It’s only taken two weeks to go from the blog posts shredding McLean et al to a paper submitted to the Journal of Geophysical Research. The authors are G. Foster, J. D. Annan, P. D. Jones, M. E. Mann, B. Mullan, J. Renwick, J. Salinger, G. A. Schmidt, and K. E. Trenberth and the abstract says:

McLean et al. [2009] (henceforth MFC09) claim that the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), as represented by the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), accounts for as much as 72% of the global tropospheric temperature anomaly (GTTA) and an even higher 81% of this anomaly in the tropics. They conclude that the SOI is a “dominant and consistent influence on mean global temperatures,” “and perhaps recent trends in global temperatures”. However, their analysis is incorrect in a number of ways, and greatly overstates the influence of ENSO on the climate system. This comment first briefly reviews what is understood about the influence of ENSO on global temperatures, then goes on to show that the analysis of MFC09 severely overestimates the correlation between temperature anomalies and the SOI by inflating the power in the 2-6 year time window while filtering out variability on longer and shorter time scales. It is only because of this faulty analysis that they are able to claim such extremely high correlations. The suggestion in their conclusions that ENSO may be a major contributor to recent trends in global temperature is not supported by their analysis or any physical theory presented in that paper, especially as the analysis method itself eliminates the influence of trends on the purported correlations.

Via Joe Romm and Gareth Renowden.

Comments

  1. #1 Boris
    August 7, 2009

    Of course, the quick response to the McLean paper doesn’t mean that the original is junk, but that the global warming fraudsters are efficient and determined to quash dissent. They obviously feel threatened by this brilliant paper.

    Oh, and how many authors does it take to refute a paper anyway? If McLean were so bad, it would only take one. Right?

  2. #2 Nick
    August 7, 2009

    Good old Gareth AO QC…taking time off from international jurisprudence. Seriously,it’s good to see a prompt and pointed response to these fools.

  3. #3 Tim Curtin is a Joke
    August 7, 2009

    Is Boris Poe? Or sincere?

  4. #4 Gareth
    August 7, 2009

    Evans? Moi?

    As Private Eye might say, Shurely shome mishtake?

  5. #5 Oakden Wolf
    August 7, 2009

    There’s that sunglasses guy again.

  6. #6 Tim Lambert
    August 7, 2009

    All right, Renowden.

  7. #7 Bernard J.
    August 7, 2009

    Whip, meet arse.

  8. #8 Dave Andrews
    August 7, 2009

    Tim,

    Your link to the paper goes nowhere. Seems to happen quite a lot that the links you provide are problematical.

  9. #9 Lee
    August 7, 2009

    try:
    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers

    And scroll down to the Foster et. al. paper

  10. #10 Hank Roberts
    August 7, 2009

    > scroll down
    Or click above the Date column to sort recentmost first.

  11. #11 tamino
    August 7, 2009

    The paper can be found here.

  12. #12 DavidK
    August 7, 2009

    Of course, the quick response to the McLean paper doesn’t mean that the original is junk, but that the global warming fraudsters are efficient and determined to quash dissent. They obviously feel threatened by this brilliant paper.

    Boris, why is the McLean paper “brilliant”?

  13. #13 DavidK
    August 7, 2009

    Better still, Boris. Have you actually read the rebuttal paper linked to by Tamino?

    If you have, what bit/s don’t you understand?

    If you haven’t, don’t you think you should?

  14. #14 DavidK
    August 7, 2009

    It seems Carter (for one) just wants to claim he is a “published” climate scientist – no matter the junk he puts his name to. Sad, really.

  15. #15 Bernard J.
    August 7, 2009

    For those who are wondering, Boris is a clever example of Poe’s law.

    I suspect though that his comments will be added to the Denialati body-memetic…

  16. #16 Bernard J.
    August 7, 2009

    DavidK.

    Your observation at #14 has been bothering me also. I suspect that [Cohenite](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/07/ahh_mclean_youve_done_it_again.php#comment-1818988) and [Curtin](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/03/tim_curtin_thread.php#comment-1821690) are both slavering and with hands-in-pocket at the idea of making the same claim…

    The obverse though is that just as Foster et al have munched on MVC09 for entrée, Stockwell and Cox 09 and Curtin (&?) 09 will make a lovely main and dessert for similar works of refutation.

    It’s gotta be even more painful to have to realise that one’s entire published body of ‘scientific’ work in climatology has been shown to be a total load of ignorant bunkum, than it might be ego-stroking to think that one was published in the first place.

    Now, if authors (or journals) were forced to withdraw their papers and to apologise if they have been shown to be scientifically inadequate on an extreme scale, then perhaps justice would be served…

  17. #17 DavidK
    August 7, 2009

    BJ
    I guess there isn’t much some lawyers won’t do to get their rocks off, in their pockets or in their minds.

