the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Crystalline Silicon Ball

Posted by Jeff Id on February 27, 2011

Well Lucia has a post from Zeke which is experiencing a nice reception at her blog as well as Judith Curry’s.  As often is the case, my own head feels about to explode over some of the “known details”.  There are far too many otherwise smart people ready to accept them for my liking and the claims are far too poorly considered for even the pre-decided to accept.

Here are the thresholds of definition, although no quantitative analysis is given:

  • Extremely likely           > 95% probability
  • Very likely                   > 90% probability
  • Likely                         > 66% probability
  • More likely than not     > 50% probability

> 95% probability

Zeke provides this quote:

A doubling of carbon dioxide, holding everything else equal, would lead to a global average surface temperature increase of about 1 C. This follows from a basic derivation of forcing from changes to absorption bands, though it is complicated by the inherent difficulty of defining what exactly a no-feedback system is.

I would be fantastically happy to see just what BASIC derivation creates these numbers.  Anyone have THAT derivation handy?  And no–don’t start with the 3 point whatever forcing (someone asked that question on the last thread but I’m not blogging), because we are starting from absorption bands.  Write it here folks…… Lots of unmoderated space below.  Let the Id have it!! I have looked for this since starting this blog and if you tens of thousands of readers have hid it from me with intent? That would mean war!

> 90% probability

Stocks of atmospheric carbon have a relatively long lifetime. While any individual molecule of atmospheric carbon remains in the atmosphere for only a few years on average, the growth limitations of sinks means that the stock will not decline quickly should emissions stop increasing. As a corollary, arguments that 95 percent of annual CO2 emissions are natural rather miss the point.

Again, I’ve read multiple poorly conceived litrachures on this subject.  Anyone with a basic proof for the lifespan and true sink capacity of earth?  My god this stuff makes me nuts.  Does anyone, anywhere on this third rock from the sun (we are the third right?) claim to really know this answer?  Michael Mann for instance?  Zettatons .. whatever.. of rock with water flowing through it has a funny ability to absorb/react with mere parts per million of whatever  trace molecule might be present in the ground/rain water passing by.  Even Mann’s calculator doesn’t have that many significant figures.  Continued below:

Stocks of atmospheric carbon have a relatively long lifetime. While any individual molecule of atmospheric carbon remains in the atmosphere for only a few years on average, the growth limitations of sinks means that the stock will not decline quickly should emissions stop increasing.

You would think that this would be a settled issue, the atmospheric lifespan of the CO2 molecule and the size and ability of the Earth to absorb them– it is not, except for in a few peoples minds.  I wonder if any readers have considered how unlikely it would be for a planet to maintain a very highly emitted molecule (every mammal on the rock, every fire, nearly every oxygen combustion event) at a hundreds of parts per million level for millions of years without large high capacity sinks having the ability to deal with increased output.  How unlikely would that be?   The IPCC would have us believe that we are on some precarious balance whereby the sink doesn’t accelerate or perhaps our extreme lack of CO2 occurred by accidental balance.  The likelihood of such a situation seems a bit extreme to say the least.

As a corollary to 3., a warmer world will have an atmosphere with more water vapor. This will tend to enhance the greenhouse effect, though the situation is complicated by the difficulty in both projecting changes in cloud formation and determining the radiative forcing effect of clouds.

OK, so this is the feedback issue. There isn’t a shred of ‘solid’ data which properly interpreted supports the claim that moisture increases or decreases the effect.  Not one damned ‘properly interpreted’ shred of evidence, yet people chuck it out there as though it were real.  The only papers which I have found mix cause and effect through pre-determined methods.  White reflective clouds vs water vapor, the proof being models which have parametrized nature out of the issue. There isn’t any knowledge whatsoever by mankind on this point in my properly humble opinion.   Of all things climate, this issue is one which we really DON’T KNOW!  We don’t know a worthwhile thing about moisture feedback direction or magnitude and that is something I firmly know.

Prove me wrong, give it a whack.

Direct solar forcing has played a relatively minor role in the last four decades, as TSI has been flat-to-modestly-decreasing during that period.

