the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Smashmatiticians prove weather is climate!!

Posted by Jeff Id on December 22, 2010

Sometimes when you don’t feel like thinking about AGW extremist stupidity, and you find yourselves reading about some news article or another that makes your head want to explode, it’s good to have a blog.  Our leftist news and science (yes they collaborate) has gone so far outside of reality that it is hard to imagine how people read this stuff.  Well gee, the scientist said it, why would they say something if it weren’t perfectly reasonable.

So we’ve all heard that global warming will cause more extreme weather events.  Technical folk realize that it is  a sensible claim that we would see more variance with more energy sitting around.  But would you expect the delta variance to outweigh the delta temperature so dramatically that with a half C of change we would experience large scale statistically separable cold events?  Just briefly think about the concept in the current nearly immeasurably small warming levels we’ve experienced.  Is there any possibility for a sane person to think that the planet would react to a tiny perturbation of half a degree C warming with violent cold weather?  I have to say that I consider this one of the more extraordinary claims.

This is a link to the inspiring article of Climate Science™, read it carefully as it is full of counter-intuitive leftthink in the guise of science.

PARIS — Counter-intuitive but true, say scientists: a string of freezing European winters scattered over the last decade has been driven in large part by global warming.

The culprit, according to a new study, is the Arctic’s receding surface ice, which at current rates of decline could to disappear entirely during summer months by century’s end.

The mechanism uncovered triples the chances that future winters in Europe and north Asia will be similarly inclement, the study reports.

Of course a study of this sort can only be done with a black box model tweaked to show dσ/dt >> 1, but the crazy thing is that scientists then use that study in the context of a cold weather event, to prove it is warming outside.

Such assertions, counter scientists, mistakenly conflate the long-term patterns of climate with the short-term vagaries of weather, and ignore regional variation in climate change impacts.

New research, however, goes further, showing that global warming has actually contributed to Europe’s winter blues.

Global warming has been freezing Europe!!  Wow, it would be interesting to see the statistical proof of that wouldn’t it!!  You think paleo-temperatures are fun, to be able to statistically prove that global warming is the cause of cold winters, you would need to be an awfully good smashmatitician.

“Say the ocean is at zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit),” said Stefan Rahmstorf, a climate scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany.

“That is a lot warmer than the overlying air in the polar area in winter, so you get a major heat flow heating up the atmosphere from below which you don’t have when it is covered by ice. That’s a massive change,” he told AFP in an interview.

The result, according to a modelling study published earlier this month the Journal of Geophysical Research, is a strong high-pressure system over the newly-exposed sea which brings cold polar air, swirling counter-clockwise, into Europe.

“Recent severe winters like last year’s or the one of 2005-2006 do not conflict with the global warming picture, but rather supplement it,” explained Vladimir Petoukhov, lead author of the study and a physicist at the Potsdam Institute.

Yes, yes, I see now.  Very convincing gentlemen.  The funny thing about the article is the way it ends. Disclaimers that maybe our model isn’t the cause and it really isn’t global warming but rather the cold winters are caused by changes in the gulf stream or even invoking the S word.  In climate science though, we all understand from the start that the Sun does not affect climate!! I’m relatively certain they teach that in the first sentence of the first class.

So how would you sum up the weather is or is not climate meme.

What’s good for the goose is good for…… nope

Pot called the kettle.. naw

Don’t worry your pretty little heads, we know best, check please!….  There we go! :D

———————–

Good stuff guys…  If someone has the paper, maybe we can find some more enlightening quotes within!


63 Responses to “Smashmatiticians prove weather is climate!!”

  1. PaulM said

    Here is the abstract, from J. Geophys. Res., 115, D21111.

    A link between reduced Barents‐Kara sea ice and cold winter extremes over northern continents

    Vladimir Petoukhov

    Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, Germany

    Vladimir A. Semenov

    The recent overall Northern Hemisphere warming was accompanied by several severe northern continental winters, as for example, extremely cold winter 2005–2006 in Europe and northern Asia. Here we show that anomalous decrease of wintertime sea ice concentration in the Barents‐Kara (B‐K) seas could bring about extreme cold events like winter 2005–2006. Our simulations with the ECHAM5 general circulation model demonstrate that lower‐troposphere heating over the B‐K seas in the Eastern Arctic caused by the sea ice reduction may result in strong anticyclonic anomaly over the Polar Ocean and anomalous easterly advection over northern continents. This causes a continental‐scale winter cooling reaching −1.5°C, with more than 3 times increased probability of cold winter extremes over large areas including Europe. Our results imply that several recent severe winters do not conflict the global warming picture but rather supplement it, being in qualitative agreement with the simulated large‐scale atmospheric circulation realignment. Furthermore, our results suggest that high‐latitude atmospheric circulation response to the B‐K sea ice decrease is highly nonlinear and characterized by transition from anomalous cyclonic circulation to anticyclonic one and then back again to cyclonic type of circulation as the B‐K sea ice concentration gradually reduces from 100% to ice free conditions. We present a conceptual model that may explain the nonlinear local atmospheric response in the B‐K seas region by counter play between convection over the surface heat source and baroclinic effect due to modified temperature gradients in the vicinity of the heating area.

  2. clivere said

    I had a look at this a while back.

    It was covered at WUWT which links to the paper mentioned by Paul M.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/16/in-climate-world-up-is-down/

    My opinion is whilst plausible it is highly speculative and that speculation has been turned into a fact by rather desperate pro AGW media outlets.

    It implies that reduction in Artic Sea Ice could be a trigger to colder winters. Media reports then assume recent Artic Sea Ice loss is definitely attributable to AGW and that this Ice Loss will definitely cause the current cold spell. Both assumptions remain highly speculative based on a modelling study.

    Note there are a couple of other very recent papers that may make similar claims but I have not been able to locate a full copy.

  3. Morgan said

    Okay, with respect to the term “smashmatitician” – I couldn’t parse it, so I googled it. No results except this post. Then I looked up “smashmat”. The Urban Dictionary has an entry that may be appropriate, but isn’t, I think what you wanted to get at. Is it?

  4. Jeff Id said

    #3 smashmatician – smaspeled.

    I would point out that as unintentional creator of probably 10% of the urban dictionary, you can’t misspell a word you just made up,but I’m probably a wrongologist.