  18. #18 DavidK
    August 7, 2009

    Argghhh, damn Poe strikes again?

  19. #19 Billy Bob Hall
    August 7, 2009

    Well said Boris(#1). The ‘warmists’ are all to quick to adopt the ‘Authority’ fall-back. If there are problems with Foster etal paper (I’m not saying there is), they will always have the ultimate fall-back, that being the ‘Authority’ of the IPCC.

    And, from the abstract there : ‘recent trends in global temperature is not supported by their analysis or any physical theory’…

    On the theory part, well of course not. There is no ‘General Theory of Climate’ and there is never likely to be. As for ‘their analysis’, this is the part of the science that needs to be tested.
    Do any of you think the McLean et al authors will have any problems with anyone testing their hypotheses ? My guess is probably not.

  20. #20 MarkB
    August 7, 2009

    Boris nailed it!

    The AGW crowd is terrified. The warmists know the consensus is cracking every day as more and more scientists speak out against the greatest hoax perpetuated on mankind. The frantic response to the McLean study shows the alarmists are worried about losing their grant money as the AGW scam crumbles around them and Americans reject cap and tax and the economic devastation it would bring. They even recruited debunked hockey stick fraudster Mikey Mann. The Earth is cooling, arctic ice and glaciers are expanding, sea level is falling despite alarmist predictions, PDO is in the cool phase, and guess what? The Sun is again blank of sunspots, moving towards the ice age 400 years ago. Coincidence? Hardly. We skeptics have been telling alarmists for years that the Sun and el Nino controls global warming…er…”climate change”. I like how they changed the name when the Earth stopped warming in 1998. But admitting the reality that AGW is a scam won’t give them an excuse to tax working people and keep the research dollars flowing.

    Best wishes.

  21. #21 Eli Rabett
    August 7, 2009

    Mark B., please use …. flags for the Billy Bobs of the world.

  22. #22 windjunky
    August 8, 2009

    Sea level is falling MarkB(#20)? Huh?
    Not sure what alternative earth these whackos live on but on mine its doing this:
    http://tinyurl.com/slevel

    From: http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/

  23. #23 bi -- IJI
    August 8, 2009

    Shorter Billy Bob Hall + MarkB:

    McLean et al. have absolutely no problem with people testing their hypotheses. However, if their hypotheses are refuted, then it shows that they are actually right.

    Insert a bunch of the usual irrelevant talking points here.

  24. #24 MarkG
    August 8, 2009

    MarkB: so much wrong it’s best to pick one thing at a time to get to:

    >arctic ice and glaciers are expanding

    You realise it’s summer (ie: melting) in the Arctic right? And that the current summer melt is at least on track to get to the (fairly) linear 30 year decline, if not worse? [NSIDC]. What definition of “expanding” are you using?

  25. #25 Dappled Water
    August 8, 2009

    Why don’t those loser denialist posts just get deleted?. They contribute nothing. Seriously how many times can you guys debunk the same old tired denier garbage. Links to authoratative sources are simply ignored by them, and the same ridiculous myths endlessly recycled.

    I’m trying to understand more about the science, but threads get derailed by the denialist trolls. It pisses me off.

  26. #26 Donald Oats
    August 8, 2009

    Re #19 BBH: He states baldly that there is no “General theory of climate”, and that likely never will be.

    I have on my bookshelf A.S. Monin, “An Introduction to the Theory of Climate”, 1986, D. Reidel Publishing Company.
    I will concede that at the time of writing, Monin considered the theory of climate to be in its infancy, and incomplete in terms of factors taken into account. More recently there is the work: Barry Saltzmann, “Dynamical Paleoclimatology: Generalized Theory of Global Climate Change”, 2002, Academic Press.
    In this book many more factors are incorporated into the theory of climate, including geochemistry, biology, paleoentology, dynamical systems, tectonics, glacier mechanics. The advance from Monin’s theory of climate is clear.

    I would say this is strong evidence of a theory of climate existing within the scientific literature, since before 1986 in fact.

    Stop blowing smoke, Billy-Bob Hall.

  27. #27 Mark Byrne
    August 8, 2009

    Is MarkB a Poe too?

    If you are a Poe, shame about the tag.

  28. #28 MarkB
    August 8, 2009

    Poe indeed. Boris inspired me. I thought it was obvious but after re-reading it, the series of random inane talking points isn’t far from what is typically seen throughout the denialsphere.

  29. #29 Marion Delgado
    August 8, 2009

    Bernard J.: Ever since I added a Tibeto-Basque citation to the denialosphere, I agree there’s very little you could possibly say that wouldn’t filter in there, really.

  30. #30 John Mashey
    August 8, 2009

    re: 25 dappled water

    Google: mashey shadow threads posts

    For one way to deal with this, which I’m hoping someone will incorporate into blogging software sometime. This is slightly akin to Tim’s practice of making a “Curtin thread” or “Ray thread”, for example.

