the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Natural Warming

Posted by Jeff Id on June 8, 2010

Roy Spencer has another interesting post where he uses PDO, AMO and SOI to predict the warming post 1978. He used the 3 factors and temperature to calculate a weighting factor in pre-1960 and it resulted in a prediction of warming in the post 1978 timeframe.  Recently Eric Steig challenged us to be skeptical of Dr, Spencer’s last article but few of us spent any time with it, this time I think the answers are a little easier to see and are therefore less work.

Now Dr. Spencer described his methods like this.

I used the period from 1900 through 1960 for “training” to derive this statistical relationship, then applied it to the period 1961 through 2009 to see how well it predicted the yearly temperature change rates for that 50 year period. Then, to get the model-predicted temperatures, I simply added up the temperature change rates over time.

Pretty simple really.  What’s amazing is that he was able to get the following plot from these methods.

That is an excellent match to temperature with nearly all of the warming explained using only AMO, PDO and SOI as factors.  So this is what Dr. Spencer concluded:

Again I want to emphasize that my use of the temperature change rate, rather than temperature, as the predicted variable is based upon the expectation that these natural modes of climate variability represent forcing mechanisms — I believe through changes in cloud cover — which then cause a lagged temperature response.

I love the explanation, it could very well be correct in my opinion.

This is powerful evidence that most of the warming that the IPCC has attributed to human activities over the last 50 years could simply be due to natural, internal variability in the climate system. If true, this would also mean that (1) the climate system is much less sensitive to the CO2 content of the atmosphere than the IPCC claims, and (2) future warming from greenhouse gas emissions will be small.

There are some problems I have with the post.

1 – Why is it assumed that SOI, AMO and PDO are 100% natural forcings, unaffected by CO2 warming?

2 – What are the weightings determined in the 3 way relationship.

With respect to 1, it seems to me that global warming needs to affect the water if we want to see air temp changes.  If the water isn’t warmed, then the air won’t warm, so when did we determine that AMO and PDO are 100% natural?   They may be, but they also might not be right?

With respect to 2, long term Air Vent readers all know what happens when multivariate regressions are used to fit noisy data together.  There is a substantial chance for crazy weighting factors which may favor AMO, PDO or SOI over all the other factors.  In this case the weightings could properly match the affect of these natural factors as well but we don’t know.

I just read some of the comments over there, it’s nice that he is allowing comments lately.  His comments were interesting after writing the above:

Bob:
Yes, the SOI regression coefficient was negative, while the PDO and AMO coefficients were positive. This should have been obvious from the first figure in my post.

The degree to which one of the climate indicies is (or is not) correlated to another, or lagged in time versus another, is interesting, but not necessary for what I am demonstrating. All I am hypothesizing is that these indicies (the PDO, AMO, and SOI) have associated with them non-feedback changes in the radiative budget of the Northern Hemisphere….probably due to circulation-induced changes in albedo due to clouds.

If this is not the case for one or more of the climate indicies, then the multiple linear regression procedure will assign little or no weight to that index. The possibility of an accidental statistical relationship is greatly reduced by the fact that I trained with pre-1960 data, to then explain the post-1960 warming: an independent test.

– Roy

When he writes — “This should have been obvious from the first figure in my post.”  I happen to disagree with this statement completely.  While the relationship seems to be inverted, in noisy data regression, you often don’t know what you will get.  That is one of the problems with large scale multivariate methods like Michael Mann has been employing to mash proxy data together causing things like upside down thermometers.  Using these methods, all you can do is minimize the inverted weightings to the best possible extent.

Anyway, while the exercise is interesting in that we can look at these factors and come up with a reasonable approximation of temperature, I wonder if the weightings are of reasonable magnitude and just how is it that we know warming PDO is natural?

225 Responses to “Natural Warming”

  1. j ferguson said

    “Recently Eric Steig challenged us to be skeptical of Dr, Spencer’s last article,…”

    This is a wonderful thing. The implication is that there will be a level playing field and fair contention and analysis.

    At WUWT, Anthony quoted a counter-skeptic who wondered why we “skeptics” were more accepting of analyses posted at WUWT, than the consensus blogs.

    Here we know that the challenges will be heard and munched on.

  2. Sam said

    Here is another of Spencer’s comments:

    “Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D. says:
    June 7, 2010 at 6:36 AM

    I haven’t looked at that…this was the result of a couple of hours of work on the weekend, and I didn’t mean to start a whole new research effort. Just get people thinking.”

    While this is very interesting, this comment doesn’t inspire confidence. If he is sure of his results, why claim it was only the result of a few hours and that it isn’t intended to be further researched?

  3. jeff id said

    #2 Blogs are for playing around with stuff. I think it’s fine that he hasn’t explored all the avenues. I didn’t see where he showed his work though and that is a much better way IMO to blog. At least others can evaluate results.

  4. David S said

    I’m not sure his remarks are supposed to inspire confidence, and in that sense this may be quite refreshing. From Pachauri downwards, we have seen too many people seeking to inspire confidence or make conversions, rather than just advancing the science. Given the lack of understanding of the causes and effects of cloud cover variability, and the uncertainty over paleo records, a conjecture that provokes thought may be a greater contribution than a theory that is dressed up to be more convincing than it deserves.

  5. Eric Steig said

    Jeff. you are certainly right that this one is a bit less work.
    That’s because it’s quite obvious on the face of it — as you observed — that the assumption that the PDO, etc. are ‘natural only’ is not reasonable. Indeed, working definitions of the PDO and SOI, and AMO, are all, based on the observed climate, including whatever may be a forced component (including both anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic) forcings. There is zero possibility that they are uncontaminated ‘natural variability’. You simply cannot get a the ‘natural variability’ this way.

    At the risk of sounding being accused of making an ad hominem attack (which I am not doing), this is a clear example of why Spencer has very little respect among his fellow scientists. He’s not alone — plenty of mainstream scientists (‘warmists’ you would call them) make this sort of elementary mistake too. (For example, here: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2010GL042793.shtml). That doesn’t make it any more defensible though. Whether it is done by a ‘skeptic’ or not, it’s the height of amateur naivete.

    To put this another way, one reason why most of us don’t bother engaging with ‘skeptics’ is that they haven’t generally done their homework, so we’re not even on the same page most of the time. This is a prime example.

    For some discussion on this from someone who understands the issues much better than I do — and clearly much better than Spencer does — read Gavin Schmidt’s post “On attribution”, here:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/05/on-attribution

  6. timetochooseagain said

    5-Gavin’s post “on attribution” contains many things I must object to (and I, you may notice, raised the major issues that this post notes in Roy’s comment thread (I am “Andrew” as you may or may not know). In particular, the derision of statistics, and the claim that “unprecedented” doesn’t matter. In point of fact, determining whether a change is “unprecedented” may be the only clear way to get a statistical estimate of the null hypothesis to be tested. Gavin prefers assuming that the model’s null hypotheses of their unforced variability are realistic, which is not necessarily correct (indeed, I would bet it’s just wrong). But we need to understand the natural variability in the real world to get a realistic probability distribution.

    I am reminded of Lord Kelvin’s attempts to determine the age of the Earth. Up against crank geologists who believed the Earth had an infinite age, and rabid Darwinists who insisted that the Earth must be very old (pitching fossils against physics) against the best thermodynamics. But there was a factor missing from Kelvin’s model, radioactive decay, which made him flat wrong. He was a great scientist, but one would think that people would have learned not to arrogantly believe that they know all they need to to definitively determine such things. But Gavin is sure that in making this attribution, he has all the relevant factors considered. I wouldn’t bet on it if I were him.

  7. Tamara said

    I think it is important to remember that the consensus explanation required the inclusion of a cooling forcing by aerosols in order to create an agreement between CO2 forcing and the temperature record. The sudden warming trend was apparently caused by the Clean Air Act.😉
    Also, the PDO, AMO, etc. are just short hand explanations for climate conditions with definable characteristics. IOW they are just names that we have given to natural phenomena (a rose is a rose). All Spencer has done is show that climate conditions (whatever you call them) that existed pre-1960 can be used to predict climate conditions post-1960. CO2 changed dramatically, but the climate pattern did not. The model is not aware of the fact that CO2 increased after 1960, so it assumed that any forcing from CO2 remained the same for both periods.

  8. Sam said

    I read Gavin’s article and I don’t understand this section:

    In all of the above [models], estimates are required of the magnitude and patterns of internal variability. These can be derived from model simulations (for instance in their pre-industrial control runs with no forcings), or estimated from the observational record. The latter is a problematic because there is no ‘clean’ period where there was only internal variability occurring – volcanoes, solar variability etc. have been affecting the record even prior to the 20th Century. Thus the most straightforward estimates come from the GCMs.

    If there is no period of observation in which there were no external forcings present, what good is a model that creates one? Then you are only using a model to obtain variability in order to create another model. Given that Gavin admits estimations are needed, wouldn’t using a model to obtain variability for another model amplify any mistakes substantially?

  9. timetochooseagain said

    8-Bingo. Using GCMs to estimate the internal variability is an exercise fraught with problems. There is no way to know if the estimates are correct. However, paleoclimate might offer a possibility of falsifying the variability the models produce if past changes are incompatible with the variability levels models show even with forcing. This is why I think Gavin misses the significance of “unprecedented” in attribution. If recent warming isn’t “unprecedented” in recent history, there must be some natural variability which is not present in models which fail to predict such a thing occurring. It wouldn’t prove that recent warming was caused by the same thing, but it would mean that the key assumption of the attribution argument, that the models have correct natural variability, is less credible.

  10. Louis6439 said

    To Eric Steig:

    I think most would agree with your statement that “the assumption that the PDO, etc. are ‘natural only’ is not reasonable. Indeed, working definitions of the PDO and SOI, and AMO, are all, based on the observed climate, including whatever may be a forced component (including both anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic) forcings. There is zero possibility that they are uncontaminated ‘natural variability’.”

    You then state “one reason why most of us don’t bother engaging with ‘skeptics’ is that… we’re not even on the same page most of the time.”

    Please take this opportunity to bring us all on the same page. I am quite sure that most of us very much want to know, just what is the human attribution to the PDO, SOI, and AMO? After all, this is very the heart of the AGW debate. Your broken link to an AGU article and Gavin Schmidt’s Op-Ed simply raise more questions than they answer. So please enlighten us.

  11. Tim said

    #5 – Eric

    I don’t think Gavin’s arguments on attribution are any more compelling that Roy’s. Both arguments rely on cherry picking parameter values in order to produced the desired outcome. The main difference is Roy is open about doing that and is only using his models to show that there are plausible alternate explanations for the warming.

    That is the trouble with the ‘nothing but CO2 can explain it’ argument used by climate modellers – it is extremely weak and depends entirely on judgement calls about estimates. For example, there are people that say the claim that aerosols ‘cancelled out’ the warming in the 70s are extremely implausible yet that does not stop modellers from accept those estimates as fact.

  12. Eric Steig said

    Louis:

    you wrote:
    Please take this opportunity to bring us all on the same page. I am quite sure that most of us very much want to know, just what is the human attribution to the PDO, SOI, and AMO? After all, this is very the heart of the AGW debate. Your broken link to an AGU article and Gavin Schmidt’s Op-Ed simply raise more questions than they answer. So please enlighten us.

    Two quick things: I’ll find and fix the AGU link when I get a chance. If you want help with Gavin’s Op-Ed, you should go over to RC and ask him. If you ask nicely — and don’t make unfounded claims about what modelers do or not know think — I am confident he’ll answer you in a helpful way.

    One longer thing: We don’t know what the human attribution to SOI, PDO, and AMO is! That’s a fundamental question in active climate research. My only point is that Spencers implicit assumption that their *observed* variability is all natural makes no sense. There are certainly underlying natural phenomena that explain these patterns in the climate system, but the only one that is well understood is the SOI. If Spencer could use a purely ‘natural’ time series in his calculations, he would have a point, perhaps. But he can’t. [Tamara (above) entirely misses this point when saying “All Spencer has done is show that climate conditions (whatever you call them) that existed pre-1960 can be used to predict climate conditions post-1960.” No, that’s not what Spencer’s doing. He’s using post-1960 climate to predict, um.. post-1960 climate Nothing is learned from this!]

    Don’t confuse the points here. I’m not saying that everything that Gavin’s post addresses is necessarily fully understood. I’m just saying what Spencer is saying does not make sense. Gavin’s post may not explain why to your satisfaction. But this isn’t complicated, and Jeff ID obviously got this right away. If Jeff and I agree, then we’re probably both right😉

  13. timetochooseagain said

    What Eric is saying, and he is right, is that we are just back to square one. It seems to me the only way to definitively identify which climate variations are “natural” versus anthropogenic, we’ll need to constrain the anthropogenic forcings (aerosols are a key area of uncertainty here, but there are lots of forcings which need more investigate) and the sensitivity of the system, to within tolerable levels of uncertainty, and use that information to take the anthropogenic effects out What will be left will be the natural variations, with any errors in the data and any effects from error in the sensitivity estimates and forcing estimates. At present, doing this isn’t feasible because there is large uncertainty in sensitivity and the forcings. What we are left with is, could we currently be underestimating natural variability and it’s potential contribution? I would say, probably. That adds further to the uncertainty.

  14. John F. Pittman said

    Re: Eric Steig (Jun 8 18:15),

    My only point is that Spencers implicit assumption that their *observed* variability is all natural makes no sense.

    Eric, the IPCC assumed and stated its assumption that the warming past 1970 was mainly anthropogenic and then set a series of models, assumptions, and statements to support this claim. They did not actually have a mechanism to separate the natural temperature change from the anthropogenic change. They also used other criteria as Spencer is doing. If Spencer can make his case, his methodology is similar if not the same as the IPCC; though much reduced, as 1 person or 1 small team, compared to the IPCC would need to be to publish in any foreseeable time frame.

    BTW I find fault with both as answers. I would conclude that such methodology indicates where research needs to be concentrated or directed, not conclusions for policy making.

  15. Kenneth Fritsch said

    I agree whole heartily with Jeff ID’s view on this one. To me it can be summarized rather easily tyhat without some prioris on the use of 3 climate indexes what was done can become an excercise in data snoopin and fitting. I saw this in investment strategies where the believers would declare that they did not understand how so few criteria could provide a good fit for an investment model with and this is the is in-sample data were used.

    Not to trade ad homs with Eric, but one can use PCA and then without prioris or a good rule in hand (there are not any for PCA) select the number of PCs that best fit whatever it is you are attempting to show. And that is why I do not take on faith or face value what climate scientists produce whether they be advocates or skeptics.

  16. Kenneth Fritsch said

    I was being hurried by SWMBO to get the grill started on my last post so let me try again.

    I agree whole heartily with Jeff ID’s view on this one. To me it can be summarized rather easily that without some a prioris on the use of 3 climate indexes what was done can become an excercise in data snooping and fitting. I saw this in investment strategies where the believers would declare that they did not understand how so few criteria could provide a good fit for an investment model with, and this is the critical part, in-sample, as opposed to out-of-sample, data were used.

    Not to trade ad homs with Eric, but one can use PCA and then without a prioris or a good rule in hand (there are not any good ones for PCA) select the number of PCs that best fit whatever it is you are attempting to show. And that is why I do not take on faith or face value what climate scientists produce whether they be advocates or skeptics.

  17. RomanM said

    Re: Eric Steig (Jun 8 18:15),

    One longer thing: We don’t know what the human attribution to SOI, PDO, and AMO is! That’s a fundamental question in active climate research. My only point is that Spencers implicit assumption that their *observed* variability is all natural makes no sense.

    I’m not sure that it is as cut-and-dried meaningless as you say it is.

    What Dr. Spencer is trying to do in his “model” is to predict the post 1960 climate behavior using the numerical relationship between the indices of the various phenomena and the NH temperatures. Using climate science terminology, he “calibrates” the model on the pre-1960 data and “validates” on the post-1960 values.

    What he purports to have shown is that the validation fit is good enough to claim that the relationship between these factors and the temperature series is the same in both time periods.

    Now obviously it follows that since there has been a substantial increase in CO2 in the later period, for the CO2 to have an effect on the temperatures, it must have exerted this effect through (or the effect must be visible in) changes in the behavior of these predictors.