Again Zeke gives a vastly overstated confidence in this issue from my perspective.  What we know about stellar emission effects is probably equivalent to the average high school student’s grasp of calculus.  I won’t bash this as much though because several measures have been reasonably stable but the measurements are so extremely limited that the claim is ludicrously confident.   Hell we couldn’t even predict sunspots within 3 years in the last cycle.  There are solar emissions recently (four decades) measured which can have effects on climate though which have been excluded as causes of measured warming but the statement is WAY over the top IMO.   We only learned to measure air temps by satellite in 1978 and anyone who thinks those records are clean is either ignorant or insane, they are simply more quantifiably contaminated than the surface stations.  There is no complete solar record for the 40 year period by which any scientist can make the above claim.  TSI – total solar irradiance.  It may be possible that the sun has not changed much – I don’t know – but there are poorly quantified solar emissions UV, X ray, Particulate etc. which may have equal or greater short term effect than our measures of what was previously termed TSI.

What I think is likely [>66% probability]

Climate sensitivity is somewhere between 1.5 C and 4.5 C for a doubling of carbon dioxide, due to feedbacks (primarily water vapor) in the climate system. This is supported by multiple lines of evidence, including GCMs, paleoclimate evidence (including climate response to forcing during glacial periods as well as millennial proxies), the instrumental record, and the climate response to volcanic forcings among others

I’ll just reword this one for proper clarification:

This is UNsupported by multiple lines of evidence, including GCMs with pre-concluded output, numerous mathematically unsupportable paleoclimate papers (including unrealistic interpretations of proxy response to forcing during glacial periods as well as variance suppressing algorithms applied to suspected millennial proxies), the problematic instrumental record etc.

Zeke and I could spend about ten rounds on that one alone.

Land and ocean temperature measurements over the past century are largely accurate at a global level, though there are some regions that have limited data, especially toward the earlier part of the century. That said, factors like UHI, instrument change, siting issue, and other data quality issues could potentially change the global trend modestly.

I flatly deny that there is any evidence that land measurements have accuracy of tenths of a degree.  The claim ‘largely’ accurate is qualitiative, yet the claims of ‘the warmest year ever’ (which Zeke doesn’t make here) are unsupportable by anyone with any science in their bones.  While it may be true, anyone with a hint of suspicion knows the ocean records have been tweaked and beaten into the proper shape.  We with functional brains know land station sighting is a real factor.  And this is coming from a guy (me) who KNOWS 100%, not 99, 95, or 80% , CO2 CAUSES WARMING!

>50% probability

Intrinsic (unforced) variability plays a relatively large role globally at an intra-decadal scale, but is relatively insignificant at multidecadal scales. In this view, the early 20th century warming was due primarily due to solar forcings and a volcanic lull.

Yeah……Okay..  Well we’ve covered the rest, how do we know this??  Just where is the proof that oceans cannot affect multidecadal temps?  Any concept that the oceans have an average temp of like 3C with a high average surface temperature?  Any idea that perhaps mixing of water could cause problems for this pseudo-spherical rock?   There is a huge amount of energy capacity there.  With ocean currents, even multi-centennial and multi-millennial scales are questionable. Sorry but this flatly doesn’t fly with me.

Recent warming is unprecedented over the past millennium. While there are plenty of problems with paleoclimate reconstructions, enough corroborating work has been done to at least elevate this to more likely than not in my personal judgment. Were there reconstructions clearly showing MWP temperatures comparable with, say, the running 50-year mean of the instrumental record I would be less certain.

Start with the bold – Bull!  Then work on, ‘corroborating’ evidence in paleo is not as self confirming as it might appear.  If we all use variance suppressing math and data, we all will get the same variance suppressed answers.  Regression is regression is regression. I’ve written endlessly on the subject and these claims have the same degree of content as a US projected budget.  A firm example of writing without enough reading IMO.  I like Zeke because he is honest, I like Bart for the same reason but I don’t like bad science even when it is honestly presented and in my opinion the above claims despite the uncertainty escape clauses were/are bad science.