    For what it’s worth, deleting a post as thought it had never been can sometimes remove knowledge. On occasion, a polite troll has appeared, started asking questions, and reasonable people have tried to answer, but sometimes, from threads elsewhere, it may be clear that they are just wasting time, as good answers have beengi en multiple times already.

  31. #31 Boris
    August 8, 2009

    “I thought it was obvious but after re-reading it, the series of random inane talking points isn’t far from what is typically seen throughout the denialsphere.”

    Anthony Watts might charge you with plagiarism, actually.

  32. #32 Donald Oats
    August 9, 2009

    Tim, the link to FosteretalJGR09.pdf seems to be walled off now. You might want to check it.

  33. #33 DavidK
    August 9, 2009

    Donald, there is a glitch but Tamino linked to it @11.

    Tim, can you fix?

  34. #34 Roger Jones
    August 9, 2009

    Mark B #20

    Love your work.

    BTW 22, 23, 24, 27. Perhaps you should check out the Landover Baptist Church before you get too hot under the collar. They get outraged emails from the righteous, too.

    Doug — ‘e knew all the tricks: drama’ic irony, me’aphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and … sa’ire.

    Another anti AGW petition? Where do I sign?

  35. #35 Paul UK
    August 9, 2009

    >…they will always have the ultimate fall-back, that being the ‘Authority’ of the IPCC.

    I rarely refer to the IPCC or AL Gore come to that.
    Generally speaking it is those that oppose them or no very little about the subject that are more likely to refer to them and depend on them.

  36. #36 Paul UK
    August 9, 2009

    >MarkB: The AGW crowd is terrified.

    Erm not exactly, in fact quite the opposite.

  37. #37 Paul UK
    August 9, 2009

    Dappled Water:
    >Why don’t those loser denialist posts just get deleted?.

    I’m not sure that would be a good idea.
    That’s the sort of thing many denialist web sites do (especially some American sites). Many are owned by nut case individuals with an axe to grind.

    I have had a number of my posts deleted by such nut jobs. The overall impression is that they are control freaks that say one thing about the freedom of speech, but in reality can’t stand it.

  38. #38 Tim Lambert
    August 9, 2009

    OK, I fixed the link.

  39. #39 MarkB
    August 9, 2009

    Boris writes:

    “Anthony Watts might charge you with plagiarism, actually.”

    Don’t you mean copyright infringement?

    http://climateprogress.org/2009/07/29/the-video-that-anthony-watts-does-not-want-you-to-see-the-sinclair-climate-denial-crock-of-the-week/

  40. #40 Billy Bob Hall
    August 9, 2009

    No worries Dappled Water (#25). Sorry to hear it. Please be aware when you get brave enough to venture onto a blog where there are real ‘deniers’, they will probably flense great chunks out of your arguments and with great ease. I’m here to help.
    Tuffen up ! :-)

  41. #41 luminous beauty
    August 9, 2009

    >Please be aware when you get brave enough to venture onto a blog where there are real ‘deniers’, they will probably flense doubtless throw great chunks out of [of poo](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance) at your arguments and with great ease.

    Fixed.

  42. #42 Stephen Gloor (Ender)
    August 9, 2009

    BTW how come the self appointed auditor general of science didn’t run his eagle eye over the McLean et al paper to pick up the mistakes in analysis? Or are only papers mentioning the Hockey Stick worthy of his attention.

    Just asking……..

  43. #43 connor
    August 9, 2009

    Another NASA conspiracy!!!!111!

    http://www.informationweek.com/news/government/leadership/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=219100396

    I just bet they discovered this using instruments and corrected data that was fed through a computer model. More lies! There ARE no exoplanets!!!

  44. #44 GSJ
    August 10, 2009

    > BTW how come the self appointed auditor general of science didn’t run his eagle eye over the McLean et al paper to pick up the mistakes in analysis? Or are only papers mentioning the Hockey Stick worthy of his attention.

    Indeed. Seems to me that the general does little more than relive past glories, i.e., MBH98, which is now 11 years ago. He seems to think that he can rest on his “laurels”.

  45. #45 Billy Bob Hall
    August 10, 2009

    Hey Donald (#26), all noted. Very interesting. I dare say the 1986 publication was probably ‘ambitious’ as you kinda elude to.
    The title of the 2002 publication is intriguing to me too. Not to mention the subject matter it covers also.
    So paleo-climate is something that has to be considered in the debate ? Not just ‘post 1960′ atmospheric CO2 and surface temperature measurements ? The inclusion of all those scientific disciplines in a ‘General Theory’ must make it extraordinarily complex ?
    Anyway, I’ll try to get a look at these publications. I admit I am surprized to learn of their existence.