    Is this the case? Has the pattern of PDO, SOI and AMO changed between the two time sectors? If the natural phenomena are really “natural” then CO2 has little or no effect. He has simply rephrased the question in a different environment. I don’t think it should be dismissed out of hand.

    Tamara (above) entirely misses this point when saying “All Spencer has done is show that climate conditions (whatever you call them) that existed pre-1960 can be used to predict climate conditions post-1960.” No, that’s not what Spencer’s doing. He’s using post-1960 climate to predict, um.. post-1960 climate Nothing is learned from this!

    No… He is using the pre-1960 relationship between the factors to predict, um …post-1960 climate.

  18. “There is zero possibility that they are uncontaminated ‘natural variability’. You simply cannot get a the ‘natural variability’ this way”

    So Roy Spencer cannot ‘get’ the natural variability separated from the anthropogenic forcings. But the IPCC can somehow separate the anthropogenic contribution to the global temperature anomaly, over and above the ‘naturally expected temperature rise’.

    Yes, I think I heard Gavin say that.

  19. Duster said

    Dr. Steig,

    “One longer thing: We don’t know what the human attribution to SOI, PDO, and AMO is! That’s a fundamental question in active climate research. My only point is that Spencers implicit assumption that their *observed* variability is all natural makes no sense….”

    This simply wrong. The implicit assumption for evidence of AGW, as advanced by proponents of global climate change forced by human activity, has been that a period of unprecedented warming since the ’50s or ’60s is due to anthropogenic influence, specifically the increased emission of CO2 since the end of WW II or thereabouts. In short then, “Spencer’s implicit assumption” is logically identical to this key assumption in the AGW hypothesis. His model-training period is the last period of “precedented warming” if you will, prior to the period during which, we are assured, anthropogenic emission of CO2 becomes an important, “unprecedented” climatic influence. So the hypothesis tested is simply whether a combination of known pre-existing variables: PDO, SOI, and AMO, trained on the “natural” period can reproduce climatic patterns during the “unnatural” period of interest. His quick and easy weekend model indicates that this may be possible. Again, Spencer’s assumptions regarding the baseline period are logically no different than those made by IPCC modelers and his model adheres to Occam’s Razor, which the IPCC models do not.

  20. Jeff Id said

    #17, That’s how I see it also. Spencers post isn’t a totally unreasonable post or conclusion except the part about claiming it’s all natural. If CO2 were the driving factor, what Spencer has shown is that CO2 has affected these metrics enough that they can predict climate or potentially that the trend is natural.

    What it does do is force the models to explain the change in these metrics.

  21. Jeff Id said

    #19, You are 100% correct about the baseline period, but consider that the changes in these measurements may be a result of man made forcing. That’s where the argument breaks down. Now, modelers must explain how the increased CO2 affects these three measurements such that global warming can be calculated directly from them.

  22. j ferguson said

    If you substituted “almost entirely” for “all” in front of natural, does Spencer then not succumb to “it cannot be totally natural?” or “mostly?”

    This can’t be binary because there cannot be”no” anthropogenic effect, but I can’t believe he would have meant that.

  23. Andrew Suprun said

    Eric Steig’s point, as I understand it, Dr Spencer’s work has no scientific value because PDO, SOI and AMO may have anthropogenic influence. On the contrary, I think that it is Eric who misses the point and Dr. Spencer’s work is invaluable. Here is why. The IPCC hypothesis is that global warming is caused by direct co2 warming amplified by water vapor feedback. However, if Dr. Spencer is correct and PDO, SOI and AMO may explain current temperature trends (natural or anthropogenic) IPCC theory (CO2 + water vapor) is out of window. That leaves IPCC to find CO2 impact on PDO, SOI and AMO. And that is BFD.

  24. BarryW said

    Dr. Spencer has shown a correlation appears to exist that has predictive capability. Correlation is not causation. The next step is to be able to relate the indices to physical phenomena. Accepting or rejecting at this point is bad science. Remember there is still hand waving involved in how CO2 can explain the last ten years of data. Now if CO2 does not correlate with these indices then it would appear to invalidate the models that depend on CO2 for the warming. Conversely, Dr Spencer needs to validate his contention that his cloud cover hypothesis does explain these indices better than CO2. All the rest is just “blogviation”

  25. tonyb said

    I was interested in the second graph shown in the report and therfore intrigued to come aross this graph which shows SST at High latitudes in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres from 1880.

    My original interest was in learning how much Co2 could have been outgased in the 1920-1940 period if all the oceans of the world warmed together. (The figure is around 8ppm per one tenth of a degree C rise apparently)

    Presumably All the various warming influences on the ocean came into play around 1920-1940 to create the synchronous warming which of course is picked up in the CRUTem figure.

    tonyb

  26. kdk33 said

    Steig is a skeptic!

    He’s asking Spencer to prove that ADO, PDO, and SOI are NOT affected by CO2. Proving a negative is a difficult proposition.

    Surely Steig is equally critical of climate models, all of which assume that every natural climate driver has been identified and quantified. Surely Steig recognizes the failure to prove that that are no unidentified natural climate drivers.

    For the sake of consistency, I expect him to post his rebuttal of climate models soon.

  27. cohenite said

    The idea that AGW has infiltrated natural climate factors is the last refuge of AGW and can produce some highly speculative results;

    http://ams.confex.com/ams/88Annual/techprogram/paper_133611.htm

    The logical conclusion of Meehl’s thesis is that AGW kept climate cooler than natural variation. More straightforwardly one can see that Modoki has not changed:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/07/there-is-nothing-new-about-el-nino.html

    Neither has the Walker Circulation manifested any AGW influence:

    http://landshape.org/enm/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/articletxt.pdf

    The paucity of the AGW position on this is evident from the Foster et al comment on the McLean et al paper on natural variation. Foster ‘proved’ that natural variation did not produce a trend in temperature, the paradigm of AGW, only AGW forcing did that. Either that is conclusive evidence that natural variation has not been ‘infiltrated’ or not; if not than, as I say if AGW does not exclusively, or at least dominantly, determine trend then the fall back position is that, if natural variation is the dominant factor, then AGW controls those factors. And that has no empirical basis.

  28. S. Geiger said

    Same comments I had on WUWT.

    1) how much are the indicies affected by GHG forcings (same question posed by most others here), and;
    2) is there any correlation for global or south hemi temps (or does that even matter…I guess Spencer is not claiming that for this particular set of weightings ?)

    Clearly the ‘model’ would have no predictive capability unless we currently can predict those indicies with any amount of accuracy.

    The only possible use I see (and this might be what Roman was saying) is to test whether the index values have statistically changed between the pre-GHG and the GHG timeframes….this might get to the point of how ‘natural’ they are.

  29. KevinUK said

    Eric Steig,

    As an acknowledged export on ‘unprecedented’ East Antarctica temperatures that could well be influenced by the Southern Ocean, could you please enlighten us all as to just how the GCMs fully account for natural climatic variability in the Southern Ocean and so separte this out from that due to man’s emissions of CO2. Could you then tell us what is the mechanism by which man’s emissions of CO2 and other GHGs effect the Southern Ocean’s SSTs.

    To help you here are some temperature plots of raw/homogenised GISS data for various stations in the Southern Ocean and/or on the East Antarctic coast line

    Port-aux-France, Kerguelen – http://www.climateapplications.com/GISSMaps/showstation.asp?wmostationcodeid=2179&wmoflag=0

    Marion Island – http://www.climateapplications.com/GISSMaps/showstation.asp?wmostationcodeid=2605&wmoflag=0

    Macquarie Island – http://www.climateapplications.com/GISSMaps/showstation.asp?wmostationcodeid=4292&wmoflag=0

    Mawson – http://www.climateapplications.com/GISSMaps/showstation.asp?wmostationcodeid=3780&wmoflag=0

    Casey – http://www.climateapplications.com/GISSMaps/showstation.asp?wmostationcodeid=3784&wmoflag=0

    Mirnyj – http://www.climateapplications.com/GISSMaps/showstation.asp?wmostationcodeid=3782&wmoflag=0

    Now please enlighten us all as to how the apparent 1940 to 1970s cooling trend shown in the charts above was caused by aerosol emissions in the Southern Hemisphere as the climate modellers would have us all believe rather than by the evident natural cyclic cooling and warming cycles of the Southern Ocean. Note sadly that most stations only have data in the GCHN/GISS starting from the 50s but the cooling is still clearly evident.

  30. Kenneth Fritsch said

    My point was what I thought was related to Jeff ID’s point but was not necessarily in line with Steig’s criticism. (By the way why does Steig appear and then disappear without engaging in the discussion. He says that skeptics are misinformed and thus difficult to engage, I guess. If he does any teaching he must have a problem with this kind of attitude.)

    The way I see what Spencer is doing is taking in-sample data and dividing it into two parts, but it is still all in-sample data. I know that investor strategies can find a period where there in-sample constructed strategies agree with heavily fitted data and, of course, by dividing it into training and test periods will continue to provide more or less good agreement. The finer point here is that the two periods selected have a difference of CO2 levels in the atmosphere and yet show essentially the same result. That makes for an interesting start for scientific study perhaps, but the method used could also have “discovered” a spurious relationship that is spurious in both periods of time.

    If Steig were arguing this point we could perhaps quiz him on how he made his selection (cutoff) of PCs in his Antarctic paper.

  31. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Another point that I think is important to note in the second appearing graph above is that the test period fits the data better than the training period. Why is that?

  32. Howard said

    The results are not surprising at all and it is also impossible to know at this stage what is natural and what is related to CO2 forcing. Also, does this “model” seems to confirm and extend the results from the JGR paper last year:

    McClean et al 2009

    I am glad to hear from Dr Steig that the underlying causes of these ocean circulation patterns are not yet sorted and is a hot research topic.

  33. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    It is nice of Eric to make some comments here. It is something would encourage him to do more often if possible.

    I do hope Eric returns and addresses a lest a couple of the replies to his comments (RomanM in particular).

    I would add that it is of course true that the influence of human activities on these cycles is not ever going to be easy to quantify exactly, but that being said,

    1) ENSO shows essentially no net trend over the entire period, so it is hard to see that a significant human influence is likely, and
    2) AMO is a time de-trended index, and so ought also to be mostly free of human influence if we assume that influence manifests itself as a positive trend in the index.

  34. kim said

    An excellent example of why the use of ad hominems, deliberate or incidental, rebound to the detriment of the user.
    =======================

  35. KevinUK said

    #25 TonyB

    Did you get that chart from Bob Tisdales web site? If so here’s another.

    which in turn is shown in this thread on his blog

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/12/does-anyone-recall-any-other-data-sets.html

    In both cases I’m sure the source of Bob’s charts is ERSSTv3b http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/sst/ersstv3.php

    Now how can Southern Ocean SSTs be ‘teleconnected’ to the no of hours of bright sunshine at Armagh Observatory? http://climate.arm.ac.uk/calibrated/sun/sun-text-plus-tabs.pdf. I must ask Michael Mann as I know he is an expert on teleconnections and hey if bristlecone pines can teleconnect to MGST then why not Southern Ocean SSTs to sunshine in Northern Ireland.

    I wonder what George Undy Yule Jnr (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udny_Yule) would have to say about this interesting correlation shown between MGST and ocean cycles shown in Roy Spencers PDO/AMO/ENSO model?

    I also wonder what Enrico Fermi (http://cmm.cit.nih.gov/~hassan/dyson.pdf) may have thought about the Eric Steig/IPCC GCM’s as well?

    “In desperation I asked Fermi whether he was not impressed by the agreement between our calculated numbers and his measured numbers. He replied, “How
    many arbitrary parameters did you use for your calculations?” I thought for a moment about our cut-off procedures and said, “Four.” He said, “I remember
    my friend Johnny von Neumann used to say, with four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.” With that, the conversation
    was over. I thanked Fermi for his time and trouble,and sadly took the next bus back to Ithaca to tell the bad news to the students.”

    Now how many parameterisations are there in the IPCC’s GCM’s? Is it four or five?

  36. KevinUK said

    #5 Eric Steig

    “At the risk of sounding being accused of making an ad hominem attack (which I am not doing), this is a clear example of why Spencer has very little respect among his fellow scientists. He’s not alone — plenty of mainstream scientists (‘warmists’ you would call them) make this sort of elementary mistake too. (For example, here: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2010GL042793.shtml). That doesn’t make it any more defensible though. Whether it is done by a ‘skeptic’ or not, it’s the height of amateur naivete.”

    Sorry missed that one hence another post.

    Since you think Roy Spencer ‘very litle respect among his fellow scientsists’ and is an ‘amateur’ and is ‘naive’, how’s about we discuss your ‘unprecedented warming in East Antarctica’ paper so that we all judge whether or not as a ‘mainstream scientist’ you have ever made any ‘elementary mistakes’ and so by your own criteria are also an ‘amateur’ and ‘naive’.

  37. KevinUK said

    Last post on this thread for today I promise.

    Courtesy of phlogiston over at WUWT

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/08/new-paper-barents-sea-temperature-correlated-to-the-amo-as-much-as-4%C2%B0c/

    Now Eric how’s about explaining to us how an odourless, tasteless trace gas in our atmospshere (CO2) causes the cycles in the AMO.

    Now don’t say that the SST data for the Barents Sea are wrong haven’t been sufficently adjusted yet as I know that the ‘good Dr Phil’ himself has advised Susan Solomon, and Kevin Trenberth et al that temperatures in SW Greenland and above the Artic circle in general were warmer in the 30s/40s than they are at present.

  38. harrywr2 said

    am said
    June 8, 2010 at 11:14 am

    “If he is sure of his results, why claim it was only the result of a few hours and that it isn’t intended to be further researched?”

    A basic premise on the AGW side is having ‘examined’ all the possible reasons for late 20th century warming, no other explanation was plausible. I.E. Because CO2 emissions were rising, and temperature was rising(correlation) then causation was proved.

    Radiative physics explains a portion of the warming.

    Spencer’s position has been fairly consistent.
    Spencer believes the ‘multipliers’ used by Hansen were part of naturally occurring cycles.
    Hansen believes the multipliers are induced.

  39. Carrick said

    KevinUK:

    Now Eric how’s about explaining to us how an odourless, tasteless trace gas in our atmospshere (CO2) causes the cycles in the AMO.

    The answer is simple really. It’s thought that radiative forcing from CO2 affects the amplitude of the atmospheric-ocean oscillations, increasing the amount of CO2 may commensurately affect their amplitudes.

  40. kim said

    Heh, I love your ‘it’s thought’, Carrick. Where is Leif Svalgaard to holler about mechanism.
    ================

  41. kdk33 said

    KevinUK,

    Let me summarize Carrick’s explanation: “because i said so”.

  42. Bill Illis said

    The ENSO or SOI has no trend at all. The Nino regions are one of the few areas in the oceans which have not exhibited a rising trend since measurements began (something which itself is unusual enough that it should be investigated). [One should use the Nino 3.4 Index instead of the SOI because we can clearly tie the Nino 3.4 to changing global temperatures and a solid physical explanation for the impact while the SOI does not clearly reflect the Nino 3.4 at all times].

    The AMO is already detrended to remove what might be considered an AGW trend. [The un-detrended AMO has actually risen quite substantially in the last 35 years but the actual AMO is detrended to remove this long-term increase].

    This is the Raw undetrended AMO figures (the chart hasn’t been updated in a year or so but you will see the idea).

    So, it is perfectly reasonable to conclude these indices are natural climate variables which are not contaminated by rising GHGs and AGW.

    Having said that, there does seem to an issue with how the methodology was implemented in this case and you can only get about half of the recent warming trend from these variables (if you assume they are natural cyclic climate variables which certainly seems to be the case to me and to most climate scientists).

  43. timetochooseagain said

    42-“AMO is already detrended to remove what might be considered an AGW trend.” and “it is perfectly reasonable to conclude these indices are natural climate variables which are not contaminated by rising GHGs and AGW”

    This assumes that the anthropogenic effect can be represented as a linear trend, at least in the AMO case. That does not seem to be a good assumption, since given the known greenhouse forcings, you would need a very strange aerosol history to get linear warming throughout the twentieth century from anthropogenic effects. The PDO uses a more sophisticated method of removing any potential signal from warming more generally, but I’m still not sure if it would work. Needs to be tested…

  44. Kenneth Fritsch said

    If you can see the potential or actuallity for data fitting in climate models and some of the other climate science works you surely must see that same potential for Spencer’s work here.

