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Unforced variations: Jan 2020

Filed under: — group @ 1 January 2020

The new open thread on climate science for a new year, and a new decade – perhaps the Soaring Twenties? What precisely will be soaring is yet to be decided though.

Two things will almost certainly go up – CO2 emissions and temperatures:

But maybe also ambition, determination, and changes that will lead to reduced emissions in future? Fingers crossed.

503 Responses to “Unforced variations: Jan 2020”

  1. 251
    Nemesis says:

    @Leigh Reeves, #246

    Com on, what did you expect in the face of the 6th global mass extinction?^^ The debate is just as heated up as the global climate is heated up, everything is interconnected. Let’s see what the conversation will be like when shtf :’D

    Best wishes,

  2. 252
    MA Rodger says:

    Edgar Ramirez @238,

    I did ask you up-thread @139 to explain why you consider that this paper by climate change deniers Scafetta & Willson has “put a knife into the heart the science behind AGW, adding it’s just a matter of time till everyone finds out and this whole house of cards comes crashing down.”
    Your reply @150 was a little too nonsensical for me. “Read the paper” you said which was something I had already done. Indeed, it seemed to me that you yourself had not read the paper or, if you had, hadn’t understood it. You said of “the trend lines of global temps compared to TSI when the Willson/Scafetta correction is made, they match each other almost perfectly.” And your comment @238 effectively repeats this bold assertion saying:-

    “If the ACRIM composite is correct, then solar irradiance has NOT been declining, but has in fact been increasing in alignment with the global temperature trend, suggesting a much stronger relationship between the sun and climate and a much weaker one than the one between CO2 and climate than previously thought.”

    I find such assessment to be simple nonsense. The average global temperature has continued to rise through the period for which we have TSI measurements and I don’t think there should be any controversy in stating that.
    So anybody who could be bothered to “read the paper” will have quickly spotted within the paper’s abstract the extent of the “disparate” ACRIM v. PMOD results:-

    “Our primary focus is on the disparate decadal trending results of the ACRIM and PMOD TSI composite time series, namely, whether they indicate an increasing trend from 1980 to 2000 and a decreasing trend thereafter (ACRIM) or a continuously decreasing trend since 1980 (PMOD).”

    So how can ACRIM “match … almost perfectly” the global temperature record if, after 2000, temperature continues to rise while ACRIM has “a decreasing trend thereafter”? Perhaps, Edgar Ramirez, you would care to explain, but I would suggest you actually do read the paper first.

  3. 253

    Leigh Reeves, #246–

    Sorry you’re leaving; I do believe you are asking your questions quite sincerely. However, IMO, you’re ascribing your own sincerity and curiosity to some folks who are neither sincere nor truly curious. You may want to hang around and observe some; I’ve learned a tremendous amount through participation here, despite the regrettable vituperation. (I will scroll through some entries rapidly, as I ID them as being useless.)

    But keep in mind that most of the commentators are not climate science professionals (though some are scientists). It’s sad but not surprising that the polarizing nature of the political struggle around climate change infects our dialog.

    And the moderators, who are climate scientists, moderate this blog out of a desire to communicate substantive results. I’m deeply appreciative of the time and effort it must take. They do not frequently engage in the dialog here. (See the ‘inline comments’ header for samples.)

    For your purposes, I think you need to reach out to individuals who have an interest specifically in the topics you wish to discuss. Try emailing some individually, and asking for referrals or suggestions.

  4. 254
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Leigh Reeves,
    First, if you want to understand how climate scientists do their work, you should go to a conference where climate science figures prominently. This is a blog for popularization of science. Most of the participants here are not professional climate scientists. The folks who run the blog and who post the articles, by and large, are professional climate scientists, but they have day jobs and run this blog in their spare time to counter the idiocy posted by anti-science idiots.

    You can learn a lot about climate science here. You just have to ignore about 80% of the posts and stick to those dealing with the actual science rather than controversies over consequences and mitigation.

  5. 255

    Edgar Ramirez, #238–

    Scanned Wilson & Scaffeta. It’s a masterpiece of over-interpretation, as far as the larger relevance goes, and you add an additional layer of over-interpretation yourself. Grant that the technical critique of PMOD versus ACRIM is entirely correct–a difficult issue for the layman to assess–and what you get is this:

    The most significant difference between the ACRIM and PMOD composites is their multidecadal trending during solar cycles 21-24. This can be seen clearly in Table 1 where the solar cycle minima in 1986, 1996, and 2009 are compared. ACRIM shows a 0.46 W/m2 increase between 1986 and 1996 followed by a decrease of 0.30 W/m2 between 1996 and 2009. PMOD shows a continuous, increasing downward trend with a 1986 to 1996 decrease of 0.05 W/m2 followed by a decrease of 0.14 W/m2 between 1996 and 2009.

    So, per your source, the difference between ACRIM and PMOD amounts to a net change of 0.16 W/m2 from 1986 to 2009 for the former, versus -0.19 for the latter. The difference, obviously, is 0.31 0.16 W/m2–effective primarily during the solar minima!