  46. #46 Janet Akerman
    August 10, 2009

    >So paleo-climate is something that has to be considered in the debate ? Not just ‘post 1960′ atmospheric CO2 and surface temperature measurements ?

    Now your getting the picture Billy Bob. You can now start reading [chapter 6](ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_Ch06.pdf) of the AR4.

  47. #47 Dappled Water
    August 10, 2009

    luminous beauty (#41). He has great confidence in his ignorance doesn’t he?.

  48. #48 Billy Bob Hall
    August 10, 2009

    Come on guys. (#46). If I wanted to read a political pamphlet, I’d read a good speech from good ole R.M. Nixon or some such.
    This chapter 6 has been demolished already. Where is the approx ~800 year lag of temp leading CO2 increase for example ?
    The ‘mealy mouthed’ comments too on Soon and McIntyre’s breaking of the ‘hockey stick’ is also ‘quaint’.
    But, there’s plenty of ‘peer review’ here, so they must be right ?

  49. #49 Jeff Harvey
    August 10, 2009

    Soon? An authority on climate science? You must be joking. Ditto McIntyre.

    Both are a couple of hacks in my opinion. The usual suspects I referred to the other day. The denial lobby is so thin on the ground for scientific voices willing to join them in their denial it will take anyone with any scientific background and promote their nonsense. A range of studies have showm the hockey stick to be empirically sound. We don’t need shills associated with the George C. Marshall Institute to say, “It ain’t so, Joe!”.

    See WIKI entry here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_C._Marshall_Institute

    Note the names listed as ‘contributing writers’ or on the ‘Board of Directors’. Yup, shills alright.

    Dappled: you’ve summed up old neophyte BBH to a tee.

  50. #50 Mark
    August 10, 2009

    > Where is the approx ~800 year lag of temp leading CO2 increase for example ?

    Where it’s always been: the result of warming, whether due to increasing solar constant or exhaust from cars.

    You sound like a broken propaganda record from the Russian Politburo.

  51. #51 Chris O'Neill
    August 10, 2009

    Billy Bob Hall:

    McIntyre’s breaking of the ‘hockey stick’

    McIntyre found a shortcoming with the method in the oldest of the eleven hockeystick papers used by the IPCC and nothing about the others. Finding nothing wrong with the method in ten papers is not “breaking them”. The fact that you are so ignorant about this is not surprising.

  52. #52 luminous beauty
    August 10, 2009

    >McIntyre found a shortcoming with the method in the oldest of the eleven hockeystick papers used by the IPCC…

    Not really. He maybe discovered that pseudo-proxies that estimate averaged first order AR processes iterated in the reverse order of the actual method used behave funny compared to real data.

    [Not surprising, that.](www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/ammann/…/refs/Wahl_ClimChange2007.pdf)

  53. #53 cohenite
    August 10, 2009

    Your link doesn’t work luminous; maybe you could iterate until it does.

  54. #54 MAB
    August 10, 2009

    Billy Bob writes:

    >So paleo-climate is something that has to be considered in the debate ? Not just ‘post 1960′ atmospheric CO2 and surface temperature measurements ?

    Now your getting the picture Billy Bob. You can now start reading chapter 6 of the AR4.

    Billy Bob responds:
    >If I wanted to read a political pamphlet, I’d read a good speech from good ole R.M. Nixon or some such.

    Billy Bob, your response has [been anticipated.](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/07/the_agw_denialists_rules_for_d.php)

    >This chapter 6 has been demolished already.

    Show us where and how? (From someone who just asked , “*So paleo-climate is something that has to be considered in the debate ? Not just ‘post 1960′ atmospheric CO2 and surface temperature measurements?*)

    >Where is the approx ~800 year lag of temp leading CO2 increase for example ?

    What exactly is your criticim? Were you hoping that that the 800 year lag would prove something in particular? That humans didn’t cause previous climate change by buring fossil fuels?

    >The ‘mealy mouthed’ comments too on Soon and McIntyre’s breaking of the ‘hockey stick’ is also ‘quaint’. But, there’s plenty of ‘peer review’ here, so they must be right ?

    Again what exactly is your criticim? Or is this a generic sort of rant without facts nor logic?

  55. #55 Bernard J.
    August 11, 2009

    Your link doesn’t work luminous; maybe you could iterate until it does.

    Cohenite. It is quite apparent that you are not able to UTFSE, with even a single iteration. To remedy your incapacity to locate very easily found references, I will provide you with [the link](http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/ammann/millennium/refs/Wahl_ClimChange2007.pdf).

    Oh, and how are your answers to [the questions](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/07/ahh_mclean_youve_done_it_again.php#comment-1819185) coming along? Given the delay, I can only assume that you are having some difficulty with them.