  45. tonyb said

    My #25 should read one full degree C not tenth of a degree.

    Tonyb

  46. tonyb said

    Kevin Uk

    Thanks for your #35. Mind you, if there’s one thing even more dubious than global land temperatures it is global sea temperatures 🙂

    My #25 should read one full degree C not tenth of a degree.

    Tonyb

  47. KevinUK said

    #46 Tony B,

    “if there’s one thing even more dubious than global land temperatures it is global sea temperatures”

    Over the years (I pre-date, moshpit, lucia and jeff id it would seem) I’ve been visiting CA, my favourite series of threads on CA has to be the ‘bucket adjustments’ threads. I ROLFLMAO when Steve M first blogged on the subject. Now remind me again what fraction of the earth’s surface that is covered by the oceans?

    So here we are, no one can really say to any degree of certainty what pre-1940 past temperatures were whether they be land or ocean temperatures (or why else would past temperature sned to be adjusted?). Even the post-1980 satelite era measurements whether they be for radiation budget, temperature, sea ice extent, sea level rise etc have to be ‘adjusted’. And yet the IPCC are at least 90% certain that the late 20th century warming trend is ‘unprecedented’ and has been caused by man’s emissions of GHGs (primarily CO2). They (the IPCC consensus of over 2500+ scientists) are so convinced of this fact that we are told that we ‘must act now!’ and spend trillions of dollars on de-carbonisonising our economies so that we can avoid the certain to be catastrophic effects (according to WG2) that future warming is going to have on our planet.

    Now where our those ruby slippers? ‘Click! click! There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home,there’s no place like home……’. For the sake of my sanity, please tell me that this is all a dream and I’m about to wake up from it?

  48. KevinUK said

    #42 Bill,

    I think for the others posting on this thread who so far have not researched natural climatic variability. Prhaps it’s therefore time to provide some definitions of what terms like PDO, AMO, ENSO, NAO, SOI etc mean. Now who is going to volunteer – are you Bill or should I? Any other takers?

    Natural climate variability is what used to be known as climate change until the IPCC hijacked the term for their own political ends and decided that from now on climate change is what is caused by man and that natural climatic variability doesn’t really have a cause but is rather just ‘noise’.

  49. tonyb said

    Kevin #47

    I met someone once who carried out the highly scientific bucket measure of temperature. To say the procedure was haphazard, chaotic and worthless would be putting it mildly. He was astonished that any credible body could take seriously the measurements that he-and many like him- created. So we have haphazard measurements taken on a tiny percentage of the earths oceans and believe we have a scientific data base?

    Tonyb

  50. tonyb said

    KevinUK #48

    Done.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/glossary/

    Please send payment to usual address. (Ps the last cheque from BP bounced)

    Tonyb

  51. cohenite said

    Is that the same Eric Steig as here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/20/steig-et-al-antarctica-warming-paper-process-is-finally-replicated-and-dealt-a-blow-to-robustness/#more-7950

    And here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/02/28/steigs-antarctic-heartburn/

  52. KevinUK said

    #51 Cohenite

    Yep, that is the very same Eric Steig!

    Now for those reading this thread who missed the threads link to above by Cohensite that discussed Eric ‘mainstream scientists who is respected by his peers’ Steig’s stirling work, please click on the links provided above by Cohenite. They, along with the threads on the same subject on CA, are well worth reading.

    After reading them you can then using Eric’s very own criteria (in #5 above) then judge whether or not you think Eric is an ‘amatuer’ and/or is ‘naive’.

  53. stumpy said

    I beleive the IPCC state these are natural forcings as their models cannot replicate them, they beleive they are due to deep ocean currents due to natural circulation patterns. I have never heard anyone on either side of the debate claim PDO etc.. are due to co2. So i think hes right on the first part.

    Natural oscillations are expected in a natural system (even populution follows a sine wave in nature), as nothing is ever constant, everything is fluctuating around some target of equilbrium, but the frquency and size of the ocillations can also change over time as the system gets closer to its target unless in some way perturbed i.e. due to volcanic activity, external forcings or coincidence with other ocillsations. How these many natural sine wave patterns interact with each other is the key to understanding and predicting climate. No point making forcasts until climate models can replicate these natural patterns that are the result of previous climate states thousands of years ago, due to the thermal memory of the sea, and changes in currents and the landmasses on longer term scales

  54. cohenite said

    Stumpy, in fact a lot of pro-AGW papers are asserting that major circulation and climatic factors are being determined in whole or part by CO2; I linked to the exotic Meehl paper above; others include just about anything from Vecchi:

    http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/~gav/REPRINTS/VS_07_GWnCIRC.final.pdf

    http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/bibliography/related_files/gav0602.pdf

    Power and Smith:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2007GL030854.shtml

    For a good rebuttal of this approach of AGW infiltration into macro-climate factors see:

    http://landshape.org/enm/weakening-of-the-walker-circulation/

  55. bob said

    I agree with Jeff for the most part, but I think that Dr Spencer can reasonably assume natural variability. To assume CO2 forcing in the effects is just that, another assumption since Steig admitted that nobody really knows, anyway.

    Steig’s use of the words “amateur naivete” shows him to be a bitter man. He would be better off removing those words from his vocabulary.

  56. Bill Illis said

    Perhaps Eric Steig could check the papers his partner Michael Mann has done on the AMO. [Mann recently said in an interview that he actually came up with the name for it in conjunction with an interview he gave to Nature’s Richard Kerr]. Both papers are actually some of the best ones done on the subject and both conclude it is a natural oscillation of internal climate variability.

    http://holocene.meteo.psu.edu/shared/articles/KnightetalGRL05.pdf

    http://lightning.sbs.ohio-state.edu/indices/amo_reference/Delworth2000.pdf

    Now if one wants to argue that the ENSO is not a natural climate oscillation, we will have to quote many more papers from many more climate scientists. The PDO?, well it is an after-effect of the ENSO so it will be in the same classification as the ENSO.

  57. Carrick said

    Kim:

    Heh, I love your ‘it’s thought’, Carrick

    I love the juvenility of the commentary oin this thread.

    Not really.

    “It’s thought” is science-speak for there’s peer-reviewed literature affirming the “thought”. If you are unaware and uninterested in learning, that’s not really my problem.

  58. Carrick said

    Bill Illis:

    The ENSO or SOI has no trend at

    But those are indices not the measure of their full impact on climate. More on this if I get some downtime.

  59. timetochooseagain said

    56-That some part of the AMO is related to what appears to be a natural oscillation, does not preclude that it has been influenced by anthropogenic forcing. It is also the case that, elsewhere, Mann has insisted that AMO is contaminated by AGW.

  60. kdk33 said

    “It’s thought” is science-speak for there’s peer-reviewed literature affirming the “thought”.

    I guess that settles it.

    CO2 has increased, so all climate observables are contaminated, so natural climate properties cannot be measured, so all climate changes are attributable to CO2, because there are no natural observables to which these can be correlated much less attributed. And our models confirm this. And we’re all gonna die.

    …unless we do penance (pay tax) and give offereings (to climate scientists).

  61. timetochooseagain said

    60-“CO2 has increased, so all climate observables are contaminated, so natural climate properties cannot be measured, so all climate changes are attributable to CO2”

    This is not what we are saying. In fact, what we are saying, or at least I am saying, is that, if we can’t separate the natural versus anthropogenic components of AMO, PDO, ENSO etc. then we cannot use these indices as examples of natural variability that explain warming as natural, since some of the signal they are predicting statistically may just be the anthropogenic component of both. It’s an elementary statistical problem, and it does not mean that the natural components of those indices are not important. It just means we don’t know whether they are important or not.

  62. kdk33 said

    “if we can’t separate the natural versus anthropogenic components of AMO, PDO, ENSO etc.”

    Then we can’t attribute anything to CO2. Right?

  63. kdk33 said

    Are there any climate observables you consider “natural” or “uncontaminated”?

  64. timetochooseagain said

    62-It does cut both ways.

    63-I do not know if the observed indices have an anthropogenic component or not. So I am not prepared to say that they do or don’t. All I’m saying is that we have to be aware of these possibilities, because we cannot definitively show them to be true one way or the other.

    As a general comment on this thread, I decided to try using the SOI to see what kind of effect I might find of it on the delta of GMST. First I had to re-anomalize each month’s SOI data to the average of 1876-2009. I then re-standardized each month to the 1876-2009 standard deviation. Then I took each month and put them together back in sequence. I then took the data and subtracted the average of all the data points. I then multiplied each point by negative one to make the relationship more intuitive. I then calculated the trend through that data, and removed it. Next I took the twelve point moving average. Then I switched over to the GMST data, which I took from HadCRUT. I just took the twelve month moving average, and then the month to month differences. I then took the slope from the OLS line of the SOI data against the rate of change of GMST. I multiplied SOI by this factor, and then took the cumulative sum of it. The result doesn’t seem to match well with GMST at all:

  65. kdk33 said

    @64

    I’m not really sure what you (or Steig or Carrick) are trying to say (and I can never remember who is on what side of the issue). I think you’ve just said that ALL observables are contaminated, so there are zero “natural” measurements to be had. In which case we can attribute to CO2 whatever we want – so long as the model agrees. I think we’re right back at what I said at #60.

    This is not quibbling. If we cannot know what is natural, then we cannot know what isn’t. Eveything else is statistical shenanigans.

  66. kim said

    Carrick @ 57

    Well, I love it even more. A key question and you pitch an insult and fly off. Do you have a mechanism or do you have hopes?

    Given that the effect of CO2 on temperature in the atmosphere cannot be demonstrated conclusively, are you trying to tell me you see one in the oceanic oscillations?

    Show me.
    ==================

  67. Orson said

    to Kdk33-

    Asking WHAT IS THE UPSHOT HERE?

    Above we have witnessed Eric Stieg challenge Spencer on the basic assumption that ENSO, PDO, and AMO are natural smacked down by Bill Illis, ultimately citing Michael Mann to do so. (That’s irony, folks.)

    The important take-away here is not that Stieg thinks low of Spencer and doesn’t hesitate to say so (as a lesson to AGW skeptics, of course) — rather it is that over a weekend toss-off, Spencer has elegantly and decisively contradicted the IPCCs “90% certainty” claim that recent decades atmospheric warning is man-made.

    Spencer has shown that the same warming can be accounted for through natural variability – which is one of his core theses.

    Now, Jeff Id and some others have voiced certain caveats. I will have to re-read their comments to take them in myself.

  68. Orson said

    A simple labeling issue has eluded me over my many readings of Spencer’s original post – will someone please clarify it to our mutual benefit?

    In the chart labelled “Climate Indicies vs. Tsfc Change Rate” – what is the ancroynm “Tsfc” mean?

    (“Total…” is as far as I can get! “…Solar Forcing and Clouds,” perhaps?)

  69. Orson said

    Timetochooseagain said at #64….

    THIS is really not rocket science.

    Spencer’s thinking is to look for the simplest-best alternative thinking to explain the given data, methinks.

    Spencer was not at all detailed on how he performed his calculations. Since yours do not replicate his results, I’d ask him to share his steps so that you can.

  70. Carrick said

    Kim, whether we understand the full impact of CO2 on climate (or temperature etc) is a bit of a red herring with respect to this issue.

    It is well known that atmospheric CO2 is an important radiative forcing. Increasing CO2 increases the amount of radiative forcing by a well defined relationship (log(concentration)).

    If you increase the forcings, you will almost inevitably increase the amount of natural variability. It is hard to conceive of a physical model in which this would not be true. The only question here, and it is one I’ve purposely not addressed, is the relative magnitude of this increase in natural variability compared to the amplitude of the natural variability in the absence of forcings.

  71. cohenite said

    The idea that climate factors have been infiltrated or possessed by AGW should not be surprising; I have already linked to the Meehl paper which speculates that the climate shift of 1976 was delayed from its natural ‘time’ in the ’60’s by AGW; a recent paper by Power and Smith assumes that AGW not only heats but supresses natural warming;

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2007GL030854.shtml

    Smith and Power say at [19] “However, if global warming is largely responsible for the observed decline in the average value of the SOI over the period 1977–2006 then the threshold values used to define ENSO events need to be lowered (by approximately 3 SOI units). Under the new thresholds the apparent dominance of El Niño disappears. This simple interpretation gives a result that is consistent with modelling results: global warming weakens the Walker Circulation and warms the tropical Pacific Ocean, but has little impact on tropical ENSO-driven variability about the new mean-state [Meehl et al., 2007].”

    Temperature trends can be ENSO detrended; lucia did it for post 2000 temperatures and was left with a decline; Douglass and Christy find a trend of about 0.07C PD:

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0809/0809.0581.pdf

    0.07C PD is about what temps have gone up during the 20thC for a total of about 0.7C. Based on AGW sensitivities of 2XCO2 = 3.2C and about 40% growth in CO2 temps should have gone up about 1.3C. The solar impact on temp is either 0.4C [TAR] or 0.1C [AR4] and UHI has to have contributed something despite the Menne contribution to the AGW hilarity. The climate shift of 1976 increased GMST by ~ 0.3C, so of all the estimates of a ENSO detrended temp lucia looks the best.

    The point of this is that AGW gibberish about ‘infiltration’ of climate factors like Walker, ENSO, AMO etc is spurious; there simply is not enough temperature increase to go around.

  72. Derek said

    What a great thread.

    Just wonderin, what a “geological” view in regards to CO2 levels does to this latest AGW none sense, none observable “mechanism”..
    Particularly the time when CO2 was 7 times (or was it ten times higher – no matter) higher than today, yet
    the earth stil went into an ice age. ?

    This is just like the wind shear “hiding” the missing hot spot in the troposphere, except,
    this time it is the ocean currents / phases “hiding” the missing heat that isn’t in the oceans.

    “Tricks” – Me thinks, next they’ll be telling me Antarctica is warming.
    Or polar ice isn’t recovering.
    LOL – too late…….

  73. kim said

    Well, thanks, Carrick, for the added information.

    It seems there is no mechanism, and a hope that a theoretical point will play out in nature.

    Maybe the temperature bit is not such a red herring. Though not necessarily, presumably this oscillation forcing depends on the radiative properties of CO2 effecting the temperature. Is there evidence that the CO2 molecule has properties that would allow it to force the oscillations in some other manner than through temperature or its radiative properties?

    I’ll back up; show me the effect of CO2 in our oceans and atmosphere. Now that is a little juvenile; I’m aware that is part of the question here.
    ===============

  74. Andrew said

    65-“I’m not really sure what you (or Steig or Carrick) are trying to say (and I can never remember who is on what side of the issue).”

    Allow me to help with that.

    “I think you’ve just said that ALL observables are contaminated, so there are zero “natural” measurements to be had.”

    All observables contain, in their raw forms, some impact of natural variation, and some anthropogenic. All I said was, you need to separate these first, if you want to call the derived indices “natural”. Nobody is sure how to do this, least of all me. All I know is that some portion of the signal in AMO, PDO, ENSO might not be natural, which makes using them as “natural” variables in a statistical model, like Spencer’s, dubious at least.

    “In which case we can attribute to CO2 whatever we want – so long as the model agrees.”

    Not what I said at all. You are excluding the middle: We can’t separate the signals, so we can’t make a definitive statement about either the natural variability or the anthropogenic impact.

    “If we cannot know what is natural, then we cannot know what isn’t.”

    This is EXACTLY what I’ve been saying! So you agree with me, then?

    68-It’s Temperature of the Earth’s surface.

    69-“Since yours do not replicate his results, I’d ask him to share his steps so that you can.”

    I haven’t tried to replicate his analysis, at least not in full, so there isn’t necessarily a contradiction. I’ve ONLY included SOI. The reason I cared to look at SOI is that I know Bob Tisdale has done something similar with ENSO before. I also made some personal choices about the data analysis that others did not, which I think make more sense (such as re-normalizing the data, and de-trending it) Some some difference is to be expected.

  75. PaulM said

    #70 Carrick,
    Please explain why increasing the ‘forcing’ should ‘almost inevitably’ increase the amplitude of natural variability.

  76. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: PaulM (Jun 11 11:19),

    Second.

    The driving force for global weather is the temperature difference between the poles and the equator. Global warming is predicted to reduce this difference (and there is evidence from the past that a warmer world does have a lower meridional temperature gradient). How decreasing the driving force is supposed to make weather more rather than less variable is not at all clear to me.