  5. ArndB said

    Something produced the cold December 2010:
    —-Keenlyside et al, forecast (Nature, Vol. 453, 2008): “over the next decade, the current Atlantic meridional overturning circulation will weaken to its long-term mean;

    —-Joseph D’Aleo (03 Oct.2010 –on: Winter 2010/11) The degree and location of blocking high pressure in the Atlantic will determine how much cold and snow in Europe and Asia. http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog

    —-Verity Jones (18 Dec.) “NAO is the winter of our discontent…” …(…the NAO index has been negative since December 2009……) http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2010/12/18/nao-is-the-winter-of-our-discontent/

    Is the ocean stupid?
    __The sun is essential, but the earthly “weather” is a matter of water (see the: moon).
    __The ocean temperature, rise and fall with the amount of incoming sun ray, which is reflected in data series, but the ocean determine the atmospheric processes over time scale of minutes to millennium, commonly called by laypersons as: weather, average weather, or climate, and reflects a personal impression of the moment of thinking, or speaking about. Science seems unable to see that it is talking nonsense if they use the words, weather, average weather, and climate. More at: http://www.whatisclimate.com/

    E.g. Hans von Storch said at blog “Klimazwiebel” http://klimazwiebel.blogspot.com/2010/11/climate-change-skeptics-strictly.html when I expressed my view as follows:
    ______aber said… 10
    @ Dennis Bray: “Comment I have no problem with that. Climate is a bit like a summary of weather I think.”
    I am aware that the atmospheric science is living happily without a scientifically reasonable definition of CLIMATE and WEATHER, although they use this layman expressions not only among them, but also in communication with the public and politics. Instead of ensuring minimum academic requirements, namely a clear language and definitions, it is so inviting to keep the matter discussed vague to the point of nonsense. At least it was extreme successful over the last three decades. Why caring what does it mean: “climate change scepticism”.
    November 1, 2010 8:26 PM

    ___Hans von Storch said… 11
    I think we have a very good definition of climate – it is the statistics of weather, and weather is the short term state of the atmosphere, ocean, hydrosphere etc. Would you agree that this is a reasonable definition, aber? I could do it a bit more formal, but that may not be necessary.
    A bit of mathematics sometimes helps.
    Your comment was not really helpful, if I may say so. In fact, it was just – a piece of stupid rambling. November 1, 2010 10:18 PM

    ___aber said… 12
    @ Hans von Storch: “we have a very good definition of climate – it is the statistics of weather, and weather is the short term state of the atmosphere, ocean, hydrosphere etc. Would you agree that this is a reasonable definition, aber?”
    No, defiantly not! What you offer as ‘weather’ is actually a copy of the UNFCCC definition (Art.1 (3)): “….the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and geosphere and their interactions.” Even glossaries (i.a. AMS) are not offering such an empty phrase. And sorry, statistics of weather remain “statistics of weather”. Unfortunately your book with Francis Zwiers. Cambridge U press, 1999, neither provides a reasonable meaning, and which is not a mere use of a layman’s expression.
    Allow me to close with a sentence I wrote almost 20 years ago : “For decades, the real question has been who is responsible for the climate. Climate should have been defined as ‘the continuation of the oceans by other means’. (….cont) November 2, 2010 1:28 AM .
    Seasonal Greetings
    Arnd Bernaerts

  6. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    Jeff, Jeff, Jeff…

    You just don’t seem to understand; global warming is responsible (or MAY be responsible) for everything bad that ever happens on Earth… from heat waves to blizzards, from droughts to floods and, well, heart attacks, headaches, constipation, erectile disfunction, and menstrual cramps. And for goodness sakes, stop eating meat so we save the Earth (and respect the rights of animals)…. and stop eating plants and allow them to absorb our poisonous CO2 emissions. Exactly why do you think you have any right to exist anyway?

    The gullibility of the loony green/left has no limit.

  7. MDJackson said

    I preferred James Hansen’s explanation. It was a lot more fun with many hand wavy gestures and mentions of Rosby Wavelengths and a “Transatlantic Seesaw”. He made the atmosphere sound like a crazy fun park.

  8. stan said

    Why does Rahmstorf have any credibility? After his silly screwup of basic stats in his “worse than we thought” joke of a study, what sane scientist would hitch to his wagon?

  9. Pat Frank said

    You can download the accepted-form pre-print here.

    If one looks at Figure 3, which gives the effect on global temperature of reduced Barents Sea ice, and which is their variable, cold winters in Europe were predicted to occur only when sea ice dropped from 80% to 40% of the 1987-2006 average.

    Between 80% and 100% of the average, i.e., conditions as they are now, the ECHAM5 simulations predicted rather normal winters for northern Europe and North America.

    So, rather than explaining the cold winters that are currently affecting the northern hemisphere, the simulations are actually falsified by them. Rahmstorf, & co., have misinterpreted the results for the press, apparently in alignment with their preconditions.

    It’s also funny to see the authors leave themselves an open back door like this: “The presented mechanism does not, of course, determine an overall SAT variability in the northern high latitudes in winter time, which is dominated by the NAO and other major variability modes like ENSO and Atlantic multi-decadal SST changes. In particular, a contribution from the Atlantic Ocean’s temperature anomalies and anomalous stratospheric circulations, as well as cloud-diabatic effects, could be important in producing unusually cool winter temperatures like those observed in 2005/2006.

    That is, the ECHAM5 simulations predict global warming winter temperatures, except when they don’t.

    Climate modeling has become such a crock. It’s a tragedy, really, because general circulation models are a real triumph of physics. But the culture of climate science has become so perverse that the models are being used in ways that are entirely unjustified.

  10. Kan said

    You silly geese. Don’t you understand that back in 1850, before man unleashed torrents of Co2, they only had climate – and a very pleasant one it was. Now with the unbridled excesses of Co2 coming to haunt us, we have have weather and climate.

    Or, to be more, succinct: with climate change, we can no longer predict the weather.

  11. timetochooseagain said

    “So we’ve all heard that global warming will cause more extreme weather events. Technical folk realize that it is a sensible claim that we would see more variance with more energy sitting around.”

    I’m not so technical, but whether that claim is “sensible” in theory, it simply seems to be totally incorrect with regard to the actual reality of the situation. Observed data indicate that it is the coldest places and the coldest times which have warmed the most. The variance is well established to have decreased in almost every way imaginable.

  12. Carrick said

    Without going into the details/believability of this particular paper, it certainly make sense to assume that, as the globe warms, changes in arctic ice concentration across a year will act as a driving for regional-scale climate change.

    Some of those changes are “good”, some are “bad”, some like this suggested one, are “moderately bad” (adaption to a bit of extra snow in December isn’t a huge hardship… sorry. Especially if it guarentees that Europe’s wonderful sky slopes stay open all winter.)