    By comparison, the calculated RF forcing for 2011, as given by a NOAA educational page, was 2.29 W/m2–effective continuously, of course. So there is a clear physical basis for doubting that the solar influence claimed is anything like as significant as Scaffeta wishes it to be.

    But the claim is generalized further, as in the abstract of the paper:

    Our primary focus is on the disparate decadal trending results of the ACRIM and PMOD TSI composite time series, namely, whether they indicate an increasing trend from 1980 to 2000 and a decreasing trend thereafter (ACRIM) or a continuously decreasing trend since 1980 (PMOD).

    The argument in the paper is that since ACRIM correlates better with the warming trend observed during the 1980-2000 period, it must therefore be
    the better TSI reconstruction, and 2) it therefore accounts for more of the variance in temperature observed throughout the record, too.

    But the reality is that the correlation between CO2 and temperature is quite good, as Dr. Robert Grumbine showed in the 2009 blog post I mentioned earlier, as BPL has shown right here on RC, and as others both great and small have done at other times and places. Here’s my visual demonstration, using woodfortrees:

    (By the way, though it’s a little hard to see, I added separate temperature trend lines for 1980-2000 and 2000-present. They are very similar, but the more recent period actually shows more warming than the previous one: the OLS trends are 1.63 and 1.89, respectively. (Those aren’t degrees C, since I chose to scale temperature rather than CO2 in the graph.) For those unfamiliar with wft, you can see those values by clicking the ‘raw data’ tab.)

    So, if CO2 correlates well with temps throughout the period, the preference of solar over CO2 forcing is a wash on purely statistical grounds.

    However, that doesn’t stop Scaffeta–I’m pretty sure that it is Scaffeta, not Wilson, writing this–from claiming that:

    The climate warming hiatus observed since 2000 is inconsistent with CO2 anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) climate models [27, 28].

    And that is quite simply and flatly untrue. Yeah, it’s supported with two citations. But follow the notes and you’ll find that it’s just Scaffeta citing himself. “I said it before and I’ll say it again!”

    However–I said it before and now I’m saying it again!–it is objectively untrue. See, for example, the model-observations comparison page right here on RC. But there is voluminous discussion of this, here, in the literature, and in numerous other places.

    So, you are correct: Scaffeta & Wilson “doesn’t bite.”

    Well, not as ‘CAGW-killer’, anyway. In some other senses, perhaps it does.

  6. 256
    CCHolley says:

    RE. Victor

    Hmmmm, is there any question as to a correlation between CO2 levels and ocean heat content?

    Take a look at Figure 1a in the paper linked below: Upper 2000 m OHC from 1955 through 2019. The histogram represents annual anomalies (units: ZJ), wherein positive anomalies relative to a 1981−2010 baseline are shown as red bars and negative anomalies as blue. The two black dashed lines are the linear trends over 1955–86 and 1987−2019, respectively

    Record-Setting Ocean Warmth Continued in 2019

    Yup, even Victor should be able to see the correlation and obvious trends from 1955 to present.

    Human-emitted greenhouse gases (GHGs) have resulted in a long-term and unequivocal warming of the planet (IPCC, 2019). More than 90% of the excess heat is stored within the world’s oceans, where it accumulates and causes increases in ocean temperature (Rhein et al., 2013; Abram et al., 2019). Because the oceans are the main repository of the Earth’s energy imbalance, measuring ocean heat content (OHC) is one of the best way to quantify the rate of global warming (Trenberth et al., 2016; Von Schuckmann et al., 2016; Cheng et al., 2018). Following reports released in the previous two years (Cheng and Zhu, 2018; Cheng et al., 2019c), this article presents new OHC data for the year 2019. These data reveal that the world’s oceans (especially at upper 2000 m) in 2019 were the warmest in recorded human history. Specifically, the ocean heat anomaly (0−2000 m) in 2019 was 228 Zetta Joules (ZJ, 1 ZJ=1021 Joules) above the 1981−2010 average and 25 ZJ above 2018 (Table 1).

  7. 257
    nigelj says:

    Dan H @220 I personally attacked you a tiny little bit just to get your attention. I recalled how you said you did the same to Al Bundy, so I thought you would be ok with it! See how observant I am?

    I do hear you, but we can’t just extrapolate past climate change history etcetera to the future. That is just wrong because we have good reason the future will be different. Hard to be sure exactly how much, but I prefer the precautionary principle allied to the fact we have some pretty good alternative sources of energy available, so change is feasible.

    Change is inevitable anyway because we will run out of fossil fuels, sooner than people think. Now is not a bad time for change.

  8. 258
    TurtleShell says:

    #246 ” I am surprised because this website is meant to be one of the best for climate change discussion.”

    Actually it has had a very long good reputation for high quality analysis / info articles since 2008 (?) – the ‘discussions’ are a free add on extra but not the reason the original site scientists contributions were seen as excellent.