    If I may be so impudent, perhaps you might also consider explaining how you distinguish between your so-called ‘breaks’, and other trajectories described by the various temperature-affecting factors that constitute the complex beast called climate. I’m also curious about why you choose to countenance the concept of a phenomenologically undescribed break, over Ockham’s razor of known superimpositions of oscillations over natural and anthropogenic forcings.

  56. #56 cohenite
    August 11, 2009
  57. #57 cohenite
    August 11, 2009

    And BJ; “a phenomenologically undescribed break” is a bit tough; I suggest you read the references, especially the Cai and Wijffels, Guilderson and Schrag, McPhaden and Zhang and Wainwright and Pigot papers and you’ll find all the contemperaneous phenomenological descriptions; both the Cai and Vecchi papers attribute some of the described phenomena to AF but their views do not accommodate abrupt climate changes which occurred in both 1976 and 1998.

    Perhaps you would care to explain the apparent reversal in the PDO phase in 1998 and how that is consistent with AGW?

  58. #58 Michael
    August 11, 2009

    Geez, cohers, you put some pollies to shame with your ability to not answer the question.

    How is the series of numbers problem, that BJ set you 2 months ago, going??

  59. #59 Mark
    August 11, 2009

    > Ah, thank you BJ; here is my take on Wahl and Ammann;

    > Posted by: cohenite

    Why haven’t you peer reviewed published it then? Or are you afraid that it too will be torn down?

  60. #60 Dave
    August 11, 2009

    Mark:

    > Why haven’t you peer reviewed published it then?

    Probably because it includes untruths such as this:

    > the Oreskes thesis has been repudiated.

    …in the second paragraph…

    Care to provide a “repudiation” of Oreskes that can stand a bit of scrutiny? Surely you *can’t* be thinking of Peiser’s retracted efforts…? Or Schulte’s failed attempts…? Or Monckton’s fabricated claims that she was told to apologise…?

  61. #61 Alan
    August 11, 2009

    Bob Carter’s paper inspired me to do some statisitical analysis of my own.

    I plotted the angle of elevation of the sun above (or below) the horizon vs. temperature for Alice Springs on an hourly basis for one year. There seemed to be a correlation, albeit with the temperature lagging the elevation of the sun, so I did a Fourier analysis of the temperature record and found a very strong temperature signal on a frequency of one cycle per 24 hours. This got me curious, so I looked further. I plotted the daily temperature maxima vs. the maximum daily elevation of the sun for the last 50 years of data. The correlation looked obvious, though once again there was a lag, so I did another Fourier transform of the temperature vs. time record. Bam! A strong peak at a period of 365.25 days, which is exactly the periodicity of the daily maximum elevation of the sun!

    This looks like conclusive proof to me that the sun is a strong driver of temperature. I ignored CO2 and got a very high correlation co-efficient. I’d say the elevation of the sun accounts for almost all the observed variation in temperature.

    I think there is a paper in this.

  62. #62 Dave
    August 11, 2009

    Cohenite, your “take” on Wahl and Amman appears to be a couple of not-especially-coherent sentences starting from a false premise. Truly, the field of climate science doth lie in tatters before your mighty arguments…

    Your list of “the ten best papers” is even better. It even features the “no such thing as a global average temperature” line again.

    Your response to Bernard amounts to little more than “look over there while I change the subject!”. A politician would be ashamed with a display of question-dodging like that.

  63. #63 Billy Bob Hall
    August 11, 2009

    Sounds good to me Alan (#61). There is probably a paper in what you outline for sure, but there is almost certainly no funding unfortunately for something so ‘denialist’. ;-)

  64. #64 Barton Paul Levenson
    August 11, 2009

    Billy Bob psots:

    Where is the approx ~800 year lag of temp leading CO2 increase for example ?

    Shown to be irrelevant here:

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Lag.html

  65. #65 Barton Paul Levenson
    August 11, 2009

    cohenite posts:

    Perhaps you would care to explain the apparent reversal in the PDO phase in 1998 and how that is consistent with AGW?

    I regressed temperature anomaly on ln CO2 and PDO index for 1900-2007. Ln CO2 accounted for 75% of the variance, PDO for 4%. So I guess the answer would be, “entirely consistent with it, since the effect is small enough to be ignored and still get the right answer.”

  66. #66 Barton Paul Levenson
    August 11, 2009

    Alan — ROFLMAO!!! You’ve go that “a little learning is a dangerous thing” of the deniers down pat. I loved it.

  67. #67 Billy Bob Hall
    August 11, 2009

    ‘And that’s that. Carbon dioxide is the main cause of the present global warming, and it’s a serious problem’. (from link #64)

    Bart, Bart, Bart…. you cannot be serious. What about H2O ? Just as example of another GHG.

    And on the ‘lag’, all well and good, but where is this in ‘AR4 – Ch-6′ ?

    I must admit, I sure do admire your confidence in these things. I only wish I could be so confident.
    Oh, I am being sincere.

