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Koonin’s case for yet another review of climate science

We watch long YouTube videos so you don’t have to.

In the seemingly endless deliberations on whether there should be a ‘red team’ exercise to review various climate science reports, Scott Waldman reported last week that the original architect of the idea, Steve Koonin, had given a talk on touching on the topic at Purdue University in Indiana last month. Since the talk is online, I thought it might be worth a viewing.

[Spoiler alert. It wasn’t].

The red team issue came up a few times. Notably Koonin says at one point in the Q and A:

The reports are right. But obviously I would not be pushing a red team exercise unless I thought there were misleading crucial aspects of the reports.

55:55

But in over an hour of talking, he doesn’t ever really say what they are. Instead, there are more than a few fallacious arguments, some outright errors, some secondhand misdirection, a scattering of dubious assumptions and a couple of very odd contradictions. I cannot find a single instance of him disagreeing with an actual statement in the reports.

First, the fallacies

Three examples:

Until you explain variability on all the scales relevant to the alleged human warming, you haven’t really nailed it down.

21:10

Nope. This is basically claiming that until you know everything (an impossible task), you know nothing.

33:00. Apparently, Koonin “doesn’t think” rapid sea level rise is going to happen in the future because it hasn’t happened over the last 100 years at the Battery in NYC.

🧐

35:40. Koonin skips his slide on why Arctic sea ice trends aren’t anything to worry about, but his point was going to be that people noticed warming in the Arctic in 1923. This is of course another fallacious argument (and we’ve dealt with it before).

Contradiction Central

There are two glaring sets of contradictions in the talk, first, involving attribution of past change and secondly, his stance on normative judgements in discussing science. Starting around 7:29 he discusses attribution of recent trends and states:

You had better have [natural influences] under control before you can attribute what you see to human influences.

This is fair enough (assuming he means that one should have a good handle on natural variability rather than ‘controlling’ it), and one might read this as a statement that attribution is complex and deserves careful attention – an opinion with which I fully concur. But this is illustrated with the most useless kind of pop attribution. He makes a blanket statement that any changes prior to 1950 must be purely ‘natural’ without any analysis at all (a stance completely at odds with the literature, for instance, Hegerl et al., 2018), and supports it with an uncredited graph from, of all people, Bob Tisdale, a frequent blogger at WUWT, showing running 30 year trends of the (now obsolete) HadCRUT3 data. That’s an interesting choice of metric because it is the longest trend period you can use that allows the ~1940 rise to almost match the more recent decades. With 35 year, or 40 year, or 50 year or 60 year trends, the exceptional nature of the recent change is obvious.

His second contradiction concerns his statements about normative values. He, of course, claims to make no normative statements, while implying others (unnamed) are perverting their science to do so. And yet, not only is his talk filled with his opinions, he has a remarkably different approach to the climate science results than to the results from economic modeling. For the former, he is hyper-critical (mostly without any valid cited reasons), while for the latter he appears naively credulous. This, at best, is incoherent, since the economic projections are rife with embedded normative values.

For instance, he uses a standard contrarian argument that future damages associated climate change will be a small fraction of the expected economic growth and therefore do not need to be mitigated. But the models that produce that result simply assume that no amount of damage from climate change can effect the exogenous growth rate. Additionally, they assume that damages themselves are simply proportional to the square of the temperature anomaly. You can judge how credible these assumptions really are. Of course, if we are to be ridiculously better off in the future without any effort, then the estimated costs of mitigation (also a few % of GDP) are also irrelevant.

Koonin gives his summary around 47:00, after spending a fair bit of time correctly describing the size of the challenge involved in stabilizing climate. But then he just shrugs and assumes that it is too big to ever be dealt with. This is not a conclusion that “just comes from the numbers”. He clearly has a normative preference for adaptation (seemingly oblivious to the point that it is very hard and very costly to adapt to a continuously changing, and even accelerating situation). Whether or not mitigation will be too hard, it is undoubtedly a normative decision to give up trying.

Errors galore

Some of these are trivial, some are more consequential, but all are illustrative of someone who is not well-versed in the topic.

At 14:40, he claims that climate models take time steps of 6 hours. It would be a little hard to resolve the diurnal cycle with that. The correct value is more like 15 to 30 min for the column physics, and more like 2 or 3 minutes for the advection routines. Curiously, even the slide he is talking to says this.