  9. 259


    Chuck responded cogently to Keith Woolard, who said:

    Keith Woollard says:
    11 Jan 2020 at 1:27 AM
    Dan @ 195.
    There is not a single metric whereby the current fire season is even in the top 3 of my living memory.

    Well, that’s kind of remarkable.

    First, that must mean that Keith is older than 50, because no-one younger than that is going to remember the fire season of ’74-5, which is the worst year ever in terms of area burnt (and remembering to exclude the numbers from the NT, which has a completely different fire regime than more southerly jurisdictions.) For anyone in Australia under 50, this indeed the ‘worst season in living memory.’

    Second, it’s the worst ever fire extent in New South Wales, which has 32% of the Australian population, and the worst since 1851 in Victoria, which has a further 24%–which I think we can agree more than covers the ‘in living memory’ bit. So it’s the worst statewide fire extents in living memory for 56% of the populace.

    Third, and as Chuck already pointed out, “fire season ain’t over”–especially for Victoria.

    Fourth, I’m pretty sure–full disclosure, I haven’t actually researched this, so feel free anyone!–that by the “metrics” of suppression costs and economic losses this season is by far the worst ever.

  10. 260
    TurtleShell says:

    #241 #242 silly silly foolish unscientific irrational man who denies evidence and data points. What happened to the bore hole where posters like this plus KIA and V belong? lost the key?

  11. 261
    TPaine says:

    jgnfld@ 173

    Thank you. I tried several of the ones you sent and found one that didn’t have much advertising that was easy to use.

  12. 262
    nigelj says:

    Keith Woollard @242

    “How could hotter temperatures not make them worse?” I’ll assume primary school geography knowledge here. The worst areas for bushfires in Australia are southern NSW and Victoria. Warmer areas do not have more bushfires. The IPCC lists wildfires as a potential future problem for many regions of the world, but not Australia. In the southern hemisphere, the effect of GW is to move any climate zone slightly south. This means the bushfire threat to Australia is reduced.”

    Such a complete lack of logic, and such condescending rubbish. Warmer areas will not have more bushfires for all sorts of reasons not necessarily related to temperatures. And there is also the question of area burned, intensity, and the length of the fire season.

    The IPCC is not going to be correct about every little detail, they are on the basics. I notice you question some of their findings when it suits you.

    Here is a science websites view of how climate change could make Australias bushfires worse in various ways:

  13. 263
    nigelj says:

    Edgar Ramirez @238 assuming solar irradiance has been increasing slightly in rough correlation with the warming trend, (and Scarfetta could well be wrong) the general magnitude of the recent solar cycle is much too small in watts /m2 to explain the modern warming period. Just playing with the slope of the cycle doesnt change that.

  14. 264
    TPaine says:

    Victor @ 165

    The temperature has risen about 1C since the beginning of the 20th century. There have been slowdowns and pauses during that time but it has still risen as CO2 has risen. What is your point? I’m always open to learning but what are you trying to show?

    I took an experimental stress analysis course in college. A company had donated a large steel frame (16’ x 16’) made from 18” beams to the university. It had bolted connections at the corners and we place about 200 strain gages all over the structure. We then placed a hydraulic press in the center of the structure and applied a uniformly increasing force against two of the four sides to produce a gradually increasing force on the structure. The deflections increased at a linear rate for a while and then stopped. The strain on the plates at the connections continued to increase at a steady rate but the beam deflections did not. At some point the deflection in the beams made a jump. This scenario repeated itself over and over until the beams reached their yield point. The graph of beam deflections vs time looked like a saw tooth that was slanted upward. The applied loading looked like an increasing straight line on the same plot. It was obvious the friction between the plates were preventing the beams from deflecting until the force in the connections overcame the friction and the connection slipped. The force was uniform but the deflections were not. Just like the CO2 forcing is uniformly (slightly exponentially) increasing while the surface temperature is increasing (also exponentially) but not uniformly like the CO2. My understanding is that heat is stored in the oceans and then released at incremental times during an El Nino event. Your age is uniformly increasing but while your height or growth rate is increasing up to a point it is not uniform like your age. There are multiple cases like that in nature.

    Most people who post at this blog are much more educated than me on the science of climate change. But I have educated myself enough to know that the climate models do not extrapolate data to obtain future temperatures. The climate models are based on physics. They use the data to validate the models, not to project temperatures.

  15. 265
    TPaine says:

    Victor @ 185

    Your graph is what deniers use to manipulate a scale to show what they want to see. The right scale covers almost the entire range of CO2. The left scale covers only about 20% of the temperature range. The larger the range the less trend you can see in the data because it makes it look flat. I have linked (I think this will work) to a couple of graphs I made with the same data. Actually I used NASA data since I live in the US and I’m not very good at finding digital data from the other originations that track global temperatures. But all the tracking data is close to the same. The first is how the graph should look to see the change in both CO2 and temperature. The second I change the right axis to a large range so it appears the temperature is increasing and the CO2 is not. The opposite of what you posted. I hope the links will work.

