenerative ag is so cost effective, it will be adopted because of the profit motive, and benefit from economies of scale. Something we should wish for. As I have said in the past, Elon Musk or the Koch boys– your choice.

    And, as has been demonstrated in the past, your “big thinking” turns into absurdity when we examine the actual application of your ideas.

    Crop failures, for whatever reason, and famine, have always happened and always will. We have a degree of food security, even in undeveloped countries, because of the ability to transport food, not simply because we overproduce.

    That’s the result of trade. So you dodged my question about the WEA.

    In your bizarre conception, I would only eat rye bread and cornbread, because that’s what I can grow locally. But that means that there is no supply chain shipping wheat flour to my local bakery; indeed, the demand for wheat is limited to the needs of the population living where wheat grows.

    What happens when the local crops fail? It’s not climate; it’s weather and bugs and disease that have always been with us. Yes, we starve– the “wheat regions” have only enough surplus to keep for their own future crop failures, and there is no way to transport it anyway.

    But this will never happen, because there will never be a WEA, and markets will provide a variety of bread, and someone somewhere will supply it, and someone somewhere will grow the wheat and rye and corn to make flour, and someone will get it from there to here.

    This is a good thing. Are there problems with the system? Sure, but let’s fix those. Elon Musk or the Koch boys– your choice.

  37. 37
    PeterCook28 says:

    Hi all
    I am a lay person, no climate science expertise. I would like to call on this site’s group wisdom so that I can understand how to respond to an article in the (notoriously denialist) Murdoch organ, The Australian newspaper on 22 June 2017, at http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/a-cold-climate-for-science/news-story/f82f4126477b029feb76dbff2fdf467d

    The following is an extract from this above-mentioned opinion piece by “Michael Asten … a retired professor of geophysics and continuing adjunct senior research fellow at Monash University.” The writer contends that natural cycles could explain a considerable chunk of global warming. Is his claim credible?

    – Peter

    My own studies of historical and ancient temperature records point towards a major component of natural cycles of global temperature variations on timescales of 64 years, hundreds of years and thousands of years. When such cycles over decades and centuries are considered, the magnitude of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (or Lomborg’s) projected temperature rise to 2100 is probably reduced by a factor between two and four.

    Nicola Scafetta at the University of Naples has been prolific in analysing global temperature data and identifying dominant frequencies that can be related to natural frequencies of the solar system, of which a 60-65 year cycle is a dominant contributor to change over the past century. That same cycle was identified by Svetlana Jevrejeva of Britain’s National Oceanography Centre in sea-level tidal records going back to 1700. A similar cycle plus a longer one of about 200-250 years has been identified in 250 years of climate records in Germany and 11,000 years of Antarctic ice-core records by German and Chinese scientists led by Horst Ludecke of the University of Applied Sciences at Saarbrucken in Germany. That last cycle fits rather neatly to a record of cyclic advance and retreat of the major glaciers of the European Alps, as studied by Hanspeter Holzhauser at the University of Bern, Switzerland.

    This snippet of peer-reviewed journal publications illustrates the serious case for recognition of such natural cycles. And when we recognise that the 64-year cycle and the 200-year cycle were close to their maximums around 2010 we have a partial explanation for the global temperature increases of the past century, and for the slowdown of the past couple of decades. Rising CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere do contribute to temperature increases, but Scafetta, for example, calculates it to be only half of that observed. This scenario, founded on observational evidence of quantitative climate change, predicts that future anthropogenic warming will be at most half today’s IPCC estimates and will be offset in part by the onset of cooling associated with the 64-year and 200-year cycles.

  38. 38
    Mal Adapted says:

    toby:

    (In Lewis Carroll’s Looking Glass world, the Red Queen runs fast but stays in the same place)

    And the White Queen shouts “Off with their heads!” 8^D. Ah, deacon Dodgson, a rigorous logician and immortal fountain of universally apt literary tropes. IMHO.

  39. 39
    Killian says:

    Re #36 zebra said said The Peanut Gallery is Dead! Long live the Peanut Gallery! That is all.

    And, indeed, there is exactly nothing here showing intellect, analysis, awareness, but you do show some skill with logical fallacies. Straw Man seems a favorite. The outright prevaricating, though, caught me off guard.

    Killian #25,

    z: “how do you get agribusiness to incorporate these practices?”

    k: “they already are, because production is higher, cost lower, over time”

    k: “build regenerative systems, there will be no agribusiness”

    Which is it?

    Fallacy: The existence of one thing excludes the existence of another. Fact: For-profit farmers are doing regenerative ag. Fact: For profit farms are not doing regenerative ag.

    Fact: The two are not mutually exclusive.

    If your

    Mine? Truly, completely, mine, Auntie Em?!