18:45. he says that Figure 9.8 in IPCC AR4 (2013) was ‘misleading’ because it showed anomaly temperatures alongside the range of absolute mean global values. This is odd. If the sensitivity of the model is not dependent on the base state, this is a good result.

20:34. he claims that the CMIP5 models were tuned to 20th Century trends, which is why without anthropogenic forcings they show no trend. This makes no sense at all. First, it is just untrue that all the models were tuned on the trends. And second, if there is no big trend in the natural forcings, you just aren’t going to get a big long term trend in the response. Nothing to do with tuning.

21:06 Another graphic borrowed from Bob Tisdale. This one makes the classic error of confusing the forced trend (as estimated from the mean of model ensemble) with the actual trend (which includes the actual forced trend and internal variability). For someone who claims to be interested in how internal variability is represented in models, that’s an odd lacuna.

26:00. His slide 25 is just BS from start to finish. Note there are no actual quotes from any specific case – everything is a strawman argument.

28:05. He quotes me! This is not an actual error, but I find it funny that my views on how the media treats extremes (at least in 2013) are worthy of inclusion, but not, say, my views on climate modeling or attribution (you know, my job).

31:00. Satellite records of sea level rise (since 1992) “are commensurate” with the tide gauge estimates (roughly 2mm/yr). Sure, but Koonin mysteriously neglects to mention they are 50% higher than the long term trend from those gauges. Also missing from his commentary on longer term records is that even the modern tide gauge-derived rate is more than twice the Holocene trends since 6000 BP (see for instance, Ashe et al., 2018).

34:10 “If you get all your climate information from watching CNN or reading the New York Times or Washington Post [the data on hurricanes] is a surprising statement”. Apparently, these outlets report on hurricane trends so frequently and so erroneously that no reference to them actually doing so is needed. Ok then.

50:02. “I would do more when the signal has come out of the noise, which it has not yet”. This is complete rubbish. The signals of temperature change, sea level, sea ice loss, intense precipitation, heat waves, phenology, permafrost loss, Greenland melt, ocean heat content etc. have all clearly ‘come out of the noise’. What is he really waiting for?

Is there anything new here?

This is what I don’t really understand: There is absolutely nothing new here. Every argument, point, and even some graphics, are old, stale, and previously rebunked. These points could have been made (and undoubtedly were) in official reviews of assessment reports going back years. The people making these points have undoubtedly been told this and shown responses. In Koonin’s case, I know this for a fact (for instance). And yet, they persist. There is no development of the arguments, no counter-points, no constructive back and forth, just the same arguments that they appear to have thought up once and never examined.

Personally, I like taking on smart criticisms. They help hone the science, clarify the arguments and point to areas of needed research. But there isn’t a single thing here worth taking on.

Two thumbs down.

References

  1. G.C. Hegerl, S. Brönnimann, A. Schurer, and T. Cowan, "The early 20th century warming: Anomalies, causes, and consequences", Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, vol. 9, pp. e522, 2018. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/wcc.522

60 Responses to “Koonin’s case for yet another review of climate science”

  1. 1
    Spencer says:

    As has been pointed out more generally with regard to the current US administration and other historical cases of the same ilk, saying things that are easily shown to be false is not a bug, it’s a feature. The leader holds up four fingers and says there are five. When you say “five” you are confirming your loyalty to the leader and/or to your tribal ideology in general. (ref.: Orwell, 1984)

  2. 2

    As Professor Richard Alley is fond of saying (repeating?), these sound like zombie objections from Koonin. In fact, as is/was in the case of objections to evolution in Biology, there are probably less than a couple of hundred of distinct objections, depending upon how one counts.

    And this is why, as I’m sure Dr Schmidt knows, a collection of such objections is worth having around. Fortunately, there are several.

  3. 3
    Anonymous says:

    And Yet They Persisted

    Could well turn out to be the epitaph on the tombstone of humanity.

  4. 4
    Susan Anderson says:

    We already know what we need to know; the evidence is pouring in. It’s not “whether”, it’s how soon and how bad, and how many more correlations with a vast array of related problems,

    We don’t need more truth, we’ve already got a whole lot of truth. What we need is better ways to reach people who believe the lies they’ve been fed. Hopefully, before the consequences reach their dooryards (which they will, everyone, no exceptions).