  68. #68 Mark
    August 11, 2009

    > And on the ‘lag’, all well and good, but where is this in ‘AR4 – Ch-6′ ?

    Because the lag is a result of warming which is taking place now. Ergo, there is no “lag” since it hasn’t been 800 years since the Anthropogenic warming we are currently making has happened.

    That will take 800 years to appear.

    This is why it isn’t in a paper about the past 150 years and into the next 100 years.

    Since, like 2810 is further into the future than 2150.

  69. #69 Mark Byrne
    August 11, 2009

    Billy Bob,

    What puts the H2O into the atmosphere? Barton knows, and considering that most people here know, do you think you sound clever or foolish when you make your little dig at Barton?

    BTW Billy Bob, what is your intention here? Cos the way you carry on, it sounds like your pretty confident of something.

  70. #70 Chris O'Neill
    August 11, 2009

    Billy Bob:

    What about H2O ? Just as example of another GHG.

    Yes, that’s the feedback gas. I’m glad you recognize feedback

  71. #71 Alan
    August 11, 2009

    One of the characteristics of science is the search for a broad theory that explains a wide range of phenomena by showing that they are specific examples of a more general process. Some examples are Linus Pauling’s “Nature of the Chemical Bond”, Maxwell’s equations and Pasteur’s germ theory of disease. I am delighted to find a new paradigm that, in one broad stroke, explains climate change ostrichism, intelligent designers and anti-vaccine autism campaigners.

    Here it is.

    http://discovermagazine.com/2009/jul-aug/10-in-the-future-doing-science-is-like-blogging

  72. #72 ChrisC
    August 11, 2009

    Billy Bob Hall sez:

    “And on the ‘lag’, all well and good, but where is this in ‘AR4 – Ch-6′ ”

    On page 449. In the box with the heading Frequently Asked Question 6.1: What Caused the Ice Ages and Other Important Climate Changes Before the Industrial Era. It’s right there. Methinks you did not read the report.

    BTW, I’ll place a small wager on BBH being a Poe.

  73. #73 dhogaza
    August 11, 2009

    Sounds good to me Alan (#61)

    Alan is to Billy Bob Hall as sticky flypaper is to flies.

    Billy Bob … you’ve been entrapped!

  74. #74 Billy Bob Hall
    August 11, 2009

    N wrrs dhgz. lwys sd y wr ll smrt gys gys hr. Fr b t fr lttl l m t psh n smrt pnts’s ff thr prch. ;-)

  75. #75 Billy Bob Hall
    August 11, 2009

    Jst t prvd th ‘thr sd’ t th dbt Mrk (#). N ‘m nt cnfdnt f mch, xcpt tht thr r nt ngh ppl qstnng thr wn wsdm.

  76. #76 Chris O'Neill
    August 11, 2009

    Billy Bob:

    I’m not confident of much, except that there are not enough people questioning their own wisdom.

    For example:

    Billy Bob:

    Sounds good to me Alan

    You’d have to be confident when you are yourself an example of someone not questioning their own wisdom.

  77. #77 Paul UK
    August 11, 2009

    Alan:
    >This looks like conclusive proof to me that the sun is a strong driver of temperature.

    Well i’m gobsmacked.
    So do you think that if we took the Sun away, it would get colder then?

    Alan:
    >I’d say the elevation of the sun accounts for almost all the observed variation in temperature.

    Next you’ll be telling us that sunlight is a different colour at sunrise and sunset. And that winter is colder than summer.

  78. #78 Chris O'Neill
    August 11, 2009

    Well i’m gobsmacked. So do you think that if we took the Sun away, it would get colder then?

    Not only that, Alan’s work means nothing can cause a slow, long term change in temperature.

  79. #79 MAB
    August 11, 2009

    Billy Bob is so confident of his position that climate science is grossly wrong that:

    1. he knows that climate science ignores paleo-climate,

    2. when he finds climate science is rich with paleo-climate, he knows he doesn’t need to read it, cos it can’t be correct.

    3. with his knowledge gained from not reading it, he knows that it doesn’t address the recorded 800 year lag found between some of the past warming and CO2 rise.

    4. When Billy Bob is informed that climate science including chapter 6 of AR4 does in fact address the 800 year lag, he is confident that the problem with AGW is that not enough people are questioning their own wisdom.

    Billy Bob you’re a shinning example of transparent clarity. It is a shame that you are not Poe.

  80. #80 cohenite
    August 11, 2009

    “Ln CO2 accounted for 75% of the variance”

    Don’t think so;

    http://landshape.org/enm/comment-on-mclean-submitted/#disqus_thread

  81. #81 James Haughton
    August 11, 2009

    Anthony, the paper you linked to says that, according to you and David Stockwell, some 5-9% of global temperature variation from the mean is explained by ENSO. I don’t see how that’s inconsistent with Barton’s quick linear regression showing that 4% is due to PDO, which is linked to ENSO. It also raises the question of what you and David Stockwell think accounts for the other 91-95%.
    To put it more bluntly: Your own paper blows your argument out of the water.

