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Unforced Variations: Sep 2018

Filed under: — group @ 3 September 2018

This month’s open thread on climate science topics. We are well into Arctic melt season (so keep track of Neven’s Arctic Sea Ice blog for more info). Another link is the NY Times Daily podcast on the interesting-yet-flawed NYTimes Magazine “Losing Earth” piece (which is useful if you didn’t get around to finishing the written article yet). Remember to please stick to climate science topics on this thread.

213 Responses to “Unforced Variations: Sep 2018”

  1. 51

    jgnfld @ 46

    According to your definition of a “crank”:

    – Einstein was a “crank”.

    – Alfred Wegener, who suggested the shocking idea of continental drift, was a “crank”.

    It is interesting to note, that one of the reasons that scientists ridiculed Wegener and his ideas, was because they did not consider him to be a REAL scientist.

    – the people who discovered that stomach ulcers were caused by the H. pliori bacteria, were “cranks”.

    These people were ridiculed by Doctors and Scientists, because EVERYBODY knew that stomach ulcers were caused by stress, lifestyle factors, and “acid” in the stomach.


    If these people are examples of what YOU call a “crank”, then I am happy that you have called me a “crank”.

    “Cranks”, are responsible for 97% of the advances in science, medicine, and technology.

    There is only one thing left to say. YOU are NOT a “Crank”.

  2. 52
    Victor says:

    45 Ray Ladbury says:

    Fine, Weaktor. If phase changes are two complicated for you, don’t think of it as 1 degree over 100 years. Think of it, rather as adding 1.45 exajoules of energy to the climate system every fricking day! 1.45 exajoules with which the climate can work whatever mischief it chooses.

    V: Fine. Now if you can explain what that MEANS as far as heat waves, cold waves, rainstorms, snowstorms, sea ice melt, glacier melt, floods, droughts, forest fires, sea level rise, hurricanes, species extinctions, etc. are concerned, I’ll have my answer.

    RL: The adverse consequences of warming vs. temperature are well documented.

    V: Where? And by the way, I’m not asserting anything as far as this issue is concerned. I’m genuinely curious as to how a 1 degree temp. rise over a period of more than 100 years could be responsible for all the extreme weather events listed above. Some specific references would be welcome. Enlighten me.

  3. 53
    Victor says:

    47 Paul Segal says:

    “Victor, @34 you show either your state of mind or your purpose so exquisitely;

    V: Sorry but that makes no sense at all.

    V: Come again? You sure of that? Maybe you can provide us with a proper “peer reviewed” source.

    V: I’d ask you to look it up for me, Ray, but that might spoil your perfect state of arrogance.”

    Victor: So what’s your point, Paul? Sorry I don’t get it. :-)

  4. 54
    Carrie says:

    41 Killian says to Hank … um yeah, the truth :-)

    Hey look!!!

    38 Carrie says:
    7 Sep 2018 at 9:09 AM

    Recent Monthly Average Mauna Loa CO2 shows the smallest July to Aug ppm reading decrease of the last 5 years

    A Climate Science Observation! :-)

    Want More?

    Usually no.

    37 jgnfld says:
    7 Sep 2018 at 6:38 AM
    “Crank engineers are so famous for this it has received its own label: Salem hypothesis.”

    Might partly explain MAR’s crank theories about the world and other people in it.

    OH, more science:

    Carrie says:
    4 Sep 2018 at 1:04 AM

    Stefan Rahmstorf on Twitter: “A phenomenal heat record: so hot were the past five months in Germany! The old record from 2003 was beaten by a full 1.6 °C! Scale on the left shows the temperature deviation from the first 30 years of the record, the color curve the data smoothed over 11 years.” (with graph)

    No comments.

    I hope Stefan and Mike do a more detailed article on this and dig really deep into where things are heading in the near future as the soils and veg continue dry out excessively and the weather keeps changing dynamically and suddenly,

  5. 55
    Killian says:

    nigelj says:
    7 Sep 2018 at 10:50 PM
    Pedantry, nit picking [are part of science]

    First, nit picking is definitely not a scientific endeavor, but a hygeinic one. Not surprised you loused that up.

    Second, nitpicking is in no way part of science, though I am certain many do it.

    1. looking for small or unimportant errors or faults, especially in order to criticize unnecessarily.
    “a nitpicking legalistic exercise”
    fussy fault-finding.

    Does that sound like science to you? Unsurprising. It does not aid the aims of science.

    and precise details are important in science.

    Sure. Nobody complained about precision.

    If you don’t like criticism of your views

    Neither I nor Carrie said this, nor anything that could be construed to mean this.

    There’s an old saying “if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen”.

    Who complained about heat? It’s the lack of substantive heat at issue.

    It’s impossible to any longer be surprised by your lack of untellectual vigor.

    Your homework: Learn the difference between nitpicking and attention to fine details.