  13. Carrick said

    Urp “ski slope”.

  14. Carrick said

    TTCA:

    I’m not so technical, but whether that claim is “sensible” in theory, it simply seems to be totally incorrect with regard to the actual reality of the situation. Observed data indicate that it is the coldest places and the coldest times which have warmed the most. The variance is well established to have decreased in almost every way imaginable

    I don’t follow this logic, but I believe the claim that the data support reduced variability on a global scale at least is wrong.

    Maybe you could link us some data showing where you think “The variance is well established to have decreased in almost every way imaginable”?

  15. Steve Koch said

    So when polar ice melts, it is a big negative feedback to global warming?

    Seems like some meteorologists (eg: Bastardi) actually predicted this weather so maybe we should listen to their explanation first.

    Shouldn’t extreme weather decline as the temp difference between the equator and the polar regions decreases?

    One fundamental absurdity is that we spend so much more money on climate research compared to weather research. It should be reversed because being able to predict the next few months is quite valuable in the real world that we live in and because weather predictions can easily be verified.

    Given that our government needs to slash spending, isn’t climate research the first area that needs defunding? At the same time, the skeptics in climate science should be better funded so that we have more people checking the claims of politicized climate scientists.

  16. stan said

    Jeff,

    Sorry to go OT again. Just wanted to point out that Judy Curry, perhaps without realizing it, fell into a standard alarmist/liberal tactic with her recent post re: evangelicals and climate change. She got her friend to explain what all those folks he disagrees with really believe. Like reading a NY Times reporter explain what conservative voters in Tennessee really believe. Or listen to Obama explain why rural voters in Pennsylvania vote for Republicans (bitter clingers etc.).

    What is it with these people?! In Curry’s case, I want to think she just didn’t think through how silly it is to use an opponent to explain someone’s beliefs. But she would clearly understand that if I, as a skeptic, were to “explain” why alarmists believe the stupid things they do that I might not be perceived as entirely credible. [With B.O. and the Times, combination of true cluelessness and a desire to paint a biased picture.]

    Perhaps a better example — it’s like reading Michael Mann’s explanation of why Steve McIntyre does what he does.

    My purpose is not to use your bandwidth for my rant. It’s to point out a very common mistake and posit the question of whether these folks even have the self-awareness to understand it. Perhaps your frustration with smashmatics is really in the same vein. People have set off on a moral crusade. Certain of the purity of their motives, they dismiss any dissent as motivated by evil. Ordinary conventions of logic, rationality, science and math are dispensed with as inconvenient roadblocks on the path to the one true faith which must achieve final victory.

    REPLY: It’s fine. I left my own rant back on her thread. I snipped half of it myself, she may have snipped the other half. ;D I haven’t gone back to look cause it makes me mad and there isn’t enough time in life for that sort of thing.

  17. David S said

    6 Cole Porter and Alfred Kinsey were with you on erectile dysfunction. http://www.lyricsplayground.com/alpha/songs/t/toodarnhot.shtml
    8 Like Mann he runs on bluster and self-belief, and others take him at his own valuation of himself. A business I am associated with produced an asinine report on global sea levels and when I asked them why they had done it, they said “we went to Rahmstorf and he is the world authority”. If they keep saying it loudly and often enough, people believe it. (Sorry if that falls foul of Godwin’s law)

  18. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    #12
    Carrick,

    This is as tenuous and silly a paper is could ever be published; please remember that the model used in the study has been manually ‘fixed up’ with aerosol forcings to match the historical record. There is absolutely NO reason to believe the model is credible. Really, the whole idea of a model that predicts seasonal weather is just BS.

    Global warming does not logically cause cooling and global warming, at the same time.

    I suggest you tune your BS antenna to the frequency currently used by those with a green/loony/left political agenda.

  19. Frank K. said

    [yawn] Yet another mainstream media article generated by the climate science press release machine, which can basically be traslated (loosely) as folows:

    Please give us more of your tax dollars to waste spend on valuable climate research! Thank you.

    I think in 2011 the climate elites need to crank it up a notch, and really be on the cutting edge of climate propaganda. Something like… An Inconvenient Truth in 3-D!! See the sweat dripping from Al Gore’s face! See Jim Hansen wrestle a Big-Coal executive to the ground! See Mark Serreze hug a polar bear cub (awwwww)! See hurricanes rotating clockwise in the northern hemisphere (just like on the cover of Al Gore’s latest book)! See climate forecasts projections that are truly robust and accurate…errr…OK, sorry, scratch that…this IS supposed to be a non-fiction documentary…

  20. Duster said

    What I want to know is: just how warm did it have to get to trigger the glacial epochs?

  21. Kenneth Fritsch said

    From the link we have:

    The researchers created a computer model simulating the impact on weather patterns of a gradual reduction of winter ice cover in the Barents-Kara Sea, north of Scandinavia.

    Other possible explanations for uncommonly cold winters — reduced Sun activity or changes in the Gulf Stream — “tend to exaggerate their effect,” Petoukhov said.

    He also points out that during the freezing 2005-2006 winter, when temperatures averaged 10 C below normal in Siberia, there were no unusual variations in the north Atlantic oscillation, another putative cause.

    Colder European winters do not indicate a slowing of global warming trends, only an uneven distribution, researchers say.

    “As I look out my window is see about 30 centimetres of snow and the thermostat reads -14.0 C,” said Rahmstorf, speaking by phone from Potsdam.

    “At the same time, in Greenland we have above zero temperatures — in December.”

    Let us see here: we have skeptics using weather as an argument against the warming climate and consensus keepers using weather as an argument for the warming climate. I suspect that both groups are wrong in a lot of this, but that the consensus keepers get to point to climate scientists conjectures attempting to explain how colder regional winters are a direct effect of AGW or at least GW. What the consensus keepers have is as stated above: a computer model simulating the impact of weather patterns of gradual reduction of winter ice cover.

    What we need to know is what exactly does that computer study purport to say. How well does it agree with the relationships of past sea ice conditions and European winters? Has that computer model been tested for how well it can simulate other weather patterns or was it constructed for a single purpose dealing with this weather phenomenon only?

    Also weather consequences appear to be in the eyes of the beholder, as I remember a few years back some European media people complaining that their children might be experiencing their last looks at snow. I think with the consensus that AGW is damned if it does and damned if it don’t.

  22. Dave N said

    Still doesn’t explain the cold spring/summer in the southern hemisphere. Places like Australia and Antarctica are well below normal.

    Will they try and claim that the Arctic jetstream is forcing its way through the tropics and reaching all the way down South, like some others are?