  77. steven Mosher said

    The easiest way to see the problem with Spencer’s attribution argument is to look at what it says about forcing from volcanos.
    Carrick will get this, no one else will. Spenser’s curve “explains” the warming as well as the “cooling” so that there is no need to make any argument about how volcanos “explain” the periodic dips we see. Yet clearly this is a head in the sand approach to explanation.

    Let me put it another way. The ability to construct alternative “theories” for the rise in temps is EVER PRESENT. Theory is underdetermined by data, always. The same facts can be explained by multiple theories. This is nothing novel or surprising. The utility of Spenser’s theory is… nil. That is, if you asked what Spenser’s theory would predict for an atmosphere of much higher (10X) C02 or 10X methane, his theory would be silent. Yet, if you asked Spenser if he thought a tenfold increase in C02 or Methane would increase the temps, he would say yes.

  78. timetochooseagain said

    76-It’s true that it is the equator to pole temperature gradient that drives “cold core” extratropical systems. The “warm core” tropical systems are driven by latent heat from thunderstorm activity, though.

  79. kdk33 said

    Andrew/TTCA (I’m thinking you are the same)

    Let me try this. Some scientists claim a certain climate change is caused by CO2. Another scientist hypothesises that it is due to natural causes. The first group refutes this hypothesis on the grounds that CO2 has contaminated the natural signal – we can’t tell what is natural and what isn’t. The CO2 fortress is now impregnable; the increase in CO2 proves the effect. Any hypothesis inconsistent with the CO2 hypothesis is wrong because the CO2 hypothesis says so. This is not science. This is absurd.

    To make it more clear. The instant you invoke “we can’t know what is natural”, all climate models are forfeit – every one of which rests on the assumption that all natural climate drivers have been identified and quantified.

    If you see it differently, then we’ll have to agree to disagree.

  80. timetochooseagain said

    79-“The instant you invoke “we can’t know what is natural”, all climate models are forfeit – every one of which rests on the assumption that all natural climate drivers have been identified and quantified.”

    I completely agree that if we say that we don’t know what part of observed variations is natural and what anthropogenic, then, well, we don’t know! We seem to be having a case of violent agreement here. Perhaps I can make this clearer.

    We have the observed climate. This may have a component which is due to natural variability, and anthropogenic effects. We don’t know either thing precisely. Similarly we have climate “indices”-we don’t know what components of these indices are response to “natural variability” and anthropogenic effects. If we take the “indices” as predictors of the overall observed climate, and then claim that what they predict is what the “natural” variability would look like, we are making the error of assuming that the indices contain no anthropogenic component. If they don’t, no big deal, but if they do, then we are falsely ascribing to natural variability something which is in part anthropogenic. It seems very reasonable in such a situation for everyone to concede that we don’t know!

  81. Howard said

    What I hear Mosher saying is that this is not a physical model, rather Dr. Spencer’s presentation is essentially a paleoclimate reconstruction of global temperature using ocean cycle data as a proxy.

    There is a natural variability signal within this proxy. Backing out the natural term (complex unsolved little studied problem) will leave the CO2 + other first order anthropogenic forcings (OAFs). Once the OAFs are backed out (complex unsolved and little studied problem), the CO2 influence can be estimated.

    In defense of Dr. Spencer, this exercise highlights the fact that the science is not settled and Dr. Steig has admitted as much.

    I see that as progress.

  82. Steven Mosher said

    Close howard. the problem is the confounding of “natural” cycles and Anthro forcing in the observation record.
    Also the signals from exogenous forcing like volcanoes. This is NOT to say that I wholly accept the attribution studies of the IPCC, but that is probably the only methodological approach that has any hope of ascertaining the A of AGW

  83. kdk33 said

    @TTCA

    It is NOT an ERROR to assume no anthropogenic effect – not if that’s the hypothesis. To call it an error is to enter an awful, awful circular reasoning loop.

  84. timetochooseagain said

    83-You should never assume your hypothesis, you should show that is wrong, or fail to do so, or rule out alternatives. But don’t start out with assumptions.

  85. Carrick said

    DeWitt Payne:

    The driving force for global weather is the temperature difference between the poles and the equator. Global warming is predicted to reduce this difference (and there is evidence from the past that a warmer world does have a lower meridional temperature gradient). How decreasing the driving force is supposed to make weather more rather than less variable is not at all clear to me.

    I’ve given you the answer to this before:

    The temperature difference between poles and equator applies mainly to land masses, not to the SST, which is what drives atmospheric ocean oscillations.

    See this.

    Secondly the Hadley cells are expected to expand, but also intensify (the main result for this process is heating at the equator, increase CO2 content and you’ve increased the forcing).

  86. Carrick said

    PaulM:

    Please explain why increasing the ‘forcing’ should ‘almost inevitably’ increase the amplitude of natural variability.

    If you turn up the burner on a pot full of water, does the water circulate faster, slower or stay the same?

    Climate is obviously more complex, but if you increasing the forcings via increased CO2, it would require quite a bit of tuning to keep the patterns of global atmospheric-ocean circulation unchanged.

  87. Carrick said

    Kim:

    It seems there is no mechanism, and a hope that a theoretical point will play out in nature.

    CO2 radiative forcing is not a “theoretical point” and it does in fact represent a tangible physical mechanism.

  88. Howard said

    Carrick: Really appreciate your posts, they are always food for thought.

    The declining temperature difference between the EQ and poles from GW is just one thing. Increasing net radiative forcing (pot boiling analogy) is another. Heating, IMO, has to increase weather “work” by kicking more H2O mass at some velocity into the troposphere. At the same time, a decreasing temperature gradient from the EQ to the poles seem to be, at least conceptually, to be a negative feedback.

    WRT your link in #85, thanks. This asymmetric and anisotropic plot highlights the fact that God has a sense of humor: NH is land-rich except at the pole and SH is ocean-rich except at the pole.

    To add to your conversation with DeWitt (who is always another must-read poster) the Coriolis effect and the temperature lapse rate are other drivers of weather (heat transfer) systems.

    Until all of these interrelated systems are sorted, consensus of settled science will continue to be merely arm-waving.

    Where is Tom Vonk when you need him???

  89. Carrick said

    Howard, thanks for the kind words.

    Land is less dominant in the NH than some might supposed (there’s > 50% only between 45-and 60°-N.).

    The Hadley cell doesn’t extend to the poles, so the polar temperatures don’t play much of a role in its dynamics. Equatorially what one sees is a strengthening of the Hadley cell and a commensurate increase in rain fall. I think what one expects is a weakening of polar circulation, but that is overlayed on other ocean-atmospheric coupled modes.

  90. timetochooseagain said

    89-I haven’t seen much evidence to suggest any significant trends in tropical precipitation. Is there any which you are aware of?

  91. kdk33 said

    @TTCA

    It is perfectly valid to assume your hypothesis and use this assumption to test it: if X is true then Y follows and then you check for Y. In fact, it is rather common.

  92. Carrick said

    TTCA, one of the standard references for that is Morrisey and Graham, 1996, “Recent Trends in Rain Gauge Precipitation Measurements from the Tropical Pacific: Evidence for an Enhanced Hydrologic Cycle.”, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, vol. 77, Issue 6, pp.1207-1220.

    Analysis of recently compiled tropical Pacific rain gauge measurements shows a trend toward increased precipitation in the central tropical Pacific during the period 1971-90. Previous studies of precipitation trends in this region have used satellite data and shipboard measurements, which have been demonstrated to contain a variety of known and unknown biases that could artificially produce a trend. Using rain gauge data, an independent and direct measure of the precipitation trends in the Pacific corroborates previous results based on satellite measurements, estimates of oceanic evaporation from shipboard meteorological observations, and results from numerical models. Furthermore, the result is consistent with suggestions that an enhancement of the tropical hydrologic cycle has been responsible for the increases in globally averaged tropospheric temperatures during the past two decades.

  93. Orson said

    Timetochooseagain asked

    “I haven’t seen much evidence to suggest any significant trends in tropical precipitation. Is there any which you are aware of?”

    HERE’S a recent paper surveying the subject, “Current changes in tropical precipitation”
    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/2/025205/fulltext

  94. cohenite said

    Rainfall has increased in Australia:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/timeseries.cgi?graph=rain&area=aus&season=0112&ave_yr=T

    But pan evaporation has declined:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/timeseries.cgi?graph=evap&area=aus&season=0112&ave_yr=T

    As has the intensity of low pressure systems:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/timeseries.cgi?graph=low_density&area=aus&season=0112&ave_yr=T

    What do the AGW advocates take from that?

  95. cohenite said

    Rainfall has increased in Australia:

    http:www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/timeseries.cgi?graph=rain&area=aus&season=0112&ave_yr=T

    But pan evaporation has declined:

    http:www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/timeseries.cgi?graph=evap&area=aus&season=0112&ave_yr=T

    As has the intensity of low pressure systems:

    http:www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/timeseries.cgi?graph=low_density&area=aus&season=0112&ave_yr=T [ // excluded]

    What do the AGW advocates take from that?

  96. DeWitt Payne said

    Carrick,

    According to Wunsch, the so-called thermo-haline circulation is actually driven by winds, so in the end, the general atmospheric circulation (Hadley,Ferrel and Polar cells) driven by the meridional temperature gradient, is also a (the?) major influence on SST’s.

    The conclusion from this and other lines of evidence is that the ocean’s mass flux is sustained primarily by the wind, and secondarily by tidal forcing. Both in models and the real ocean, surface buoyancy boundary conditions strongly influence the transport of heat and salt, because the fluid must become dense enough to sink, but these boundary conditions do not actually drive the circulation.

    http://ocean.mit.edu/~cwunsch/papersonline/thermohaline.pdf

  97. DeWitt Payne said

    Other than the sun, of course.

  98. timetochooseagain said

    Thanks for the references, guys. It looks to me like the trend in precipitation in the tropics is very geographically heterogeneous. Is this consistent with the Hadley Cell effects that Carrick was talking about?

    91-That’s not what you are try to do at all. What you are talking about is more like, if X is true, then Y will be true. Assuming X is true, then Y, the condition necessary for Z to be true, you are concluding, at no point testing that Z is true. X in this case, is that AMO PDO, etc. Are entirely natural, Y is that they can then be used as statistical predictors of natural climate variability, and Z that the result corresponds to the natural climate variability. There is NO TESTING being done here, just assuming, what you should be trying to demonstrate. This is not the same as postulating, before a test, what would be true if your hypothesis was right, then trying to see if that holds.

  99. Carrick said

    DeWitt, the point you originally made was that the poles were warming with-respect to the equator, and I pointed out that this was true only over land areas. Over the ocean, this observation (I believe first attributable to Lindzen) is wrong: the SST trend is independent of the latitude.

    As I observed, the Hadley cell is driven by equatorial heating, and as you increase the heating, you increase the strength of the circulation.

    To the extent that ocean currents are driven by winds, of course, an intensification of large scale circulation would indicate a strengthening of these currents too. I think that blanket statement depends on latitude, but I’ve not read enough on ocean circulation to be sure… interesting issues.

  100. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: Carrick (Jun 11 21:30),

    If you turn up the burner on a pot full of water, does the water circulate faster, slower or stay the same?

    Bad analogy. The burner (sun) isn’t being turned up. The net heat flow in and out will remain exactly the same. For a pot on a stove, the better analogy would be if it’s partly covered by a lid, you close the lid a little more. Even that’s not very good. The effect on circulation in the pot other than a transient effect while the new steady state is achieved, is likely negligible.

  101. kim said

    A well oiled mechanism. Sounds like there are some squeaks from the bull wheel.
    =========

  102. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: DeWitt Payne (Jun 12 14:06),

    Another reason a pot of water is a bad analogy is that the heat capacity of water is not a function of temperature so heat content increases linearly with temperature. However, the specific humidity of air at constant relative humidity increases exponentially with temperature, so the heat content of moist air at constant RH also increases exponentially with temperature. If you increase the temperature and specific humidity, the mass flow rate of the air to move the same amount of heat from warm to cold will decrease.

  103. kdk33 said

    @TCCA

    X is “the climate is natural”. If true, it follows that Y: “temperature changes can be explained without invoking CO2”. Spencer took a shot at Y. There may be many things wrong with the model – statistical shenanigans comes to mind, a mechanistic model would be more powerful -Y might not be, of itself, proof. But Y is certainly evidence of X. His approach, assuming his hypothesis,is perfectly valid. You may disagree; you are wrong.

    Invoking anthropogenic contamination is absurd. It can never be proven that there is NOT contamination. I could just as easily invoke the aliens that everybody knows influence ocean circulations, or the subterannian civilization that has been manipulating geothermal input for years, or the iota particles from the planet xcranon that the government isn’t telling us about. And you can NEVER EVER prove me wrong; because everything you observe has, of course, been contaminated (the subterranians are particularly sneaky).

    Now, it works out well for climate scientists who are very busy studying the CO2 effect that they can’t quite quantify or prove, but that can never be disproven.

    Climate was changing long before CO2. If some scientists believe CO2 is now influencing climate, they need to get busy proving it. Anthropogenic contamination is exactly the kind of nonsense up with which rational people ought not put.

    I’ll let you have the last word because I need to get back to the subterranians. If they aren’t appeased soon, it’s gonna get really, really, hot.

  104. timetochooseagain said

    102-Just because an anthropogenic component cannot be determined exactly, does not entitle you to assume it doesn’t exist. Otherwise, arguing that the climate is natural because it can be explained by variables which are assumed to be natural, is just a circular argument. If your assumption is wrong, your argument is wrong! This is why it needs to be determined if the assumption is right! Your just saying “You can’t prove my assumption is wrong, so it’s right!”

  105. Carrick said

    DeWitt Payne:

    Bad analogy. The burner (sun) isn’t being turned up. The net heat flow in and out will remain exactly the same. For a pot on a stove, the better analogy would be if it’s partly covered by a lid, you close the lid a little more. Even that’s not very good. The effect on circulation in the pot other than a transient effect while the new steady state is achieved, is likely negligible.

    How exactly do you figure this?

    If you increase the CO2 you increase the radiative forcing. The air can’t tell any difference about a larger solar forcing and constant CO2 concentration and constant solar forcing and increasing CO2.

    Your idea that it is negligible is an opinion, and an uninformed one at that. It is at odds with what any actual quantitative modelings says. In other words, it’s just nonsense.

    Climate science is the only area I know where people think that handwaving and intuition is a suitable replacement for quantitative analysis.

  106. Carrick said

    Here are a couple of analytic studies:

    Quan 2004

    Medrano IPCC paper

    Neither of these conclude the effect on circulation is “negligible”.

  107. Carrick said

    Hu 2007

    See if you can find anything in these papers that supports your handwaving arguments. I bet you can’t.

  108. Howard said

    Carrick:

    The conclusions of the Hu&Fu 2007 paper are admittedly ambiguous. The causes of the expanding Hadley Cell are unknown. They go on to arm wave that it could be CO2 increase, O3 decrease, Carbon black increases in China… Perhaps it’s natural variation or some response to pre-1995 volcanism. When you got nothing, arm-waving will have to do. This is the first lesson taught to the field geologist: multiple working hypotheses.

    The Hadley Cell expansion, from what I can see, is just another crude paleotemperature proxy whose second and third order mechanisms we don’t understand.

    Hu&Fu are just as puzzled as DeWitt and the rest of us. Everyone is arm waving and talking out the arse because these issues and mechanisms are huge unknowns, very complicated and interdependent. Until the chaos maths are fingered out. we will continue to grope in the dark.

    Also, it is arm-waving (not that there is anything wrong with that) that there is no difference between a forcing increase from solar SW and a forcing increase from “greenhouse” LW. Zapping seawater and moist land surface with more rads will produce different effects from simple isotropic heating of the troposphere.

    However, I really appreciate you bringing these issues up because they are very interesting and important.

    My advise is to try to understand DeWitt more rather than work to prove him wrong… you will end up teaching us all more that way.

  109. kim said

    I’m beginning to understand; the mechanism is handwaving(heat from friction) and muttering ‘radiative effect'(that’ll stump ’em).

    In fact, you don’t know how CO2’s radiative effect works outside the laboratory and in the massive analog computer which regulates our climate.
    =============

  110. Bob B said

    What a joke!