  16. 266
    nigelj says:

    Keith Woollard @242 adding to my previous response on Australia’s bushfires, heres some more information I just stumbled across from Taminos Open Mind website:

    From the main article “One of the things making wildfire/bushfire worse, contributing to the current conflagration in Australia, is the increase of daily high temperatures. It increases the Vapor Pressure Deficit (VPD), the difference between how much water vapor the air can hold and how much it does hold. When VPD is high, it can suck the moisture right out of potential fuels big and small, which increases the frequency and severity of fire dramatically.”

    “The data are clear, that for daily high temperature last year (2019) was the hottest on record for Australia:….”

  17. 267
    nigelj says:

    Leigh Reeves @246, perhaps discussion is a bit ad hominem this week, but if you had experienced Victor and a couple of other denialists over the last 3 years, you would understand why normally restrained intelligent people start to loose their temper. And I do wonder if you are concern trolling a bit.

  18. 268
    nigelj says:

    Keith Woollard @242, I just realised there is yet another massive hole in your comments. Like a suisse cheese. You say “The worst areas for bushfires in Australia are southern NSW and Victoria. Warmer areas do not have more bushfires. ” Maybe not, but global warming would most probably make bushfires more common in both regions so the numbers are proportionally still the same.

  19. 269
    FrozenEarth says:

    @246 Welcome to sea ice science! The only scientific discipline where presumably serious professionals will say with a straight face that they cannot understand what an average, that they are emotionally opposed to using annual averages, and that because they don’t feel like applying an average, no one else should use averages either.

    You’ve entered the ninth ring of hell. And it will only get worse as remaining sea ice collapses.

  20. 270
    nigelj says:

    New research : Car accidents, drownings, violence: hotter temperatures will mean more deaths from injury.

    As we brace for increasingly hot summers, we are mindful extreme heat can pose significant health risks for vulnerable groups. But the effects of heat on the incidence of accidents and injury are less clear.

    In research published today in Nature Medicine, researchers in the United States looked at the impact warmer temperatures will have on deaths from injury. They found if average temperatures warmed by 1.5℃, we could expect to see 1,600 more deaths each year across the US.

    The researchers analysed death and temperature data collected from 1980 to 2017 across mainland United States (so their results excluded the states of Alaska and Hawaii).

    They looked at records from more than five million injury deaths from this 38-year period. They also identified temperature anomalies by county and by month, to understand how these deaths could relate to spikes in the weather.

    Using a method called Bayesian Spatio-temporal modelling, the authors combined this information to estimate the rates at which injury deaths would rise with a 1.5℃ temperature increase……


    Keith Woolard @242, and further to my previous response, you never did answer the question. “How could hotter temperatures not make the Australian bushfires worse?” You just waved your arms and claimed there was no trend or something. That’s not an answer. There may not be enough data yet to detect that kind of trend, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

    Sorry for spamming the website with comments. Should have organised them within one post.

  21. 271
    Tony Weddle says:

    Deniers continue to pretend that there was a pause or hiatus in global warming. Statistically, there was no pause. See these two studies and this earlier post by Tamino.

  22. 272
    David B. Benson says:

    Leigh Reeves @246 — I encourage reading “Principles of Planetary Climate” by Ray Pierrehumbert.

  23. 273
    Astringent says:

    Leigh @246

    You might not read this as you are leaving, but I can’t see what people have said that you feel is not respectful of your inquiry. I hope you will stay, engage, and learn to read ‘through’ the noise to the underlying wisdom.

    Understanding climate change science in the context of philosophies of science is a perfectly valid field of study, and rational discourse is welcome. Unfortunately this site, by being open, is also prone to ‘irrational discourse’ where people persist in bringing up tired tropes associated with denial of fundamental mathematics, physics, chemistry and environmental observation. One of these tropes is that ‘if it isn’t falsifiable by experiment it isn’t science’. Taken to its logical extreme this clearly means that most geology, geography, oceanography, meteorology, evolutionary biology, astronomy etc etc are somehow invalid because we can’t do an experiment with appropriate controls. Clearly this isn’t a popular perspective on the validity of the environmental sciences with professional environmental scientists.

    We could easily take two adjacent patches of land, manage them differently and see if one catches fire more than the other. We obviously can’t take two adjacent patches of land and subject them to different degrees of climate change. But that in no way detracts from the scientific validity of studies that say, in essence, hot dry things burn more easily than cold wet things.

  24. 274

    Leigh Reeves,

    I believe you came in here with ulterior motives and pretended goals, and that you never had any other outcome in mind but the actual one. Have a nice day.

  25. 275
    Karsten V. Johansen says:

    This is of course not a new discussion: (but for most journalists everything they discover is always completely new…news by definition is the opposite of remembrance and historical consciousness).