  6. 56

    #40–Yes, Hank is right. Rather a lot of insult and bluster going on lately. Pretty ironic that he is responded to with yet more bluster and insult, but hey, what are you going to do?

    MAR, thanks for your link and comment at #36. I haven’t time to look at the link just now, but surely it’s not a matter of which is *more* worrisome, as both taken together are more worrisome still. Also, I think the mechanism proposed is (AFAIK) novel, and therefore *additional* to whatever else is going on.

    And there is anecdotal evidence that this sub-lake melt is already happening. (Can’t remember now if that was in the actual paper, or in the reporting about the paper.)

  7. 57
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Weaktor’s disingenuous squealing aside, another way to look at the “But it’s only one degree” foolishness is to look at the latent heat contained in a mass of air. It’s proportional to the amount of water in the air, and it is a big factor in the energy of storms. Assuming constant relative humidity, water vapor content–and therefore latent heat increases by 7-9% for every degree. This will increase wind speeds roughly 2.6%, as well as increasing the frequency of impulsive rain events. And as has been repeated to Weaktor (though not understood) incessantly, a 1-degree global average can easily translate to 5 or 10 degrees temporarily and locally. Think about what happens to the destructiveness of hurricanes when the gulf is a couple of degrees warmer. Or think about the difference between doing hard physical work when it’s 24 degrees C and 30 degrees C.

  8. 58
    CCHolley says:

    Victor @44

    V: I said nothing of the sort. I asked YOU to explain it. Which of course you were not able to do. Perhaps someone else here can.

    Never said you said it. I said It is what you implied. Sorry, no, you did not ask ME to explain it.

    V: Oh my. That’s a MIGHTY big number.

    “Oh the high sheriff, he shot ol’ Lazarus, well he shot him with a mighty big number.”

    As opposed to attempting to mislead with a small number.

    V: Such storms are fueled by differences in temperature in specific regions, NOT the sum total of energy in all the oceans on Earth.

    Yes, correct. But it is a LOT of energy and that energy is not evenly distributed. Much of that energy and temperature increase is in the tropics where the storms are generated.

  9. 59
    Hank Roberts says:

    Watch the hypocrisy. I can count on 1 finger

    Lot of that going on here too.

  10. 60
    Killian says:

    Re #46 ”Cranks tend to learn early on that their work is pretty unique. For some reason they often fail to consider the possibility that this uniqueness is for any reason other than its utter brilliance. …”

    Then you have Socrates, Copernicus, Mendel, Darwin, Zweig, and many others.

    Please, crank down the stupid here. There are deniers, and some soft deniers, and one or two truly incompetents, but overall we all really do want the same thing: A survivable future.

  11. 61

    Sheldon said:

    “Doing Science”, does NOT depend on publishing in professional scientific journals. It usually involves publishing, but it is not required. “Doing Science”, means following the scientific method.

    No. The essence of all types of scholarship is direct engagement with other scholars. The established mechanism for doing that is the professional literature. Period.

  12. 62
    Steven Emmerson says:

    [I think this webcast will be publicly viewable]

    CGD Seminar Series – Trenberth
    Tuesday, September 11, 2018 – 11:00am
    Title: The changing flow of energy through the Earth’s Climate System

    Speaker: Kevin Trenberth, NCAR

    Date: Tuesday, 11 September 2018

    Time: 11 am – 12 pm MDT

    *Refreshments at 10:45 am*

    Location: Mesa Lab, Main Seminar Room, ML-132

    Abstract: Radiant energy from the sun is unevenly absorbed in the Earth system because of the sun-Earth geometry. The energy is transformed into internal energy (temperature-related sensible heat), latent energy (associated with phase changes of water), potential energy (associated with height and gravity), and kinetic energy (associated with motion). The energy may be stored in atmospheric, ocean, cryosphere and land heat reservoirs and moved around mainly by the atmosphere and ocean, which give rise to our weather and climate. Ultimately it is radiated back to space as infrared radiation, and for a stable climate the global mean outgoing and incoming radiation must balance. However, there is an energy imbalance caused by increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and most of the imbalance, over 90%, goes into the ocean. Accordingly, ocean heat content (OHC) provides a primary indicator of climate change, along with sea level rise. By adopting a holistic approach that includes top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiation, energy imbalances, vertically-integrated atmospheric transports, surface energy fluxes, and ocean heat transports, closure of the energy and water cycles on regional scales can be achieved. A new formulation of the energetics of the atmosphere and the climate system is used to refine estimates of the surface energy fluxes as a residual of TOA and atmospheric energetics. When the surface flux is combined with OHC estimates, ocean heat transports can be computed and validated with in situ observations. This provides new commentaries on the variability in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) and El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Understanding the disposition of the energy imbalance is essential for determining how climate change is manifested.