    “To put this another way, one reason why most of us don’t bother engaging with ‘skeptics’ is that they haven’t generally done their homework, so we’re not even on the same page most of the time. This is a prime example.”

    Steig—Your work on Antarctica was a joke. Why should you be taken seriously?

    http://climateaudit.org/2009/08/14/steig-professes-ignorance/
    http://climateaudit.org/2009/08/14/steigs-mystery-man/

  111. Carrick said

    Howard:

    My advise is to try to understand DeWitt more rather than work to prove him wrong… you will end up teaching us all more that way.

    But here’s the problem Howard. DeWitt is suggesting things that are flat wrong. Increasing the temperature while keeping the relative humidity the same does not produce more stable air… it’s equally unstable, but the temperature differential between the surface and the stratopause increases, meaning your system has become less stable not more.

    It is always the case that moist air is less stable than dry air. That’s why moist air has a smaller lapse rate (typically around 6°C/km) than dry air (which can support support 10°C/km). The only way that increasing radiative forcing is going to be offset by moisture changes is if the mixing ratio decreases rapidly enough with temperature. By how much? The equation for virtual temperature gives us that:

    Tv = T * (1 + 0.61 q)

    where q is the ratio of density of water vapor to dry air. Clearly that isn’t going to happen.

  112. Carrick said

    Howard, regarding the references… I included as many as I did because I like to play an honest broker. They clearly state that the rate of expansion of the Hadley cells cannot be explained by the GCMs..

    They also state that the GCMs predict an expansion however, which is the other point. That’s what the detailed quantitative analysis says, and I see no reason to distrust it on this prediction.

    In terms of the data and modeo, Quan 2004 probably does the best job of summarizing it.

    * more warming over land than sea (that’s predicted from micrometeorology, or so I’m told)

    * larger effect in winter than in summer

    * intensification of marine surface winds

    • increased wintertime extratropical circulation in response to increased tropical SST

    * intensified Hadley cell circulation due to diabatic forcing (forcing due to heating)

    Increase CO2 and you increase the diabatic forcing, and you increase the circulation. It’s as simple as that.

  113. Carrick said

    Kim:

    In fact, you don’t know how CO2′s radiative effect works outside the laboratory and in the massive analog computer which regulates our climate.

    We do know how radiative forcing works outside of the laboratory because it’s the same universe.

    You are mistaking not understanding all of the consequences of radiative forcing, for not understanding the radiative forcing (which is really a microscopic phenomenon) itself.

  114. kim said

    Carrick, you mistake me by acting as if I don’t understand that CO2 has a radiative effect. I’ve meant all along, with the rest of the curious here, that we don’t understand the effect of CO2’s radiative property in the whole natural scheme of things.

    For example, my point in Comment #73 about a ‘theoretical point will play out in nature’, was just what PaulM and DeWitt Payne speak of in Comments #75 and #76, yet you chose to instruct me repetitiously that CO2 has a radiative property.

    It should be instructive to you that I can understand this question as well as I do, and that I understand that neither you nor anyone else can definitively explain it yet. You don’t have to blame my ignorance on me.
    =================

  115. Carrick said

    Kim, excuse me for taking your words at their plain meaning.

    We do understand radiative forcing, we know increased CO2 increases the amount of forcing. Therefore increasing CO2 in the atmosphere increases the radiative forcing.

    The plain meaning of your words is opposite to this. You even now describe this as a “theoretical point”. It is not.

    There is no way there will not be consequences of this, and there is no way they will be “negligible”.

  116. kim said

    Perhaps there will be consequences but you have no idea of the magnitude or sign.
    ==============

  117. Carrick said

    Kim:

    Perhaps there will be consequences but you have no idea of the magnitude or sign.

    Putting more heat into the system, knowing the rough amount, gives one some idea of both magnitude and sign.

    It’s just magical thinking to suggest one has “no idea”.

  118. kim said

    I ask for the mechanism; you give me magical thinking.
    ==============

  119. Carrick said

    I gave you a mechanism, radiative heating is a mechanism.

    You either have problems with the meanings of words, or you’re playing a silly shell game now.

  120. PaulM said

    86 Carrick, Please don’t waste peoples time and insult their intelligence with obviously false analogies. We are all intelligent people here – please check the reader background if you havent already.

    You now seem to be arguing (#85) that a more-or-less uniform ocean temperature increase of just half a degree over 50 years is somehow having a major influence on atmospheric circulation – a completely ridiculous argument. All of us here know that circulation is driven primarily by temperature differences, as pointed out by Dewitt, and that these temperature differences are of the order of 30 degrees!

  121. KevinUK said

    #111, carrick

    “In terms of the data and modeo, Quan 2004 probably does the best job of summarizing it.

    * more warming over land than sea (that’s predicted from micrometeorology, or so I’m told)

    * larger effect in winter than in summer

    * intensification of marine surface winds

    • increased wintertime extratropical circulation in response to increased tropical SST

    * intensified Hadley cell circulation due to diabatic forcing (forcing due to heating)

    Increase CO2 and you increase the diabatic forcing, and you increase the circulation. It’s as simple as that.

    You know full well thats it’s not ‘as simple as that’. far from it.

    I’m getting extremely annoyed at the moment by certain people who are posting on blogs that ‘the oceanic cycles are contaminated with AGW’. This IMO amounts to ‘poisoning the well’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisoning_the_well) because the reality (as kim and howard have pointed out) is that no one currently has any idea whether this is the case or not.

    On the other hand there is amble evidence that demonstrates that regional climate is very strongly correlated to oceanic cycles like the PDO and AMO. The warmists like Michael Mann and Kevin Trenberth know this so the best way to deflect attention away from this fact is to ‘poison the well’ and to attempt to claim that oceanic cycles are somehow ‘contaminated’ with the effects of man’s emissions of GHGs.

    Well until someone can tell me how a ‘WELL MIXED’, odourless, colourless trace gas in our atmospshere somehow manages to radically effect wind patterns to a level that it alters regional climate then sorry but I for one am going to remain extremely skeptical of this claim. Now water and the relative amounts of it on our planet in its solid, liquid and gaseous forms including clouds (and that glowing ball in the sky), now that I can believe does have a very significant effect in determining variations in our global and regional climate.

  122. timetochooseagain said

    120-“the reality (as kim and howard have pointed out) is that no one currently has any idea whether this is the case or not.”

    But it might be the case, so you can’t ignore the possibility! You can’t just reject it out of hand, you need to show that it isn’t the case if you want to neglect it. What is so hard about this?

    What’s ridiculous about those of you arguing this point is that you don’t see how you are making the same kind of mistakes that AGWer’s do!

  123. tonyb said

    KevinUK said

    “Well until someone can tell me how a ‘WELL MIXED’, odourless, colourless trace gas in our atmospshere somehow manages to radically effect wind patterns to a level that it alters regional climate then sorry but I for one am going to remain extremely skeptical of this claim.”

    You make a good point. Also, how would we know the diference between the natural ‘radically effected wind patterns’ and AGW inspired ‘radically effected wind patterns?’

    What is extraordinary is throughout our climatic history-and well documented from around 1580 by such as Lamb-is how often wind patterns change ‘dramatically’. What is also striking is that the worst storms seem to be in colder climatic periods rather than warm ones-the opposite to what we might have come to expect.

    Tonyb

  124. Howard said

    Thanks Carrick, the Quan 2004 paper was an interesting read. What the hell happened in 1976? Quan talks about apparent jumps between the cooler and warmer climate regimes. His data and model mash-ups show the same things. This is where the unknown asymmetric oscillations of natural variation meets the steady pace of GHG accumulation.

    As far a stability is concerned, you are right about the stability of a parcel of air where heat and moisture create instability… aviation weather 101… also see Atlanta, GA UHI created late afternoon T-Storms. I think DeWitt is talking about climate and/or global stability due to warming.

    I got stuck talking past DeWitt before, perhaps you are as well. Most of what I have seen him post on several high-quality blogs is quite interesting and seems to make sense most of the time.

  125. Layman Lurker said

    I am not a physics guy so go easy on me with these questions. If we make assumptions (for the sake of argument) about the level of atomospheric warming per doubling of CO2, at what rate would this heat transfer to oceans? How would this compare with ocean warming due to multi-decadal variability in either tsi or clouds?

  126. Steven Mosher said

    Carrick

    have you ever read the supplementary material to ch09? there are some bothersome things there

  127. PaulM said

    Incidentally, Roger Pielke (sr) pointed out the inconsistency in the “global warming causes stronger winds” argument very soon after AR4 came out, describing it as “perhaps the most astonishing claim made in the report.” See point number 4 here.

  128. Derek said

    Carrick said
    June 13, 2010 at 9:53 am
    Kim:

    In fact, you don’t know how CO2′s radiative effect works outside the laboratory and in the massive analog computer which regulates our climate.

    We do know how radiative forcing works outside of the laboratory because it’s the same universe.

    You are mistaking not understanding all of the consequences of radiative forcing, for not understanding the radiative forcing (which is really a microscopic phenomenon) itself.

    Carrick, I believe the point Kim is making that you do not seem to address is
    that the radiative effects of CO2 have been measured in the laboratory, in closed isolated systems.
    In the real, open, and mixed atmosphere these measurements need justifying that they apply,
    otherwise you are just assuming they do apply.

    I have come across this point several times recently (because I keep on raising it…) that
    physicists state CO2 has a high specific heat content (from lab measurements in closed, isolated systems), yet
    chemists using their mass balanced equations (for real mixed, and open atmospheres) only work if CO2 has a low specific heat content.
    These are apparent opposites, suggesting lab measurements do not apply to the real atmosphere,
    hence kim, and I wonder what your justification for applying them to the open, mixed atmosphere is.
    I certainly am not aware of any such justification.

  129. kdk33 said

    @TTCA

    “you need to show that it isn’t the case if you want to neglect it”

    Really. Have you disproven my subterranean civilization theory? They not only alter the climate, but alter all measurables – nothing is now natural. But trust me, climate would be much better without them.

    This contamination absurdity is argument from ignorance. It’s a logical fallacy. It’s in Wiki. Look it up: “a claim’s truth or falsity depends on supporting or refuting evidence to the claim, not the lack of support for a contrary or contradictory claim”

    There are many, many things that MIGHT be true. They are routinely neglected without having been proven false. Theories about CO2 are no different.

    Climate was changing long before CO2 emmission could have had an effect. The evidence for natural climate change is overwhelming (I assume we can all agree). There is no need to prove natural. What is at issue, is whether CO2 is now ALSO changing the climate. Failure to prove no CO2 effect, is not evidence for a CO2 effect (ditto for may subterranian theory).

    We are now leaving the ridiculous, moving to the sublime.

  130. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: Carrick (Jun 12 20:11),

    There is a quantitative difference between ghg forcing and an increase in TSI. For ghg forcing, the brightness temperature of the planet as observed from deep space doesn’t change at steady state, in fact it drops initially because the temperature response time constant is (probably) slower than the rate of increase of ghg’s which should cause a radiative imbalance until the oceans warm. An increase in TSI will increase the brightness temperature.

  131. timetochooseagain said

    128-The difference is that Your “subterranean civilization” theory completely lacks either testability or plausibility. The idea that humans might be impacting these variables is both plausible and testable.

  132. Carrick said

    PaulM:

    You now seem to be arguing (#85) that a more-or-less uniform ocean temperature increase of just half a degree over 50 years is somehow having a major influence on atmospheric circulation – a completely ridiculous argument. All of us here know that circulation is driven primarily by temperature differences, as pointed out by Dewitt, and that these temperature differences are of the order of 30 degrees!

    Classic straw man argument. Invent something that I didn’t say, then shoot it down. to. I’ve said what I meant originally, and see little reason to repeat it, if this is as well as you can read and process information.

  133. Carrick said

    KevinUK:

    You know full well thats it’s not ‘as simple as that’. far from it.

    What is “simple as that” is that the physical modeling contradicts what are in fact hand waving arguments from you and others: Namely, increased CO2 leads to intensification of the Hadley Cell circulation.

    It is as I’ve said before, climate is one of the few areas I know where rhetoric and hand-waving is placed at a higher value than analytic studies.

    Well until someone can tell me how a ‘WELL MIXED’, odourless, colourless trace gas in our atmospshere somehow manages to radically effect wind patterns to a level that it alters regional climate then sorry but I for one am going to remain extremely skeptical of this claim

    And this opinion is practically meaningless because it is based on intuition not reason. This isn’t art criticism but physical science.

  134. Carrick said

    DeWitt:

    Carrick, I believe the point Kim is making that you do not seem to address is that the radiative effects of CO2 have been measured in the laboratory, in closed isolated systems. In the real, open, and mixed atmosphere these measurements need justifying that they apply, otherwise you are just assuming they do apply.

    This is true, but it is a reasonable assumption. The means by which CO2 behaves as a GHG works at the molecular scale, one molecule at at time. There is no reason to “expect” the forcing associated with this to behavior any differently in the lab than in the environment. And beyond that, all radiative measurements that I am aware of point to it behaving the same in both environments.

    I see no reason to go into any further detail with you on this, since you are certainly aware of the eight part series in the Science of Doom blog. If you aren’t persuaded by that, there is certainly no miracle I can produce that would persuade you.

  135. Carrick said

    DeWitt:

    There is a quantitative difference between ghg forcing and an increase in TSI

    To be clear, there are many differences between the two and I certainly wasn’t claiming that they were identical in all respects.

    Hopefully, it’s obivous I was referring specifically to the heating of the air at the sea surface in the equatorial band, which is what drives Hadley Circulation. Increased heat, whatever the source, will look the same with respect to that phenomenon.

  136. Kevoka said

    #127

    “…the radiative effects of CO2 have been measured in the laboratory, in closed isolated systems.”

    In fact, many of the absorption lines for all of the GHG’s are calculated – not determined by empirically. The calculated values that have also been measured experimentally have very close agreement. Nonetheless, it must be noted. See http://www.hitran.com.

  137. kdk33 said

    @TTCA

    “The idea that humans might be impacting these variables is… testable.”

    Really. What’s taking so long?

    BTW, I have complete confidence in the subterranian civilazation. Care to offer one shred of concrete evidence that I am wrong.

    (Lastly, you have been a very good sport; My comments are intended to be rude.)

  138. kdk33 said

    Egads, that last should read NOT intended to be rude.

    That was an awful slip.

  139. timetochooseagain said

    What’s taking so long is that there doesn’t seem to be much incentive in climate research to actually answer the relevant questions. The minute you’d get there, you’d see your funding dry up. So nobody is try to test that hypothesis.

  140. Kevoka said

    Carrick #112

    “We do know how radiative forcing works outside of the laboratory because it’s the same universe.”

    I am personally unaware of any experiment that uses decreasing pressure from 1000mb to 1mb, a lapse rate, and a path length of 50-70km to validate the radiative forcing effects of C02.

    Heck, forget km path lengths, just decreasing pressure with a lapse rate….

  141. cohenite said

    123 Howard, what happened in 1976 is this:

    http://arxiv.org/abs/0907.1650

  142. Howard said

    140 Cohenite:

    First, I appreciate your posts. I tend to not agree with many of your points, but much of what you say makes a lot of sense, so I read your posts because they always stimulate the old synapses one way or the other.

    Thanks for the link. My own brand of arm waving on climate has confirmed these step changes. In fact, the Quon 2004 paper previously cited by Carrick in #105 speaks of the 1976/77 step-change. Sometime last year I questioned Lucia on the apparent futile utility of computing linear trends on temperature data. Her site is a focus of this type of calculation effort which I applaud.

    My point to Lucia was that if one visually evaluates temperature data as geologic data, the satellite record from 1979-1997 was essentially flat (a geologist worth his salt ignores the short-term ups and downs). A step-up change followed (historic El Nino central Cali flood year) from 1998 to present. To see the step change and flat nature of the data, one needs to ignore the noise that moves true believers into ecstasy or depression depending on the sign of the swing. The current El Nino is a nice feature confirming the flatness of 1998-present.

    Unfortunately, there is no physical explanation of these step changes.

    I think part of these step changes may be due to a disgorgement of heat in the pipeline.

  143. Howard said

    Carrick:

    You mis-quoted of DeWitt in your #134 was actually a bit of drivel made by Derek in #127 supporting terse nonsense disguised as intellectual whit previously posted by Kim.
    =====================

    As far as TSI versus GHG forcings, do you have a source to back up your claim that these very different types of forcing mechanisms would produce the same changes to Hadley cell dynamics? That would be very interesting to read, but I doubt that it exists. See, arm-waving is not all bad.