    Fallacy: Because one speaks on a concept, one is responsible for that concept. Thus, in order to taint one with the other, present them as directly linked and causal.

    regenerative ag is so cost effective, it will be adopted because of the profit motive, and benefit from economies of scale.

    Perhaps. Perhaps not. Given profit is an unsustainable concept, it may not last long in this world, and will be impossible at some point in the future. It is impossible to know whether this WILL occur; it is certain that it must IF we seek to have a sustainable future with little death and destruction along the way. It matters not that you do not understand this, or see the possibility of it. Your ignorance and lack of analytical ability is not my concern. Authoritarians are rarely reachable.

    Something we should wish for.

    Incorrect, unless you speak solely of the period of transition. Else, wish for a non-monetary society as quickly as is humanly possible, for it is the only way sustainable societies function.

    As I have said in the past, Elon Musk or the Koch boys– your choice.

    Then you accept a sui-genocidal duality?

    And, as has been demonstrated in the past, your “big thinking” turns into absurdity when we examine the actual application of your ideas.

    1. This is a statement of fact that can, factually, only be an opinion.
    2. Do you so poorly understand the difference between fact and opinion?
    3. Your statement is false. Rather than absurd, I’m pretty sure every prediction or scenario set I have ever offered here has been generally or specifically accurate… like my August 2015 statements on ASI, where numerous new lows and near new lows have been recorded over 2016 and 2017.

    How absurd of me to predict this a year in advance when ASI is notoriously difficult to predict. Simply absurd! I feel faint….!

    Crop failures, for whatever reason, and famine, have always happened and always will.

    You are truly brilliant.

    We have a degree of food security, even in undeveloped countries, because of the ability to transport food, not simply because we overproduce.

    Tell that to the people who go hungry because their food is transported to your table.

    That’s the result of trade.

    Truly, more brilliant than the sun. Blinding… I must avert my eye…

    So, by your logic, the existence of localized markets means nothing can be traded. Straw Man. And just dumb. Things were transported thousands of miles millennia ago, for chrissake.

    So you dodged my question about the WEA.

    Gasp! I did?

    No, I didn’t. I still am not.

    In your bizarre conception, I would only eat rye bread and cornbread, because that’s what I can grow locally.

    You mean your bizarre conception. On the one hand, only you seem to think all trade will stop in the future. On the other, it is an undeniable fact that people used to *have to* eat far more seasonally, and did so successfully. Before refrigerated cargo, I’m thinking there were few bananas among the Inuit and little walrus blubber in Panama. According to you, I would be mistaken, yes? Truly, you are a supernova.

    What happens when… …no way to transport it anyway… …and someone will get it from there to here.

    Addressed above. False premise, ridiculous conclusion.

    But this will never happen, because there will never be a WEA

    A what? Wild Extemporaneous Aardvarks? Do enlighten is all, oh, stellar one. Whatever it is, it’s nothing I ever have talked about. If you talked about it, well, best to let absurdities lie, don’t you think? For your own mental health; it has the smell of a Straw Man about it.

    Are there problems with the system? Sure, but let’s fix those.

    Are there problems with Fukushima? Just patch them right up. After all, Chernobyl has been back in operation for year… mont… weeks… er…. never.

    Elon Musk or the Koch boys– your choice.

    No, dear s’nova, that is your sui-genocidal choice. Me? I know how sustainable systems work and will spend my time bringing those online, thanks.

    G’night, peanut.

  40. 40

    V 31: I find it a tad suspicious that the only real differences occur after 1998, the period where the “hiatus” is alleged to have begun. But most of those differences amount to only a tiny fraction of a degree.

    BPL: The satellite records start late because they were launched in 1978.

  41. 41
    MA Rodger says:

    UAH have posted for June with an anomaly of +0.21ºC, despite Woy’s gwaph, this is not quite the lowest anomaly of the year-to-date (The tabulated data shows March weighed in at +0.19ºC). This is the 7th warmest June on record and the =84th warmest of all months on the full record.
    The first half of 2017 sits in 4th spot despite not being an El Nino year which is a big big factor in the wobbly TLT records. The table below sets out Jan-June and annual averages
    ……….Ave Jan-June … … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 ….. +0.62ºC … … … +0.50ºC … … … … 1st
    1998 ….. +0.59ºC … … … +0.48ºC … … … … 2nd
    2010 ….. +0.42ºC … … … +0.33ºC … … … … 3rd
    2017 ….. +0.30ºC
    2002 ….. +0.26ºC … … … +0.22ºC … … … … 5th
    2015 ….. +0.22ºC … … … +0.26ºC … … … … 4th
    2007 ….. +0.22ºC … … … +0.16ºC … … … … 9th