  23. C.Carmichael said

    It’s funny, when CAGW ” scientists” are asked to explain weather, they never mention CO2. All of a sudden there are “complex factors” , is there a chance we will see a “complex factors” cap and trade scheme or trading board? All these things affecting climate, and they have only figured out how to tax CO2,for now. Why not an “Arctic see saw” tax? stone the deniers!

  24. Kenneth Fritsch said

    I did not see Pat Frank’s link to the article before I posted above. Frank’s comments on what the paper “really” says and what the media thinks it says is a contradiction we see way too often these days in the AGW PR wars. I’ll read the paper before commenting further.

  25. Steve Koch said

    Timetochooseagain said

    December 22, 2010 at 3:10 pm
    “So we’ve all heard that global warming will cause more extreme weather events. Technical folk realize that it is a sensible claim that we would see more variance with more energy sitting around.”

    I’m not so technical, but whether that claim is “sensible” in theory, it simply seems to be totally incorrect with regard to the actual reality of the situation. Observed data indicate that it is the coldest places and the coldest times which have warmed the most. The variance is well established to have decreased in almost every way imaginable.
    ————————————-

    IIRC, the IPCC 2007 report said that warming should occur most at night and more the farther you get away from the equator (i.e. the most warming occurs at the poles, the least warming occurs at the equator). The net effect is to reduce the mean and standard deviation of the difference in temperatures between the equator and the poles.

    What produces dramatic weather are large temperature and pressure differences. A very tiny, gradual increase in global climate energy is not likely to cause a large increase in variability in weather.

    If you take global warming to the extreme and imagine a world without polar ice caps, shouldn’t that facilitate energy flow on a world wide basis, thus leading to even smaller differences in temp between the equator and the poles, thus leading to less variable climate?

    Having said all that, an obviously valid point is that regional factors dominate a region’s weather and tiny incremental increases in global warming are much smaller determinants of regional weather.

    The great thing about debating a particular regional weather system is that the problem is much smaller in geographical and temporal scope so it is more possible to thoroughly understand that system and the predictions can be determined to be true or false in a short time. This means that it is advantageous for skeptics to debate weather rather than climate.

  26. Andrew said

    14-I take it what you are saying is that you do not believe that the data definitively show a decrease in variance (ie not a statistically significant trend) as distinct from just categorically ruling out major increases. While I suppose your careful distinction is a valid point, and I am not sure about the statistics, the largest warming trends have occurred during during winters and nights, especially in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. Some references provided:

    Balling, R.C., Jr., 1998, Analysis of daily and monthly spatial variance components in historical temperature records. Physical Geography, 18, 544–552.

    Balling, R.C., Jr., et al., 1998, Analysis of winter and summer warming rates in gridded temperature time series. Climate Research, 9, 175–181.

    Beniston, M., Goyette, S., 2007. Changes in variability and persistence of climate in Switzerland: Exploring 20th century observations and 21st century simulations. Global and Planetary Change, 57, 1-15.

    Michaels, P.J., R.C. Balling Jr. , R.S. Vose, and P.C. Knappenberger, 1998, Analysis of trends in the variability of daily and monthly historical temperature measurements. Climate Research, 10, 27–33.

    Michaels, P.J., et al., 2000, Observed warming in cold anticyclones. Climate Research, 14, 1–6.

  27. Carrick said

    Steve Koch:

    If you take global warming to the extreme and imagine a world without polar ice caps, shouldn’t that facilitate energy flow on a world wide basis, thus leading to even smaller differences in temp between the equator and the poles, thus leading to less variable climate?

    This has been raised here before.

    Experimental evidence says the Hadley cell is strengthening.

    It’s an “old school” idea that Hadley Cell circulation in our current climate is driven primarily by pole-equator temperature difference. I’ll refer you to page 14 of this talk.

    What happens instead (in my opinion) is you get an intensification of equatorial convective motion driven by the increase in heating of the surface (measured as a flux, not necessarily just convective velocity), a broadening of the circulation polewise, and a net slowing of the period of rotation (due to the increased path line of the streamlines).

    I think what we will find is that short-period climate fluctuations (such as ENSOs) will intensify with a warming climate.

    On much shorter time-scales, I agree we should get a reduction in day-night temperatures, and possibly even summer/winter temperature differences, so in that sense, I agree we’ll see less variability.

    My point really is that climate isn’t going to necessarily be less variable. In the sense of forced oscillations, you may actually see an increase in the amplitudes of the motion.

  28. Carrick said

    SteveF, I don’t see how you can logically dismiss the notion that reduced sea ice will have an effect on adjacent land masses.

    And while I agree there is uncertainty on aerosol emissions, I think you make too much of the uncertainty here. We do have data on economic activity so we can set (weak) bounds. The numbers are not totally ad hoc, as you suggest.

  29. Andrew said

    27-“I think what we will find is that short-period climate fluctuations (such as ENSOs) will intensify with a warming climate.”

    Is there presently any positive evidence that this is the case? I don’t think there is evidence that it is NOT the case, but I also don’t think there is evidence that would be confirmation of it either. I welcome any evidence to the contrary.

  30. Carrick said

    I agree the evidence is hardly incontrovertible that ENSO has strengthened, hence the weasel word “may strengthen”. So far it also doesn’t support the argument that the variability is reducing over time, which is really what I was objecting to (while pointing out there are reasons to expect some intensification over these time scales).

  31. AusieDan said

    Dave N – I think I have solved the Australian problem you mentioned.

    If we (reluctantly) accept the interesting idea (sending our common sense for a well deserved holiday)THAT a rising globe will bring cooler weather, not only to much of the USA and Europe, but also here as well, in the far off southern hemisphere.

    THEN (big breath now – pause for effect)
    It seems logical that the long preceeding period of hot, dry weather to which we so recently bade a fond farewell down lere in Ausieland, must have been because the globe was actually cooling fast, during the period from 1990 to 2008.

    Seems logical to me – how about you?

  32. AusieDan said

    Dave N
    Before you reply, I think I have found one small flaw in my theory.

    I’ve just checked the facts.
    It seems that the only cause of increasing temperature during the last 100 years has been UHI.
    AND rainfall, although very chaotic, has not changed at all in over 150 years.

    So it seems that weather = climate = weather = climate
    Oh I cound go on that way all night.
    So I won’t.

    Seasons greetings to all.