  5. 5

    “About one-fifth of the people are against everything all of the time” said Robert F Kennedy in a speech May 6, 1964

  6. 6
  7. 7
    Mr. Know It All says:

    The models really don’t work:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fA5sGtj7QKQ

  8. 8
    nigelj says:

    From the article “For instance, he uses a standard contrarian argument that future damages associated climate change will be a small fraction of the expected economic growth and therefore do not need to be mitigated…”

    Koonin is exploring fantasy land if he thinks economic growth will save us. Looking at Americas gdp growth record, its been slowly falling ever since the 1970’s from about 6% per annum then to only 2-3% this decade, and this is despite the recent huge economic stimulus from quantitative easing, low interest rates, and tax cuts. All the trends, market saturation, and physical limits on resources suggest even lower growth or zero growth in the future is inevitable.

    The climate issue has become politically tribal and once that happens people become stubborn and will believe complete nonsense. It’s still possible to shift their views and using facts, but its a slow, tortuous process, and it requires carefully avoiding criticising their world view, and staying with fairly universal values. This is according to a recent psychological study.

  9. 9
    Al Bundy says:

    OP: Of course, if we are to be ridiculously better off in the future without any effort, then the estimated costs of mitigation (also a few % of GDP) are also irrelevant.

    AB: only for the losers who don’t own fossil fuel reserves.

  10. 10
    nigelj says:

    Mr KIA, so Patrick Michaels claims climate models don’t work. He is a biologist, not an expert on climate models. He has been talking rubbish on the entire climate issue for years as below, and works for political think tanks. His credibility is exactly zero.

    https://skepticalscience.com/skeptic_Patrick_Michaels.htm

  11. 11
    John Mashey says:

    1) How is GDP growth estimated for 21st century?
    A: more or less by extrapolating similar growth from 20th century.

    2) How do economists explain growth?
    See Total Factory Productivity (or the SOlow Residual):
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_factor_productivity
    Basically, a big chunk of growth comes from something hard to measure.
    “In 2001, William Easterly and Ross Levine estimated that for an average country the TFP accounts for 60 percent of growth of output per worker”

    4) Although this is somewhat of a minority view, Robert Ayres & Benjamin Warr have done much data analysis that shows much of TFP is ~energy * efficiency. They’re cited several times in Wikipedia article, or borrow:
    https://www.amazon.com/Economic-Growth-Engine-Prosperity-International/dp/1849804354

    5) Here’s the challenge: if they are right:
    a) A big chunk of 20th century growth was due to increase in energy*efficiency, & much of the increased energy came from big increase in use of fossil fuels.

    b) Hence, to increase GDP/person by say 2-3%/year, to make everybody rich (as some think bound to happen), we’d better not do it by increasing fossil fuel use the way we did in 20th century.

    c) This means continual improvements in efficiency, complete replacement of fossil fuels by other sources, and then a huge increase in non-fossil energy to give everybody more. This isn’t easy.

    6) Bottom line: I’m very nervous about all estimates of:
    future GDP/person growth rate based on 20th century
    and then saying climate change mitigation/adaptation just reduces grown rather by X%.

  12. 12
    Dan DaSilva says:

    Using the 30-year average chart shown the temperature rise from 1895-1930 is approximately 0.14 degree in 35 years, the temperature rise from 1955-2010 is approximately 0.12 degree in 55 years. Alarmists say the rate of change of temperature is UNPRECEDENTED and that is the reason for concern. Yet the rate of change is greater from 1895 to 1930. Averaging with greater time length hides the rate of change but does not discredit the actual record of that change.

  13. 13
    MA Rodger says:

    Coming from the other side of the pond, I have to double check that this is not our Steve Coogan using a change in spelling of him surname to unleash another spoof comedy character onto the world. Sadly, it isn’t.

    It is interesting that after three-quarters of an hour of juvenile critique of AGW, Koonin does admit that AGW is an issue (this assuming his words are actually meaningful). When he presents his “If I were in charge”, he does set out reasons for mandating AGW mitigation.