    Cfr. fx.:

    Hansen/Sato in 2012 said that the sensitivity-estimates from the IPCC are too low:

    As educated in quaternary geology and climate history I still find their method the most convincing, because they don’t get carried away by the mathematical excellency of the models (who are always very simplified compared to the reality), and let the climatical facts from the real thing: the climate as we know it from geological and glaciological data, get the last word.

  26. 276
    Leigh Reeves says:

    Dear Astringent,

    Thankyou so much for your thoughtful response. It reassures me that this type of inquiry is something that scientists and philosophers should do. Some scientific theories are verifiable but not falsifiable, and some scientific practices (as you rightly say) cannot conform to the same stringent requirements of a traditional positivist requirement of repeatability. I think that, in hindsight, I could have chosen a better platform to express this type of thinking. There is a lot of ‘noise’ surrounding this issue – and I think it is coming from activists, the media, and government. At the core of the issue is that CO2 levels are too high and rising. Some of this is naturally produced. A large part of it is produced by industry, and we need to substantially reduce that. Governments and industry are increasingly on board with their commitments to reducing CO2 emissions. But more innovation and creative thinking is needed to come up with ways to live in a pollution-free environment that can assure a good standard of living. In my opinion, we need to invite creative thinking and debate to come up with solutions to this problem. I do not believe that consensus science can achieve this. I would like to see the greater emergence of discovery science that promotes questioning, and freedom to express ideas. Whilst consensus thinking can help to identify problems, in my opinion it fails to achieve innovation. In my opinion it was not consensus thinking that invented the internet, or put man on the moon. I would like to be able to express opinions like this without being labelled as a ‘skeptic’ or a ‘climate contrarian’. This terminology is derogatory, and in any event is not needed in this day and age. Most of the community do highly support any effort to improve environmental outcomes. I also think that the word ‘skeptic’ is not right because most academics support a healthy level of skepticism. Skepticism is a must and is most inviting for people who like to innovate. But stubbornness (at the extreme end of skepticism) is no good. Nor is panic. No government ever makes good decisions in a state of panic. I was concerned about the comments that someone made, to the tune that philosophers do not achieve anything. This arrogance towards knowledge diversity needs to stop. It undermines the integrity of science and academia, and will achieve nothing.

  27. 277
    Leigh Reeves says:

    To Kevin and Ray,

    Thankyou for your comments. I appreciate it.

    In hindsight I think I made a really bad decision in using this platform.

    But I will continue to think about the best approach for doctoral studies.

    Yours sincerely.
    Leigh Reeves.

  28. 278
    zebra says:

    #275 BPL,

    Who knows, but he clearly has some kind of “issue”. I was happy to have the opportunity to talk about POS, and I thought I was being helpful.

    If he is serious, he probably needs to do a whole bunch of reading on the subject (not climate science) if he expects to get into grad school. Or maybe philosophy graduate programs are desperate for paying customers; I don’t know.

  29. 279
    Dan H. says:

    You got my attention. Perhaps not the way that you intended. I do not recall personally attacking Al, or any other poster, and I could not find such a post (at least as far pack as I checked). I see no reason to denigrate posters, who are engaging in scientific dialogue.

    Yes, change is inevitable. Often, not for the reasons that we had envisioned. Of course, the future will be different. But in what ways? How can we make forecasts, without at least starting with recent history. Throwing that aside, and starting with fresh premises, seems to be less reliable, than starting with past occurrences.

    Necessity is the mother of invention, and I firmly believe that mitigating actions will occur to combat any increase in casualties. This has happen often in the past, and is very likely to continue to occur in the future – whatever future that occurs.

  30. 280
    William Jackson says:

    I noticed on a post on, from the 13th of this month, either open water or pond water on the ice off Utquaqvik “Barrow” Alaska! It seem strange to my uneducated person to see such in the middle of January.

  31. 281
    David Appell says:

    Gavin, what can I read to learn how to correct the temperature data (or include) ENSO?

    [Response: I wrote this, and you can look at the code I use here. You need to download the MEI data files (the old version and the new). – gavin]

  32. 282
    Simon Cove says:


    I find the whole climate change thing extremely confusing.

    The climate models to some extent seem to have overstated global warming

    This paper (Steven Dewitte et al, 2019) was recently published on earth energy balance and appears to indicates the earth balance is neutral despite all the greenhouse gas release. This has been picked up by Watts up with that a well known climate denial website. The paper seems as far as I can tell rigorous. Is there something missing here explains the lack of energy entering the earth’s system.

    Thanks for the anticipated enlightenment!

  33. 283
    sidd says:

    As I remarked before, this site clearly has acquired a pornhub listing.

    Moderation ? Comment review ? What a concept !


  34. 284

    Leigh, #277–

    Dubious that Leigh will see this, but there’s a topic worth mentioning either way.

    Leigh had said:

    CO2 levels are too high and rising. Some of this is naturally produced. A large part of it is produced by industry, and we need to substantially reduce that.