    Note: Seating is limited

    Type of event:
    Mesa Lab
    ML-132 Main Seminar Room

    Hosting lab/division or program:
    Will this event be webcast?
    Yes – ML-Main Seminar Room –

  13. 63

    Most people, in here especially, like adventure, they would prefer they were living in an adventurous world, fighting against the evil. This is what you pretend you do with your fight against agw. But this thing agw does not exist but in fantasy. Solar activity has been decreasing since 1950 but temperatures have risen considerably since, indeed. What people forget to look at and I have pointed out in my research and papers is that solar wind is strengthening since 1930 and is the reason for nowadays high temperatures. Between others in my papers I have completely explained the solar wind phenomenon. You can find a collection of my papers in ResearchGate for complete explanation of the solar activity and solar wind phenomena and the derived climate variability.

  14. 64
    rasmus says:

    The problem with your contention is that there is no long-term trend in common solar indices, such as sunspots, solar radio (10.7 cm wavelength), nor galactic cosmic rays (GCR). You would expect to be affected by the solar wind, which drags with it Sun’s magnetic field lines. Your hypothesis is an old belief pre-dating the 1950s that no longer convinces the majority of the scientific community. See related story in Physics World. -rasmus

  15. 65

    rasmus probably replies to my previous comment though I cannot see that comment anywhere…, anyway, as I said solar wind drives climate (not galactic cosmic rays) by coupling with geomagnetic field solar wind drives electricity conduction to the atmosphere and cloud cover, I explain it all well in my papers. I consider the Svensmark approach wrong btw.

  16. 66

    DP 63: solar wind is strengthening since 1930 and is the reason for nowadays high temperatures.

    BPL: Amazing, considering how little energy it transfers to the climate system compared to the retained solar energy in greenhouse gases.

  17. 67
    jgnfld says:


    Einstein’s various mathematical “maps” were unique but they interested and engaged the whole of the scientific community quite quickly.

    Wegener’s maps were unique but they interested first the Euro science community and eventually all of it when a mechanism appeared that could explain his observations. Wegner was actually 100% wrong in terms of his ideas for mechanisms which other professionals could see immediately. Continents just did NOT “plow through” the mantle as he proposed. Regardless, his geological maps in particular were so interesting they maintained a core of interest until other work tied things up together.

    Then there is your own unique work which was discussed a couple of years ago on tamino’s blog. Your misunderstandings of autocorrelation issues and multiple testing issues (see my modeling results on that 2nd point) were discussed fully at the time. No need to repeat any of it. But here it is if anyone cares

    Perhaps you are unable to see the differences in uniqueness here.

  18. 68
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Jesus wept!
    The issue, dear Weaktor is that it’s not just a local, temporary temperature rise. It is a global (as in the whole planet) increase in energy. It is where that energy can go. It is what it can do.

    There will be localities where higher temperature is the chief adverse impact–places where it will become effectively impossible to work outdoors for more than an hour at a time without risking heat stroke. But temperature–like the fever you get when you are sick–isn’t the disease. It is a symptom.

    The IPCC has gone to great trouble to great trouble to summarize the effects of a warming climate. If you are too lazy to go through the IPCC summaries (and we know you are), I would suggest referring to figure 5 of Hegerl and Knutti’s review of climate sensitivity:
    “The equilibrium sensitivity of the Earth’s temperature to radiation changes.” Nature Geosci. 1, 735-743

  19. 69

    Kevin McKinney @ 61

    you said, “No. The essence of all types of scholarship is direct engagement with other scholars. The established mechanism for doing that is the professional literature. Period.”

    It must be very frustrating for scientists who get stranded alone, on small islands.

    By your definition, they can not do any science.

    Imagine that the stranded scientist was very naughty, and did an experiment while on the island. He wrote the results on a piece of paper, sealed it in a bottle, and threw it into the sea. He knew that eventually another scientist might find the bottle, open it, and read the results. Suddenly, the work that the stranded scientist did, would become real science.

    Until the other scientist opened the bottle, and read the results, the results would exist in an indeterminate state, neither “science”, or “not science” (you can only tell by opening the bottle). It is a bit like Schrodinger’s cat.

  20. 70

    jgnfld @ 50

    you said, “Thank you for making my point so clearly.”

    Sorry jgnfld, did you make a point?

    I must have missed it.

    Your best chance to avoid looking totally stupid, is to admit that I have science skills.

    If you don’t, I have more degrees and papers to tell you about.

    I don’t just have “hard” science skills (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics), I also have “soft” science skills (like Psychology).

    I specialised in Human Perception, Vision, and Hearing, etc. But I had to do all the normal stage 1 and stage 2 papers. I even trained a hooded rat to sing and dance, to the tune of “Singing in the Rain”.

    I even helped a University Professor to get his PhD. After I won the stage 1 psychology prize, I was given a summer job at the University, helping the University Professor to get his PhD. It was about testing people, to see if they could use bio-feedback to control their heart rate. I made most of the graphs for his Thesis. (isn’t it funny, I am still making graphs, now). He was so grateful, that he mentioned me in his Thesis.