  82. #82 David Stockwell
    August 11, 2009

    James: As the abstract says, SOI via cSOI explains 59% of HadCRU3 and with the addition of volcanics and solar, 67%. This is an easy thing to verify yourself. The 5-9% refers to the estimate of the amount of SOI that needs to be accumulated into the cSOI to give the result.

  83. #83 cohenite
    August 11, 2009

    James; variation compared with trend. David finds 5-9% of trend is possibly from cSOI/ENSO; he finds a much higher component of variation is from cSOI/ENSO

  84. #84 David Stockwell
    August 12, 2009

    Cohenite: Variation explained covers both (short term) variation and (long term) trend. 5-9% is the amount of temperature increase(if you like) from a specific EL Nino event, that gets accumulated into the overall temperature increase to create a trend.

  85. #85 Mark Byrne
    August 12, 2009

    David Stockwell, Anthony,

    How is cSOI calculated?

  86. #86 David Stockwell
    August 12, 2009

    cSOI(t) = Sum SOI(t)

  87. #87 Mark Byrne
    August 12, 2009

    David,

    Have you regressed the recorded temperature anomaly on lnCO2 and cSOI?

  88. #88 David Stockwell
    August 12, 2009

    Yes, I used anthropogenic forcing from GISS, and it explains about the same amount as SOI+cSOI, around 68% when volcanics and sun spot no is included.

  89. #89 James Haughton
    August 12, 2009

    David: Thanks for clearing that up.
    I’m not aware of any disagreement that short term variation is caused by fluctuations such as ENSO, volcanoes, solar output, etc. I think your cSOI confuses cause and effect. To illustrate: here is [a chart I just made up](http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=tJnPymQlFmDcugzU7MOCSxg&oid=2&output=image) which is a combination of an underlying warming trend, a simple sine wave (ENSO), and a random noise factor (all graphed seperately). Note that this simple combination has produced a sharp spike followed by a period of mild cooling, which I have mischieviously labelled “1998″ for clarity. How can your method tell the difference between the [data](http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AvpTdd9liTDJdEpuUHltUWxGbURjdWd6VTdNT0NTeGc&hl=en) produced by this simple summation exercise and a “structural break” or a “cumulative SOI”?

  90. #90 David Stockwell
    August 12, 2009

    James: Nice graph and data. I presume you mean PDO or something with a longer frequency than ENSO. That is actually the model we have been working under, with a periodic fluctuation and an additive underlying trend.

    You could model it with a periodic term but you lose the refinements, particularly as the period we are looking at, unlike your data is not one full cycle. There is no reason why the frequency of ENSO events is not ‘driven’ by a periodic solar forcing say, of period 60 years. In which case your model would be fine. Also as I say, one cannot determine the relative contribution of AF vs SOI.

    The question at hand however is how much variation can SOI explain: only 7% as Foster suggests, or is 70% a possibility. There are a number of studies, including the TAR, suggestive that the frequent El Ninos we has last century increased global temperatures in a cumulative way, but the question is how much of a contribution. From a purely statistical POV SOI can explain a ‘large’ part of the variation. Whether it does or not is another issue.

  91. #91 James Haughton
    August 12, 2009

    David,
    I don’t see how your approach produces any evidence that the underlying trend is an accumulation of El Nino residual effects and not the result of CO2 forcing. Indeed, you explicitly say that “it is not possible to reliably determine the relative contribution of anthropogenic forcing and SOI accumulation from multiple regression models due to collinearity”. Since the physical mechanism for CO2 forcing is quite well understood and the contention that ENSO can residually raise temperatures permanently appears to violate conservation of energy principles, what is the basis for postulating it? Calling the underlying trend “Cumulative SOI” doesn’t make it so.

  92. #92 David Stockwell
    August 12, 2009

    James: Looking at your figure you would need to expand the period 1988-2003 to about 1960-2008 to represent the basic relations of cSOI (or PDO) and the underlying trend. You can see how the addition of a positive phase of the PDO added to an upward underlying trend would give an apparent steep warming.

  93. #93 James Haughton
    August 12, 2009

    David, my chart is a purely arbitrary exercise, I’m not claiming that the warming trend in it is the real one. The point of it is to ask how your statistical methods (“structural breaks” and “cumulative oscillations”) can tell the difference between a structural change, PDO regime change, etcetera, and a temporary accumulation of oscillation + trend + noise? Would your method, applied to this data, produce a “cumulative sine wave”?

    We appear to be in furious agreement here that underlying trend + PDO or ENSO can produce rapid warming (e.g. 1998), so why is Anthony (Cohenite) claiming that your paper shows that the underlying trend is not due to CO2 forcing?