    It’s really crucial to keep clear view of the stocks and fluxes involved in CO2 growth or (should we ever succeed in mitigation) de-growth in the atmosphere.

    Here’s the deal, as succinctly as I can put it.

    1) Most fluxes–flows of carbon, mostly in the form of CO2–into and out of the atmosphere are entirely natural.

    2) However, those natural fluxes are in very good equilibrium over the long term–meaning tens of millennia or more–as witness the surprisingly steady levels during interglacials, or during the recent Holocene.

    3) Anthropogenic fluxes into the atmosphere are *not* included in this equilibrium, however. Although natural processes “try” to sink anthro carbon, they are by our best measurements and estimates only absorbing about half of what we emit.

    4) Consequently, it is the relatively small human emissions that are responsible for ALL of the observed increase in the stock of atmospheric carbon. This is independently confirmed by empirical data, including the observed change in carbon isotopes in the atmosphere and a tiny but measurable decrease in O2 (consequent to combustion).

    So, Leigh’s first sentence was correct.

    Sentence 2 was completely incorrect, if by “this” he meant the “rising” CO2 levels.

    Sentence 3 was partially correct; a large part of the rise is indeed due to ‘industry’ (with the rest due to land use changes), and yes, we *do* need to “substantially reduce that.”

  35. 285
    nigelj says:

    TPaine @265 &266. Nice analogy. Doubt Victor will get it, but might use it myself elsewhere if thats ok:)

    Regarding your graph. Victor sees a correlation as either perfect where the two variables are in perfect or near perfect visual synchronicity, or there is no correlation at all. Victor, there is a whole range of correlations, and while the correlation in the graph is obviously not perfect, the maths finds its still strong.

  36. 286

    Hi, Simon! (#283)

    No offense meant, but I can’t help but wonder if some of your confusion is due to distortions promulgated by Watts & Co, who as you mention are denialists, and whose mission is in fact to promote confusion.

    I haven’t read the whole paper, but I note this from the concluding discussion:

    The OLR and RSR variations are anticorrelated, and have opposing trends. The OLR is rising with a trend of 0.23 W/m2dec, in agreement with global temperature rise. The rise of temperature and OLR was relatively modest in the 2000-2018 period, compared to the preceding period [14,16]. This appears to be linked to an increased uptake of energy in the deep ocean [15]. The RSR is decreasing with a trend of −0.14 ± 0.11 W/m2dec.

    Breaking that down:

    1) It would be expected that OLR–Outgoing Longwave Radiation–would rise in concert with global temperature, because the warmer a body is, the more it radiates.

    2) RSR–Reflected Solar Radiation–should also be anti-correlated with OLR, since the more solar radiation is reflected, the less the planet warms. Per point 1, of course, the less it warms, the less it radiates.

    3) The present case is the opposite, however: “The RSR is decreasing with a trend of −0.14 ± 0.11 W/m2dec.” That is, the planet is becoming less reflective as ice is lost; hence more solar radiation warms the surface, hence OLR increases. (Point 1 again.)

    None of this is in any way unexpected from the point of view of mainstream climate science. And nothing in the paper–at least nothing I saw–supports the assertions that “the earth balance is neutral despite all the greenhouse gas release” or that there is any “lack of energy entering the earth’s system.” (Note, for instance, Figure 14, which precedes the bit just quoted. It shows that while the EEI–Earth Energy Imbalance–decreased during the ‘slowdown’ years, from ~ 1.1 w/m2 to ~0.8 w/m2, it obviously remained positive.)

    I’d only add that, looking at Figure 14, I wonder how significant or otherwise their identified trend is? They specify the uncertainty due to variance and to the ageing of the sensors, but I wonder if they considered issues such as autocorrelation? I wouldn’t be shocked to find out that their apparent trend–and again I mean no offense here; they themselves used the wording “seems to have”–is not actually significant after all.

  37. 287
    nigelj says:

    Barton Paul Levenson @275 “I believe you (LR) came in here with ulterior motives” Yes exactly. Like I said. Concern trolling.

  38. 288
    nigelj says:

    latoyabs18 @255 says “Free Porn Pictures and Best HD Sex Photos”. How did this get past the moderators, or do they feel we need some light relief?

  39. 289
    Anonimouse says:

    #277 ” In my opinion it was not consensus thinking that invented the internet, or put man on the moon.”

    Well in fact known science and the EXPERT’s consenus that that science was in fact correct is precisely what put man on the moon and brought them back and ‘created’ the internet in the first place and keeps such things going.

    I have not paid attention to this discussion but it appears self-evident Leigh’s thinking in is need of some serious revision. Uni may be just the place to fix it.

  40. 290
    b fagan says:

    Kevin McKinney @250 – about peach crops.

    Georgia, too. Two years in a row and now you say possibly 2019? Yeah, reality’s tough when it happens despite the climate unreality crowd. How are people responding when you use this in climate talks?