  33. Ralph B said

    Would not the heat of the arctic ocean be radiated out to space if the ice were not there to blanket it? Then when it does freeze the latent heat released would also be radiated out further cooling the water. The patterns of summer melt seem to show the pack being excreted from the polar area and melting after it is released as it hits warmer waters. What ever the driver of recent weather patterns that banished the ice, that is probably the cause of Europe’s “Big Chill”. I would wager that if we have a large melt this summer, Europe will freeze again.

  34. ArndB said

    # 23 C.Carmichael said December 22, 2010 at 5:09 pm : „It’s funny, when CAGW ” scientists” are asked to explain weather, they never mention CO2.”

    Have you ever seen a scientific explanation on “weather”? There is non.

    AMS says that weather is: “The state of the atmosphere, mainly with respect to its effects upon life and human activities”. Exactly, weather is what every person thinks it is relevant, interesting, important, expected, a.s.o. for him/her today, or when travelling, or choosing a location for retirement. But AMS says also that weather consists of about 100 components, which means that there is temperature, humidity, wind, air pressure, clouds, CO2 concentration, and many dozen more, which can be compiled and expressed in statistics. Not one statistic, either alone or in combination is WEATHER, at most it reflects certain aspects of the weather, as AMS assumes that popular weather consist of: temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, visibility, and wind. But that is guessing, as for each individual the components (of the 100) may vary considerably, according to the focus, the interest, and the need, for the next hour, the evening, the weekend, o next summer holiday. That means, if scientists are talking about weather, one does not know what they are talking about, which getting even worst when it comes to CLIMATE.

    IMO says:
    · in a narrow sense Climate is usually defined as the “average weather,”
    · in a more rigorously way, Climate is the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time, and
    · in a broader sense, Climate is the status of the climate system which comprises the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the cryosphere, the surface lithosphere and the biosphere.

    This means for discussing this matter:
    __weather is not defined
    __average weather is not defined
    __a statistical description ( of weather components), describe in numbers specific physical (e.g. temperature), or chemical (e.g. CO2), or observational conditions (e.g. cloud cover, tornados), but they remain “statistics” and never present, in what ever combination, “average weather”, but only temperatures, sunshine, rain, etc.
    MORE above: # 5

    And with special thanks to Jeff Id, the matter could be presented here at Air Vent recently:
    __Nov.13, 2009 : http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/11/13/open-letter/
    __July 19; 2010 : http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/07/19/ipcc-says-that-there-are-important-differences-between-weather-and-climate/

  35. steveta_uk said

    I’ve got a new theory.

    Assume that despite the globe slowly warming (LIA bounce-back, etc) there is still plenty of random variation, so cold snaps (why ‘snaps’, we don’t have heat ‘snaps’ in summer?) happen, and by chance produced in a colder than average 2007/8 winter.

    As a result, all round Europe large amounts of salt were spread on the roads, and this fed into the rivers over the next few months, and lots of this extra-salty water flowed into the northern seas.

    So they are saltier than before, so don’t freeze as much, reducing sea ice, resulting in the changed pressure patterns that produce the 2008/9 cold winter, leading to more salt in the roads, etc…

    So the solution is to put up with a couple of years of very bad winters to let the salt flush out of the system and we’ll be back to normal.

    QED.

  36. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    Carrick #28,

    “I don’t see how you can logically dismiss the notion that reduced sea ice will have an effect on adjacent land masses.”

    I don’t dismiss the possibility. I do dismiss the study. Since the sea ice waxes and wanes each year, any purported effect would need to be immediate… that is, any winter weather effect should correlate with measured sea ice extent that winter. There is known and large year to year and decade to decade variability in northern hemisphere winter weather, driven by known factors (ENSO, NAO) and perhaps some unknown factors, all of which are independent of any immediate effect of Arctic sea ice extent in the winter months. There is no way anyone can use real data to refute the model results in the study, because all the other factors make the data far too noisy; model projections that sit well within the normal variability of the data are without value. Yet people will point to this kind of study and say “See…the cold winter in Europe this year COULD have been caused by global warming.”

    WRT aerosol emissions: If there is any defensible historical aerosol record, then why does each model use a different record? I simply do not believe there is such a record in existence. And the IPCC seems to agree: the 95% confidence range for current (where we have some measurements!) aerosol effect covers ~0.4 to ~2.4 watts per square meter. What was the aerosol effect in the past, when there were no measurements? Who knows, but it has to be extremely uncertain.

    I agree that aerosol emissions ought to be proportional to economic activity (more specifically, to fossil fuel use), but if you look at the assumed aerosol effects that are actually used in models (eg by GISS) it is clear that the assumed profile is quite different from economic activity (that is, the selected aerosols are a kludge).

    My objection to using models this way Carrick is that they are using a model which may be (and in fact likely is) quite far from correct, and applying it to ‘explain’ a politically inconvenient reality: it’s been much colder than expected in winter in Europe the last few years. The absolute ad hoc nature of the selected aerosol off-sets, and the widely varying assumed aerosol effect required to make the different models match historical temperature records, means that we know for certain that most (and perhaps all) the models are not close to correct. It makes my eyes roll in disbelief that people actually consider this kind of study a meaningful exercise. Please look at the thrust of published studies using models. You will see a consistent pattern: most are essentially “You can’t prove the models are wrong with that conflicting data either.” I have seen enough to know that this is either intellectual dishonestly, self deception, or some combination. But in any case, it is rubbish.

  37. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    Carrick #28,

    One more smallish point: the current best estimate for warming since the mid 19th century is ~0.8C, The current radiative forcing from man-made GHG’s is close to 3 watts per square meter (with modest uncertainty), but aerosol effects could be anywhere from 0.4 to 2.4 watts/M^2. The ocean heat uptake (at least since ~2004) is very modest, and likely not more than ~0.3 watt per square meter. So the uncertainty in aerosols makes any modeled climate sensitivity between (0.8/(3 – 0.3 -0.4)) = 0.348 degree/watt (or 1.3 degrees/doubling) and (0.8/(3 – 0.3 – 2.4)) = 2.66 degrees per watt (or 9.9 degrees per doubling) consistent with the IPCC aerosol estimates. This is like a very bad joke.

    Aerosol uncertainty makes all models “equally valid”, and equally “valid” in the kind of study that set Jeff off enough to start this thread.

  38. Carrick said

    SteveF:

    Since the sea ice waxes and wanes each year, any purported effect would need to be immediate… that is, any winter weather effect should correlate with measured sea ice extent that winter

    I would refine this to say, one should expect the most dramatic changes in forcing to occur in areas that are ice free now that weren’t say 30 years ago. Compare this for example.

