Santer Update – Another Dead Paper
Posted by Jeff Condon on September 28, 2009
Some of you may have noticed that I added Treesfortheforest tothe blogroll this past weekend. I’m incredibly lazy about these things but I had to add this due to some very impressive and important results by blogger Chad.
There are two blog posts which need to be read on the issue of whether the climate models are accurate, as Santer claims. There are only four pieces of evidence you need to review in understanding this paper.
First the abstract, note the sentences I’ve bolded.
ABSTRACT: A recent report of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) identified a ‘potentially serious inconsistency’ between modelled and observed trends in tropical lapse rates (Karl et al., 2006). Early versions of satellite and radiosonde datasets suggested that the tropical surface had warmed more than the troposphere, while climate models consistently showed tropospheric amplification of surface warming in response to human-caused increases in well-mixed greenhouse gases (GHGs). We revisit such comparisons here using new observational estimates of surface and tropospheric temperature changes. We find that there is no longer a serious discrepancy between modelled and observed trends in tropicallapse rates.
This emerging reconciliation of models and observations has two primary explanations. First, because of changes in the treatment of buoy and satellite information, new surface temperature datasets yield slightly reduced tropical warming relative to earlier versions. Second, recently developed satellite and radiosonde datasets show larger warming of the tropical lower troposphere. In the case of a new satellite dataset from Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), enhanced warming is due to an improved procedure of adjusting for inter-satellite biases. When the RSS-derived tropospheric temperature trend is compared with four different observed estimates of surface temperature change, the surface warming is invariably amplified in the tropical troposphere, consistent with model results. Even if we use data from a second satellite dataset with smaller tropospheric warming than in RSS, observed tropical lapse rate trends are not significantly different from those in all other model simulations.
Our results contradict a recent claim that all simulated temperature trends in the tropical troposphere and in tropical lapse rates are inconsistent with observations. This claim was based on use of older radiosonde and satellite datasets, and on two methodological errors: the neglect of observational trend uncertainties introduced by interannual climate variability, and application of an inappropriate statistical ‘consistency test’. Copyright 2008 Royal Meteorological Society
You need to realize that Santer achieved his reconciliation of models and temp by eliminating all the temp data and model results since 2000 which is not a minor point as that’s when the well known global cooling trend showed up in even the most heavily corrected datasets.
You need to read Lucia’s recent post which references some amazingly difficult work by Chad at treesfortheforest:
Chad’s fantastic work:
Fourth to get back your sense of humor you need to watch Ben Santer in the Power of POOOOOP!