We don’t know the past climate.

We don’t know the future climate.

Claims to the contrary are, have, and will continue to be — as common as blades of grass.

And in case you were somehow confused, I am not blogging!!  I’m really not, there is no time for this nonsense.



33 Responses to “Crystalline Silicon Ball”

  1. Thanks, Jeff, for speaking so candidly about the current sad state of climatology.

    For reasons that I still do not understand, data from government-funded projects have been hidden or manipulated since ~ 1975 to give the public misinformation about the Sun’s origin, composition, source of energy, and influence on Earth’s climate.

    Many of the embarrassing data are shown in this paper [“Neutron Repulsion”, The APEIRON Journal, in press (2011) 19 pages]: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1102.1499v1

    Climategate exposed an international alliance that has been using government science in the manner that former President Eisenhower warned might happen one day in his 1961 farewell address:

  2. Mark T said

    I’ve said it before… if an engineer said “i’m XX% certain the radar will detect the missile” without demonstrating how XX% was calculated, after the room stopped laughing said engineer would be taken off the contract.

    Morons…

    Mark

  3. Carrick said

    Thanks for the not-blogging post, Jeff. ;-)

    Let’s just say I’m somewhere between you and Zeke.

    I think the 1°C/doubling could probably be quantified.

    I don’t think the surface temperature record is in quite as big a mess as you suggest (I’m at the point that I don’t think the way it’s being handled in any of the codes gives a reliable reconstruction of global mean temperature prior to 1950 though).

    I do agree that the paleo-reconstructions are a big mess. I don’t think they are an important piece of the puzzle (the questions at hand is what happens when you add CO2 to force climate, and how large that forcing must become before it becomes dominant).

    I note that neither Zeke nor his supports will admit to even what is found in the IPCC: It is unnecessary to invoke anthropogenic warming prior to 1970 (that sort of makes getting the record prior to 1950 right, but my own calculations suggest that some artificial warming is being added for that period).

    Anyway hope things are going well in non-blog land.

  4. Brian H said

    Hear! Hear! from here.

    Edit note: speaking of homonyms:
    “station sighting is a real factor.” Unless they’re hard to find, s/b “station siting”.

    IMO, this set of posts floats both Lucia and Judith well above the “lukewarmer” band, into the “desperately rationalizing Warmist” club.

    And to re-iterate my LOUD objection to the degradation of statistical standards:
    95% confidence is GARBAGE, in anything more rigorous than the squishiest of Soft Social Wannabe-Sciences. This is the SPECIFIC target of Feynman’s “Cargo Cult Science“. Going through a sham of a simulation in hopes the planes might land. Please re-re-re-re-read.

  5. Viv Evans said

    Outstanding dissection, JeffId, especially since you’re not blogging …
    :-)

  6. A C Osborn said

    Jeff, I am really glad to see you “Not Blogging”.

  7. […] Crystalline Silicon Ball […]

  8. A C Osborn said

    Jeff, re this item “A doubling of carbon dioxide, holding everything else equal, would lead to a global average surface temperature increase of about 1 C”

    There is a request for help on Statistics at the Site & Thread

    http://theinconvenientskeptic.com/2011/02/climate-sensitivity-help-needed/

    Can you suggest someone who could help?

  9. Ceri Reid said

    Nailed it.

    And I think you’re right to have stopped blogging. Life’s too short to get bogged down in this nonsense unless you’re being paid for it. Get on with real life.

  10. Dallas said

    LOL, I tend to agree with the 1 C and the life span of CO2 because I don’t have the energy to debate them. 0.6 to 1.6 seems like a likely range for CO2 alone, not because of a good derivation, but because of the average of the guesses. Clouds/natural variability is what I focus on because the 1910 to 1945 rise is likely due to natural variability with limited solar (~0.1). That leave clouds, oscillation etc. about 0.1 to 0.2 C forcing that is reversible. Anyway,if solar TSI is as limited as Leif and others estimate, natural variability has a stronger role.

  11. Chuck L said

    Excellent, succint summary. I hope you have been enjoying your blogging vacation/retirement.