    “I would reduce emissions further mandatorially if and when the science becomes more certain, the signal comes out of the noise which it has not yet, a values concensus emerges or the zero emissions technologies become cheaper than the old (?something?).”

    Yes, Koonin does say he prefers Adaptation to Mitigation (although he’s a bit vague on how Adaptation would work if he thinks the effects of AGW cannot be projected into the future). But as he concedes that Mitigation would be the result of a “more certain” science, the debate is not the one Koonin calls for but one which provides him with that ‘certainty’ he seeks, allows him to see that the ‘signal’ is actually there and that there is already a ‘concensus’ on AGW.
    Given this situation, perhaps Koonin can kick-off his “red team” work by listing these “many other knowledgable scientists” he mentions at 0:4:30 in the video. He might also wish to explain why he considers himself to be one of them given his talk shows he is plainly not “knowledgable” on AGW.

  14. 14

    KIA 7: The models really don’t work

    BPL: Look again.

    http://bartonlevenson.com/ModelsReliable.html

  15. 15
    Charlie says:

    Desmogblog has gathered some information about Steve Koonin => https://www.desmogblog.com/steve-koonin

  16. 16
    Mal Adapted says:

    DDS:

    Using the 30-year average chart shown the temperature rise from 1895-1930 is approximately 0.14 degree in 35 years, the temperature rise from 1955-2010 is approximately 0.12 degree in 55 years. Alarmists say the rate of change of temperature is UNPRECEDENTED and that is the reason for concern. Yet the rate of change is greater from 1895 to 1930.

    Verily, thou art filled with ordure. Since you accept the 30-year averaging period, try 1989 through 2018, from the first graph. Or the 40 years beginning in 1979. Fun with statistics!

    And once again, you fail to name any “alarmists”, or demonstrate that they’re anywhere near as influential in policy debate as lukewarmers like Koonin.

    Dude, you’re really straining here! Don’t you know it’s “better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and to remove all doubt”? (variously attributed). Well, it’s too late for you anyway. Still, why do you bother? Are you, perhaps, paid by the word?

  17. 17
    Dan DaSilva says:

    12 Dan DaSilva (continued)
    So here is the point:
    Temperature reconstructions proxies show no indication of the temperature rise form 1895-1930 (see hockey stick). However, the rise was just as large as the current rise from 1955-2010 (according to the 30-year chart of this article). Yet many climate scientists make the claim that the current rise is UNPRECEDENTED for the last 10,000 years.
    According to Micheal Mann, the reason to believe ALL the warning is AWG is that we know of no other cause (the statement is on youtube). 1895-1930 warming has not been explained. Could it be the same reason as the current warming?
    To merely ask this question is somehow an affront to science when these kind of questions are in fact the foundation of science.

  18. 18
    Hank Roberts says:

    typo: effect should read affect

  19. 19
    Nemesis says:

    @Gavin Schmidt

    Koonin, the former chief scientist of British Petroleum? Hahaha, com on.

    ” We watch long YouTube videos so you don’t have to.”

    Good to know, so I don’t have to watch that sh…, three thumbs down.

    But I watched another long and quite enlightening video of you yesterday and I loved it:

    “Tiptoeing through the minefield: Communicating science in a politicized world”

    https://youtu.be/NBeQn1XeY98

    I don’t have an online doppelganger like you, lucky me ;) It must be some terrible job to be a climate scientist these days :/ Thanks, praises and respect for all your contributions to climate science and all.

  20. 20
    Al Bundy says:

    Dan Da Cherrypicker: Using the 30-year average chart shown the temperature rise from 1895-1930 is approximately 0.14 degree in 35 years, the temperature rise from 1955-2010 is approximately 0.12 degree in 55 years. Alarmists say

    AB: that only a completely dishonest person would use the end of the Pause instead of 2018 when discussing what “alarmists” are currently saying.

    LOL!! And you doubled down by calling 2010 current! Seriously, do you really think this is 2011? By the way, I have a “current” cell phone to sell. It’s one of those “new” flip phones…

  21. 21
    Dan says:

    “And Yet They Persist”

    Sadly because they know there are those who, peer-reviewed science be d*mned, seek affirmation of their ignorance and anti-science tripe. Case in point: Mr. KIA, time after time. Every major climate science organization/society in the world (yes, the world) agrees about the effect of man-made greenhouse gases on the climate but of course the KIA’s of the world claim to know something that literally thousands of climate scientists do not. What a reflection of poor critical thinking skills.