  21. 71

    jgnfld @ 50

    I forgot to tell you an important scientific fact.

    When I studied Human Perception, Vision, and Hearing, etc, I learned that octopus eyes are more highly evolved, than human eyes.

    Think about that, the next time that you are eating calamari.

  22. 72
    jgnfld says:


    “Sorry jgnfld, did you make a point?”

    Yup. And your !triggered! reactions provides all the evidence w.r.t. that point anyone needs to see.


    I sure hope you didn’t learn that squid eyes are “more highly evolved” than human eyes in perception class. Certainly I didn’t teach it that way when I taught that class. No one competent in evolutionary theory would. Planaria are equally as “highly evolved” as humans.

    Back to squid eyes, they have no cone equivalent with which to see color (although a very recent study proposes they might use chromatic aberration to extract color info). They have no blind spot. There are other diffs in the parallel evolution but that doesn’t make one “more highly evolved” than the other. It makes them differently evolved though convergent in many ways.

    Last but not least, it is very easy to see–and taste–the difference between squid and calamari. They are two different genuses after all, though most of what is sold in North America as calamari is admittedly incorrectly labeled squid. Real calamari is far more expensive over here.

  23. 73

    SW 51: – Einstein was a “crank”.

    -Alfred Wegener, who suggested the shocking idea of continental drift, was a “crank”.

    BPL:n Einstein was not considered a crank. He achieved publication easily.

    Wegener wasn’t considered a crank for suggesting continental drift. He was considered a crank for the physical mechanism he proposed, which had continents plowing through the much stiffer oceanic floor. Until the idea of plate tectonics came along, there was no adequate physical explanation for continental drift.

  24. 74

    jgnfld @ 67

    You have not told the whole truth about autocorrelation and multiple testing issues.

    After 2 years of Alarmists refusing to look at my Global Warming Contour Maps, I decided to try a new technique.

    I used linear regressions, and hypothesis testing, to show that the slowdown/pause was statistically significant.

    It had been 12 years since I had last done hypothesis testing. I got the method right, but did not think about autocorrelation.

    When I published, people were quick to point out that I had not corrected for autocorrelation. I realised that my results were not valid, and I tried to learn about autocorrelation.

    I like practical examples, but all of the stuff that I found on the internet, was theoretical. I tried hard to understand it, and after 2 weeks of part time study (because I have a full time job), I thought that I understood how to correct for autocorrelation.

    I repeated the analysis, but this time correcting for autocorrelation. Unfortunately, I made a simple computational error in this analysis. I should have divided the slopes by a factor which depended on the amount of autocorrelation. I realised this just after I published, but I could not retract the article.

    Tamino paid me a compliment, by saying that most people would have given up after the first attempt. He could see that I was making an honest effort to learn how to correct for autocorrelation. I guess that I should have spent 15 part time days, trying to learn about autocorrelation, rather than 14 part time days.

    When I make a mistake, which is not often, I admit it, I try to learn from it, and I move on.


    The good news is, that Global Warming Contour Maps don’t use hypothesis testing, and are not affected by autocorrelation.

    So they are VALID, and just as annoying as they always have been.

    The multiple testing problem, is an issue with hypothesis testing.

    As I just said, Global Warming Contour Maps don’t use hypothesis testing, so they are NOT affected by the multiple testing problem.

    Global Warming Contour Maps are based on the slope, which is calculated using a linear regression.

    For people who understand statistics, the slope from a linear regression is BLUE, even when autocorrelation is present. BLUE stands for BEST LINEAR UNBIASED ESTIMATOR.

    In other words, Global Warming Contour Maps are VALID.

    And don’t you forget it!


    Go and have a look at some Global warming Contour Maps. You know that you want to.

  25. 75

    SW 71: octopus eyes are more highly evolved, than human eyes.

    BPL: By what measure?

  26. 76

    Sheldon, congratulations on an amusing conceit.

    Yet I fear that it was concocted in service of rejecting serious consideration of what I wrote. So let’s consider: your desert island scientist fantasy is actually fairly close in general outline to the experience of a fellow named Charles Darwin–I expect you’ve heard of him. ;-)

    As a reminder of the particulars, he signed on for a 5-year research voyage aboard the Beagle, returning to England in 1836. What did he immediately do? Why, he shared the knowledge and observations (including specimens) he had made. (I.e., “direct engagement with other scholars”, which I previously described as as ‘the essence of scholarship.’)

    Analysis of his data and experiences continued; in 1838 he arrived at a theoretical framework for them, the theory of natural selection. But the definitive work on that didn’t appear until publication (note that word!) in 1859 of The Origin of the Species. As you probably recall perfectly well, it made him notorious–and immortal in the canons of science.

    Now, you misunderstand me if you seriously think that I’m proposing that what Darwin was busy with from 1831 to 1859 was ‘not science’ or was some ‘Schrodinger-like indeterminate science/not science.’ It’s a lot simpler than that.