    We await the first monthly update of the new RSS TLT v4.0. The graph here (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’) shows the size of adjustment between RSS v3.3 an RSS v4.0 and also the UAH v5.6/v6.0 adjustment. The RSS v4.0 adjustment increases in size throughout the record (and is not as described @31) unlike the UAH v6.0 adjustment which is not dissimilar to the RSS adjustment to 1998 but which reverses post-1998 with the adjustments shrinking to zero.
    The impact on the TLT bet (I mentioned @13) from the RSS adjustment is smaller than the opposite effect of the UAH adjustment. The RSS increased the difference between the 2001-10 average and the 2011-to-date average by 0.015ºC (favouring the “warmists”) while the UAH adjustment decreased it by 0.037ºC (favouring the “coolists”). The impact on the outcome of the bet is insignificant. As for the “coolists” accepting the new RSS TLT V4.0, if they don’t they may find the bet becomes void as they would have to source the v3.3 for the rest of the decade. Unlike UAH v5.6, I’m not sure that will be available.

  42. 42
    MA Rodger says:

    PeterCook28 @37,
    The answer to your question “Is his claim credible?” is ‘No, it isn’t!’ The likes of Scarfetta are simply curve-fitting. (In this regard, Scarfetta is a bit of a star.) There is no theory that stands up to analysis to support the physical existence of such cycles. These cycles can be found when you look for them in the temperature records but often there is not even statistical significance to the finding. There are plenty of attempts to match such wobbles to physical phenomena but none are convincing. If such work is peer-reviewed, it achieve that status because of its speculative novelty and so-far has never got beyound that status. But much of such publications is not truly subject to any peer-review being published in inappropriate journals , or dodgy ones.
    Consider the WUWT (Wyatt’s Unified Wave Theory) a theory supported by blog-mom/ex-climatologist Judy Curry. Has this WUWT gone anywhere since 2013? Has the lack of ice cover in the Laptev Sea led to a renewed cycle of global cooling? Or was the whole thing a pile of fanciful nonsense that did nothing but made denialists feel justified and happy for a few years.

  43. 43
    Alastair B. McDonald says:

    Peter Cook #37

    These cycles probably do exist but if we keep adding CO2 to the atmosphere then we will overwhelm them, and prove Prof. Hawking right? Stephen Hawking at 75: Trump and climate change

  44. 44
    zebra says:

    #39 Killian:

    ” On the one hand, only you seem to think all trade will stop in the future. ”

    “…wish for a non-monetary society as quickly as is humanly possible, for it is the only way sustainable societies function.

    If only I had thought this through better I would have realized the brilliance of Killian’s plan:

    Barter! Yeah, that’s the ticket, barter!

    If I want broccoli from California, I just have to send them a table or something. And for the refrigerated shippers, perhaps I’ll make them a small box or other accessory.

    It’s like, The Wisdom Of The Ancients, dude— all that trading of spices over thousands of miles wasn’t about money after all. Spending all that time on those stinky dangerous ships and camel caravans was rewarded by some packets of turmeric and pepper, and the spiritual advancement of seeing distant lands…

    Actually, I think Killian got lost somewhere in an undergraduate anthropology class when he misunderstood the significance of Kula rings or some such.

    “Sustainable” societies have always had a lot of killing and power structures and other ills of the modern world– without the benefits of hot showers and toothpaste.

    I say again: Musk, Kochs, your choice.

  45. 45

    PC 37,

    I have run the regression for 1850-2014 or so using both CO2 and four different measures of solar activity. I never got the solar terms to contribute much variance; the most I got was 2.5% or so for sunspots. The solar effect is real but trivial. Of course solar changes influence Earth, but they just aren’t large enough or fast enough to make this kind of a difference.

  46. 46
    nigelj says:

    Zebra and Killian, regarding food production, you appear to be comparing corporate agribusiness with an idealised, local, smaller scale family owned agricultural production, or self sufficiency sort of concept.

    This is pretty interesting.

    The thing comes down to a couple of issues for me really

    1)I feel drawn to the small scale local concept, and sceptical of corporations, but I’m aware this is partly emotive. I certainly don’t think we are sure enough that local and small scale is somehow better than larger scale models to force it on anyone, or use the power of the state to promote it in some way.

    I think if the two models are competing the best idea will prevail, or they may exist side by side. We have large farms mainly corporate owned, but also a growing small scale family run organic industry because there’s a demand.

    The real potential problem relates to monopolies. If corporate agribusiness gets too big and monopolistic, it could crowd out useful, smaller scale, local developments of value. Maybe it already is. Imagine monsantocorp or googlecorp owning everything, and it does get scary. And of course monopolies have the consumer by the neck, and can over charge prices and become inefficient and lazy.

    And when the cold efficiency of corporations and large scale decimates local family farms there are human casualties left on welfare, and certain governments determined to cut welfare. If bigger is really better for all of us, we should at least help displaced farmers re-integrate back into the community and with some financial help.