  12. As mentioned in the first post here, Climategate exposed an international alliance manipulating and distorting science in the way former President Eisenhower warned might happen one day in his 1961 farewell address.

    The participants include Al Gore and many world leaders, the UN’s IPCC, the US National Academy of sciences, the International Alliance of National Academies of Science, the UK’s Royal Society, leading research journals (Science, Nature, PNAS, etc.), the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee, public and private news media, etc.

    There is little doubt that this group promoted the international web of deceit about AGW. Leaders of the Western scientific establishment were involved!

    My experience from 50 years of research in a multidisciplinary area (nuclear geo-, cosmo-chemistry, stable isotope mass spectrometry, and space sciences) suggests that the same pattern of deceit has infiltrated many areas of science beyond climatology:

    Astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, nuclear and particle physics, solar and space studies.

    The post from Zeke diverted attention away from the central issue that threatens our society – misuse of science as a tool of propaganda – and directed it toward finding the elements of fact in the deceptive AGW story.

    The AGW story contains some factual information, as does other well-designed propaganda on the Sun’s origin, composition and source of energy.

    Global warming occurred as atmospheric levels of CO2 increased. The top of the Sun’s atmosphere is ~91 % hydrogen. H-fusion occurs in the Sun. Etc.

    Instead of trying to identify the factual information in the webs of propaganda about AGW, SSM (standard solar model), etc., I recommend that we focus on finding ways to correct the flaws in government science to protect ourselves and future generationsliving in the Brave New World described by Aldous Huxley or 1984 described by George Orwell.

    http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/1984/

  13. Bruce said

    “Recent warming is unprecedented over the past millennium”

    Completely false. The BIG LIE.

    1910 to 1940 warming alone matches the so-called recent warming.

    BZZZZZZZZZZZZT. FAIL. ZEKE LOSES!

    Before the Team decided to eradicate the MWP, and Hansen tweaked the data to cool the 1930s, the MWP and the 1930s were clearly warmer.

  14. “third left” actually, but there is some indication that we are beginning to right ourselves.

  15. Paul in Sweden said

    “Carrick said
    February 27, 2011 at 2:50 am

    Thanks for the not-blogging post, Jeff. ;-)

    That goes double for me Jeff. I waited a few days then I moved you down about 40-50 positions in my CAGWC(Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Cooling) live bookmarks. That didn’t last long so I had to move you back up again. Always good to see a post from you. ;)

    > 95% probability

    Years go by, it is hard to remember if it was AR4 or the TAR, but there was a feeble attempt by the IPCC to illustrate their lack of knowledge on all the various components they imagined comprised our climate. Sometimes a picture is a thousand words, sometimes it is “War and Peace”. The IPCC graphic basically illustrated that they collectively had little understanding of the components of our climate that they “believed” they were aware. After viewing the self-confessed ignorance claims of “> 95% probability” everything else just about fell on deaf ears.

    Does anyone recall the graphic I refer to above?

  16. Good one Jeff, I find I am in closer agreement with you than Zeke, although some differences. Not sure if it has got under my skin enough to do a post on it – like you too many other priorities.

  17. On blog-list position—truth is, I don’t read this one all the time–way over my head.

    But when I read or heard that it was going belly up, I decided to put it back on the list.

    My point here is,my list is semi automated in alphabetical sequence. So yopu are either on it, or you are not. (does not preclude being bookmarked in “interesting sites” or some such.

    But I am glad to see you back–much as I agree with Ayn Rand, it terrifies me when people “John Galt” under the pressure from the mindless horde.

    And I think “belief” is good for religion (and I have beliefs), but not for science.

  18. Rob R said

    Nice to see you not blogging again.

    I’m with you to at least 90% confidence.

    Because I don’t have the energy to sort through contradictory info I am prepared to accept that, in isolation, there may be a theoretical temp impact from CO2 of about 0.5 to 1 deg C per doubling. But what does isolation mean and is such a concept meaningful?