    Seems like the two areas that are the most affected are the ice free southern Hudson bay (and that has been indicted in the recent cold wave in the US) , and areas in the north Atlantic regional to Europe appears to be the other area. Increased warming in Siberia has also (in the past) been linked to earlier than previous ice loss.

    In terms of the aerosol models, do you have a plot comparing how much variability there is between models, and especially between economic activity and the models?

    It isn’t just proportional to fuel usage, because it depends on what types of fuels are burnt, and in the case of electrical power generating plants, whether they are filtering out the SO2 from the emissions (which if I recall they started doing in the 1960s)—I’ll mention though my point here isn’t an argument whether they’ve done it right, but that it can be done right.

    You may certainly have a valid point, but data that support this would help the argument.

  39. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    Carrick #38,

    Atmospheric Aerosol Properties and Climate Impacts
    Authors: Lorraine A. Remer, NASA GSFC; Mian Chin,
    NASA GSFC; Philip DeCola, NASA HQ; Graham Feingold,
    NOAA ERSL; Rangasayi Halthore, NASA HQ/NRL;
    Ralph A. Kahn, NASA GSFC; Patricia K. Quinn, NOAA
    PMEL; David Rind, NASA GISS; Stephen E. Schwartz,
    DOE BNL; David G. Streets, DOE ANL; Hongbin Yu,
    NASA GSFC/UMBC

    “Despite a wide range of climate sensitivity (i.e. the amount of
    surface temperature increase due to a change
    in radiative forcing, such as an increase of CO2)
    exhibited by the models, they all yield a global
    average temperature change very similar to that
    observed over the past century. This agreement
    across models appears to be a consequence of
    the use of very different aerosol forcing values,
    which compensates for the range of climate sensitivity.
    For example, the direct cooling effect of
    sulfate aerosol varied by a factor of six among
    the models. An even greater disparity was seen
    in the model treatment of black carbon and
    organic carbon. Some models ignored aerosol
    indirect effects whereas others included large
    indirect effects. In addition, for those models
    that included the indirect effect, the aerosol
    effect on cloud brightness (reflectivity) varied
    by up to a factor of nine. Therefore, the fact that
    models have reproduced the global temperature
    change in the past does not imply that their future
    forecasts are accurate. This state of affairs
    will remain until a firmer estimate of radiative
    forcing by aerosols, as well as climate sensitivity,
    is available.”

    There are for certain published reports that are relevant, but even this single one tells me quite enough.

    The measured surface brightening in Europe and parts of North America since coal powered plants where modified to reduce SO2 (acid rain) suggests that some of the warming observed between the late 1970’s and 2000 was due to reduced aerosols, but I have never seen any other published data which supports this. It seems data which suggests lower sensitivity to GHG forcing tends to be attacked/discounted if it suggests a strong effect, or ignored if it suggests a weak effect…. another clear warning that all is not right in climate science.

  40. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    Carrick #38,
    “Seems like the two areas that are the most affected are the ice free southern Hudson bay (and that has been indicted in the recent cold wave in the US) , and areas in the north Atlantic regional to Europe appears to be the other area. Increased warming in Siberia has also (in the past) been linked to earlier than previous ice loss.”

    Sure would like to see how robust that “link” is.

    I lived in the Northeast most of my life; I saw plenty of variation in winter cold… certainly as much variation as in recent years… and never associated with Hudson Bay ice cover.

  41. Alan D McIntire said

    Those projections of CAGW leading to colder, snowier winters would have been a lot more persuasive if they had been made prior to the last couple of years, rather than as rationalizations for what already happened.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990604081638.htm

    “ScienceDaily (June 4, 1999) — Northern Climes, Buffeted By Stronger Winds, 7 To 10°F Hotter

    A team of scientists from Columbia University has shown that warm winters in the northern hemisphere likely can be explained by the action of upper-atmosphere winds that are closely linked to global warming.

    Global mean surface temperatures have increased in the range of 0.6 to 1.2°F since the late 19th century. But far more severe warming has taken place over wide regions of northern Eurasia, Canada and Alaska, with temperatures averaging 7 to 10°F warmer in the last 35 years, according to data previously compiled by the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City.

    The research, which appears in the June 3 issue of the British journal Nature, offers no predictions on what temperatures future winters will bring, but suggests a continuation of the current trend for three to four more decades.”

  42. Carrick said

    SteveF:

    Sure would like to see how robust that “link” is.

    It’s my impression that the problem is pretty well understood on a meteorological level. It’s certainly a reasonable expectation that a large mass of water is going to drive regional weather differently than a large mass of ice. I’ll leave it to others more knowledgeable about large scale weather patterns to discuss the presumed linkage between the two.

    I was wondering if you had any links that discuss the large variability between models that you suggest exists in the assumed anthropogenic sulfate emissions?

  43. Carrick said

    This has been pointed out elsewhere, but Petoukhov and Semenov was submitted in November, 2009. Events, at least in the short term, since this submission have proven them right.

    Here’s a plot from real climate showing the proposed effect. Presumably a similar effect exists for the Hudson Bay area in terms of disruption of normal late fall/winter-time circulation patterns.

    The circled red area is the anomalous ice-free region. Once the ice-free region freezes over, the effect should disappear: So it is mostly an early winter phenomenon if true.

    Also contrary to the tone suggested by Jeff ID, it isn’t the case that their results were immediately embraced by the climate community, and from what I can see much skepticism still exists.

    (Of course whether the particular proposed mechanisms are correct, the fact exists that there are ice free regions that historically weren’t ice free at this point. It seems implausible to me to suggest that this would have no impact on weather over those time scales.)

  44. timetochooseagain said

    36-“I agree that aerosol emissions ought to be proportional to economic activity (more specifically, to fossil fuel use), but if you look at the assumed aerosol effects that are actually used in models (eg by GISS) it is clear that the assumed profile is quite different from economic activity (that is, the selected aerosols are a kludge).”

    There is a pretty obvious reason for this…Namely that emissions actually AREN’T proportional to economic activity, but rather have an “inverted U” relation.

  45. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    Carrick,

    “I was wondering if you had any links that discuss the large variability between models that you suggest exists in the assumed anthropogenic sulfate emissions?”

    I thought this kind of layer it out pretty well:

    “For example, the direct cooling effect of
    sulfate aerosol varied by a factor of six among
    the models. An even greater disparity was seen
    in the model treatment of black carbon and
    organic carbon. Some models ignored aerosol
    indirect effects whereas others included large
    indirect effects. In addition, for those models
    that included the indirect effect, the aerosol
    effect on cloud brightness (reflectivity) varied
    by up to a factor of nine.”