  94. #94 David Stockwell
    August 12, 2009

    Well, if for example, the cumulative SOI had no correlation whatsoever with the global mean temperature then we wouldn’t be talking about it. It does have a high correlation, but as they say, correlation is not causation. Still that has not stopped a generation of climate scientists doing exactly the same exercises as we have done with multiple regression. I would question how well understood CO2 forcing is when the IPCC range of sensitivity is between 5 and 1.5 per doubling.

    The physical support for accumulation of ENSO comes from studies by meteorologists some of which I cite in the paper. Even the TAR (p103) says “The overall effect [of relatively frequent, persistent, intense ElNinos] is likely
    to have made a small contribution to the increase in global
    surface temperature during the last few decades.” Though I couldn’t find where they quantified it.

    The main idea is I think that El Nino’s tend to reinforce themselves due to relaxation of the trade winds and maybe cloud feedback. But La Nina conditions are more ‘neutral’ and due to the cloudiness cannot lose heat as easily. This means that an El Nino can rachet up the solar absorption quickly, but La Nino cannot dissipate it so easily. The apparent imbalance is only at the surface, but the ocean is 3D so that has to be taken into account.

  95. #95 David Stockwell
    August 12, 2009

    “why is Anthony (Cohenite) claiming that your paper shows that the underlying trend is not due to CO2 forcing”

    Our messages crossed. Anthony’s argument is a bit different and I am not entirely convinced from a technical POV that there is proof, as there always seems to be that bit of doubt. It might be said, that increased CO2 forcing caused increased frequency of El Nino’s and this is how the radiative imbalance is addressed. According to IPCC some climate models respond to CO2 forcing with increased ENSO, but others respond differently with polar changes. (another example of poor understanding of GHG forcing?)

    However, if we enter a period of La Nina’s then the idea that warming is caused by CO2 via increased El Ninos gets more tenuous.

  96. #96 Billy Bob Hall
    August 12, 2009

    Good Work James (#89). Probably more in the way of ‘step’ would be my opinion.

  97. #97 cohenite
    August 12, 2009

    In fact just following on from David’s point there is a theme in some pro-AGW papers that the form and frequency of El Nino is being affected by AGW; hence the Modoki form of El Nino, Vecchi and Soden’s paper which describes “El Nino-like” changes with AGW mechanisms and then there is Meehl who has his own theory about 1976;

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

  98. #98 Mark
    August 12, 2009

    > According to IPCC some climate models respond to CO2 forcing with increased ENSO,

    Increased ENSO *what*?

    Amplitude: then there’s no change in the AVERAGE, is there.

    I would expect that over the time of ~1000 years there would be a change in the ENSO average modification since that is where the bulk ocean volume has warmed enough to want to burp out the CO2 it contains. Since the colder water in El Nino is based on the upwelling of the colder water from the bulk ocean depths, a warmer bulk ocean would reduce the negative without changing the positive.

    But that would be over millenia.

    And a fraction of the cooling effect of an El Nino, so therefore only a tiny fraction of a degree over the last 150 years.

    If you want to say that the warming signature (that seems to disappear when something comes up that says there’s no warming…) is from ENSO changes, you’ll need to prove it. “Well it could, couldn’t it?” is not proof.

    And then you’d have to prove that CO2 is having no effect (which also requires the IR saturated H2O has no effect) in a real stratified atmosphere.

  99. #99 Mark
    August 12, 2009

    > I would question how well understood CO2 forcing is when the IPCC range of sensitivity is between 5 and 1.5 per doubling.

    Why?

    Engineers make a bridge that supports 100T spec by building a bridge that doesn’t flex much when loaded to 200T and therefore could manage 400T loading without failure.

    Yet you still believe that engineers understand Youngs Modulous.

    Odd isn’t it.

    When it comes to whether the science is sound, the unknowns are brought forward. Yet when the unknown effects are included (this is where the range in CO2 sensitivity comes in), the science is unsound because it has a wide range.

    Leave out the wide range and they’ll complain that there’s no mention of the uncertainties therefore it’s just propaganda.

    This is a good technique to ensure you ALWAYS win an argument, but it doesn’t work too well when written down, since you can go back and see what someone has said before and see how the “argument” has been twisted around to ensure the pre-conceived notion of AGW falsity can be held on to like a treasured comfort-blankie.

  100. #100 Barton Paul Levenson
    August 12, 2009

    Billy Bob writes:

    Bart, Bart, Bart…. you cannot be serious. What about H2O ? Just as example of another GHG.

    What about it? The residence time in the atmosphere of a pulse of water vapor is nine days. The RT for a pulse of carbon dioxide is 200 years. We could double water vapor tomorrow and almost all the new material would be gone, rained out, in less than a month. That’s why carbon dioxide matters for global warming and water vapor doesn’t.