    “Georgia peach crop decimated after warm winter
    May 31, 2017 By Aaron Gould Sheinin
    Georgia’s peach farmers have lost up to 80 percent of their crops after a combination of a mild winter and an early spring freeze, state agriculture officials said.

    The losses could near $50 million, Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black’s office said. The news follows an estimated $250 million in losses from blueberries wiped out by the same mid-March freeze.”–regional-govt–politics/georgia-peach-crop-decimated-after-warm-winter/3SFVEukXWLLJB0zSox9i4M/

    “Peach problem: Georgia fruits clobbered again”
    July 20, 2018 By Matt Kempner
    Uncooperative weather has taken a jumbo bite out of the Peach State’s peach crop , a second year of pain for growers of the iconic fruit. And similar hardship appears to have eliminated half Georgia’s more lucrative blueberry yield.”

  41. 291
    Adam Burton says:

    The Australian Bushfires have created a mass response in terms of air pollution and its effects on the public. Climate change has played a major role in the duration and intensity of this natural disaster that is literally affecting the whole country.

    On all mediums there is a focus on the air pollution caused by the fires, with residents giving peak interest in real time insights on the quality of their air!
    The Private sector has also recently become focused on the issue at hand & as a result, cut costs & increased accessibility sensors & data loggers.

    My area now has live air quality readings from sensors in our rural towns.
    Our Real-time Air Quality Monitor

    This sensor currently uses an Internet of Things Based solution for data loggers , designed & manufactured by Ontoto


  42. 292
    John Pollack says:

    CCHolley @257 Thanks for providing a link to an update on the state of oceanic heat uptake, and a good summary.

    Alas, while the rest of us might benefit, I fear that your effort is wasted on Victor. A good scientific approach to data is to use it with due care, identify and fix errors if you can, use it to elucidate underlying patterns and causes, and obtain new data to test hypotheses and encourage new ones.

    It seems that Victor’s method begins with an intense aversion to the measures required to stop AGW, then proceeds to denial that AGW exists. To render this plausible, he engages in stepwise selective data elimination, until what remains is sufficiently reduced and obfuscated to give latitude to his conception that AGW is negligible.

    Adding good data that the ocean is steadily accumulating heat in accordance with AGW will not fit into Victor’s method. Nor has any other appeal to add relevant data to reveal existing AGW. I predict that he will remain impervious to scientific reasoning. The rest of us needn’t be.

  43. 293
    Victor says:

    272 Tony Weddle says:

    “Deniers continue to pretend that there was a pause or hiatus in global warming. Statistically, there was no pause. See these two studies and this earlier post by Tamino.”

    V: No, it’s not only deniers who support the hiatus. Tamino’s post is in response to a peer-reviewed paper, published in the highly regarded journal “Nature,” titled “Making sense of the early-2000s warming slowdown.” Among the authors are such well-known climate scientists as Michael Mann, Benjamin D. Santer, Gregory M. Flato, and Ed Hawkins. Here’s the abstract, in toto:

    “It has been claimed that the early-2000s global warming slowdown or hiatus, characterized by a reduced rate of global surface warming, has been overstated, lacks sound scientific basis, or is unsupported by observations. The evidence presented here contradicts these claims.” ( )

    Specifically, as quoted by Tamino:

    “In all three observational datasets the most recent 15-year trend (ending in 2014) is lower than both the latest 30-year and 50-year trends. This divergence occurs at a time of rapid increase in greenhouse gases (GHGs). A warming slowdown is thus clear in observations; …” ( )

    Tamino’s response is in a non-peer reviewed blog post. The study he attempts to refute was published in the prestigious, peer-reviewed journal, Nature.

  44. 294

    LR 276: In my opinion it was not consensus thinking that invented the internet, or put man on the moon.

    BPL: You don’t understand what “the scientific consensus” actually means, or you wouldn’t make a statement like that. It’s not a vote around a table, it’s a convergence of evidence from many different directions; what the late E.O. Wilson called “consilience.” Peer-review and the scientific consensus are EXACTLY what invented the internet and put men on the moon. That’s how modern science is done, and it has been a fantastically productive system.

  45. 295
    jgnfld says:

    @265 Victor “@ 185

    Your graph is what deniers use to manipulate a scale to show what they want to see…”

    Which is yet another reason why correlations must be calculated not done by eye. EVERY scale decision affects the LOOK of a graph yet it changes the correlation coefficient not one whit.

    Denier propagandists are always going to produce graphics with a look of truth on the surface. It’s their job after all. The trick is not to fall for the propaganda. Consulting sources like American Thinker is NOT a way to avoid propaganda.