    Arm waving is the source of the first kernel of an idea that later wins the Nobel Prize or a successful IPO.

    Thanks

  144. Howard said

    PaulM Thanks for the link in #126 above. Pielke Sr. make a number of great points on the IPCC short-comings besides “stronger winds”. That’s not much of a compliment because it is such a target rich environment.

    Pielke Sr. is a volcano of research papers and, at least from an arm-waving observers point of view, seems to have a solid common sense reasoning behind his scholarship.

  145. timetochooseagain said

    141-“the satellite record from 1979-1997 was essentially flat (a geologist worth his salt ignores the short-term ups and downs). A step-up change followed (historic El Nino central Cali flood year) from 1998 to present. To see the step change and flat nature of the data, one needs to ignore the noise that moves true believers into ecstasy or depression depending on the sign of the swing.”

    This “step change” meme is starting to get on my nerves, especially coupled with something like “1979-1997 was essentially flat (a geologist worth his salt ignores the short-term ups and downs)”

    These “short term ups and downs” are not mere “noise”, but are connected to very specific phenomena. If you create a regression model for the temperatures that includes ENSO, volcanoes, and solar cycles, it’s quite clear that the residuals aren’t “flat” until after 1997, and they don’t just “step” upwards-the residual is a trend, a very neat, linear trend trough the data with tiny month to month variations. The trend is smaller than typically predicted, but it’s there. It isn’t necessarily down to just AGW, but it IS THERE.

    http://arxiv.org/pdf/physics/0411002

  146. kim said

    Truth and beauty stout;
    Cortez, Wicked Killer Wit.
    Will o’ the whit, what?
    ===========

  147. cohenite said

    Hi Howard; from the Stockwell paper on ‘breaks’;

    “The significance of the dates around 1978 and 1997 to climatic regimeshifts
    is not in dispute, as they are associated with a range of oceanic,
    atmospheric and climatic events, whereby thermocline depth anomalies associated
    with PDO phase shift and ENSO were transmitted globally via
    ocean currents, winds, Rossby and Kelvin waves (Guilderson & Schrag, 1998;
    McPhaden & Zhang, 2004; Wainwright et al., 2008). Even though the pattern
    of response would vary in different parts of the globe, a step-change in
    temperature remarkably similar to Australia also occurred in Alaska (Hartmann
    & Wendler, 2005).”

    Some macro events were occuring to support the statistical conclusion of breaks in the temperature; and this is a crucial point; AGW does not cause breaks up AND down as happened post 1976 and post 1998.

    Whether there are trends in the periods after climate shifts is a moot point; fig 2 in the Stockwell paper does show trends rather than flat temperature; the break and trends within the break periods are not mutually exclusive; it is unlikely that climate is defined by irregular [or even regular] events with steady conditions in between. Since, as concluded by Stockwell, the major breaks are unlikely to be by AGW then AGW is left within the minor trends in the interim which are far less than predicted. If I understand the Douglass paper linked to at 144 competition for the minor trends will be fierce further diluting the AGW impact.

  148. Layman Lurker said
    June 13, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    I am not a physics guy so go easy on me with these questions. If we make assumptions (for the sake of argument) about the level of atmospheric warming per doubling of CO2, at what rate would this heat transfer to oceans? How would this compare with ocean warming due to multi-decade variability in either tsi or clouds?

    Lurker,
    two things here
    1: you have a high IQ
    2: if only you were a female I would…. uhm….lol
    They will not answer these as it makes there claims false!!!!!

    this is a good thread no doubt.

    Tim too

  149. Derek said

    Howard said
    June 13, 2010 at 9:24 pm
    Carrick:

    You mis-quoted of DeWitt in your #134 was actually a bit of drivel made by Derek in #127 supporting terse nonsense disguised as intellectual whit previously posted by Kim.

    Thanks Howard, no point in me asking you for a reference then… LOL.

    btw – Carrick did actually agree that “my bit of drivel” was correct, in that the lab measurements do apply IS AN ASSUMPTION.
    He, however, refuses to discuss or justify the assumption.

  150. kim said

    Heh, thanks, Derek. Obviously, it bugs some that they can’t even fool the non-techies anymore.
    =====================

  151. Carrick said

    Derek:

    btw – Carrick did actually agree that “my bit of drivel” was correct, in that the lab measurements do apply IS AN ASSUMPTION.

    It’s an assumption at the same level that the force of gravity in space is the same force that makes a Cavendish gravity experiment work. CO2 forcing works at the molecular level, by the absorption of one infrarred-energy photon by individual molecules one after another.

    Large scale effects like “well mixed” makes the transfer of the absorbed energy more efficient, not less. And other effects, like pressure broadening observed in nature…reproducible in a lab too.

    Radiative physics is a given, you need to accept this and move on. What radiative physics does to global climate, not such as given.

    The road to explain how you don’t get at least the heating and other climate effects predicted from an increase CO2 that is in the atmosphere is a very steep one indeed.

  152. Carrick said

    Howard:

    You mis-quoted of DeWitt in your #134 was actually a bit of drivel made by Derek in #127 supporting terse nonsense disguised as intellectual whit previously posted by Kim.

    I apologize to DeWitt for the misattribution. This explains my confusion over why he would say something like this.

    As far as TSI versus GHG forcings, do you have a source to back up your claim that these very different types of forcing mechanisms would produce the same changes to Hadley cell dynamics? That would be very interesting to read, but I doubt that it exists. See, arm-waving is not all bad.

    To be clear the only thing I’m actually trying to drive at is for a parcel of air at the surface of the ground being convectively forced, they will look the same. The source of the heat energy doesn’t matter for that, only the amount of radiative heat energy transferred per unit time per unit area (“radiative heat flux”).

    Are there differences beyond that? You betcha. DeWitt is absolutely right on that.

    That’s why the “turning the burner up” is an analogy rather than a laboratory version of exactly the same thing. You can always make things more complicated. The trick is to make them as simple as possible (but no simpler).

  153. Carrick said

    Kevoka:

    I am personally unaware of any experiment that uses decreasing pressure from 1000mb to 1mb, a lapse rate, and a path length of 50-70km to validate the radiative forcing effects of C02.

    Yet another person that doesn’t recognize the distinction between micro-scale physics, like the absorption of photons in an absorption of a CO2 atom, which can be studied in a laboratory, and bulk physics associated with driving a large mass of air with a complex physical structure to it.

    A CO2 atom absorbing a photon is the same, regardless of the lapse rate. Pressure broadening matters, but can be measured in a laboratory setting too. Only the local properties of the gas affect this.

  154. Carrick said

    make that “like the absorption of photons in an absorption band of a CO2 atom”…

  155. DeWitt Payne said

    Carrick,

    The mis-attribution was in #133, not #134. No need for an apology. It does seem disingenuous, however, to accuse someone of hand waving when discussing an analogy.

    You still seem to miss the point of why I think turning up the burner is a bad analogy for the effect of ghg’s. There’s heat flow and heat content. Increasing ghg’s or TSI will increase the heat content and the temperature. But an increase in TSI will increase the heat flow as well as the heat content because more energy in means more energy out. Ghg’s, OTOH, act to reduce the heat flow out without changing the heat flow in. The burner isn’t turned up, the rate of heat loss from the pot is reduced until the temperature in the pot rises enough to balance the flow. It’s still a simple analogy, but it’s more accurate, IMO. If the burner isn’t turned up, then at steady state with the same net heat flow, there is no reason for the circulation in the pot to increase over what it was before the heat flow out was reduced. Heat is being transferred at the same rate before and after.

    As a result, I don’t think it’s a slam dunk that increasing average temperature will increase the severity of the weather. For example, dust deposition in the Antarctic ice cores is higher during the depths of the glacial periods than during the inter-glacial periods.

  156. Carrick said

    DeWitt:

    It does seem disingenuous, however, to accuse someone of hand waving when discussing an analogy.

    The purpose of analogies is to simply the system, reduce the dimensionality of the problem, not to remove the analytic component of it. (Simplify the problem as much as possible, but no more etc.)

    Hand waving is when you make blanket statements that have no analytic support.

    It was the purpose of my comment to note that your arguments are not supported by any sort of detailed analytic study.

    You again miss the point of my comment… What matters for the convective engine is the temperature of the ground compared to the temperature aloft. Any mechanism that warms the ground is going look the same or similar with respect to that.

    It’s not a slam dunk that increasing average temperature will increase the severity of “weather”. It’s certianly not a slam dunk that hurricanes will get more intense (but it’s plausible that the average number of storms will increase slightly).

    However, that’s not what I said… short-period climate fluctuations are not “weather” they are “climate”.

    And it is pretty much a slam dunk that convective forcing will increase. And that does have implications for the amplitudes of the atmospheric-ocean oscillations such as the Hadley Cell that are driven primarily by convective forcing.

  157. Howard said

    Cohenite: Thanks for the clarification and detail. AFAIK, the underlying causes of these shifts in current, wind and circulation are not understood and the shifts cannot be predicted. From some of the early CA temperature posts, I seem to remember there being hints of one of these step-shifts in around +/-1920. I need to do some digging on that.

    As far as AGW influence on these step changes, I am not confident in the all natural conclusion, however, it cannot be ruled out in any manner or degree. My best swag is that the complex ocean cycles are a major portion of the poorly understood climate feedback system.

  158. Howard said

    Carrick:

    Consider a parcel of air, one heated by GHG, the other by TSI.

    TSI heating would be from the surface up since what makes it to the surface is “transparent to the atmosphere” and re-radiated upward LW.

    GHG heating is from within the troposphere re-radiating the upward LW in all directions.

    These two different mechanisms suggests that the TSI heating would result in a larger lapse rate and more instability.

  159. PaulM said

    Carrick, Here is a paper that says that global warming weakens the Hadley circulation. 🙂

    So much for your ‘slam dunk’!

    With the Quan paper cited earlier saying that GW would intensify it, that’s a nice pair, like the more fog/less fog example and the salinity increase/decrease, for the List of things caused by global warming.

    As people have been explaining to you for a long time, the Hadley cell is not driven by up-down temperature difference, but by N-S temperature difference (just think about the aspect ratio – all the diagrams are hopelessly misleading in this respect).

    I think we can all agree with one of your comments here though: “climate is one of the few areas I know where rhetoric and hand-waving is placed at a higher value than analytic studies. “

  160. Carrick said

    Howard, to make it clear, I’m referring to the surface heat…which (for land at least) is what primarily drives convection. IF the surface of the ground heats up, it doesn’t matter why it heated up, as far as the physics is concerned.

    Secondly, the increase in GHGs doesn’t substantially affect the vertical lapse rate…it just expands the high of the troposphere, but any form of heating does that to. FInding places where you can directly separate different types of forcings (TSI versus CO2 increase for example) experimentally is a bit tricky.

  161. Carrick said

    PaulM, the weakening you refer to is due to the poleward expansion of the Hadley Cell). Larger loop, so it takes longer for the air to complete one complete cycle.

    I have been trying to make clear that I am referring to the intensification of tropical convection, which is a different effect. I believe this has been experimentally confirmed, though I’m a bit too busy with work related issues to dig it out of the references. It may be discussed in Quan for example.

    As people have been explaining to you for a long time, the Hadley cell is not driven by up-down temperature difference, but by N-S temperature difference (just think about the aspect ratio – all the diagrams are hopelessly misleading in this respect).

    No this is wrong. The Hadley Cell is produced by upwelling air at the equator resulting from forced convection, which then expands polewards, where it expands and cools at the “horse latitudes”.. this air gets pulled back to the equator due to the air displaced by the vertical motion of the convective motion at the equator. Coriolis forces complete the picture by turning what would have been lops into spirals.

    This has absolutely nothing to do with the temperature difference between the poles and the equator, which is the argument DeWitt keeps trying to make.

  162. DeWitt Payne said

    Carrick,

    I fail to see anything quantitative about your turning up the burner analogy. Since you didn’t put up any numbers, it’s more than a little ironic that you criticize my lack of numbers for my covering the pot analogy.

    So let’s look at some numbers. For the K&T 1997 energy balance we have 168 W/m2 absorbed by the surface. 78 W/m2 is carried away by latent heat, 66 W/m2 by radiation and 24 W/m2 by sensible heat. Raise the ghg’s and the total of 168 W/m2 doesn’t change. Gross radiation from the surface goes up, but it’s exactly matched by increased radiation from the atmosphere. It’s possible that the relative amounts will change, but if convective heat transfer increases, then radiative transfer must decrease, which means the temperature won’t go up as much. Evaporation/precipitation is a negative feedback.

    But let’s say the temperature does go up 3 C for doubling, the RH is constant and you still have 102 W/m2 of convective heat loss. At 288.2K 15C and 45.84% RH, the heat content of 1 kg of air relative to 0C is 15*1006 + (0.4584*0.01062)*(1840*15 +2501000) or ~27000 J/kg. The density of air is about 1.2 kg/m3 so to move 102 W/m2 we need an upward velocity of 0.0031 m/sec. But the heat content of air at 18 C and 45.84% RH is about 33000 J/kg so for the same 102 W/m2 the velocity is only 0.0026 m/sec. These calculations are crude. The ratio of sensible to latent heat is about 1:1 instead of 1:3. I could probably fix that by using tropical atmosphere conditions, but you would still get a similar result. You can transfer the same amount of heat at higher temperature and constant relative humidity at lower velocity.

    OTOH, if you increase TSI at the surface by x, then you can increase both radiation and convective heat flow because it’s no longer 168 but 168 + x. The increase of x then is distributed between convective and radiative heat transfer and could possibly result in higher velocity, certainly higher velocity than for an increase in ghg’s.

  163. Kevoka said

    Carrick #152

    “Yet another person that doesn’t recognize the distinction between micro-scale physics, like the absorption of photons in an absorption of a CO2 atom, which can be studied in a laboratory, and bulk physics associated with driving a large mass of air with a complex physical structure to it.”

    Its not a misunderstanding of the distinction. It is the lack of our understanding of how the absorption of those photons (“microscopic”, and yes- well understood) gets translated into heat, and then into measurable temperature on a macroscopic (bulk) scale that bothers me. I do not deny it is true, but I will state that it is NOT understood with any accuracy.

    Hence your statement that lapse rate does not matter – to absorption – is true. A lapse rate does matter to emission, and molecular collisions. That in turn, affects your “bulk” behaviors.

  164. PaulM said

    Carrick is now trying to change his story. Back in #85 he was talking about CO2 intensifying Hadley cells, but now in #160, after I mentioned the paper about cells weakening, he’s claiming to be talking about something else.

    He still has no understanding of what drives the convection cell. If it was as he says, the cell would have an order one aspect ratio – there would be nothing to drive it thousands of miles north and south after rising a couple of miles.

    Take a look at the Lu et al paper I linked to. Their temperature difference in eq (1) is the equator-to-pole one (which according to Carrick #160 has “absolutely nothing to do with” Hadley cells!)

  165. kim said

    OK, it seems that energy preferentially enters equatorially and exits more poleward. Won’t CO2 work the same in either situation? Or why would it act differently? Yes, I know, ignorant question.
    ========================

  166. kim said

    Can’t it assist energy leak outwards toward the poles?
    =====================

  167. Carrick said

    DeWitt:

    I fail to see anything quantitative about your turning up the burner analogy. Since you didn’t put up any numbers, it’s more than a little ironic that you criticize my lack of numbers for my covering the pot analogy.

    The word I used is analytic not quantitative. That is not a small distinction. If you have questions on what that means, this does a good job of explaining it

    You dispute it would be difficult to right down analytic equations that describe the physics of these two scenarios, and that the structure of the equations would be different between the two???

    The main thing that drives surface convection (which is what I clearly was talking about) is the temperature of the surface of the Earth.

    There are three things that happens: The surface of the Earth warms up for both TSI and increased CO2 concentration (the forcing for convection is increased and only depends on the delta T), the height of the tropopause increases and the lapse rate remains the (assuming constant RH with increasing T).

    Whatever the mechanism by which the surface temperature has increased, the convective physics is essentially unchanged.