    Science is a process, much like most human (or for that matter, non-human) activity. It takes time, and occurs in phases. Darwin was doing science the whole time. But note what the point of his activity was: the data from Beagle was always meant to be shared and digested. That was the whole intention. Similarly, when analysis of that data led Darwin to his idea of natural selection, what did he set out to do? Why, to present that idea, in as fully-developed a form as he could manage, with the scientific community. I.e., “direct engagement with other scholars.”

    That meant thinking through every detail, being as ruthlessly self-critical as he could of every point and every assertion he made, and it meant gathering, considering, and documenting enormous amounts of additional evidence. And it meant organizing all that information into a coherent presentation that his peers could understand. It was laborious in the extreme, and required more than 20 years. But the overarching goal was always participation in, and contribution to, the scholarly community, and in the wider intellectual life of humanity.

    Occasionally one sees an unfinished building that has been abandoned before being roofed in. Were the builders involved in ‘not building’ or in some indeterminate quantum activity/not activity? No. They just didn’t finish the process.

    Likewise, Darwin unpublished would not be remembered today, except perhaps as a footnote to whoever *did* eventually publish on the subject of natural selection. He would still have been ‘doing science’–he just would not have completed the essential, final step in the process.

  27. 77
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Sheldon Walker: “The good news is, that Global Warming Contour Maps don’t use hypothesis testing, and are not affected by autocorrelation.”

    And therefore a recipe for self delusion. Sheldon, the problem with “THE PAUSE” is that people don’t bother to define it. If by “THE PAUSE”, you simply mean that some indices of global temperature increased at a slower rate than they did on either side of that period, then it is a meaningless as it is true. Short-term changes in noisy data are expected.

    As to octopus eyes being more “highly evolved”, again, this means nothing until you define “evolved”. Do you mean adapted to an environment or ecological niche–which is the only way evolution can have degrees in biology. Sharks are more highly evolved than humans because they have occupied a virtually unchanged ecological niche for millions of years.

    If you mean that octopus eyes can perform certain tasks with more alacrity than the human eye, then, again, the statement is as meaningless as it is true.

    Definitions matter. Start there.

  28. 78
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Where are you getting that solar wind speed has increased. I see no trend in data going back as far as I can (1920s). Indeed, since the last solar cycle, it’s dropped through the floor, and that was a period of rapid warming.

    In the mean time, there is the fact that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and if it weren’t responsible for the warming seen we’d need to explain both the warming AND why dumping a bunch of CO2 into the atmosphere didn’t warm the planet. For the sake of William of Ockham, I think we should stick with the prevailing theory.

  29. 79
    Marco says:

    Sheldon, you are seriously overestimating your science skills. Your global warming contour maps are nothing but nicely colored triangles and as such “valid”, but when you use them to claim a “slowdown” you ARE doing hypothesis testing. And you’re doing that wrong, despite Tamino explaining you what was wrong several times earlier this year.

  30. 80
    Mal Adapted says:

    Sheldon Walker:

    “Doing Science”, does NOT depend on publishing in professional scientific journals. It usually involves publishing, but it is not required. “Doing Science”, means following the scientific method.

    Good grief, you still don’t get it. At its foundations, science is a method of trying really hard not to fool yourself: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” (Feynman). That’s why science is fundamentally a collective enterprise: ‘peer review’ is what keeps you from fooling yourself!

    A scientist’s peers, Sheldon, comprise the trained, disciplined competitive skeptics who have published their own work in conference proceedings and established journals of record for the topic: collectively, they’re called the experts. If you want your claims to be taken seriously by working climate scientists, you must submit your research to them for formal review, so they can fairly judge whether or not your claims are justified. You can be sure they won’t let you get away with fooling yourself! Regardless, it’s up to the experts to decide whether you’re one of them or not. If you reject their judgement, you merely demonstrate the paradigmatic Dunning-Kruger effect. That’s of course permissible (or up to the blog moderators, rather), but it’s hardly respectable.

    Before you reply tu quoque, bear in mind I’ve made no claims contrary to the lopsided consensus of actual experts, nor am I claiming membership among them. Never mind my CV: I know just enough climate science to know how little I know, and that tentatively and provisionally, as the experts do. Yet even I know you’re wrong about the alleged ‘pause’.

    IOW, neither your academic transcripts, nor your tender feelings, entitle you to presume your science is good. Sorry, Sheldon, but unless you publish your anti-consensus claims in formally refereed venues, you’re not trying hard enough not to fool yourself. If you did, you’d have nothing to say! I, for one, have wasted enough time on whack-a-troll. Let somebody else have the mallet.

  31. 81
    Hank Roberts says:

    Global Warming Contour Maps are VALID.

    Nope. tamino showed you your method mistakenly “detects” false positives (claiming to detect “green” slowdowns in an artificial data set that has none)

    Bad bug. Can you fix it? Apparently not, since you’re still proclaiming your method.