    I suspect that the so called instrumental record of increasing land surface temperature for the 20th/21st century is more junk than science. My approach is to “think global but act local”. Zeke has been looking at GHCN (I think) and analysing global trends. I am looking at my own back yard (South island, New Zealand). My view, based on extensive analysis of all the available data, is that there has been zero statistically significant warming in the South Island since 1950. Thats 60 years of zero significant trend. This is not really possible unless there is near to zero trend in sea surface temperatures for the South Pacific and Southern Oceans (a rather big fraction of the globe.

    Here is the thing though. The numbers that one gets by analysing GHCN data for the South Island tell a different (warming) story. The problem is that for my local area the climate station records that are in GHCN are, either by design or by chance, not a good representation of temperature trends in this small region. There are less than ten sites represented in GHCN out of more than 180 that are available. These sites are biased towards urban centres and airports. They are not representative of temperature trends in the (very rural) South Island. The same pattern exists with the NIWA analysis of temperature trends in this region, i.e. biased towards non-representative sites.

    What would happen to the global temperature trend the if data available in each sub-region were rigorously checked for quality, including unanounced site changes, spurious UHI effects, improper splicing of records from multiple sites, changes of site altitude, incorrect designation as to rural vs urban satus etc? The global historical surface temperature data needs a very thorough site by site, region by region audit with a well defined set auditing standards. For instance a vauge “night-lights” designation of ruralness is just not good enough for me (sorry Mosh). There are spurious trends at rural sites. This is not just an urban problem. A prime example is the Grassmere Saltworks site near Blenheim. Obviously rural (if classified by nightlights) but also clearly “industrial”. Here there is a steep warming trend that is not matched at any other rural site within that part of the South Island. The warming trend almost certainly relates to the activities undertaken in the vicinity of the climate station.

    The point is not that Grassmere is part of the global temp dataset (it is not). The point is that similar effects at other staions certainly are incorporated in the global data.

    At the moment we simply do not know what the trend in land surface temperature is around the globe. Ross McKitrick has demonstrated this very well. Until we do know the real global rural (land and ocean) temperature trend all the rest is just “p-ss-ng into the wind”. Until then there is no way we can attribute any trend to greenhouse gases (or natural factors) on the sole basis of thermometer readings. So we are left with the satellite record and any problems inherent in that dataset.

    End of rant.

  19. Derek said

    AGW = SCIENCE LOST.

    It really is that simple, the politicians and bureaucrats (and their paymasters) have won.
    The Zeke and Judith Curry posts and discussions just prove the point, and the posters can not even see it.

    Whilst re-reading something earlier today I actually read Eli’s comment 99 in the below thread here at the Air Vent.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/12/19/fixing-the-basic-agw-calculations/

    It amazes and saddens me no one has picked up on such a stupid set of remarks by Eli Rabbet,
    maybe it is just a sad reflection of “things” at present.

    It would seem with science’s own demise it has (mostly) taken reason, free thinking, and critical thinking down with it as well,
    as well as the almost seemingly complete absence of
    the proper understanding and use of the scientific method by the rest of “us” to question the “experts” conclusions and opinions with.

    Maybe someone could pass my comments on to Eli in this thread at the GWS forum.
    http://www.globalwarmingskeptics.info/forums/thread-1114.html – Post 3.
    I would particularly like to go over his version or rather attempted “explanation” and “justification” of what dividing P by 4 is.
    He appears to be suggesting the dark side of the planet equals 2, and the lit side of the planet equals 2, which I agree with,
    but that means the earth is under a 1/4 permanent and constant solar “haze”, ie, it is not rotating in the K&T type plots, AND climate models.

  20. chuckr said

    Rob R,
    He is not blogging and we are all good with his continued status on not blogging.

  21. curious said

    Thanks for engaging on this one Jeff – needed a post from someone with established credibility to ask for the hard evidence. I look forward to the answers!