    You are getting stuck in numbers and missing the big picture. Typical chemist.😛

  168. Carrick said

    PaulM:

    Carrick is now trying to change his story. Back in #85 he was talking about CO2 intensifying Hadley cells, but now in #160, after I mentioned the paper about cells weakening, he’s claiming to be talking about something else.

    Sigh.

    I was always discussing convective forcing at the equator.

    Your inability to read is only matched by your inability to hold civil conversation.

  169. Carrick said

    PaulM:

    Take a look at the Lu et al paper I linked to. Their temperature difference in eq (1) is the equator-to-pole one (which according to Carrick #160 has “absolutely nothing to do with” Hadley cells!)

    Also, to be clear, nobody really knows why the subsidence occurs at roughly 30°N. It’s an ongoing issue.

    If you really think that upwards convection at the equator is driven by temperature differences 12000 km away, go for it.

  170. Carrick said

    Kim:

    OK, it seems that energy preferentially enters equatorially and exits more poleward. Won’t CO2 work the same in either situation? Or why would it act differently? Yes, I know, ignorant question.

    My answer is CO2 would work the same as any other form of heating. I believe this is a “stock answer” from the GCM people.

    That’s the main reason when they drive global climate models, they convert the various forcings into radiative units. (see here.)

    The main “finger print” for CO2 heating versus TSI, as I understand it, comes from measuring absorption spectra (i.e., direct tests of the radiative physics).

  171. Howard said

    PaulM

    Your point about the order one aspect ratio of a Hadley cell without the EQ-pole temperature differential is a clear and concise concept. Undergrad level text-books also point out that without the Coriolis effect, the Hadley cell would extend to the poles. These two extreme concepts highlight the importance of the EQ-pole temperature differential.

    The Lu et al paper showed for El Nino conditions, the Hadley cell narrowed and intensified in strength and got wider and less energetic when simulated under IPCC GHG AGW scenarios. This implies that different heat sources have different effects on the Hadley cell geometry and thermodynamics.

    Also Lu et al indicated general increasing atmospheric stability under IPCC GHG AGW scenarios as well. DeWitt’s calculations, while crude, back this up.

    This suggests a low sensitivity for GHG induced AGW. It also implies that the climate sensitivity to TSI is relatively higher. Instead, the prevailing consensus is that the climate system responds in the same manner to different forcing sources of the same magnitude. How does one explain large glacial-interglacial temperature swings with small changes to global average TSI? Right now it is explained by exaggerating the CO2 and albedo effects.

  172. kim said

    The greenhouse gasses all facilitate the trapping of energy equatorially, and also, warmed convectively, facilitate its exit more poleward. CO2 would do that also.
    ===================

  173. timetochooseagain said

    You know, Doctor Lindzen would probably be able to help with this discussion. He has done some extensive work on atmospheric circulation, including on the Hadley circulation. I wonder if these papers would illuminate this in anyway:

    Hou, Arthur Y., Richard S. Lindzen, 1992: The Influence of Concentrated Heating on the Hadley Circulation. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences: Vol. 49, No. 14, pp. 1233–1241.

    Lindzen, Richard S., Arthur V. Hou, 1988: Hadley Circulations for Zonally Averaged Heating Centered off the Equator. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences: Vol. 45, No. 17, pp. 2416–2427.

    (1991) The Hadley circulation. Proc. ECMWF Conf. on Tropical Meteorology.

  174. Howard said

    TTCA: Great insight, I gotta run. Post up the other links if you can.

    Hou & Lindzen 1992

  175. Carrick said

    I finally had a chance to dig up a reference on experimental data:

    The Hadley Cell is strengthening</b pretty much in lock-step with diabatic heating (also shown). Reference.

    Laterz.

  176. Carrick said

    Perhaps Howard or DeWitt could discuss why their arguments/calculations are at odds with observation.😉

  177. Carrick said

    Here’s another experimental paper. Park et al. It examines seasonal effects, as well as changes in Walker (mid latitude) circulation.

    Looks like I was wrong about one thing… I thought the predictions about weakening were using a different measure than the measurements that I had seen previously. They appear to relate to the same thing (though I haven’t nailed this down yet).

    I don’t see how I could have been wrong about the diabatic heating and how it is driving increased equatorial convection, and I wasn’t, DeWitt’s arguments notwithstanding. DeWitt is focusing just on the properties of parcels of air, he needs to include the effect of heating/cooling by the surface, as I said above. That normally drives everything in when you are describing the atmospheric convection.

  178. timetochooseagain said

    174-It looks to me like there is a HUGE difference between results of different reanalyses. ERA40 has much larger trends it appears than NCEP. It is not obvious to me that ERA40 would be better, and I am aware of very specific problems with ERA40 in other areas. So it seems to me that the data here are pretty uncertain. The theoretical arguments don’t seem wrong to me, but the observational data don’t seem to be reliable enough to quantitatively confirm them.

  179. Carrick said

    TTCA:

    174-It looks to me like there is a HUGE difference between results of different reanalyses. ERA40 has much larger trends it appears than NCEP. It is not obvious to me that ERA40 would be better, and I am aware of very specific problems with ERA40 in other areas. So it seems to me that the data here are pretty uncertain

    Well I agree here, but they all do agree on sign and they don’t measure exactly the same thing (partly that’s the difficulty in trying to describe a complex phenomenon with just one number) so it’s not surprising the trends would be different.

    The theoretical arguments don’t seem wrong to me.

    Actually there are a number of suspect approximations made in these otherwise beautiful “old school” papers like Held and Hu, Lindzen, and so forth: conservation of angular momentum, neglect of eddy momentum flux, neglect of viscous losses,Rosby wave dynamics etc that appear to be inconsistent with measurement and more exact numerical models. It may even be the case that the axisymmetric models don’t even make sense…after all there is a huge difference between the coupling of ocean and atmosphere and land and atmosphere. (If you’re going to incorporate Rossby waves you almost certainly have to include breaking).

    In my remarks I’ve tried to limit myself to regional scale effects (in particular the influence of an increase in radiative forcing on tropical convection). I certainly don’t considerable myself nearly clever enough to be able to predict what would happen in the real world on a global scale.

    (I’d like to add to your bibliographic list Held and Hu, 1980, which is a very elegant work, with the caveat that I think the results are probably wrong in “real life”)

  180. timetochooseagain said

    179-There’s a kind of art to simplifying complex problems to get a rough idea of what happens. As far as I can tell, the issues neglected probably has quantitative implications, but the over all picture, I don’t think would be radically different. But I only have a vague conception of atmospheric dynamics, so my first impressions are basically all I have. The qualitative impact that the forcing would have on the circulation seems pretty straightforward to me. Much like climate sensitivity though, I see there being quite a bit of uncertainty in the quantitative effect.

  181. Carrick said

    TTCA, I know a bit about the “art of simplifying problems”. I think the problem here is that it’s being overly simplified.

    Tapio Schneider at least thinks you need to include eddy and eddy interactions. (Tapio’s publication list is here. Lot’s of fun reading!)

  182. Carrick said

    Schneider has a nice review here.

  183. timetochooseagain said

    181-Eddies! Now that’s a recipe for complications! Thanks for the tip.

    Incidentally, atmospheric circulation, as it relates to heat transport, was a major topic of a talk Lindzen gave a few years back. He seems to think that it is key to understanding the equator to pole temperature gradients, and how and why they change radically in different climates. Without audio I don’t think it’s possible to get everything from it, but here’s the presentation slides:

    http://leohusswalinprize.org/uploads/files/Lindzen2_maj_06.pdf

  184. Howard said

    Carrick: Thanks. The strengthening/weakening seems to be strongly correlated to El Nino/La Nina.

    Also, it looks like there is a huge chunk of the puzzle still missing:

    From Schneider (Thanks again)

    4. How do theories for the Hadley circulation and for atmospheric macroturbulence
    based on dry dynamics need to be modified in the presence of
    moist processes, which alter, among other things, the effective static stability
    of the atmosphere? What is the structure of water vapor fluxes and of
    the global distribution of water vapor in the troposphere, given statistics of
    atmospheric macroturbulence?

  185. Orson said

    carrick wrote:

    “The Hadley Cell is strengthening</b pretty much in lock-step with diabatic heating (also shown). Reference."

    "lock-step?"-with the satellite data, yes, not ground. The HCI shows the familiar zero warming before 1998, and step-change up thereafter.

  186. PaulM said

    TTCA and Howard, thanks for the thoughtful comments and the Lindzen refs. These confirm the importance of the N-S temperature difference that Carrick claimed had nothing to do with it.

    Is Carrick now saying that the IPCC models used in Lu et al that predicted weakening of the Hadley circulation are wrong, since they conflict with observations? That seems to be partly the message of the Mitas paper.

  187. KevinUK said

    #175 Carrick

    “I finally had a chance to dig up a reference on experimental data:

    The Hadley Cell is strengthening</b pretty much in lock-step with diabatic heating (also shown). Reference.
    "

    Now you have read the conclusions of that paper by Mitas and Clement haven't you Carrick? It appears not!

    Foer the benefit of those withoutthe time to read it in full and in particular it's conclusions here they are

    "Comparison of changes in the Hadley circulation and
    the thermodynamic structure of the tropical atmosphere
    reveals some large discrepancies, which are summarized
    as follows:

    [14] . The majority of 94 model simulations show a
    decrease, or no increase of their DJF Hadley cell strength,
    opposite to the significant increase in the reanalyses, particularly
    in ERA40 over the period 1979–2000.

    [15] . Almost all model simulations show an increase of
    the tropical mid-tropospheric static stability for DJF 1979–
    2000, consistent with the adjustment of the moist adiabat to
    a warming surface. Again this is opposite in sign to the
    significant decrease in the static stability in reanalyses due
    to a cooling of the upper mid-troposphere. ERA40 has a
    larger decrease in static stability than NCEP/NCAR.

    [16] . An analysis of the energy balance shows that the
    models and reanalyses have a fundamentally different
    balance between diabatic heating, circulation and thermodynamic
    structure over the period 1979–2000.

    [17] While all the models show consistent response to
    surface warming with warming aloft and increased stability,
    because the dependence of their thermal structure on
    parameterizations there is the possibility that the models
    are not entirely realistic. On the other hand, the reanalyses
    are continuously constrained by the assimilation of radiosonde
    profiles in the tropics, among other observed data
    sets. These radiosonde profiles show a cooling in the upper
    tropical troposphere [Santer et al., 2005] which is apparently
    present in the reanalyses. With this reduced static
    stability, the Hadley circulation speeds up to accomplish the
    required heat transport, hence the increase in Hadley cell
    intensity. These observational temperature trends are far
    from certain, since there are significant errors and biases in
    radiosonde and satellite data sets as well as in the reanalyses
    [Mears and Wentz, 2005; Santer et al., 1999, 2005;
    Sherwood et al., 2005].

    [18] In conclusion, the results of this study suggest
    that state-of-the-art simulations appear to handle tropical
    dynamics and thermodynamics in a different manner than
    observationally-constrained reanalyses data sets over recent
    decades. The issue of observed as well as assimilated upper
    level tropical temperature trends is central to the lowfrequency
    behavior of the Hadley circulation intensity.
    Thus, because of uncertainties in the actual observations
    of tropospheric temperature [Santer et al., 2005], how
    observations are assimilated into the reanalyses, and potential
    biases and errors in the models, it is unclear what is the
    true long-term behavior of the Hadley cell. A more comprehensive
    picture of the tropical circulation and thermodynamic
    structure may emerge as additional, more direct
    measures of the circulation become available and as trends
    in tropical temperature profiles are reconciled [Lanzante et
    al., 2003; Mears and Wentz, 2005; Santer et al., 2005;
    Sherwood et al., 2005]."

    So to precis these conclusions

    WE DON'T HAVE MUCH OF A CLUE at all as to whether or not the Hadley Cell is strengthening or weakening at all from 1979 to 2000

    a. because the GCMs (AOGCMs and AGCMs) are crap
    b. and the reanalyses are also equally crap (becase of dodgy radiosonde data in the tropis) according to Ben 'I'd like to punch Pat Michaels' lights out' Santer

    Now given Ben Santer's clear involvement in Climategate and his wholesale re-writing of Chapter 8 of the IPCC SAR I struggle to take Ban Santer's word on anything seriously.

  188. Andrew said

    186-“TTCA and Howard, thanks for the thoughtful comments and the Lindzen refs. These confirm the importance of the N-S temperature difference that Carrick claimed had nothing to do with it.”

    I actually think Lindzen is saying that the equator to pole temperature difference is determined by the circulation, not the circulation by the temperature difference. This is because the only reason the Arctic isn’t much colder, especially in winter, than it is observed to be, is heat transport from the mid-latitudes. This is primarily done by turbulent eddies and storms that erratically penetrate the Arctic circle. The presence of an icecap is apparently critical to the circulation, but low latitude circulation will be primarily influenced, as Carrick has been arguing, by the heating of the surface by radiative effects.

  189. PaulM said

    187 Kevin, great summary of the state of climate science!

    188 Andrew, it probably goes both ways. Temperature differences drive circulation, but a vigorous circulation decreases the temperature difference. That’s generally how convection operates.

    Here are two key points from the Conclusions of Hou and Lindzen.

    “..we have identified two ways in which a small change in the distribution of heating can profoundly alter the intensity of the Hadley circulation”

    ” The various climate regimes that existed in the past were mostly characterized by changes in the pole-to-equator temperature difference rather than by changes in the mean temperature of the earth”.

    Pretty much what DeWitt and I have been saying all along.

  190. Carrick said

    Howard:

    Carrick: Thanks. The strengthening/weakening seems to be strongly correlated to El Nino/La Nina.

    That is true, but there is also a net trend superimposed on it.

  191. Carrick said

    KevinUK:

    Now you have read the conclusions of that paper by Mitas and Clement haven’t you Carrick? It appears not!

    I did and I commented on this issue (#99).

    Regardless, when reading science papers, you should start with the data, not somebody’s pet theories of why the data are like they are.

  192. Carrick said

    PaulM:

    Pretty much what DeWitt and I have been saying all along.

    The conclusion that the circulation is driven by pole-equatorial temperature differences is wrong experimentally… it gives the wrong sign relative to experimental observation. You need to read something a bit more up to date than Lindzen and Hou. Seriously, there has been progress since then.

    I’m getting a lot of handwaving while the data aren’t saying what the data are saying.

  193. Carrick said

    Again this figure compares diabatic heating to HC circulation intensity.

    Seriously, 86.4% correlation!?

    Somebody care to hazard what Delta_h (the pole-equatorial temperature difference) looks like over the same period and what the correlation would be?

    If there were only one circulation cell, instead of three (Hadley, Walker and Polar), the argument with Delta_h probably would have been right. It would be my argument, communication of the temperatures at the pole and equators are weakened by the intermediate Walker convective cell and the pressure highs at 30° N and S.

  194. Howard said

    Carrick:

    I never discounted diabatic heating as being one of the main drivers of Hadley cells. Meridional temperature gradient is responsible for transporting heat to the poles. Both factors (vertical and horizontal gradients) are absolutely required to create all of the circulation cells and the resulting eddies.

    There is a net trend from 1979-2002 of heating and cell strength. The trend is meaningless due to the limited data and shows essentially flat until 1997, then a brief step up due to a record El Nino in 1997/1998. The only way CO2 is responsible for increasing Hadley cell strength is if GHG AGW has increased the El Nino intensity. As Dr. Steig pointed out, this relationship is not yet sorted.

    See paper below. From what I can tell from a brief reading, they simulate that 2xCO2 inhibits instability:

    Paleo-Hadley

  195. Carrick said

    Howard:

    The trend is meaningless due to the limited data and shows essentially flat until 1997, then a brief step up due to a record El Nino in 1997/1998.

    You had me till this, lol.

    Look at the data again… there is a trend from 1984-2000 even if you zero out the years with el Ninos. There’s no way to deny there’s a trend. You might argue the significance of it. As to “limited data”, what constitutes “sufficient data”? Do you have a quantifiable criteria? (The people in the field seem to think the interval is long enough to conclude the “old school” theories are broken.)

    Your link is broken btw. Otherwise I would read it.

    My suspicion is that dynamic effects associated with the horse latitudes overwhelm what is a very weak link between polar and equatorial temperature. Remind yourself that 70% of the surface of the Earth is ocean, and then take a look at latitudinal effect on SST. Maybe that’s part of the explanation why a bigger effect isn’t seen?