  22. 22
    b fagab says:

    I wonder if Mr. Koonin will start up the Red Team’s checking with current science by reviewing the following Review: “Strengthened scientific support for the Endangerment Finding for atmospheric greenhouse gases” (Duffy, Field, Diffenbaugh et al.)

    “We assess scientific evidence that has emerged since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2009 Endangerment Finding for six well-mixed greenhouse gases and find that this new evidence lends increased support to the conclusion that these gases pose a danger to public health and welfare. Newly available evidence about a wide range of observed and projected impacts strengthens the association between the risk of some of these impacts and anthropogenic climate change, indicates that some impacts or combinations of impacts have the potential to be more severe than previously understood, and identifies substantial risk of additional impacts through processes and pathways not considered in the Endangerment Finding.”

    Science 08 Feb 2019:
    Vol. 363, Issue 6427, eaat5982
    DOI: 10.1126/science.aat5982

  23. 23
    Marco says:

    “1895-1930 warming has not been explained. Could it be the same reason as the current warming?
    To merely ask this question is somehow an affront to science when these kind of questions are in fact the foundation of science.”

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2019/06/unforced-variations-vs-forced-responses/
    That would be the previous blog entry on Realclimate. Somehow you missed it. It explains the 1895-1930 warming. It isn’t the same as the warming since the 1950s.

  24. 24
    Dan DaSilva says:

    Al Bundy, as stated I used the 30-year graph of this article (which ends approx 2010, if there was a shorter period I would have used that). No cherry picking involved. Used lowest to the highest temperature in both warming periods as defined by the chart. If this causes a bit of cognitive dissonance, sorry that was not my intent.

  25. 25

    DDS 17: the reason to believe ALL the warning is AWG is that we know of no other cause

    BPL: No, this is just plain wrong. We know the warning is AGW (not AWG) because of radiation physics, not as a variance-unaccounted-for hypothesis. In any case, CO2 accounts for 82% of the variance of temperature from 1850 to 2018, which is hardly a residue, PLUS we have the increased back-radiation in just the absorption lines of greenhouse gases. There really is no doubt about it at this point–except among deniers like yourself.

  26. 26
    CCHolley says:

    Re. DaSilva @17

    Seems that Dan didn’t read or comprehend the recent article, Unforced Variations vs Forced Responses? by Karsten Haustein, U. Oxford, and Peter Jacobs (George Mason University). See: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2019/06/unforced-variations-vs-forced-responses/#comments

    The early 20th century warming is overstated due to the warm bias in the temperature records during the war period (an often discussed fact) and, in addition, the warming of this period can be fully explained using external drivers. In other words, there is no evidence of any magical unknown unforced natural variation that could have caused the warming which could then be used to explain any of the current warming.

    There is no comparison of early century warming to the current warming trend and it is ridiculous to claim such. Furthermore, it is especially specious to ignore the current decade.

  27. 27
    Windchasers says:

    – “Yet many climate scientists make the claim that the current rise is UNPRECEDENTED for the last 10,000 years.”

    Mind providing a citation for this?
    I’ve heard that it’s likely we’re the *warmest* in the last 10k years, but it’s harder to show that this is the *fastest* rise since then (and, over what period? 30 years? 50 years? Certainly the warming around ~1900AD doesn’t hold up as the fastest, if you put it on 50- or 70-year timespans. It wasn’t sustained.).

    – “1895-1930 warming has not been explained. Could it be the same reason as the current warming?”

    Last I heard, we do not have the data needed to conclusively determine the cause of the 1895-1930 warming. Solar, volcanic, etc. We simply don’t have data on the forcings from the time. The reasons we don’t understand the temperature change is not because our understanding of how climate works is faulty, but because we don’t know what the climate *forcings* were doing at the time.

    But we *do* have that data about today’s warming. And so we *can* rule out natural causes for today’s warming.

    – “To merely ask this question is somehow an affront to science when these kind of questions are in fact the foundation of science.”‘

    I think the affront is more that your questions have been addressed dozens of times in the scientific literature, but you present them as if they are new. That’s a bit dishonest.

