Thoughts from Zorita

Eduardo has quite a nice post at KZ. I say “quite nice” because it is definitely one for those deeply emeshed in the debate and familiar with it, yet not wanting to be part of the rancour.

Point 1 should be required reading for all the septic folk out there:

The main question here that any scientist would like to answer is what are the factors or combination of factors that have caused this warming. Note that even if temperatures had been much higher in , say 1800, even much higher than today -which I doubt – this question would remain. We see a change and we have to find an explanation for that change… By this I mean among other things that, for instance, ‘recovery from the Little ice ‘ is not a known physical process that is described by any known equation. Also, natural oscillations are not a known physical phenomenon per se. If there is a ‘natural oscillation’ there is something that oscillates and for some reason. What is that and what makes it (quasi) oscillate ? Neither is an answer of the type ‘it was warmer in the Medieval Warm period, so I dont care’ permissible. I think t we all should require physically consistent explanation from any theory of climate change, and not only from the anthropogenic greenhouse effect.

Quibbling, it would have been nice if he had added that AGW does provide an explanation, and nothing else (so far) does; but as I said, this is for those emeshed in the issue and that can be justified as implied background.

His point 2, though, isn’t so good. Its more of a speculative by-eye assessment of the graph and doesn’t help anything much. Point 3 is interesting speculation.


  1. #1 Alex Harvey

    Hi William,

    What exactly is wrong with point 2?


    [All the stuff like But what it is really striking – I think- is the fact that these warming and cooling phases are so sharply defined. The figure above shows annual mean values, but I venture to think that if we had the monthly mean values we would even be able to pin down the months in which the trends flip. That stands in rather sharp contrast to point 1. What would be rather more meaningful would have been a discussion of the actual physical mechanisms behind the changes; the “chartism” isn’t helpful. It is reading too much into random noise -W]

  2. #2 Pierce R. Butler

    … all the septic folk out there…

    Congratulations: Stoat wins the Freudian Typo of the Week Award!

    [As others have pointed out, it isn’t a typo. Goes back years: 2004 at least -W]

  3. #3 Hank Roberts

    > septic
    septic TM Stoat

  4. #4 pough

    Is it still a typo if you’ve written a whole blog post about your conscious decision to spell it that way? More importantly, is it still Freudian without the phallic objects?

    Or can we consider the septics themselves to be phallic objects, at least when they’re standing?

  5. #5 Eli Rabett


  6. #6 John N-G

    Boy, that comment thread decayed fast!

    FWIW, my impression of the three points is completely in line with your impression.

    [It might be a record :-) -W]

  7. #7 Nicolas Nierenbeg

    “Quibbling, it would have been nice if he had added that AGW does provide an explanation, and nothing else (so far) does;”

    William, do you believe that AGW explains the warming since the little ice age, or the various other temperature regimes that he refers to? I would think that the postulate is that it potentially explains the temperature increase since roughly the middle of the 20th century.

    [I was talking about 20th century temperatures in this context, and possibly being a little lose in my language. For one thing, I meant “the combination of anthro and natural forcing fed into GCMs and their results as displayed in IPCC AR4″. And I suspect if you push me you’d get me to admit that maybe the T rise early in the 20th C pushes close to the limits of “compatible with” -W]

  8. #8 Pierce R. Butler

    Oops, I sit corrected. A most apropos rendering!

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.