  196. Jeff Id said

    Sorry to break up the discussion but can anyone get access to this paper?

    Quaternary Science Reviews
    Volume 29, Issues 15-16, July 2010, Pages 1757-1778
    Special Theme: Arctic Palaeoclimate Synthesis (PP. 1674-1790)

    Here is a link but it is behind a paywall

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VBC-4YKFMY0-2&_user=10&_coverDate=07%2F31%2F2010&_alid=1371715994&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_cdi=5923&_sort=r&_docanchor=&view=c&_ct=20&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=7c9eadef74c85be371859b00e0fc2e9c

  197. Carrick said

    Jeff it’s on the way.

  198. Carrick said

    Howard, I’ll answer my own question.

    “Sufficiently long” is really a statistical statement. If you posit a link between diabatic heating and Hadley circulation intensity, then “sufficiently long” is long enough to either confirm the effect or rule it out (e.g. at the 95% CL).

    The fact that the two quantities track so well over 20 years is probably not a coincidence, though I’d love to see this updated to 1980-2010 to be sure.

  199. timetochooseagain said

    192-Please clarify-You mean that the Hadley Cell isn’t driven by equator to pole temperature difference, not that the equator to pole temperature difference isn’t critically dependent on heat transport, right? Do you disagree with any points in Lindzen’s presentation at 183?

    193-Your thinking of the Ferrel Cell, not the Walker circulation. The former is the ball bearing between the Hadley and Polar Cells, the later is a longitudinal circulation, not latitudinal.

  200. Carrick said

    TTCA, yes you are correct…. I meant the Ferrel Cell.

    Take a look at Eq. 1 in this paper

    φ_h = sqrt(Δ_v H)

    φ_h — Hadley cell latitude
    Δ_v — temperature difference from surface to tropopasue
    H — tropopause height

    Associated verbiage:

    Much of our understanding of the Hadley cell comes from simple theories. For instance, Held and Hou [1980] (hereafter HH80) showed that the Hadley cell has a finite width even without the presence of baroclinic eddies in midlatitudes, and calculated a scaling for this width. On the other hand, in the HH80 model, the winds reach large values in the subtropics. Such large shears may become baroclinically unstable before the cell terminates according to the HH80 scaling. The resulting momentum fluxes would induce a Ferrel cell of the opposite direction which would end the Hadley cell prematurely. Held [2000] (hereafter H00) provides an alternate scaling for the Hadley circulation width based on this concept.

    They also say:

    A similar scaling can be derived by assuming a critical Eady growth rate for baroclinic instability, which results in a change of exponent from 1/4 to 1/6. The H00 scaling has been shown to be accurate for simulations of global warming [Lu et al., 2007], as well as a set of idealized dry simulations in the study of Walker and Schneider [2006].

    Note that Δ_h (the temperature difference from equator to pole) plays no role in the width of the Hadley cell, other than it initiates the poleward motion. Dynamical meteorological effects kick in, making the width entirely determined by the strength of the tropical convection, a point I argued somewhat less elegantly above…

    Held 2000 may be found here.

  201. Carrick said

    Regarding Lindzen’s presentation, the short answer is I do disagree with some of the points he tries to make. Let’s not go there right now.😉

  202. ngvxsite said

    Knowledge and Good idea to. Dealing with Heating and air conditioning

  203. kim said

    I reiterate, and may someone please explain where my ignorance has led me astray:

    Energy enters preferentially at the equator and similarly leaves at the poles. This creates the necessity for a poleward flow of energy, determining the currents and the winds. All greenhouse gasses facilitate this energy entry equatorially and exit more poleward. How would raising the concentration of CO2 alter this process?
    ===========

  204. kim said

    Any extra heat retained equatorially by CO2 would be lost more poleward, also by CO2. Or not; help explain this to me.
    =========

  205. Carrick said

    Kim, what happens near the equator is the additional CO2 increases the surface heat, which in turn increases the differential temperature Δ_v between the surface and the tropopause (which is also elevated by the additional surface heating). That increases the strength of the convective motion, and as predicted by Held 2000, also widens the Hadley Cell.

  206. kim said

    And more poleward, CO2 and the other convectively heated gases, facilitate the escape of the heat.
    =================

  207. KevinUK said

    #205 carrick

    “Kim, what happens near the equator is the additional CO2 increases the surface heat, which in turn increases the differential temperature Δ_v between the surface and the tropopause (which is also elevated by the additional surface heating). That increases the strength of the convective motion, and as predicted by Held 2000, also widens the Hadley Cell.”

    Stated with such confidence and certainty Carrick! And that confidence and certainty in the facthat you know what’s happening is all despite the conclusions given in the Mita and Clement paper given in #187 above. Just to remind you again.

    “So to precis these conclusions

    WE DON’T HAVE MUCH OF A CLUE at all as to whether or not the Hadley Cell is strengthening or weakening at all from 1979 to 2000

    a. because the GCMs (AOGCMs and AGCMs) are crap
    b. and the reanalyses are also equally crap (because of dodgy radiosonde data in the tropics) according to Ben ‘I’d like to punch Pat Michaels’ lights out’ Santer

    Now as far as I’m concerned Isaac Held can predict whatever he want’s about the Hadley Cell. The fact that Isaac Held along with Brian Soden are the two key people who we have to thank for the ‘net strong positive feedback from water vapour and clouds’ built into the GCMs that produces the politically needed ‘we must act now in order to save the planet’ CAGW projections (that the IPCC needs inorder to justify its continued existence) means that I for one am extremely skeptically of anything he says. I certainly do not take what he says as ‘gospel’ as you appear to do. The fact is the data is poor (even Ben Santer thinks so) and the models disagree with the data (reanalyses) so in reality at this stage no one really knows (and at least Mitas and Clement are prepared to admit it) if the Hadley Cell has been affected by CO2 emissions or not. As far as I’m concerned Carrick it’s therefore patently clear that you are the one who is doing most if not all of the hand waving at present.

  208. Carrick said

    KeninUK:

    Stated with such confidence and certainty Carrick! And that confidence and certainty in the facthat you know what’s happening is all despite the conclusions given in the Mita and Clement paper given in #187 above. Just to remind you again.

    I have presented data and theory, from multiple sources.

    You’ve responded with childish insults.

    When you feel like conversing like an adult get back to me.

  209. KevinUK said

    #208 Carrick

    “I have presented data and theory, from multiple sources.

    You’ve responded with childish insults.”

    Oh dear, it looks like I’ve won the debate then, as it appears that you are now claiming that pointing out the fact that the sources and data you have presented don’t support your claim and most definitely not the level of confidence and certainty you display in your statements is ‘childish’. You accuse me of being ‘childish’ because I’ve pointed out the fact that you are hand waving and you clearly don’t want to admit to it. Well I’m sorry but ‘That’s life’ as they say so deal with it rather than ‘spit out your dummy’ – oh sorry I didn’t mean that as that would mean I’m accusing you of being a child now which i know you are not.

    Now please keep presenting data and theory as that way we can all see that the theory doesn’t quite seem to tie up with the data, yet it appears that for some that doesn’t seem to matter. I’m afraid to a lot of oter people it does matter and in fact it matters a great deal when we are being expected to pay for all of this – so please continue and I promise I won’t accuse you of being childish provided you don’t accuse me of being childish again.

  210. Carrick said

    KevinUK, you haven’t pointed out anything. You make a series of blanket statements “WE DON’T HAVE MUCH OF A CLUE at all as to whether or not the Hadley Cell is strengthening or weakening at all from 1979 to 2000”, “because the GCMs (AOGCMs and AGCMs) are crap” and “and the reanalyses are also equally crap”.

    Quite honestly this is just the opinion of the self-appointed expert KevinUK. And it’s worth at least every cent we paid for it too.

    This (and the snarky comments) is “winning a debate”???

    SRLY?

    You really think that?

  211. timetochooseagain said

    201-Let me know if and when we could get into such a discussion. I think it would be very interesting. If you think this is a bad forum for this, we could exchange emails about it:

    crazybean13 AT gmail DOT com

  212. Howard said

    Carrick sorry about the link, I can’t find it again.

    Sufficiently long is a physical statement. A line can be fit to any data set, but that line or trend is meaningless without a physical mechanism behind it.

    The plot you have posted:

    Hadley-Diabatic

    Is only 21 years long and is within the most recent PDO warm-phase and ends 2-years after a huge El Nino event. A trend from this plot is cherry-picking. Since the PDO phases last 20- to 30-years and CO2 started climbing fast around 1950, it is impossible for your “trend” to be meaningful of anything.

    Also, since the plot of Hadley is a normalized index, it suffers from graphical myopia. If the plot was of total Hadley energy (I’m guessing here) the plot would be small hills on top of a mountain. To make any logical conclusion of a trend, we need to look at the several previous valleys and mountains.

    I’ll let you and KevinUK get back to your “debate”.

  213. Howard said

    Linking error

    Hadley-Diabatic

  214. Carrick said

    Howard:

    Sufficiently long is a physical statement. A line can be fit to any data set, but that line or trend is meaningless without a physical mechanism behind it.

    There is a physical mechanism behind it: diabatic heating, and almost all of the observed variability in the Hadley Cell intensity is explained by that. Furthermore, Held 2000 and Fiersen 2007 both discuss the connection between the two.

    There is (to me) no reason to expect Hadley Cell circulation to be tied into anything other than short-term climate forcings. We’re back to “meaningless without a physical mechanism”. What mechanism do you proposed beyond modulation of the short-period forcings (such as Δ_v and Δ_h)?

    If the PDO modulates Δ_v for example, and Δ_v changes the intensity of the Hadley Cell circulation, do you learn anything really new by waiting e.g. 30 years?

  215. Howard said

    Carrick

    Your previous point was regarding some upward trend in the data. Is TSI near the EQ a short-term forcing?

    I think we beat this to death enough for one thread.

  216. KevinUK said

    #210 Carrick,

    “Quite honestly this is just the opinion of the self-appointed expert KevinUK. And it’s worth at least every cent we paid for it too.

    This (and the snarky comments) is “winning a debate”???”

    At what point in what I’ve posted here on this thread do I claim to be an ‘expert’ Carrick? On the contrary by virtue of the ceratinty in your statements it’s clear that you are the one who is a ‘self-appointed expert’ and not me. In fact what I am pointing out is that even the so called experts disagree yet you are nonetheless prepared to make confident claims of prove of a relationship between CO2 emissions and the Hadley Cell despite these clear admissions of uncertainty on the part of the experts as to whether this is the case or not. Also when someone is losing a debate (as you are here IMO) it’s often the case that they will accuse the person they are losing the debate to of something which they themselves are clearly guilty of. You appear to be a classic case of this at the moment.

    Now you may be interested in one expert’s (John Christy’s) recent presentation to the InterAcademies Council panel

    http://climategate.nl/2010/06/17/john-christy-ipcc-authors-are-gatekeepers/

    “A fundamental problem with the entire issue here is that climate science is not a classic, experimental science. As an emerging science of a complex, chaotic climate system, it is plagued by uncertainty and ambiguity in both observations and theory. Lacking classic, laboratory results, it easily becomes hostage to opinion, groupthink, arguments-from-authority, overstatement of confidence, and even Hollywood movies.

    Apart of the last bit (unless you are an actor?), does that remind you of anyone Carrick?

  217. kim said

    I can forgive Carrick for his mistaking a property for a mechanism; faith is strong and often good. It seems that experimentally testing the mechanism is difficult and observational tests are ambivalent. It would seem that ‘we don’t know, let’s find out’ is the way forward.

    A side issue, but unresolved here, is my idea that the greenhouse gases trap energy at the equator but facilitate its escape more poleward. At the poles, the ratio of what the greenhouse gases warmed by transport from the equator are radiating outward to what they trap from the surface is much higher compared to that ratio at the equator. In this scenario the composition of the GHGs is irrrelevant, because the result of ‘radiative’ action at the equator is reversed at the poles.
    =====================

  218. Carrick said

    Howard:

    Your previous point was regarding some upward trend in the data. Is TSI near the EQ a short-term forcing?

    It’s not the frequency content of the forcing that matters its the integration period of the system that is responding to it.

    The integration time for the Hadley cell is roughly the period for overturning… which is much less than say the 20-year period that you were claiming to be to short.

  219. Carrick said

    KevinUK:

    At what point in what I’ve posted here on this thread do I claim to be an ‘expert’ Carrick? On the contrary by virtue of the ceratinty in your statements it’s clear that you are the one who is a ‘self-appointed expert

    That is pretty interesting because I’m leaning on what the people who are at the top of the field are saying. You are not, you are relying on your own judgement: Remember this?

    “WE DON’T HAVE MUCH OF A CLUE at all as to whether or not the Hadley Cell is strengthening or weakening at all from 1979 to 2000″, “because the GCMs (AOGCMs and AGCMs) are crap” and “and the reanalyses are also equally crap”.

    I wouldn’t personally be so quickly dismissive of the life work of others, especially if I am not (as you admit too) an expert.

  220. Carrick said

    Kim:

    I can forgive Carrick for his mistaking a property for a mechanism; faith is strong and often good. It seems that experimentally testing the mechanism is difficult and observational tests are ambivalent. It would seem that ‘we don’t know, let’s find out’ is the way forward.

    Since when is convection not a “mechanism”, Kim?

    Radiative forcing via the absorption of long-wave radiation is a mechanism too.

    I agree with Howard…this thread has completely spun down. Y’all enjoy.

  221. kim said

    All these mechanisms, which you’ve not assembled into a functioning and testable machine.

    Bah, Humbug.
    =======

  222. kim said

    Who needs to be an expert when the failure of projection by the models dismisses the ‘lifework’ of the modelers?
    ==================

  223. kevinditc said

    #219, Carrick

    “That is pretty interesting because I’m leaning on what the people who are at the top of the field are saying”

    You mean like Michael Mann, or Kevin Trenberth, or Ben Santer or maybe even Eric Steig?

    We all have a ‘life work’, Carrick. Just because we do, it doesn’t make us anymore authoritative on a subject than anyone else who also takes the time to study and research into the same subject. Our ‘live work’ could just as easily be wrong or flawed as it could be ‘right’ (whatever right is supposed to mean?). What particularly bugs me (and is why I’ve had a bit of a go at you here Carrick and I now apologise for that) is when the strength of someone’s argument rests almost entirely on their so called ‘authority’ and not much else – ‘trust me, I know the data is a bit ropey and my computer model is ‘parameterised’ to produce the output I expect, but honestly I’ve studied this phenomema for years so I know I’m right’.

    Well sorry no! Show me your data, show me your model, I’ll apply the scientific method (that you should also be applying but are not) and I’ll attempt to show that your hypothesis is wrong and if your data and model don’t support your claims then I’ll tell you so, no matter what your ‘authority’ is. Now I don’t care if this is your ‘life work’, if it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny then tough, get yourself another career as the reality is you’ve just wasted your ‘life’ and haven’t added a single thing to the advancement of our knowledge in your particular chosen (and mor eoften than not funded by somone else – usually taxpayers) subject. Brutal I know but that’s life and we all need to deal with it.

  224. Tom Curtis said

    I am sorry if anyone has raised this point before, but:

    From Spencer’s description, it appears that he has independantly determined the correlation between change in Northern Hemisphere surface temperature and each of the PDO, AMO, and SOI over the 1900-1960 interval; being approximately 2, 1.3, and -2.4 respectively. He has then, post 1960 added each the change of surface temperature for each year for each indice. However, the AMO and PDO, at least are significantly correlated so these are not independant variables. As such, in summing the changes, the change due to the PDO and AMO should be weighted to account for the correlation. Failure to do so will add the same value in twice (so to speak).

    It should be easy to check, for some one with the appropriate programs and statistical skill (which unfortunately precludes me) whether that has in fact been Spencer’s proceedure. It should also be easy to check whether that can be a valid technique by applying it to the training period to see how well it recreates the surface temperature fluctuations over the training period. I am predicting that should that be done, the resulting reconstruction will be very poorly correlated over that interval.

  225. […] Natural Warming Id @ the Air Vent Warming in Last 50 Years Predicted by Natural Climate Cycles Spencer @ Spencer Evidence for Natural Climate Cycles in the IPCC Climate Models’ 20th Century Temperature Reconstructions Spencer @ Spencer […]

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