  28. 28
    Russell says:

    11: John Mashey
    “This means continual improvements in efficiency, complete replacement of fossil fuels by other sources, and then a huge increase in non-fossil energy to give everybody more. This isn’t easy.”

    Yes, but the common economic denominator is the efficieny of fossil fuel use, an area in which progress has not been monotonic. The thermodynamic efficieny of US fossil fuel fired power plants quadrupled between 1900 and 1975, but then fell back about 4% due to Clean Air Act retrofits.

    Taxes are always contentious, but few want to agrue with the 1st Law of Thermodynamics. Mandating higher efficiency as a licensing prerequisite for new or replacement plants would incentivize the commercializatiion of higher temperature combustion and turbine tech, and help drive efficiency to the limits of materials science .

    Full disclosure: I said as much in 1990 in The National Interest but 41 & 42 weren’t interested. Come to think of it neither was Mr. Gore.

  29. 29
    Nicholas Schroeder says:

    By reflecting away 30% of the incoming solar energy the atmosphere/albedo makes the earth cooler than it would be without the atmosphere much like that reflective panel behind a car’s windshield.
    https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6503085690262216704
    Greenhouse theory has it wrong.

    The non-radiative processes of a contiguous participating media, i.e. atmospheric molecules, render ideal black body LWIR from the surface impossible. The 396 W/m^2 upwelling from the surface is a “what if” theoretical calculation without physical reality. (And, no, it is not measured!) (TFK_bams09)
    https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6507990128915464192
    https://principia-scientific.org/debunking-the-greenhouse-gas-theory-with-a-boiling-water-pot/
    Greenhouse theory has it wrong.

    Without the 396 W/m^2 upwelling there is no 333 W/m^2 GHG energy up/down/”back” loop to “warm” the earth. (TFK_bams09)
    https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6457980707988922368
    Greenhouse theory has it wrong.

    These three points are what matter, all the rest is irrelevant noise.

    No greenhouse effect, no CO2 global warming and climate change neither caused nor cured by man.

    If the earth is actually hotter without an atmosphere radiative greenhouse effect goes straight onto the historical trash bin of failed theories and all the handwavium, pseudo-science, horse manure pretending to explain it follows close behind.

    Nick Schroeder, BSME CU ’78, CO PE 22774

  30. 30
    Russell says:

    While Steve Koonin has made a statesmanlike response , he has widened Gavin’s point lead by publishing it in Watts Up With That which has an impact factor rivaled only by The American Thinker and Breitbart

    [Response: For reference the response is here. Koonin emailed an early version to us yesterday, but since I don’t check the RC email all that often, I didn’t notice it until this evening, after he’d already posted on WUWT. – gavin]

  31. 31

    On Pat Michaels:

    “His credibility is exactly zero.”

    Actually, as far as I’m concerned, it’s now in the negative numbers–ie., if he says it, my initial assumption is that the opposite is probably true.

  32. 32
    Nicholas Schroeder says:

    The largest energy loss, about 50%, in a Rankine cycle comes from condensing the exhaust steam into condensate to pump back through the boiler. Not a lot of potential improvement there. STGs are already 85% to 90% at turning the steam into electricity.

    Steam generator efficiency can be increased slightly with higher pressures and temperatures but reliable materials are challenging.

    Supercritical/ultra-supercritical/advanced USC are more efficient because the higher Ps & Ts expand the Carnot potential, the equipment performance is about the same.

    Combined cycles, CTG/HRSG/STG, are currently the most efficient, 55% +/-. If NG prices spike because of the anti-fracers (like anti-vaccers) that could be a problem.

    CCPP energy flow: about 10% up the stack, about 30% as CTG power, 30% as STG and 30% to the condensed steam.

    None of this helps much without electricating the muchly ignored transportation sector.

  33. 33
    Al Bundy says:

    And I have to say this: Never do any sort of business with somebody who will compare “in 35 years” to “in 55 years”. Really, Dan Da Silva? No round numbers were available in the “years” file? And the things to be compared didn’t exist for the same number of years?

    Ahhh, that’s it! If you split the current warming into two using the first pause (post WW2) AND fit everything just so AND use different number of years (determined by the two pauses)

    then reality is the closest to Truth.