  32. 82
    Mel Reasoner says:

    Sheldon 74; You mention that you’ve published some results from your work. Could you please indicate where your work was published.


  33. 83
    JCH says:

    He made a contour map of an octopus eye and a contour map of a human eye and asked an octopus to do the comparison.

  34. 84
    Victor says:

    68 Ray Ladbury says:

    “The IPCC has gone to great trouble to great trouble to summarize the effects of a warming climate. If you are too lazy to go through the IPCC summaries (and we know you are), I would suggest referring to figure 5 of Hegerl and Knutti’s review of climate sensitivity:
    “The equilibrium sensitivity of the Earth’s temperature to radiation changes.” Nature Geosci. 1, 735-743”

    V: Reading was my favorite subject in 1st grade, Ray. And I aced it! As for laziness, that was my next favorite subject, and still is. Nevertheless my ambitions as a reader managed to overcome my native laziness, thanks to your inspiring words, so I accepted the challenge and have just now completed the reading of the entire IPCC report, including all the Working Group reports — and am now recovering at the UPMC eye clinic here in Pgh. I write this in spite of the bandages over my eyes (where there’s a will there’s a way), so eager am I to respond to your challenge.

    Well, truth be told: I exaggerate. In fact I wonder whether any sane person would attempt to slog through the entire report, or even most of it. Like the mitigation segment I reported on earlier, the portions devoted to attribution are pathologically over-written. So no, I did not read the whole thing. Nor did I attempt to skim the whole thing. And by the way, the Hegerl and Knutti paper is behind a paywall and since I am currently living in a garbage can, I can’t afford the entry fee.

    From what I DID read, however, I got the impression that most if not all the many extreme events up to the present that have been attributed to “climate change” are attributed based on correlation alone. Nowhere did I find an analysis based on physics, chemistry, biology, ecology, etc. that would explain how a temperature increase amounting to an average of less than .0083333333 centigrade per year could produce all or even some of the extreme events we’ve been witnessing lately. (And by the way, it would be more accurate to substitute for the ambiguous phrase, “climate change” the more precise: “an average temperature rise of .0083333333 centigrade per year over 120 years”).

    For example, here’s a portion of the WG1 report, Chapter Two:

    “2.5.1 Large-Scale Changes in Precipitation Global Land Areas
    AR4 concluded that precipitation has generally increased over land
    north of 30°N over the period 1900–2005 but downward trends dominate
    the tropics since the 1970s. AR4 included analysis of both the
    GHCN (Vose et al., 1992) and CRU (Mitchell and Jones, 2005) gaugebased
    precipitation data sets for the globally averaged annual precipitation
    over land. For both data sets the overall linear trend from
    1900 to 2005 (1901–2002 for CRU) was positive but not statistically
    significant (Table 3.4 from AR4). Other periods covered in AR4 (1951–
    2005 and 1979–2005) showed a mix of negative and positive trends
    depending on the data set.”

    The above is typical in stressing the existence of trends as evidence and completely ignoring any attempt to determine a physical cause and effect relation ship between “Climate Change,” aka “an average temperature rise of .0083333333 centigrade per year over 120 years,” and any of the observed effects. As is well known, correlation does NOT imply causation, yet there appears no attempt to establish a clear cause and effect relation between the minuscule yearly temperature rise and the extreme events attributed to it.

    Now don’t get excited, Ray, because as I’ve said before I’m not arguing — just wondering. And yes I’ve only read parts of these reports so there may well be something I’ve missed. If that’s the case, I’d appreciate it if you could point me to the places in any of these reports where cause and effect is not implied on the basis of correlation alone but actually established on the basis of specific, precisely defined, physical evidence.

  35. 85
    Killian says:

    Re #59 Hank Roberts said Watch the hypocrisy. I can count on 1 finger

    Lot of that going on here too.

    Not to mention irony.

    Quiet, Hank. When you stop your snark, talk then.

  36. 86

    Barton Paul Levenson @ 75

    One should always be careful when making judgements about evolution.

    However, in the human eye, the retina is made up of several layers of different kinds of cells. The sensitive rods and cones are at the back of the retina, facing away from the light. To reach them the light first has to travel through blood vessels, nerve fibres and then several layers of retinal nerve cells.

    The octopus eye, it seems, evolved independently to ours, and whilst it is similar in many ways, the octopus got the retina in ‘the right way’. Its rods and cones face forwards, and the blood supply and nerves come from behind.

    More more information, see:

    A simple analogy. A human eye is like taking a picture with a camera, from inside a cage. The bars are in the field of view.

    The octopus is outside the cage, with the bars behind him. He has an unobstructed view. Also, because he has 8 “arms”, he can hold 4 cameras at the same time, and take great panoramic pictures.

  37. 87


    Get your free GLOBAL WARMING CONTOUR MAPS here.