    Seems to me factors of 6 (direct aerosols) and 9 (indirect aerosols) between models is fairly dramatic. Are you looking for bigger differences between models?

  46. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    #44,

    Andrew,

    Thanks for the link.. But then why do models all use different aerosol histories and vastly different total aerosol effects? It is still an obvious kludge.

  47. Carrick said

    SteveF, I think you’re being awfully negative about this but whatever.

    Here’s the link to the reference you were quoting. I’ll give it a read.

  48. Craig Loehle said

    This paper is ironic because it has already been shown
    Woollings, T, 2010. Dynamical influences on European climate: an uncertain future. Phil Trans. Royal Soc. A 368:3733-3756.
    that the models do a poor job of simulating blocking highs, the jet stream location and wobble, and zonal circulation, the very sorts of things that a change in sea ice would alter.

  49. Kenneth Fritsch said

    The paper under discussion here becomes more curious when read in detail. It is the authors that are making rather large claims for their conjecture on the connection between sea ice coverage (SIC) in the Barents-Kara Sea areas and cold European winters. I have excerpted some relevant statements from the paper below to show what it really is that the authors are claiming.

    Firstly, the effect of changes in prevailing winds (and thus temperatures) and SIC is not a monotonically increasing relationship. In fact, the authors show sharp breakpoints at nearly exactly 20%, 40% and 80% for the semi-empirical data and additionally at 60% for the ECHAM5 computer model. So we have “the effect” operating between 40% and 80% SIC and not operating outside that range. Just how qualitative, the semi-empirical(?) and computer model relationship is, can be seen by looking at Figure 5 in the paper.

    The Barents Sea is considerably larger than the Kara Sea (2,170,000 km^2 versus 880,000 km^2) and is warmer than the Kara Sea having exposure to a warming ocean current (SIC of 20 to 60% and a mean of 45% versus for Kara of 85% to 98% with a mean of 95% ). My question is why would these two sea areas be combined in this study and what would be the result if the Kara sea were ignored.

    Overall the claims in this study appear to be very dicey and if made by authors going against the AGW consensus would be under immediate scrutiny.

    Anomalous north-westerlies, bringing warm Atlantic air in cases of (1%-40%) and (80%-100%) SIC changes, are contrasted by strong anomalous easterly flow over this region for (40% – 80%) SIC difference. The latter is also a distinctive feature of the extreme European winter 2005/2006 event accompanied by the anomalous north-easterly and strong cooling over the European site according to NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data [Kalnay et al., 1996]…

    In spite of more pronounced warming over the B-K Seas caused by 100% to 80% SIC
    decrease, as compared to that for 40% to 1% SIC reduction (cf. Figures 3a and 3c), the
    11 rearrangement of the atmospheric circulation is more prominent in the latter case (cf. Figures 3d, 3g and 3f, 3i). It is manifested by two cyclonic minima around the southern cost of the Barents Sea and next to Canadian Archipelago (Figure 3f and 3i). In addition, a strong anti-cyclonic circulation develops in that case just south of the Bering Strait that transports warmer Pacific air masses to the Far East. This shapes an overall warming encompassing basically the whole Eurasia…

    Unlike the canonical AO, the physical reason for the considered pattern (Figure 3h) is not a modulation in the strength of the polar vortex aloft [Thompson and Wallace, 1998] but rather the anomalous surface heat source in the B-K sector, which triggers the 12 development of the local blocking-like structure in the lower troposphere above the B-K sector in case of 80% to 40% SIC reduction…

    Aiming at the interpretation of the presented in our paper results, which are 100-yr averages for the corresponding ECHAM5 100-yr runs, we omit the non-stationary term in the r.h.s. of (2)…

    Figure 5, (80%) (100%) s s p  p , (40%) (80%) s s p  p and (1%) (40%) s s p  p are qualitatively (partly also quantatively) in line with the results of our ECHAM5 runs. As the environmental pressures e p does not differ much in all six ECHAM5 simulations, the values of (80%) (100%) s s p  p , (40%) (80%) s s p  p and (1%) (40%) s s p  p from Figure 5 can be directly compared with the corresponding geopotential height anomalies (multiplied by  g ) in the neighborhood of the heat source shown in Figure 3 g-i. This comparison supports the hypothesis that the nonlinear response of the local lower troposphere circulation to SIC decline can be qualitatively and to some extent even quantitatively explained by the revealed in our conceptual model nonlinear interplay between ‘convective-frictional’ and ‘baroclinic-frictional’ mechanisms mentioned above…

  50. Andrew said

    46-I don’t disagree, I just think that a direct correlation between the aerosols and economic activity is not to be expected.

    The reason for the vast differences between models seems to be that we just know very little about aerosols and their effects, and distinctly lack proper historical data before about 1970, with largely inadequate data even after. To derive anything close to an “objective” (but not “true”!) history, one needs guesstimates or actual values of emissions, and to model the atmosphere life cycle of the particulates, and don’t even get me started on the “indirect” effects on clouds etc. which just makes things more complicated. Suffice it to say that aerosols are a fuzzy part of the science.

  51. Carrick said

    Andrew:

    The reason for the vast differences between models seems to be that we just know very little about aerosols and their effects, and distinctly lack proper historical data before about 1970, with largely inadequate data even after

    I don’t think it’s just aerosols…. before 1950, at least from my impression, they have to “invent” the solar forcings too.

    I know GISS at least is forced to assume solar forcings that aren’t supported by the current understanding of solar science (it was the sun before it wasn’t).

  52. Andrew said

    51-True, although the Solar forcing in question is thought to be of pretty small magnitude (although this has been disputed!) in any case. Even with the ramp up before 1950 that is no longer believed by solar scientists, GISS fails to produce the early twentieth century warming.

    In fact, there is some dispute over the post 1970ish record, as that has to be spliced together from seperate satellites, each with it’s own issues. The ACRIM and PMOD groups both firmly believe they are in the right with their method, but who is right is not obvious, I think, to outsiders. The broader community seems to side with PMOD, but seemingly for no other reason than that they are chummy with Frolich and Lean, who are “emminent” solar scientists. However, the differences between the two are mostly inconsequential with regard to the direct forcing by Solar Irradiance.

  53. Ruhroh said

    Hey Jeff;
    Over at CA, Mosher posted links to some provocative AGU talks, such as Mr. Palmer’s speech that would have been delivered very differently by Schneider if he was still heating the planet.