  34. 34
    Al Bundy says:

    Oops, left off “AND ignore all data after the second pause”.

    RING! RING! Hello? Yes, he’s here… Dan Da Silva, it’s Cirque Soleil for you!

  35. 35
    nigelj says:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/may/30/humans-and-volcanoes-caused-nearly-all-of-global-heating-in-past-140-years

    This new study has some interesting explanations for early 20th century warming as well as warming in general:

    “However, climate scientists have had a difficult time explaining exactly what caused a warming event in the early 20th century, between about 1910 and 1945. The average of the climate model runs incorporated in the last IPCC report only accounted for about half of the measured global surface warming trend during that period, and a study published last year suggested the other half could be due to natural cycles.”

    The new study, published in the Journal of Climate, tackles the discrepancy in part by addressing an issue with ocean temperature data during the second world war, when measurements were more often made from warmer engine room intakes than from buckets lowered over the side of ships. This has resulted in a bias, inflating estimated surface temperatures in the early-to-mid 1940s. The new study removed this bias by focusing on temperatures along continental and island coastlines.

    The authors then compared the improved global surface temperature data to climate model runs incorporating influences from human greenhouse gas and aerosol pollution, volcanic eruptions, and changes in solar activity. Overall they were able to explain more than 90% of the temperature variation over the 140-year record.

  36. 36
    Keith Woollard says:

    Windchaser @ 27 re 10,000 years.

    Curious point. I too have heard this claim and remember discussing it on RC (mostly to do with the inherent inability to resolve high frequency signals in low frequency paleotemperature datasets)

    So I went looking and the only reference I could find was Mal Adapted’s comment #24 from here :-
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2016/12/what-has-science-done-for-us/#comments

    Which pointed to a NAS document that he claims proves it:-
    http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/exec-office-other/climate-change-full.pdf
    Unfortunately it doesn’t quite say what Mal claims, but it is close:-
    “This speed of warming is more than ten times that at the end of an ice age, the fastest known natural sustained change on a global scale.”
    There are certainly many other parts of the document that hint at the same thing without actually claiming it.

  37. 37
    Al Bundy says:

    Dan Da Silva,

    When current graphs exist the choice to use something from 2011 is a cherrypick unless one caveats with, “Of course, since 2010 the rate of temperature rise has been extremely rapid, so since we excluded the current warming we’re actually comparing the last warming to the one before that (and since the last one is too steep we’ve handicapped it by including the second pause in its data – just to be fair to the third-steepest warming, after all, “C” warmings can be steepest, too)”.

    If this were the first or fifteenth time then ignorance might apply, but here there is no other explanation than pure-t-dishonesty. “Satan can quote scripture” exactly describes you. This isn’t a game, dude. People are dying because of your kind.

    And the idea that there was no AGW before WW2 is ludicrous. AGW started with land use changes. WW2 and the subsequent pause should be smoothed out of the picture when discussing AGW as a whole.

  38. 38
    CCHolley says:

    Re. Schroeder @29

    Did they not teach proper heat transfer theory at the University of Colorado in the 1970s? Or perhaps the student body was more interested in their weed back then than actually learning anything useful…hmmm, or perhaps the recent legalizing of marijuana in Colorado is not such a good idea for that 70s generation.

    Looks to me like we have another candidate for the “Crankshaft.”

  39. 39
    Russell says:

    Koonin emailed an early version to us yesterday, but since I don’t check the RC email all that often, I didn’t notice it until this evening, after he’d already posted on WUWT. – gavin]

    Too bad you missed it- the only real beneficiary is Watts.

  40. 40
    b fagan says:

    Dan Da Silva you said in #24: “I used the 30-year graph of this article (which ends approx 2010, if there was a shorter period I would have used that*). No cherry picking involved. Used lowest to the highest temperature in both warming periods as defined by the chart.”

    And in #17: “Temperature reconstructions proxies show no indication of the temperature rise form 1895-1930 (see hockey stick). However, the rise was just as large as the current rise from 1955-2010 (according to the 30-year chart of this article).”

    Read the scales on that chart, because it appears that you subtracted one trend from another trend and called the result a temperature difference.

    Here are your two picked time spans. Where is that temperature rise from 1895 to 1930?