    I am willing to make a few global warming contour maps for people, based on what they want to see. They can specify:
    – the temperature series (e.g. GISTEMP, UAH, Weather balloon, Land only (ClimDiv), or any other temperature series)
    – the date range
    – the region of the earth (must be available in the temperature series)
    – the months to include (can be all months, just 1 month, or a particular season)

    – SPECIAL OFFER, make up your own custom temperature series, and see what it looks like as a global warming contour map. (You are welcome to try and make a temperature series, that proves that global warming contour maps are a scam)

    I can get the temperature data, if it is a standard temperature series (e.g. GISTEMP), otherwise you can send me the temperature data.

    You can post your order on realclimate, or use the Contact button in the menu bar of my website:

  38. 88

    Mel Reasoner @ 82

    Sorry, I should have made it clearer. I meant published on the WattsUpWithThat website.

    I am not a scientist (but I have a good Science education). I have never published anything in a scientific journal. I have a full time job as a computer programmer. So I don’t have time to chase scientific journals, who would never publish something from a Skeptic, anyway.

  39. 89
  40. 90
    jacob l says:

    in your data page I found some link rot.
    ncdc needs to be updated to
    rss to
    in sea ice jaxa can’t be found. Is it totally down?
    ratpac to

    still checking links but this should help

  41. 91
    Fred Magyar says:

    jgnfld @72 says:

    I sure hope you didn’t learn that squid eyes are “more highly evolved” than human eyes in perception class. Certainly I didn’t teach it that way when I taught that class. No one competent in evolutionary theory would. Planaria are equally as “highly evolved” as humans.

    Your observation underscores the fact that there is still an enormous chasm of ignorance and much misunderstanding with regards the T.O.E. amongst the general population.

    While perhaps slightly OT, the focus of the paper linked below is not Climate Change per se, but rather the statistical analysis of the relationship between conspiracism and teleological bias with the authors of the paper using ‘Creationism’, as an example of the ultimate conspiracy theory. It might therefore also shed some light on the kind of thinking that tends to equate Climate Science with being a conspiracy or a hoax conjured up by malevolent global elites!

    Creationism and conspiracism share a common teleological bias

    Collectively, these results identify teleological thinking as a new predictor of conspiracism, independent of agency perception, anthropomorphism, science rejection, analytical thinking and randomness perception. As a finalist and purpose-driven view of the natural world, teleological thinking has long been associated with creationism and identified as an obstacle to the acceptance of evolutionary theory [5, 6]. We suggest that this powerful cognitive bias extends to social and historical events, and nowadays to conspiracy narratives.

    Bold mine.

  42. 92

    I am going to give people the chance to explain to me, why there was no recent slowdown. You need to explain why:
    – when I make a global warming map of GISTEMP (Land and Ocean), I find a slowdown.
    – when I make a global warming map of UAH (Satellite), I find a slowdown.
    – when I make a global warming map of Weather Balloon data (RATPAC), I find a slowdown.
    – when I make a global warming map of ClimDiv (NOAA USA48), I find a slowdown.
    I have found the slowdown in almost every temperature series, that I have ever looked at. At least 8 different temperature series, many of them independent, e.g. Land and Ocean versus Satellite versus Weather Balloons.

    I have found the slowdown in almost every region of the earth that I have looked at.

    What strange thing, could be corrupting every temperature series measured by humans, to cause the “appearance” of a slowdown, at the same dates in each temperature series.

    Is this the work of the devil, or is there a simpler explanation (e.g. there was a slowdown).

    If you want to blame the mathematical procedure that I use to create a global warming contour map, I am more than happy for you to “audit” that procedure. I have nothing to hide. Anybody can check any point on my global warming contour maps, that looks “wrong”, by doing just one linear regression.

    I am looking forward to your “explanations”.

  43. 93

    #66 #78 solar wind strength has increased since 1930 and geomagnetic field has too (bend and increased in strength at surface) show the geomagnetic field maps. A lot of energy is transfered to climate system by solar wind through geomagnetic field.

  44. 94

    Hank Roberts @ 81

    Hank, Global Warming Contour Maps ARE valid.

    Your faith in Tamino is touching. But you have been duped.

    If you are prepared to listen to me, rather than shout over me, then I will explain.

    Tamino tried to simulate my Global Warming Contour Map. He generated a temperature series, and when he plotted it on HIS version of my contour map, it looked like a slowdown.

    He panicked, and tried to blame it on my Global Warming Contour Map.

    Here are the main problems:

    1) nobody saw Tamino’s temperature series, except Tamino. He should have given it to me, so that I could check it.

    2) Tamino’s simulation of my Global Warming Contour Map, might have had a bug. Again, only Tamino looked at it.

    3) Tamino wouldn’t let me comment on his website, after he claimed that my Global warming Contour Map had a problem. I wonder why?