    2) We are drawn to self sufficiency in food as its so basic and essential, as opposed country by country specialisation in products and high levels of trade. But trade obviously has its advantages.

    If you look purely within countries, its hard to see everyone going back to vegetable gardens or tiny farms, or an existence like that fabulous television series the good life.

    But is it wise for entire countries to be dependent on food imports of essential basics? That does get scary, but the reality is more comforting. The market system and trade realities is currently such that countries tend to mostly provide their own food anyway.

    And where countries do import a lot of food, I’m not aware it has lead to crisis? If it has, its been related to logistics and transport failures. But these can be overcome by better planning, and emergency measures. Making a country self sufficient will have its own disadvantages, in that it could restrict food choice and push up prices.

    It would seem there’s no real problem with the agribusiness / trade model, and if there is it could be solved by some partial or limited degree of self sufficiency and stock piling.

  47. 47
    nigelj says:

    Could someone give Victor a basic secondary school maths book on how to read graphs and establish a trend?

    And if el nino spikes are getting bigger as he claims, it can only be because of extra heat in the oceans from agw climate change.

  48. 48
    Russell says:

    27
    Mal . much as you “hope the Obama Whitehouse eschewed the Black Arts,” it tried to install a permanent directorate to advance the dark art of social engineering – here’s what his science advisor said:

    “As President Obama noted in his Executive Order 13707, behavioral science insights can support a wide range of national priorities including … accelerating the transition to a low carbon economy.

    That Executive Order, 13707, directs Federal agencies to apply behavioral science insights to their policies and programs, and it institutionalizes the Social and Behavioral Science Team…The adminstration is releasing new guidance to agencies that supports continued implementation of
    The Behavioral Science Insights Executive Order.

    That guidance will help agencies identify promising opportunities to apply behavioral science insights to their programs and policies.”

    You ask :” is there some reason you think one John Podesta should have been “handcuffed by data” while prosecuting a national climate policy?”

    Yes: Belief in his own leadership, because what’s in the playbook Campaign Chairman and former White House Chief of Staff Podesta commissioned , and the White House staff were insructed to follow- here are links to the whole thing

    Would you reall like Trump’s Chief of Staff Rience Preibus to push that set of buttons ?

  49. 49
    Alastair B. McDonald says:

    Re Brian Dodd at #21

    There is a better graph of global sea ice anomaly here, which actually ends in April 2016 when the satellites gave out. There is a trend of decreasing sea-ice, but not as dramatic as your blogger portrays, and it shows a recovery in 2013 through 2015.

    Alastair also talks about “…the fact that absorption only takes place in the boundary layer.” Later he clarifies that to mean “Good point, I should have written net absorption only takes place in the boundary layer. In other words, diurnal warming of the atmosphere which is the result of net absorption, does not occur above the boundary layer.” and finally comes full circle by saying “BTW, I am defining the boundary layer as the region where net absorption occurs.”

    Rather than beating about the bush, I should have written that the net absorption only occurs in the lower troposphere i.e boundary layer. Above that there is warming from the latent heat of water vapour condensation. Note, water vapour cannot condense while it is being warmed by terrestrial radiation. WV needs to lose heat, not gain it, in order to condense. Hence clouds typically start to form above the boundary layer.

    Adding CO2 will increase the “thickness” of the boundary layer by reducing its altitude. Using the Bouguer-Lambert-Beer law we can see that doubling the concentration of CO2 will reduce its altitude by half, and so the warming effect will double since we still have the same amount of radiation emitted from the surface. But this means the saturation level is even lower so higher in the atmosphere there will be no radiation to be absorbed. The fact that the absorption there can increase because the lines have broadened has no effect if there is no radiation to absorb.

    You wrote “The current state of the art cloud parameterizations are likely a large contributor to inaccuracy in models… Differences in cloud parameterizations between models are likely driving the inaccuracies in double ITCZ response, (another petard for the denialists to hoist).“ and cited Tian 2015.

    I am not a denialist. In fact I am just a climate model critic and a catastrophist, like Professor Stephen Hawking. Only, he’s got it wrong. We will not follow Venus’s example because we already have. The surface temperature on Venus soared until the surface melted and suphur clouds prevented temperatures rising further. The same thing happened on Earth at the end of the Younger Dryas when temperatures in Greenland soared by 20C, after the sea ice in the GIN Seas melted and clouds grew to limit our temperature rise. A similar event will happen when the Arctic sea ice melts, and another irrevocable change will occur.

  50. 50
    golack says:

    For comment #37:
    Peter, check out Skeptical Science which debunks the “empirical cycles” argument. Short answer, you can pull out patterns in any snippet of data and make projections. But if there’s no rational behind the patterns and those patterns don’t work beyond the snippet of data used to find/create them, those patterns are not real–just artifacts.
    https://www.skepticalscience.com/loehle-scafetta-60-year-cycle.htm

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