  22. kim said

    I love not commenting.
    ============

  23. boballab said

    @15

    Paul I think you might be thinking about this chart from the 4AR Working Group 1, SPM which can be found here:

    Which is part of this pdf: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/spmsspm-human-and.html

    In the Level Of Scientific Understanding column the only ones that are rated High are CO2 and CH4. Ozone gets a Medium. Albedo and Total Aerosol (Direct Effect) gets a Medium-low rating. Everything else (including TSI) gets a low rating.

  24. Bruce said

    Can anyone who believes in AGW answer a simple set of questions?

    Has every other variable been accounted for? Is sunshine hours reasonably identical at each temperature station over the claimed period? Are they the same temperature stations? Are they the same thermometers? It H2O in the atmosphere reasonably identical over the claimed period? Methane? Has the earther ever warmed without CO2? If so, what caused it and why do you think it didn’t happen for the claimed period of AGW?

    Etc etc.

    AGW is bogus. Its a con.

    It isn’t even warming at airports anymore!!!! You got rid of most of the non-airport thermometers and you still can’t get it any warmer than 1998. The USA is still not warmer than 1934! New Zealand isn’t warmer.

    What are the chance that CO2 caused AGW is valid?

    0%

  25. stan said

    I believe with 99+% certainty that climate science is infected with a virulent strain of hubris. For people who can’t take the temperature properly, have no quality control in the databases, routinely butcher their statistics and software, and never bother to audit or replicate anyone else’s work, they sure are sure of themselves — cause they got some computers which can’t make predictions on account of how they aren’t verified/validated. But they just call them projections and use them as predictions anyhow.

    And don’t be asking them for the data, methods, or code. They are too busy saving the world to mess with any of this scientific method stuff.

  26. Richard111 said

    Being as its my birthday and I’ve had a couple of tots, I thought I’d pop in for old times sake, and here you are; not blogging!

    I like talking to people face to face and I am dying to meet these activists that out tax money is being used for to recruit warmers to take the “message to the people on the streets”.

    I want to ask if they are breathing? Do they know they put out CO2 at 40,000ppmv? Do they realise this adds up to some 850grams of CO2 per person per day? This means that 0.85 times 7,000,000,000 KILOS of CO2 are produced just by people! EVERY DAY! If they seem to be able to absorb that I then inform them that ANTS out mass people ten to one! They produce 10 times more CO2 than people!
    What are they going to do about the ants?
    I could go on and on… think what a whale puts out when its been holding its breath for nearly an hour. Phew!

  27. Beth Cooper said

    Even when not blogging, you speak science sense, Jeff. :-)

  28. steveta_uk said

    Jeff,

    hope you’re still not reading comments while not blogging.

    Over at WUWT it appears someone is trying to make you “fantastically happy to see just what BASIC derivation creates these numbers”.

    See this paper linked by Anthony here

  29. Jeff Id said

    #28, it is only a time issue. I very much enjoyed blogging. I will check out the post.

  30. BlueIce2HotSea said

    It is worth repeating that the estimate of climate sensitivity has proved stubbornly resistant to refinement. As recently as 2006, Jim Hansen was claiming 3C +- 1C, down from 4 & 5C. In 2008, his estimate is 6C.

    Note Dr. Curry’s estimate:

    curryja | February 26, 2011 at 8:04 pm
    …To bound at a 90% level, I would say the bounds need to be 0-10C.

    Her 0C sensistivity on the low side doesn’t exactly endear Dr. Curry to the warmists, likewise with 10C for the skeptics. IMO her point is about the UNCERTAINTY.

    After 30 years and 10’s of billions in research, nailing down sensitivity has turned out more difficult than putting astronauts on the moon.

  31. […] found myself agreeing mostly with Jeff Id’s post about it,  but much of that is gut feeling.  There are a couple of Zeke’s statements where […]

  32. […] on them. This idea was commented upon by several blogs and scientists. Judith Curry, Anthony Watts, Jeff Id, and Pielke Sr. all contributed. I want to focus on Pielke’s response, because he challenges […]

  33. […] on them. This idea was commented upon by several blogs and scientists. Judith Curry, Anthony Watts, Jeff Id, and Pielke Sr. all contributed. I want to focus on Pielke’s response, because he challenges a […]

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