    As Steve Mc is OOTC, maybe you might offer a discussion thread of the AGU talks. Mosh’s comments are woven into a runaway thread on Ross’ most recent paper. Bender did a offer some comments on the Palmer video here;

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/12/15/mckitrick-and-nierenberg-2010-rebuts-another-team-article/#comment-250355

    But this all seems worthy of a new thread, and I hope this fits your need for worthiness and available effort level.

    Among many surprising comments, Palmer plotted the model outputs without the anomalization process; wow, they’re absolutely all over the graph. It is a reminder to ask if this is all of the runs, or whether some were discarded for failing to show the requisite warming in response to being forced.

    http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm10/lectures/lecture_videos/A42A.shtml

    Collection of 82 video talks here;

    http://sms.cam.ac.uk/collection/870907

    Another gem left in that dogpile, was from Pat Frank;

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/12/15/mckitrick-and-nierenberg-2010-rebuts-another-team-article/#comment-250371

    regarding a 2005 Nature paper (D.A. Stainforth et al.), about their need to discard model runs that didn’t show warming. Yikes!
    Talk about Hide the Decline!!!

    So, hoping these might be consistent with your hosting/posting status of late. Hope you’re having fun with XY #2.

    AirVent is still my first-checked climate site.
    Best,
    RR

  54. Ruhroh said

    The good news about the 82 videos is that they offer download links; this allows you to check the conclusions first, before investing the time in wasted windbaggery.

    Mosh recommended the Bayesian talk and the ‘Fun with Emulation’ talks; these I think;

    http://sms.cam.ac.uk/media/1084328;jsessionid=8870C1C6C261914F335D7B4024E2566D

    http://sms.cam.ac.uk/media/1084396;jsessionid=8870C1C6C261914F335D7B4024E2566D

    RR

  55. Carrick said

    Ruhroh:

    The good news about the 82 videos is that they offer download links; this allows you to check the conclusions first, before investing the time in wasted windbaggery.

    Be careful about “assuming the conclusions”. If all you feed yourself is confirming evidence to what you already believe, there’s no point to watching any of the videos.

  56. RuhRoh said

    Carrick;
    In my experience, the conclusion section is when the presenters are at their pithiest. Many speakers withhold the point of their talk until the end, apparently fearing that folks will walk out.

    I would prefer it if flash players allowed 1.5x or 2x fast play to get closer to reading speed.

    Many people in my life give me cautions such as yours. I am definitely a ‘work-backwards-from-the-answer’ person. This serves me well in my life work of synthesizing functionality.

    But I did flag that the interesting bits of the talk were as much in the recipe as in the baked cake; i.e., the slide where Palmer showed non-anomalized GCM outputs that are rarely divulged.

    Thanks for your well-intended advice.
    I am quite aware of the trap of which you warned.

    Also, thanks for reinforcing the ‘confirmation bias’ theme I was trying to get Jeff to hold a discussion thread, of GCM runs discarded as ‘unphysical’, and excluded from discussion.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.
    RR
    RR

  57. kim said

    James Hansen lied to Congress in 1988 about the regional predictive skill of his climate models, claiming that the record heat in DC was predicted. They are still telling the same lie, and people are still believing the same lie. The GCMs are a triumph of physics and they have failed miserably.

    Yes, it’s a wild wacky and zany world. What’s Santa to think? How many stockings can he fill with one of Hansen’s Death Trains?

    And whose?
    ================

  58. GregO said

    Jeff and all,

    Merry Christmas!

  59. Please guys. All this has been understood and predicted.

    “…the further down the pipeline climate travels and works its way into weather, and once it’s in the weather, it’s there for good.”

    -Heidi Cullen

    ——————————————————————-

    Paraphrasing,..

    Lift the rock of attributing weather events to ‘climate’, and you will see the re-insurance industry.

    ——————————————————————-

  60. Geoff Sherrington said

    55 Carrrick

    While I often agree with you, you and many others have readily accepted that there has been a measurable global termperature increase over the last century.

    Like others, I have studied this. It remains a problem that in so many individual locations, the temperature has not increased at all, either by linear regression of annual data or by historic accounts or by unadjusting the work of some temperature adjusters. This oddity can be explained by putting these stations that misbehave into a fat tail of a distribution, but that fat tail is unseemly fat, reaching the point of almost a bimodal distribution.

    Have you ever done a deep and meaningful on the assertion that there has indeed been an underlying increasing global temperature tend for the last decade? I’m still admitting the possibility that the trend is either absent or very small.

  61. Carrick said

    Hi Geoff,

    Hope you are having a good holiday season.

    The way I see it it this: The smaller the area you integrate over, the longer the period of time it takes to average out atmospheric-ocean oscillations 30-years works for global, because long-period (long0-wavelength) oscillations tend to average out when you average over the globe. If you pick one region, you are basically enhancing these longer-period oscillations (e.g., the 55-year PDO) for this specific data compared to the global ones.

    For anything to work in looking at climate response to human forcings, it is absolutely essential that the natural fluctuations lose coherency on a global scale. To the extent that this is false (which happens more frequently the shorter the integration period you are looking at), the less your global measurement of temperature will reflect just the anthropogenic (and other secularly varying) forcings.

    On the other hand, if you want to see the full “constellation” of natural oscillations, pick a regionalized site to average over.

    If you imagined for example, an oscillation that made the northern hemisphere warmer and the southern hemisphere cooler over an extended period of time, you would recover a bimodal distribution, everything else being equal.

  62. Espen said

    #9, Pat Frank:
    Between 80% and 100% of the average, i.e., conditions as they are now, the ECHAM5 simulations predicted rather normal winters for northern Europe and North America.

    Thanks for pointing that out (I was just going to write the same thing before I searched the long comment thread…)!

    I think last December/January was different, at least the area around Svalbard was unusually warm. So the theory may have worked last year, but it doesn’t make sense this year. I’d say the authors of that paper need to get back to the drawing board.

  63. Kenneth Fritsch said

    I agree with both Geoff and Carrick in their comments above. I think to me the important consequence of what they say is realized in the uncertainty in the the measured temperature we calculate (and adjust) for large regional and global temperatures. Since we need much infilling to complete the instrument temperature record for the past 130 years or so and both spatially and temporally, that uncertainty measurement can be problematic. We have rather complete satellite records from UAH and RSS but only for 30 years.

    I find it most interesting that those scientist attempting to estimate the uncertainty in the instrumental record avoid the satellite data like the plague. They tend to use modeled data or ground instrumental data for grids well-populated with reporting stations. That we can say that there is good agreement with the satellite and ground data does not inspire confidence in me for estimating the uncertainty of pre-satellite data and temperature trends that go beyond 30 years.

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