    So Hank, I am going to “simulate” a computer program that you have written. Then I am going to generate some data for it (you are not allowed to see the data). If my simulation of your program, using my data, doesn’t work correctly (in my opinion), then you are going to jail.

    You do not have the right to check anything that I do. If I find you guilty, then you do not get the right to an appeal.

    Are you happy now, Hank.

  45. 95

    #78 you can check the 20th century geomagnetic field intensity model by NGDC NOAA here

  46. 96
    Carrie says:

    71 Sheldon Walker, Calamari isn’t Octopus. It’s Squid!

    What else do ya have wrong?

    (I couldn’t resist saying that – lol)

  47. 97

    From Wikipedia: Scientific method

    Scientific method is an empirical method of knowledge acquisition, which has characterized the development of natural science since at least the 17th century, involving careful observation, which includes rigorous skepticism about what is observed, given that cognitive assumptions about how the world works influence how one interprets a percept; formulating hypotheses, via induction, based on such observations; experimental testing and measurement of deductions drawn from the hypotheses; and refinement (or elimination) of the hypotheses based on the experimental findings. These are principles of the scientific method, as opposed to a definitive series of steps applicable to all scientific enterprises.

    Note that the word “publish”, does NOT appear in this definition.

  48. 98
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Weaktor, Hmm, why does your post @84 remind me of the scene from “A Fish Called Wanda”.
    Otto: Apes don’t read philosophy.
    Wanda: Yes they do, Otto, they just don’t understand it.

    If you want to understand the trends, you have to understand the models–or at least how the different forcings and interactions couple. Understanding is the product of science. The explanations stem from that. I have alluded to some of the mechanisms above (e.g. the increased latent heat due to more water vapor in warmer air, the increased energy for tropical storms over warmer water…).

    The problem is that you want simple explanations that make sense to you despite your lack of understanding. You may get them, but they won’t be scientific and they won’t be right.

    Science works. It is the best basis we have for understanding the natural world, and therefore it is the best basis we have for shaping a future society that has a chance of surviving in the natural world. I’m not sure why that is hard for you to understand.

  49. 99
    jgnfld says:

    @74 It is trivially true that autocorrelation does not bias the trend estimate in a regression. So all caps is probably not necessary to underscore that well known fact. Yes it’s “VALID”! But completely trivial.

    What IS affected are the expected error probabilities. Which you proudly display and make unsupported statements about.

  50. 100
    MA Rodger says:

    Continuing the blather on Arctic Sea Ice feedbacks/forcings and whether they have been underestimated within GCM projections to 2100 (thus potentially underestimating the levels of AGW by 2100), losses Arctic Sea Ice Extent have been shown to be underestimated while losses of NH Snow Cover have been shown to be overestimated, both pretty-much cancelling each other out. The final player in the mix is the Forcing caused by Back Carbon on snow/ice.

    We can see from IPCC AR5 Fig 8.8 that Black Carbon is on the rise (or the Forcing from it as an aerosol has a strong upward trend) but that the Forcing from BC-on-snow/ice is in a small decline. As IPCC Chapter 8 Section tells us, these are observation-based findings (to 2000) and that:-

    ”The change in the spatial pattern of emission of BC is a main cause for the difference in the temporal development of RF due to BC on snow and ice compared to the BC from RF due to aerosol–radiation interaction over the last decades.”

    Thus any increase in BC from China/India has less impact on snow cover than the decrease in BC from the US/Europe. You also learn from Section that the assessment of Forcing from BC-on-snow/ice has been much reduced since AR4, down to 0.04Wm^-2 instead of 0.1Wm^-2 (these both subject to ampification through “efficacy” considerations). The most recent assessment Bond et al (2018) Section 1.2.6 gives a forcing since pre-industrial of 0.13Wm^-2 inclusive of “efficacy” considerations, thus equivalent to ~0.4Wm^-2 exclusive of “efficacy” considerations.

    However, the thing of interest here is signs of problems with the projected BC-on-snow/ice Forcing as input into the GCMs. IPCC AR5 AII Table 5.7 shows the global BC burden now peaking and a substantial reduction globally by 2100 (50% reduction by 2100). We could check Fig 8.8 for signs of such a peak, but as described above, the BC-on-snow/ice Forcing is not proportional to the global BC burden. The GCMs would calculate a gridded BC forcing. Two points should be noted. Firstly the US & Europe BC emissions have demonstrated that the burden of BC can be greatly reduced but that does not necessarily convert into a greatly reduced BC-on-snow/ice Forcing. Secondly, although the BC-on-snow/ice Forcing is hidden within GMCs, this link does provide a sight of some Global Annual Mean Radiative Forcings output GCM forcings for different RCPs with BC-on-snow/ice in the final column. It shows this BC Forcing reduced by 50% to 60% by 2100 from a peak of 0.11Wm^-2 (inc “efficacy”?) which surely doesn’t appear controversial.

    This then leaves final conclusions to be drawn for this single item on that List of Dooom we began with.