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1955/to:2010/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1895/to:1930/trend/plot/gistemp

    *PS – what relevant climatic detail would a period shorter than 30 years have shown?

  41. 41
    MA Rodger says:

    Nicholas Schroeder @29,

    I am inclined to agree with CCHolley @38 that your posts here would be better diverted to “The Crank Shaft” but charitably I will set out the error in your assertion that the impact of the Earth’s 30% albedo* is a stronger cooling effect than the atmospheric greenhouse effect is at warming effect. You call this one of three points which you consider of primary importance (“These three points are what matter, all the rest is irrelevant noise.”) so your blazing-silly error in presenting the first of these points does appear fundamentally catastrophic for your argument.
    (* You infer that albedo entirely results of atmospheric reflection and without an atmosphere albedo would be zero. This is notpresently the case. The surface today reflects 14% of arriving radiation.)

    Your calculations of average global temperature are for a solar-warmed Earth with an area of just 255 million square miles. I think you’ll find the area of the Earth is double that. So your calculation of an average surface temperature of 322K (+47ºC) is actually for the premanently-sunny-side of an Earth in locked-orbit around the Sun. In such a model, the temperature of the permanently-dark-side would be effectively absolute zero resulting in an average global temperature of 161K (-117ºC).

    Of course the Earth rotates daily so there is no ‘sunny side’ and no ‘dark side’. Spreading out the solar warming evenly over the full circumferance of the Earth would drop your average surface temperature down to a slightly less chilly average of 269K (-8ºC) which is no longer warmer than the present Earth with its greenhouse effect. And that figure would greatly exaggerate the temperature of a non-greenhouse world. Perhaps a better approximation would be the Moon’s temperature which, when averaged properly, has been measured at 200K (-73ºC).

  42. 42

    #40, b fagan–

    Well, that graph says it all, doesn’t it? :-)

  43. 43
  44. 44
    Mal Adapted says:

    Keith Woollard, referencing an RC comment I made a couple of years ago:

    Which pointed to a NAS document that he claims proves it:-
    http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/exec-office-other/climate-change-full.pdf
    Unfortunately it doesn’t quite say what Mal claims, but it is close:-
    “This speed of warming is more than ten times that at the end of an ice age, the fastest known natural sustained change on a global scale.”

    Mr. Woollard is welcome to cite me, but I’d ask that he not misrepresent me. What I said was:

    This much is settled: the globe is warming faster than at any time in at least the last 10,000 years;

    Since the most recent continental glaciation ended about 12kya, that joint publication of the NAS and the Royal Society said just what I claimed. And I didn’t claim it proved anything: “proof” is for mathematics and distilled beverages. As any scientifically meta-literate person acknowledges, however, if those two institutions present the current rate of warming as unprecedented, it’s settled.

  45. 45
    Mal Adapted says:

    Addendum to my previous comment: when Dan Da Silva was asked to cite his earlier claim “Yet many climate scientists make the claim that the current rise is UNPRECEDENTED for the last 10,000 years”, Keith Woollard referred to my comment of Dec. 2016. I want to make it perfectly clear: I Am Not A Climate Scientist. I am merely over-educated in the history, culture and practice of the earth sciences. Consequently, I’m perhaps more scientifically meta-literate than the average ‘lay’ person.

    Having said that, once one learns that the radiative properties of CO2 are known at the quantum level, and that half of all the fossil carbon burned to power economic development remains in the atmosphere, one would be astonished if the globe was not warming as fast as it is. How hard can that really be to understand?

  46. 46
    Keith Woollard says:

    “Settled” Vs “proved” yes they are different. Regardless, I am still giving the citation (even though it isn’t exactly the right wording) that Windchaser @27 is looking for. So DDS @ 17 was correct in his statement

  47. 47
    William B Jackson says:

    No 41 MA Rodger…thank you for dealing with that…I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry over that post!

  48. 48
    Al Bundy says:

    Mal Adapted,
    How hard is it to understand something that requires you to admit that you haven’t always been perfect? Impossibly hard for most people.

  49. 49
    Keith Woollard says:

    And let me stress Mal, I am not criticising you in any way,and I am not saying you are the climate scientist in question. I was just giving the history of the quote as I saw it.

  50. 50

    If the President is unhappy with Happer & koonin’s preformance, he can always put Bolton on the case.