  46. 296
    MA Rodger says:

    Simon Cove @282,
    You have a response from Kevin McKinney @286 which describes to the paper you ask about (Steven Dewitte et al (2019)‘Decadal Changes of the Reflected Solar Radiation and the Earth Energy Imbalance) as not being some denialist goldmine contradicting AGW theory.
    I note you suggested that the paper has been nailed-up on the planetoid Wattsupia, likely there to be praised like some denialist icon. Yet all I see on Wattsupia is a re-post of an OP origninally pasted up at Judy Curry’s place.
    The denialist OP is not really concerned with the results of the Dewitte et al paper. The paper (quoted by the denialist OP) says:-

    “At first sight it seems surprising that the EEI is decreasing during a period of continued greenhouse gas emission.”

    which is placed within the context of this period of decreasing EEI being also evident in the longer Ocean Heat Content data (see their Fig 15) and that over that longer period these slow-fast-slow OHC increases match ENSO periods and also aerosol effects.
    The denialist OP has a different take on the Dewitte et al quote as they use the paper with its almost-flat EEI to justify a calculation of Climate Sensitivity.
    So they argue that if the level of EEI (so helpfully provided by Dewitte et al and other sources) is subtracted from the climate forcing due to AGW, and the temperature data smoothed by applying MLR to subtract ENSO & volcanic effects, a value for the AGW/forcing can be derived. As the numbers behind the Dewitte et al result are not to hand, they assume the EEI to be flat and use Curry’s data for climate forcing for the period 2000-18. So gleening a temperature increase over the period of +0.45ºC, increase in climate forcing of +0.8W/m^-2 and, voilà, ECS is calculated as a non-threatening sub 2ºC. So yet another denialist finds ECS way below the conventional +3.0ºC value and way-way below the +4ºC present in those doom-laden CMIP6 models.
    The denialist method used, for all its fancy considerations, is easily replicated using what is effectively the same simple method. Consider the period 1980-2018 when, according to that Fig15 from Dewitte et al, EEI rose from naff-all to +0.8Wm^-2, climate forcing rose perhaps at a rate of +0.43Wm^-2/decade and SAT rose +0.77ºC in 39 years (from the 5 year average of GISTEMP) yielding (with CO2 doubling = 3.7Wm^-2) ECS=+3.2ºC.

    I would suggest that ECS appearing to be higher than pervious estimates within the CMIP6 models is a genuine issue, unlike the tiny values for ECS calculated using simple calculations clothed in fancy method that have been so often derived by the likes of Curry & Lewis or, as in this case, by some regular denizen of the deny-o-sphere.

  47. 297
    jgnfld says:

    “The most plausible interpretation of these differences is that the combined effects of internal variability and natural forcing enhanced warming over the period 1972 to 2001 and reduced warming in the early twenty-first century. A different but complementary approach to ours reached the same conclusion29”

    @293 and the supposed “hiatus”.

    You appear not to understand the article you cite. They are attempting to explain the timing of fluctuations within the trend (e.g., “slowdowns” and speedups, not saying the trend over the long haul is affected whatsoever. From the paper”

    “Our exploration of an alternative baseline period is motivated by ΔF, the estimate of anthropogenic radiative forcing28. This represents the perturbation to the radiative budget of the planet from the combined effects of human-caused increases in GHGs and aerosols. Since the Industrial Revolution, human activities have caused net positive forcing of the climate system, leading to overall warming of the surface. Superimposed on this forced anthropogenic response are small signals of solar irradiance changes, cooling and recovery from volcanic eruptions and internal variability…

    …The most plausible interpretation of these differences is that the combined effects of internal variability and natural forcing enhanced warming over the period 1972 to 2001 and reduced warming in the early twenty-first century. A different but complementary approach to ours reached the same conclusion29”

    This is quite different from the picture you paint.

  48. 298
    tamino says:

    Re: #293 (Victor)

    >> Tamino’s response is in a non-peer reviewed blog post. The study he attempts
    >> to refute was published in the prestigious, peer-reviewed journal, Nature.

    You missed the peer-reviewed papers I’ve published on the subject. Or — did you not miss them, you just wanted to pretend they don’t exist?

  49. 299
    Radge Havers says:

    Leigh #276


    You’re putting the cart before the horse. Learn how climate science actually works and then try philosophizing about it. And no, I don’t think being a GIS specialist is adequate preparation for that.

    This is a good site for learning if you’re willing to use the search engine here and do your homework… then maybe jump into the conversation.

    Skeptical Science is a good site too:
    “Getting skeptical about global warming skepticism.”

    Which leads to…


    You seem to be a newbie, so it may help to know that there is a fair amount of language and meta-material here that you have to learn in order to put things context. This comes from long experience with denialists and all the fallacious and rhetorical devices they use to troll and disrupt thoughtful discussion.

    For instance, the term ‘skepticism’ is used both in a straightforward sense and in an ironic sense here depending on context. “Contrarian” is actually a polite term…

    And speaking of rhetorical devices, tone trolling and concern trollingDon’t do that. You will be rightly excoriated.

    Also use paragraph line breaks to make your online comments more readable. What is this 1970?

  50. 300
    Chuck says:

    BPL – I believe you came in here with ulterior motives and pretended goals, and that you never had any other outcome in mind but the actual one. Have a nice day.

    Chuck – That was my first guess as well.